Tag Archives: photonics

A tiny Big Deal: Inserting DNA into a single cell

Once in a while it’s important to remind ourselves that not all important advances in science and technology are big (think of the Large Hadron Collider), wide ranging (like stem cell medicine), or controversial (global warming). Sometimes the advances are tiny (physically), quiet (taking place in research centers not in the media mainstream), and incremental […]
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Black plasmonic metals: Add to the list of potential solar cell improvement

To be flippant about it, it seems like new materials for solar cells are a dime a dozen. Meanwhile the old-fashioned silicon continues to beat the newbies on sheer manufacturing clout and price. However, not necessarily forever. There are some new materials with good research pedigrees. Case in point, a newly announced black plasmonic metal […]
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Micro-endoscope: A visual probe as thin as hair

A schematic of the micro-endoscope….Credit: Joseph Kahn, Stanford University The endoscope, a thinish, flexible tube with a light and image sensor or lenses at the probe end, is an indispensable tool of medicine, especially surgery. Endoscopy, the technique of using the endoscope, is the driving force behind minimally invasive surgery, which is radically changing the […]
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Nanobeam: Monitoring cells from the inside

A nanobeam probe (handle showing) inserted into a cell……credit: Gary Shambat, Stanford School of Engineering Scientists, like journalists, like to get the inside story. In the case of biologists, it amounts to an unending push to get inside the workings of living things and see what ‘really’ goes on. For example, how great it would […]
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Quantum Teleportation: Step 4, 150 Kilometers

It’s a race of sorts. It’s a race to be the first research team to use quantum teleportation to transmit messages to and from orbiting satellites. The distance of this transmission will be about 500 kilometers. The latest ‘leg’ of this race was just completed by a team of European physicists and published at arXiv […]
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Plasmonic nanostructures make graphene viable for super-fast communications

On the one hand graphene, a single layer of carbon atoms in a honeycomb pattern, can move electrons (electricity) very fast and efficiently. On the other hand graphene is lousy at absorbing energy, specifically from sunlight; only about 3% is absorbed. Sounds like graphene, a wonder material in many accounts, isn’t cut out for solar […]
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Promising new material: Electronic and optically active photonic crystals

Although it’s not as tricky as producing new drugs for medicine, developing new materials for commercial electronics is usually no sure thing. There is a long path of testing and development between the first prototype material and something that can be manufactured in large quantities and used in a variety of products. On top of […]
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Better communications: One laser – 26 Terabits per second, a new record

Imagine transmitting the content of the entire Library of Congress in ten seconds. Yes, that’s fast. That communication speed translates to 26 terabits per second, which is, for now, the fastest speed attained by a communication system using a single laser beam and optical fiber. Actually not so long ago people could barely imagine transmitting […]
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NEWS: Short List

Restraining and studying molecules, two at a time – Photonics | The usual way of studying how molecules react to a catalyst is to put them into a solution and observe – typically huge numbers of reactions. This works to a point, the point being the amount of detail that can be surmised from so […]
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NEWS: Short List

Targeting cancer with magnetic microcarrier – Nanomedicine | As a rule chemotherapy is like using a blunderbuss against cancer. ‘Chemo’ is administered through the bloodstream, which of course goes everywhere in the body. While the anti-cancer chemistry can be targeted to a certain extent, it almost always has toxic side effects with other organs and […]
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