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'Gate Sensor' Detects Individual Electrons

A team of European researchers at the University of Cambridge has created an electronic device that detects the charge of a single electron in less than one microsecond. The "gate sensor" could be applied to quantum computers of the future to read information stored in the charge or spin of a single electron.“We have called it a gate sensor because, as well as detecting the movement of individual electrons, the device is able to control its flow as if it were an electronic gate which opens and closes,” said González Zalba, lead researcher from the Hitachi Cambridge Laboratory and the Cavendish Laboratory.The gate sensor is coupled to a silicon nanotransistor where the electrons flow individually. The innovation represents a new technological sector which bases its electronic functionality on the charge of a single electron.SourceAlso: Read more Electrical/Electronics tech briefs.

Posted in: News

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Will triple-decker planes take flight by 2030?

This week's Question: Spanish designer Oscar Vinals recently developed a triple-decker aircraft design. The zero-emission AWWA-QG Progress Eagle would be powered by six hydrogen engines, a wind turbine, and solar panels. Vinals envisions that the plane would be able to take to the skies by 2030. Among the challenges would be finding runways long enough to allow such a large plane to land and take off. What do you think? Will triple-decker planes take flight by 2030?

Posted in: Question of the Week

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New Wearable Device Turns Thumbnail into Trackpad

MIT Media Laboratory researchers are developing a wearable device that turns the user’s thumbnail into a miniature wireless track pad. To build their prototype, the researchers packed capacitive sensors, a battery, and three separate chips — a microcontroller, a Bluetooth radio chip, and a capacitive-sensing chip — into the thumbnail-sized device. The engineers built their sensors by printing copper electrodes on sheets of flexible polyester, which allowed them to experiment with a range of different electrode layouts.The capacitive sensing registers touch. A thin, nonactive layer is placed between the user’s finger and the underlying sensors.The team envisions that the technology could allow users to control wireless devices when their hands are full. The device could also augment other interfaces, as well as enable subtle communication via text. The researchers have also been in discussion with battery manufacturers and have identified a technology that they think could yield a battery that fits in the space of a thumbnail. A special-purpose chip that combines the functions of the microcontroller, radio, and capacitive sensor would further save space.SourceAlso: Read more Sensors tech briefs.

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Dr. David W. Miller, Chief Technologist, NASA Headquarters, Washington, DC

     Dr. David Miller began his term as the NASA chief technologist on March 17, 2014. He currently serves as the agency’s principal advisor and advocate on NASA technology policy and programs. Miller, a professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, has also previously worked with a range of NASA programs including the space shuttle, the International Space Station, the JWST Product Integrity Team, and the NASA CubeSat Launch Initiative.

Posted in: Who's Who

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Coming Soon - Medical 3D Printing and Additive Manufacturing: Going From Why to How

3D printing has been utilized in the medical industry for over 20 years. In recent years, the number of applications, utilization, and utility have increased exponentially. This increase has been driven by two key factors: (1) crossing the chasm from “how to print” to “why adopt 3D printing and additive manufacturing”, and (2) the dramatically increased selection of technologies and materials that meet the needs of medical professionals.

Posted in: Webinars, Upcoming Webinars

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Coming Soon - Application Builder and COMSOL Server™

In conjunction with SAE International COMSOL Server™ lets you get the most out of simulation apps created with COMSOL Multiphysics® and the Application Builder. Using the Application Builder, create custom applications from your COMSOL Multiphysics® models to improve productivity throughout your entire organization, from engineering and manufacturing to sales.

Posted in: Upcoming Webinars

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Coming Soon - Beyond Basics: Recent Developments in the Use of Aluminum Extrusion in Automotive Lightweighting

In conjunction with SAE International As aluminum and aluminum extrusions find their way into more and more vehicles, engineers are becoming increasingly familiar with the basics of designing with extrusions. At the same time, the limits defined by “the basics” are being stretched in the drive for higher performance and more creative solutions.

Posted in: Upcoming Webinars

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