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Magnetic insulator shows way to dissipationless electronics

August 20, 2012 8:01 am | News | Comments

A team of researchers at in Japan has demonstrated a new material that promises to eliminate loss in electrical power transmission. Their methodology for solving this classic energy problem is based on a highly exotic type of magnetic semiconductor first theorized less than a decade ago—a magnetic topological insulator.

Fatal 2007 bridge collapse spurs affordable, instant warnings

August 2, 2012 10:20 am | News | Comments

On August 1, 2007, without warning, the roadway suddenly disappeared beneath drivers on Minneapolis' I-35W Bridge, killing 13. In the five years since, advances in wireless sensor technology are making warning systems to prevent such tragedies affordable and practical. Both startups and federally initiatives are close to releasing systems that will be suitable for commercial use.

Simple square chart helps generate better product design

July 30, 2012 9:59 am | by Peter Dizikes, MIT News Office | News | Comments

More and more companies are turning to simplified procedures to help tackle complex product design tasks. At the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, work on Design Structure Matrix analysis is helping heavyweight companies improve their products, production lines and organizations by transforming product design into a productive routine.

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Single-photon transmitter could enable new quantum devices

July 25, 2012 9:45 am | News | Comments

In theory, quantum computers should be able to perform certain kinds of complex calculations much faster than conventional computers, and quantum-based communication could be invulnerable to eavesdropping. But producing quantum components for real-world devices has proved to be fraught with daunting challenges. Now, a team of researchers at Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Harvard University has achieved a crucial long-term goal of such efforts.

Scalable device for quantum information processing

July 24, 2012 5:11 am | News | Comments

Researchers in National Physical Laboratory's Quantum Detection Group have demonstrated, for the first time, a monolithic 3D ion microtrap array which could be scaled up to handle several tens of ion-based quantum bits. The research shows how it is possible to realize this device embedded in a semiconductor chip, and demonstrates the device's ability to confine individual ions at the nanoscale.

New lab working on security shoe sole to ID people

July 23, 2012 4:48 am | by Kevin Begos, Associated Press | News | Comments

Carnegie Mellon University's new Pedo-Biometrics Lab is working to perfect special shoe insoles that can help monitor access to high-security areas, like nuclear power plants or special military bases. The concept is based on research that shows each person has unique feet, and ways of walking. Sensors check on the pressure of feet and the gait, using a computer to compare patterns.

Scientists find new principle for spin transistor

July 20, 2012 9:04 am | News | Comments

In conventional field effect transistors, the current through the device can be switched on and off by an electric field. A research team in Poland, however, has developed a new way to control electron current in a transistor-like structure by using the electrons’ spin. The new method can not only tune the electrical current in the device but also the spin-polarization of the electron current.

3DIcon to acquire Dimension Technologies

July 19, 2012 11:45 am | News | Comments

3DIcon Corporation and Dimension Technologies Inc. announced that they have signed a non-binding Letter of Intent outlining the terms and conditions for 3DIcon to acquire Dimension Technologies.

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Frog calls inspire new algorithm for wireless networks

July 17, 2012 7:02 am | News | Comments

Males of the Japanese tree frog have learned not to use their calls at the same time so that the females can distinguish between them. Scientists at the Polytechnic University of Catalonia have used this form of calling behavior to create an algorithm that assigns colors to network nodes—an operation that can be applied to developing efficient wireless networks.

3D app gives public ability to experience robotic space travel

July 12, 2012 6:49 am | News | Comments

A NASA-created application that brings some of the agency's robotic spacecraft to life in 3D now is available for free on the iPhone and iPad. Called Spacecraft 3D, the app uses animation to show how spacecraft can maneuver and manipulate their outside components.

Glasses-free 3D television looks nearer

July 12, 2012 3:44 am | by Larry Hardesty, MIT News Office | News | Comments

Despite impressive recent advances, holographic television, which would present images that vary with varying perspectives, probably remains some distance in the future. But in a new paper, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology Media Lab's Camera Culture group offers a new approach to multiple-perspective, glasses-free 3D that could prove much more practical in the short term.

Naval sensor and software suite hunts down hundreds of boats

July 11, 2012 4:23 am | News | Comments

A vessel hunting system called “Rough Rhino,” sponsored by the Office of Naval Research and deployed aboard U.S. aircraft, ships and partner nation ships operating in waters off the coast of Senegal and Cape Verde, has helped track more than 600 targets since it’s been in operation. The effort has culminated in 24 boardings.

