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Science & Technology News Bulletin

Every week, we editorially select the best S&T stories released from major news outlets. These stories are then ranked and posted (with appropriate credit and references to the originals) on our Blog by Friday afternoon. Hema Viswanath curates this content and has been doing so for ASDR&E's Office of Net Technical Assessments and Office of Technical Intelligence for over seven years before performing the same work for us. Currently, we are experimenting with distributing this content through a free, advertising-supported model. We intend to continue experimenting using paywalls, direct e-mail subscriptions and donations. Hosting this content is important to us and we would like to retain it on at least a revenue-neutral basis. We are also experimenting with enriching the content to make it more relevant to our Government clients.

Top 10 Science and Technology Inventions for the Week of July 19, 2019

01. Physicists find first possible 3-D quantum spin liquid
02. Light may increase magnetic memory speeds 1000 times, decrease electricity consumption
03. Coupled exploration of light and matter
04. Researchers build transistor-like gate for quantum information processing — with qudits
05. Tiny vibration-powered robots are the size of the world’s smallest ant
06. Ultra-soft, liquid magnetic droplets could vault technology forward
07. Electrical engineers develop ‘beyond 5G’ wireless transceiver
08. Stripping down bacterial armor: A new way to fight anthrax
09. Artificial intelligence (AI) designs metamaterials used in the invisibility cloak
10. 1 in 5 Cities Is About to Have a Climate Unknown to Any Place on Earth

And others…

Ammonia from agriculture influences cloud formation over Asia
Chaos theory produces map for predicting paths of particles emitted into the atmosphere
Intel’s new AI chips can crunch data 1,000 times faster than normal ones
Reversible electro-optical detector for environmental sensing of pollutants
With Squad X, Dismounted Units Partner with AI to Dominate Battlespace

Top 10 Science and Technology Inventions for the Week of July 12, 2019

01. Physicists’ finding could revolutionize information transmission
02. ‘Connecting the dots’ for quantum networks
03. On-demand control of terahertz and infrared waves
04. Physicists use light waves to accelerate supercurrents, enable ultrafast quantum computing
05. Unlocking magnetic properties for future faster, low energy spintronics
06. Chip converts waste heat into electricity
07. Researchers develop ultrafast semiconductors
08. Two tiny supercomputing Pioneer nanosatellites launched
09. Extremely hard yet metallically conductive: Researchers develop novel material with high-tech prospects
10. Will your future computer be made using bacteria?

And others…

Mechanical vibration generated by electron spins
A New Study Just Revealed That Earth’s Core Is Actually Leaking
Pace of Super-technology Will Define the 21st Century
Strange warping geometry helps to push scientific boundaries
UK budgets £130M for laser and RF weapons development

Top 10 Science and Technology Inventions for the Week of July 5, 2019

01. Drone transmits uncompressed 4K video in real time using millimeter wave tech
02. Perfect quantum portal emerges at exotic interface
03. The Pentagon has a laser that can identify people from a distance—by their heartbeat
04. Scientists combine light and matter to make particles with new behaviors
05. ‘Tsunami’ on a silicon chip: A world first for light waves
06. What Happens When a CBRN Agent is Released in an Urban Area? Ask HASP.
07. Found: A sweet way to make everyday things almost indestructible
08. The RoboBee flies solo
09. With little training, machine-learning algorithms can uncover hidden scientific knowledge
10. Computer scientists predict lightning and thunder with the help of artificial intelligence

And others…

Climate impact of aircraft contrails could treble by mid-century
Molecular thumb drives: Researchers store digital images in metabolite molecules
Novel electrodes enhance battery capacity
Racing Toward Yottabyte Information
Superhydrophobic ‘nanoflower’ for biomedical applications

