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In addition to the magnetic moments, magnons also conduct heat; from their equations, the MIT researchers found that when exposed to a magnetic field gradient, magnons may be driven to move from one end of a magnet to another, carrying heat with them and

New Theory Predicts Magnets may Act as Wireless Cooling Agents

July 29, 2014 12:42 pm | by Jennifer Chu, MIT | News | Comments

The magnets cluttering the face of your refrigerator may one day be used as cooling agents, according to a new theory. The theory describes the motion of magnons — quasi-particles in magnets that are collective rotations of magnetic moments, or “spins.” In addition to the magnetic moments, magnons also conduct heat; researchers found that when exposed to a magnetic field gradient, magnons may be driven to move from one end of a magnet to...

NASA Long-lived Mars Opportunity Rover Sets Off-world Driving Record

July 29, 2014 12:37 pm | by NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory | News | Comments

NASA's Opportunity Mars rover, which landed on the Red Planet in 2004, now holds the off-Earth...

Building Invisible Materials with Light

July 28, 2014 10:36 am | by University of Cambridge | News | Comments

A new method of building materials using light could one day enable technologies that are often...

NASA Chandra X-ray Observatory Celebrates 15th Anniversary

July 25, 2014 3:05 pm | by NASA | News | Comments

Fifteen years ago, NASA's Chandra X-ray Observatory was launched into space aboard the Space...

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A photograph of the biologically-inspired microphone taken under a microscope, providing a top-side view. The tiny structure rotates and flaps about the pivots (labeled), producing an electric potential across the electrodes (labeled). Courtesy of N.Hall/

Sound Detector Based on Freakishly Acute Fly Hearing

July 24, 2014 2:55 pm | by American Institute of Physics (AIP) | News | Comments

Even within a phylum so full of mean little creatures, the yellow-colored Ormia ochracea fly is distinguished among other arthropods for its cruelty — at least to crickets. Native to the southeastern U.S. states and Central America, the fly is a most predatory sort of parasite. It swoops onto the back of a singing male cricket, deposits a smear of larvae, and leaves its wicked brood to invade, kill and consume the cricket from inside out.

Dr. Julia Bryant, a research fellow with the ARC Centre of Excellence for All-sky Astrophysics (CAASTRO), in the School of Physics at the University of Sydney, installing SAMI.

Researchers Pioneer Google Street View of Galaxies

July 24, 2014 2:40 pm | by University of Sydney | News | Comments

A new home-grown instrument based on bundles of optical fibers is giving Australian astronomers the first 'Google street view' of the cosmos — incredibly detailed views of huge numbers of galaxies. Developed by researchers at the University of Sydney and the Australian Astronomical Observatory, the optical-fiber bundles can sample the light from up to 60 parts of a galaxy, for a dozen galaxies at a time.

The GAO report put the current shortfall at $400 million, but did say NASA was "making solid progress" on the rocket program design.

Audit: NASA Doesn't Have the Money for Big Rockets

July 24, 2014 2:31 pm | by AP | News | Comments

NASA doesn't have enough money to get its new, $12 billion rocket system off the ground by the end of 2017 as planned, federal auditors say. The GAO issued a report saying NASA's Space Launch System is at "high risk of missing" its planned initial test flight. The post-space shuttle program would build the biggest rockets ever — larger than the Saturn V rockets which sent men to the moon — to send astronauts to asteroids and Mars.

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2014 marks the 75th anniversary of NASA Ames Research Center.

NASA Ames Research Center to host First Open House in 17 Years

July 23, 2014 3:24 pm | by NASA | News | Comments

Maybe you’ve sat on the lawn, even hung out on the flightline. Now, for the first time since 1997, NASA Ames Research Center is opening their house. An announcement posted on NASA.gov states: “For our 75th anniversary, we're inviting all of the Bay Area and Silicon Valley to come inside the gates and get to know NASA's center in Silicon Valley. Take a two-mile walking tour through the center and visit with Ames engineers and scientists..."

Getting a Grip on Robotic Grasp

July 23, 2014 3:16 pm | by Jennifer Chu, MIT | News | Comments

Twisting a screwdriver, removing a bottle cap, and peeling a banana are just a few simple tasks that are tricky to pull off single-handedly. Now, a new wrist-mounted robot can provide a helping hand — or rather, fingers. Researchers at MIT have developed a robot that enhances the grasping motion of the human hand.