Solid-state terahertz devices could scan for cancer

July 11, 2012 3:49 am | by Bill Steele, Cornell University | News | Comments

Cornell University researchers have developed a new method of generating terahertz signals on an inexpensive silicon chip, offering possible applications in medical imaging, security scanning, and wireless data transfer.

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World’s fastest camera use to detect rogue cancer cells

July 6, 2012 8:37 am | News | Comments

The ability to distinguish and isolate rare cells from among a large population of assorted cells has become increasingly important for the early detection of disease and for monitoring disease treatments. A new optical microscope could make the tough task a whole lot easier. It uses photonic time-stretch camera technology and is the world's fastest continuous-running camera.

DARPA creates program to promote robotic actuation efficiency

July 5, 2012 7:41 am | News | Comments

Humans and animals have evolved to consume energy very efficiently for movement. If robotic actuation can be made to approach the efficiency of human and animal actuation, the range of practical robotic applications will greatly increase. To help this progression, DARPA has created the M3 Actuation program with the goal of achieving a 2,000% increase in the efficiency of power transmission and application.

“Dirt cheap” magnetic field sensor made from “plastic paint”

June 13, 2012 5:08 am | News | Comments

University of Utah physicists developed an inexpensive, highly accurate magnetic field sensor for scientific and possibly consumer uses based on a “spintronic” organic thin-film semiconductor that basically is “plastic paint.” Its inventors say the new type of magnetometer also resists heat and degradation, works at room temperature and never needs to be calibrated.

Researchers produce largest flexible color organic light-emitting display

June 4, 2012 4:10 am | News | Comments

The Flexible Display Center (FDC) at Arizona State University announced that it has successfully manufactured the world's largest flexible color organic light-emitting display prototype using advanced mixed oxide thin-film transistors. Measuring 7.4 diagonal inches, the device was developed at the FDC in conjunction with Army Research Laboratories scientists.

Integrated sensors handle extreme conditions

June 1, 2012 7:52 am | News | Comments

A team of Case Western Reserve University engineers has designed and fabricated integrated amplifier circuits that operate under extreme temperatures—up to 600 C—a feat that was previously impossible. The silicon carbide amplifiers have applications in both aerospace and energy industries.

BLE RF test solution speeds development of devices

May 31, 2012 9:59 am | News | Comments

Agilent Technologies Inc. announced its Bluetooth low-energy (BLE) test solution on the N4010A wireless connectivity test set was verified by Texas Instruments Inc. (TI) for use with TI's integrated circuits in Bluetooth Smart and Smart-Ready devices.

NLT Technologies, Renesas expand touch panel options

May 25, 2012 7:27 am | News | Comments

NLT Technologies, together with its sales and marketing channels in the Americas and Europe, Renesas Electronics America Inc. and Renesas Electronics Europe GmbH, announced the successful development of three mid-size color LCD modules based on projected capacitive touch panel technology.

A new world of spintronics with topological insulators

May 15, 2012 4:20 am | News | Comments

Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory theorists and experimenters have led in the exploration of the unique properties of topological insulators, where electrons may flow on the surface without resistance and with their spin orientations and directions intimately related. Recent research at beamline 12.0.1 of the Advanced Light Source opens the way to exciting prospects for practical new spintronic devices that exploit control of electron spin as well as charge.

Spin polarized supercurrents optimized with a simple flip

May 14, 2012 5:52 am | News | Comments

Researchers from Michigan State University, the NIST Center for Neutron Research, and the NIST Center for Nanoscale Science and Technology have discovered the key to controlling and enhancing the lossless flow of a current with a single electron spin state in a standard superconducting device.

Researchers map path to quantum electronic devices

May 14, 2012 4:28 am | News | Comments

A team of Duke University engineers has created a master "ingredient list" describing the properties of more than 2,000 compounds that might be combined to create the next generation of quantum electronics devices.

Peratech creates fast-acting electronic nose

May 11, 2012 9:48 am | News | Comments

Peratech is developing an electronic nose using its Quantum Tunnelling Composite (QTC) material. This new sensor technology detects the presence of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) very rapidly and can recover equally quickly, in a matter of seconds.

Rover on the move after surviving Martian winter

May 10, 2012 6:28 pm | News | Comments

After spending nearly five months conducting experiments in one spot, the NASA rover moved for the first time this week, rolling off the rock outcrop where it hunkered down for the Martian winter. Engineers will check its power supply before directing it north to study dust and bedrock.

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