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Ten times more throughput on optic fibers

December 9, 2013


EPFL scientists have shown how to achieve a dramatic increase in the capacity of optical fibers by reducing the amount of space required between the pulses of light that transport data.

Optical fibers carry data in the form of pulses of light over distances of thousands of miles at high speeds. But their capacity is limited, because the pulses of light need to be lined up one… read more

Ten ways 3D printing could change space

April 16, 2014

A close up of a ligthweight titanium lattice ball manufactured using the Additive Manufacturing or 3D printing process. This design is a good example of AM capabilities: these hollow balls possesing a complex external geometry could not have been manufactured in a single part using a conventional manufacturing process. But they are incredibly light while also stiff, opening up possibilities for future space applications.

The European Space Agency (ESA) is investigating the potential of additive manufacturing (AM), or 3D printing, to transform how space missions are put together, and has identified ten ways.

1. Items impossible to make any other way

This titanium-lattice ball is a good example of additive manufacturing capabilities. These hollow balls have a complex external geometry,  making them incredibly light while remaining stiff and… read more

Ten Ways the World Could End

December 9, 2008

Nine prominent Canadian scientists and one science fiction writer were asked to imagine how they think the world might end.

Ten weirdest computers

April 14, 2008

Weird computers have included neurons (a few brain cells from a lamprey, a primitive eel-like vertebrate can be used to control a robot), “gloopware” (interfering waves of propagating ions in a chemical goo behave like a logic gate), slime mold (can work out the shortest route through a maze), and logic circuits that use cascades of atoms bouncing off each other like billiard balls to pass information along their length.

Ten-Minute Blood Test

November 17, 2008
(James Heath)

A microfluidic diagnositc chip that identifies 35 proteins in 10 minutes, which normally takes multiple technicians hours to do, is being developed by Caltech and Institute for Systems Biology scientists.

Measuring proteins in the blood can help doctors determine patients’ cancer risk and monitor the health of the elderly and people with chronic diseases.

Ten-Minute Cancer Test

August 21, 2007

Researchers at the University of Texas are developing a microfluidics device that detects oral-cancer cells in 10 minutes and is simple and cheap enough for use in the dentist’s office.

The device could be adapted to test for other cancers, including cervical cancer.

The device, made of acrylic, has a small reaction chamber fed and cleaned via tiny inlet and outlet channels. A solution of scrapings from a… read more

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.

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