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May 29, 2024

GaN-VCSELs Hit New Milestones: Japanese Researchers Achieve Unprecedented Resonance Control

Posted by in category: computing

The gallium nitride purple surface-emitting laser with a power conversion efficiency of more than 20%. Credit: Tetsuya Takeuchi / Meijo University.

Gallium nitride (GaN) vertical-cavity surface-emitting lasers (VCSELs) are semiconductor laser diodes with promising applications in various fields, including adaptive headlights, retinal scanning displays, point-of-care testing systems, and high-speed visible light communication systems. Their high efficiency and low manufacturing costs make them especially appealing for these applications.

GaN-VCSELs are composed of two layers of special semiconductor mirrors, called distributed Bragg reflectors (DBRs), separated by active GaN-semiconductor layers, which form the optical resonant cavity, where laser light is generated. The length of this resonant cavity is crucial for controlling the target laser wavelength, called the resonance wavelength.

May 29, 2024

Suicide Risk Increased in Women With Premenstrual Disorders, Study Finds

Posted by in category: neuroscience

Menstruation can often come with a degree of discomfort as the uterus prepares to shed. For some, the effects can be horrendous.

It’s estimated that some 5 to 8 percent of women experience moderate to severe symptoms that have a noticeably negative impact on their lives, mental health, and ability to function normally. These premenstrual disorders, or PMDs, affect millions of women globally, yet we know shockingly little about their long-term consequences.

Now, a new nationwide observational study in Sweden has shown that women with PMDs have an increased risk of suicide. In fact, they’re more than twice as likely to die by suicide as women without PMDs. It’s a sobering figure, one that strongly suggests more work needs to be done to understand PMDs, and help the people who suffer from them.

May 29, 2024

No, All That Sugar Won’t Make Your Kid Hyperactive. Even if They Have ADHD

Posted by in categories: energy, food

It’s a Saturday afternoon at a kids’ birthday party. Hordes of children are swarming between the spread of birthday treats and party games. Half-eaten cupcakes, biscuits and lollies litter the floor, and the kids seem to have gained superhuman speed and bounce-off-the-wall energy.

But is sugar to blame?

The belief that eating sugary foods and drinks leads to hyperactivity has steadfastly persisted for decades. And parents have curtailed their children’s intake accordingly.

May 29, 2024

NOAA predicts above-normal 2024 Atlantic hurricane season

Posted by in category: climatology

La Nina and warmer-than-average ocean temperatures are major drivers of tropical activity.

May 29, 2024

Ledger starts shipping its high-end hardware crypto wallet

Posted by in category: energy

Ledger, a French startup mostly known for its secure crypto hardware wallets, has started shipping new wallets nearly 18 months after announcing the latest Ledger Stax devices.

The updated wallet features an E-Ink display and has been designed in partnership with Tony Fadell, one of the main designers behind the iPod. E-Ink technology is generally used for e-book readers like the Amazon Kindle or the Rakuten Kobo because the displays look good in daylight and don’t require a lot of power.

After fulfilling all preorders, the company will list the Ledger Stax on its website once it has more stock available. The reason the hardware wallet fell behind schedule is the company may have overpromised on the design front. The Ledger Stax features a curved E-Ink display. It said it has been more difficult than expected to produce curved E-Ink displays at scale.

May 29, 2024

Producing gold nano-particles (and hydrogen) in water without the need for toxic chemicals

Posted by in categories: chemistry, nanotechnology, particle physics

In a surprise discovery, Flinders University nanotechnology researchers have produced a range of different types of gold nanoparticles by adjusting water flow in the novel vortex fluidic device—without the need for toxic chemicals. The article, “Nanogold Foundry Involving High-Shear-Mediated Photocontact Electrification in Water,” has been published in Small Science.

May 29, 2024

Ford teases new F-150 Lightning-based EV SuperTruck ahead of Pikes Peak [Video]

Posted by in categories: climatology, sustainability

Ford Performance is at it again. The high-performance unit is teasing its new Ford F-150 Lightning-based EV SuperTruck ahead of its official debut. To showcase its abilities, Ford’s new electric SuperTruck will compete in the upcoming Pikes Peak International Hill Climb.

Based on its best-selling electric pickup, Ford’s Performance team tweaked the Lightning-based EV SuperTruck to boost power and aerodynamics.

Ford says running test electric vehicles at Pikes Peak enables it to “push the boundaries of EV powertrains in the most extreme conditions.” The team then relays what it learns to improve Ford’s production vehicles.

May 29, 2024

YouTube Music will let you search by humming into your Android phone

Posted by in categories: media & arts, mobile phones

YouTube Music is humming along.

May 29, 2024

Researchers develop new electrode binder material for high-performance sodium-ion batteries

Posted by in categories: energy, materials

Lithium-ion batteries have been at the forefront of energy storage technologies. However, the availability of lithium is limited. Consequently, the growing demand for energy-storage systems has led to the search for low-cost and more accessible materials for rechargeable batteries. Sodium-ion batteries (SIBs) are a promising candidate due to the virtually unlimited sodium (Na) resources in seawater and salt deposits.

May 29, 2024

Top US coal producer Wyoming just approved a $1.2B solar farm

Posted by in categories: solar power, sustainability

Wyoming just approved its largest solar farm – 771 megawatts (MW) of utility-scale solar plus battery storage.

Developer Enbridge has been issued a siting permit by the Industrial Siting Council to construct and operate Cowboy Solar I & II on private land leases in Laramie County, in the state’s southeast corner. Next steps will be to obtain county, environmental, and municipal permits.

Cowboy Solar I will include 400 MW of solar power and 136 MW of battery storage, while Cowboy Solar II will have 371 MW of solar power and 133 MW of battery storage.

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