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A Single-Photon Server with Just One Atom

March 19, 2007

A team of physicists at the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics has built a single-photon server based on a single trapped neutral atom.

The high quality of the single photons and their ready availability are important for future quantum information processing experiments with single photons.

A Single-Protein Wet Biotransistor

April 8, 2005

A single-protein wet biotransistor has been devised by physicists. It uses a bacterial protein called azurin in a strategic position between two gold electrodes, which act as the source and drain of a transistor. A third electrode, acting as the gate, enables the centrally located azurin to allow the passage of an electrical current

A six-sigma signal of superluminal neutrinos from OPERA

September 23, 2011

A measurement has been performed on the time that muon neutrinos take to travel from their production point at CERN to the Opera detector, finding that neutrinos take a handful of nanoseconds less than if they were traveling at light speed, experimental particle physicist (CERN and Fermilab) and blogger Tommaso Dorigo reports.

Neutrinos seen by the Opera detector are produced when a high-intensity spill of protons from… read more

A Sixth Sense for a Wired World

June 12, 2006

What if, seconds before your laptop began stalling, you could feel the hard drive spin up under the load? Or you could tell if an electrical cord was live before you touched it?

For the few people who have rare earth magnets implanted in their fingers, these are among the reported effects — a finger that feels omagnetic fields along with the normal sense of touch.

A small step toward seeing habitable planets

March 10, 2014

beta_Pic_VisAO_v3

University of Arizona researchers have snapped images of a planet outside our solar system with an Earth-based telescope using a CCD imaging sensor, which is also found in digital cameras, instead of an thermal infrared detector.

“This is an important next step in the search for exoplanets because imaging in visible light instead of thermal infrared is what we likely have to do if we want to… read more

A smart-object recognition algorithm that doesn’t need humans

Skynet alert
January 17, 2014

(Credit: BYU Photo)

BYU engineer Dah-Jye Lee has created an algorithm that can accurately identify objects in images or video sequences — without human calibration.

“In most cases, people are in charge of deciding what features to focus on and they then write the algorithm based off that,” said Lee, a professor of electrical and computer engineering. “With our algorithm, we give it a set of images and let the… read more

A Smarter Computer to Pick Stocks

November 27, 2006

Wall Street is adopting nonlinear decision making processes akin to how a brain operates, including neural networks, and genetic algorithms, and other advanced computer-science techniques.

“Artificial intelligence is becoming so deeply integrated into our economic ecostructure that some day computers will exceed human intelligence,” Ray Kurzweil told fund managers at a recent conference. “Machines can observe billions of market transactions to see patterns we could never see.”

A Smarter Web

March 13, 2007

New technologies will make online search more intelligent–and may even lead to a “Web 3.0.”

A smartphone ‘microscope’ that can detect a single virus, nanoparticles

September 19, 2013

smartphone microscope

UCLA engineers have created a 1/2-pound, portable smartphone attachment that can be used to perform sophisticated field testing to detect viruses and bacteria without the need for bulky and expensive microscopes and lab equipment.

“This cellphone-based imaging platform could be used for specific and sensitive detection of sub-wavelength [smaller than the wavelength of light] objects.

These include bacteria and viruses and therefore could enable the practice… read more

A Smoother Street View

July 28, 2010

Street Slide stitches together slices from multiple panoramas, making it possible to see all the shops on a street at once. (Microsoft Research)

New street-level imaging software developed by Microsoft could help people find locations more quickly on the Web.

Microsoft researchers have come up with a refinement to Bing Streetside called Street Slide. It combines slices from multiple panoramas captured along a stretch of road into one continuous view. This can be viewed from a distance, or “smooth scrolled” sideways.

Someone using Street Slide’s panoramic view can slide along the… read more

A Sneak Preview of Wolfram|Alpha

April 30, 2009

Stephen Wolfram’s video presentation of Wolfram|Alpha at Harvard Law School is now available.

More

A social network for making future plans

May 18, 2011

WhereBerry, a new social networking website, lets you discuss where you want to go and what you want to do — such as what restaurant you want to visit or what movie you want to see. Entries are public, so you can get ideas on things to do from people whose opinions you respect but don’t personally know.

The website allows friends to comment on details of… read more

A solar energy funnel to harness a broader spectrum of light

MIT engineers propose a new way of harnessing photons for electricity, with the potential for capturing a wider spectrum of solar energy
November 28, 2012

A visualization of the broad-spectrum solar energy funnel (credit: Yan Liang/MIT)

The quest to harness a broader spectrum of sunlight’s energy to produce electricity has taken a radically new turn, with the proposal of a “solar energy funnel” that takes advantage of materials under elastic strain.

“We’re trying to use elastic strains to produce unprecedented properties,” says Ju Li, an MIT professor. In this case, the “funnel” is a metaphor: Electrons and their counterparts, holes… read more

A solar-to-fuel roadmap for crystalline silicon

March 5, 2013

thermodynamic_potential_solar_cell

An MIT research team has published a detailed analysis of all the factors that could limit the efficiency of an “artificial leaf” — a small device that, when placed in a container of water and exposed to sunlight, would produce bubbles of hydrogen and oxygen for storing energy.

The new analysis lays out a roadmap for a research program to improve the efficiency of these systems, and… read more

A Soldier, Taking Orders From Its Ethical Judgment Center

November 26, 2008

“My research hypothesis is that intelligent robots can behave more ethically in the battlefield than humans currently can,” said Ronald C. Arkin, a computer scientist at Georgia Tech, who is designing software for battlefield robots under contract with the Army.

He and others say that the technology to make lethal autonomous robots is inexpensive and proliferating, and that the advent of these robots on the battlefield is only a… read more

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