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Fine-tuning emissions from quantum dots for better color displays

June 7, 2013

mit_quantum_dots

New MIT analysis should enable development of improved color displays and biomedical monitoring systems.

Tiny particles of matter called quantum dots, which emit light with exceptionally pure and bright colors, have found a prominent role as biological markers. In addition, they are realizing their potential in computer and television screens, and have promise in solid-state lighting.

New research at MIT could now make these… read more

Cheaper, ‘greener’ lighting with inkjet-printed hybrid quantum dot LEDs

June 7, 2013

Novel cadmium selenide (CdSe) quantum dots with ligand enhancement chemistry. The vials on the left contain quantum dots; the vial on the right contains solvent without quantum dots. Credit: Delaina Amos.

Researchers from the University of Louisville in Kentucky are developing new materials and production methods using modified quantum dots and inkjet printing to make organic light emitting diodes (OLEDs) more cheaply and easily.

For home lighting applications, OLEDs hold the promise of being both environmentally friendly and versatile. Though not as efficient as regular light-emitting diodes (LEDs), they offer a wider range of material choices and are… read more

RNA and DNA precursors were created from powerful comet impacts billions of years ago, say scientists

June 7, 2013

synthesis_of_prebiotic_hydrocarbons_in_impacts_of_simple_icy_mixtures_on_early_earth

Lawrence Livermore (LLNL) scientist Nir Goldman and University of Ontario Institute of Technology colleague Isaac Tamblyn have found that icy comets that crashed into Earth billions of years ago could have produced life-building organic compounds.

Comets contain a variety of simple molecules, such as water, ammonia, methanol, and carbon dioxide, and an impact event with a planetary surface would provide an abundant supply… read more

‘Temporal cloaking’ could bring more secure optical communications

June 7, 2013

Output for a particular sequence of ones and zeros.<br />
Although the binary data specified on the bottom of the plot are clearly detected<br />
when the cloak is off, the voltage swings indicative of bit transmission are<br />
suppressed to a nearly flat line when the cloak is on.

 

Purdue University researchers have demonstrated a method for “temporal cloaking” of optical communications, representing a potential tool to thwart would-be eavesdroppers and improve security for telecommunications.

“More work has to be done before this approach finds practical application, but it does use technology that could integrate smoothly into the existing telecommunications infrastructure,” said Purdue graduate student Joseph Lukens, working with … read more

First observation of ‘spin hall effect’ in a quantum gas is step toward ‘atomtronics’

June 7, 2013

This artist’s conception shows atoms in a Bose-Einstein Condensate (BEC) being pushed by laser light. When the atoms, which all have the same magnetic spin orientation (represented by their blue and yellow "poles"), are pushed toward the viewer, they drift to the right because of their spin -- a result of the spin Hall effect, which has been observed in a BEC for the first time.<br />
Credit: Edwards/JQI

Researchers at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) have reported the first observation of the “spin Hall effect” in a Bose-Einstein condensate (BEC), a cloud of ultracold atoms.

As one consequence, they made the atoms, which spin like a child’s top, curve off to one side or the other, by an amount dependent on the spin direction.

They say the phenomenon is… read more

NSA taps in to Internet giants’ systems to mine user data, secret files reveal

June 6, 2013

Prism

UPDATE June 9, 2013: Edward Snowden: the whistleblower behind the NSA surveillance revelationsThe Guardian, June 9, 2013

The National Security Agency has obtained direct access to the systems of Google, Facebook, Apple and other U.S. Internet giants, according to a top secret document, dated April 2013, obtained by the Guardian.

UPDATE June 8, 2013: “Sources challenge reports alleging National Security Agency is ‘tapping directly into the centralread more

Firefighting robot creates 3D thermal imaging picture for rescuers

June 6, 2013

FFR is a robotic scout for firefighters developed by the Coordinated Robotics Lab at UC San Diego.

Engineers in the Coordinated Robotics Lab at the University of California, San Diego have developed new image processing techniques for rapid exploration and characterization of structural fires by small Segway-like robotic vehicles.

A sophisticated on-board software system takes the thermal data recorded by the robot’s small infrared camera and maps it onto a 3D scene constructed from the images taken by a pair of stereo… read more

Solving a 3.5 billion-year-old mystery

June 6, 2013

This artist's conception shows a young, hypothetical planet around a cool star. A soupy mix of potentially life-forming chemicals can be seen pooling around the base of the jagged rocks. Photo illustration by NASA.

