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Taming Magnetic Vortices: A Unified Theory for Skyrmion-materials

Taming Magnetic Vortices: A Unified Theory for Skyrmion-materials

March 4, 2015 11:49 am | by University of Cologne | News | Comments

In the future, magnetic vortex structures — so-called skyrmions — have the potential to store and process information very efficiently. They could also be the basis for high-frequency components. For the first time, physicists have succeeded in characterizing the electromagnetic properties of insulating, semiconducting and conducting skyrmion-materials and have developed a unified theoretical description of their behavior.

NASA Spacecraft Making First Visit to Dwarf Planet Ceres

March 3, 2015 10:26 am | by Alicia Chang, AP Science Writer | News | Comments

A NASA spacecraft is about to reach the end of a nearly eight-year journey and make the first...

Cryogenically Cooled Clocks Keep Time for 16 Billion Years

March 2, 2015 11:01 am | by RIKEN | News | Comments

We all like to know our watches keep the time well, but researchers are taking precision to an...

Live Long and Prosper, Mr. #Spock! Leonard Nimoy dies at 83

February 27, 2015 2:31 pm | by Lynn Elber, AP Television Writer | News | Comments

Leonard Nimoy, the actor known and loved by generations of Star Trek fans as the pointy...

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A 3-D model of the new class of auxetic metamaterials that defy logic and can be used to create better skin grafts and new smart materials. Courtesy of University of Malta

Logic-defying Mathematical Model could lead to Better Skin Grafts, New Smart Materials

February 26, 2015 2:00 pm | by Cassi Camilleri, University of Malta | News | Comments

Pull on a piece of plastic at separate ends; it becomes thinner. So does a rubber band. One might assume tha,t when a force is applied along an axis, materials will always stretch and become thinner. Wrong. Thanks to their peculiar internal geometry, auxetic materials grow wider. After confounding scientists for decades, researchers are now developing mathematical models to explain the unusual behavior of these logic-defying materials

As a flying laboratory, ESA's OPS-SAT will test and validate new techniques in mission control and on-board systems. It will be operated by ESA's European Space Operations Centre as a test and validation resource for over 100 European industrial partners

Flying Software Lab to Test Radically New Experimental Control Systems

February 26, 2015 8:35 am | by Suzanne Tracy, Editor-in-Chief, Scientific Computing and HPC Source | News | Comments

ESA is developing a mini-satellite to test out radically new control systems and techniques and to demonstrate drastically improved mission control capabilities that will arise when satellites can fly more powerful on-board computers. Known as Ops-Sat, it is made up of three CubeSat units with deployable solar panels. Although only 30 cm high, it contains an experimental computer 10 times more powerful than any current spacecraft.

NWChem molecular modeling software takes full advantage of a wide range of parallel computing systems, including Cascade. Courtesy of PNNL

PNNL Shifts Computational Chemistry into Overdrive

February 25, 2015 8:29 am | by Karol Kowalski, Ph.D., and Edoardo Apra, Ph.D. | Articles | Comments

We computational chemists are an impatient lot. Despite the fact that we routinely deal with highly complicated chemical processes running on our laboratory’s equally complex HPC clusters, we want answers in minutes or hours, not days, months or even years. In many instances, that’s just not feasible; in fact, there are times when the magnitude of the problem simply exceeds the capabilities of the HPC resources available to us.

Hydraulic connections of the Fast Cycle Magnet cable to allow the cooling of the magnet’s conductor (cable in conduit type) with supercritical helium. Courtesy of Maximilien Brice

What to Expect Next from the World’s Largest Particle Accelerator

February 24, 2015 2:37 pm | by Kate Greene, Lawrence Berkley National Laboratory | News | Comments

In March, when researchers flip the switch to the world’s largest, most powerful particle accelerator, scientists from all over the world will be watching. Physicists expect the refurbished, higher-energy Large Hadron Collider (LHC) will build on the 2012 discovery of the Higgs particle and crack open even more mysteries of the universe

Rube did not build the machines he drew, but his cartoons have become an inspiration to aspiring engineers and scientists across the world. Courtesy of Jeff Kubina

A Comically Involved, Complicated Invention, Laboriously Contrived to Perform a Simple Operation

February 24, 2015 10:34 am | by Suzanne Tracy, Editor-in-Chief, Scientific Computing and HPC Source | Blogs | Comments

Of course, I’m talking about the Rube Goldberg Machine Contest! This annual international competition challenges teams of students from middle school to college-age to build the most elaborate and hilarious contraption that successfully achieves the task at hand. This year’s contest is already off and running. The 2015 Task: Erase a Chalkboard.

