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Finger-mounted reading device for the blind

March 10, 2015 | by Larry Hardesty, MIT News Office | Comments

Researchers at the MIT Media Laboratory have built a prototype of a finger-mounted device with a built-in camera that converts written text into audio for visually impaired users.             

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The magnetic coercivity, the resistance to change in the orientation of the magnetic domain structure, for nickel (Ni) was shown to strongly depend on the crystal structure of the underlying oxide (vanadium oxide). The maximum Ni coercivity occurs at the

Giant magnetic effects induced in hybrid materials

April 20, 2015 2:22 pm | by Department of Energy, Office of Science | Comments

Proximity effects in hybrid heterostructures, which contain distinct layers of different materials, allow one material species to reveal and/or control properties of a dissimilar species. Specifically, for a magnetic thin film deposited onto a transition metal oxide film, the magnetic properties change dramatically as the oxide undergoes a structural phase transition.

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Applied physics helps decipher the causes of sudden death

April 20, 2015 2:10 pm | by Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya (UPC) | Comments

Sudden cardiac death accounts for approximately 10 percent of natural deaths, most of which are due to ventricular fibrillation. Each year it causes 300,000 deaths in the United States and 20,000 in Spain. Researchers have demonstrated for the first time that the transition to calcium alternans, an arrhythmia associated with increased risk of sudden death, has common features with the magnetic ordering of metals.

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Deadline Extended for 2015 R&D 100 Award Entries

April 20, 2015 1:53 pm | by Lindsay Hock, Editor | Comments

The editors of R&D Magazine have announced a deadline extension for the 2015 R&D 100 Awards entry process until May 18, 2015. The R&D 100 Awards have a 50 plus year history of awarding the 100 most technologically significant products of the year.

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For the first time, researchers predicted the properties of granular Platonic solids (crystalline) packs and discovered a significant shape effect in their overall thermo-mechanical behavior.

New paper opens the door to the study of a new class of materials

April 20, 2015 12:51 pm | by William G. Gilroy, University of Notre Dame | Comments

A new paper describes how an accurate statistical description of heterogeneous particulate materials, which is used within statistical micromechanics theories, governs the overall thermo-mechanical properties. This detailed statistical description was computed using a novel adaptive interpolation/integration scheme on the nation’s largest parallel supercomputers.

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How to maximize the superconducting critical temperature in a molecular superconductor

April 20, 2015 12:38 pm | by Tohoku Univ. | Comments

A research team has investigated the electronic properties of the family of unconventional superconductors based on fullerenes, which have the highest known superconducting critical temperature among molecular superconductors, and was able to demonstrate the guiding influence of the molecular electronic structure in controlling superconductivity and achieving maximum Tc.

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Advances in molecular electronics

April 20, 2015 10:27 am | by Helmholtz-Zentrum Dresden-Rossendorf | Comments

Scientists at the Helmholtz-Zentrum Dresden-Rossendorf and the Univ. of Konstanz are working on storing and processing information on the level of single molecules to create the smallest possible components that will combine autonomously to form a circuit. As recently reported in Advanced Science, the researchers can switch on the current flow through a single molecule for the first time with the help of light.

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Quantum model helps solve mysteries of water

April 20, 2015 10:19 am | by National Physical Laboratory | Comments

Water is one of the most common and extensively studied substances on earth. It’s vital for all known forms of life but its unique behavior has yet to be explained in terms of the properties of individual molecules. Water derives many of its signature features from a combination of properties at the molecular level such as high polarizability, directional hydrogen bonding sites and van der Waals forces.

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Pulsing light may indicate supermassive black hole merger

April 20, 2015 10:11 am | by Abby Robinson, Univ. of Maryland | Comments

As two galaxies enter the final stages of merging, scientists have theorized that the galaxies' supermassive black holes will form a "binary," or two black holes in such close orbit they are gravitationally bound to one another. In a new study, astronomers at the Univ. of Maryland present direct evidence of a pulsing quasar, which may substantiate the existence of black hole binaries.

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A cold cosmic mystery solved

April 20, 2015 8:31 am | by Univ. of Hawaii at Manoa | Comments

In 2004, astronomers examining a map of the radiation leftover from the Big Bang (the cosmic microwave background, or CMB) discovered the Cold Spot, a larger-than-expected unusually cold area of the sky. The physics surrounding the Big Bang theory predicts warmer and cooler spots of various sizes in the infant universe, but a spot this large and this cold was unexpected.

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Engineers introduce design that mimics nature’s camouflage

April 20, 2015 8:22 am | by Scott Schrage, Univ. of Nebraska-Lincoln Communications | Comments

It can shift from red to green to violet. It can mimic patterns and designs. And it can do all of this in a flash, literally. The same qualities that define the cuttlefish, a sea dweller that uses its powers of dynamic camouflage to survive and communicate, also apply to a new engineering feat that behaves much like nature's master of disguise.

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Liquid crystal bubbles experiment arrives at ISS

April 20, 2015 8:10 am | by Univ. of Colorado, Boulder | Comments

An experiment led by the Univ. of Colorado Boulder arrived at the International Space Station (ISS) and will look into the fluid dynamics of liquid crystals that may lead to benefits both on Earth and in space. A new physical science investigation on ISS, the Observation and Analysis of Smectic Islands in Space (OASIS), will examine the behavior of liquid crystals in microgravity.

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Key element in bacterial immune system discovered

April 20, 2015 7:53 am | by Univ. of Otago | Comments

A Univ. of Otago scientist is a member of an international research team that has made an important discovery about the workings of a bacterial immune system. The finding could lead to the development of tailor-made RNA-editing tools. RNA is the molecule that translates DNA's genetic instructions into the production of the proteins that are the building blocks of cells.

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Researcher studies the hacker mind

April 20, 2015 7:46 am | by Case Western Reserve Univ. | Comments

Timothy Summers is providing a better understanding about how hackers think through his research and newly formed startup, Summers & Co. LLC, designed to improve cybersecurity. Located in Silver Spring, Md., Summers & Co. assists businesses, governments and other organizations to protect data.

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Astronomers probe inner region of young star and its planets

April 20, 2015 7:36 am | by Daniel Stolte, Univ. of Arizona Communications | Comments

Astronomers have probed deeper than before into a planetary system 130 light-years from Earth. The observations mark the first results of a new exoplanet survey called LEECH (LBT Exozodi Exoplanet Common Hunt). The planetary system of HR8799, a young star only 30 million years old, was the first to be directly imaged, with three planets found in in 2008 and a fourth one in 2010.

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Hawaii telescope builders again extend construction timeout

April 18, 2015 12:05 am | by Audrey Mcavoy, Associated Press | Comments

A nonprofit company planning to build one of the world's biggest telescopes on a mountain many Native Hawaiians consider sacred will continue to postpone construction, Hawaii Gov. David Ige said Friday. This is the second time the Thirty Meter Telescope has extended a moratorium on building at the summit of Mauna Kea, the highest peak on the Big Island of Hawaii.

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