Researchers have developed a technique for controlling the surface tension of liquid metals by applying very low voltages, opening the door to a new generation of reconfigurable electronic circuits, antennas and other technologies. The technique hinges on the fact that the oxide “skin” of the metal — which can be deposited or removed — acts as a surfactant, lowering the surface tension between the metal and the surrounding fluid.
When natural disasters or human-made catastrophes topple buildings, search and rescue teams...
For future astronauts, the process of suiting up may go something like this: Instead of climbing...
On Tuesday, September 23, Scientific Computing will host a live panel discussion that...
Building on previous research that twisted light to send data at unheard-of speeds, scientists at University of Southern California (USC) have developed a similar technique with radiowaves, reaching high speeds without some of the hassles that can go with optical systems.
U.S. astronauts once again will travel to and from the International Space Station from the United States on American spacecraft under groundbreaking contracts NASA announced September 16, 2014. The agency unveiled its selection of Boeing and SpaceX to transport U.S. crews to and from the space station using their CST-100 and Crew Dragon spacecraft, respectively, with a goal of ending the nation’s sole reliance on Russia in 2017.
The quest to create artificial “squid skin” — camouflaging metamaterials that can “see” colors and automatically blend into the background — is one step closer to reality, thanks to a color-display technology unveiled by Rice University’s Laboratory for Nanophotonics. The new full-color display technology uses aluminum nanoparticles to create the vivid red, blue and green hues found in today’s top-of-the-line LCD televisions and monitors.
MIT researchers have developed an algorithm for bounding that they’ve successfully implemented in a robotic cheetah — a sleek, four-legged assemblage of gears, batteries and electric motors that weighs about as much as its feline counterpart. The team recently took the robot for a test run, where it bounded across the grass at a steady clip. The researchers estimate the robot may eventually reach speeds of up to 30 mph.
The central mystery of quantum mechanics is that small chunks of matter sometimes seem to behave like particles, sometimes like waves. For most of the past century, the prevailing explanation of this conundrum has been what’s called the “Copenhagen interpretation” — which holds that, in some sense, a single particle really is a wave, smeared out across the universe, which collapses into a determinate location only when observed.
When it comes to soft robots, researchers have finally managed to cut the cord. Developers from Harvard’s School of Engineering and Applied Sciences and the Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering have produced the first untethered soft robot — a quadruped that can stand up and walk away from its designers.
NASA's effort to identify potentially dangerous space rocks has taken a hit. On September 15, 2014, the space agency's inspector general released a report blasting NASA's Near Earth Objects program, which is meant to hunt and catalog comets, asteroids and relatively large fragments of these objects that pass within 28 million miles of Earth. The purpose is to protect the planet against their potential dangers.
The interaction between atoms and light is well-known and has been studied extensively in the field of quantum optics. However, to achieve the same kind of interaction with sound waves has been a more challenging undertaking. In collaboration between experimental and theoretical physicists, Chalmers University of Technology researchers have succeeded in making acoustic waves couple to an artificial atom.
Researchers from North Carolina State University, Duke University and the University of Copenhagen have created the world’s largest DNA origami, which are nanoscale constructions with applications ranging from biomedical research to nanoelectronics. The standard for DNA origami has long been limited to a scaffold strand that is made up of 7,249 bases. The research team has now created DNA origami consisting of 51,466 bases
Electrons that break the rules and move perpendicular to the applied electric field could be the key to delivering next generation, low-energy computers, a collaboration of scientists from The University of Manchester and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology have found. They report a material in which electrons move at a controllable angle to applied fields, similar to sailboats driven diagonally to the wind.
Artist concept of NASA’s Space Launch System (SLS) 70-metric-ton configuration launching to space. SLS will be the most powerful rocket ever built for deep space missions, including to an asteroid and ultimately to Mars. The first SLS mission — Exploration Mission 1 — will launch an uncrewed Orion spacecraft to a stable orbit beyond the moon.
New software launched by researchers at Birmingham City University aims to reduce the long periods of training and expensive equipment required to make music, while also giving musicians more intuitive control over the music that they produce. The developed software, showcased at the British Science Festival, trains computers to understand the language of musicians when applying effects to their music.
NASA astronaut Reid Wiseman tweeted this photo from the International Space Station on Tuesday morning, September 2, 2014. "My favorite views from #space – just past #sunrise over the ocean," the Expedition 40 astronaut tweeted. The Expedition 40 crew has been busy aboard the Space Station, recently performing health checks and humanoid robot upgrades.
Researchers at Washington University in St. Louis have developed algorithms to identify weak spots in tendons, muscles and bones prone to tearing or breaking. The technology one day may help pinpoint minor strains and tiny injuries in the body’s tissues long before bigger problems occur.
Where the river meets the sea, there is the potential to harness a significant amount of renewable energy, according to a team of mechanical engineers at MIT. The researchers evaluated an emerging method of power generation called pressure retarded osmosis, in which two streams of different salinity are mixed to produce energy. In principle, a PRO system would take in river water and seawater on either side of a semi-permeable membrane.
MIT spinout Akselos has developed novel software, based on years of research at the Institute, which uses precalculated supercomputer data for structural components — like simulated “Legos” — to solve FEA models in seconds. Hundreds of engineers in the mining, power-generation, and oil and gas industries are now using Akselos software.
As a report from the Obama administration warns that one in four bridges in the United States needs significant repair or cannot handle automobile traffic, Tufts University engineers are employing wireless sensors and flying robots that could have the potential to help authorities monitor the condition of bridges in real time.
In the age of big data, visualization tools are vital. With a single glance at a graphic display, a human being can recognize patterns that a computer might fail to find even after hours of analysis. But what if there are aberrations in the patterns? Or what if there’s just a suggestion of a visual pattern that’s not distinct enough to justify any strong inferences? Or what if the pattern is clear, but not what was to be expected?
On August 19, 2014, National Aviation Day, a lot of people reflected on how far aviation has come in the last century. Could this be the future — a plane with many electric motors that can hover like a helicopter and fly like a plane, and that could revolutionize air travel?
The first thousand-robot flash mob has assembled at Harvard University. Instead of one highly-complex robot, a “kilo” of robots collaborate, providing a simple platform for the enactment of complex behaviors. Called Kilobots, these extremely simple robots are each just a few centimeters across and stand on three pin-like legs.
There may be itsy-bitsy aliens among us. Scientists say seven microscopic particles collected by NASA's comet-chasing spacecraft, Stardust, appear to have originated outside our solar system. If confirmed, this would be the world's first sampling of contemporary interstellar dust.
A photo is worth a thousand words, but what if the image could also represent thousands of other images? New software seeks to tame the vast amount of visual data in the world by generating a single photo that can represent massive clusters of images. This tool can give users the photographic gist of a kid on Santa’s lap or housecats. It works by generating an image that literally averages the key features of the other photos.
Igor Markov reviews limiting factors in the development of computing systems to help determine what is achievable, identifying loose limits and viable opportunities for advancements through the use of emerging technologies. He summarizes and examines limitations in the areas of manufacturing and engineering, design and validation, power and heat, time and space, as well as information and computational complexity.
With five technical papers contending for one of the highest honored awards in high performance computing (HPC), the Association for Computing Machinery’s (ACM) awards committee has four months left to choose a winner for the prestigious 2014 Gordon Bell Prize. The winner of this prize will have demonstrated an outstanding achievement in HPC that helps solve critical science and engineering problems.
SOLIDWORKS Education Edition 2014-2015 is an integrated applications portfolio that includes tools and enhancements designed to improve teacher efficiency, shorten student design processes, increase team collaboration and enable educational productivity across numerous areas.
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