In a large complex located at Greifswald in the north-east corner of Germany, sits a new and unusual nuclear fusion reactor awaiting a few final tests before being powered-up for the very first time. Dubbed the Wendelstein 7-x fusion stellarator, it has been more than 15 years in the making and is claimed to be so magnetically efficient that it will be able to continuously contain super-hot plasma in its enormous magnetic field for more than 30 minutes at a time. If successful, this new reactor may help realize the long-held goal of continuous operation essential for the success of nuclear fusion power generation.
An intriguing photo projection system uses only black images and a prism to project full-color imagery. The collaboration between Dartmouth College and Disney Research Zürich could result in future systems that dynamically trade off color fidelity, efficiency, and resolution to create full-color projections.
Our sense of touch is made possible thanks to thousands of "mechanoreceptors," which are distributed throughout our skin. The more pressure that's applied to one of these sensors, the more electrical pulses it sends to the brain, thus increasing the tactile sensation that we experience. Led by Prof. Zhenan Bao, scientists at Stanford University have now created synthetic skin that contains electronic mechanoreceptors, which could give prosthetic limbs or robots a sense of touch.
New findings from a team of geochemists at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) indicate that life on our home planet started hundreds of millions of years earlier than previously thought. The discovery was made when looking at ancient zircon crystals, and could change our understanding of early Earth.
A team from the US Department of Energy's Lawrence Berkeley National
Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) has created a 2D laser just one molecule thick that promises to make significant
advances in ultra-compact photonic components for the likes of quantum
computers and the next generation of optoelectronic devices.
When liquids stick to steel for long enough, the steel corrodes or becomes contaminated. Unfortunately, however, porous surface coatings that repel liquids also tend to make steel weaker … until now, that is. Scientists at Harvard University have recently discovered that their existing SLIPS (Slippery Liquid Porous Surfaces) technology not only causes liquids to roll right off, but it actually makes steel stronger.
Most fingerprint scanners work the same way – the pad of the finger is pressed against the scanner’s glass surface, light is shone through the glass onto it, and the light that’s reflected back by the minuscule valleys between the print’s ridges is used to create an image of the print. It’s a system that’s usually effective, although it can fail to read prints that have been flattened by age or damaged, plus it can be fooled by gelatine casts of fingerprints. That’s why scientists from the Paris-based Langevin Institute have developed a more reliable scanner, that looks below the skin's surface.
A new MIT study has delved into harbor seals' ability to sense and follow prey with impressive accuracy. The research involved building a large-scale version of the little antennas, and the results could prove useful for man-made sensors.
Like every other team currently taking part in the World Solar Challenge, an arduous 3,000 km solar-powered race across the Australian outback, the University of Michigan Solar Car Team will look to keep its car chugging along by exposing it to as much sunlight as possible. But the UM team has brought along a little piece of added technology it hopes will offer an edge. Developed by IBM, the solar forecasting system tracks the clouds moving overhead so the team knows where they need to be and when to draw maximum energy from the sun.
A study conducted by Dartmouth College has delved further than ever before into the authenticity of the infamous backyard photograph of John F. Kennedy assassin, Lee Harvey Oswald. Specifically, the team analyzed Oswald's pose in the picture – something that's long been a point of controversy.