Another myth is that scientists look like this. U.S. Army RDECOM/Flickr, CC BY-SA

Seven Myths about Scientists Debunked

February 19, 2015 2:07 pm | by Jeffrey Craig and Marguerite Evans-Galea, Murdoch Childrens Research Institute | Articles | Comments

As scientific researchers, we are often surprised by some of the assumptions made about us by those outside our profession. So we put together a list of common myths we and our colleagues have heard anecdotally regarding scientific researchers.

What would a submarine to explore the liquid methane seas of Saturn's Moon Titan look like? This design concept was developed for the NASA Innovative Advanced Concepts (NIAC) Program, by NASA Glenn's COMPASS Team, and technologists and scientists from the

Exploring the Depths of Kraken Mare — by Space Submarine!

February 18, 2015 3:23 pm | by Suzanne Tracy, Editor-in-Chief, Scientific Computing and HPC Source | Blogs | Comments

Named after a legendary sea monster, Kraken Mare is believed to be the largest body of liquid on the surface of Saturn's moon Titan. It extends nearly 150,000 square miles across the moon's north-polar region and is made of liquified hydrocarbons. According to a conference presentation given at the 2015 NASA Institute for Advanced Concepts Symposium, NASA hopes to send a submarine to explore the frigid methane sea by 2040.

The latest version of the telescopic contact lens, with a quarter for scale. Courtesy of Eric Tremblay and Joe Ford, EPFL

Telescopic Contact Lens Prototype Unveiled

February 18, 2015 12:33 pm | by EPFL | News | Comments

An estimated 285 million people are visually impaired worldwide. Age-related macular degeneration alone is the leading cause of blindness among older adults in the Western world. Optics specialist Eric Tremblay from EPFL has unveiled a new prototype telescopic contact lens — the first of its kind — giving hope for better, stronger vision. The optics specialist also debuted complementary smart glasses that recognize winks and ignore blinks

Not the Red Planet but Utah, one of the more Mars-like areas on Earth.

Mars is the Next Step for Humanity – We Must Take It

February 18, 2015 9:40 am | by Ashley Dove-Jay, University of Bristol | Articles | Comments

Elon Musk has built a US$12 billion company in an endeavour to pave the way to Mars for humanity. He insists that Mars is a “long-term insurance policy” for “the light of consciousness” in the face of climate change, extinction events, and our recklessness with technology. On the other hand, astronaut Chris Hadfield is sceptical: “Humanity is not going extinct,” he told me.

Val Fitch and his Princeton colleague James Cronin received the Nobel Prize in physics in 1980 for high-energy experiments conducted in 1964 that overturned fundamental assumptions about symmetries and invariances that are characteristic of the laws of ph

Nobel Laureate and Physicist Val Fitch dies at 91

February 13, 2015 3:06 pm | by Princeton University | News | Comments

A towering figure in physics who helped shape our understanding of the universe, Nobel laureate Val Logsdon Fitch died peacefully February 5, 2015. He was 91. Known for foundational contributions to the standard model of particle physics, Fitch is remembered for his modesty and his kindness as well as for his experiments and insight into the fundamental nature of matter.

Researchers found most of the sound produced from the violin and its ancestors flows through a sound hole's perimeter, not its interior. Courtesy of the researchers

Acoustic Dynamics: Modeling Power Efficiency in the Violin

February 13, 2015 11:16 am | by Jennifer Chu, MIT | News | Comments

Some of the most prized violins in the world were crafted in the Italian workshops of Amati, Stradivari and Guarneri — master violinmaking families from the 17th and 18th centuries who produced increasingly powerful instruments in the renaissance and baroque musical eras. These violins, worth millions of dollars today, represent the Cremonese period — what is now considered the golden age of violinmaking.

A first-of-its-kind National Academy of Sciences report said that injecting sulfur pollution high in the air to reflect the sun's heat should be studied and perhaps tested outdoors in small projects. Courtesy of Robert Simmon and Marit Jentoft-Nilsen, bas

Time to Examine Purposely Cooling the Planet?

