Terahertz radiation is gaining attention due to its many applications. Traditional methods of generating terahertz radiation, however, usually involve large and expensive instruments, some of which also require cryogenic cooling. A compact terahertz source operating at room temperature with high power has been a dream device in the terahertz community for decades. A team from Northwestern Univ. has now brought this dream closer to reality.
Three U.S.-based scientists won the 2013 Nobel Prize in chemistry for developing powerful computer models that others can use to understand complex chemical interactions and create new drugs. Research in the 1970s by Martin Karplus, Michael Levitt and Arieh Warshel has helped scientists develop programs that unveil chemical processes such as the purification of exhaust fume or photosynthesis, the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences said.
Light might be able to play a bigger, more versatile role in the future of quantum computing, according to new research by Yale Univ. physicists. The team of physicists has coaxed an unprecedented number of light particles, or photons, to behave quantum mechanically, or to assume more than one state simultaneously, such as “alive” and “dead.” In this case, the light is in the form of trapped microwave photons.
A Binghamton Univ. scientist and his international colleagues report on the successful synthesis of the first superconductor designed entirely on the computer. The synthesized material, a novel iron tetraboride compound, is made out of two common elements, has a brand-new crystal structure and exhibits an unexpected type of superconductivity for a material that contains iron, just as predicted in the original computational study.
Subtle body cues allow people to identify others with surprising accuracy when faces are difficult to differentiate. This skill may help researchers improve person-recognition software and expand their understanding of how humans recognize each other. A study published by researchers at The Univ. of Texas at Dallas demonstrates that humans rely on non-facial cues to identify people in challenging viewing conditions, such as poor lighting.
Multi-touch surfaces offer easy interaction in public spaces, with people being able to walk-up and use them. However, people cannot feel what they have touched. A team from the Univ. of Bristol’s Interaction and Graphics research group have developed a solution that not only allows people to feel what is on the screen, but also receive invisible information before they touch it.
A tag team of two bacteria, one of them genetically modified, has a good chance to reduce or even eliminate the deadly disease African trypanosomiasis, or sleeping sickness, researchers at Oregon State Univ. conclude in a recent mathematical modeling study. African trypanosomiasis, caused by a parasite carried by the tsetse fly, infects 30,000 people in sub-Saharan Africa each year and is almost always fatal without treatment.
Object recognition is one of the most widely studied problems in computer vision. But a robot that manipulates objects in the world needs to do more than just recognize them; it also needs to understand their orientation. Is that mug right-side up or upside-down? And which direction is its handle facing? To improve robots’ ability to gauge object orientation, a team is exploiting a statistical construct called the Bingham distribution.
Scientists have discovered huge ice channels beneath a floating ice shelf in Antarctica. At 250 m high, the channels are almost as tall as the Eiffel tower and stretch hundreds of kilometers along the ice shelf. The channels are likely to influence the stability of the ice shelf and their discovery will help researchers understand how the ice will respond to changing environmental conditions.
The San Diego Supercomputer Center at the Univ. of California, San Diego, has been awarded a grant from the National Science Foundation to build Comet, a new petascale supercomputer designed to transform advanced scientific computing by expanding access and capacity among research domains. Comet will be capable of an overall peak performance of nearly two petaflops, or two quadrillion operations per second.
Researchers in Japan have developed a new photodiode that can detect in just milliseconds a certain type of high-energy ultraviolet light, called UVC, which is powerful enough to break the bonds of DNA and harm living creatures. The new device shows promise for space-based communication and monitoring ozone depletion.
Electrical currents born from thunderstorms are able to flow through the atmosphere and around the globe, causing a detectable electrification of the air even in places with no thunderstorm activity. But a good understanding of atmospheric conductivity has eluded scientists. Now, a research team in Colorado has developed a global electric circuit model by adding an additional layer to a climate model.
Multiphysics software developer COMSOL is holding its COMSOL Conference Oct. 9-11 at the Boston Marriott Newton. The event will draw together more than 2,000 engineers, scientists and researchers to learn from leaders in multiphysics simulation and discover the latest tools from COMSOL.
Scientists have developed a new kind of “x-ray vision” that is able to peer inside an object and map the 3-D distribution of its nano-properties in real time. The technique, called pair distribution function-computed tomography, improves on standard x-ray tomography by using scattered x-rays to form a 3-D reconstruction of the image, in addition providing density contrast.
In a new white paper from Carl Zeiss Microscopy, scientists from DME Nanotechnologie GmbH and Zeiss demonstrate the power of the AFM/SEM combination found in the Zeiss Merlin series microscopes for the analysis of helium ion beam exposed nanostructures.
To tune how much light is received by optics, conventional devices use mechanical contraptions like the blades that form apertures in cameras. Engineers from the Univ. of Freiburg in Germany have made these solutions unnecessary by replacing conventional, solid lenses with the combination of a malleable lens and a liquid iris-like component.
Computing systems like IBM Research’s Watson have been engineered to learn, reason and help human experts make complex decisions involving extraordinary volumes of fast-moving data. To advance the development and deployment of these cognitive computing systems, IBM has announced a collaborative research initiative with four top universities.
Multiphysics software developer COMSOL is holding its COMSOL Conference Oct. 9-11 at the Boston Marriott Newton. The event will draw together engineers, scientists and researchers to learn from the leaders in multiphysics simulation and discover the latest tools from COMSOL.
An industry-academic partnership has created two different optical components that can be fabricated within the same processes already used in industry to create today’s electronic microprocessors. The modulators, which are structures that detect electrical signals and translate them into optical waves, use light instead of electrical wires to communicate with transistors on a single chip.
A pair of breakthroughs in the field of silicon photonics by researchers at the Univ. of Colorado Boulder, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Micron Technology Inc. could allow for the trajectory of exponential improvement in microprocessors that began nearly half a century ago—known as Moore’s Law—to continue well into the future, allowing for increasingly faster electronics, from supercomputers to laptops to smartphones.
Similar to using Java to write code for a computer, chemists soon could be able to use a structured set of instructions to “program” how DNA molecules interact in a test tube or cell. A Univ. of Washington team has developed a programming language for chemistry that it hopes will streamline efforts to design a network that can guide the behavior of chemical-reaction mixtures in the same way that embedded electronic controllers guide cars.
Nanoparticle characterization company NanoSight Ltd has been acquired by a leading global provider of instrumentation and expertise for materials and biophysical characterization, Malvern Instruments Ltd. Both companies are located in the U.K. NanoSight is known for its patented Nanoparticle Tracking Analysis Technology.
Usually, an elementary light source—such as an excited atom or molecule—emits light of a particular color at an unpredictable instance in time. Recently, however, scientists have recently shown that a light source can be coaxed to emit light at a desired moment in time, within an ultrashort burst. The phenomenon has applications in fast stroboscopes, quantum systems and quantum cryptography.
Researchers at Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory and the Qatar Computing Research Institute have developed new tools that allow people with minimal programming skill to rapidly build cellphone applications that can help with disaster relief.
In an advance that could dramatically shrink particle accelerators for science and medicine, researchers used a laser to accelerate electrons at a rate 10 times higher than conventional technology in a nanostructured glass chip smaller than a grain of rice.