Magnets are at the heart of much of our technology, and their properties
are exploited in a myriad ways across a vast range of devices, from
simple relays to enormously complex particle accelerators. A new class
of magnets discovered by scientists at the University of
Maryland (UMD) and Temple University may lead to other types of magnets
that expand in different ways, with multiple, cellular magnetic fields,
and possibly give rise to a host of new devices. The team also believes
that these new magnets could replace expensive, rare-earth magnets with
ones made of abundant metal alloys.
Graphene is extremely strong for its weight, it's electrically and thermally conductive, and it's chemically stable ... but it isn't magnetic. Now, however, a team from the University of California, Riverside has succeeded in making it so. The resulting magnetized graphene could have a wide range of applications, including use in "spintronic" computer chips.
In a market as saturated as the Bluetooth speaker one, any point of difference can make a ... well, a difference. The Om/One is a Bluetooth speaker that sets itself apart from the pack with its ability to levitate like a miniature Death Star. Its creators claim this not only looks cool, but raises the device's performance above the competition.
Coffee and end tables are often very utilitarian pieces of furniture. However, RockPaperRobot has combined some interesting design with a good bit of physics to turn the humble table into something far more unique, in the form of the Float Table.
A Czech design studio is readying a levitating computer mouse for release that's been created to help prevent Carpal tunnel syndrome, a painful condition that can strike musicians, assembly-line workers, typists and computer users (to name a few).
Left to its own ways, light will follow the same path through an optical system whether the system is being used as a camera lens or as a projector. This is called time-reversal symmetry, or reciprocity. As many new applications and methods would be enabled by access to a non-reciprocal optical system, it is unfortunate that they have been so difficult to come by. But now researchers at Stanford University have discovered how to make such non-reciprocal systems by generating an effective magnetic field for photons.