Scientists Still Chasing The Force, Getting Closer

After much excitement, the Force has not been found. But don’t be sad, my fellow nerds. Scientists may have not found evidence of the Higgs boson yet, but they have discovered “tantalizing hints” that may indicate its presence. More »

Unbelievable Trillion Frames Per Second Camera Captures Light in Motion

That fancy high-speed Phantom camera is pretty much a child’s toy when compared to MIT’s new hardware which can record at 1,000,000,000,000 frames per second. Fast enough to capture slow motion footage of light waves. More »

Trillion FPS Camera Captures Advancing Light Waves

How fast can your camera shoot photos? 60 frames per second? Pah. 1,000 fps? Puh-lease. What’s that? You have a Phantom camera that’ll shoot one million fps? Whatever. MIT’s new camera will shoot one trillion frames per second.

Let’s put that in some perspective. One trillion seconds is over 31,688 years. So if you shot one second of footage on this camera, and played it back at 30fps, it’d still take you over 1,000 years to watch it. That’s one boring-ass home movie.

Of course, the “camera” can’t be taken on vacation, and even if it could, there wouldn’t be enough light on even the sunniest beach to support shooting so fast. What MIT’s device (designed by Professor Ramesh Raskar and team) does is to use “femtosecond laser illumination, picosecond-accurate detectors and mathematical reconstruction techniques” to illuminate a scene and then capture the pulses of laser light. And like all good magic, the kit also uses mirrors: in this case to move the view of the camera.

Nor does the camera run for a full second. The movies are 480 frames long, and show a slice in time of just 1.71 picoseconds.

The result is a movie of an advancing wave of light. The individual frames can also be colorized to show a rainbow of wavefronts:

If your jaw isn’t on the ground right now, then shame on you. If you want to see more, you should head the team’s project page at MIT where you can see such wonders as a single pulse of light traveling the length of a soda bottle in one billionth of a second, and wavefronts rippling over still-life setups as if they were waves of water lapping at a beach.

Visualizing Photons in Motion at a Trillion Frames Per Second [MIT Camera Culture]

New quantum tunneling transistors to make PCs less power-hungry

Yes, that awesome new 8-core chip in your PC is the fastest thing on the block, but it’s got your utility meter spinning accordingly. Fortunately, researchers from Penn State have come up with a new high performance transistor that may turn future chips from power hogs into current-sipping silicon. The group, in cooperation with semiconductor manufacturer IQE, has created a high-performance transistor capable of significantly reducing power demand whether it’s idle or switching. Doctoral candidate Dheeraj Mohata’s the one who made it happen by inventing an alternative to traditional MOSFET (metal-oxide semiconductor field-effect transistors) technology capable of turning on and off using far less power. Mohata’s method uses a tunneling field effect transistor crafted from dissimilar semiconductor materials to provide instant on-off capability at 300 millivolts — compared to MOSFET’s one volt requirement — to provide a power savings of 70 percent. You can dig deeper into the technical transistor details at the source, but all you really need to know is that the ladies love a PC with paltry power consumption.

New quantum tunneling transistors to make PCs less power-hungry originally appeared on Engadget on Mon, 12 Dec 2011 15:03:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

Permalink Physorg  |  sourcePenn State University  | Email this | Comments

The Science of Taste Or: Why Dry-Aged Meat Is So Damned Delicious

Dry-aged meat is crazy expensive. But oh man is it delicious. The dean of food science writers, Harold McGee, writes in Lucky Peach Issue 2 about what makes it taste so good—and what makes other things taste, well, not so good. More »

Scientists About to Find The Force

If confirmed next week, this will be the biggest news in the history of physics since the birth of the Theory of Relativity: CERN scientists may have already found evidence of the existence of the elusive Higgs boson. THE FORCE, dudes. More »

NASA developing tractor beams, no plans for Death Star… yet (video)

Fully functional LightSabre aside, a tractor beam has to be high on most geek wish-lists; lucky for you NASA has started working on one. Before you drop your sandwich (or whatever that object in your left hand is), this won’t be for sucking up star cruisers, but the more modest task of sample and space dust collection. The basic concept has already been proven, but now NASA’s Office of the Chief Technologist has given boffins $100,000 to make the dream a reality. Three potential methods are already on the table, which in lay-terms resemble laser tweezers, a light vortex and a conceptual rippling beam. Once developed, it could signal the end of traditional mechanical sample collecting — and just plain luck — consigning robotic arms to the history books. Check the video after the break for science-tastic mock up of how it might work.

Continue reading NASA developing tractor beams, no plans for Death Star… yet (video)

NASA developing tractor beams, no plans for Death Star… yet (video) originally appeared on Engadget on Wed, 02 Nov 2011 00:48:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

Permalink Forbes  |  sourceNASA  | Email this | Comments

Royal Society opens its archives to the web, is less elitist than the name suggests

Royal Society

Get ready science nerds, you’re about to get a lifetime’s worth of reading material for free. The venerable Royal Society, the over 350-year-old British scientific organization, has just opened up its archives to the web-dwelling public. That’s over 60,000 scientific papers dating back to the first ever peer-reviewed research publication in 1665. Other highlights include Isaac Newton’s first ever published paper, research from Charles Darwin, and Ben Franklin’s famous kite experiment. Don’t waste any more time, go hit up the source link for all the old research papers you can handle.

Royal Society opens its archives to the web, is less elitist than the name suggests originally appeared on Engadget on Sun, 30 Oct 2011 14:06:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

Permalink Boing Boing  |  sourceRoyal Society  | Email this | Comments

The touch, the feel of cotton, the fabric of our… transistors

Transistors of all shapes and sizes form the foundation of just about every electronic gadget under the sun, and similarly, cotton clothing is a key component of a well-rounded wardrobe. It was only a matter of time before these two got together to form a fashion-forward future, and an international team of scientists have accomplished the trick by creating a transistor using fibers of cotton. Now, this isn’t the first organic transistor, but cotton’s plentiful, cheap, lightweight and sustainable nature make it a great choice for use as a substrate in carbon-based transistors. To get the fluffy white stuff ready to amplify and switch electric signals, it was conformally coated (to cover all the fiber’s irregularities) with gold nanoparticles, semiconductive and conductive polymers in a super thin layer to preserve its wearability flexibility. The result was an active transistor that can be used in integrated circuits sewn into your shirt, socks, or even pantaloons, if you like. The future of fashion is right around the corner, folks, and in that future your pants are the PC.

The touch, the feel of cotton, the fabric of our… transistors originally appeared on Engadget on Sat, 29 Oct 2011 01:48:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

Permalink   |  sourceCornell University  | Email this | Comments

Korean researchers create stretchy transistors made of graphene

Graphene’s greatness comes from its flexibility, both figurative — you can make everything from transparent speakers to stain resistant pants with the stuff — and literal. And now researchers in Korea have given us another pliable graphene product by creating a stretchy transistor from the carbon allotrope. The trick was accomplished by first layering sheets of graphene on copper foil and bonding it all to a rubber substrate. To complete the transistor channels were etched onto its surface, then electrodes and gate insulators made of ion gel were printed onto the device. What resulted was a transistor that could stretch up to five percent without losing any electrical efficiency, and the plan is to increase its elasticity through continued research. Keep up the good work, fellas, we can’t wait for our flexible phone future.

Korean researchers create stretchy transistors made of graphene originally appeared on Engadget on Fri, 28 Oct 2011 06:10:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

Permalink PhysOrg  |  sourceNano Letters  | Email this | Comments