Technology News

Sunday, May 18, 2014 - 12:00

The new research, published in Nature Photonics, shows for the first time how Breit and Wheeler's theory could be proven in practice. This 'photon-photon collider', which would convert light directly into matter using technology that is already available, would be a new type of high-energy physics experiment. This experiment would recreate a process that was important in the first 100 seconds of the universe and that is also seen in gamma ray bursts, which are the biggest explosions in the universe and one of physics' greatest unsolved mysteries.


Friday, May 16, 2014 - 10:04

Over the past three years, researchers in the Camera Culture group at the MIT Media Lab have steadily refined a design for a glasses-free, multiperspective, 3-D video screen, which they hope could provide a cheaper, more practical alternative to holographic video in the short term. Now they’ve designed a projector that exploits the same technology, which they’ll unveil at this year’s Siggraph, the major conference in computer graphics.


Tuesday, May 13, 2014 - 08:51

A promising material is lining itself up as a candidate for a quantum memory. A team at the Max Planck Institute for the Science of Light in Erlangen is the first to succeed in performing high-resolution spectroscopy and microscopy on individual rare earth ions in a crystal. With the aid of ingenious laser and microscopy technology they determined the position of triply charged positive praseodymium atoms (Pr3+) in an yttrium orthosilicate to within a few nanometres and investigated their weak interaction with light.


Monday, May 5, 2014 - 10:45

Terahertz imaging, which is already familiar from airport security checkpoints, has a number of other promising applications — from explosives detection to collision avoidance in cars. Like sonar or radar, terahertz imaging produces an image by comparing measurements across an array of sensors. Those arrays have to be very dense, since the distance between sensors is proportional to wavelength.


Wednesday, April 30, 2014 - 09:12

Researchers around the world have been working to harness the unusual properties of graphene, a two-dimensional sheet of carbon atoms. But graphene lacks one important characteristic that would make it even more useful: a property called a bandgap, which is essential for making devices such as computer chips and solar cells.


Tuesday, April 29, 2014 - 15:12

Researchers Jun Lou at Rice and Ting Zhu at Georgia Tech have measured the fracture toughness of imperfect graphene for the first time and found it to be somewhat brittle. While it’s still very useful, graphene is really only as strong as its weakest link, which they determined to be “substantially lower” than the intrinsic strength of graphene. The researchers reported in the journal Nature Communications the results of tests in which they physically pulled graphene apart to see how much force it would take. Specifically, they wanted to see if graphene follows the century-old Griffith theory that quantifies the useful strength of brittle materials.