November 12/19, 2007


All-in-one nanotube radio

A single carbon nanotube serves as antenna, tuner, amplifier and demodulator -- all the components of a radio except power source and speaker. The experimental nanotube radio receives music and voice signals in the FM frequency range. The infinitesimal radio could lead to radio-controlled nano devices and smart materials. (Nanotube Radio, Nano Letters, November 2007)

Crowd vision

A computer vision system builds three-dimensional models of buildings and landscapes from online public collections of photographs. The software resolves variations in lighting, scale, obstructions and image quality of thousands of photographs on Flickr and Google to produce three-dimensional digital models of famous structures like Notre Dame and the Statue of Liberty. (Multi-View Stereo for Community Photo Collections, ICCV 2007: Eleventh IEEE International Conference on Computer Vision, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, October 14-20, 2007)

Keeping your head up, practically

A prototype mobile head-mounted display lets the wearer see computer-generated images projected on her field of view. The prototype uses lightweight materials and miniature optics in an effort to make mobile head-mounted displays practical. (A Mobile Head-Worn Projection Display, Optics Express, October 29, 2007)

Carbon nanocircuits

Nanoscale strips of graphene -- one-molecule thick sheets of carbon atoms -- show promise as building blocks for integrated circuits for future computer chips. Sharp bends, splitters and connectors cut from graphene, which is extremely efficient at conducting electricity, could be used to build high-speed, low-power computer circuitry. (Building Blocks for Integrated Graphene Circuits, Nano Letters, November 2007)

DNA addressing

Nanoscale paired hexagons made from DNA molecules can be combined to form structures capable of storing information. Each 3.4-nanometer side of the hexagon can be given a unique DNA sequence, making it possible to connect other DNA molecules to specific places on structures made with the hexagon pairs. This DNA addressing technique could be used to build data storage devices or nanoscale circuits. (Triplex Addressability as a Basis for Functional DNA Nanostructures, Nano Letters, published online November 6, 2007)

Cellular Trojan horse

Monocyte immune system cells loaded with artificial nanoparticles were drawn into cancer tumors. The technique could lead to new ways of delivering drugs to cancer tumors, whose centers are often inaccessible to cancer treatments. (A Cellular Trojan Horse for Delivery of Therapeutic Nanoparticles into Tumors, Nano Letters, published online November 3, 2007)


View from the High Ground: ICL's John Pendry
Physics as machine tool, negative refractive index, metamaterials, shattered wine glasses, higher capacity DVDs, scientific backwaters, risk perception and practice, practice, practice.

How It Works: Quantum computing: qubits
Photons, electrons and atoms, oh my! These particles are the raw materials for qubits, the basic building blocks of quantum computers.

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"Physics is to the rest of science what machine tools are to engineering. A corollary is that science places power in our hands which can be used for good or ill. Technology has been abused in this way throughout the ages from gunpowder to atomic bombs."
- John Pendry, Imperial College London

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