Breakthrough Laser May Play Crucial Role in Development of Quantum Computers

July 23, 2014 3:09 pm | by Joseph Blumberg, Dartmouth College | News | Comments

A team of Dartmouth scientists and their colleagues have devised a breakthrough laser that uses a single artificial atom to generate and emit particles of light — and may play a crucial role in the development of quantum computers, which are predicted to eventually outperform even today’s most powerful supercomputers.

On the left, a representative structure for localization of heat; the cross section of structure and temperature distribution. On the right, a picture of enhanced steam generation by the DLS structure under solar illumination. Courtesy of the researchers

New Spongelike Structure Converts Solar Energy into Steam

July 22, 2014 3:28 pm | by Jennifer Chu, MIT | News | Comments

A new material structure developed at MIT generates steam by soaking up the sun. The structure — a layer of graphite flakes and an underlying carbon foam — is a porous, insulating material structure that floats on water. When sunlight hits the structure’s surface, it creates a hotspot in the graphite, drawing water up through the material’s pores, where it evaporates as steam. The brighter the light, the more steam is generated.

Astronauts to Test Free-flying “Housekeeper” Robots

July 21, 2014 2:30 pm | by Maria Alberty, NASA's Ames Research Center | News | Comments

Inspired by science fiction, three bowling ball-size free-flying Synchronized Position Hold, Engage, Reorient, Experimental Satellites (SPHERES) have been flying inside the International Space Station since 2006. These satellites provide a test bed for development and research, each having its own power, propulsion, computer, navigation equipment, and physical and electrical connections for hardware and sensors for various experiments.

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Birdsongs Automatically Decoded by Computer Scientists

July 21, 2014 2:25 pm | by Queen Mary University of London | News | Comments

Scientists from Queen Mary University of London have found a successful way of identifying bird sounds from large audio collections, which could be useful for expert and amateur bird-watchers alike. The analysis used recordings of individual birds and of dawn choruses to identify characteristics of bird sounds. It took advantage of large datasets of sound recordings provided by the British Library Sound Archive, and online sources.

The Eagle Prepares to Land

July 21, 2014 2:00 pm | by NASA | News | Comments

The Apollo 11 Lunar Module Eagle, in a landing configuration was photographed in lunar orbit from the Command and Service Module Columbia. Inside the module were Commander Neil A. Armstrong and Lunar Module Pilot Buzz Aldrin. The long rod-like protrusions under the landing pods are lunar surface sensing probes. Upon contact with the lunar surface, the probes sent a signal to the crew to shut down the descent engine.

Buzz Aldrin: Where were you when I Walked on Moon?

July 17, 2014 2:19 pm | by Marcia Dunn, AP Aerospace Writer | News | Comments

On July 20, 1969, Buzz Aldrin was "out of town" when the world united and rejoiced in a way never seen before or since. He and Neil Armstrong were on the moon. They missed the whole celebration 45 years ago this Sunday. So did Michael Collins, orbiting solo around the moon in the mother ship.

NASA's Van Allen Probes Show How to Accelerate Electrons

July 16, 2014 11:55 am | by Karen C. Fox, NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center | News | Comments

One of the great, unanswered questions for space weather scientists is just what creates two gigantic donuts of radiation surrounding Earth, called the Van Allen radiation belts. Recent data from the Van Allen Probes — two nearly identical spacecraft that launched in 2012 — address this question.

Fundamental Chemistry Findings Could Help Extend Moore’s Law

July 16, 2014 11:49 am | by Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory | News | Comments

Over the years, computer chips have gotten smaller, thanks to advances in materials science and manufacturing technologies. This march of progress, the doubling of transistors on a microprocessor roughly every two years, is called Moore’s Law. But there’s one component of the chip-making process in need of an overhaul if Moore’s law is to continue: the chemical mixture called photoresist.

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Dassault Systèmes Acquires Multi-body Simulation Technology Company SIMPACK

July 16, 2014 10:15 am | by Dassault Systèmes | News | Comments

Dassault Systèmes announced the acquisition of SIMPACK, a multi-body simulation technologies and solutions company. With the acquisition of SIMPACK, based near Munich, Germany, Dassault Systèmes is expanding its SIMULIA realistic multiphysics simulation technology portfolio to include multi-body mechatronic systems, from virtual concept validation to the real-time experience.

Drones: Next Big Thing in Aviation is Really Small

July 15, 2014 4:23 pm | by Danica Kirka, Associated Press | News | Comments

With some no bigger than a hummingbird, the hottest things at this week's Farnborough International Airshow are tiny compared with the titans of the sky, such as the Airbus 380 or the Boeing Dreamliner. What's got aviation geeks salivating at Farnborough, this year's biggest aviation jamboree that features participants from 40 countries, are the commercial possibilities of unmanned aerial vehicles — drones to most of us.

