Re-creating the First Flip-Flop

May 29, 2018 Editor 0

The fundamental building block of modern digital design turns 100 Photo: Richard Brewster Photo: Richard Brewster Many engineers are familiar with the names of Lee de Forest, who invented the amplifying vacuum tube, or John Bardeen, Walter Brattain, and William Shockley, who invented the transistor. Yet few know the names of William Eccles and F.W. Jordan, who applied for a patent for the flip-flop 100 years ago, in June 1918. The flip-flop is a crucial building block of digital circuits: It acts as […]

Manufacturing Tweak Boosts OLED Efficiency and Lifetime by 15 Percent

May 29, 2018 Editor 0

Raising the temperature at which OLEDs are made can significantly improve their performance Photo: David McNew/AFP/Getty ImagesShow-goers check out new televisions with OLED displays at CES in 2018. Organic LEDs (OLEDs), the light-emitting devices that make up displays such as smartphone and television screens, could be made hardier and more energy-efficient with just a simple tweak to the manufacturing process, according to German and Spanish scientists. “You’ll use less of the battery and your display will just last longer,” says […]

4 Critical Tests for a New Spacecraft That Will Clean Up Space Debris

May 29, 2018 Editor 0

A European mission will test whether nets and harpoons can capture and remove space junk Photo: Equinox Graphics/Surrey Space Centre/University of Surrey Illustration: Equinox Graphics/Surrey Space Centre/University of Surrey Showtime: Prior to its April launch, a technician applied the finishing touches to the RemoveDebris spacecraft.  A spacecraft may soon be able to snare space junk by firing harpoons and nets. A European mission was expected to begin tests in late May of space-age versions of those ancient tools to clean […]

Where the Silicon Valley Tech Internships Are

May 29, 2018 Editor 0

The 2018 interns are about to descend upon Google, Facebook, Apple, Adobe, and other Silicon Valley companies Photo: iStockphoto Colleges around the country are winding down their academic years, and in just a few weeks, hordes of tech interns will descend upon Silicon Valley. They’re already combing Airbnb and Craigslist for housing, trying to align apartment locations with corporate shuttle schedules, and to decide if they need kitchen privileges or if it’s really true that they’ll eat of all their […]

Preparing transformers for the Internet of Energy – with Sensformer

May 29, 2018 Editor 0

Learn about the necessary sensors, the data transmission and data analysis app that can render the “black box” transformer transparent for you. The newly introduced Sensformer merges physics and information – turning transformers into info-hubs. A smart and robust IoT gateway securely transmits the minimum amount of required information to a cloud-based storage and visualization platform. In addition, the Sensformer provides an open platform that enables co-creation of customer-centric use cases and applications. Operators get a comprehensive and quick overview […]

Quadrotor Safety System Stops Propellers Before You Lose a Finger

May 29, 2018 Editor 0

With spinning hoops to detect obstacles combined with electromagnetic braking, this quadrotor safety system is both effective and cheap Photo: Evan Ackerman/IEEE Spectrum Quadrotors have a reputation for being both fun and expensive, but it’s not usually obvious how dangerous they can be. While it’s pretty clear from the get-go that it’s in everyone’s best interest to avoid the spinny bits whenever possible, quadrotor safety primarily involves doing little more than trying your level best not to run into people. […]

Synthetic Bacteria Drive New Ingestible Gut Sensor

May 29, 2018 Editor 0

An ingestible capsule pairs bacteria with electronics to monitor blood in the GI tract Photo: Lillie Paquette/MIT School of Engineering In the latest edition of “What would you be willing to swallow?”, researchers at MIT today unveiled an ingestible sensor that combines engineered bacteria with ultra-low-power microelectronics to sense changes in the gut. The sensor, roughly the size of a large pen cap, needs to undergo miniaturization and further study before it can be used in humans, but the team […]

Engineered Band Gap Pushes Graphene Closer to Displacing Silicon

May 29, 2018 Editor 0

A new method for engineering a band gap into graphene maintains its attractive electronic properties Illustration: Philip Krantz Graphene might be the best conductor of electrons we know. However, as a pure conductor it can’t stop the flow of electrons like a semiconductor such as silicon can. Silicon’s ability to create an on/off state for the flow of electrons makes it possible to create the “0” and “1” of binary digital logic for computing. While many believe this has pretty much taken […]

Elie Dolgin

May 29, 2018 Editor 0

null Elie Dolgin is a science writer specializing in biomedical research and drug discovery. After a PhD spent studying the population genetics of nematodes, he swapped worms for words—entering journalism as an editor at The Scientist, Nature Medicine, and STAT. Now a freelancer, Elie is a frequent contributor to New Scientist, Nature, IEEE Spectrum, and more.