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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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— Wearable Electronics

Researchers create soft, weavable LED fibers for truly flexible wearable displays

Electronic displays for integration with clothing and textiles are a rapidly developing field in the realm of wearable electronics. However, flexible LEDs designed to form part of an elastic or deformable coating for clothing or apparel – even displays specifically designed to be directly bio-compatible – still rely on a hard substrate on which to layer the appropriate electroluminescent material. Now researchers at the Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST) have created a fiber-like LED that can be directly knitted or woven to form part of the fabric itself. Read More
— Science

Magnetism generated in non-magnetic metals

By subtly altering certain quantum interactions in matter, scientists from the University of Leeds have shown for the very first time how to generate magnetism in metals that aren’t normally magnetic. Synthetic magnets made using this technique may one day reduce our reliance on rare or toxic metals in such things as wind turbines, computer hard drives and magnetic field medical imaging devices.

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— Aircraft

Students rise to NASA electric aircraft design challenge

In a recent challenge issued by NASA, university students were asked to design an electric aircraft envisaged to enter service in the year 2020 and be commercially competitive with standard piston-engine craft. In response, the space agency received submissions from 20 universities across the United States that not only met the brief but, in many cases, went above and beyond to really the impress the judges. We take a look at the top five prize winners. Read More
— Electronics

World's highest-performance single-molecule diode created

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

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

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

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

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

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
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