Researchers have unveiled an oval-shaped submersible robot, a little smaller than a football, with a flattened panel on one side that it can slide along an underwater surface to perform ultrasound scans. Originally designed to look for cracks in nuclear reactors’ water tanks, the robot could also inspect ships for the false hulls and propeller shafts that smugglers frequently use to hide contraband.
Researchers have created technology that could be the first step toward wearable computers with...
Passengers on European airlines may soon be able to use portable electronics, including...
The Earth seems to have been smoking a lot recently. These eruptions have raised a question: is there such a thing as a season for volcanic eruptions? Surprisingly, this may be a possibility. While volcanoes may not have “seasons” as we know them, scientists have started to discern intriguing patterns in their activity.
New work asserts that a key technique used to probe quantum systems— weak measurement— may not be so quantum after all.
As more gardeners and farmers add ground charcoal, or biochar, to soil to both boost crop yields and counter global climate change, a new study by researchers could help settle the debate about one of biochar’s biggest benefits— the seemingly contradictory ability to make clay soils drain faster and sandy soils drain slower.
Researchers are reporting a new inexpensive and simple way to make transparent, flexible transistors— the building blocks of electronics— that could help bring roll-up smartphones with see-through displays and other bendable gadgets to consumers in just a few years.
Designers of the ambitious U.S. air traffic control system of the future neglected to take drones into account, raising questions about whether it can handle the escalating demand for the unmanned aircraft and predicted congestion in the sky.
Researchers have discovered a way to create a highly sensitive chemical sensor based on the crystalline flaws in graphene sheets. The imperfections have unique electronic properties that the researchers were able to exploit to increase sensitivity to absorbed gas molecules by 300 times.
Researchers at Sandia National Laboratories’ Z machine have produced a significant output of fusion neutrons, using a method fully functioning for only little more than a year.
Electrical engineering researchers have developed a unique nanoscale device that demonstrates mechanical transportation of light. The discovery could have major implications for creating faster and more efficient optical devices for computation and communication.
An organization of civil engineers is calling for a national strategy for mitigating flood risks, saying the U.S. has not fully heeded lessons from Hurricane Katrina and Superstorm Sandy.
Researchers have created a small-scale hydrogen generator that uses light and a two-dimensional graphene platform to boost production of the hard-to-make element. The research also unveiled a previously unknown property of graphene. The two-dimensional chain of carbon atoms not only gives and receives electrons, but can also transfer them into another substance.
Researchers have equipped a robot with a novel tactile sensor that lets it grasp a USB cable draped freely over a hook and insert it into a USB port. The sensor is small enough to fit on a robot’s gripper and its processing algorithm is fast, so it can give the robot feedback in real time.
Physicists have succeeded in teleporting the quantum state of a photon to a crystal over 25 kilometers of optical fiber. The experiment constitutes a first, and pulverizes the previous record of six kilometers achieved 10 years ago by the same team.
Shellfish such as mussels and barnacles secrete very sticky proteins that help them cling to rocks or ship hulls, even underwater. Inspired by these natural adhesives, a team of engineers has designed new materials that could be used to repair ships or help heal wounds and surgical incisions.
Corrosion resistance and high strength put stainless steel high on the list of essential materials for satellite and rocket designers. Now, ESA plans to investigate an alternative, environmental-friendly method of readying this important metal.
For future astronauts, the process of suiting up may go something like this: instead of climbing into a conventional, bulky, gas-pressurized suit, one may don a lightweight, stretchy garment, lined with tiny, muscle-like coils. The suit would then be plugged in to a spacecraft’s power supply, triggering the coils to contract and essentially shrink-wrap the garment around the body.
Cephalopods are able to change both the color and texture of their skin within seconds to blend into their surroundings— a capability that engineers have long struggled to duplicate in synthetic materials. Now, a team has come closer than ever to achieving that goal, creating a flexible material that can change its color or fluorescence and its texture at the same time, on demand, by remote control.
From the most parched areas of Saudi Arabia to water-scarce areas of the western U.S., the idea of harvesting fog for water is catching on. Now, a novel approach to this process could help meet affected communities’ needs for the life-essential resource.
Researchers have developed a chin strap that can harvest energy from jaw movements. It is hoped that the device can generate electricity from eating, chewing and talking, and power a number of small-scale implantable or wearable electronic devices, such as hearing aids, cochlear implants, electronic hearing protectors and communication devices.
Scientists who created a deicing film for radar domes have now refined the technology to work as a transparent coating for glass. The new work could keep glass surfaces from windshields to skyscrapers free of ice and fog while retaining their transparency to radio frequencies.
Transmission of bacterial infections, including MRSA and MSSA, could be curbed by coating hospital surfaces with microscopic bumps that mimic the scaly surface of shark skin.
Chips that use light rather than electricity to move data would consume much less power— and energy efficiency is a growing concern as chips’ transistor counts rise. Now, researchers are describing a new technique for building molybdenum disulfide light emitters tuned to different frequencies, an essential requirement for optoelectronic chips.
Computer-driven cars have been testing their skills on California roads for more than four years— but until now, the DMV wasn't sure just how many were rolling around. That changed this week, when the agency issued testing permits that allowed three companies to dispatch 29 vehicles onto freeways and into neighborhoods— with a human behind the wheel in case the onboard computers make a bad decision.
The emerging field of molecular electronics could take our definition of portable technology to the next level, enabling the construction of tiny circuits from molecular components. A team of researchers has identified a potential candidate for use in small-scale electronics: a molecule called picene.
Researchers have found a new way, using ultrathin aluminum oxide, to control the properties of quantum dots, those tiny chunks of semiconductor material that glow different colors depending on their size.
The very idea of fibers made of carbon nanotubes is neat, but scientists are making them neater— literally. The single-walled carbon nanotubes in new fibers line up like a fistful of uncooked spaghetti through a process designed by a chemist and his colleagues.
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