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The Lead

Material Converts Solar Energy into Steam

July 21, 2014 2:49 pm | by MIT, Jennifer Chu | News | Comments

A new material structure generates steam by soaking up the sun. The structure — a layer of graphite flakes and an underlying carbon foam — is a porous, insulating material structure that floats on water.When sunlight hits the structure’s surface, it creates a hotspot in the graphite, drawing water up through the material’s pores, where it evaporates as steam. 

Device Adds Two Robotic Fingers to Hand

July 21, 2014 7:00 am | by MIT, Jennifer Chu | Videos | Comments

Twisting a screwdriver, removing a bottle cap and peeling a banana are just a few simple tasks...

Research Finally Explains Bend in Appalachian Mountains

July 21, 2014 7:00 am | by Univ. of Rochester | News | Comments

The 1,500 mile Appalachian mountain chain runs along a nearly straight line from Alabama to...

Laser Sheds Light on Fundamental Dynamics

July 18, 2014 12:00 pm | by Kansas State Univ. | News | Comments

Ultrafast X-ray laser research has provided scientists with a snapshot of a fundamental...

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Researchers Work Toward Sci-fi ‘Bubble’ Theory

July 18, 2014 7:00 am | by Perimeter Institute for Theoretical Physics | Videos | Comments

Physicists are working to bring the theory that parallel universes exist— called the multiverse hypothesis— firmly into the realm of testable science.

System Can Virtually Eliminate Delays in Server Farms

July 18, 2014 7:00 am | by MIT, Larry Hardesty | News | Comments

In an experiment, a new network-management system reduced the average queue length of routers in a Facebook data center by 99.6 percent— virtually doing away with queues.

Water Prefers Negative Charges

July 17, 2014 12:00 pm | by EPFL | News | Comments

In the presence of charged substances, H2O molecules favor associating with elements with a negative electrical charge rather than a positive electric charge. Researchers have published a study on the subject that could provide new insights on the processes of cell formation.

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Glass Surface Reduces Glare, Reflection

July 16, 2014 12:49 pm | by ACS | News | Comments

If you’ve ever tried to watch a video on a tablet on a sunny day, you know you have to tilt it at just the right angle to get rid of glare or invest in a special filter. But, scientists are reporting that they’ve developed a novel glass surface that reduces both glare and reflection, which continue to plague even the best mobile displays today.

Physicists Detect Process Even Rarer than Higgs Particle

July 16, 2014 12:00 pm | by Brookhaven National Laboratory | News | Comments

Scientists have reported the first evidence of a process that can be used to test the mechanism by which the recently discovered Higgs particle imparts mass to other fundamental particles. Rarer than the production of the Higgs itself, this process also provides a new stringent test of the Standard Model of particle physics.

Next Big Thing in Aviation is Small

July 16, 2014 7:00 am | by Associated Press, Danica Kirka | News | Comments

With some no bigger than a hummingbird, drones are the hottest things at this week's Farnborough International Airshow. The drone industry, military and non-military, is growing and could, according to some, see investments of nearly $90 billion over the next 10 years.

3-D Nanostructure May Aid Electronics, Gas Storage

July 16, 2014 7:00 am | by Rice Univ. | News | Comments

A three-dimensional porous nanostructure would have a balance of strength, toughness and the ability to transfer heat, which could benefit nanoelectronics, gas storage and composite materials that perform multiple functions.

Smallest Swiss Cross Made of 20 Atoms

July 16, 2014 7:00 am | by Univ. of Basel | News | Comments

The manipulation of atoms has reached a new level. Physicists have places 20 single atoms on a fully insulated surface at room temperature to form the smallest Swiss cross. This is a big step towards next generation atomic-scale storage devices.

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Porous Materials Key to Next-gen Green Tech

July 16, 2014 7:00 am | by American Institute of Physics | News | Comments

Every machine and device in your life wastes a lot of energy through the loss of heat. But thermoelectric devices can harness that wasted heat, and possibly provide the green tech energy efficiency that's needed for a sustainable future. Now, a new study shows how porous substances can act as thermoelectric materials.

Jumping Water Can Produce Electricity

July 15, 2014 7:00 am | by MIT, David Chandler | News | Comments

Last year, researchers discovered that when water droplets spontaneously jump away from superhydrophobic surfaces during condensation, they can gain electric charge in the process. Now, the same team has demonstrated that this process can generate small amounts of electricity that might be used to power electronic devices.

Material Could Enable Cheap Phase-changing Robots

July 15, 2014 7:00 am | by MIT, Helen Knight | Videos | Comments

In the movie “Terminator 2: Judgment Day,” the shape-shifting T-1000 robot morphs into a liquid state to squeeze through tight spaces or to repair itself when harmed. Now, a phase-changing material built from wax and foam, and capable of switching between hard and soft states, could allow even low-cost robots to perform the same feat.

