Scientists forge the darkest matter ever created by humans
By Gregory MonePosted 01.23.2008 at 3:11 pm 0 Comments
Scientists at Rice University and RPI have created a thin, nanotube-laden coating that they say is the darkest material ever made by man. Radiation essentially gets lost in a miniature wilderness of carbon nanotubes that lets light in, then traps it. The coating absorbs 99.9 percent of incoming light; the previous best measured around 99.84 percent.
If cord-free power delivers on its promise, our "wireless" world will finally live up to the name
By Kalee Thompson Posted 01.23.2008 at 3:58 am 18 Comments
Scientists have known for nearly two centuries how to transmit electricity without wires, and the phenomenon has been demonstrated several times before. But it wasn't until the rise of personal electronic devices that the demand for wireless power materialized. In the past few years, at least three companies have debuted prototypes of wireless power devices, though their distance range is relatively limited [see "Power Brokers," next page]. Then last year, a team at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology set the stage for wireless power that works from across a room.
This hydrogen-burning hypersonic airliner could fly more than twice as fast as the 1,350mph Concorde—and its passengers would travel absolutely guilt-free
By Michael Belfiore Posted 01.23.2008 at 3:45 am 25 Comments
Modern air travel is a marvel. It's also a source of endless delay, annoyance and planet-killing greenhouse gases. A proposed hydrogen-powered hypersonic airliner could change all that. The plane is Reaction Engines's A2 concept, a Mach-5 (3,400mph) craft for 300 passengers funded in part by the European Union's Long-Term Advanced Propulsion Concepts and Technologies project (Lapcat). Lapcat wants an airliner that can fly from Brussels to Sydney in less than four hours. If built, the A2 will do just that—without producing a trace of carbon emissions.
The women of PopSci round up the best new gifts for geeky Valentines
By Megan MillerPosted 01.23.2008 at 3:30 am 3 Comments
Eeesy on the Eyes
Our favorite tiny, inexpensive, easy-to-use PC runs on Linux and is shock-proof, preinstalled with 40 popular applications and, need we mention . . . pink? Asus Eee PC, $300
Thinking of giving flowers and candy this Valentine's Day? Nice gesture, but chances are your girl would prefer something a little shinier. Something with buttons perhaps, and a flash drive. Fortunately, PopSci is here to make shopping a breeze.
She likes jewelry? How about a necklace decked out with resistors? (It's pretty, we promise.) A sucker for sweets? Get her chocolates shaped like Miis. Got a cuddler on your hands? Buy a blanket covered in binary code. Remember, creativity goes a long way, but a little Internet goes further.
Our tech reporter comes to terms with the imperfection of his favorite gadget.
By Jon ChasePosted 01.23.2008 at 3:20 am 3 Comments
Its never a good thing when you drop your baby. Its altogether tragic when its face gets roughed up as a result. Whats worse is when you cant get any help patching it up. Yep, my iPhone now has a crack across its screen. It fell all of two feet from an unzipped coat pocket and landed in what appears to be the precise configuration required for causing maximum damage: smack on the corner. A trip to the nearby Apple Store got the five stages of grief on a roll.
All across the globe, experts are devising high-tech methods to combat counterfeiters. See which world currencies are most impervious to fraud and why in our gallery of bills
By Elizabeth SvobodaPosted 01.23.2008 at 3:10 am 4 Comments
Anti-Counterfeiting Around the World
In the United States alone, there's at least $70 million in fake currency floating around. Fortunately as the technology counterfeiters use improves, so does that of the bills. Color-changing ink, special polymers and holographs are just some of the innovative technologies incorporated into today's banknotes. In 2007, the International Association of Currency Affairs picked the best new counterfeiting technologies and tactics.
PopSci heads to the 20th North American International Auto Show to bring you the mean, green machines about to flood our shores
By Seth FletcherPosted 01.20.2008 at 11:41 pm 0 Comments
Mazda Furai Front
Is this the Batmobile? No—it's the Mazda Furai racecar, a 450 hp monster powered by a three-rotor rotary engine.
Green's been in the air of late, and this year's North American International Auto Show was no exception. While the usual hyped sports cars and solid trucks weren't exactly in short supply, nearly every concept car toed the eco line. Fuel cells, biodiesel and batteries powered most. Ethanol was popular despite continual rumors of a looming corn shortage (probably less of a problem in the "conceptual" realm). Even Hummer promised a FlexFuel system for its HX concept. Of course, none of this means power will be sacrificed.
PopSci test-drives the wholly autonomous Chevy Boss. Check out the video, and see if you can resist the urge to grab at the wheel
By Sean CaptainPosted 01.16.2008 at 2:15 am 7 Comments
Chevy Boss DARPA
Too busy to drive? Let the car take the wheel. PopSci recently went for a ride in the Chevy Boss, winner of the 2007 Darpa Urban Challenge. With tricked-out GPS, sonar, laser guidance and a stack of computers, this 2007 Chevy Tahoe SUV can navigate an urban setting, weave around obstacles, and even negotiate intersections with other cars. GM expects the technology to be affordable, and less obtrusive, in about a decade.