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SpaceX's Hyperloop Pod Competition Kicks Off this Weekend

January 29, 2016 1:25 pm | by Greg Watry, Digital Reporter | News | Comments

Texas A&M Univ. is hosting more than 1,000 university and high school students this weekend for the SpaceX Hyperloop Pod Competition Design Weekend, which kicked off today.

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Apple Reportedly Working on Wireless-Charged iPhones

January 29, 2016 1:21 pm | by Ryan Bushey, Associate Editor | News | Comments

Apple is reportedly working with partners to develop technology that can help one of the company’s most popular products charge from a distance.

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This image shows from left Paul Warren, Edward Young and Issaku Kohl. Young is holding a sample of a rock from the moon. Courtsy of Christelle Snow/UCLA

New UCLA Research Delves into Planetary Collision that Produced Moon

January 29, 2016 9:32 am | by Greg Watry, Digital Reporter | News | Comments

Around 100 million years after the Earth’s formation, the celestial body was floating in the vacuum when another planetary body smashed into it. In a computer simulation of the event, the other planetary body clips the top, sending a variety of debris hurdling into the surrounding space. The debris whirl and rotate around the Earth. Scientists are proposing the collision was more head-on than previously postulated.

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Scientists baked a leaf to demonstrate a battery.

Energy storage: You’ll never be-leaf what makes up this battery

January 29, 2016 8:45 am | by University of Maryland | News | Comments

Scientists at the University of Maryland have a new recipe for batteries: Bake a leaf, and add sodium. They used a carbonized oak leaf, pumped full of sodium, as a demonstration battery’s negative terminal, or anode. The scientists are trying to make a battery using sodium where most rechargeable batteries sold today use lithium. Sodium would hold more charge...

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The first domestically-made stealth aircraft, X-2, is shown to the media at Nagoya Airport in Toyoyama town, central Japan, Thursday, January 28, 2016. The demonstration plane is expected to make its maiden flight sometime after mid-February. A Defense Mi

Japan unveils stealth plane, may combine with next-gen jet

January 28, 2016 4:37 pm | by AP | News | Comments

Japan unveiled its first homemade stealth plane, as it tries to catch up on the technology and enhance its reconnaissance and intelligence capabilities as China expands its own military presence in the region. The experimental X-2 is expected to make its maiden test flight in February. Defense officials said the aircraft is designed to test the stealth technology that would possibly be combined with the next-generation fighter jet.

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A six-sided polygonal origami tube can reconfigure into two different shapes by changing the direction of folds — from a mountain to a valley.

Reconfigurable origami tubes could find antenna, microfluidic uses

January 28, 2016 4:26 pm | by Georgia Institute of Technology | News | Comments

Origami, the ancient art of paper folding, may soon provide a foundation for antennas that can reconfigure themselves to operate at different frequencies, microfluidic devices whose properties can change in operation — and even heating and air-conditioning ductwork that adjusts to demand. The applications could result from reconfigurable and reprogrammable origami tubes.

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This microscopic closeup shows a small sample of ytterbium dirhodium disilicide, one of the most-studied "heavy fermion" composites. The scale bar in the center of the screen is one millimeter wide. Courtesy of Marc Tippmann/Technical University of Munich

Heavy fermions get nuclear boost on way to superconductivity

January 28, 2016 4:09 pm | by Jade Boyd, Rice University | News | Comments

In a surprising find, physicists from the United States, Germany and China have discovered that nuclear effects help bring about superconductivity in ytterbium dirhodium disilicide (YRS), one of the most-studied materials in a class of quantum critical compounds known as “heavy fermions.” The discovery marks the first time that superconductivity has been observed in YRS.

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Auxiliary Aire Fume Hood

January 28, 2016 4:01 pm | by HEMCO Corporation | HEMCO Corporation | Product Releases | Comments

When there is a shortage of air in the lab, it is less costly to provide an Auxiliary air fume hood system than to change or enlarge the whole building air handling system. With the sash in the ½ open position it only requires 50% supply air to make up for the exhaust air, making it 100% efficient with no room air required. 

