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New NIST metamaterial gives light a one-way ticket

July 2, 2014 10:07 am | by EurekAlert! | Comments

The light-warping structures known as metamaterials have a new trick in their ever-expanding repertoire. Researchers at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) have built a silver, glass and chromium nanostructure that can all but stop visible light cold in one direction while giving it a pass in the other....

Nature of solids and liquids explored through new pitch drop experiment

July 2, 2014 10:02 am | by EurekAlert! | Comments

Physicists at Queen Mary University of London have set up a new pitch drop experiment for students to explore the difference between solid and liquids. Known as the 'world's longest experiment', the set up at the University of Queensland was famous for taking ten years for a drop of pitch – a thick, black, sticky material – to fall from a funnel....

How do ants get around? Ultra-sensitive machines measure their every step…

July 2, 2014 9:59 am | by EurekAlert! | Comments

How do ants manage to move so nimbly whilst coordinating three pairs of legs and a behind that weighs up to 60% of their body mass? German scientists have recently developed a device that may reveal the answer. Measuring the forces generated by single limbs is vital to understanding the energetics of animal locomotion....

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Superconducting-silicon qubits

July 2, 2014 9:56 am | by EurekAlert! | Comments

Theorists propose a way to make superconducting quantum devices such as Josephson junctions and qubits, atom-by-atom, inside a silicon crystal. Such systems could combine the most promising aspects of silicon spin qubits with the flexibility of superconducting circuits....

UH researchers identify one of world's thinnest piezoelectric materials

July 2, 2014 9:53 am | by EurekAlert! | Comments

There are a handful of naturally occurring materials, known as piezoelectric materials, that generate electricity if you bend, stretch or apply another mechanical force to them, and vice versa – if you apply a voltage across them, they'll deform accordingly. These materials are currently the subject of intense research....

UH chemical engineer makes device fabrication easier, thanks to NSF grant

July 2, 2014 9:49 am | by EurekAlert! | Comments

Have you ever wondered how the tiny components and devices inside your cell phone are made? The devices inside your phone and computer, such as integrated circuits, microprocessors and memory chips, are made in a process called lithography that, in Greek, translates quite literally to "writing on stones"....

Research could lead to dramatic energy savings at data farms

July 2, 2014 9:44 am | by EurekAlert! | Comments

Washington State University has developed a wireless network on a computer chip that could reduce energy consumption at huge data farms by as much as 20 percent. Researchers led by Partha Pande, a computer engineering professor in the School of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science ...

License plate readers are important police tool, but hurdles remain, study finds

July 2, 2014 9:42 am | by EurekAlert! | Comments

Systems that automatically read automobile license plates have the potential to save police investigative time and increase safety, but law enforcement officials must address issues related to staffing, compatibility and privacy before the technology can reach its full potential, according to a new RAND Corporation report....

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'Deep learning' makes search for exotic particles easier

July 2, 2014 9:39 am | by EurekAlert! | Comments

Fully automated "deep learning" by computers greatly improves the odds of discovering particles such as the Higgs boson, beating even veteran physicists' abilities, according to findings by UC Irvine researchers published today in the journal Nature Communications....

NSA's Internet monitoring said to be legal

July 2, 2014 9:36 am | by KEN DILANIAN, AP Intelligence Writer | Comments

The first time the bipartisan Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board dissected a National Security Agency surveillance program, it found fundamental flaws, arguing in a January report that the NSA's collection of domestic calling records "lacked a viable legal foundation" and should be shut down....

Infographic: My boss is going to get somebody killed

July 2, 2014 9:13 am | by Chris Fox, Managing Editor, PD&D | Comments

As a general rule, engineers tend to be a calculated, conservative bunch. They approach problems as logically as possible to weigh the most desirable outcome (exceptions always apply), but that doesn’t mean that engineers are without concern or worry....

Google adds more musical chops with Songza deal

July 1, 2014 6:14 pm | by The Associated Press | Comments

Google is fine-tuning its digital music strategy with the acquisition of Songza, a service that creates soundtracks tailored for people's changing moods. Financial terms of the deal announced Tuesday were not disclosed. That means the price is considered to be too small to affect Google Inc.,...

Zero tolerance for xenon

July 1, 2014 2:04 pm | by EurekAlert! | Comments

The Preparatory Commission for the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty Organization (CTBTO) and the U.S. medical isotope producer NorthStar have signed a RadioXenon Emissions Pledge. Through this document, NorthStar pledges to cooperate with the CTBTO....

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Review: Android Wear is about simplifying future

July 1, 2014 1:59 pm | by ANICK JESDANUN AP Technology Writer | Comments

In its first iteration, Google's Android Wear software for computerized wristwatches isn't so much about innovation as it is an effort at simplification. Available in two smartwatches out within the next week, Android Wear is rather limited in what it can do....

Research proves shock wave from explosives causes significant eye damage

July 1, 2014 1:56 pm | by EurekAlert! | Comments

Researchers at The University of Texas at San Antonio (UTSA) are discovering that the current protective eyewear used by our U.S. armed forces might not be adequate to protect soldiers exposed to explosive blasts. According to a recent study, ocular injuries now account for 13 percent of all battlefield injuries....

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