Top 10 Science and Technology Inventions for the Week of June 28, 2019

01. New property of light discovered
02. Experiment reverses the direction of heat flow
03. How to bend waves to arrive at the right place
04. A new ‘golden’ age for electronics?
05. Researchers teleport information within a diamond
06. Sensors and metrology as the driving force for digitalization
07. 3D Printing of Hypersonic Missile Swarms
08. Scientists chart course toward a new world of synthetic biology
09. Physicists develop new method to prove quantum entanglement
10. Graphene and nanotube mesh filters salt from water

And others…

2.8 Trillion Tons of Nearly Fresh Water Found Under the Ocean
A European mission will intercept an unknown comet for the first time
More energy needed to cope with climate change
A sound idea: a step towards quantum computing
A wearable vibration sensor for accurate voice recognition

RECENT POSTS

Top 10 Science and Technology Inventions for the Week of July 19, 2019

01. Physicists find first possible 3-D quantum spin liquid
02. Light may increase magnetic memory speeds 1000 times, decrease electricity consumption
03. Coupled exploration of light and matter
04. Researchers build transistor-like gate for quantum information processing — with qudits
05. Tiny vibration-powered robots are the size of the world’s smallest ant
06. Ultra-soft, liquid magnetic droplets could vault technology forward
07. Electrical engineers develop ‘beyond 5G’ wireless transceiver
08. Stripping down bacterial armor: A new way to fight anthrax
09. Artificial intelligence (AI) designs metamaterials used in the invisibility cloak
10. 1 in 5 Cities Is About to Have a Climate Unknown to Any Place on Earth

And others…

Ammonia from agriculture influences cloud formation over Asia
Chaos theory produces map for predicting paths of particles emitted into the atmosphere
Intel’s new AI chips can crunch data 1,000 times faster than normal ones
Reversible electro-optical detector for environmental sensing of pollutants
With Squad X, Dismounted Units Partner with AI to Dominate Battlespace

1 in 5 Cities Is About to Have a Climate Unknown to Any Place on Earth

Science Alert  July 11, 2019
Researchers in Switzerland analyzed city pairs for 520 major cities of the world and tested if their climate in 2050. They found that even under an optimistic climate scenario 77% of future cities are very likely to experience a climate that is closer to that of another existing city than to its own current climate. As a general trend, they found that all the cities tend to shift towards the sub-tropics, with cities from the Northern hemisphere shifting to warmer conditions, on average ~1000 km south and cities from the tropics shifting to drier conditions…read more. Open Access TECHNICAL ARTICLE

Distribution of current and future cities along the first 4 principal component axes. Credit: PLOS https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0217592

Ammonia from agriculture influences cloud formation over Asia

Science Daily  July 11, 2019
An international team of researchers (Germany, France, Italy) has shown
that the presence of ammonium nitrate particles in the upper troposphere from the Eastern Mediterranean to the Western Pacific is fed by convection that transports large amounts of ammonia from surface sources into the upper troposphere. Solid ammonium nitrate particles in the upper troposphere play a hitherto neglected role in ice cloud formation and aerosol indirect radiative forcing…read more. Open Access TECHNICAL ARTICLE 

Artificial intelligence (AI) designs metamaterials used in the invisibility cloak

EurelAlert  July 14, 2019
Researchers in South Korea developed an AI system and taught it to design arbitrary photonic structures and gave additional level of freedom of the design by categorizing types of materials and adding them as a design factor, which made it possible to design appropriate materials for relevant optical properties. Previous studies required inputs of materials and structural parameters beforehand and adjusting photonic structures afterwards. The current process significantly reduced the time needed to design photonic structures…read more. Open Access TECHNICAL ARTICLE

When desired optical properties are input, each thickness and types of materials of the three-layer core-shell nanoparticle are provided as output. Credit: POSTECH

Chaos theory produces map for predicting paths of particles emitted into the atmosphere

