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Nov 27, 2020

Electronic skin has a strong future stretching ahead

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

A material that mimics human skin in strength, stretchability and sensitivity could be used to collect biological data in real time. Electronic skin, or e-skin, may play an important role in next-generation prosthetics, personalized medicine, soft robotics and artificial intelligence.

“The ideal e-skin will mimic the many natural functions of human skin, such as sensing temperature and touch, accurately and in real time,” says KAUST postdoc Yichen Cai. However, making suitably flexible electronics that can perform such delicate tasks while also enduring the bumps and scrapes of everyday life is challenging, and each material involved must be carefully engineered.

Most e-skins are made by layering an active nanomaterial (the sensor) on a stretchy surface that attaches to human skin. However, the connection between these layers is often too weak, which reduces the durability and sensitivity of the material; alternatively, if it is too strong, flexibility becomes limited, making it more likely to crack and break the circuit.

Nov 27, 2020

David Sinclair — Aging Can Be Cured

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, genetics, life extension

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Nov 27, 2020

AI system finds, moves items in constricted regions

Posted by in categories: food, policy, robotics/AI

Artificial intelligence is being applied to virtually every aspect of our work and recreational lives. From determining calculations for the construction of towering skyscrapers to designing and building cruise ships the size of football fields, AI is increasingly playing a key role in the most massive projects.

But sometimes, all we want to do is move a can of beans.

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Nov 27, 2020

Scientists Detect Hints of Strange New Physics in The Universe’s Background Radiation

Posted by in categories: cosmology, particle physics

Throughout all known space, between the stars and the galaxies, an extremely faint glow suffuses, a relic left over from the dawn of the Universe. This is the cosmic microwave background (CMB), the first light that could travel through the Universe when it cooled enough around 380,000 years after the Big Bang for ions and electrons to combine into atoms.

But now scientists have discovered something peculiar about the CMB. A new measurement technique has revealed hints of a twist in the light — something that could be a sign of a violation of parity symmetry, hinting at physics outside the Standard Model.

According to the Standard Model of physics, if we were to flip the Universe as though it were a mirror reflection of itself, the laws of physics should hold firm. Subatomic interactions should occur in exactly the same way in the mirror as they do in the real Universe. This is called parity symmetry.

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Nov 27, 2020

A photonic crystal coupled to a transmission line via an artificial atom

Posted by in categories: engineering, particle physics, quantum physics

Researchers have recently displayed the interaction of superconducting qubits; the basic unit of quantum information, with surface acoustic wave resonators; a surface-wave equivalent of the crystal resonator, in quantum physics. This phenomena opens a new field of research, defined as quantum acoustodynamics to allow the development of new types of quantum devices. The main challenge in this venture is to manufacture acoustic resonators in the gigahertz range. In a new report now published on Nature Communications Physics, Aleksey N. Bolgar and a team of physicists in Artificial Quantum Systems and Physics, in Russia and the U.K., detailed the structure of a significantly simplified hybrid acoustodynamic device by replacing an acoustic resonator with a phononic crystal or acoustic metamaterial.

The crystal contained narrow metallic stripes on a quartz surface and this artificial atom or metal object in turn interacted with a microwave transmission line. In engineering, a transmission line is a connector that transmits energy from one point to another. The scientists used the setup to couple two degrees of freedom of different nature, i.e. acoustic and electromagnetic, with a single quantum object. Using a scattering spectrum of propagating electromagnetic waves on the they visualized acoustic modes of the phononic crystal. The geometry of the device allowed them to realize the effects of quantum acoustics on a simple and compact system.

Nov 27, 2020

Volkswagen and Cupra pitch in on solar electric yacht

Posted by in categories: solar power, sustainability, transportation

Austrian boatbuilder Silent Yachts has already gained a fair bit of attention with its solar electric catamarans. Its just-announced latest model should continue that trend, as it’s the result of a partnership with automakers Volkswagen and Cupra.

According to Silent Yachts, the as-yet unnamed solar-powered electric catamaran will feature the company’s own photovoltaic system. This will be used to charge batteries that will in turn provide power to the yacht’s onboard electronics, and to its electric propulsion system.

That system will be based around Volkswagen’s modular electric drive matrix (MEB) platform. MEB was initially designed as an optimized means of delivering power from a bank of chassis-integrated batteries to a motor on a car’s rear axle – the platform can also be set up for four-wheel-drive. Volkswagen has since made the technology available for third-party applications, hence its upcoming use for spinning the catamaran’s propellers.

Nov 27, 2020

Robots on the rise as Americans experience record job losses amid pandemic

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

They can check you in and deliver orange juice to your hotel room, answer your questions about a missing package, whip up sushi and pack up thousands of subscription boxes. And, perhaps most importantly, they are completely immune to Covid-19. While people have had a hard time in the coronavirus pandemic, robots are having a moment.

The Covid-19 pandemic has left millions of Americans unemployed – disproportionately those in the service industries where women and people of color make up the largest share of the labor force. In October, 11 million people were unemployed in the US, compared with about 6 million people who were without a job during the same time last year.

Nov 27, 2020

Waterproof And Breathable Arm Cast

Posted by in category: futurism

This breathable, washable ‘orthopedic cast’ could replace itchy, unhygienic conventional casts. (Follow Tech That Matters for more.)

Credit: OrthoHeal

Nov 27, 2020

Unprecedented accuracy in quantum electrodynamics: Giant leap toward solving proton charge radius puzzle

Posted by in categories: particle physics, quantum physics

Physicists at the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics have tested quantum mechanics to a completely new level of precision using hydrogen spectroscopy, and in doing so they came much closer to solving the well-known proton charge radius puzzle.

Scientists at the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics (MPQ) have succeeded in testing quantum electrodynamics with unprecedented accuracy to 13 decimal places. The new measurement is almost twice as accurate as all previous hydrogen measurements combined and moves science one step closer to solving the proton size puzzle. This high accuracy was achieved by the Nobel Prize-winning frequency comb technique, which debuted here for the first time to excite atoms in high-resolution spectroscopy. The results are published today in Science.

Physics is said to be an exact science. This means that predictions of physical theories – exact numbers – can be verified or falsified by experiments. The experiment is the highest judge of any theory. Quantum electrodynamics, the relativistic version of quantum mechanics, is without doubt the most successful theory to date. It allows extremely precise calculations to be performed, for example, the description of the spectrum of atomic hydrogen to 12 decimal places. Hydrogen is the most common element in the universe and at the same time the simplest with only one electron. And still, it hosts a mystery yet unknown.

Nov 27, 2020

Is coronavirus accelerating the growth of plant-based meat?

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, business, food

Sales for the category have exploded as the pandemic disrupts business as usual. Is this because people are turning away from animal-based eating, or is it keeping with the segment’s trends?

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