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.
Once, the only way to manipulate light was with the use of a transparent
glass or plastic lens whose shape and makeup determined such things as
magnification, and polarity. However, to incorporate all of these properties in
the one optical system required a large and complex collection of multiple
lenses to achieve. Now researchers working at NASA's Jet
Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) and the California Institute of Technology
(Caltech) have created a flat silicon metamaterial lens that manages all of these thing in a microminiaure device that electromagnetically controls the properties of any light passing it.
The use of sunlight as an energy source is achieved in a number of ways, from conversion to electricity via photovoltaic (PV) panels, concentrated heat to drive steam turbines, and even hydrogen generation via artificial photosynthesis. Unfortunately, much of the light energy in PV and photosynthesis systems is lost as heat due to the thermodynamic inefficiencies inherent in the process of converting the incoming energy from one form to another. Now scientists working at the University of Bayreuth claim to have created a super-efficient light-energy transport conduit that exhibits almost zero loss, and shows promise as the missing link in the sunlight to energy conversion process.
What if the light in the room could sense you waving your hand as you enter? And what if it responded by introducing minute light changes that instructed your smart coffee machine to switch on? Researchers at Dartmouth College have developed a sensing system called LiSense that aims to make the light around us "smart." Not only does it use light to sense people’s movements, but it also allows them to control devices in their environment with simple gestures, using light to transmit information.
Amplifying light a few hundred times with magnifying lenses is easy.
Amplifying light by altering the resonant properties of light itself is a much
more difficult proposition. However, if recent research by engineers at the
University of Wisconsin-Madison engineers is anything to go by, the effort is
well worth it: They claim to have constructed a nanoscale device that can emit
light as powerfully as an object more than 10,000 times its size.
Earlier this year, China's Sleepace successfully crowdfunded and shipped a 2 mm thick smart strap that lays on the bed and monitors a user's sleep time, heart rate and breathing, body movement and sleep cycles. The RestOn then sends the collected data to a companion app running on a Bluetooth-paired smartphone for analysis. Now the company has added a smart light to the system called the Nox, which works in conjunction with the RestOn to help monitor, track and improve sleep quality.
Using nanometer-size metamaterials, researchers at Missouri University of Science and Technology have developed a technique to print images that uses the manipulation of light, rather than the application of ink, to produce colors. This "no-ink" printing method has been demonstrated by producing a Missouri S&T athletic logo just 50 micrometers wide.
The GravityLight was designed to replace the use of kerosene lamps in the developing world. It uses a weight to drive a gear-train and generate electricity from the kinetic energy created. Now, a new version of this safe, cheap and convenient lighting solution has been created.
Researchers from Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tennessee have created the world's smallest continuous spirals. Made from gold, the spirals exhibit a set of very specific optical properties that would be difficult to fake, making them ideal for use in identity cards or other items where authenticity is paramount.
A team of MIT scientists has combined graphene with a second, similarly structured material, producing a hybrid that can wield significant control over light waves. The findings could have an impact in a number of fields, including efforts to utilize light in computing chips.