February 12, 2015 2:37 pm | by Seth Borenstein, AP Science Writer | News | Comments

It's time to study and maybe even test the idea of cooling the Earth by injecting sulfur pollution high in the air to reflect the sun's heat, a first-of-its-kind federal science report said on February 10, 2015. The idea was once considered fringe — to purposely re-engineer the planet's climate as a last ditch effort to battle global warming with an artificial cloud. No longer.

Researchers are reporting a fascinating discovery that provides insight into how the brain makes sense of data from fingers.Courtesy of Quinn Dombrowski

Bringing Texture to Touchscreens: How the Brain Makes Sense of Data from Fingers

February 12, 2015 2:31 pm | by Megan Fellman, Northwestern University | News | Comments

What if the touchscreen of your smartphone or tablet could touch you back? What if touch was as integrated into our ubiquitous technology as sight and sound? Northwestern University and Carnegie Mellon University researchers now report a fascinating discovery that provides insight into how the brain makes sense of data from fingers.

A payload containing many different sensors and small computers will be attached to a large balloon filled with helium. It will be sending live data and video down to a base station that will help track the balloon's journey, receiving as much useful data

Take a Live Trip to the Edge of Space

February 10, 2015 11:48 am | by Brunel University London | News | Comments

Anyone with a computer or a smartphone can register for free live video streaming of Brunel University London’s scientific expedition to the edge of space — more than 100,000 feet — three times higher than the cruise altitude of transatlantic passenger jets. The team is hopeful that the payload will break the 100,000-foot barrier so people will be able to see the curvature of the Earth and the blackness of space in real time.

The DSCOVR Mission's NISTAR — the  NIST Advanced Radiometer — will measure the Earth’s radiation budget, or whether our planet’s atmosphere is retaining more or less solar energy than it radiates back to space. Courtesy of NASA/DSCOVR

A Measurement Job That’s Truly Out of this World

February 9, 2015 10:23 am | by Chad Boutin, NIST | Articles | Comments

Quick, think of a four-letter name beginning with “N” for a federal agency involved in space science. Though NASA or NOAA would rightfully pop into mind first, crossword puzzle aficionados should know that NIST would be a correct answer as well — because the National Institute of Standards and Technology has been an integral part of readying technology for blastoff for decades.

The octopus robot is capable of accelerating up to 10 body lengths in less than a second. Courtesy of University of Southampton

Speed Record: Octopus Robot’s Ultra-fast Acceleration is Unprecedented

February 6, 2015 3:30 pm | by University of Southampton | News | Comments

Scientists have developed an octopus-like robot  that can zoom through water with ultra-fast propulsion and acceleration never before seen in man-made underwater vehicles. Cephalopods are capable of high-speed escapes by filling their bodies with water and then quickly expelling it to dart away. Inspired by this, scientists built a deformable robot with a 3-D printed skeleton, no moving parts and no energy storage device.

Smartphone dongles performed a point-of-care HIV and syphilis test in Rwanda from finger prick whole blood in 15 minutes, operated by health care workers trained on a software app. Courtesy of Samiksha Nayak, Columbia Engineering

Smartphone, Finger Prick, 15 Minutes — Diagnosis!

February 6, 2015 3:20 pm | by Holly Evarts, Columbia University | News | Comments

A team of researchers has developed a low-cost smartphone accessory that can perform a point-of-care test that simultaneously detects three HIV and syphilis infectious disease markers from a finger prick of blood in just 15 minutes. The device replicates, for the first time, all mechanical, optical and electronic functions of a lab-based blood test. Specifically, it performs an ELISA assay.

Vega VV04 fully assembled in its mobile gantry. Courtesy of M. Pedoussaut, ESA

What’s New about Europe’s Reentry Mission?

February 6, 2015 3:12 pm | by ESA | News | Comments

ESA’s experimental spaceplane, poised for liftoff on Vega, is set to showcase the latest technologies and critical systems to extend Europe’s capability for space exploration. In a world first, Europe will launch and land an unmanned spaceplane that has no wings but instead features an aerodynamic shape that produces the lift to fly through the atmosphere. Flaps and thrusters will autonomously steer it back to a splashdown.

