Archive for the ‘engineering’ category

May 4, 2023

Experiment demonstrates continuously operating optical fiber made of thin air

Posted by in categories: computing, engineering, physics

Great, until the mention of “directed energy”…

Researchers at the University of Maryland (UMD) have demonstrated a continuously operating optical fiber made of thin air.

The most common optical fibers are strands of glass that tightly confine light over long distances. However, these fibers are not well-suited for guiding extremely high-power beams due to glass damage and scattering of laser energy out of the fiber. Additionally, the need for a physical support structure means that glass fiber must be laid down long in advance of light signal transmission or collection.

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May 2, 2023

Using plasma against toxic PFAS chemicals

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, chemistry, engineering, food

Harmful PFAS chemicals can now be detected in many soils and bodies of water. Removing them using conventional filter techniques is costly and almost infeasible. Researchers at the Fraunhofer Institute for Interfacial Engineering and Biotechnology IGB are now successfully implementing a plasma-based technology in the AtWaPlas joint research project.

Contaminated water is fed into a combined glass and stainless steel cylinder where it is then treated with ionized gas, i.e., plasma. This reduces the PFAS molecular chains, allowing the to be removed at a low cost.

Per-and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) have many special properties. As they are thermally and chemically stable as well as resistant to water, grease and dirt, they can be found in a large number of everyday products: Pizza boxes and baking paper are coated with them, for example, and shampoos and creams also contain PFAS. In industry they serve as extinguishing and wetting agents, and in agriculture they are used in plant protection products.

Apr 30, 2023

Two-component system could offer a new way to halt internal bleeding

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, chemistry, engineering, nanotechnology

MIT engineers have designed a two-component system that can be injected into the body and help form blood clots at the sites of internal injury. These materials, which mimic the way that the body naturally forms clots, could offer a way to keep people with severe internal injuries alive until they can reach a hospital.

In a mouse model of internal injury, the researchers showed that these components—a nanoparticle and a polymer—performed significantly better than hemostatic that were developed earlier.

“What was especially remarkable about these results was the level of recovery from severe injury we saw in the animal studies. By introducing two complementary systems in sequence it is possible to get a much stronger clot,” says Paula Hammond, an MIT Institute Professor, the head of MIT’s Department of Chemical Engineering, a member of the Koch Institute for Integrative Cancer Research, and one of the senior authors of a paper on the study.

Apr 29, 2023

Timber! The World’s First Wooden Transistor

Posted by in categories: chemistry, computing, engineering

“It was very curiosity-driven,” says Isak Engquist, a professor at Linköping University who led the effort. “We thought: ‘Can we do it? Let’s do it, let’s put it out there to the scientific community and hope that someone else has something where they see these could actually be of use in reality.’”

“I have colleagues who are at the forefront in a field we call electronic plants. … We have worked with dead woods for this project, but the next step might be to integrate it also into living plants.” —Isak Engquist, Linköping University.

Even though the wooden transistor still awaits its killer app, the idea to build wood-based electronics is not as crazy as it sounds. A recent review of wood-based materials reads, “Around 300 million years of tree evolution has yielded over 60,000 woody species, each of which is an engineering masterpiece of nature.” Wood has great structural stability while being highly porous and efficiently transporting water and nutrients. The researchers leveraged these properties to create conducting channels inside the wood’s pores and electrochemically modulate their conductivity with the help of a penetrating electrolyte.

Apr 29, 2023

Dark energy is the product of quantum universe interaction

Posted by in categories: cosmology, engineering, particle physics, quantum physics

Quantum objects make up classical objects. But the two behave very differently. The collapse of the wave-function prevents classical objects from doing the weird things quantum objects do; like quantum entanglement or quantum tunneling. Is the universe as a whole a quantum object or a classical one? Artyom Yurov and Valerian Yurov argue the universe is a quantum object, interacting with other quantum universes, with surprising consequences for our theories about dark matter and dark energy.

1. The Quantum Wonderland

If scientific theories were like human beings, the anthropomorphic quantum mechanics would be a miracle worker, a brilliant wizard of engineering, capable of fabricating almost anything, be it a laser or a complex integrated circuit. At the same token, this wizard of science would probably look and act crazier than a March Hair and Mad Hatter combined. The fact of the matter is, the principles of quantum mechanics are so bizarre and unintuitive, they seem to be utterly incompatible with our inherent common sense. For example, in the quantum realm, a particle does not journey from point A to point B along some predetermined path. Instead, it appears to traverse all possible trajectories between these points – every single one! In this strange realm the items might vanish right in front of an impenetrably high barrier – only to materialize on the other side (this is called quantum tunneling).

