Popular Science has been demystifying the worlds of science and technology since 1872. Our digital subscription delivers deeply reported stories that explain the inner workings of the phone in your pocket, explore world-changing innovations, and examine everything from the marvels of deep space to the secret lives of staples like bread.
The Metal Issue
The story of us
Could plant-based ‘cyborgs’ help prevent environmental disaster?
How to master cooking with metal
Why do people still wear braces?
Will the US ever ditch coins?
Why haven’t we gotten rid of lead? • A prized industrial product since the birth of America, the heavy metal has created a costly, pervasive, and deadly mess.
What makes certain metals remarkable?
Should participation trophies even exist?
State of mine • After millions of dollars in environmental cleanup, Idaho’s cobalt hotspot is welcoming its first new mining outfit in 40 years. Can it dig up the essential metal responsibly?
Current affair • Purifying all the copper we need to funnel electricity through everything from vehicles to wind turbines is dirty business. This MIT metallurgist has a plan to clean up production.
In the loop • Companies are racing to find a way to reclaim lithium from dead power cells and put it back on the road.
A hard place • NASA’s Psyche mission promised to show us the iron-nickel core of a dead planet. New research, however, hints that this asteroid is much more mysterious.
Under pressure • To craft submarines that withstand the crushing deep, New England shipbuilders must become masters of steel.
Power chords • The science is clear: Metal music is good for the soul.
It’s in the can • The surprising link between the James Webb Space Telescope, a next-gen weather satellite, and your favorite frosty beverage
Facial reconstruction • TaylorMade spent two decades working on a carbon-fiber driver face that could stand up to its titanium competition.
Bottle battle • We pitted some of the most popular double-wall steel bottles against each other to find options worthy of your everyday carry.
Doom boxes • These big, burly Bluetooth speakers have enough audio oomph to send sound waves way beyond the bounds of your backyard.
Cool metal • Half a century after the discovery of superconductive metal, new machines and new futures emerge.