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Pennsylvania State University

Light pulses (white spheres) traveling down the optical fiber can be converted into electr...

When data is transmitted as pulses of light along a fiber optic cable, chips at either end of that cable must convert the data from and back into an electronic signal - this is what allows an outgoing video image to be converted into light pulses, then back into video at the receiving end, for instance. There are a number of technical challenges in coupling chips to fibers, however. Now, an international team of scientists are developing an alternative ... fiber optics with the electronics built right into the fiber.  Read More

A new system that incorporates LED lighting and radio frequency communications could be us...

It baffles me that some people enjoy shopping. There’s not much that I like about it, but I particularly dislike searching through the aisles, trying in vain to find the product that I’m looking for. While I’m not adverse to asking a store employee for assistance, it seems that in many big box retailers, employees are either non-existent or are already busy with other customers. A new system is in development, however, that would allow customers to find the locations of products via the store’s overhead LED lighting.  Read More

Professor Huai-Yong Zhu from QUT Chemistry with the titanate nanofiber that can remove rad...

Nuclear power plants are located close to sources of water, which is used as a coolant to handle the waste heat discharged by the plants. This means that water contaminated with radioactive material is often one of the problems to arise after a nuclear disaster. Researchers at Australia's Queensland University of Technology (QUT) have now developed what they say is a world-first intelligent absorbent that is capable of removing radioactive material from large amounts of contaminated water, resulting in clean water and concentrated waste that can be stored more efficiently.  Read More

An MIT-led research team used inelastic neutron scattering to demonstrate that hydrogen at...

With hydrogen atoms consisting of just a single electron and single proton, its gaseous form made up of two hydrogen atoms can be hard to contain. Hydrogen storage, along with hydrogen production and the lack of infrastructure, remains a major stumbling block in efforts to usher in hydrogen as a replacement for hydrocarbon-based fuels in cars, trucks and even homes. But with the multiple advantages hydrogen offers, developing hydrogen storage solutions has been the focus of a great deal of research. Now an MIT-led research team has demonstrated a method that could allow hydrogen to be stored inexpensively at room temperature.  Read More

Penn State researchers have developed an electrolysis cell with RED stack that produces pu...

Currently, the world economy and western society in general runs on fossil fuels. We've known for some time that this reliance on finite resources that are polluting the planet is unsustainable in the long term. This has led to the search for alternatives and hydrogen is one of the leading contenders. One of the problems is that hydrogen is an energy carrier, rather than an energy source. Pure hydrogen doesn't occur naturally and it takes energy - usually generated by fossil fuels - to manufacture it. Now researchers at Pennsylvania State University have developed a way to produce hydrogen that uses no grid electricity and is carbon neutral and could be used anyplace that there is wastewater near sea water.  Read More

A tar sand sample treated with the ionic liquid process(Photo: Penn State University)

The United States imports approximately one million barrels of oil per day from Canada, which is about twice the amount that it gets from Saudi Arabia. A large percentage of that oil comes from tar sand deposits, in which bitumen (a tar-like form of crude oil) is found combined with sand. The tar sands – also known as oil sands – are hugely controversial, as many people state that the process used for extracting the oil from the sand is too ecologically-unfriendly. A new technique being pioneered at Penn State University, however, could drastically reduce the environmental impact of that process.  Read More

Scientists have created a new type of fiber optic cable with a zinc selenide core, that is...

Fiber optic cables can transmit over a terabyte of information per second – but that doesn’t mean there still isn’t room for improvement. One of those improvements, which was officially announced today, involves replacing the silica glass core of fiber optic strands with semiconductive zinc selenide. This new class of fiber optics, invented and created at Penn State University, is said to “allow for a more effective and liberal manipulation of light.” The technology could have applications in the fields of medicine, defense, and environmental monitoring.  Read More

The lower right red dot indicates that this CHEMCARD paper test is ready (Photo: Scott T. ...

Throughout the world, reactive paper-based systems are used to test peoples’ blood, urine and other bodily fluids for biomarkers that indicate everything from diabetes to pregnancy. Such systems are also used to detect pollution in water. However, for many of these tests to be accurate, an exact amount of time must pass between the application of the fluid and the viewing of the paper – if the paper is observed any earlier or later, the perceived results could be inaccurate. People typically use stopwatches to avoid this problem, but not everyone in the world has access to such devices, so scientists from Pennsylvania State University (PSU) have developed a simple timer that can be built into the paper itself.  Read More

Material scientists at the Nano/Bio Interface Center of the University of Pennsylvania hav...

Turning sunlight into electrical power is all but a new problem, but recent advancements made by researchers at the University of Pennsylvania have given a new twist to the subject. While not currently aimed at solar panel technology, their research has uncovered a way to turn optical radiation into electrical current that could lead to self-powering molecular circuits and efficient data storage.  Read More

The Wi-Fi connection in the HUB-Robeson Center at Penn State being used by students. Resea...

Sending and receiving data over a wireless network is generally undertaken via radio waves. But that's not the only method. Using the optical spectrum offers the advantage of better security and blisteringly fast transfer rates to boot. Engineers from Pennsylvania State University have now succeeded in moving data outside the usual line of sight restrictions at speeds of over one gigabit per second, more than double that achieved by Siemens recently.  Read More

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