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Laser

Music

Hand-made guitar dials in MIDI effects with the wave of a hand

Electric guitars that have MIDI control cooked in aren't exactly a new idea, as evidenced by the now up for pre-order Expressiv Infinity Guitar. Heck, even acoustic guitars are muscling into MIDI territory courtesy of the upcoming ACPAD controller. But controlling effects by waving a hand in front of a laser isn't something you see every day. That's precisely what's on offer with one of the three new hand-made Drop guitars from Lithuania's Lava.Read More

Science

Inside a photon prison, a light-and-matter hybrid is born

Scientists at Cambridge University and the Imperial College London have trapped photons inside a tiny gold cavity, forcing it to interact with matter to form a hybrid state. This unique mixture – or "strong coupling" – of light and matter, achieved for the first time at room temperature, will help scientists develop better on-chip communications, manipulate quantum information, or even tweak the chemical bonds of single molecules.Read More

Science

Sound waves used to boost intensity of light on a silicon chip

Using a newly-developed waveguide, scientists at Yale have created a method to significantly increase the power of laser light on a silicon chip by boosting it with sound waves. The researchers believe that this new device could have practical uses in commercial technologies, including more efficient fiber-optic communications and better data signal processing. Read More

Electronics

Tiny lasers on silicon means big things for electronics

Silicon forms the basis of everything from solar cells to the integrated circuits at the heart of our modern electronic gadgets. However the laser, one of the most ubiquitous of all electronic devices today, has long been one component unable to be successfully replicated in this material. Now researchers have found a way to create microscopically-small lasers directly from silicon, unlocking the possibilities of direct integration of photonics on silicon and taking a significant step towards light-based computersRead More

Electronics

Disposable laser produced with inkjet printing tech

Most of the lasers used in items such as DVD players or optical mice are inorganic. They last much longer than organic lasers (which utilize carbon-based materials to amplify light), but they're also comparatively expensive and complex to make, plus their range of wavelengths is limited. Developing more durable organic lasers would be one way of addressing the situation, but a European research team has come up with another – just make them really cheap and easily-replaceable.Read More

Automotive Feature

Behind the scenes at GE's future-forward factory

It feels like a scene from a movie. I'm standing in the lobby of a brand-new research facility where video screens set in large circular stands beam the company's achievements from their high-res flat screens. Behind glass panels, engineers in slacks and button-down shirts are busy working lasers, monitoring a robot and generally doing engineer-like things. This is GE's brand-new Advanced Manufacturing Works (AMW) in Greenville, South Carolina. It's the company's first in the world and Gizmag got inside to take a sneak peek.Read More

Physics

World's smallest engine powered by a single atom

A team of German physicists has just created the world's smallest working engine. Powered by a single electrically-charged calcium atom, the new device is claimed to have the equivalent thermodynamic efficiency (if scaled to size) of an average automobile engine. Basically a heat-exchange engine, its single-atom acts as both fuel and powerplant and is heated by electrical noise and cooled by laser beam.Read More

Space

Activate cloaking device: Hiding Earth from unfriendly aliens using lasers

In recent years, mankind has become very good at finding other planets. Using instruments like the Kepler Space Telescope, scientists have, to date, discovered over 2,000 planets outside our Solar System, but what if some of those planets are inhabited by beings we'd rather not talk to, much less have drop in? Just in case any potential visitors are less ET and more Aliens, a pair of Columbia University scientists have figured out how to use lasers to hide the Earth from prying eyes by camouflaging its light signature.Read More

Space Feature

Reaching for the stars: How lasers could propel spacecraft to relativistic speeds

How do you send man-made probes to a nearby star? According to NASA-funded research at the University of California, Santa Barbara (UCSB), the answer is simple: assemble a laser array the size of Manhattan in low Earth orbit, and use it to push tiny probes to 26 percent the speed of light. Though the endeavour may raise a few eyebrows, it relies on well-established science – and recent technological breakthroughs have put it within our reach.Read More

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