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A rendering of the nanoantenna

Scientists at Houston’s Rice University have successfully increased the intensity of laser light a thousand-fold by shining it into a “nanoantenna.” At the heart of the device are two gold tips, separated by a gap measuring about a hundred-thousandth the width of a human hair. At the point where it passed through that gap, the light was “grabbed” and concentrated. Condensed matter physicist Doug Natelson believes that the technology could be useful in the development of tools for optics and chemical/biological sensing, with applications in industrial safety, defense and homeland security.  Read More

A technique called 'photoacoustic infrared spectroscopy' is being used to assist in art re...

DaVinci, Caravaggio, VanGogh and Monet are just a few of the artists whose works attract thousands of visitors every year. However these paintings often suffer from damage due to aging and exposure to the elements. What once was a masterpiece on a church ceiling or wall often requires a highly skilled restoration team to return it to its original form – a process which is being aided by researchers at McGill University in Quebec, who have used a technique called "photoacoustic infrared spectroscopy" to identify the composition of pigments used in art works.  Read More

Didn't Uncle Fester do this years ago?

Now here's something we've never seen before – a rechargeable lightglobe. Chinese company Magic Bulb has patented a new type of device which incorporates a battery and LED lightblobe to produce a lightglobe which uses only 4 watts but produces the equivalent light of a traditional 50W globe. If the power fails, the globe will keep running for around three hours or it can be screwed out of its socket and the handle extended to turn it into a bright torch.  Read More

The coupling of evanescence waves is key to obtaining higher-efficiency LEDs

One of the biggest challenges in creating a better light-emitting diode (LED) is the search for a way to efficiently extract the light generated in the semiconductor device into the surrounding air, while avoiding the internal light reflection that is cause for a considerable waste of energy. A team of Japanese researchers have recently managed to achieve just that, in what is believed to be a huge step toward significantly more energy-efficient LEDs.  Read More

Eric Glowacki, one of the membrane's inventors, is pictured holding the membrane that chan...

Colored lights have been controlling the flow of motorists since the first traffic light was installed in 1868 in London. Now scientists have developed a membrane that uses colored light to control the flow of gas. The membrane blocks gas from flowing through it when one color of light is shined on its surface, and permits gas to flow through when another color of light is used. The technology could be useful in research applications and controlled drug delivery as well as industrial processing tanks that require the ability to turn the flow of gas on and off safely.  Read More

A gold light mill nanomotor embedded in a 300 nanometers-thick square-shaped silica microd...

OK, first of all, what’s a light mill? It’s a simple rotary motor consisting of four flat vanes mounted to a central axis, which spins when subjected to light. Light mills have been around since 1873, mostly just as novelty items, and have pretty much always been at least a few inches tall. Less than a week ago, however, scientists at California’s Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory announced the creation of a light mill just 100 nanometers in size. Unlike its bigger brothers, this tiny device might actually have some very practical applications.  Read More

Philips LivingColors lamp helps you create the right atmosphere for any occasion

Ever wonder why your date prefers to dine out rather than at your house, or your pal suggests watching the game at a bar? Could it be that your home lighting is just not cutting it in the atmosphere stakes? The Phillips LivingColors LED lamp offers an almost infinite number of lighting colors to reflect your mood or the occasion. With a touch of the color wheel you can instantly change the color of a room to invoke the required atmosphere…just remember that the shade that works for your date may not be what you would choose for your pal! Oh, and if you don’t think your mood changes enough to warrant 16 million colors, there’s a mini version that offers a mere 256 colors.  Read More

Ferris WheeLED keeps you simultaneously safe and stylin'

Most cyclists will attach some form of light or reflector to their bicycles when riding at night, but Japanese company PIAA has created a light that's pretty mesmerizing to look at as well. By attaching the Ferris WheeLED to your wheel spokes, you transform your bike into a veritable mobile light show. Twelve different design patterns can be created as a result of varying flash sequences.  Read More

First green LED means a lighting revolution is fast approaching

When scientists at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) tried to apply their expertise in solar cell technology to build a green LED light from the ground up, they surprisingly centered the objective at their very first try. In doing so they solved a long-standing technological problem and paved the way for the large-scale employment of white LEDs for public and domestic illumination over the course of the next few years.  Read More

A window frame and stirring branches projected by Adam Frank's REVEAL

Just the other day we brought you the story of SUNLIGHT, an art project featuring a giant solar-powered projection of the sun. It was designed and is being installed by Brooklyn artist Adam Frank. Upon looking over Mr Frank’s website we found an interesting little projector-type thingy-ma-jig that you can set up right in your own home. It’s called REVEAL, and it simulates the sun-cast shadows of a window frame and swaying tree branches on your inside walls. Just the thing for that dingy basement office.  Read More

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