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Laser capable of emitting light quiet enough to move demanding scientific...

Artist's interpretation of the optical dynamics inside the laser ring cavity of the new Brillouin laser. Credit: Brian Long Spectrally pure lasers lie at the heart of precision high-end scientific and commercial applications, thanks to their ability to produce near-perfect single-color light. A laser's capacity to do so is measured in terms of its linewidth,…

Physicists create exotic electron liquid

In conventional electronic devices, electricity requires the movement of electrons (blue spheres) and their positive counterparts, called holes (red spheres), which behave much like the gas molecules in our atmosphere. Although they move rapidly and collide infrequently in the gas phase, electrons and holes can condense into liquid droplets akin to liquid water in devices…

The first tendril-like soft robot able to climb

The tendril-like soft robot is able to curl around Passiflora caerulea plant stalk. It is able to curl and climb, using the same physical principles determining water transport in plants. Credit: IIT-Istituto Italiano di Tecnologia Researchers at IIT-Istituto Italiano di Tecnologia obtained the first soft robot mimicking plant tendrils: it is able to curl and…

New 3D nanoprinting strategy opens door to revolution in medicine, robotics

Engineers at the University of Maryland (UMD) have created the first 3D-printed fluid circuit element so tiny that 10 could rest on the width of a human hair. The diode ensures fluids move in only a single direction -- a critical feature for products like implantable devices that release therapies directly into the body. Credit:…

Fluid-inspired material self-heals before your eyes

The fluid-inspired material self-heals in seconds when scratched, scraped or cracked. Credit: Image courtesy of Northwestern University It's hard to believe that a tiny crack could take down a gigantic metal structure. But sometimes bridges collapse, pipelines rupture and fuselages detach from airplanes due to hard-to-detect corrosion in tiny cracks, scratches and dents. A Northwestern…

Getting a grip on human-robot cooperation

The passage of object between human hand and robot hand. Credit: © Scuola Superiore Sant'Anna There is a time when a successful cooperation between humans and robots has decisive importance: it is in the precise moment that one "actor" is required to hand an object to another "actor" and, therefore, to coordinate their actions accordingly.…

Static electricity could charge our electronics

These images show how the surfaces of magnesia (top block) and barium titanate (bottom block) respond when they come into contact. The resulting lattice deformations in each object contributes to the driving force behind the electric charge transfer during friction. Credit: James Chen, University at Buffalo. Unhappy with the life of your smartphone battery? Thought…

Robot combines vision and touch to learn the game of Jenga

The Jenga-playing robot demonstrates something that’s been tricky to attain in previous systems: the ability to quickly learn the best way to carry out a task, not just from visual cues, as it is commonly studied today, but also from tactile, physical interactions. Credit: Courtesy of the researchers In the basement of MIT's Building 3,…

Engineers harvest heart’s energy to power life-saving devices

Dartmouth engineers develop dime-sized device to capture and convert the kinetic energy of the heart into electricity to power a wide-range of implantable devices. Credit: Patricio R. Sarzosa, Thayer School of Engineering The heart's motion is so powerful that it can recharge devices that save our lives, according to new research from Dartmouth College. Using…

Nano-infused ceramic could report on its own health

Ceramics with networked nanosheets of graphene and white graphene would have the unique ability to alter their electrical properties when strained, according to a researcher at Rice University. The surprising ability could lead to new types of structural sensors. Credit: Rouzbeh Shahsavari/Rice University A ceramic that becomes more electrically conductive under elastic strain and less…

3D printed tires and shoes that self-repair

This is a severed 3D-printed shoe pad repairing itself. Credit: An Xin and Kunhao Yu Instead of throwing away your broken boots or cracked toys, why not let them fix themselves? Researchers at the University of Southern California Viterbi School of Engineering have developed 3D-printed rubber materials that can do just that. Assistant Professor Qiming…

Using artificial intelligence to engineer materials’ properties

Introducing a small amount of strain into crystalline materials, such as diamond or silicon, can produce significant changes in their properties, researchers have found. The mechanical strain is represented here as a deformation in the diamond's shape. Credit: Chelsea Turner, MIT Applying just a bit of strain to a piece of semiconductor or other crystalline…

Flags that generate energy from wind and sun

Scientists have created flags that can generate electrical energy using wind and solar power. The novel wind and solar energy-harvesting flags have been developed using flexible piezoelectric strips and flexible photovoltaic cells. Credit: Dr. Mostafa Nabawy, The University of Manchester Scientists have created flags that can generate electrical energy using wind and solar power. The…

Millions of tons of plastic waste could be turned into clean...

A chemical conversion process developed at Purdue University allows researchers to turn recycled shopping bags into pellets into oil as shown in the bottle being held by Linda Wang, the Maxine Spencer Nichols Professor in the Davidson School of Chemical Engineering. Using distillation, that oil is separated into a gasoline-like fuel in the bottle in…

Research details sticky situations at the nanoscale

At very small scales, adhesive forces are dominant. In a finding that could be useful in nanoscale engineering, new research shows how minute amounts of surface roughness can influence stickiness. Credit: Kesari Lab / Brown University Brown University researchers have made a discovery about the way things stick together at tiny scales that could be…

Green water-purification system works without heavy metals or corrosive chemicals

This photo shows a concentrator where samples were placed. Credit: Dan Wang Scientists at the Institute of Process Engineering (IPE) at the Chinese Academy of Sciences in Beijing and Yangzhou University (YZU) in Jiangsu have developed an effective and energy-efficient technique for purifying water by using graphitic carbon nitride sheets. Their prototype, presented February 7…

Artificial bug eyes

Single lens eyes, like those in humans and many other animals, can create sharp images, but the compound eyes of insects and crustaceans have...

Mechanical engineers develop process to 3D print piezoelectric materials

The piezoelectric materials that inhabit everything from our cell phones to musical greeting cards may be getting an upgrade thanks to work discussed in...

The Race to Reveal Antimatter’s Secrets

A laboratory at CERN hosts the only usable source of antiprotons, the proton’s antimatter counterpart. In a high-ceilinged hangar at CERN, six rival experiments are...

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