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The utilization of sol-gel chemical methodology to prepare nanostructured energetic materials as well as the concepts of nanoenergetics is described. The preparation and characterization of two totally different compositions is detailed. In one example, nanostructured aerogel and xerogel composites of sol-gel iron (III) oxide and ultra fine grained aluminum (UFG Al) are prepared, characterized, and compared to a conventional micron-sized Fe2O3/Al thermite. The exquisite degree of mixing and intimate nanostructuring of this material is illustrated using transmission and scanning electron microscopies (TEM and SEM). The nanocomposite material has markedly different energy release (burn rate) and thermal properties compared to the conventional composite, results of which will be discussed. Small-scale safety characterization was performed on the nanostructured thermite. The second nanostructured energetic material consists of a nanostructured hydrocarbon resin fuel network with fine ammonium perchlorate (NH4ClO4) oxidizer present.
Late survival of the Shasta ground sloth, Nothrotherium shastense, an assumption partially based on excellent preservation of a specimen from the Aden Crater, New Mexico, can no longer be supported, at least on the basis of this specimen. Two radiocarbon dates, one derived from desiccated tissues and the other from an associated coprolite (9840 ± 160 and 11,080 ± 200 B.P.), place the specimen within the temporal span of other dated ground-sloth finds. The discrepancy of over 1000 years in these two dates can be explained by alcohol contamination of the tissue sample.
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