This is Zenek, the mascot of the Superconductivity Lab at Lublin University of Technology.
Fun With Superconductivity – [Link]
Together with researchers at Würzburg University, physicists at the Vienna University of Technology have developed a method to control and manipulate the polarization of light using ultra thin layers of semiconductor material. For future research on light and its polarization this is an important step forward – and this breakthrough could even open up possibilities for completely new computer technology. The experiment can be viewed as the optical version of an electronic transistor. The results of the experiment have been published in the renowned journal “Physical Review Letters”. [via]
Physicists rotate beams of light – [Link]
As previously posted, the ARISSat-1 amateur radio satellite remains inside the International Space Station awaiting its anticipated release into orbit this July.
According to the American Radio Relay League (ARRL) website, the ARISSat-1 satellite aboard the International Space Station will be on the air using the station’s external antenna, starting on Monday, April 11, at 14:30 UTC and continue until 10:30 UTC on April 13. This temporary activation is to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the first human spaceflight by cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin.
ARISSat-1 on the air this week (temporarily) - [Link]
Of all the criticisms of electric vehicles, probably the most commonly-heard is that their batteries take too long to recharge — after all, limited range wouldn’t be such a big deal if the cars could be juiced up while out and about, in just a few minutes. Well, while no one is promising anything, new batteries developed at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign do indeed look like they might be a step very much in the right direction. They are said to offer all the advantages of capacitors and batteries, in one unit. [via]
Complete battery recharging within minutes – [Link]
Engineering researchers at the University of Michigan have found a way to improve the performance of ferroelectric materials, which have the potential to make memory devices with more storage capacity than magnetic hard drives and faster write speed and longer lifetimes than flash memory. [via]
Fundamental discovery could lead to better memory chips – [Link]
Bill takes apart a smoke detector and shows how it uses a radioactive source to generate a tiny current which is disrupted when smoke flows through the sensor. He describes how a special transistor called a MOSFET can be used to detect the tiny current changes. [via]
Bill Hammack vs The Smoke Detector: “Engineering At Its Best” – [Link]
Is it possible to begin a new era of cheap electronics…If this is true, the development of a new production method could make it possible to manufacture superior-quality, flexible, electronic products at an extremely affordable price.
According to Aalto University in Finland, Professor Yutaka Ohno of the University of Nagoya in Japan and Professor Esko I. Kauppinen Aalto from universities and their research team have created a quick and effortless way to create high-performance, thin-film transistors on plastic substrate, professors think that the technology for semiconductor manufacturing, carbon nanotube plastic substrates will make it so that companies can manufacture flexible electronic products, such as electronic paper, with minimal costs.
The findings are published on 6 February in an electronic form of nanotechnology in the academic journal Nature Nanotechnology. [via]
Carbon nanotube transistors could lead to inexpensive electronics – [Link]
Researchers have finally transferred experimental fuel cells from the lab to handheld recharging stations that can replenish batteries in regions where electricity is scarce—from campsites to third-world outback. Look for fuel cell rechargers to become standard backpack equipment by 2012. [via]
Fuel Cell Rechargers Finally Here – [Link]
Already known for its high-precision micro-electro-mechanical system (MEMS) accelerometers, gyroscopes and complete inertial navigation units (IMUs), Analog Devices Inc. (ADI) has upped the ante for high-precision with its invention of quad-differential iMEMS gyros, which combine four separate sensing elements to cancel out the effects of vibration, noise and other environmental stimuli. Look for ultra-precise MEMS sensors to revolutionize automotive crash prevention over the next five years. [via]
ADI ups ante in high-precision gyroscopes – [Link]
Maximum PC has a list of the 15 Most Important Women in Tech History. [via]
Do a quick Google News search for “women in technology” and your results are sure to be bemoaning the lack of female bodies in the industry (or maybe just results for that White Town album). Last year both the NYT and the WSJ had articles related to the topic – and published within a few weeks of each other – with the WSJ’s title being “Addressing the Lack of Women Leading Tech Start-Ups” and the intro to the NYT piece setting the tone with: “It’s become a familiar lament: Where are the women in technology?” Likewise, the Wikipedia entry for “Women in Computing” focuses almost entirely on the decline of women in tech-related fields, the modern day fights against sexism in the industry, and has sections like “Attracting women in computer science” and “Gender theory and women in computing.” (Interesting side note: there is no entry for “Men in computing.”)
Very rarely do stories of women and technology vary in tone from the gender gap theme. Where are the women? Well, heck, we’ve been here all along – something we’ve recently pointed out in our Valentine’s Day piece about ENIAC. So, in honor of Women’s History Month and Ada Lovelace Day (March 24th), and all the women in tech, we’ve decided to pay homage by counting down the 15 Most Important Women in Tech History.
The 15 Most Important Women in Tech History – [Link]