Fragile topology: Two new studies explain the strange electron flow in future materials

Electrons race along the surface of certain unusual crystalline materials, except that sometimes they don’t. Two new studies from Princeton researchers and their collaborators explain the source of the surprising behavior and chart a course for restoring conductivity in these remarkable crystals, prized for their potential use in future technologies including quantum computers. The studies … Read more Fragile topology: Two new studies explain the strange electron flow in future materials

Using sound and light to generate ultra-fast data transfer

Researchers have made a breakthrough in the control of terahertz quantum cascade lasers, which could lead to the transmission of data at the rate of 100 gigabits per second – around one thousand times quicker than a fast Ethernet operating at 100 megabits a second. What distinguishes terahertz quantum cascade lasers from other lasers is … Read more Using sound and light to generate ultra-fast data transfer

UChicago physicists discover hidden symmetries, opening new avenues for material design

When you knock on a melon to see if it’s ripe, you are using sound waves to probe the structure of the material inside. Physicists at the University of Chicago were using the same concept to explore how sound waves travel through patterned structures when they noticed an oddity: completely different structures sounded the same. … Read more UChicago physicists discover hidden symmetries, opening new avenues for material design

New tech allows Western neuroscientists to study virtual reality through sound

When exploring virtual reality, most consider the simulation as a visual experience. New technology at Western University will allow neuroscientists and audiologists to investigate simulated spaces through sound. Ingrid Johnsrude, Director of Western’s renowned Brain and Mind Institute, and her collaborators at the School of Communication Sciences & Disorders and the National Centre for Audiology … Read more New tech allows Western neuroscientists to study virtual reality through sound

Move over Jules Verne — scientists deploy ocean floats to peer into Earth’s interior

The release of more than 50 floating sensors, called Mobile Earthquake Recording in Marine Areas by Independent Divers (MERMAIDs), is increasing the number of seismic stations around the planet. Scientists will use the floating array to clarify the picture of the massive mantel plume in the lower mantel lying below the South Pacific Ocean. This … Read more Move over Jules Verne — scientists deploy ocean floats to peer into Earth’s interior

Stormquakes: Powerful storms cause seafloor tremors

Stormquakes are a recently discovered phenomenon characterized by seismic activity originating at the ocean floor due to powerful storms. Catherine de Groot-Hedlin, a researcher at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography at the University of California, San Diego, was part of the group that first observed stormquakes. She will discuss their properties and meteorological significance during … Read more Stormquakes: Powerful storms cause seafloor tremors

Fish scattering sound waves has impact on aquaculture

Schools of fish can scatter sound waves, which has impacts on fish farming. Fisheries acoustics have been studied for over 40 years to assess biomass and optimize aquaculture applications. The talk “Mesoscopic wave physics in a dense fish school” will be presented Dec. 6 at the 178th Meeting of the Acoustical Society of America as … Read more Fish scattering sound waves has impact on aquaculture

Designing workplaces with sound disturbances in mind

Workplaces are full of sound, most of which is not helpful to workers trying to do their jobs. Scientists are using physics to understand how conversation, music and other ambient noise is experienced by individuals in a variety of work situations. Takeshi Akita, of Tokyo Denki University, will present a talk on “Effects of sound … Read more Designing workplaces with sound disturbances in mind

Can 3D-printing musical instruments produce better sound than traditional instruments?

Music is an art, but it is also a science involving vibrating reeds and strings, sound waves and resonances. The study of acoustics can help scientists produce beautiful music even with musical instruments fashioned with high-tech methods, such as 3D printing. Xiaoyu Niu, from the University of Chinese Academy Sciences, and other researchers studied the … Read more Can 3D-printing musical instruments produce better sound than traditional instruments?

Deployable human-scale immersive virtual environments?

Imagine being inside Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute’s Collaborative Research Augmented Immersive Virtual Environment Laboratory (CRAIVE Lab), which features a front-projection 360-degree panoramic display to immerse you visually, while 134 loudspeakers render a spatially superb sound. Combined with networks of sensors and controllers, CRAIVE Lab provides its users new modes of interactions between humans and virtual worlds, … Read more Deployable human-scale immersive virtual environments?