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Dario Borghino

Electronics

Micro-supercapacitors store energy directly inside a chip

Batteries are getting better at a steady pace, but the technology is far from perfect – they are still quite short-lived, and have real trouble delivering bursts of power. Now, researchers at Drexel and the Paul Sabatier universities have managed to embed mini supercapacitors directly inside a microchip to enable electronics that are even smaller, last longer, and have more power to feed on.Read More

Space

First analysis of Earth-sized planet's atmosphere reveals surprises

Using instrumentation aboard the Hubble Space Telescope, astronomers have been able for the first time to detect and analyze the atmospheric composition of a distant super-Earth (a planet roughly the size of our own). The findings show that the planet's atmosphere is rich in hydrogen, carbon and helium, giving scientists important clues as to how such planets might have formed and evolved.Read More

Materials

Chance discovery puts graphene electronics closer to mass production

We've heard plenty on the wonderful properties of graphene, but the supermaterial par excellence still hasn't found its way to commercial products because it is too delicate for real-world conditions. Now, in a lucky and perhaps game-changing discovery, scientists at the Brookhaven National Laboratory (BNL) have found that placing graphene on top of common industrial-grade glass is a cheap and effective way of making it resilient and tunable, paving the way for the production of graphene-based electronics on a large scale.Read More

Materials

Liquid-like graphene could be the key to understanding black holes

Researchers at Harvard University and Raytheon BBN Technology have discovered that the charged particles inside high-purity graphene behave as a fluid with relativistic properties. This find could lead to devices that efficiently convert heat into electricity, as well as graphene-based chips that can accurately model the behavior of faraway celestial objects like supernovas and black holes.Read More

Materials

Laser pulses keep superconductors working at higher temperatures

An international team of scientists led by the Max Planck Institute in Hamburg, Germany, has found a new mechanism allowing superconducting materials to maintain their properties at much higher temperatures than was previously possible. The advance brings the dream of mainstream maglev trains and highly energy-efficient electronics a little closer to reality.Read More

Computers

"Social AI" lets Mario and Luigi learn how to save the princess on their own

Old-school gamers will fondly remember the effort it took them to master a new Super Mario level, but thanks to a new development in artificial intelligence the pixelated Italian plumber and his friends are now teaming up to do the job themselves. Researchers from the University of Tübingen in Germany have developed an algorithm that allows videogame characters to learn from each other in human-like ways through observation and imitation, letting agents collaborate to reach a common goal. Future applications could include intelligent social support systems and swarms of modular robots that learn to perform complex actions on little human instruction.Read More

Environment

Cheaper, longer-lasting perovskite solar cells could be on the way

Perovskite solar cells are one of the most exciting green energy technologies to emerge in recent years, combining low cost with high energy conversion rates. Now, researchers at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Lausanne (EPFL) have found a way to cut their cost even further by developing a charge-carrying material that is much cheaper, highly efficient, and could even help address the technology's current major weakness by significantly lengthening the lifespan of the panels.Read More

Computers

New algorithm helps machines learn as quickly as humans

An artificial intelligence breakthrough from the universities of New York, Toronto and MIT is showcasing the impressive ability of artificial intelligence to learn visual concepts in a single shot and manipulate them in human-like ways. The advance could lead to smarter phones, much-improved speech recognition, and computers that better understand the world around them.Read More

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