Tech

New technology could allow a CD to hold up to one hundred times more information by using terahertz radiation rather than visible light, even though the length of a terahertz wave is about 1000 times longer, say University of Michigan researchers.

Manipulating light waves, or electromagnetic radiation, has led to many technologies, from cameras to lasers to medical imaging machines that can see inside the human body and now scientists have developed a way to make a lens-like device that focuses electromagnetic waves down to the tiniest of points.

Like the surface motif of a bubble bath, the spatial distribution of a magnetic field penetrating a superconductor can exhibit an intricate, foam-like structure. Ruslan Prozorov at the U.S. Department of Energy’s Ames Laboratory has observed these mystifying, two-dimensional equilibrium patterns in lead samples when the material is in its superconducting state, below 7.2 Kelvin, or minus 446.71 degrees Fahrenheit.

A generator that is 10 times more powerful than any other similar devices has been developed by engineers at the University of Southampton.

Dr Steve Beeby and his team at the University's School of Electronics & Computer Science (ECS) have developed a kinetic energy generator which generates electrical energy from the vibrations and movements present within its environment.

'This is the most successful generator of its kind and generates energy much more efficiently than any similar device of its size,' said Dr Beeby.

An international working group under the direction of Wolfgang und Roswitha Wiltschko of Frankfurt University has now succeeded in demonstrating the presence of a magnetic sense of direction in domestic chickens.

40 years ago, Prof. Dr. Wolfgang Wiltschko was the first to prove that migrating robins use the Earth’s magnetic field to direct themselves during migration.

The quality and size of electronic display screens may have gotten a lot better. We may also soon see erasable and rewritable electronic paper and ink that can change color electromagnetically, thanks to University of California, Riverside nanotechnologists who have succeeded in controlling the color of very small particles of iron oxide suspended in water simply by applying an external magnetic field to the solution.

Scientists have obtained the first-ever 3D pictures of magnetic reconnection events, the dances on the solar winds of near-Earth space.

In magnetic reconnection, magnetic field lines from different magnetic domains collide and reconnect, mixing previously separated plasma. Plasma is a gas composed of ions and electrons but is electrically neutral, spread over large distances in space and guided by the action of magnetic and electric fields.

Researchers have used nanotechnology to create transparent transistors and circuits, a step that promises a broad range of applications, from e-paper and flexible color screens for consumer electronics to "smart cards" and "heads-up" displays in auto windshields.

The transistors are made of single "nanowires," or tiny cylindrical structures that were assembled on glass or thin films of flexible plastic.

It figures: Dads have a major impact on the degree of interest their daughters develop in math. That's one of the findings of a long-term University of Michigan study that has traced the sources of the continuing gender gap in math and science performance.

Just a few years ago, the average computer user’s documents, applications and even photos seemed to rattle around a 120 GB disk drive. Today’s multimedia-intensive user can exhaust that capacity in no time and engineers expect to max out conventional magnetic storage techniques by about 2010.

At that point, they’ll be looking for nanotechnology to step up.

An international team including researcher Ermanno Borra, from Université Laval’s Center for Optics, Photonics, and Laser, have found a combination of materials that allows the creation of a highly reflective liquid mirror capable of functioning even on the moon's harsh landscape.

Science fiction? Not at all.