Heading into the Independence Day weekend, materials that compute — what your clothes may say about you; Sandia’s Z machine solving an 80-year-old puzzle; an amazing satellite view of the San Francisco Bay area; a monster black hole waking after 26 years; a tactical toss camera that sends panoramic images back to a smartphone; and breaking key barriers that limit the distance information can travel in fiber optic cables, are all among the top hits.
Key Fiber Optic Power and Distance Barriers Broken
Researchers have broken key barriers that limit the distance information can travel in fiber optic cables and still be accurately deciphered by a receiver, increasing the maximum power — and therefore distance — at which optical signals can be sent through optical fibers. This advance has the potential to increase data transmission rates for fiber optic cables that serve as the backbone of the Internet, wireless and landline networks…
Tactical Toss Camera sends Panoramic Images Back to Smartphone
Unseen areas are troublesome for police and first responders: Rooms can harbor dangerous gunmen, while collapsed buildings can conceal survivors. In July, a startup will release its first line of tactical spheres, equipped with cameras and sensors that can be tossed into potentially hazardous areas to instantly transmit panoramic images of those areas back to a smartphone, giving officers and rescuers a safe glimpse into the unknown.
Monster Black Hole wakes after 26 Years
Over the past week, ESA’s Integral satellite has been observing an exceptional outburst of high-energy light produced by a black hole that is devouring material from its stellar companion. X-rays and gamma rays point to some of the most extreme phenomena in the Universe, such as stellar explosions, powerful outbursts and black holes feasting on their surroundings.
Satellite View of San Francisco Bay Area
Landsat-8 captured this image of the San Francisco Bay Area in California on March 5, 2015. The city of San Francisco is on a peninsula in the center left of the image. In the upper-central portion, we can see the delta of the Sacramento and San Joaquin rivers with brown, sediment-filled water flowing down into the larger bay. Starting in the top-left corner of the image and running diagonally to the south is the San Andreas Fault.
Sandia’s Z Machine helps solve Saturn’s 2-billion-year Age Gap
Planets tend to cool as they get older, but Saturn is hotter than astrophysicists say it should be without some additional energy source. The unexplained heat has caused a 2-billion-year discrepancy for computer models estimating Saturn’s age. Experiments at Sandia’s Z machine verified an 80-year-old untested proposition that molecular hydrogen, normally an insulator, becomes metallic if squeezed by enough pressure…
What your Clothes may say about You
Moving closer to the possibility of “materials that compute” and wearing your computer on your sleeve, researchers have designed a responsive hybrid material that is fueled by an oscillatory chemical reaction and can perform computations based on changes in the environment or movement, and potentially even respond to human vital signs. The material system is sufficiently small and flexible to ultimately be integrated into a fabric.
• CONFERENCE AGENDA ANNOUNCED: The highly-anticipated educational tracks for the 2015 R&D 100 Awards & Technology Conference feature 28 sessions, plus keynote speakers Dean Kamen and Oak Ridge National Laboratory Director Thom Mason. Learn more.