Light & Optics
November 12, 2012
Medical physicists can now measure breast density with two different x-ray energies, increasing risk assessment accuracy and reducing radiation exposure.
May 21, 2012
Physicists study lunar glow to monitor Earth's climate change.
May 14, 2012
A physicist has developed electronic sunglasses that blot out blinding spots of glare from the sun.
March 12, 2012
Civil and environmental engineers created a traffic application that uses GPS data from drivers’ cell phones to alert the public to current traffic conditions. Because so many phones come equipped with GPS technology, researchers were able to tap into it to track and more accurately gauge road congestion. The app is able to tell the user what time to leave his home and even how much gas will be saved by using alternate routes.
Deep Space Discoveries
February 13, 2012
Optical scientists designed a way to help small telescopes create sharper images. Because so many elements in the atmosphere, such as cloud cover, can interfere with your view of the night sky, scientists came up with a method that counters those effects. The method uses a system of lasers and cameras to indicate to a computer what shape the mirror should be to achieve a clearer view
Inside the NIH
November 21, 2011
Therapists Use New Therapy Systems to Help Disabled Get Most Effective Treatment
Electric Fish Orchestra
November 14, 2011
Biological Engineers, Visual Artists and Composers Make Beautiful Music Using a Choir of Fish
Melanoma in 3D
November 07, 2011
Biomedical Engineers Use New Imaging Technique to Find Cancer in the Body
October 03, 2011
A camera that can zoom without the typical oversized lens, inspired by the human eye, uses a curved, flexible lens to snap close-up pictures.
June 13, 2011
Chemists are using a special X-ray technology to uncover chemical clues to determine an art piece's authenticity.
X-Rays Uncover Past
April 11, 2011
Physicists used a special type of X-ray to read the lost writings of an ancient mathematician, found underneath the script of a monk who wrote on top of it.
Saving Lives: Detecting Lung Cancer Faster
March 28, 2011
Radiologists are using a new technology to find lung cancer earlier. Computer software can pinpoint areas of concern on a traditional X-ray. These areas can then be analyzed more closely by a doctor. Traditionally, lung cancer can evade detection because the ribs and blood vessels can obstruct the view in a chest X-ray. Studies have shown that the new technology can detect up to 50 percent of lung cancers that were missed in initial imaging, and early detection means a higher survival rate.
Lasers Defying Gravity
March 21, 2011
Optical physicists are working with lasers and metal to potentially change the way blood is drawn. By using a special laser, pulsing at extremely fast rates, scientists can change the surface of any metal. The newly etched metal enables liquid to flow uphill and spread out, against gravity. This means that a single drop of blood could be pulled to a diagnostic sensor, instead of drawing vials of blood. The technique can also make it easier to cool computers and allow them to work faster.
Biggest and Best 3D Imax
January 24, 2011
Scientists who used to study biology and chemistry are now explaining the science behind 3-D IMAX films, revealing what goes on behind the projector to create the effect viewers enjoy. Some impressive numbers surround these effects: IMAX screens are typically five to six stories in height and the films are so large they weigh 300 to 400 pounds each. To make the popping 3-D images, two reels of film are run through the projectors while viewers wear special glasses. The film strips are slightly offset, so they don't exactly line up with one another. The glasses pick up one reel in each lens, so the audience sees the created effect.
Lasers: Transforming Life
May 16, 2010
In this wonderful video produced by the Optical Society of America, NPR Science Friday's host, Ira Flatow describes how lasers are used in optical fiber communication, surgery and more.
For more great laser innovations, visit:
www.laserfest.org and http://www.osa.org/
Catching Cataracts Early with Lasers
October 23, 2009
Ophthalmologists use safe laser light to identify damaged proteins in the eye to detect the early signs of cataract formation.
Meet the Hexapod Robot
September 28, 2009
Matt Bunting is an Electrical Engineering student at the University of Arizona. He built his first robot when he was 11 years old. In this video he demonstrates his six legged robot known as a hexapod. He began building this hexapod when he was still in high school. It is controlled by a wireless Playstation controller with motion sensitivity.
Oh, and he also wrote the background music.
Hearts In Danger
June 24, 2009
Medical physicists improved their ability to replace leads connecting pacemakers and defibrillators to the heart by using an excimer laser.
Reducing Your Lead Footprint
May 15, 2009
Materials scientists created a lead-free piezoelectric material to replace the current one used in electronics that contains up to 40 percent lead. To make the material tiny samples of bismuth ferrite and samarium ferrite are formed into puck shape pieces. A laser then fragments the pucks into different molecules and chemicals, creating a mist that is coated onto a chip.
Cars Powered by the Sun
April 03, 2009
Arts, science, and engineering students are driven by solar energy to the finish line.
January 30, 2009
Gastroenterologists use lasers to diagnose chronic heartburn more effectively.
November 03, 2008
Ocular oncologists inject a drug into eye to starve tumors and save sight.
Workout For the Eyes
October 22, 2008
Optometrist establishes sports vision clinic to improve athletic performance.
Crime Alert! Molding Fingerprints
January 01, 2007
Photonic crystals -- materials with precise patterns of gaps that make them reflect only selected wavelengths of light -- could soon replace the traditional ink-based fingerprinting. In a new silica-based, photonic-crystal material, the spacing of the gaps changes in response to pressure applied. Corresponding changes in its color reveal fingerprints with high precision -- not only the ridges in the skin, but also the depth of the ridges, the shape of the finger, and the mechanical properties of the skin.
The Mysterious Gravity Hill
June 01, 2006
At several hilly locations around the U.S., know as "gravity hills," objects such as cars left on neutral supposedly roll uphill, driven by unknown forces and against the force of gravity. Physicists say -- and GPS measurements confirm -- that the effects are illusions caused by the landscape. The position of trees and slopes of nearby scenery, or a curvy horizon line, can blend to trick the eye so that what looks uphill is actually downhill.
Lights of the Future
February 01, 2006
Thanks to advances in physics, light-emitting diodes (LEDs) will soon move from traffic lights and electronics panels to home lighting, bringing dramatic energy savings, adjustable colors for ambiance, and light-shining furnishings.
Screens of the Future
July 01, 2005
Organic Light-Emitting Diodes (OLEDs) are plastic-based materials that are able to emit light. Engineers are beginning to make displays out of OLEDs by spraying the materials on a surface, the way an ink-jet printer works. The new OLED displays promise to provide a cheaper, brighter, less power-hungry alternative to liquid-crystal displays -- the ones commonly used in laptop computers and cell phones.
Portrait of America
July 01, 2005
One lone physicist hopes to create an ultra-high-resolution portrait of America by taking a series of gigapixel images with his own custom camera, created from parts of old spy planes and nuclear reactors. Each image fills an entire DVD with data.
Samples From The Sun
January 01, 2004
A new NASA program called the Genesis Mission is launching a spacecraft to collect particles from the sun's solar wind to obtain information on the origin of earth and other bodies in the solar system.