Inventor Pushes Solar Panels for Roads, Highways

July 15, 2014 12:06 pm | by Nicholas K. Geranios, Associated Press | News | Comments

The solar panels that Idaho inventor Scott Brusaw has built aren't meant for rooftops. They are meant for roads, driveways, parking lots, bike trails and, eventually, highways. Brusaw, an electrical engineer, says the hexagon-shaped panels can withstand the wear and tear that comes from inclement weather and vehicles, big and small, to generate electricity.

On the Trail of Paradigm-Shifting Methods for Solving Mathematical Models

July 15, 2014 10:11 am | by Hengguang Li | Blogs | Comments

How using CPU/GPU parallel computing is the next logical step - My work in computational mathematics is focused on developing new, paradigm-shifting ideas in numerical methods for solving mathematical models in various fields. This includes the Schrödinger equation in quantum mechanics, the elasticity model in mechanical engineering, the Navier-Stokes equation in fluid mechanics, Maxwell’s equations in electromagnetism...

Billionaire Elon Musk giving $1M to Tesla Museum

July 14, 2014 9:56 am | by AP | News | Comments

SHOREHAM, NY (AP) — The billionaire owner of Tesla Motors is giving $1 million to a New York museum dedicated to preserving the legacy of the inventor who inspired its name. The Tesla Science Center announced Elon Musk's donation on what would have been Nikola Tesla's 158th birthday.

Nano-pixels Promise Thin, Flexible High-res Displays

July 11, 2014 4:44 pm | by Oxford University | News | Comments

A new discovery will make it possible to create pixels just a few hundred nanometers across that could pave the way for extremely high-resolution and low-energy thin, flexible displays for applications such as 'smart' glasses, synthetic retinas and foldable screens.

Speeding up Data Storage 1000x with Spin Current

July 11, 2014 3:52 pm | by Eindhoven University of Technology | News | Comments

The storage capacity of hard drives is increasing explosively, but the speed with which all that data can be written has reached its limits. Researchers presented a promising new technology which potentially allows data to be stored 1,000 times as fast in Nature Communications. The technology, in which ultra-short laser pulses generate a ‘spin current,’ also opens the way to future optical computer chips.

IBM Announces $3B Research Initiative to Tackle Chip Grand Challenges for Cloud and Big Data Systems

July 9, 2014 4:58 pm | by IBM | News | Comments

IBM has announced it is investing $3 billion over the next five years in two broad research and early stage development programs to push the limits of chip technology needed to meet the emerging demands of cloud computing and Big Data systems. These investments are intended to push IBM's semiconductor innovations from today’s breakthroughs into the advanced technology leadership required for the future.

NSF Frontier Award to Improve Time in Networked Physical Systems

July 9, 2014 4:28 pm | by Doug Ramsey, University of California, San Diego | News | Comments

The National Science Foundation has announced a five-year, $4 million “Frontier” award to tackle the challenge of time in cyber-physical systems (CPS) — engineered systems that are built from and depend upon the seamless integration of computational algorithms and physical components. Frontier awards constitute NSF’s largest single investments in CPS

Imaging the Fukushima Daiichi Reactors with Cosmic-ray Muons

July 9, 2014 3:35 pm | by Amber Harmon | News | Comments

Los Alamos National Laboratory, in New Mexico, US, will team up with Toshiba Corporation to use muon tomography to safely peer inside the cores of the Fukushima Daiichi reactors. The initiative could reduce the time required to clean up the disabled complex by at least a decade, and greatly reduce plant personnel exposure to radiation.

Novel Nanoparticle Production Method Could Lead to Better Lights, Lenses, Solar Cells

July 7, 2014 3:57 pm | by Sandia National Laboratories | News | Comments

Sandia National Laboratories has come up with an inexpensive way to synthesize titanium-dioxide nanoparticles and is seeking partners who can demonstrate the process at industrial scale for everything from solar cells to light-emitting diodes (LEDs). Titanium-dioxide (TiO2) nanoparticles show great promise as fillers to tune the refractive index of anti-reflective coatings ...

Clever Intelli-copters Learn as they Fly

July 7, 2014 3:48 pm | by University of Sheffield | News | Comments

Flying robots that can show true autonomy and even a bit of politeness in working together and venturing into hostile environments are being developed by engineers at the University of Sheffield. The research paves the way for robots to work intelligently alongside humans in ways that are currently familiar only through science fiction films.

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