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University of Southampton

Artificially replicating the biological process of photosynthesis is a goal being sought on many fronts, and it promises to one day improve light-to-energy efficiencies of solar collection well beyond what's possible with photovoltaic cells. One of the first steps is to imitate the mechanisms at work in the transfer of energy from reception through to output. To this end, Scientists have recently experimented with a combination of biological and photonic quantum mechanical states to form new half-light half-matter particle, called the “polariton.” It could help realize fully synthetic systems by mimicking the energy transport systems of biological photosynthesis. Read More
Chances are, you know that dolphins use sonar to locate and stun prey underwater. You might also know that they create "bubble nets," in which they trap fish inside a ring of air bubbles that they blow while swimming in a circle. With all those distracting bubbles suspended in the water, though, their sonar needs to work in a special way in order to pick out the fish. Scientists have copied that sonar system, to create a type of radar that could differentiate between ordinary objects and things like explosive devices. Read More
In a development that would seem to bring a whole new meaning to the term Lightning charger, Nokia and the University of Southampton claim to have used simulated lightning to charge a Nokia Lumia 925 mobile phone. A University press release states that a 200,000 V was "sent" across a 30 cm gap with the light and heat generated supposedly similar to that of a lightning strike. But is there really any cause for excitement, or are we merely witnessing special effects? Read More
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
Vodafone is to trial prototype phone-charging technology at the Isle of Wight festival this weekend. Developed by the University of Southampton's Electronics and Computer Science Department, the Power Pocket exploits the Seebeck effect, exploiting the difference in temperature between the human body and its surroundings to generate an electrical current which can be used to recharge a smartphone. Vodafone has woven the pocket into a sleeping bag (called Recharge) and a pair of shorts (called Power shorts) to test the technology. Read More
Over the past several years, a number of research institutes have been exploring the use of implants made from material with a scaffolding-like structure, as a means of regrowing bone at severe injury sites. Both MIT and Tufts University, for instance, have been working on collagen-based materials. Now, England’s University of Southampton has announced the development of a new type of bone-growing substance, made from plastic. Read More
When kidney stones can’t be dissolved using medication, the next step is usually a procedure known as shock wave lithotripsy. This involves focusing a series of high-intensity acoustic pulses onto the stones, until they break apart to the point that they can be passed in urine or dissolved by drugs. Using current monitoring techniques, however, it can be difficult to tell when and if that point has been reached. A new device known as the Smart stethoscope lets clinicians know, by listening. Read More

There could be new hope for people facing vision loss due to conditions such as retinitis pigmentosa or wet age-related macular degeneration. Scientists from the University of Southampton have discovered that easily-gathered corneal cells may be able to take the place of degraded retinal cells, thus preventing or curing blindness. Read More

Although a great many people like the “prestige” that comes with the natural color of their gold jewelry, teeth or vacuum cleaners, things are about to get a little more complicated – scientists from the University of Southampton have now devised a technique that causes gold (or other metals) to be seen in a variety of other colors ... green gold, anyone? Read More
Aeolus, a fascinating acoustic wind sculpture made by prolific Bristol artist Luke Jerram, is as much a feast for the ears as it is for the eyes. Named after the mythical Greek ruler of the four winds and built in conjunction with the University of Southampton's Institute of Sound and Vibration Research and the University of Salford's Acoustics Research Center, the giant aeolian wind harp is intended to inspire the public to learn more about the amazing things that can happen when engineering, acoustics and aerodynamics are blended together. Read More
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