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Optical

— Science

Shape-changing lens blends human and insect vision

By - September 18, 2013 3 Pictures
One example of biomimicry that keeps popping up on the pages of Gizmag is the use of insect eyes as a model for innovative new optical devices. It seems that the potential for development in this area is far from exhausted with the announcement of another bug-inspired lens breakthrough from Ohio State University. This experimental lens developed by associate professor of biomedical engineering and ophthalmology, Yi Zhao, combines the wide angle properties of insect vision with the depth-of-field capabilities of a human eye. Read More
— Science

Nanoscale lithography breakthrough uses Scotch tape

By - September 17, 2013 3 Pictures
Researchers from the University of Minnesota and Seoul National University have developed a new lithographic method with the help of a very low-tech tool: Scotch Magic tape. This new method, which promises to enhance our ability to fabricate nanostructures, has been used to build highly nonlinear optical materials consisting of sheets of 25 micron (0.001 in) metal blocks separated by nanometer-wide insulating channels. As light squeezes through these channels, incompletely understood plasmonic effects enable novel optical behavior. Read More
— Science

Adaptive optics system clobbers Hubble with the sharpest-ever telescopic images

By - August 28, 2013 9 Pictures
Astronomers have developed a new visible-light adaptive optics (AO) system for the 6.5 meter diameter Magellan-Clay telescope in Chile's Atacama desert. The new AO system replaces the secondary mirror of the telescope with a thin adaptive mirror that can be deformed by its 585 mechanical actuators at a rate of more than 1000 times a second to correct for the image smearing effects of atmospheric turbulence. The result is the sharpest astronomical images ever produced – more than twice as sharp as can be achieved by the Hubble space telescope viewing objects through the vacuum of space. Read More

Sony and Panasonic working on 300 GB optical discs

Technology giants Sony and Panasonic are joining forces to create a single optical disc with 300 GB of capacity by 2015. Both companies have developed their own high capacity optical disc technology in the past, and the joint venture will aim to create a new format to target large amounts of storage for corporations, though it could be introduced into the consumer market as well. Read More
— Science

NASA develops new technique to grow super-black coating on 3D components

By - July 17, 2013 5 Pictures
Super-black nanotechnology might sound like something ripped from the pages of a comic book, but instead of being in the hands of a super-villain, it's a NASA-researched technology that is set to make spacecraft instruments more sensitive without increasing their size. John Hagopian, an optics engineer at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center, and his team have demonstrated the ability to grow a uniform layer of carbon nanotubes on oddly shaped platforms, which will extend the potential of the technology by allowing nanotubes to be grown on 3D components. Read More
— Electronics

"Superman memory crystal" could store hundreds of terabytes indefinitely

By - July 10, 2013 2 Pictures
Recently, there have been advances in the area of digital data storage promising outstanding data density and super-long-term data storage. A new data storage technology developed at the University of Southampton can do both. Due to its similarities to the “memory crystals” used in the Superman films, it has been dubbed the "Superman memory crystal." Read More
— Computers

New technique would allow a petabyte of data on a single disc

By - July 8, 2013 9 Pictures
Data storage and preservation are no longer restricted to the needs of individual users, or even of companies or governments large and small. Instead they are the only remaining approach to preserving the history associated with the evolution of the digital age, and possibly the post-human era to follow. A research team headed by Prof. Min Gu of Swinburne University of Technology has developed a new data storage method that may be of considerable use for such civilization-sized concerns by putting a petabyte of information on a DVD-sized polymer disk. Read More
— Health and Wellbeing

Telescopic contact lens with switchable magnification to help AMD patients

By - July 1, 2013 8 Pictures
Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is the leading cause of blindness among older adults in the western world. Unfortunately, conventional optical aids provide little help for a retina which has lost the acuity of its central area. Now a team of multinational researchers led by University of California, San Diego (UCSD) Professor Joseph Ford has created a telescopic contact lens that can switch between normal and magnified vision to offer AMD patients a relatively unobtrusive way to enhance their vision. Read More
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