science + technology news

World’s smallest storage device lies in the nucleus of an atom

October 27, 2008

Scientists at Princeton University, Oxford University, and the U.S. Department of Energy have demonstrated the “ultimate miniaturization of computer memory,” storing data for nearly 2 seconds in the nucleus of an atom — a key step in the development of quantum computers.

World’s smallest semiconductor laser

Could lead to “on-chip” communication systems for ultrafast computer chips, ultra-high-speed communications, and highly sensitive biosensors
July 30, 2012

InGaN@GaN core-shell nanorod

Physicists at The University of Texas at Austin and colleagues in Taiwan and China have developed the world’s smallest semiconductor laser, a breakthrough for emerging photonic technology with applications from computing to medicine.

Miniaturization of semiconductor lasers is key for the development of faster, smaller and lower energy photon-based technologies, such as ultrafast computer chips,  next-generation communication technologies, and highly sensitive biosensors for detecting, treating and… read more

World’s Smallest Projector Set for Launch

January 3, 2008

Microvision is unveiling a full functioning, self-contained prototype of “the world’s smallest business and personal projector,” using tiny lasers to shoot a WVGA (848 by 480, roughly DVD resolution) image on virtually any surface.

World’s smallest full-page color scanner

April 11, 2012

ScanStik (credit: Planon)

The $160 pen-sized ScanStik just announced by PlanOn System Solutions is a compact portable color scanner for mobile professionals and students.

Unlike other pen-sized scanners, which only scan a line at a time, ScanStik scans the whole page in one sweep, like a flat-bed scanner, in just four seconds, the company says.

It has a MicroSD memory slot, 24-bit/600 dpi resolution, rechargeable battery, USB connector for… read more

World’s smallest FM radio transmitter

Could lead to ultrathin, more-power-efficient cell phones
November 21, 2013


In another major new application of graphene, Columbia Engineering researchers have taken advantage of graphene’s special properties — its mechanical strength and electrical conductivity — to develop a nanomechanical system that can create FM signals — in effect, the world’s smallest FM radio transmitter.

“This is an important first step in advancing wireless signal processing and designing ultrathin, efficient cell phones, Mechanical Engineering Professor Jamesread more

World’s smallest electric rotor made

July 24, 2003

Scientists have built an electric rotor with a gold blade 300 nanometers long. This sits atop an axle made from a multiwalled carbon nanotube; gold electrodes at either end of the axle lash the device to a silicon chip.

Applying a voltage between the nanotube and one of three more electrodes around it rotates the blade. The nanotube rotor can operate at great speed, over a wide range of… read more

World’s smallest electric motor made from a single molecule

September 6, 2011

Single-molecule electric motor (credit: Heather L. Tierney et al./Nature Nanotechnology)

Chemists at Tufts University‘s School of Arts and Sciences have developed the world’s first single-molecule electric motor, which may create a new class of devices used in medicine and engineering.

It measures a mere 1 nanometer across (the current world record is a 200 nanometer motor).

According to E. Charles H. Sykes, Ph.D., associate professor of chemistry at Tufts, the team plans to submit… read more

World’s smallest 3-D printer

May 20, 2011

3D Printer

A very small and light 3-D printer prototype has been developed by researchers at the Vienna University of Technology.

The prototype is designed for use at home, using Internet blueprints to print custom 3-D objects. The desired object is printed in a small tub filled with synthetic resin.

The resin hardens under the illumination of intense beams of light. The synthetic resin is irradiated layer-by-layer at… read more

World’s poor to get own search engine

July 17, 2003

MIT researchers are developing a search engine designed for people with a slow net connection.

The user would e-mail a query to a central server in Boston. The program would search the net, choose the most suitable webpages, compress them and e-mail the results a day later.

World’s only ultrafast electron microscope takes 4-D ‘movies’ of molecules

December 26, 2007

California Institute of Technology researchers have developed an electron microscope that can create real-time 3D images of molecules as they form and break apart in femtosecond reactions, using a modified transmission electron microscope interfaced with an ultrafast laser.

World’s nuclear facilities vulnerable, warns UN agency

November 5, 2001

Nuclear plants are vulnerable to attacks by terrorists, according to a stark new warning by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).
The world’s 1300 nuclear facilities are not hardened to withstand “acts of war” like a deliberate hit by a large, fully-fuelled passenger jet, warns the IAEA’s director general, Mohamed ElBaradei.

In the US on October 29, following intelligence reports received by the FBI, the air space around all… read more

World’s most precise clock

September 4, 2013

QuASAR atomic clock. Ytterbium atoms are generated in an oven (cylinder on left) and sent to a vacuum chamber (center) to be manipulated and probed by lasers. Courtesy: NIST

Imagine a clock precise to one second in a period comparable to the age of the universe (more than 13 billion years).

That’s what National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) scientists have built, with funding from DARPA’s Quantum-Assisted Sensing and Readout (QuASAR) program: two optical

read more

World’s most powerful, largest digital camera will image 37 billion stars and galaxies

3.2-gigapixel digital camera will take digital images of the entire visible southern sky every few nights, producing 15 Terabytes of data
September 1, 2015


The Department of Energy has approved the start of construction for a 3.2-gigapixel digital camera — the world’s largest — at the heart of the Large Synoptic Survey Telescope (LSST), revealing unprecedented details of the universe and helping unravel some of its greatest mysteries.

Assembled at the DOE’s SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory, the camera will be the eye of LSST.

Starting in… read more

World’s most powerful X-ray laser images biomolecules at ultra-high resolution

June 4, 2012


An international team led by the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory has proved how the world’s most powerful X-ray laser can assist in cracking the structures of biomolecules.

The team’s experiments used SLAC’s Linac Coherent Light Source (LCLS) to obtain ultra-high-resolution views of crystallized biomolecules, including a small protein found in egg whites called lysozyme.

For decades, scientists have reconstructed… read more

World’s most powerful x-ray laser beam refined to scalpel precision

'Self-seeding' promises to speed discoveries, add new scientific capabilities
August 15, 2012

The LCLS’s new self-seeding improvements yield laser pulses focused to higher intensity in a much narrower band of X-ray wavelengths, as you can see in these spectrographs comparing a normal SASE (self-amplified spontaneous emission) pulse (left) and a seeded one (right). The results promise to speed research discoveries and may enable experiments that have never before been possible. Graph from J. Amman, et al. adapted by Greg Stewart, SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory

With a thin sliver of diamond, scientists at the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory have transformed the Linac Coherent Light Source (LCLS) into an even more precise tool for exploring the nanoworld.

The improvements yield laser pulses focused to higher intensity in a much narrower band of X-ray wavelengths, and may enable experiments that have never before been possible.

In a process… read more

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