Wired’s top words give props to Rice research

It may be weird but it’s definitely not wired. That would defeat the purpose of Teslaphoresis, the Rice University-born technique to move and assemble carbon nanotubes wirelessly with a Tesla coil force field.

Paul Cherukuri prepares a Teslaphoresis experiment at Rice.

Paul Cherukuri prepares a Teslaphoresis experiment at Rice. Photo by Jeff Fitlow

Still, Teslaphoresis qualified as one of the “best new words” of the year named in a Wired story late last month. The word was chosen by Jonathon Keats, who writes the magazine’s monthly “Jargon Watch” column, and slotted between “stomach tap” and “Textalyzer” in the alphabetical list.

Teslaphoresis, discovered and developed by Rice chemist Paul Cherukuri, uses the wireless energy field from a Tesla coil to self-assemble individual nanotubes into ultra-long wires and circuits. The invention could have electronic and even medical applications, according to the scientists.

The Wired nod caps a very good year for Cherukuri, who also took on a new post as executive director of Rice’s Institute of Biosciences and Engineering.

“The first time I saw the phenomenon, I knew we had to name it,” he said. “But then, Rice has a rich history of naming cool and interesting nanoscale discoveries, like the buckyball, and I wanted to keep that tradition alive. Now I feel like we’ve succeeded.”

See the full list of weird and wired words at www.wired.com/2016/12/21-best-new-words-2016/




About Mike Williams

Mike Williams is a senior media relations specialist in Rice University's Office of Public Affairs.