Cambridge, Mass. - November 26, 2012 - Now you see it, now you don't. A new device invented at the Harvard School of Engineering and Applied Sciences (SEAS) can absorb 99.75% of infrared light that shines on it. When activated, it appears black to infrared cameras. Composed of just a 180-nanometer-thick layer of vanadium dioxide (VO2) on top of a sheet of sapphire, the device reacts to temperature changes by reflecting dramatically more or less infrared light.
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For Electronics Beyond Silicon, a New Contender Emerges
Cambridge, Mass. – September 16, 2014 – Silicon has few serious competitors as the material of choice in the electronics industry. Yet transistors, the switchable valves that control the flow of electrons in a circuit, cannot simply keep shrinking to meet the needs of powerful, compact devices; physical limitations like energy consumption and heat dissipation are too significant.
The Science Behind Swimming
At nearly 100 feet long and weighing as much as 170 tons, the blue whale is the largest creature on the planet, and by far the heaviest living thing ever seen on Earth. So there's no way it could have anything in common with the tiniest fish larvae, which measure millimeters in length and tip the scales at a fraction of a gram, right? Not so fast, says L. Mahadevan, the Lola England de Valpine Professor of Applied Mathematics, of Organismic and Evolutionary Biology, and of Physics.
Cutting the Cord on Soft Robots
When it comes to the development of soft robots, researchers have finally managed to cut the cord. Engineers at Harvard's School for Engineering and Applied Sciences and the Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering have developed the world's first untethered soft robot – a quadruped which can literally stand up and walk away from its designers.
A Non-toxic Strategy to Treat Leukemia
A study comparing how blood stem cells and leukemia cells consume nutrients found that cancer cells are far less tolerant to shifts in their energy supply than their normal counterparts. The results suggest that there could be ways to target leukemia metabolism so that cancer cells die but other cell types are undisturbed.
Faster, Cheaper Tests for Sickle Cell
Within minutes after birth, every child in the U.S. undergoes a battery of tests designed to diagnose a host of conditions, including sickle cell disease. Thousands of children born in the developing world, however, aren't so lucky, meaning many suffer and die from the disease each year. A.J. Kumar hopes to put a halt to at least some of those deaths.