Metamaterials hold the elusive promise of the true invisibility cloak, one that bends light right around objects to make them invisible to viewers. But most metamaterials with any kind of potential can only be fabricated in very small sizes, and even the ones that work well--and there are a few--generally don’t work in the visible spectrum.
A new microscopy method that ditches lenses altogether could create the highest-resolution images ever seen. The system reconstructs an image from the electron waves scattered by a sample, and has no fundamental experimental limits imposed by constraints like blurry glass or wavelengths of visible light. It can even be used to image live cells without harming them.
Two MIT researchers have cracked some fundamental problems with high resolution 3-D imaging using a novel gelatinous interface and computer-vision algorithms that, in tandem, can easily and portably provide imaging resolutions that were previously only possible with large and expensive laboratory gear. The resulting high-quality, 3-D models can be manipulated on a computer screen to a variety of ends ranging from quality control to criminal forensics to dermatology.
Adaptive optics techniques used for the world’s most powerful telescopes will be used to image the smallest processes in living systems, according to researchers in California.
In astronomy, adaptive optics fixes the blurring of deep-space images by correcting for the turbulence in Earth’s atmosphere. These techniques have allowed the Keck telescopes in Hawaii to resolve deep-space objects with greater clarity than the Hubble Space Telescope.
Lawmakers working on next year’s federal finances have taken the ax to the James Webb Space Telescope. That’s right, NASA’s next-generation space telescope, the successor to Hubble and the space agency’s biggest post-shuttle project, may be killed.
The Extreme Light Infrastructure will be built in Eastern Europe
By Jennie Walters
Posted 04.26.2011 at 2:07 pm 22 Comments
Who knew it would take so long to approve a project to build the world’s most powerful lasers? Lasers are awesome. But after reconciling some paltry funding issues, the European Commission finally approved the Extreme Light Infrastructure (ELI) project, which plans to build three superlasers by 2015.
A new type of endoscope with a super-small camera on its end could yield cheap, disposable scopes for peering inside your body. The camera is about the size of a grain of kosher salt, and its designers say it's the smallest camera ever.
It’s been a big week for the world of the small. In a new microscope breakthrough, researchers have figured out how to use a minuscule sheet of light to produce movies of living cells, revealing mitosis in action and illuminating cells' three-dimensional architecture with the greatest detail ever seen.
A $120 million Earth-based telescope using brand new adaptive optics just trumped Hubble's deep space image clarity three-fold, but such high tech optics aren't just reserved for high-dollar observatories. A breakthrough in deformable liquid mirror technology could drastically reduce the price associated with adaptive optics, making the best in high-tech telescopes more widely available.
When we tickle our artistic sides, playing with the varying fields of focus in our camera lenses can be a form of aesthetic expression. But for more practical uses -- say, filming a multi-layered scene like a concert where various subjects are at various depths -- it would be advantageous to capture the entire scene in perfect focus. A researcher in Toronto claims he's created an omni-focus camera that does exactly that.
Five amazing, clean technologies that will set us free, in this month's energy-focused issue. Also: how to build a better bomb detector, the robotic toys that are raising your children, a human catapult, the world's smallest arcade, and much more.