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Brian Dodson

View of MIT's new neutron microscope looking back along the beam path (Photo: MIT)

Neutrons have a set of unique properties that make them better suited than light, electrons, or x-rays for looking at the physics and chemistry going on inside an object. Scientists working out of MIT's Nuclear Reactor Laboratory have now invented and built a high-resolution neutron microscope, a feat that required developing new approaches to neutron optics.  Read More

The 50 mpg-rated 2014 Accord Hybrid

Set to hit US showrooms at the end of the month, Honda's new Accord Hybrid milks enough fuel efficiency from its hybrid powertrain and tiny 1.3 kWh lithium-ion battery pack to achieve 50 mpg (4.5 l/100km).  Read More

Final launch of SpaceX Grasshopper v1.0 test bed for reusable Falcon 9 first stage (Photo:...

SpaceX made another successful Grasshopper flight last week, which was also the last flight for Grasshopper v1.0. Its swan song lasted some 80 seconds, during which time Grasshopper reached an altitude of 744 meters (nearly half a mile), more than twice the previous record. Grasshopper v1.1 is well along the road to flight tests.  Read More

Fused quartz acceleration grating for the Stanford-SLAC dielectric laser electron accelera...

If Angus MacGyver was a particle physicist, he might face a challenge like this: Take a femtosecond laser and a fused quartz grating and make the world's most powerful particle accelerator. Despite the apparent incongruity of the resources and the goal, researchers at the US Department of Energy’s SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory and Stanford University have fabricated a proof-of-principle electron accelerator using just such equipment. In the demonstration, electrons from a 60 MeV beam saw a force of acceleration about ten times greater than possible in a conventional accelerator.  Read More

Spin Chill's Beerouette flash-chilling a bottle of beer (Photo: Spin Chill) Since the earliest days of brewing beer and making wine, the search has been on for an easy, affordable method of chilling drinks quickly without diluting them in the process. Florida-based start-up Spin Chill claims to have a solution to this vexing problem with a portable device that (literally) turns beverages ice cold in 60 seconds.  Read More

Not the TALOS combat suit (Photo: HarshLight)

The US Navy's top SEAL, four-star Admiral William McRaven, is pushing hard for a modern suit of armor called the Tactical Assault Light Operator Suit (TALOS). Though not exactly an Iron Man suit, it's that ballpark. As a result, a Broad Agency Announcement has now been issued seeking proposals and research in support of the design, construction, and testing of TALOS, with a basic version hopefully seeing service within three years.  Read More

The BIG UltraHaptics system hardware, showing the phased array ultrasonic emitter and its ...

Holodeck, anyone? Researchers at Bristol University are developing a system known as UltraHaptics that uses ultrasonic force fields to project the tactile sensations of objects in midair. Currently used for a haptic computer interface, the system might eventually enable touchable holograms.  Read More

The 2013 Nobel Laureates in Chemistry (Photo: Harvard, Stanford, and University of Souther...

The Nobel Prize in Chemistry has been awarded to Martin Karplus, Michael Levitt, and Arieh Warshel for the development of multi-scale computer models of chemical reactions. Such computational chemical models are now the foundation for protein, enzyme, and pharmaceutical research, and combine a classical description of the motion and structure of large molecules with a quantum description of the regions within the molecule where a reaction takes place.  Read More

A high purity titanium bar (Photo: Heinrich Pniok) Researchers at Case Western Reserve University (CWRU) have been selected by ARPA-E, the US government's Advanced Research Projects Agency - Energy, to carry out a one year project aimed at developing a low cost method to obtain titanium metal from its ore. It is thought that the process could lower the cost of the metal by up to 60 percent.  Read More

The Nobel Medal awaits Francois Englert and Peter Higgs, winners of the 2013 Nobel Prize i...

Following a last-minute delay, physicists Francois Englert and Peter Higgs were today jointly awarded the 2013 Nobel Prize in Physics for their independent formulation of the Higgs mechanism, which supplies fundamental particles with mass. Their theory was recently validated by the discovery of a Higgs boson at CERN's Large Hadron Collider.  Read More

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