Highlights from the 2015 Geneva Motor Show

Laser

Researchers at the University of California claim to have successfully created a roton str...

Helium-4 superfluid is a fascinating substance. With properties that seemingly defy normal physics, it leaks straight through glass, bubbles up out of containers, flows around objects and even climbs up walls. As if superfluid helium-4 was not strange enough, in 1941 it was also predicted that it should contain an exotic, particle-like excitation – a quasiparticle – called a roton. After many years of trying to verify this prediction, researchers at the University of California now claim to have successfully created a roton structure in an atomic superfluid of cesium-133.  Read More

GE's new Laser MicroJet drilling holes in high-pressure turbine blades (Photo: GE Aviation...

Turbine blades for use in jet engines need to be made of a hard, unyielding exotic material made to exact specifications, which means the drilling of tiny cooling holes in the blades runs the risk of ruining them. To prevent this from happening, GE is combining the heat of the laser beam with the cooling of the water jet to drill holes without weakening the blades.  Read More

A prototype optical antenna from Berkeley Lab may see lasers replaced with LEDs in short-r...

By applying 120 year old radio frequency antenna theory to the much newer field of photonics, researchers at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory claim to have produced a prototype optical antenna that increases the intensity of emission from a nanorod light source by more than 115 times. This technique may offer the opportunity to replace power-hungry lasers in short-range optical communications devices with enhanced low-power LEDs.  Read More

A new micro-ring resonator produces a stream of entangled photons on a microchip (Image: U...

The quantum entanglement of particles, such as photons, is a prerequisite for the new and future technologies of quantum computing, telecommunications, and cyber security. Real-world applications that take advantage of this technology, however, will not be fully realized until devices that produce such quantum states leave the realms of the laboratory and are made both small and energy efficient enough to be embedded in electronic equipment. In this vein, European scientists have created and installed a tiny "ring-resonator" on a microchip that is claimed to produce copious numbers of entangled photons while using very little power to do so.  Read More

A germanium-tin laser prototype has the potential for providing super-fast light-based dat...

Swiss scientists have created the first semiconductor laser consisting solely of elements of main group IV (the carbon group) on the periodic table. Simply, this means that the new device is directly compatible with other elements in that group – such as silicon, carbon, and lead – and so can be directly incorporated in a silicon chip as it is manufactured. This presents new possibilities for transmitting data around computer chips using light, which could result in potential transfer speeds exponentially faster than possible with copper wire and using only a fraction of the energy of today’s integrated circuits.  Read More

A new laser-based technique renders metal super-hydrophobic without the need for a chemica...

With the help of very high-power laser beams, researchers at the University of Rochester have created micro and nanostructures that turn metals black and make their surfaces very easy to keep clean and dry. The advance could help prevent icing and rust, collect heat more effectively and perhaps even translate to other materials, leading to water-repelling electronics.  Read More

A new kind of 3D display designed for large-scale displays sends beams of light directly t...

Using red/blue filters (anaglyph), polarized (passive) or LED shutter (active) glasses are relatively simple ways of creating a 3D effect. Creating 3D pictures without viewers having to don any form of eyewear is a little trickier and is made even more so if you want really big 3D effects for a sports stadium or a billboard. To help address this, Austrian scientists working at the Vienna University of Technology (TU Vienna) and the company TriLite Technologies have developed a new kind of display just for this purpose that sends beams of light directly to the viewers’ eyes via a laser and a sophisticated mirror system.  Read More

Imagine laser tag with a million players – with iTager, it's theoretically possible

Imagine laser tag with a million players all on the one battlefield. It's ridiculous to even think about, but the creators of iTager claim that their system makes it possible. It's a ground-up reimagining and re-engineering of laser tag replete with fully-wireless, remote-controllable systems that work in all weather conditions over a whopping 2,500 ft (760 m) and that can easily be mounted onto existing laser tag weapons (or even your hand or a bicycle) or purchased preinstalled on rifles the creators made themselves.  Read More

Sailors aboard the Mary Rose were suffering from rickets according to new analysis using l...

Lasers have been used to analyze the bones of sailors who drowned when the Royal Navy warship the Mary Rose sank in 1545. The new non-destructive technique carried out by the Royal National Orthopaedic Hospital in Stanmore, North London, shows that the men suffered from rickets, shedding new light on nutrition in Tudor England.  Read More

The deployment of the laser weapon is a first for the US Navy (Photo: US Navy/John F. Will...

The laser goes from the weapon of tomorrow to the weapon of today as the US Navy announces the completion of its successful deployment of the Office of Naval Research's (ONR) Laser Weapon System (LaWS). The deployment is the first on a US Naval vessel and took place on the USS Ponce (LPD-15) in the Arabian Gulf from September to November of this year.  Read More

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