Submitted by Stuart Watson on Tue, 04/10/2011 - 10:42
This is a beautiful demonstration of a trick of the light that we are all quite familiar with, and it even has an on/off switch. An aerogel sheet of carbon nanotubes is rapidly heated by electrical stimulation. The heat is conducted away and into the surrounding water, where a mirage effect is created. Light is then deflected away from the layer of heated water, rendering anything placed behind it invisible.
Submitted by Stuart Watson on Fri, 11/09/2009 - 23:50
The demand for consumer electronics to get smaller, lighter and cheaper, is a stimulus for great ingenuity. Cell phones are a classic example where electrical engineers and designers are constantly working to put a whole lot more into ever smaller spaces. And now that cameras are almost as standard a feature in these devices as the ring tone, optical engineers must also devise increasingly clever ways to shrink the optics while improving their performance.
Submitted by Stuart Watson on Mon, 06/10/2008 - 08:35
Wasted food amounts to loss of earnings if you're a retailer selling produce. Damaged or rotting fruits and vegetables are routinely thrown out when they can no longer be sold. It is therefore imperative that the retailer buys produce with a good shelf life. But knowing which ones will stay fresh the longest is not always apparent from a visual inspection. Bruised fruit may show no signs of damage on the surface but will be the first to rot.
Submitted by Stuart Watson on Thu, 18/09/2008 - 14:19
As the old saying goes, there are many ways to skin a cat. Similarly, there are a plethora of ways to perform high-speed photography, many of which could no doubt provide detailed information on the most rapid and effective means of liberating that proverbial cat of its furry pelt. A new concept in high-speed photography provides both high speed and high image quality. The technique, recently demonstrated by researchers in Jordan and the United States, relies on the precise timing of dual-cavity lasers and dual-frame cameras, and the ability of each camera to record images at only selected wavelengths. Their system can record multiple, high resolution frames at rates up to 200 MHz1.
Submitted by Stuart Watson on Wed, 27/08/2008 - 11:14
If I could get to the International Consumer Electronics Exhibition in Berlin next week, I'd be heading straight for the virtual mirror, a product developed at the Fraunhofer Institute for Telecommunications, Heinrich-Hertz-Institut. It's not really a mirror and the only optics involved are in the camera and display, the main story here being the power of computing.
Submitted by Stuart Watson on Wed, 14/05/2008 - 15:13
Tooth decay is one of the world's most prevalent diseases and the usual dental practise for dealing with it is a rather unpleasant remedy to a problem that has progressed too far, involving drilling and filling. If caught early enough, however, there are ways in which remineralisation can be encouraged in the tooth, thereby repairing the damage.