QR codes have been used to convey information about everything from cereals to cars and new homes. But researchers think the codes have a greater potential: protecting national security. Using advanced 3-D optical imaging and extremely low light photon counting encryption, researchers have taken the ordinary QR code and transformed it into a high-end cybersecurity application to protect the integrity of computer microchips.
Two groups of astronomers have independently discovered a rare planet. The celestial body,...
Astronomers using the NSF's Very Large Array found surprisingly energetic activity in what they...
New NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope images capture a rare occurrence, as three of Jupiter’s largest moons parade across the giant gas planet’s banded face. Hubble took a string of images of the event which show the three satellites — Europa, Callisto and Io — in action. The planet's four moons can commonly be seen transiting the face of Jupiter. However, seeing three of them transiting at the same time is rare.
This image from Sentinel-1A’s radar shows the metropolitan area of Portugal’s capital, Lisbon. Flowing in from the upper-right corner is the Tagus River. Originating in central Spain, the Tagus is the longest river on the Iberian Peninsula, stretching over 1,000 kilometers. The river flows west through Portugal, emptying into the Atlantic Ocean at Lisbon
3-D movies, which require viewers to wear stereoscopic glasses, have become very popular in recent years. However, the 3-D effect produced by the glasses cannot provide perfect depth cues. Furthermore, it is not possible to move one’s head and observe that objects appear different from different angles. Now, researchers have developed a new way of generating high-resolution, full-color, 3-D videos that uses holographic technology.
A new way to process fiber optic signals has been demonstrated, which could double the distance at which data travels error-free through transatlantic sub-marine cables. The new method has the potential to reduce the costs of long-distance optical fiber communications, as signals wouldn’t need to be electronically boosted on their journey, which is important when the cables are buried underground or at the bottom of the ocean.
Charles H. Townes' inspiration for the predecessor of the laser came to him while sitting on a park bench, waiting for a restaurant to open for breakfast. On the tranquil morning of April 26, 1951, Townes scribbled a theory on scrap paper that would lead to the laser, the invention he's known for and which transformed everyday life and led to other scientific discoveries. The 99-year-old Nobel Prize-winning physicist died January 27, 2015.
Researchers have demonstrated that the 1935 Einstein-Podolsky-Rosen quantum mechanics paradox may be extended to more than two optical systems, paving the way for exploration of larger quantum networks. The experiment also identified properties that may be useful in establishing secure quantum communication networks where shared sequences of numbers created between two parties need to be kept secret from a third party.
The speckled object depicted here is Callisto, Jupiter’s second largest moon. This image was taken in May 2001 by NASA’s Galileo spacecraft, which studied Jupiter and its moons from 1995 until 2003. Similar in appearance to a golf ball, Callisto is covered almost uniformly with pockmarks and craters across its surface, evidence of relentless collisions.
A quantum network requires efficient interfaces over which information can be transferred from matter to light and back. Physicists have shown how this information transfer can be optimized by taking advantage of a collective quantum phenomenon. The collective interaction between the particles and the resonator can now be tuned in order to enhance the creation of single photons.
Have you ever dreamed about vacationing on another planet? Or wondered what it would be like to explore “strange new worlds”? If so, NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory has created a fictional Exoplanet Travel Bureau that is sure to add fuel to your daydreams. A new exoplanet travel series features travel posters of several planets that the folks at NASA’s Exoplanet Exploration Program think you just might want to check out...
Topology, a branch of mathematics classifying geometric objects, has been exploited by physicists to predict and describe unusual quantum phases: the topological states of matter. These intriguing phases, generally accessible at very low temperature, exhibit unique conductivity properties, which are particularly robust against external perturbations, suggesting promising technological applications.
How many stars like our sun host planets like our Earth? NASA’s Kepler Space Telescope continuously monitored more than 150,000 stars beyond our solar system and, to date, has offered scientists an assortment of more than 4,000 candidate planets for further study — the 1,000th of which was recently verified.
