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Superconductors get a boost from pressure

May 20, 2008

Scientists have found that the superconducting state in so-called “high temperature” superconductors can be induced by high pressure as well as low temperature.

Superconductors can carry over 150 times more electricity than copper wires because they don’t restrict electron movement. But currently, materials have to be cooled below around minus 216 degrees F, which makes them impractical for widespread use.

Superconductors inspire quantum test for dark energy

April 3, 2007

Quantum mechanics says that the vacuum of space is seething with virtual photons that are popping in and out of existence. Physicists suggest that when these virtual photons have a frequency below around 2 terahertz, they are able to interact gravitationally, contributing to dark energy.

Physicist Paul Warburton at University College London is building such a dark energy detector and could have results next year.

Superconductors, Quantum Mechanics and Nanotech to the Rescue

February 11, 2004

A trio of high technologies — superconductors, quantum mechanics and nanotech — may allow cancer specialists to spot tumors so small they elude today’s best imaging methods.

A “Superconducting QUantum Interference Device,” or SQUID, lets oncologists and surgeons locate previously injected tumor-specific nanoparticles that act like submicroscopic cancer-detection beacons.

Superefficient Solar from Nanotubes

September 15, 2009

The carbon nanotube at center is connected to several electrodes and acts as a superefficient photovoltaic cell by converting energy from photons into electron movement instead of heat (AAAS/Science)

A photovoltaic cell made from a single carbon nanotube that can take advantage of more of the energy in light than conventional photovoltaics has been created by Cornell University researchers.

Superflies bred to be the first astronauts on Titan

December 16, 2011

Drosophila titanus

Artist Andy Gracie is attempting to breed a strain of fruit fly that could survive on Titan, Saturn’s largest moon, New Scientist CultureLab reports.

The first stage of his work, “The Quest for Drosophila Titanus,” is part of an exhibition currently touring the UK.

The purpose? “In about three to four billion years, the Sun will expand so much that Earth will become uninhabitable, but perhaps… read more

Superhumans Possible Via Designer Cloning

April 21, 2008

A recently developed technique that might eventually produce facsimiles of human embryonic stem cells from skin cells opens a whole new can of worms–the possibility of creating chimera humans, Robert Lanza, chief scientific officer of Advanced Cell Technology, says.

“If we had a few skin cells from Albert Einstein, or anyone else in the world, you could have a child that is say 10 per cent or 70 per… read more

Superintelligence reading group

September 4, 2014

superintelligence

Nick Bostrom’s eagerly awaited Superintelligence is due to be published in the U.S. this week, and MIRI will be running an online reading group where you can join with others to ask questions, discuss ideas, and probe the arguments more deeply, according to MIRI research assistant Katja Grace.

As Oxford University Press notes, “Superintelligence asks the questions: What happens when machines surpass humans in general intelligence? Will artificial… read more

Superlattice transforms graphene into a semiconductor

September 22, 2014

Graphene placed on top of boron nitride to form a superlattice (credit: Berkeley Lab)

Graphene can be transformed into a new superlattice state that converts graphene — normally a metallic conductor — into a semiconductor, MIT and University of Manchester researchers have found.

In a research paper published in Science, the collaboration, led by MIT‘s theory professor Leonid Levitov and Manchester‘s Nobel laureate Sir Andre Geim, reports that they created a superlattice… read more

Superlens opens door to nanoscale optical imaging, high-density optoelectronics

April 21, 2005

Scientists at the University of California, Berkeley have developed a “superlens” that can break the so-called diffraction limit of optics through negative refraction, allowing for imaging of 60-nanometer objects.

University of California – Berkeley news release

Superluminal Ultrasound?

November 2, 2005

The group velocity of an ultrasound wave could theoretically jump by five orders of magnitude over its ordinary values and exceed c (the speed of light), when pulses of high-frequency sound strike a mixture of water and tiny (approximately 0.1-mm diameter) plastic spheres.

‘Superman’ vision penetrates opaque glass

January 29, 2010

French scientists have transmitted simple images through opaque objects using a laser beam by reverse-engineering the scattering process.

They transmitted the laser beam more than 1000 times, changing the shape of the beam each time using a spatial light modulator. A digital camera on the other side of the glass detected the different scattering patterns produced each time. Comparing what it saw with what had been done to the… read more

Supermarket scanner recognizes objects, makes barcodes obsolete

March 12, 2012

supermarketscanner

The latest supermarket scanner developed by Toshiba Tec may make conventional barcodes in supermarkets obsolete.

Supermaterials improve solar collectors

January 21, 2015

University of Rochester Institute of Optics professor Chunlei Guo has developed a technique that uses lasers to render materials hydrophobic, illustrated in this image of a water droplet falling off a treated sample in his lab (Credit: J. Adam Fenster/University of Rochester)

By zapping ordinary metals with femtosecond laser pulses, researchers from the University of Rochester in New York have created extraordinary new surfaces that efficiently absorb light, repel water and clean themselves for use in durable, low-maintenance solar collectors and sensors, for example.

This is the first multifunctional metal surface created by lasers that is superhydrophobic (water repelling), self-cleaning, and highly absorptive,” said Chunlei Guo, a physicist… read more

Superpoison’s genetic blueprint is revealed

May 30, 2007

The C. botulinum genome has been sequenced, providing a tool against biological attack as well as the more familiar infection from food.

‘Superradiant’ discovery opens new path to superfast quantum computing

June 19, 2014

The atom trapping apparatus used to observe the physics described in the article (credit: Washington State University)

Washington State University researchers have used a super-cold cloud of atoms that behaves like a single atom, opening a new experimental path to potentially powerful quantum computing.

Physicist Peter Engels and his colleagues cooled about one million atoms of rubidium to 100 billionths of a degree above absolute zero.

There was no colder place in the universe, said Engels, unless someone was doing a similar experiment… read more

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