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(A) A segment of the near infrared (IR) spectrum of a cool star as observed by the Keck II telescope's near infrared spectrometer (NIRSPEC). Dark bands represent absorption features in the star's atmosphere. (B) A segment of the near IR spectrum from the

New calibration tool will help astronomers look for habitable exoplanets

January 28, 2016 2:11 pm | by Adam Hadhazy, W. M. Keck Observatory | News | Comments

Promising new calibration tools, called laser frequency combs, could allow astronomers to take a major step in discovering and characterizing earthlike planets around other stars. These devices generate evenly spaced lines of light, much like the teeth on a comb for styling hair or the tick marks on a ruler — hence their nickname of optical rulers. The tick marks serve as stable reference points when making precision measurements.

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STS-51L Crew (l-r): Payload Specialists Christa McAuliffe and Gregory B. Jarvis, Mission Specialist Judith A. Resnik, Commander Francis R. Scobee, Mission Specialist Ronald E. McNair, Pilot Michael J. Smith, Mission Specialist Ellison S. Onizuka. Courtesy

NASA Remembers the Challenger 30 Years Later

January 28, 2016 12:33 pm | by Greg Watry, Digital Reporter | News | Comments

Today, NASA remembered the seven crewmembers of STS-51L who 30 years ago boarded the Shuttle Challenger and perished following a booster engine failure. On Jan. 28, 1986, the shuttle took to the blue sky. But 73 seconds after launch, the shuttle was swallowed by a fireball and exploded into several separate sections, leaving smoky tendrils in its wake. At the time, the shuttle was traveling at Mach 1.92

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Sensors and pressure pads of the proximity hat provide the user with information on the surroundings. Courtesy of KIT

Feeling spaces with the “proximity hat”

January 28, 2016 12:22 pm | by Karlsruhe Institute of Technology | News | Comments

Ultrasonic sensors, batteries and pressure pads are parts of the novel system that can be put on the head like a hat or headband. Decreasing or increasing pressure provides the person wearing the hat with information on the proximity of walls, passages or objects. The system, called proximity hat, measures the surroundings in real time and might help visually impaired persons orient in rooms and firemen find their way around in smoke. 

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Colorized micrograph of a NIST single-photon detector made of superconducting nanowires patterned on molybdenum silicide. Courtesy of Verma/NIST

Less jitter, more bits: new material for detecting photons captures more quantum information

January 28, 2016 12:11 pm | by NIST | News | Comments

Detecting individual particles of light just got a bit more precise — by 74 picoseconds to be exact—thanks to advances in materials by NIST researchers and their colleagues in fabricating superconducting nanowires. Although 74 picoseconds may not sound like much — a picosecond is a trillionth of a second — it is a big deal in the quantum world, where light particles, or photons, can carry valuable information.

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Associate Professor Joan Vaccaro, from Griffith's Centre for Quantum Dynamics

Bringing time, space together for universal symmetry

January 28, 2016 11:59 am | by Griffith University | News | Comments

New research from Griffith University’s Centre for Quantum Dynamics is broadening perspectives on time and space. Associate Professor Joan Vaccaro challenges the long-held presumption that time evolution — the incessant unfolding of the universe over time — is an elemental part of Nature. She suggests there may be a deeper origin due to a difference between the two directions of time: to the future and to the past.

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CU-Boulder/NOAA study shows rapid, affordable energy transmission is possible.

A U.S. interstate for renewable energy could keep costs low

January 28, 2016 11:45 am | by University of Colorado | News | Comments

The United States could slash greenhouse gas emissions from power production by up to 78 percent below 1990 levels within 15 years while meeting increased demand, according to a new study by NOAA and University of Colorado Boulder researchers. The study used a sophisticated mathematical model to evaluate future cost, demand, generation and transmission scenarios.

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Section of rock coloniszed by cryptoendolithic microorganisms and the Cryomyces fungi in quartz crystals under an electron microscope. Courtesy of S. Onofri et al.

Antarctic Fungi Survives Martian and Space Conditions

January 28, 2016 11:24 am | by Greg Watry, Digital Reporter | News | Comments

For 18 months, the organisms were subjected to Mars-like conditions. The atmosphere was 95% carbon dioxide, 1.6% argon, 0.15% oxygen, 2.7% nitrogen, and 370 ppm water, with a pressure of 1,000 pascals. Additionally, they were exposed to ultra-violet radiation similar to that on Mars. And they returned alive.

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