Although Hubble has taken many breathtaking images of the universe, one snapshot stands out from the rest: the iconic view of the so-called Pillars of Creation. The jaw-dropping 1995 photo revealed never-before-seen details of giant columns of cold gas bathed in the scorching UV light from a cluster of young, massive stars. In celebration of its 25th anniversary, Hubble has revisited the pillars, providing a sharper, wider view.
High-energy jets powered by supermassive black holes can blast away a galaxy’s star-forming fuel, resulting in so-called "red and dead" galaxies: those brimming with ancient red stars yet containing little or no hydrogen gas to create new ones. However, astronomers using ALMA have discovered that black holes don’t have to be nearly so powerful to shut down star formation. They have detected a “perfect storm” of turbulence ...
Prospects of developing computing and communication technologies based on quantum properties of light and matter may have taken a major step forward. In a pioneering study, researchers were able to discover half-light, half-matter particles in atomically thin semiconductors consisting of a 2-D layer of molybdenum and sulfur atoms arranged similar to graphene.
NASA's planet-hunting Kepler spacecraft makes a comeback with the discovery of the first exoplanet found using its new mission — K2. The discovery was made when astronomers and engineers devised an ingenious way to repurpose Kepler for the K2 mission and continue its search of the cosmos for other worlds.
Engineers have invented a revolutionary coating material that can help cool buildings, even on sunny days, by radiating heat away from the buildings and sending it directly into space. The heart of the invention is an ultrathin, multilayered material that deals with light, both invisible and visible, in a new way.
Researchers have discovered an invisible shield some 7,200 miles above Earth that blocks so-called killer electrons, which whip around the planet at near-light speed and have been known to threaten astronauts, fry satellites and degrade space systems during intense solar storms. The barrier to the particle motion was discovered in the Van Allen radiation belts, two doughnut-shaped rings above Earth filled with high-energy electrons and...
Using an experiment carried into space on a NASA suborbital rocket, astronomers have detected a diffuse cosmic glow that appears to represent more light than that produced by known galaxies in the universe. The researchers say the best explanation is that the cosmic light originates from stars that were stripped away from their parent galaxies and flung out into space as those galaxies collided and merged with other galaxies.
Projecting images on curved screens poses a dilemma. The sharper the image, the darker it is. A novel optical approach brings brightness and sharpness together for the first time on screens of any curvature — and additionally allows about 10,000-times faster projection rates. Researchers have applied a proven approach used with cameras.
In our vain struggle to kill flies, hands and swatters often come up lacking. This is due to no fault of our own, but rather to flies’ compound eyes. Arranged in a hexagonal, convex pattern, compound eyes consist of hundreds of optical units called ommatidia, which together bestow upon flies a nearly 360-degree field of vision. With this capability in mind, researchers are drawing on this structure to create miniature light-emitting devices
It may look like fresh blood and flow like fresh blood, but the longer blood is stored, the less it can carry oxygen into the tiny microcapillaries of the body. Using advanced optical techniques, the researchers measured the stiffness of the membrane surrounding red blood cells over time.
NASA's Voyager 2 spacecraft gave humanity its first glimpse of Neptune and its moon Triton in the summer of 1989. This picture of Neptune was produced from the last whole planet images taken through the green and orange filters on the Voyager 2 narrow angle camera. The images were taken on August 20, 1989, at a range of 4.4 million miles from the planet, 4 days and 20 hours before closest approach on August 25.
Taking center stage in this new NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope image is a galaxy known as NGC 3081, set against an assortment of glittering galaxies in the distance. Located in the constellation of Hydra (The Sea Serpent), NGC 3081 is located over 86 million light-years from us. It is known as a type II Seyfert galaxy, characterized by its dazzling nucleus.
NASA technologists have hurdled a number of significant challenges in their quest to improve a revolutionary observing technology originally created for the James Webb Space Telescope. This image shows a close-up view of the next-generation microshutter arrays — designed to accommodate the needs of future observatories — during the fabrication process.
What if computer screens had glasses instead of the people staring at the monitors? That concept is not too far afield from technology being developed by UC Berkeley computer and vision scientists. The researchers are developing computer algorithms to compensate for an individual’s visual impairment, and creating vision-correcting displays that enable users to see text and images clearly without wearing eyeglasses or contact lenses.
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