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New dynamic dual-core optical fiber enhances data routes on information superhighway

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An actual cross-section and extreme magnification of the nanomechanical fiber. The dual cores are shown in the center, each a mere 0.5 micrometers across at their centers, while the supporting glass filament is approximately 0.2 micrometers across. The small-scale structure was achieved by heating and drawing out a larger fiber-optic form. (Credit: Optics Express)

Dec. 19, 2012 — Optical fibers -the backbone of the Internet-carry movies, messages, and music at the speed of light. But for all their speedy efficiency, these ultrathin strands of pristine glass must connect to sluggish signal switches, routers, and buffers in order to transmit data. Hoping to do away with these information speed bumps, a team of...

E-waste recycling -- at whose expense?

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A man manually dismantling printers after which carcinogenic printer ink is left on the ground. (Credit: Image courtesy of KTH The Royal Institute of Technology)

Dec. 19, 2012 — Computers, tablets and mobile phones are all popular consumer products. The lifespan of these devices is usually short, between two to four years. Shakila Umair, researcher at KTH, travelled to Pakistan to see how these common electronic devices are dismantled and recycled. She investigated...

Physicists make strides in understanding quantum entanglement

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Kagome lattice. (Credit: N. Mori)

Dec. 14, 2012 — While some theoretical physicists make predictions about astrophysics and the behavior of stars and galaxies, others work in the realm of the very small, which includes quantum physics. Such is the case at UC Santa Barbara, where theoretical physicists at the Kavli Institute for Theoretical Physics (KITP) cover the range of questions in physics.

Recently, theoretical physicists at KITP have made important...

Big-data research spurs industrial development

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Dec. 14, 2012 — One of the world's largest specialist groups within the field of big-data analytics is being assembled in Norway. The centre for Information Access Disruptions (iAD), with its head office in Tromsø, is at the core of this activity.

It is a great credit to Norwegian IT research that Microsoft is moving 50 positions from the US to Norway. The draw is the iAD and its extensive expertise in big data -- currently one of the hottest areas of research.

Facing...

Gases from grasses: Simulations on Ranger supercomputer help researchers understand biofuel reactions

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Wenjie Tang, research associate in the department of chemical engineering at the University of Virginia. (Credit: Image courtesy of University of Texas at Austin, Texas Advanced Computing Center)

TechAndComputer (Dec. 3, 2012) — In a well-known fairy tale, Rumpelstiltskin used magic to weave straw into gold. Today, scientists are reversing that formula -- using gold to turn straw (and other forms of biomass) into today's global currency: energy.

The magic...