Engineering articlesQubit link could pave the way for world's most powerful computers
Scientists at The University of Manchester have made a major breakthrough which could pave the way for a new type of high-speed computer.
Creating a better transmission system for deep-space applications
Recent advances in wireless computing technology could improve deep-space missions like asteroid research and remote spacecraft operations by changing the way signals are sent from Earth. A new method designed to effectively deliver commands and instructions using hundreds of millions of tiny transmitters linked together could also free the giant satellite dishes currently used to send and receive the long-range information for other applications.
Device for preventing battlefield friendly fire
Sandia National Laboratories, along with partners General Atomics Aeronautical Systems, Inc. and Sierra Monolithics Inc., demonstrated the Athena Radar-Responsive Tag during Exercise "Urgent Quest" in the United Kingdom (Salisbury Plains Training Area) Sept. 19 through Oct. 9, 2005.
Guarding giants with tiny protectors
How do you build an infrared (IR) camera that is small enough to fit on a mini-unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) without cryogenic cooling? Call in the nanobots.
Near infrared laser device can measure brain oxygen levels
The researchers said their findings offer the potential for accurate and reliable monitoring of brain oxygenation during cardiac surgeries, to more effectively protect the brain against reduced oxygen levels, or anoxia, which is known to cause cognitive impairment in some surgical patients.
Innovation helps 'enlighten' silicon chips
Light can carry data at much higher rates than electricity, but it has always been too expensive and difficult to use light to transmit data among silicon chips in electronic devices. Now, electrical engineers at Stanford have solved a major part of the problem. They have invented a key component that can easily be built into chips to break up a laser beam into billions of bits of data (zeroes and ones) per second. This could help chips output data at a much higher rate than they can now.
Explaining why the Millenium Bridge wobbled
Steve Strogatz has a penchant for things that happen in unison. So when the Cornell University professor of theoretical and applied mechanics heard that thousands of pedestrians had caused London's Millennium Bridge to rock from side to side on its opening day, he was intrigued.
New sensor based on human organ is no tin ear
Researchers at the University of Michigan are developing a mechanical cochlea, a device that functions much like its human counterpart in the ear. Yet, because it is composed of micromachined parts and integrated circuits, the apparatus should be inexpensive to manufacture and could potentially capture a range of frequencies well beyond those of human hearing.
Smart buildings to guide future first responders
The best response to a building emergency is a fast and informed one. The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) is working with the building industry as well as the public safety and information technology communities to achieve both objectives.
MIT closes in on bionic speed
Robots, both large and micro, can potentially go wherever it's too hot, cold, dangerous, small or remote for people to perform any number of important tasks, from repairing leaking water mains to stitching blood vessels together.
Robotic assembly of fuel cells could hasten hydrogen economy
Echoes of a "hydrogen economy" are reverberating across the country, but a number of roadblocks stand in the way. One of the biggest, experts say, is the high cost of manufacturing fuel cells. A new research project at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute aims to tackle the challenge of mass production by using robots to assemble fuel cell stacks.
Purdue method shows promise for improving auto suspensions
Mechanical engineers at Purdue University have demonstrated a new method for analyzing the components of automotive suspension systems in work aimed at improving the performance, reducing the weight and increasing the durability of suspensions.
Researcher gives computers a 'human' face
The friendly facial expressions, the soothing hand gestures, the coolly intelligent voice: Put them all together, and she is both disarmingly lifelike and surprisingly persuasive.
Strengthening the glow of nanotube luminiscence
Nanotubes are the poster children of the nanotechnology revolution. These tiny carbon tubes – less than 1/50,000 the diameter of a human hair – possess novel properties that have researchers excitedly exploring dozens of potential applications ranging from transistors to space elevators.
Additives may save energy for cooling big buildings
A National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) researcher has come up with a method designed to improve the energy efficiency of water chillers that cool the nation's large commercial buildings.
Scientists discover how to flip a molecular switch
A means for controlling single-molecule switches by engineering their design and surrounding environment has been developed by a research team led by scientists at Penn State, Rice University, and the University of Oregon.
Laser light from silicon?
Since the creation of the first working laser – a ruby model made in 1960 – scientists have fashioned these light sources from substances ranging from neon to sapphire. Silicon, however, was not considered a candidate. Its structure would not allow for the proper line-up of electrons needed to get this semiconductor to emit light.
Nanotube foams flex and rebound with super compressibility
Carbon nanotubes have enticed researchers since their discovery in 1991, offering an impressive combination of high strength and low weight. Now a new study suggests that they also act like super-compressible springs, opening the door to foam-like materials for just about any application where strength and flexibility are needed, from disposable coffee cups to the exterior of the space shuttle.
Have these experts drilled the world's smallest hole?
Experts at Cardiff University have developed machinery so sophisticated that they can drill a hole narrower than a human hair. Such precision has potentially major benefits in medical and electronic engineering.
For many public buildings, form doesn't follow function, study finds
When you look at the exterior of a building, can you tell whether the building is a city hall, an art museum, a library, or a live theater? Most people can't, according to a new study.