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Colin Jeffrey

Colin Jeffrey

Colin discovered technology at an early age, pulling apart clocks, radios, and the family TV. Despite his father's remonstrations that he never put anything back together, Colin went on to become an electronics engineer. Later he decided to get a degree in anthropology, and used that to do all manner of interesting things masquerading as work. Even later he took up sculpting, moved to the coast, and never learned to surf.

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— Electronics

World's highest-performance single-molecule diode created

By - August 3, 2015 3 Pictures

As electronics miniaturization heads towards a theoretical physical limit in the tens of nanometers, new methods of manufacturing are required to produce transistors, diodes, and other fundamental electronic components. In this vein, a new range of molecule-sized devices have been created in the laboratory, though with varying results in terms of efficiency and practicality. Now a group of researchers from Berkeley Lab and Columbia University claims to have created the highest-performing, single-molecule diode ever made, which is said to be 50 times better in performance and efficiency than anything previously produced.

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— Science

Nanoscale device emits light as bright as an object 10,000 times its size

By - July 28, 2015 1 Picture

Amplifying light a few hundred times with magnifying lenses is easy. Amplifying light by altering the resonant properties of light itself is a much more difficult proposition. However, if recent research by engineers at the University of Wisconsin-Madison engineers is anything to go by, the effort is well worth it: They claim to have constructed a nanoscale device that can emit light as powerfully as an object more than 10,000 times its size.

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— Science

Massless particle discovery could radically accelerate electronics

By - July 20, 2015 3 Pictures
An exotic particle theorized more than 85 years ago has finally been discovered. Dubbed the "Weyl fermion", it is a strange but stable particle that has no mass, behaves as both matter and anti-matter inside a crystal, and is claimed to be able to create completely massless electrons. Scientists believe that this new particle may result in super-fast electronics and significant inroads into novel areas of quantum computing. Read More
— Science

Quantum dots and perovskite combined to create new hyper-efficient light-emitting crystal

By - July 16, 2015 2 Pictures

Two optoelectronic materials getting a lot of press these days are perovskite and quantum dots. Both have been individually utilized by researchers to boost sunlight conversion to electrical current in solar cells, and to increase the efficacy of electrically-generated light. Now engineers at the University of Toronto (U of T) have combined both of these materials to create an ultra-efficient, super-luminescent hybrid crystal that they say will enable new records in power-to-light conversion efficiencies.

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— Aircraft

Flying replica set to fulfill Bugatti's radical aircraft dream

By - July 14, 2015 7 Pictures
When we think of Bugatti, we generally think of classic sportscars like the T13 and modern day supercars such as the all-conquering Veyron. However, back in the late 1930s, Ettore Bugatti also set out to build racing aircraft. In 1937 he began construction on a radical machine that had a swept-forward wing design, a twin-V tailplane, and twin contra-rotating propellers powered by two Bugatti straight-eight engines. Unfortunately, the Second World War broke out just before the aircraft was completed and Bugatti had to flee Paris, taking his creation with him. Today a group of dedicated enthusiasts are recreating Bugatti's dream and building a replica that, unlike the original, will soon take to the skies. Read More
— Automotive

Unique Lamborghini Gallardo S concept heads to auction

By - July 13, 2015 7 Pictures
The original Lamborghini Gallardo is a mesmerizing and eminently collectible piece of automotive art. The work of Luc Donckerwolke, Lamborghini's head of design, its sweeping lines, aggressive stance, and stylish good looks made it instantly recognizable as an Italian luxury supercar. But Donckerwolke, ever the designer, aimed to wring even more outrageous looks from the Gallardo when he tinkered with his original blueprints to produce the Gallardo S concept; a radical, split-cockpit roadster that thrilled at its first showing in Geneva in 2005. Now, after nearly a decade in the hands of one owner, this Italian sportscar icon is going to auction. Read More
— Telecommunications

LED lightbulbs create wireless networks wherever they are installed

By - July 9, 2015 2 Pictures
Various researchers have created ways to transmit wireless information from LED light fittings, to act as a form of enhancement to Wi-Fi based networks known as "Li-Fi." But now engineers at the University of Virginia (U.Va) have come up with a new twist on this theme – they claim to have created an algorithm that makes almost any device fitted with standard visible- light LEDs able to communicate with other equipment with similar LEDs. So, for example, the LED headlights in your car could communicate to the car in front of you through its LED taillights, or the LED display in your clock radio could tell the coffee maker to turn on via its indicator light. Read More
— Space

UK consortium proposes mission to provide five-day warning of solar storms

By - July 8, 2015 3 Pictures
Solar storms – or Coronal mass ejections (CMEs) – are caused by the sudden release of built-up magnetic stress in the Sun's atmosphere. On Earth, we see the results of small versions of these when plasma streaming from the sun strikes our upper atmosphere and creates the Northern and Southern Lights (the Aurora Borealis and the Aurora Australis). Sometimes, however, these ruptures can be inordinately large and have the potential to wreak havoc on orbiting satellites, radio networks, and national power grids. In an effort to be prepared well in advance of such events, a UK consortium has proposed a satellite system that can provide as much as five days warning of potentially damaging CMEs. Read More
— Automotive

One and only Maserati Boomerang concept headed for auction

By - July 5, 2015 15 Pictures

With low profiles, origami-like angles, and razor-sharp contours, the wedge-shaped supercars of the 1970s were the epitome of outrageous automotive style. Whilst the likes of the Lamborghini Countach, the Lotus Esprit, and the BMW M1 were the on-road embodiment of this ethos, the Maserati Boomerang concept car that preceded them took this style to the limit. Now, more than 40 years after it made its first appearance, this one-off automotive icon will be offered for sale by auction.

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