A team from Harvard University’s John A. Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences (SEAS) has developed rewritable optical components for surface lightwaves. When a wave of light is confined on a 2D plane by certain materials, it becomes something known as a polariton — a particle that blurs the line between light and matter. [..]

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Nearly every day brings news about climate change and its impacts, from wildfires in Greenland to melting ice on Antarctica to Europeans sweating through record-high summer temperatures. These stories, plus urgent warnings about rising sea levels and record amounts of greenhouse gases, can foster strong impulses to “do something.” One of the first jobs, though, [..]

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Most leading security standards (algorithm examples of which include Advanced Encryption Standard, or AES, and Rivest-Shamir-Adleman, or RSA, which are used in making online communications such as payments on shopping websites secure) used in secure communication methods do not take advantage of quantum technology. As a result, electronic transmission of personal identification numbers (PINs) or [..]

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With increasing demand for miniaturization of optoelectronics, the microlens array has attracted significant attention and become an important micro-optics device widely used in compact imaging, sensing, optical communication and others. Typically, microlens array consists of multiple micron-sized lenses with optical surface smoothness and superior uniformity, which increases the requirement for machining precision. Now researchers from [..]

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A new ultrasensitive nanoscale optical probe that can monitor the bioelectric activity of neurons (and other cells that generate electrical impulses) could help researchers better understand how neural circuits function at hitherto unexplored scales by measuring the activity of huge numbers of individual neurons at the same time. The device could also help in the [..]

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An international research team will test Einstein’s twin paradox using quantum particles in a superposition state — an experiment that could lead to more accurate sensors and clocks. The twin paradox postulates that time can pass at different speeds for people who are at different distances from a large mass or who are traveling at [..]

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A team of researchers in China—drawing inspiration from the kaleidoscope, a toy familiar to generations of novelty-shop visitors—has developed a new technique for tweaking and engineering the mirror symmetry of polarization in structured optical fields (APL Photon., doi: 10.1063/1.5117269). The researchers believe that the adjustable symmetries and geometries of these polarization states, which the team [..]

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Physicists and materials scientists have developed a compact optical device containing vertically stacked metasurfaces that can generate microscopic text and full-color holograms for encrypted data storage and color displays. Yueqiang Hu and a research team in Advanced Design and Manufacturing for Vehicle Body in the College of Mechanical and Vehicle Engineering in China implemented a [..]

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A team of scientists in China has developed a test that involves highly sensitive coamplification at lower denaturation temperature polymerase chain reaction (COLD-PCR) coupled with probe-based fluorescence melting curve analysis (FMCA) for precision diagnosis of chronic hepatitis B (CHB) patients. The simplified, low-cost test may be used routinely in hospital laboratories. Hepatitis B virus (HBV) [..]

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Using a fluorescent probe that lights up when brain cells are electrically active, MIT and Boston University researchers have shown that they can image the activity of many neurons at once, in the brains of mice. This technique, which can be performed using a simple light microscope, could allow neuroscientists to visualize the activity of [..]

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Researchers at Northwestern University have created a nanolaser that can be used in living tissues without harming them. Developed in conjunction with a team from Columbia University, the nanolaser can be 50 nm to 150 nm thick, which allows it to fit and fully function inside living tissues. “Our tiny lasers operate at powers that [..]

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Researchers have created a silicon carbide (SiC) photonic integrated chip that can be thermally tuned by applying an electric signal. The approach could one day be used to create a large range of reconfigurable devices such as phase-shifters and tunable optical couplers needed for networking applications and quantum information processing. Although most optical and computer [..]

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The ability to bend sheets of glass into angular corners without damaging the sheet or impairing the optical properties is attractive in architecture, industrial design and medical technology. Fraunhofer IWM has been developing a laser-based technique to bend glass for some time, and has recently announced its latest project milestones. The project is now seeking [..]

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