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Archive for the ‘engineering’ category

Oct 18, 2019

Quantum spacetime on a quantum simulator

Posted by in categories: computing, engineering, mathematics, nuclear energy, quantum physics

Quantum simulation plays an irreplaceable role in diverse fields, beyond the scope of classical computers. In a recent study, Keren Li and an interdisciplinary research team at the Center for Quantum Computing, Quantum Science and Engineering and the Department of Physics and Astronomy in China, U.S. Germany and Canada. Experimentally simulated spin-network states by simulating quantum spacetime tetrahedra on a four-qubit nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) quantum simulator. The experimental fidelity was above 95 percent. The research team used the quantum tetrahedra prepared by nuclear magnetic resonance to simulate a two-dimensional (2-D) spinfoam vertex (model) amplitude, and display local dynamics of quantum spacetime. Li et al. measured the geometric properties of the corresponding quantum tetrahedra to simulate their interactions. The experimental work is an initial attempt and a basic module to represent the Feynman diagram vertex in the spinfoam formulation, to study loop quantum gravity (LQG) using quantum information processing. The results are now available on Communication Physics.

Classical computers cannot study large quantum systems despite successful simulations of a variety of physical systems. The systematic constraints of classical computers occurred when the linear growth of quantum system sizes corresponded to the exponential growth of the Hilbert Space, a mathematical foundation of quantum mechanics. Quantum physicists aim to overcome the issue using quantum computers that process information intrinsically or quantum-mechanically to outperform their classical counterparts exponentially. In 1982, Physicist Richard Feynman defined quantum computers as quantum systems that can be controlled to mimic or simulate the behaviour or properties of relatively less accessible quantum systems.

In the present work, Li et al. used nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) with a high controllable performance on the quantum system to develop simulation methods. The strategy facilitated the presentation of quantum geometries of space and spacetime based on the analogies between nuclear spin states in NMR samples and spin-network states in quantum gravity. Quantum gravity aims to unite the Einstein gravity with quantum mechanics to expand our understanding of gravity to the Planck scale (1.22 x 1019 GeV). At the Planck scale (magnitudes of space, time and energy) Einstein gravity and the continuum of spacetime breakdown can be replaced via quantum spacetime. Research approaches toward understanding quantum spacetimes are presently rooted in spin networks (a graph of lines and nodes to represent the quantum state of space at a certain point in time), which are an important, non-perturbative framework of quantum gravity.

Oct 15, 2019

Amazing New Rocket Engine Sucks up Atmospheric Oxygen for Fuel

Posted by in categories: engineering, space travel

“The positive conclusion of our preliminary design review marks a major milestone in SABRE development,” Mark Ford, heading ESA’s Propulsion Engineering section, said in a statement. “It confirms the test version of this revolutionary new class of engine is ready for implementation.”

READ MORE: Air-Breathing Rocket Engine Gets Green Light for Major Tests [Space.com]

More on Reaction Engines: New Rocket Engine Could Whip You From London to Sydney in 4 Hours.

Oct 15, 2019

Moving Beyond Mind-Controlled Limbs to Prosthetics That Can Actually ‘Feel’

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, cyborgs, Elon Musk, engineering, robotics/AI

Brain-machine interface enthusiasts often gush about “closing the loop.” It’s for good reason. On the implant level, it means engineering smarter probes that only activate when they detect faulty electrical signals in brain circuits. Elon Musk’s Neuralinkamong other players—are readily pursuing these bi-directional implants that both measure and zap the brain.

But to scientists laboring to restore functionality to paralyzed patients or amputees, “closing the loop” has broader connotations. Building smart mind-controlled robotic limbs isn’t enough; the next frontier is restoring sensation in offline body parts. To truly meld biology with machine, the robotic appendage has to “feel one” with the body.

Continue reading “Moving Beyond Mind-Controlled Limbs to Prosthetics That Can Actually ‘Feel’” »

Oct 15, 2019

Unique dendritic sticky particles formed by harnessing ‘liquid chaos’

Posted by in categories: engineering, food, nanotechnology, particle physics

New research from North Carolina State University shows that unique materials with distinct properties akin to those of gecko feet—the ability to stick to just about any surface—can be created by harnessing liquid-driven chaos to produce soft polymer microparticles with hierarchical branching on the micro- and nanoscale.

The findings, described in the journal Nature Materials, hold the potential for advances in gels, pastes, foods, nonwovens and coatings, among other formulations.

The soft dendritic particle materials with unique adhesive and structure-building properties can be created from a variety of polymers precipitated from solutions under special conditions, says Orlin Velev, S. Frank and Doris Culberson Distinguished Professor of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering at NC State and corresponding author of the paper.

Oct 15, 2019

Researchers build a soft robot with neurologic capabilities

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, cyborgs, engineering, robotics/AI

In work that combines a deep understanding of the biology of soft-bodied animals such as earthworms with advances in materials and electronic technologies, researchers from the United States and China have developed a robotic device containing a stretchable transistor that allows neurological function.

