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Jun 1, 2016

Physicists make first observation of the pushing pressure of light

Posted by in category: physics

(—For more than 100 years, scientists have debated the question: when light travels through a medium such as oil or water, does it pull or push on the medium? While most experiments have found that light exerts a pulling pressure, in a new paper physicists have, for the first time, found evidence that light exerts a pushing pressure.

The scientists suggest that this apparent contradiction is not a fundamental one, but can be explained by the interplay between the light and the fluid medium: if the light can put the fluid in motion, it exerts a pushing force; if not, it exerts a pulling force.

The researchers, Li Zhang, Weilong She, and Nan Peng at Sun Yat-Sen University in Guangzhou, China, and Ulf Leonhardt at the Weizmann Institute of Science in Rehovot, Israel, have published a paper on the first evidence for the pushing of light in a recent issue of the New Journal of Physics.

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Jun 1, 2016

What The Future Of Supermarkets May Look Like

Posted by in categories: food, robotics/AI

This concept, by Italian designer Carlo Ratti Associati, features many futuristic designs such as transparent displays and robots boxing up your food.

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Jun 1, 2016

Uber, Ford, and Google Teaming Up to Radically Change Driving Laws

Posted by in categories: robotics/AI, transportation

With a new lobby, driverless cars could gain some legitimacy and legislation for the road. The question is whether they are good for the environment or not.

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Jun 1, 2016

Genetically modified bacteria converts CO2 into liquid fuels

Posted by in categories: bioengineering, energy, genetics, transportation

Daniel G. Nocera, the Harvard professor who made headlines five years ago when he unveiled an artificial leaf, recently unveiled his latest work: an engineered bacteria that converts hydrogen and carbon dioxide into alcohols and biomass. One can be used directly as fuel to power vehicles that run on conventional fuels, while the other can be burned for energy.

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Jun 1, 2016

Watch radio controlled car that taught itself to DRIFT

Posted by in categories: education, information science, transportation

Georgia Institute of Technology developed a control algorithm that ‘taught’ 3-ft, 48lb rally cars how to plan and execute optimal handling decisions in real-time while on rough terrain.

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Jun 1, 2016

Graphene That Behaves Like Water Can Pave Way For Chips That Can Model Black Hole, Supernova Behaviors

Posted by in categories: computing, cosmology, particle physics

Researchers used high-purity graphene and observed for the first time that its charged particles behave like fluid with relativistic properties. This discovery holds promise for thermoelectric devices as well as for studying the behavior of black holes and celestial bodies.

( Peter Allen/Harvard SEAS )

Electrons in graphene appear for the first time to behave like a liquid, potentially leading to devices that can efficiently convert heat to electricity and chips that can precisely model the behavior of black holes and high-energy celestial objects.

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Jun 1, 2016

Here’s why the inventor of the Internet supports basic income

Posted by in categories: economics, employment, internet, robotics/AI

With the robot economy looming large in the coming decades, one solution to vanishing jobs may simply be to give people money regardless of whether or not they work.

That idea is called “basic income,” and it just gained the support of one of the tech world’s founding fathers, Internet inventor Tim Berners-Lee.

“I think a basic income is one of the ways of addressing massive global inequality,” Berners-Lee, who founded the Web in 1989, explained on a recent episode of The Economist podcast.

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Jun 1, 2016

​Forget self-driving cars: What about self-flying drones?

Posted by in categories: drones, robotics/AI, transportation

While all the focus has been on autonomous vehicles, one Belgian startup has been busily developing self-flying features for drones.

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Jun 1, 2016

Asus Has Unveiled A New, Adorable Robot Butler

Posted by in categories: habitats, robotics/AI

For $599 your home can have a futuristic robot butler.

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Jun 1, 2016

Researchers create high-speed electronics for your skin

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, electronics, habitats, internet, mobile phones, wearables

Make no mistake, today’s wearables are clever pieces of kit. But they can be bulky and restricted by the devices they must be tethered to. This has led engineers to create thinner and more powerful pieces of wearable technology that can be applied directly to the skin. Now, researchers at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, led by Zhenqiang “Jack” Ma, have developed “the world’s fastest stretchable, wearable integrated circuits,” that could let hospitals apply a temporary tattoo and remove the need for wires and clips.

With its snake-like shape, the new platform supports frequencies in the .3 gigahertz to 300 gigahertz range. This falls in what is set to become the 5G standard. For a mobile phone, 5G enables faster speeds and greater coverage, but with epidermal electronics, engineers have discussed the possibility that wearers could transmit their vitals to a doctor without having to leave their home.

While the idea isn’t unique, the integrated circuits created by Ma and his team have a much smaller footprint than those developed by other researchers. Earlier transmission lines can measure up to 640 micrometers (or .64 millimeters), but UW–Madison’s solution is just 25 micrometers (or .025 millimeters) thick. The Air Force Office of Scientific Research also supports Ma’s research, suggesting that his wearable breakthroughs may help pilots of the future.

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