Using present-day technologies, researchers have made some astonishing high-tech advances that recently existed only in the realm of science fiction: an ultra-thin invisibility cloak; quantum teleportation; direct brain-to-brain communication; the real exoplanet universe; a cosmic Death Star destroys a planet; a Star Trek-style sonic tractor beam; a wearable cognitive assistant; teleporting the memory of an organism; a magnetic wormhole connects two regions of space; revealing the unseen worlds of Star Wars; athletes looking for an edge in VR; building a brain-inspired supercomputer; and delivering the Internet of the future at the speed of light.
Delivering the Internet of the Future at the Speed of Light
New research has found, for the first time, a scientific solution that enables future Internet infrastructure to become completely open and programmable, while carrying Internet traffic at the speed of light. A new high performance network infrastructure introduces new concepts of open source optical Internet.
Building a Brain-inspired Supercomputer
Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory announced it will receive a first-of-a-kind brain-inspired supercomputing platform for deep learning developed by IBM Research. Based on a breakthrough neurosynaptic computer chip, the scalable platform will process the equivalent of 16 million neurons and 4 billion synapses and consume a mere 2.5 watts of power.
Athletes Look for an Edge in a New Place: VR
Virtual reality appears ready to take the entertainment world by storm. In addition to the much-hyped Oculus Rift, major corporations such as Facebook, Sony and Samsung are poised to release high-quality VR headsets to the public. Sports teams — both professional and collegiate — are taking advantage of the unique qualities of VR video to understand games in new and unique ways.
Mathematics Reveal Unseen Worlds of Star Wars
Do you think you know all there is to know about Star Wars? You may change your mind… Using a new computer program, researchers revealed some interesting statistics on the famous saga. Drawing on the principles of graph theory, which harnesses computing power and mathematical calculations, they analyzed hundreds of web pages devoted to the legendary film series.
Researchers Create Magnetic Wormhole, Connect Two Regions of Space
Wormholes are cosmic tunnels that can connect two distant regions of the universe, and have been popularized by dissemination of theoretical physics and works of science fiction like Stargate, Star Trek and Interstellar. Using present-day technology, it would be impossible to create a gravitational wormhole. In electromagnetism, however, advances in metamaterials and invisibility have allowed..
Physicists Propose First Scheme to Teleport Memory of an Organism
In Star Trek, a transporter can teleport a person from one location to another without actually making the journey. Such a transporter has fascinated many. Quantum teleportation shares several transporter features and is one of the most important protocols in quantum information. Researchers proposed a scheme to create a Schrödinger’s cat state in which a microorganism can be in two places at once.
Wearable Cognitive Assistant Whispers Advice, Step-by-step Instructions
Researchers are building a computer system tol seemingly look over a person’s shoulder and whisper instructions for tasks as varied as repairing industrial equipment, resuscitating a patient or assembling IKEA furniture. Gabriel uses a wearable vision system, such as Google Glass, and taps into the ubiquitous power of cloud computing.
How We Invented a Star Trek-style Sonic Tractor Beam
When I think of a tractor beam — a stream of energy that can move objects — I imagine a ray emerging from a spaceship gripping an object outside and pulling it in. In my mind, this spaceship is the Starship Enterprise, but the idea has been used in countless sci-fi plots. In the last few decades, the concept has also gathered attention from scientists and engineers.
Something No Human has seen Before: Cosmic “Death Star” Destroys Planet
The Death Star of the movie Star Wars may be fictional, but planetary destruction is real. Astronomers announced they have spotted a large, rocky object disintegrating in its death spiral around a distant white dwarf star. This is something no human has seen before — watching a solar system’s destruction.
Meanwhile, in a Galaxy Not So Far, Far Away…
The fantasy creations of the Star Wars universe are strikingly similar to real planets in our own Milky Way. A super Earth in deep freeze? Think ice-planet Hoth. And that distant world with double sunsets can’t help but summon thoughts of sandy Tatooine. We don’t know if any of them are inhabited by Wookiees or mynocks. Still, a quick spin around the real exoplanet universe offers tantalizing similarities.
Two Human Brains Linked for Direct Brain-to-brain Q&A
Imagine a Q&A game played by two people who are not in the same place and not talking to each other. Round after round, one player asks a series of questions and accurately guesses the object the other is thinking about. Sci-fi? Mind-reading superpowers? A direct brain-to-brain connection enabled participants to play by transmitting signals from one brain to the other over the Internet.
Star Trek Physics? Quantum Teleportation Record Smashed
Researchers teleported or transferred quantum information carried in light particles over 100 kilometers of optical fiber, 4X farther than the previous record. The experiment confirmed quantum communication is feasible over long distances in fiber. Other researchers teleported quantum information over longer distances in free space, but doing so over conventional fiber-optic lines offers more flexibility.
Researchers create Invisibility Cloak fit for Mini Harry Potter
Invisibility cloaks are a staple of sci-fi and fantasy, from Star Trek to Harry Potter, but don’t exist in real life — or do they? Scientists devised an ultra-thin invisibility “skin” cloak that can conform to the shape of an object and conceal it from detection with visible light. Although this cloak is microscopic, principles behind the technology should enable it to be scaled-up to conceal macroscopic items.
- Read more:12 Remarkable Robotics Reads
R&D 100 AWARD ENTRIES NOW OPEN: Establish your company as a technology leader! For more than 50 years, the R&D 100 Awards have showcased new products of technological significance. You can join this exclusive community! Learn more.