Sound waves bypass visual limitations to recognize human activity

Video cameras continue to gain widespread use to monitor human activities for surveillance, health care, home use and more, but there are privacy and environmental limitations in how well they work. Acoustical waves, such as sounds and other forms of vibrations, are an alternative medium that may bypass those limitations. Unlike electromagnetic waves, such as … Read more

Release of solar panel dataset helps cities make power grids more safe, reliable

Solar power researchers have traditionally only used the power measurements from single residential solar photovoltaic (PV) systems to estimate the power generated within a city. But one installation isn’t a good representation of all the rooftops in the city, where the time of day, panel direction, and shade cast by trees and clouds affect power … Read more

Scientists revisit the cold case of cold fusion

Scientists from the University of British Columbia, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, the University of Maryland, the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, and Google are conducting a multi-year investigation into cold fusion, a type of benign nuclear reaction hypothesized to occur in benchtop apparatus at room temperature. A progress report published today in Nature publicly discloses … Read more

Another major step towards room-temperature superconductivity

Fewer power plants, less greenhouse gases and lower costs: enormous amounts of electricity could be saved if researchers discovered the key to superconductivity at environmental temperatures. Because superconductors are materials that conduct electric energy without losses. A team from the Max Planck Institute for Chemistry (MPIC) in Mainz has come a step closer to this … Read more

Restaurant acoustics that schmeckt

Acoustics consultant Klaus Genuit says that new International Standards Organization guidelines for defining, measuring and evaluating soundscapes are a big step forward in guiding the creation of audibly fine restaurants. “A soup might be delicious or not, but you can’t answer this by knowing the temperature of the soup. It is the same with restaurant … Read more

Moving the needle on nanoscale imaging with single-molecule magnets

Amid intense research focus on magnetic single atoms and molecules – which could serve as the smallest possible memory elements in quantum computing – researchers report creating a sensor capable of measuring and imaging magnetic structures and interactions at the atomic scale, in unprecedented detail. Their sensor, a single magnetic molecule affixed to the tip … Read more

Glassy menagerie of particles in beach sands near Hiroshima is fallout debris

Mario Wannier, a career geologist with expertise in studying tiny marine life, was methodically sorting through particles in samples of beach sand from Japan’s Motoujina Peninsula when he spotted something unexpected: a number of tiny, glassy spheres and other unusual objects. Wannier, who is now retired, had been comparing biological debris in beach sands from … Read more

How acoustics detected artillery in WWI

During World War I, William Lawrence Bragg led a team of engineers in the development of an acoustic method to locate enemy artillery, work that was so successful that it was soon used widely throughout the British army. The method, known as sound ranging, was also adopted by the U.S. Army when they joined the … Read more

Manipulating superconductivity using a ‘mechanic’ and an ‘electrician’

In the strongly correlated materials such as cuprate high-temperature superconductors, superconductivity can be controlled either by changing the number of electrons or by changing the kinetic energy, or transfer energy, of electrons in the system.Although a large number of strongly correlated materials have been examined with different parameters to understand the mechanism of superconductivity, the … Read more