Apr 28, 2023

Algorithm of quantum engineering of large-amplitude high-fidelity Schrödinger cat states

Posted by in categories: engineering, information science, quantum physics

We present an algorithm of quantum engineering of large-amplitude $$\ge 5$$ high-fidelity $$\ge 0.99$$ even/odd Schrödinger cat states (SCSs) using a single mode squeezed vacuum (SMSV) state as resource. Set of $$k$$ beam splitters (BSs) with arbitrary transmittance and reflectance coefficients sequentially following each other acts as a hub that redirects a multiphoton state into the measuring modes simultaneously measured by photon number resolving (PNR) detectors. We show that the multiphoton state splitting guarantees significant increase of the success probability of the SCSs generator compared to its implementation in a single PNR detector version and imposes less requirements on ideal PNR detectors.

Apr 27, 2023

A new quantum approach to solve electronic structures of complex materials

Posted by in categories: chemistry, computing, engineering, information science, quantum physics

If you know the atoms that compose a particular molecule or solid material, the interactions between those atoms can be determined computationally, by solving quantum mechanical equations—at least, if the molecule is small and simple. However, solving these equations, critical for fields from materials engineering to drug design, requires a prohibitively long computational time for complex molecules and materials.

Now, researchers at the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Argonne National Laboratory and the University of Chicago’s Pritzker School of Molecular Engineering (PME) and Department of Chemistry have explored the possibility of solving these electronic structures using a quantum .

The research, which uses a combination of new computational approaches, was published online in the Journal of Chemical Theory and Computation. It was supported by Q-NEXT, a DOE National Quantum Information Science Research Center led by Argonne, and by the Midwest Integrated Center for Computational Materials (MICCoM).

Apr 25, 2023

New ‘ear-EEG’ device could be used for early detection of neurodegenerative disorders

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, engineering, life extension, neuroscience

A new project called Progression Assessment in Neurodegenerative Disorders of Aging or PANDA aims to detect subtle changes in a person’s sleep patterns that may indicate the onset of Alzheimer’s or Parkinson’s disease. The collaboration of this four-year project involves Rigshospitalet University, Denmark’s Aarhus University, and MedTech company T&W Engineering. The project has received funding of DKK 15 million to develop and test a small earbud-like experimental device that can detect the early signs of these diseases.

The Ear-EEG Technology

Unlike the traditional sleep-monitoring systems that require a person to stay in a clinic with multiple electrodes attached to their body, the ear-EEG allows for comfortable, long-term use at home. The device monitors electrical activity in the brain by measuring tiny voltage changes on the skin surface within the ear canal. It is also equipped with an oximeter for measuring blood oxygen levels, a microphone for monitoring respiration and heart rate, and a thermometer for measuring body temperature.

Apr 25, 2023

Molding of nanowires spurs unanticipated phases

Posted by in categories: engineering, nanotechnology, quantum physics

Sometimes to make big breakthroughs, you have to start very small.

One way that scientists can get the most out of certain is by fabricating that generate new properties at the material’s surfaces and edges. Cornell researchers used the relatively straightforward process of thermomechanical nanomolding to create single-crystalline nanowires that can enable metastable phases that would otherwise be difficult to achieve with conventional methods.

“We’re really interested in this synthesis method of nanomolding because it allows us to make many different kinds of materials into nanoscale quickly and easily, yet with some of the control that other nanomaterial synthesis methods lack, particularly control over the morphology and the size,” said Judy Cha, professor of materials science and engineering in Cornell Engineering, who led the project.

Apr 25, 2023

Ransomware Hackers Using AuKill Tool to Disable EDR Software Using BYOVD Attack

Posted by in categories: cybercrime/malcode, encryption, engineering

Play ransomware is notable for not only utilizing intermittent encryption to speed up the process, but also for the fact that it’s not operated on a ransomware-as-a-service (RaaS) model. Evidence gathered so far points to Balloonfly carrying out the ransomware attacks as well as developing the malware themselves.

Grixba and VSS Copying Tool are the latest in a long list of proprietary tools such as Exmatter, Exbyte, and PowerShell-based scripts that are used by ransomware actors to establish more control over their operations, while also adding extra layers of complexity to persist in compromised environments and evade detection.

Another technique increasingly adopted by financially-motivated groups is the use of the Go programming language to develop cross-platform malware and resist analysis and reverse engineering efforts.

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