Astronauts to test free-flying "housekeeper" robots
(Phys.org) —Inspired by science fiction, three bowling ball-size free-flying Synchronized Position Hold, Engage, Reorient, Experimental Satellites (SPHERES) have been flying inside the International Space ...
Spitzer finds solid buckyballs in space
(PhysOrg.com) -- Astronomers using data from NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope have, for the first time, discovered buckyballs in a solid form in space. Prior to this discovery, the microscopic carbon spheres ...
Spacetime May Have Fractal Properties on a Quantum Scale
New 3-D photonic crystal has both electronic, optical properties
In an advance that could open new avenues for solar cells, lasers, metamaterials and more, researchers at the University of Illinois have demonstrated the first optoelectronically active 3-D photonic crystal.
New structures self-assemble in synchronized dance (w/ video)
With self-assembly guiding the steps and synchronization providing the rhythm, a new class of materials forms dynamic, moving structures in an intricate dance.
To make better fuel cells, study the defects
Engineers trying to improve fuel-cell catalysts may be looking in the wrong place, according to new research at Cornell.
Space station SPHERES run circles around ordinary satellites
(Phys.org) —These are, in fact, the droids that NASA and its research partners are looking for. Inspired by a floating droid battling Luke Skywalker in the film Star Wars, the free-flying satellites known ...
First light for SPHERE exoplanet imager
SPHERE—the Spectro-Polarimetric High-contrast Exoplanet REsearch instrument—has been installed on ESO's Very Large Telescope at the Paranal Observatory in Chile. This powerful facility for studying exoplanets ...
Robot competition in zero-gravity
(PhysOrg.com) -- School teams from Europe and America have been commanding robots competing in the Spheres ZeroRobotics tournament in space. The arena: 400 km above Earth on the International Space Station.
NASA image: Prototype robot with smartphone to test 3-D mapping, navigation inside space station
Orbital Sciences Corporation's Cygnus spacecraft will carry 3,293 pounds (1,493.8 kg) of cargo on its upcoming commercial resupply mission to the International Space Station, including crew supplies, nanosatellites, ...
Smart SPHERES getting a software upgrade
(Phys.org) —Smart devices – such as tablets and phones – increasingly are an essential part of everyday life on Earth. The same can be said for life off-planet aboard the International Space Station. ...
New microtweezers may build tiny 'MEMS' structures
Researchers have created new "microtweezers" capable of manipulating objects to build tiny structures, print coatings to make advanced sensors, and grab and position live stem cell spheres for research.
Chaos proves superior to order
An international team of physicists, including researchers from the Universities of York and St. Andrews, has demonstrated that chaos can beat order - at least as far as light storage is concerned.
Nanoshell whispering galleries improve thin solar panels
Visitors to Statuary Hall in the U.S. Capitol Building may have experienced a curious acoustic feature that allows a person to whisper softly at one side of the cavernous, half-domed room and for another on ...