ANSYS 16.0 Simulation Software

ANSYS 16.0 Simulation Software

January 28, 2015 2:15 pm | Ansys, Inc. | Product Releases | Comments

ANSYS 16.0 simulation software delivers capabilities to verify electronics reliability and performance throughout the design process and complex electronics industry supply chains.The single-window, integrated Electronics Desktop interface brings electromagnetic, circuit and systems analysis into a seamless working environment to maximize productivity and ensure users are following simulation best practices.

Astronaut Buzz Aldrin in the Apollo 11 Lunar Module -- Courtesy of NASA

Astronaut Buzz Aldrin in the Apollo 11 Lunar Module

January 28, 2015 8:33 am | by NASA | News | Comments

This July 20, 1969, photograph of the interior view of the Apollo 11 Lunar Module shows astronaut Edwin E. “Buzz” Aldrin, Jr. during the lunar landing mission. The picture was taken by astronaut Neil A. Armstrong, commander, prior to the landing. Aldrin was the second American to set foot on the lunar surface.

Actor John Heffernan poses with old photographs and a signature of Robert Oppenheimer, at a rehearsal studio in London. Heffernan is playing the part of Robert Oppenheimer in a new play the Royal Shakespeare Company is doing about the physicist, who led t

Science Fact Holds its Own with Even the Wildest Sci-fi Scenarios

January 26, 2015 1:45 pm | by Jill Lawless, Associated Press | News | Comments

Suddenly, scientists are sexy. With Benedict Cumberbatch nominated for multiple trophies as Alan Turing and Eddie Redmayne turning heads as Stephen Hawking, young British actors playing scientists are all the rage this season. So, it's good timing for the Royal Shakespeare Company, whose new play, Oppenheimer, features John Heffernan as American scientist J. Robert Oppenheimer, leader of the team that developed the first nuclear weapon.

Shubham Banerjee works on his lego robotics braille printer. Banerjee launched a company to develop a low-cost machine to print Braille materials for the blind based on a prototype he built with his Lego robotics kit. Last month, Intel invested in his sta

Eighth-grader Builds Braille Printer with Legos, Launches Company

January 21, 2015 1:02 pm | by Terence Chea, Associated Press | News | Comments

In Silicon Valley, it's never too early to become an entrepreneur. Just ask 13-year-old Shubham Banerjee. The California eighth-grader has launched a company to develop low-cost machines to print Braille, the tactile writing system for the visually impaired. Tech giant Intel recently invested in his startup, Braigo Labs.

Training for Spacewalks – Courtesy of ESA

Training for Spacewalks at NASA's Johnson Space Center

January 21, 2015 12:34 pm | News | Comments

European Space Agency (ESA) astronaut Thomas Pesquet training for spacewalks at NASA's Johnson Space Center in Houston, USA, with ESA astronaut Luca Parmitano. Pesquet will fly to the International Space Station in 2016. Parmitano finished his six-month Volare mission in November 2013.

This artist's rendering provided by the European Space Agency shows the Beagle-2 lander. The spacecraft went missing on Christmas Day, 2003, when it was supposed to land on Mars and start transmitting data back to Earth. On Friday, Jan. 16, 2015, more tha

Mystery Solved: Missing Beagle-2 Finally Located on Mars, Deployment Failed in Final Stage

January 20, 2015 2:47 pm | by Gregory Katz, Associated Press | News | Comments

It turns out the Beagle has landed after all — but it never called home. The gone-but-not-forgotten spacecraft Beagle-2 went AWOL on Christmas Day, 2003, when it was supposed to land on Mars and start transmitting data back to Earth. Instead, the British-built craft went dark. After several months, it was declared lost — presumed to have been destroyed during its approach or while trying to land on the red planet.

Measuring side-channel signals2: Georgia Tech researcher Alenka Zajic measures electromagnetic emissions from various components of a desktop computer. The researchers have studied emissions from desktop and laptop computers, as well as cellphones.

Countering Side-channel Hacker Attacks

January 14, 2015 11:35 am | by Georgia Institute of Technology | News | Comments

If you’re sitting in a coffee shop, tapping away on your laptop, feeling safe from hackers because you didn’t connect to the shop’s Wi-Fi, think again. The bad guys may be able to see what you’re doing just by analyzing the low-power electronic signals your laptop emits, even when it’s not connected to the Internet. Side-channel signals could provide hackers with another way to see what the devices are doing.

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