Top 10 Science and Technology Inventions for the Week of March 15, 2019

01. Triton is the world’s most murderous malware, and it’s spreading 02. Unlocking the untapped potential of light in optical communications 03. An AI for generating fake news could also help detect it 04. Future Communication Satellite 05. ‘Meta-mirror’ reflects sound waves in any direction 06. Researchers develop ‘acoustic metamaterial’ that cancels sound 07. Combs of light for molecules 08. Your body is your internet — and now it can’t be hacked 09. Listening to quantum radio 10. Efficiency boost for robot submarines And others… Autonomous drones can help search and rescue after disastersCapturing bacteria that eat and breathe electricityChina’s […]

Your body is your internet — and now it can’t be hacked

Science Daily  March 12, 2019 Radiative communication using electro-magnetic fields amongst the wearable and implantable devices act as the backbone for information exchange around a human body enabling applications in the fields of connected healthcare, virtual reality etc. As EM signals propagate in all directions, they allow an eavesdropper to intercept the information. Researchers at Purdue University have developed a method called Electro-Quasistatic Human Body Communication (EQS-HBC) for localizing signals within the body using low-frequency carrier-less transmission, thereby making it extremely difficult for a nearby eavesdropper to intercept critical private data. Detailed experiment reveals that the quasi-static leakage due to […]

Unlocking the untapped potential of light in optical communications

Phys.org  March 8, 2019 The optical vortex carries the orbital angular momentum of light and can be used to multiplex signals by assigning each signal to a light wave of different momentum. Researchers in Japan designed and fabricated an orbital angular momentum multiplexing/demultiplexing module that could take five independent signals as input. Using a combination of two tiny circuit structures, called a star coupler and an optical-vortex generator, each of the five signals is “encoded” with a unique optical angular momentum. The output signal consists of a combination of the five signals, and the receiver circuit carries out the multiplexing […]

Triton is the world’s most murderous malware, and it’s spreading

MIT technology Review  March 5, 2019 Triton malware came to light in 2017 when hackers took over the safety instrumented systems of a petrochemical plant in Saudi Arabia. Fortunately, a flaw in the code gave the hackers away before they could do any harm. The malware has not been deconstructed and the hacking group’s identity has not been established with certainty. The hackers behind Triton had tested elements of the code used during the intrusion to make it harder for antivirus programs to detect. Researchers are still digging into the malware’s origins. Experts are urging companies to revisit all their […]

Researchers develop ‘acoustic metamaterial’ that cancels sound

Phys.org  March 7, 2019 Based on the premise that metamaterial needs to be shaped in such a way that it sends incoming sounds back to where they came from, researchers at Boston University calculated the dimensions and specifications that the metamaterial would need to have in order to interfere with the transmitted sound waves. Using the calculation they created a structure made of plastic that could silence sound from a loudspeaker. In tests they found that 94 percent of the sound emanating from the loudspeaker was imperceptible to the human ear. The shape of acoustic-silencing metamaterials is also completely customizable. […]

‘Meta-mirror’ reflects sound waves in any direction

Science Daily  March 7, 2019 To break the law of reflection with sound waves, an international team of researchers (Finland, USA – Duke University) designed a meta-mirror out of plastic with precisely etched channels on the surface of the metamaterial. Between the meta-mirror’s shape and the depth of its channels, the interference pattern results in the sound wave reflecting in a desired direction without any of its energy being absorbed or scattered in an unwanted direction. In demonstration the device reflected a soundwave traveling directly toward it at 3,000 Hertz and perfectly reflects it at an angle of 70 degrees. […]

Listening to quantum radio

Science Daily  March 8, 2019 It becomes increasingly difficult to detect long-wavelength single photons because of thermal fluctuations in the background. Researchers in the Netherlands used a superconducting qubit to directly observe the quantization of radio-frequency electromagnetic fields stored in a photonic microresonator. They were then able to manipulate the quantum state of the radio-frequency field, forming one- and two-photon Fock states within the microresonator, and analyze how the system interacts dynamically with its environment. Extending circuit quantum electrodynamics approach could be used for fundamental studies in quantum thermodynamics and find practical application in imaging…read more. TECHNICAL ARTICLE 

Future Communication Satellite

Next Big Future  March 5, 2019 The European Space Agency projected the shift from Geosynchronous satellites to medium and low earth orbit satellite constellations. This will drive large changes in the technologies that are used as well as the numbers of satellites, business models and changes to the economics of the satellite business. These satellites are only visible from within a small area (about 1000 km radius) beneath the satellite as it passes overhead. A large number of satellites are needed if the mission requires uninterrupted connectivity. Low earth orbiting satellites are less expensive to launch into orbit than geostationary […]

Einstein ‘puzzle’ solved as missing page emerges

Phys.org.  March 6, 2019 The handwritten page, part of an eight-page appendix to a 1930 paper on the Nobel winner’s efforts towards a unified field theory, was discovered among the 110-page trove the university’s Albert Einstein archives received some two weeks ago. This article was one of many in Einstein’s attempts to unify the forces of nature into one, single theory and he devoted the last 30 years of his life to this effort. The eight-page appendix of the 1930 unified theory paper had never been published, though researchers had copies, this one page was missing in the copies…read more.

Efficiency boost for robot submarines

Phys.org  March 8, 2019 Control algorithms for AUVs are not necessarily optimized for distance nor energy consumption. Researchers in China have designed an improved energy-aware and self-adaptive deployment method for a group of AUVs taking on collaborative tasks. Taking into account the movement priority of AUVs and the initial deployment scheme a self-adaptive deployment strategy is presented for redeploying the AUVs when the available energy of some AUVs has fallen below a certain threshold. Simulation results showed that the method decreases energy consumption by about 30%. than its traditional counterpart and it can redeploy AUVs adaptively and rapidly…read more. TECHNICAL […]