Highlights from the 2014 LA Auto Show

Magnetic

Electrical engineering student David Levi is about to embark on the first production run o...

It's taken almost three years and has seen a number of prototype revisions, but David Levi's Magnetic Cello is finally getting ready for its first production run. Looking like a minimalist version of the acoustic instrument on which it is based, the instrument features a single resistive ribbon on the neck to alter the pitch of a note and a huge, visible coil at the bridge end. Instead of a horsehair bow, the player uses a magnetic rod to induce a voltage in the coil, which is then transformed into a frequency and fed through to the unit's voltage-controlled amplifier. The bow has a small switch at the thumb position which allows the player to select virtual strings.  Read More

LapelEau keeps your hydration tube in place

The LapelEau is a rather fancy name for a very simple product. It's a small, low profile retention line for your hydration bladder hose. It keeps the bladder hose accessible but out of the way.  Read More

Fraunhofer's external transmitter, which is paired with an internal mobile generator

When it comes to implantable electronic devices such as pacemakers, biosensors or drug-delivery devices, there are a few options regarding power sources. While batteries could be used in some applications, doing so would require surgically replacing the implant when its battery runs out. Radio wave-based and inductive systems are instead often used, in which power is “beamed” to the device from a source outside the body. According to researchers from Germany’s Fraunhofer Institute for Ceramic Technologies and Systems, however, such systems often have a limited range, and are easily affected by factors such as location, position and movement. Instead, they’ve developed what they claim is a better, more versatile system.  Read More

The 1.2 gigawatt motor-generator system which powers the outer coils on the LANL 100 Tesla...

Round performance numbers aren't necessarily important milestones, but they do exude an undeniable aura of accomplishment. This was the case when researchers at Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL) used their largest pulsed magnet to crack the 100 Tesla mark (roughly 2 million times larger than the Earth's magnetic field) by generating a 100.75 Tesla magnetic pulse without damaging the magnet.  Read More

Casco CX helmet with goggles

It seems that ski goggle manufacturers like to tinker around with magnets. Earlier this winter, Anon previewed its upcoming Magne-Tech magnetic lens technology. Now we've stumbled upon a European eyewear manufacturer that uses goggle magnets for a different application. Casco's Magne-Link goggles streamline goggle-helmet compatibility.  Read More

A newly-developed magnetic soap could be used to minimize the environmental impact of oil ...

When oil gets spilled in a waterway, clean-up crews will often introduce a solution known as a surfactant. This is a detergent that lessens the surface tension between the water and the overlaying oil slick, causing the oil to form into individual droplets which then sink or get dispersed by wave action. Unfortunately, such detergents aren’t entirely environmentally-friendly themselves, so the use of them on oil spills has been criticized as simply replacing one pollutant with another. Now, however, scientists from the University of Bristol have created a magnetic soap, that could be removed from the water once it had done its job.  Read More

Recent demonstration of quantum levitation during the 2011 Association of Science- Technol...

Maglev trains have been in development since before Luke Skywalker drove his first Land Speeder but, like personal rocket packs, the idea of levitating transport is taking a while to catch on. While this "quantum levitation" demonstration shown by the superconductivity group at Tel Aviv University at the 2011 ASTC annual conference in Baltimore doesn't mean we'll all be floating to work anytime soon, it does remind us of the amazing potential of this kind of technology.  Read More

A diagram depicting Tao's system for thinning blood using magnetic fields (Image: Temple U...

Overly-viscous blood can damage blood vessels and lead to heart attacks. Therefore, people who are at risk of heart attacks take medications such as Aspirin, in order to thin their blood. Such drugs can have unpleasant side effects, however, and can only be taken a certain number of times per day. Prof. Rongjia Tao, a physicist from Philadelphia's Temple University, now thinks he might have come up with a better way of thinning human blood - he subjects it to magnetic fields.  Read More

B-Squares are flat electronic modules that can be joined together in different configurati...

Connecting blocks are one of the all-time greatest types of toys. Unfortunately, when we grow up, many of us seem to think that it’s silly to make stuff just for the sake of making it – we still enjoy putting things together, but they have to be functional. That’s where B-Squares come in. The flat electronic modules serve a variety of functions, and can form a variety of devices when connected in different combinations.  Read More

A new discovery by U-M researchers could see energy from the sun harnessed without solar c...

It has long been thought that, even though light has electric and magnetic components, the effects of the magnetic field are so weak that they could effectively be ignored. Now researchers at the University of Michigan (U-M) have discovered that under the right conditions, a light field can generate magnetic effects that are 100 million times stronger than previously expected. The researchers say the discovery paves the way for the creation of an "optical battery" that could harness power from the sun without the use of solar cells.  Read More

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