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Tens of billions of potentially habitable, Earth-size planets in our galaxy, say astronomers

The nearest such planet may be within 12 light-years
November 6, 2013

Artist’s representation of the “habitable zone,” the range of orbits where liquid water is permitted on the surface of a planet. The authors find that 22% of Sun-like stars harbor a planet between one and two times the size of Earth in the habitable zone (credit: UC Berkeley)

One in five stars in our galaxy like the Sun have planets about the size of Earth and a surface temperature conducive to life, astronomers at UC Berkeley and University of Hawaii, Manoa now estimate.

The estimate was based on a statistical analysis of all the Kepler observations of NASA’s Kepler space telescope of the 200 billion stars in our galaxy.

Given that about… read more

Terabit-class data pipes movies in an instant

November 19, 2007

Researchers at Japan’s Tohoku University have tweaked existing quadrature amplitude modulation (QAM) protocols to enable standard fiber-optic cables to carry data at hundreds of terabits per second.

Terabyte Thumb Drives Made Possible by Nanotech Memory

October 29, 2007

Arizona State University researchers have developed a low-cost, low-power computer memory–one-tenth the cost of and 1,000 times as energy-efficient as flash memory–that could put terabyte-sized thumb drives in consumers’ pockets within a few years.

The programmable metallization cell (PMC) technology uses nanowires from copper atoms the size of a virus to record binary ones and zeros.

Terahertz detectors using carbon nanotubes may lead to major imaging improvements

Could allow a handheld detector to replace MRI machines
June 12, 2014

This illustration shows an array of parallel carbon nanotubes 300 micrometers long. Attached to electrodes, they display unique qualities as a photodetector (credit: Francois Leonard, Sandia National Laboratories)

Researchers at three institutions have teamed up to develop new terahertz detectors based on carbon nanotubes that could lead to significant improvements in medical imaging, airport passenger screening, food inspection, and other applications.

The research at Sandia National Laboratories, Rice University and the Tokyo Institute of Technology is described in a paper in Nano Letters journal. The technique uses carbon nanotubes to detect… read more

Terahertz filter could harness unused spectrum

March 30, 2007

A “metamaterial” that selectively filters terahertz radiation could perhaps be used for short-range wireless communications.

The device is essentially a sheet of metal foil incorporating a carefully designed pattern of holes. It is a so-called metamaterial, since it interacts with electromagnetic waves in novel ways, thanks to partly regular sub-wavelength structural features.

Terahertz radiation’s impact on cellular function and gene expression studied

September 14, 2011

A team of researchers led by Los Alamos National Laboratory has evaluated the cellular response of mouse stem cells exposed to terahertz (THz) radiation. THz technologies show promise for myriad medical, military, security, and research applications ranging from the detection of cancer to airport security systems to shipment inspection to spectroscopy. Relatively little is known, however, about the effect of THz… read more

Terahertz rays allow imaging at nanoscale

October 24, 2003

Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute researchers have shown that terahertz rays can be used in conjunction with scanning near-field microscopy, according to a paper published in Applied Physics Letter.

The technique circumvents the usual “diffraction limit” on imaging methods, which restricts the resolution to the same order of magnitude as the wavelength of the radiation used.

By demonstrating a resolution of 150 nm using THz radiation of 150 microns, the… read more

Terahertz remote sensing detects hidden explosives

July 12, 2010

A breakthrough in remote wave sensing by a team of Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute researchers uses unique terahertz (THz) “fingerprints” to identify hidden explosives, chemical, biological agents, and illegal drugs from a distance of 20 meters.

The new all-optical system has great potential for homeland security and military uses because it can “see through” clothing and packaging materials.

Dr. Zhang, the J. Erik Jonsson Professor of Science at Rensselaer,… read more

Terahertz Transistor Could Usher in Era of Cheap Surveillance Video Cameras

July 20, 2009

Nanoscale transistors are promising candidates for a new class of efficient terahertz detecting technology that could make “intimate” body-search-at-a-distance cameras as cheap and easy as conventional video shots.

Terahertz video transfer is foretaste of future wireless

March 20, 2008

Video footage has been transmitted experimentally (22 meters) using a terahertz wireless signal for the first time, by Terahertz Communications Lab in Braunschweig, Germany.

Using terahertz bandwidth — which ranges from 300GHz to 3 terahertz (THz) — could offer a 1000 fold increase in transmission speed and should open up new frequencies for communication. The as yet untapped terahertz band of the electromagnetic spectrum lies between microwaves and visible… read more

Terahertz waveguides are step toward superfast computers

April 15, 2008

Taking an early step toward building superfast computers that run on terahertz waves instead of electricity, University of Utah engineers have developed waveguides that allow for carrying, splitting, and coupling terahertz signals.

The next step is to make devices, such as switches, transistors, and modulators, that operate at terahertz frequencies.

Source: Getting wired for terahertz computing

‘Terminator’ polymer regenerates itself

September 16, 2013

T-1000 terminator

Scientists have developed the first self-healing polymer that can spontaneously achieve healing in the absence of a catalyst.

Self-healing polymers have been able to mend themselves by reforming broken cross-linking bonds, but that requires an external catalyst (trigger) to promote bond repair, such as heat, light, or specific environmental conditions, such as pH.

Ibon Odriozola at the CIDETEC Centre for Electrochemical Technologies in Spain used a poly(urea–urethane)… read more

TerminatorBot CRAWLER Gives Danger Two-Fingered Salute

August 17, 2005

The DARPA-funded TerminatorBot CRAWLER (Cylindrical Robot for Autonomous Walking and Lifting during Emergency Response) was consciously modeled on the Terminator robot in its final throes of the first movie.

In the film, the original Terminator is reduced to dragging itself forward with just two digits of its robotic hand, having been blown in half minutes earlier.

One of the key features of the robot is the usefulness of… read more

‘Terragrid’ of supercomputers planned

August 10, 2001

Four U.S. supercomputer centers will be linked together into one massive “grid” style computer next summer.

The “TerraGrid” will rival the most powerful computers in the world, and be able to process over 11 trillion commands per second. It will be 16 times more powerful than the next-fastest research network.

“This will transform the way science and research is done,” Dan Reed, director of the National Center for… read more

Terrorism Lends Urgency to Hunt for a Better Lie Detector

December 17, 2003

A near-infrared light can detect lies as they form in the brain of volunteers. It may replace the often-inaccurate polygraph to detect lies told by spies, saboteurs and terrorists.

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