Researchers Develop Tunable Nanoantennas

July 15, 2014 7:00 am | by Univ. of Illinois | News | Comments

An interdisciplinary research team has developed a novel, tunable nanoantenna that paves the way for new kinds of plasmonic-based optomechanical systems whereby plasmonic field enhancement can actuate mechanical motion.

Drone Finds Survivors Through Phones

July 15, 2014 7:00 am | by EPFL | News | Comments

A grad student has developed a system for locating a person via his or her mobile phone with a drone. This device could be used to find victims in natural disasters.

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Magnets Pump Efficiency into Motors

July 14, 2014 12:00 pm | by Univ. of Adelaide | News | Comments

Researchers are using new magnetic materials to develop revolutionary electrical motors and generators that promise significant energy savings. They have used the new motors to develop patented highly efficient water pump systems with potential widespread application.

Scientists Create World’s First Photonic Router

July 14, 2014 12:00 pm | by Weizmann Institute | News | Comments

Scientists have demonstrated for the first time a photonic router– a quantum device based on a single atom that enables routing of single photons by single photons. This achievement is another step toward overcoming the difficulties in building quantum computers.

Approach May Improve Hurricane Forecasting

July 14, 2014 7:00 am | by Univ. of Miami Rosenstiel School of Marine & Atmospheric Science | Videos | Comments

New research suggests that physical conditions at the air-sea interface— where the ocean and atmosphere meet— is a key component to improve forecast models. The study offers a new method to aid in-storm intensity prediction of hurricanes.

Arrays of Electrons Key to Scalable Quantum Computers

July 14, 2014 7:00 am | by RIKEN | News | Comments

A single electron trapped in a semiconductor nanostructure can form the most basic of building blocks for a quantum computer. However, before practical quantum computers can be realized, scientists need to develop a scalable architecture that allows full control over individual electrons in computational arrays.

Company Unveils 18-inch Flexible Display

July 11, 2014 1:00 pm | by Associated Press, Youkyung Lee | News | Comments

LG Display Co. has developed an 18-inch flexible display that can be rolled into the shape of a thin cylinder, a step toward making a large display for flexible TVs. The South Korean display panel maker says the flexible display has a resolution of 1,200 by 810 pixels and maintains its function when it is rolled up.

Saturday Marks First ‘Supermoon’ of Summer

July 11, 2014 12:45 pm | by NASA | Videos | Comments

The full moon on Saturday will appear to be unusually big. In fact, it will be a "supermoon." The moon follows an elliptical path around Earth with one side— perigee— about 50,000 km closer than the other— apogee. Full moons that occur on the perigee side of the moon's orbit seem 14 percent bigger and 30 percent brighter than regular full moons.

'Nanopixels' Key to Next-gen Displays

July 11, 2014 12:00 pm | by Univ. of Oxford | News | Comments

A new discovery will make it possible to create pixels just a few hundred nanometers across that could pave the way for extremely high-resolution and low-energy thin, flexible displays for applications such as smart glasses, synthetic retinas and foldable screens.

New Laser Ion Source Exceeds Expectations

July 11, 2014 12:00 pm | by Brookhaven National Laboratory | News | Comments

A new Laser Ion Source, called LION, has started operating at Brookhaven National Laboratory. LION allows super-fast switching of ion species to feed beams into either the Relativistic Heavy Ion Collider, which recreates the conditions of the early universe, or the NASA Space Radiation Laboratory, which can now more realistically simulate the radiation astronauts would experience in deep space.

Hollow Fiber Guides UV Laser Light sans Damage

July 11, 2014 7:00 am | by Physikalisch-Technische Bundesanstalt | News | Comments

Researchers have tested a new type of optical fiber with a hollow core and have found that it is able to guide UV laser light without being damaged and with acceptable loss.

Scientists Create Transparent Touchable Display Wall

July 11, 2014 7:00 am | by KAIST | News | Comments

At a busy shopping mall, shoppers walk by store windows to find attractive items to purchase. Shoppers can see the products displayed, but may have a hard time imagining doing something beyond just looking, such as touching the items or communicating with sales assistants. Now, a research team has developed TransWall, a two-sided, touchable and transparent display wall that greatly enhances users' interpersonal experiences.

Study Pushes Limits of Ultrafast Nanodevices

July 10, 2014 12:00 pm | by Univ. of Illinois College of Engineering | News | Comments

A recent study by researchers provides new insights on the physical mechanisms governing the interplay of spin and heat at the nanoscale, and addresses the fundamental limits of ultrafast spintronic devices for data storage and information processing.

Researchers Project a Holographic Future

July 10, 2014 7:00 am | by Tel Aviv Univ. | News | Comments

Since the 1960s, theatergoers have shelled out for crude 3-D glasses, polarized glasses and shutter glasses to enhance their viewing experience. These basic devices, used to trick the brain into perceiving an artificial three-dimensional reality, may soon be rendered obsolete with the introduction of new holography technology developed by researchers.

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