System Bits: June 18


Another win for aUToronto Photo credit: University of Toronto The University of Toronto’s student-led self-driving car team racked up its second consecutive victory last month at the annual AutoDrive Challenge in Ann Arbor, Mich. The three-year challenge goes out to North American universities, offering a Chevrolet Bolt electric vehicle to outfit with autonomous driving technology.... » read more

Power/Performance Bits: April 2


DNA programming Computer scientists at California Institute of Technology, University of California, Davis, Maynooth University, and Harvard University created a library of DNA molecules that can self-assemble to compute a variety of algorithms. Each molecule represents a six-bit binary number. The library created by the team is made up of around 700 short pieces, or tiles, of DNA. Each DNA... » read more

Manufacturing Bits: Oct. 30


World’s smallest gyroscope The California Institute of Technology has developed the world's smallest optical gyroscope. The gyroscope is 500 times smaller than current devices, but it can detect phase shifts that are 30 times smaller than today’s systems. [caption id="attachment_24139584" align="alignleft" width="300"] The new optical gyroscope—shown here with grains of rice—is 5... » read more

Manufacturing Bits: Oct. 16


World’s fastest camera The Institut national de la recherche scientifique (INRS) in Canada has developed what researchers say is the world’s fastest camera. The camera, called T-CUP, is capable of capturing ten trillion frames per second. It’s possible to nearly freeze time to see various phenomena in the system. In a system, the technology can be used to take high-speed images of sam... » read more

Power/Performance Bits: Mar. 13


Wireless charging Engineers at the University of Washington developed a method to safely charge a smartphone wirelessly using a laser, potentially as quickly as a standard USB cable. Safety features of the system include a reflector-based mechanism to shut off the laser and heatsinks. The charging beam is generated by a laser emitter that the team configured to produce a focused beam in the... » read more

System Bits: Aug. 16


Record-breaking quantum logic gate Reaching the benchmark required theoretically to build a quantum computer, University of Oxford researchers have achieved a quantum logic gate with record-breaking 99.9% precision. They reminded that quantum computers, which function according to the laws of quantum physics, have the potential to dwarf the processing power of today's computers, able to pro... » read more

Manufacturing Bits: March 11


Plasmonic lab-on-a-chip For some time, lab-on-a-chip (LOC) systems have generated interest in the medical field. LOC systems provide analysis of biomolecules for use in basic biology research, disease marker identification and pharmaceutical drug screening. In one effort, Boston University, the California Institute of Technology, EPFL, Pontificia Universidad Catolica del Peru and UCLA have ... » read more

System Bits: Nov. 12


3D Printers When thinking about 3D printers, most people probably think about creating small plastic parts or prototypes. 3D printing now can be used to print lithium-ion microbatteries the size of a grain of sand. The printed microbatteries could supply electricity to tiny devices in fields from medicine to communications, including many that have lingered on lab benches for lack of a batt... » read more

Power/Performance Bits: Oct. 1


First Computer Based On Carbon Nanotubes Pointing toward a new generation of energy-efficient electronics, a team of Stanford engineers has built a basic computer using carbon nanotubes (CNT), a semiconductor material that has the potential to launch a new generation of electronic devices that run faster, while using less energy, than those made from silicon chips. People have been talking ... » read more

Boson Hunting


By Ed Sperling It’s not the “God particle” or anything even remotely connected to the formation of the universe. But in particle physics, the powerful forces that keep the tiny particles in an atom confined to a very small space are now coming into much better focus. [caption id="attachment_5772" align="alignnone" width="640"] Source: Cern.ch[/caption] The reason is a combination o... » read more