Tech

At proper frequencies, air itself can make information transmissions difficult to intercept. Stability of the signal is a problem in applications such as that but researchers at NIST have discovered a technique they say will preserve signals better.

Their fiber-optic network that can be tuned across a range of visible and near-infrared frequencies while synchronizing the oscillations of light waves from different sources.

Juicing up your cell phone or iPod may take on a whole new meaning in the future. Researchers at Saint Louis University have developed a fuel cell battery that runs on virtually any sugar source - from soft drinks to tree sap - and has the potential to operate three to four times longer on a single charge than conventional lithium ion batteries, they say.

Researchers at the Department of Energy's Argonne National Laboratory have developed a new approach to increasing the capacity and stability of rechargeable lithium-ion batteries.

The technology is based on a new material for the positive electrode that is comprised of a unique nano-crystalline, layered-composite structure.

Argonne’s strategy uses a two-component “composite” structure -- an active component that provides for charge storage is embedded in an inactive component that stabilizes the structure.

Solar powered mobility scooters could soon be on the streets thanks to the work of a student at The University of Nottingham. Matt Alvey, who is studying Architecture and Environmental Design, says the photovoltaic (solar electric) recharging system will turn the mobility vehicles truly green.

Collaborative research between scientists in the UK and USA has led to a major breakthrough in the understanding of antiferromagnets, published in this week's Nature.

Screens that not only display images but also generate their own power are on the horizon.

One of the new display technologies will be suitable for cellphones, making their batteries last far longer than they do now. The other could lead to selfpowered electronic billboards.

Terahertz (THz) radiation, or far-infrared light, can penetrate clothing and other materials to provide images of concealed weapons, drugs, or other objects. However, THz scanners must usually be very close to the objects they are imaging because water vapor in air absorbs THz radiation so strongly that most of it never reaches the object to be imaged.

A new technique for creating films of barium titanate (BaTiO3) nanoparticles in a polymer matrix could allow fabrication of improved capacitors able to store twice as much energy as existing devices. The improved capacitors could be used in consumer devices such as cellular telephones – and in defense applications requiring both high energy storage and rapid current discharge.Scanning electron micrographs of barium titanate (BaTiO3) nanocomposites with polycarbonate (left, top and bottom) and Viton (right, top and bottom) polymer matrices.

An electrical circuit that should carry enough power to produce the long-sought goal of controlled high-yield nuclear fusion and, equally important, do it every 10 seconds, has undergone extensive preliminary experiments and computer simulations at Sandia National Laboratories' Z machine facility.

That's right, you can roll your own robot. But why are you reading about it? Go to the TeRK web site and start building . The Qwerk controller is available for sale from Charmed Labs.

These are sophisticated machines that wirelessly connect to the Internet but anyone can build them from off-the-shelf parts.

An independent study group, convened by AAAS’s Center for Science, Technology and Security Policy, has issued a report on the proposed Reliable Replacement Warhead (RRW) and its role in the future U.S. nuclear weapons program.

The panel concluded that most of the anticipated benefits of the proposed RRW program -- more easily maintained nuclear weapons with enhanced performance margins, improved safety and security properties, and greater ease of manufacture -- would occur in the long term subsequent to modernization of the weapons production complex.

Ultra-hard materials are used for everything from drills that bore for oil and build new roads to scratch-resistant coatings for precision instruments and the face of your watch.

Turning a greenhouse gas into a clean energy fuel is the Holy Grail of energy research. UC San Diego chemists have a prototype they think is an important milestone.

Their device captures energy from the sun, converts it to electrical energy and "splits" carbon dioxide into carbon monoxide (CO) and oxygen.

Obviously carbon monoxide in and of itself is not great either but millions of pounds of it are used each year to manufacture chemicals including detergents and plastics. It can also be converted into liquid fuel.

Are you ready for "X-ray glasses" that see through fog - and even clothing? With their new world record in high-frequency submillimeter waves, researchers at the UCLA Henry Samueli School of Engineering and Applied Science are bringing that kind of imaging technology closer to reality.

The record-setting 324-gigahertz frequency was accomplished using a voltage-controlled oscillator in a 90-nanometer complementary metal-oxide semiconductor (CMOS) integrated circuit, a technology used in chips such as microprocessors.

An earthquake engineer at Washington University in St. Louis has successfully performed the first test of wireless sensors in the simulated structural control of a model laboratory building.

Shirley J. Dyke, Ph.D., the Edward C. Dicke Professor of Civil Engineering and director of the Washington University Structural Control and Earthquake Engineering Laboratory, combined the wireless sensors with special controls called magnetorheological dampers to limit damage from a simulated earthquake load.