Using aluminum and lasers to make bendable glass (18/11/2019)

An international team of researchers has found a way to make bendable glass using lasers fired at crystalline aluminum oxide. In their paper published in the journal Science, the group describes their technique and the features of the glass they produced. Lothar Wondraczek with the University of Jena has published a companion piece in the same journal issue outlining the history of scientists attempting to overcome the brittleness of glass.

Breaking carbon dioxide faster, cheaper, and more efficiently (18/11/2019)

A new catalyst breaks carbon dioxide into useful chemicals faster, cheaper, and more efficiently than the standard method, reports a team of researchers in this week's issue of PNAS. The discovery could make it possible to economically turn carbon dioxide into fuels.

Research team develops tiny low-energy device to rapidly reroute light in computer chips (18/11/2019)

Researchers at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) and their colleagues have developed an optical switch that routes light from one computer chip to another in just 20 billionths of a second—faster than any other similar device. The compact switch is the first to operate at voltages low enough to be integrated onto low-cost silicon chips and redirects light with very low signal loss.

New material breaks world record for turning heat into electricity (18/11/2019)

A new type of material generates electrical current very efficiently from temperature differences. This allows sensors and small processors to supply themselves with energy wirelessly.

A method for self-supervised robotic learning that entails setting feasible goals (18/11/2019)

Reinforcement learning (RL) has so far proved to be an effective technique for training artificial agents on individual tasks. However, when it comes to training multi-purpose robots, which should be able to complete a variety of tasks that require different skills, most existing RL approaches are far from ideal.

New artificial intelligence system automatically evolves to evade internet censorship (18/11/2019)

Internet censorship by authoritarian governments prohibits free and open access to information for millions of people around the world. Attempts to evade such censorship have turned into a continually escalating race to keep up with ever-changing, increasingly sophisticated internet censorship. Censoring regimes have had the advantage in that race, because researchers must manually search for ways to circumvent censorship, a process that takes considerable time.

New electrodes could increase efficiency of electric vehicles and aircraft (11/11/2019)

The rise in popularity of electric vehicles and aircraft presents the possibility of moving away from fossil fuels toward a more sustainable future. While significant technological advancements have dramatically increased the efficiency of these vehicles, there are still several issues standing in the way of widespread adoption.

New photonic liquid crystals could lead to next-generation displays (11/11/2019)

A new technique to change the structure of liquid crystals could lead to the development of fast-responding liquid crystals suitable for next generation displays—3-D, augmented and virtual reality—and advanced photonic applications such as mirrorless lasers, bio-sensors and fast/slow light generation, according to an international team of researchers from Penn State, the Air Force Research Laboratory and the National Sun Yat-sen University, Taiwan.

Researchers convert 2-D images into 3-D using deep learning (11/11/2019)

A UCLA research team has devised a technique that extends the capabilities of fluorescence microscopy, which allows scientists to precisely label parts of living cells and tissue with dyes that glow under special lighting. The researchers use artificial intelligence to turn two-dimensional images into stacks of virtual three-dimensional slices showing activity inside organisms.

Invention of teeny-tiny organic films could enable new electronics (11/11/2019)

The first cell phone, released in 1983, was the size of a brick and weighed two-and-a-half pounds. The newest Apple Watch, released this fall, weighs 1.1 ounces.