Hooray! This year's Scientific American's list of 50 leaders in science (and policy too) features my IT-BHU classmate P.M. Ajayan who has been doing a lot of ultra-cool things in the ultra-hot area of carbon nanotubes at Rensselaer Polytechnic.
Here's the SciAm's description of Ajayan's recent research (scroll down a bit):
Carbon was also the material chosen by Pulickel M. Ajayan at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in Troy, N.Y., and his colleagues to create super-resilient springs. The researchers used a foam made up of carbon nanotubes to devise springs that combine the properties of stiffness and compressibility. Stiff materials take a lot of force to squash but often break after their limits are exceeded, while compressible substances often buckle easily but can rebound to their usual shape afterward with little to no damage. Repeatedly compressing a cushion normally squashes it, with a loss of springiness. But the nanotube foams remained elastic even after 10,000 squeezes, a property that could make the material suitable for artificial joints or vibration dampeners.