A University of South Florida researcher is part of a team that determined that life-producing phosphorus was carried to Earth by meteorites.

USF Assistant Professor of Geology Matthew Pasek and researchers from the University of Washington and the Edinburg Centre for Carbon Innovation, revealed new findings that explain how the reactive phosphorus that was an essential component for creating the earliest life forms came to Earth.… read more

Your memory can be altered by interfering information

A six-hour window
June 6, 2013

(Credit: iStockphoto)

You can manipulate an existing memory simply by suggesting new or different information, Iowa State University researchers have shown.

The key is timing and recall of that memory, said Jason Chan, an assistant professor of psychology at Iowa State.

“If you reactivate a memory by retrieving it, that memory becomes susceptible to changes again. And if at that time, you give people new contradictory… read more

Los Alamos carbon-nanotube catalyst could jumpstart e-cars, green energy

June 6, 2013

A high-resolution microscopic image of a new type of nanostructured-carbon-based catalyst developed at Los Alamos National Laboratory that could pave the way for reliable, economical next-generation batteries and alkaline fuel cells. (Photo credit: Los Alamos National Laboratory)

Los Alamos National Laboratory scientists have designed a new type of nitrogen-doped carbon-nanotube catalyst that could pave the way for reliable, economical next-generation batteries and alkaline fuel cells, providing for practical use of wind- and solar-powered electricity, as well as enhanced hybrid electric vehicles.

The new material has the highest oxygen reduction reaction (ORR) activity in alkaline media of any non-precious metal catalyst developed to date. This activity… read more

Stanford software engineering MOOC aims at future startup CEOs

Instructors hope to provide people worldwide with crucial skills for starting their own companies
June 6, 2013

Balaji S. Srinivasan & Vijay S. Pande (credit: Stanford)

Vijay Pande, professor of chemistry at Stanford and colleague, Balaji Srinivasan, both with strong research and entrepreneurial backgrounds, taught a traditional classroom course in software engineering winter quarter aimed at future chief technology officers.

It was so successful they’re now going to go virtual, and starting June 17 they will begin teaching a 10-week massive open online course titled Startup Engineering. The idea is to reach thousands… read more

Intel Capital fund to accelerate human-like senses on computing devices

June 6, 2013

Senz3D (credit: Creative Technology)

At the COMPUTEX conference in Taiwan Tuesday, Intel Corporation executives detailed progress toward the company’s vision to integrate human-like sensing technology into devices, ultimately delivering more natural, intuitive and immersive computing experiences.

To help realize this vision, Intel Capital, Intel’s Global Investment and M&A Organization, announced a $100-million investment fund over the next 2–3 years to accelerate the development of software and applications — touch applications, imaging,… read more

Using your WiFi for gesture recognition

June 5, 2013

A hand gesture changes the TV channel using WiSee technology (credit: University of Washington)

University of Washington computer scientists have developed gesture-recognition technology called “WiSee” that uses ambient Wi-Fi signals to detect specific movements (to turn off lights or flip through songs, for example )without needing sensors on the human body or cameras.

The team includes Shwetak Patel, an assistant professor of computer science and engineering and of electrical engineering and his lab.

By using an adapted Wi-Fi router… read more

Device allows visually impaired to read and move around freely

June 5, 2013

(Credit: Orcam)

OrCam, an Israeli start-up, has developed a camera-based system that gives the visually impaired the ability to read easily and move around freely.

It has an introductory price of $2,500, available in late 2013 and early 2014.

OrCam reads text and recognizes faces, locates bus numbers, monitors traffic lights, and identifies objects, products and places, and uses sound (via bone conduction) to convey information, the company… read more

Omni brings full-body VR gaming to Kickstarter

June 5, 2013

Omni

The Omni is a new virtual reality gaming device that launched a funding campaign Tuesday in  Kickstarter and, in a matter of hours, more than doubled its goal of $150,000, Digital Trends reports.

As of early Wednesday, the funding total is at more than $492,000. There are still 48 days left to go too, and the hope is that units will start shipping in January 2014.… read more

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