Cunjiang Yu, Bill D. Cook Associate Professor of Mechanical Engineering at the University of Houston, said the work represents a significant step toward the development of prosthetics that could directly connect with the in biological tissues, offering to , as well as toward advances in soft neurorobots capable of thinking and making judgments. Yu is corresponding author for a paper describing the work, published in Science Advances.

He is also a principal investigator with the Texas Center for Superconductivity at the University of Houston.

Oct 14, 2019

3D integrated metasurfaces stacking up for impressive holography

Posted by in categories: computing, encryption, engineering, holograms, nanotechnology, physics, security, transportation

Physicists and materials scientists have developed a compact optical device containing vertically stacked metasurfaces that can generate microscopic text and full-color holograms for encrypted data storage and color displays. Yueqiang Hu and a research team in Advanced Design and Manufacturing for Vehicle Body in the College of Mechanical and Vehicle Engineering in China implemented a 3D integrated metasurface device to facilitate miniaturization of the optical device. Using metasurfaces with ultrathin and compact characteristics, the research team designed optical elements by engineering the wavefront of light at the subwavelength scale. The metasurfaces possessed great potential to integrate multiple functions into the miniaturized optoelectronic systems. The work is now published on Light: Science & Applications.

Since existing research on multiplexing in the 2-D plane remains to fully incorporate capabilities of metasurfaces for multi-tasking, in the present work, the team demonstrated a 3D integrated metasurface device. For this, they stacked a hologram metasurface on a monolithic Fabry-Pérot (FP) cavity-based color filter microarray to achieve simultaneous cross-talk, polarization-independent and highly efficient full-color holography and microprint functions. The dual function of the device outlined a new scheme for data recording, security, encryption and information processing applications. The work on 3D integration can be extended to establish flat multi-tasking optical systems that include a variety of functional metasurface layers.

Metasurfaces open a new direction in optoelectronics, allowing researchers to design optical elements by shaping the wavefront of electromagnetic waves relative to size, shape and arrangement of structures at the subwavelength. Physicists have engineered a variety of metasurface-based devices including lenses, polarization converters, holograms and orbital angular momentum generators (OAM). They have demonstrated the performance of metasurface-based devices to even surpass conventional refractive elements to construct compact optical devices with multiple functions. Such devices are, however, withheld by shortcomings due to a reduced efficiency of plasmonic nanostructures, polarization requirements, large crosstalk and complexity of the readout for multiwavelength and broadband optical devices. Research teams can therefore stack 3D metasurface-based devices with different functions in the vertical direction to combine the advantages of each device.

Oct 14, 2019

Meet the new prototype in electromagnetic oil spill remediation technology

Posted by in category: engineering

Many Fermilab followers are aware that Fermilab’s Office of Partnerships & Technology Transfer licensed the laboratory’s electromagnetic oil spill remediation technology to Natural Science LLC in 2015. This agreement enabled Natural Science, led by physicist and inventor Arden Warner, to design and develop a novel electromagnetic technology for cleaning oil spills. A key milestone of the agreement was to produce the first prototype and then move toward commercialization.

That prototype is now here. The concept that started as demonstrations with water, oil and magnetite in a 9-ounce cup has developed into a full-scale device. With Natural Science’s permission, we are sharing some images of this full-scale prototype below.

As you can see, the technology has come a long way from the permanent magnet demonstration videos you may have seen years ago when this was a mere concept. The system includes a scalable string of floating solenoid modules feeding a magnetic ramp and separator apparatus. Much engineering has gone into making these components work together as an oil spill solution.

Oct 13, 2019

Study finds method to diagnose Lyme disease within 15 minutes

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, engineering

Researchers have developed a new treatment method capable of detecting Lyme disease in just 15 minutes.

Caused by Borrelia burgdorferi and transmitted by the bite of infected Ixodes ticks, Lyme disease if left untreated can cause serious neurologic, cardiac, and/or rheumatologic complications.

“Our findings are the first to demonstrate that Lyme disease diagnosis can be carried out in a microfluidic format that can provide rapid quantitative results,” said Sam Sia, professor of biomedical engineering at Columbia Engineering.

Oct 11, 2019

For $150,000 you can now order your own Hoverbike

Posted by in categories: engineering, law, transportation

Circa 2018


After first spotting this crazy looking motorcycle-styled hoverbike in early 2017, we were skeptical the contraption would ever move beyond just an odd engineering curiosity. However, Russian company Hoversurf has just revealed its hoverbikes are now ready for production and preorders are open, with delivery scheduled for sometime in 2019.

Continue reading “For $150,000 you can now order your own Hoverbike” »

Oct 11, 2019

Researchers find way to harness AI creativity

Posted by in categories: engineering, mobile phones, robotics/AI

Researchers have found a way to marry human creativity and artificial intelligence (AI) creativity to dramatically boost the performance of deep learning.

A team led by Alexander Wong, a Canada Research Chair in the area of AI and a professor of systems design engineering at the University of Waterloo, developed a new type of compact family of neural networks that could run on smartphones, tablets, and other embedded and mobile devices.

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