science + technology news

World’s most powerful terahertz laser chip

February 20, 2014

Terahertz laser chip (credit: University of Leeds)

University of Leeds researchers have taken the lead in the race to build the world’s most powerful terahertz laser chip.

Terahertz waves, which lie in the part of the electromagnetic spectrum between infrared and microwaves, can penetrate materials that block visible light.

They have a wide range of possible uses, including chemical analysis, security scanning, remote sensing of chemical signatures of explosives in unopened envelopes, non-invasive… read more

World’s most powerful laser to tear apart the vacuum of space

November 4, 2011
The ELI-Attosecond Facility in Szeged, Hungary

A laser powerful enough to tear apart the fabric of space is planned as part of a new scientific project that aims to answer some of the most fundamental questions about our universe.

The Extreme Light Infrastructure (ELI) Ultra-High Field Facility would produce a laser so intense that scientists say it would allow them to reveal vacuum particles for the first time by pulling this vacuum “fabric”… read more

World’s Largest Working Computing Grid

September 7, 2004

This week, UK particle physicists will demonstrate the world’s largest working computing Grid. With more than 6,000 computers at 78 sites internationally, the Large Hadron Collider Computing Grid (LCG) is the first permanent, worldwide Grid for doing real science.

The Grid is designed to handle the expected 15 petabytes of data that will be produced each year by particle physics experiments at the Large Hadron Collider at CERN. By… read more

World’s Largest Truck Goes Robotic

November 10, 2008

The largest truck in the world is about to become the largest robotic vehicle in the world. Computer scientists from Carnegie Mellon University have teamed up with engineers from Caterpillar to automate the 700-ton trucks, which are made to haul loads up to 240 tons from mines.

World’s largest quantum computation uses 84 qubits

January 12, 2012


D-Wave Systems has carried out  a calculation involving 84 qubits on its D-Wave One quantum computing system, Technology Review Physics arXiv blog reports.

Their complex task was to calculate various  “two-color Ramsey numbers,” connected with the emergence of order in disordered systems.

Ref.: Zhengbing Bian et al., Experimental Determination Of Ramsey Numbers With Quantum Annealing,

World’s Largest Quantum Bell Test Spans Three Swiss Towns

June 17, 2008
(D. Salart, et al.)

In an attempt to test quantum nonlocality — the “spooky interaction at a distance” that occurs between two entangled particles, physicists from the University of Geneva have sent two entangled photons traveling to different towns located 18 km apart –the longest distance for this type of quantum measurement.

By separating the two interferometer measurements by 18 km (a photon would take 60 microseconds to cover the 18… read more

World’s largest offshore wind farm generates first power

November 2, 2012


The first power has been produced at the London Array Offshore Wind Farm, DONG Energy, E.ON and Masdar have announced .

The 630MW scheme, located in the Thames Estuary, will be the world’s largest offshore wind farm, with construction on schedule to be finished by the end of the year.

The 175 turbines will produce enough power to supply over 470,000 UK homes with electricity.

London… read more

World’s highest-res display matches human eye’s acuity

July 14, 2001
A complicated data set displayed with a clarity unmatched by the HDTV images on either side (higher-res image here)

A 20-million-pixels screen with the visual acuity of the human eye at 10 feet has been developed at Sandia National Laboratories. It is also the fastest in the world in rendering complex scientific data sets, says program leader Philip Heermann.

The Sandia images are created through massively parallel imaging, using outputs of 64 computers and splitting data into 16 screens arranged as a 4 by 4… read more

World’s first text message via molecular communication sent

May be useful for communication underground, underwater, or inside the body
December 20, 2013

Molecular transmitter

Scientists have created a molecular communications system for the transmission of messages and data in challenging environments where electromagnetic waves cannot be used — such as tunnels, pipelines, underwater, within the body, and in biomedical nanorobots.

Molecular signaling is a common feature of the plant and animal kingdom — insects for example use pheromones for long-range signalling — but to date, continuous data have not been transmitted usingread more

World’s first solar-powered country

August 3, 2012


A $7.3 million project to convert the tiny island nation of Tokelau to all solar power is nearing completion.

Once activated, the installations should provide more than 90 percent of the power used by the islands’ 1,711 residents, MSN Future of Tech reports.

Tokelau is a remote nation northeast of New Zealand comprising three atolls, to which goods and passengers can only travel by boat. Their… read more

World’s first single-atom photo

July 15, 2012


A Griffith University research team has been able to photograph the shadow of a single atom for the first time.

“We have reached the extreme limit of microscopy; you cannot see anything smaller than an atom using visible light,” Professor Dave Kielpinski of Griffith University’s Centre for Quantum Dynamics in Brisbane.

“We wanted to investigate how few atoms are required to cast a shadow… read more

World’s First Robotised Tele-Ultrasound Exam via Satellite

July 31, 2008

French firm Robosoft has announced the world’s first “robotized tele-ultrasound” examination via satellite.

In a demonstration, a doctor in France controlled a remote robot with an ultrasound probe to examine a patient on board a ship in the Mediterranean, using an Internet communication via satellite.

World’s First Robot Census

October 12, 2010

Heather “Marilyn Monrobot” Knight, a graduate student at Carnegie Mellon University, plans to take the world’s first robot census, eventually canvassing as many of the home-brew and university robotics efforts as possible.

Knight’s inspiration for initiating the census is her own work in integrating robots into people’s everyday lives. By showcasing the incredible variety and utility of the robots at Carnegie Mellon and elsewhere, Knight thinks… read more

World’s first ‘printed’ aircraft

July 28, 2011

SULSA is the world's first "printed" aircraft (credit: University of Southampton)

Engineers at the University of Southampton have designed and flown the world’s first “printed” aircraft, which could revolutionize the economics of aircraft design, the engineers say.

The SULSA (Southampton University Laser Sintered Aircraft) plane is an unmanned air vehicle (UAV), with its entire structure printed. This includes wings, integral control surfaces, and access hatches. It was printed on an EOS EOSINT P730 nylon… read more

World’s first primate chimeric offspring

January 6, 2012

Roku and Hex (credit: OHSU)

Newly published research by scientists at Oregon Health & Science University provides significant new information about how early embryonic stem cells develop and take part in formation of the primate species.

The research, which took place at OHSU’s Oregon National Primate Research Center, has also resulted in the first successful birth of chimeric monkeys — monkeys developed from stem cells taken from two separate embryos.… read more

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