Eurekalert  July 16, 2019
Floating air particles following disasters and other largescale geological events can have a lasting impact on life on Earth. Using available wind data, researchers in Hungary have developed a model for following air particles as they travel around the globe. They found that lifetimes of particles ranged from about two to 150 days for typical volcanic ash particles, more than 10% of smaller particles survive in the atmosphere as much as one year, and more than 1% survive two years, particles coming from the area around the equator remain in the atmosphere for the longest time, and particles smaller than one micron could stay in the atmosphere for years before falling. Atmospheric particle motion exhibits fractal-like behavior. Findings have potential applications for geoengineering to combat climate change…read more. Open Access TECHNICAL ARTICLE

A new model drawing on chaos theory looks to help predict how these particles move, with an eye toward applications for geoengineering. Credit: Tímea Haszpra

Coupled exploration of light and matter

Science Daily  July 15, 2019
Polaritonics is based on the strong coupling of photons to atomic or electronic excitations in an optical resonator. An international team of researchers (Switzerland, France) describes experiments which indicate that, in addition to strong correlations in the electronic ground state, exciton–electron interactions leading to the formation of polaron-polaritons have a key role in enhancing the nonlinear optical response of the system. The research opened fresh perspectives for exploring both ingredients of the polariton, novel functionalities for photonic devices and fundamental insight into exotic states of matter…read more. TECHNICAL ARTICLE

Electrical engineers develop ‘beyond 5G’ wireless transceiver

Science Daily  July 12, 2019
An international team of researchers (USA – UC Irvine, France) fabricated a
single-channel 115-135-GHz receiver prototype in a 55-nm SiGe BiCMOS which has max conversion gain of 32 dB and a min noise figure of 10.3 dB. They measured a data rate of 36 Gb/s at 30-cm distance with the received 8PSK signal being directly demodulated on-chip at a bit-error rate of 1e-6. The prototype occupies 2.5 x 3.5 mm² of die area, including PADs and test circuit and consumes a total dc power of 200.25 mW…read more. TECHNICAL ARTICLE

Intel’s new AI chips can crunch data 1,000 times faster than normal ones

MIT Technology Review  July 16, 2019
Intel has just unveiled Pohoiki Beach, a system that contains 64 of its Loihi AI processors with neuromorphic chips. They can perform certain data-crunching tasks up to 1,000 times faster than more general-purpose processors such as CPUs and GPUs, while using much less power. The company will produce a system capable of simulating 100 million neurons by the end of 2019. Researchers will then be able to apply it to a whole new set of applications…read more.

Light may increase magnetic memory speeds 1000 times, decrease electricity consumption

Phys.org  July 11, 2019
To reduce energy consumption in magnetic memory devices and improve their speeds, a team of researchers in the US (NIST, University of Colorado, University of Oregon) has developed a method that uses optics through localized surface plasmon resonances to couple light to nanomagnets and produce faster spintronic devices switching speeds and potential lower energy consumption. The method could ultimately lead to memory writing speeds that are 1,000 times faster than current ones…read more. TECHNICAL ARTICLE 

Physicists find first possible 3-D quantum spin liquid

Phys.org  July 15, 2019
A quantum spin liquid is a state of matter where unpaired electrons’ spins, although entangled, do not show magnetic order even at the zero temperature. An international team of researchers (USA – Rice University, UC San Diego, Oak Ridge National Laboratory, Rutgers University, industry, UK, Switzerland, South Korea, University of Hong Kong) used thermodynamic, muon spin relaxation and neutron scattering experiments on single crystals of Ce2Zr2O7 to demonstrate the absence of magnetic ordering and the presence of a spin excitation continuum at 35 mK. With no evidence of oxygen deficiency and magnetic/non-magnetic ion disorder seen by neutron diffraction and diffuse scattering measurements, Ce2Zr2O7 may be a three-dimensional pyrochlore lattice quantum spin liquid material with minimum magnetic and non-magnetic chemical disorder…read more. TECHNICAL ARTICLE

A 3-D representation of the spin-excitation continuum observed in a single crystal sample of cerium zirconium pyrochlore. Credit: Tong Chen/Rice University