Archive for March 2015

Twisted Light Increases Efficiency of Quantum Cryptography Systems

March 24, 2015

Researchers demonstrate how to encode 2.05 bits per photon, doubling existing systems that use light polarization

graphicLeonorResearchers at the University of Rochester and their collaborators have developed a way to transfer 2.05 bits per photon by using “twisted light.” This remarkable achievement is possible because the researchers used the orbital angular momentum of the photons to encode information, rather than the more commonly used polarization of light. The new approach doubles the 1 bit per photon that is possible with current systems that rely on light polarization and could help increase the efficiency of quantum cryptography systems.

via New approach uses “twisted light” to increase the efficiency of quantum cryptography systems : NewsCenter.

Kodak Kodak Kodak

March 24, 2015

A Future Beyond Film, Transformation in the Digital Age

A lot of rehashing this old story, but with a few updates.  We have more jobs in Rochester now than when Kodak was at full employment.

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The First Ever Photograph of Light as Both a Particle and a a Wave

March 10, 2015

Light behaves both as a particle and as a wave. Since the days of Einstein, scientists have been trying to directly observe both of these aspects of light at the same time. Now, scientists at EPFL have succeeded in capturing the first-ever snapshot of this dual behavior.

Light simultaneously showing spatial interference and energy quantization © Fabrizio Carbone/EPFL

Quantum mechanics tells us that light can behave simultaneously as a particle or a wave. However, there has never been an experiment able to capture both natures of light at the same time; the closest we have come is seeing either wave or particle, but always at different times. Taking a radically different experimental approach, EPFL scientists have now been able to take the first ever snapshot of light behaving both as a wave and as a particle. The breakthrough work is published in Nature Communications.


Light Bulb Innovation

March 9, 2015

A community-based organization called DAYLIGHT Project has introduced bulbs made from plastic water bottles to people living in informal settlements that lack electricity. The bulbs are a low-cost and environmentally-friendly innovation that are said to last seven years.

Sydor Instruments Developing Advanced X-Ray Detector

March 9, 2015

Sydor Instruments announced today that it has been awarded a $150,000 SBIR/STTR Phase I grant from the Department of Energy. Sydor Instruments will use this grant in collaboration with Cornell University to advance the development of a novel fast framing hybridized x-ray imaging detector. The hybridized detector is capable of capturing a sequence of quantitative x-ray images at rates compatible with the most commonly used bunch sequences such as the Advanced Photon Source, which is a frame approximately every 150 ns. The Phase I effort will focus on transitioning the technology from prototype to a commercial instrument that will meet immediate and future detector needs for emerging applications in the study of fast irreversible processes.

“We are very pleased with being awarded this SBIR/STTR Phase I grant and would like to thank Cornell University for its partnership and collaboration during this process. This grant from the Department of Energy reinforces the importance of further developing this technology. The capabilities of modern x-ray light sources have opened up new areas of research in the study of in-situ fast irreversible processes. However, the ability to do such research is limited by the current state of detector technology. The ultimate commercialization of this detector will provide researchers with capabilities not available today in commercial x-ray detectors, and will enable scientists to study fast physical processes with unprecedented accuracy,” stated Michael Pavia, President of Sydor Instruments.

Artist Inadvertently Builds Hodoscope

March 6, 2015

A Hodoscope is an instrument used to determine the trajectory of charged particles. It’s built out of a three-dimensional matrix of particle detectors – either PIN diodes or Geiger tubes – arranged in such a way that particles can be traced along coincident detectors, revealing their trajectory.

Artist Inadvertently Builds Hodoscope | Hackaday.

Bent Light Playing Supernova Astronomical Reruns?

March 6, 2015

Astronomers using the Hubble Space Telescope say they have been watching the same star blow itself to smithereens in a supernova explosion over and over again, thanks to a trick of Einsteinian optics.

The star exploded more than nine billion years ago on the other side of the universe, too far for even the Hubble to see without special help from the cosmos. In this case, however, light rays from the star have been bent and magnified by the gravity of an intervening cluster of galaxies so that multiple images of it appear.

Four of them are arranged in a tight formation known as an Einstein Cross surrounding one of the galaxies in the cluster. Since each light ray follows a different path from the star to here, each image in the cross represents a slightly different moment in the supernova explosion.

This is the first time astronomers have been able to see the same explosion over and over again, and its unique properties may help them better understand not only the nature of these spectacular phenomena but also cosmological mysteries like dark matter and how fast the universe is expanding.