Tech

A team led by researchers from the UCLA Henry Samueli School of Engineering and Applied Science has created a super-strong yet light structural metal with extremely high specific strength and modulus, or stiffness-to-weight ratio. The new metal is composed of magnesium infused with a dense and even dispersal of ceramic silicon carbide nanoparticles. It could be used to make lighter airplanes, spacecraft, and cars, helping to improve fuel efficiency, as well as in mobile electronics and biomedical devices.

Berkeley -- Engineers have successfully married electrons and photons within a single-chip microprocessor, a landmark development that opens the door to ultrafast, low-power data crunching.

The researchers packed two processor cores with more than 70 million transistors and 850 photonic components onto a 3-by-6-millimeter chip. They fabricated the microprocessor in a foundry that mass-produces high-performance computer chips, proving that their design can be easily and quickly scaled up for commercial production.

CAMBRIDGE, MA -- Using only processes found in existing microchip fabrication facilities, researchers at MIT, the University of California at Berkeley, and the University of Colorado have produced a working optoelectronic microprocessor, which computes electronically but uses light to move information.

Optical communication could dramatically reduce chips' power consumption, which is not only desirable in its own right but essential to maintaining the steady increases in computing power that we've come to expect.

Researchers working at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) have developed a novel way to noninvasively measure and map how and where trapped light vibrates within microscale optical resonators.*

The new technique not only makes for more accurate measurements but also allows scientists to fine-tune the trapped light's frequency by subtly altering the shape of the resonator itself.

Imagine you're baking a special cake, one in which the shape of each mote of spice mixed into the batter can have a profound effect on your dessert's color, its taste, its texture on the tongue. That's a rough description of creating new lightweight materials for aircraft, cars and windmills that use tiny nanoparticles as ingredients, and scientists at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) have made* recipe development a more palatable job.

Researchers at the Energy Department's National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) have made advances toward affordable photoelectrochemical (PEC) production of hydrogen.

PITTSBURGH, Dec. 22, 2015 - Children younger than 5 who live in economically disadvantaged areas had a greater risk of medication poisoning that resulted in referral to a health care facility, according to scientists at the University of Pittsburgh Graduate School of Public Health and the University of California, San Diego. These areas were rural and experienced high unemployment, along with lower rates of high school graduation and lower household income.

Liquid crystal elastomers (LCEs), essentially rubbers with liquid crystal properties, can do a number of fascinating things, especially in the fields of optics, photonics, telecommunications and medicine. They can curl up, bend, twist, wrinkle and stretch when exposed to light, heat, gases and other stimuli. Because they are so responsive, they are ideal for applications like artificial muscles and blood vessels, actuators, sensors, plastic motors and drug delivery systems. They can even be used as a mechanically tunable mirrorless "rubber" laser.

Scientists at the U.S. Department of Energy's Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) have developed a novel electrolyte for use in solid-state lithium batteries that overcomes many of the problems that plague other solid electrolytes while also showing signs of being compatible with next-generation cathodes.

WEST LAFAYETTE, IN - To satisfy increasing consumer demand for locally grown, fresh tomatoes during off-seasons, greenhouse tomato growers often need to rely on supplemental lighting. Tomato growers are looking to light-emitting diodes (LEDs), favored for their energy-saving potential, as an alternative to high-pressure sodium lamps (HPS) in greenhouse operations. A recent study offers new information about the feasibility of using LEDs in greenhouse tomato operations.

RICHLAND, Wash. - Energy storage system owners could see significant savings from a new flow battery technology that is projected to cost 60 percent less than today's standard flow batteries.

The organic aqueous flow battery, described in a paper published in the journal Advanced Energy Materials, is expected to cost $180 per kilowatt-hour once the technology is fully developed. The lower cost is due to the battery's active materials being inexpensive organic molecules, compared to the commodity metals used in today's flow batteries.

A frequent problem faced by cells is that they are surrounded by a promising cloud of scent and must determine the direction of its source. Nerve cells, for example, form long extensions that are attracted to signals from other cells in order to produce the network that forms the nervous system; similarly, scavenger cells recognise the scent of harmful germs in order that they can pursue and destroy them.

Quantum cryptography is considered a fully secure encryption method, but researchers from Linköping University and Stockholm University have discovered that this is not always the case. They found that energy-time entanglement - the method that today forms the basis for many systems of quantum cryptography - is vulnerable to attack. The results of their research have been published in Science Advances.

Researchers from North Carolina State University have developed a technique for using chains of magnetic nanoparticles to manipulate elastic polymers in three dimensions, which could be used to remotely control new "soft robots."

Teams of researchers from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (UIUC) have demonstrated a biosensor capable of counting the blood cells electrically using only a drop of blood. The blood cell count is among the most ubiquitous diagnostic tests in primary health care. The gold standard routinely used in hospitals and testing laboratories is a hematology analyzer, which is large and expensive equipment, and requires trained technicians and physical sample transportation.