December 19/26, 2001   

   LED fires one photon at a time
Perfectly secure communications exists -- in the lab. In order to make it in the real world, the technology has to be packaged in practical devices. A special light emitting diode goes a long way toward that goal.
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Chips turn more heat to power
Turning heat into electricity is old hat, but the techniques to date haven't been efficient enough to generate a lot of power. A method for making semiconductor devices changes the equation.

Data protected on unlocked Web sites
The only way to be sure you are getting authentic data on the Web is to download large chunks of data that have been stamped with a digital seal of authenticity. A new scheme lets you download just a portion of a secure document.

Surgeons gain ultrasonic vision
Surgeons have been using ultrasound for years to view their patients' insides. A hand-held device gives surgeons the equivalent of x-ray vision by superimposing the ultrasound image on the patient's body.

Temperature changes laser color
Mix liquid crystals with powdered white glass and you get a light source that changes color according to the temperature.

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