Quantum AI…

Topics: Artificial Intelligence, Computer Science, Materials Science, Quantum Mechanics Quantum materials known as Mott insulators can “learn” to respond to external stimuli in a way that mimics animal behavior, say researchers at Rutgers University in the US. The discovery of behaviors such as habituation and sensitization in these non-living systems could lead to new algorithmsContinue reading “Quantum AI…”

Kilonovas and Gold…

Topics: Astronomy, Astrophysics, Chemistry, Materials Science, Neutron Stars The amounts of heavy elements such as gold created when black holes merge with neutron stars have been calculated and compared with the amounts expected when pairs of neutron stars merge. The calculations were done by Hsin-Yu Chen and Salvatore Vitale at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Francois Foucart at the UniversityContinue reading “Kilonovas and Gold…”

Quantum Exorcism…

Topics: Chemistry, History, Materials Science, Quantum Mechanics, Thermodynamics Thermodynamics is a strange theory. Although it is fundamental to our understanding of the world, it differs dramatically from other physical theories. For that reason, it has been termed the “village witch” of physics.1 Some of the many oddities of thermodynamics are the bizarre philosophical implications of classicalContinue reading “Quantum Exorcism…”

Big Bet on Small…

Topics: Futurism, Materials Science, Nanotechnology The National Nanotechnology Initiative promised a lot. It has delivered more. We’re now more than two decades out from the initial announcement of the National Nanotechnology Initiative (NNI), a federal program from President Bill Clinton founded in 2000 to support nanotechnology research and development in universities, government agencies, and industryContinue reading “Big Bet on Small…”

LCE…

Topics: Materials Science, Mechanical Engineering, Nanotechnology, Robotics A new artificial fiber spun from a polymer called liquid crystal elastomer (LCE) using high-voltage electricity replicates the strength, responsiveness, and power density of human muscle fibers, scientists report. When powered by heat or near-infrared light, the fibers pulled upward and downward or oscillated back and forth. “OurContinue reading “LCE…”

Exciton Surfing…

Topics: Alternate Energy, Applied Physics, Materials Science, Nanotechnology, Solar Power Organic solar cells (OSCs) are fascinating devices where layers of organic molecules or polymers carry out light absorption and subsequent transport of energy – the tasks that make a solar cell work. Until now, the efficiency of OSCs has been thought to be constrained byContinue reading “Exciton Surfing…”

Biggie’s Starship…

Topics: Materials Science, Nanotechnology, Space Exploration, Spaceflight, Star Trek China is investigating how to build ultra-large spacecraft that are up to 0.6 mile (1 kilometer) long. But how feasible is the idea, and what would be the use of such a massive spacecraft? The project is part of a wider call for research proposals fromContinue reading “Biggie’s Starship…”

Cooling Computer Chips…

Topics: Materials Science, Nanotechnology, Semiconductor Technology A novel semiconducting material with high thermal conductivity can be integrated into high-power computer chips to cool them down and so improve their performance. The material, boron arsenide, is better at removing heat than the best thermal-management devices available today, according to the US-based researchers who developed it. TheContinue reading “Cooling Computer Chips…”

ARPA-E, and Emission-Free Metal…

Topics: Climate Change, Green Tech, Materials Science, Research When it comes to making steel greener, “only the laws of physics limit our imagination,” says Christina Chang of the Advanced Research Projects Agency–Energy (ARPA–E). Chang, an ARPA–E fellow, is seeking public input on a potential new agency program titled Steel Made via Emissions-Less Technologies. During herContinue reading “ARPA-E, and Emission-Free Metal…”

Gold Anniversary…

Topics: Electrical Engineering, Materials Science, Nanotechnology, Solid-State Physics It’s not exactly a wedding anniversary, but it is significant. Fifty years ago this month, Intel introduced the first commercial microprocessor, the 4004. Microprocessors are tiny, general-purpose chips that use integrated circuits made up of transistors to process data; they are the core of a modern computer.Continue reading “Gold Anniversary…”