Nov 26, 2014

Researchers used Jackie Chan's 'Police Story 3: Supercop' to improve solar cells

posted by Larra Morris

As far as threequels go, Jackie Chan’s 1992 movie Police Story 3: Supercop has done pretty well for itself. It has a 7.3 rating on Rotten Tomatoes and a 6.9 on IMDb. But those ratings have nothing to do with Northwestern University researchers’ decision to purchase three copies of the flick in Blu-ray for their lab. According to them, the film was just a means to an end — a random purchase that helped them discover that the etchings that cover Blu-ray discs can actually improve the way solar cells absorb light.

"Now there's a new purpose of unwanted Blu-ray discs," says Jiaxing Huang, an engineer at Northwestern University and a co-author of the study published today in Nature Communications.
via The Verge

Continue reading 

Image: Golden Harvest Productions

Tags :    0 comments  
Nov 26, 2014

Underwater robot provides first detailed, high-resolution 3D maps of Antarctic sea ice

posted by Larra Morris

seabed-auv-high-resolution-3d-maps-antarctic-sea-ice.jpg

Antarctic scientists have combined measurements provided by an underwater robot with existing satellite data to show that Antarctic sea ice may be thicker than previously thought. Their first-of-a-kind high-resolution 3D maps cover over 500,000 square meters (5.4 million sq ft) in the Weddell, Bellingshausen, and Wilkes Land sectors of Antarctica, and they reveal heavy deformation in all three near-coastal regions that produces mean sea-ice draft (thickness of the submerged part of the ice) far in excess of ice drilling and ship-based measurements. This is a big leap forward in our ability to understand why and how the ice is changing on both small and large scales.
via Gizmag

Continue reading

Image: Klaus Meiners/Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution

Tags :    0 comments  
Nov 26, 2014

Play a game of snake on this hacked backlit keyboard

posted by Larra Morris

Screen_Shot_2014-11-25_at_6.49.46_PM.png

If Solitaire and Minesweeper have been stripped from all the computers at work but you're still after a discreet way to kill a few minutes, you owe a debt of gratitude to Jeroen Domburg who successfully hacked a backlit Coolermaster QuickFire Rapid-I mechanical keyboard to play the classic game of Snake—which you might remember from an old Nokia phone.
via Gizmodo

Continue reading 

Tags :    0 comments  
Nov 25, 2014

How Ross Perot saved the world's first electronic computer

posted by Laura Domela

computer.jpg

Ross Perot is a collector. He once bought a copy of the Magna Carta in 1984. But more intriguingly, he also bought and resurrected ENIAC, the world's first electronic computer.

ENIAC stands for the "Electronic Numerical Integrator And Computer" and was conceived of during World War II as a way for artillerymen to calculate the trajectory of bullets. It is an absolutely massive machine weighing in at 27 tons and occupying 1,800 square feet when fully assembled. Construction began in 1943, but by the time it was finished in 1945, the war was over. The Army kept a tight lid on things at first. Even the maintenance manual (below) remained classified until 1946. So what did the United States Army do with this marvel of technology? They used it to design the first hydrogen bomb. Then, in 1955, they threw the thing away.
via Gizmodo

Continue reading 

Tags : computers,    0 comments  
Nov 25, 2014

Multiphysics invisibility cloak manipulates both electric current and heat

posted by Laura Domela

multiphysics.jpg

Invisibility cloaks can make objects invisible not just to light in the visible part of the spectrum, but to many other physical excitations. These include acoustic waves, matter waves, heat flux, and infrared or ultraviolet electromagnetic (EM) waves. But so far, any single invisibility cloak can manipulate only one of these types of excitations.

Now in a new study, scientists have provided the first experimental demonstration of an invisibility cloak that can simultaneously manipulate two physical excitations: electric current and heat flux. The cloak is made of silicon and other materials, which opens up a range of new applications such as on-chip devices that involve both current and heat, as well as high-performance solar cells.
via PhysOrg

Continue reading 

Tags : physics,    0 comments  
Nov 25, 2014

Children will change behavior that’s rewarded in order to conform

posted by Larra Morris

 

The researchers used a problem-solving task that produced a reward for the participants—peanuts for chimps and orangutans, and chocolate drops for children. Participants were given the chance to play with a box with three sections. One of the sections would produce a reward when a ball was dropped into it, while the other two wouldn’t. The researchers could control which of the sections produced the reward.

The participants played with the boxes long enough to learn which section would give them a reward. Once they had learned this, they watched three peers (of the same species) dropping balls into a different section—and getting a reward. Finally, the participants were given three new balls and allowed to drop them into any of the sections. With each ball, participants could choose to stay with the initial section that they had learned would dispense rewards, switch to the section they had seen give rewards to their peers, or choose the third section.

Only this time, all of the sections gave a reward. So, if the participant decided to switch, they wouldn’t be put off their decision by a lack of reward.

Only a third of the children stayed with the section they already knew, while two-thirds switched to their peers’ choice with at least one of their three balls. In comparison, only 17 percent of the chimps and orangutans switched.
via Ars Technica

Continue reading 

Tags :    0 comments  
Nov 25, 2014

3D printing technique will put electronics into just about everything

posted by Larra Morris

3d-printed-led.jpg

You can use 3D printing to make a handful of electronics, such as antennas and batteries, but LEDs and semiconductors have been elusive; you usually need some other manufacturing technique to make them work, which limits what they can do and where they'll fit. A team of Princeton researchers recently solved this problem, however. They've found a way to make quantum dot LEDs (and thus semiconductors) using only a 3D printer. The scientists choose printable electrodes, polymers and semiconductors, which are dissolved in solvents to keep them from damaging underlying layers during the printing process; after that, the team uses design software to print the materials in interweaving patterns. In this case, the result is a tiny LED that you could print on to (or into) many objects, including those with curved surfaces.
via Engadget

Continue reading 

Image: McAlpine Group

Tags :    0 comments  
Get this feed  
« Previous123456...705Next »

Login Required

In order to view this resource, you must log in to our site. Please sign in now.

If you don't already have an acount with us, registering is free and quick. Register now.

Sign In    Register