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Fiber

A piece of the boron-nitride nanotube yarn

Not satisfied with your Kevlar body armor? Well, you may be in luck. American researchers have used lasers to create the world’s first practical macroscopic yarns from boron nitride fibers. The development could unlock the potential of the material for a wide variety of applications, including radiation-shielding for spacecraft, solar energy collection, and stronger body armor. If the supplied photo is anything to go by, it also does a great job at holding up a quarter.  Read More

NEPTUNE Canada: A rock fish at Folger Pinnacle

Deep-sea research is great and everything, but man, those submersibles can get pretty cramped. The other, bigger problem is that it requires going off and traveling on a ship, which is costly and can therefore only be done a few times a year. Fortunately, however, there’s now a way of obtaining real-time undersea data without leaving your office. NEPTUNE Canada, the world’s largest and most advanced cabled seafloor observatory, officially started going live to the Internet last December, giving anyone with an Internet connection free access to what will become an absolute mountain of data from the bottom of the sea.  Read More

The silica nanoparticle coating changes the surface of the wool to make it more water abso...

Already regarded as a “wonder fabric” for its lightness, softness, warmth even when wet, and other qualities, scientists from China say they have been able to improve on the natural properties of wool. They say their discovery could give wool a “brain,” placing it among other “smart” fabrics that shake off wrinkles, shrinkage and “breathe” to release perspiration.  Read More

Scientists at the University of Adelaide, Australia, have devised a way to squeeze light b...

Scientists at the University of Adelaide, Australia, have put the squeeze on light. By discovering that light within optical fibers can be squeezed into much tighter spaces than was previously believed possible, the researchers at the University's Institute for Photonics and Advanced Sensing (IPAS) have claimed a breakthrough that could change the world's thinking on light’s capabilities, especially when it comes to its use in telecommunications, such as fiber-to-the-home (FTTH), computing and other light sources.  Read More

Zhong Lin Wang holds a prototype three-dimensional solar cell that could allow PV systems ...

The photovoltaic (PV) panels adorning the rooftops of buildings around the world have become a visible sign of the shift towards environmentally friendly solar power. Now researchers have developed a new type of three-dimensional PV system using optical fiber that promises solar generators that are foldable, concealed and mobile, meaning they could be hidden from view and leave rooftops panel-free.  Read More

The principle of optical Orthogonal Frequency-Division Multiplexing (oOFDM)

A new technology that applies the same principles used by ADSL to improve the capacity of data transfer over copper and wireless broadband could potentially increase the data capacity of optical fiber cables tenfold. It’s creators say the technology, known as optical Orthogonal Frequency-Division Multiplexing (oOFDM), offers an inexpensive way drastically boost the capacity of increasingly strained broadband networks and improve download times around the world.  Read More

SEM micrographs of the fiber show the uniform arrangement of the cross-section structure f...

Imagine that instead of carrying a camera in your jacket pocket, your entire jacket was the camera. That is the promise of a new type of light-detecting fibers developed by researchers at MIT. The team from the Institute's Department of Materials Science and Engineering (DMSE) has developed light-detecting fibers that, when woven into a web, act as a flexible “camera”. Fabric made from these fibers could be joined to a computer to create a large, foldable telescope or made into a soldier’s uniform to provide greater situational awareness.  Read More

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