Worlds Smallest LED is a Single Molecule
By coaxing light out of a single polymer molecule, researchers have made the world’s tiniest light-emitting diode.
This work is part of an interdisciplinary effort to make molecular scale electronic devices, which hold the potential for creating smaller but more powerful and energy-efficient computers. Guillaume Schull and his colleagues at the University of Strasbourg in France made the device with the conducting polymer polythiophene. They used a scanning tunneling microscope tip to locate and grab a single polythiophene molecule lying on a gold substrate. Then they pulled up the tip to suspend the molecule like a wire between the tip and the substrate.
The researchers report in the journalPhysical Review Letters that when they applied a voltage across the molecule, they were able to measure a nanoampere-scale current passing through it and to record light emitted from it.
(via First Single-Molecule LED - IEEE Spectrum)

Worlds Smallest LED is a Single Molecule

By coaxing light out of a single polymer molecule, researchers have made the world’s tiniest light-emitting diode.

This work is part of an interdisciplinary effort to make molecular scale electronic devices, which hold the potential for creating smaller but more powerful and energy-efficient computers. Guillaume Schull and his colleagues at the University of Strasbourg in France made the device with the conducting polymer polythiophene. They used a scanning tunneling microscope tip to locate and grab a single polythiophene molecule lying on a gold substrate. Then they pulled up the tip to suspend the molecule like a wire between the tip and the substrate.

The researchers report in the journalPhysical Review Letters that when they applied a voltage across the molecule, they were able to measure a nanoampere-scale current passing through it and to record light emitted from it.

(via First Single-Molecule LED - IEEE Spectrum)

(via joshbyard)

The Science of Storytelling: Why Telling a Story is the Most Powerful Way to Activate Our Brains
A good story can make or break a presentation, article, or conversation. But why is that? When Buffer co-founder Leo Widrich started to market his product through stories instead of benefits and bullet points, sign-ups went through the roof. Here he shares the science of why storytelling is so uniquely powerful. 
In 1748, the British politician and aristocrat John Montagu, the 4th Earl of Sandwich, spent a lot of his free time playing cards. He greatly enjoyed eating a snack while still keeping one hand free for the cards. So he came up with the idea to eat beef between slices of toast, which would allow him to finally eat and play cards at the same time. Eating his newly invented “sandwich,” the name for two slices of bread with meat in between, became one of the most popular meal inventions in the western world.
What’s interesting about this is that you are very likely to never forget the story of who invented the sandwich ever again. Or at least, much less likely to do so, if it would have been presented to us in bullet points or other purely information-based form.
For over 27,000 years, since the first cave paintings were discovered, telling stories has been one of our most fundamental communication methods. Recently a good friend of mine gave me an introduction to the power of storytelling, and I wanted to learn more.

The Science of Storytelling: Why Telling a Story is the Most Powerful Way to Activate Our Brains

A good story can make or break a presentation, article, or conversation. But why is that? When Buffer co-founder Leo Widrich started to market his product through stories instead of benefits and bullet points, sign-ups went through the roof. Here he shares the science of why storytelling is so uniquely powerful.

In 1748, the British politician and aristocrat John Montagu, the 4th Earl of Sandwich, spent a lot of his free time playing cards. He greatly enjoyed eating a snack while still keeping one hand free for the cards. So he came up with the idea to eat beef between slices of toast, which would allow him to finally eat and play cards at the same time. Eating his newly invented “sandwich,” the name for two slices of bread with meat in between, became one of the most popular meal inventions in the western world.

What’s interesting about this is that you are very likely to never forget the story of who invented the sandwich ever again. Or at least, much less likely to do so, if it would have been presented to us in bullet points or other purely information-based form.

For over 27,000 years, since the first cave paintings were discovered, telling stories has been one of our most fundamental communication methods. Recently a good friend of mine gave me an introduction to the power of storytelling, and I wanted to learn more.

Scientific Data Has Become So Complex, We Have to Invent New Math to Deal With It - Wired Science
Simon DeDeo, a research fellow in applied mathematics and complex systems at the Santa Fe Institute, had a problem. He was collaborating on a new project analyzing 300 years’ worth of data from the archives of London’s Old Bailey, the central criminal court of England and Wales. Granted, there was clean data in the usual straightforward Excel spreadsheet format, including such variables as indictment, verdict, and sentence for each case. But there were also full court transcripts, containing some 10 million words recorded during just under 200,000 trials.
How the hell do you analyze that data?” DeDeo wondered. It wasn’t the size of the data set that was daunting; by big data standards, the size was quite manageable. It was the sheer complexity and lack of formal structure that posed a problem. This “big data” looked nothing like the kinds of traditional data sets the former physicist would have encountered earlier in his career, when the research paradigm involved forming a hypothesis, deciding precisely what one wished to measure, then building an apparatus to make that measurement as accurately as possible.

Scientific Data Has Become So Complex, We Have to Invent New Math to Deal With It - Wired Science

Simon DeDeo, a research fellow in applied mathematics and complex systems at the Santa Fe Institute, had a problem. He was collaborating on a new project analyzing 300 years’ worth of data from the archives of London’s Old Bailey, the central criminal court of England and Wales. Granted, there was clean data in the usual straightforward Excel spreadsheet format, including such variables as indictment, verdict, and sentence for each case. But there were also full court transcripts, containing some 10 million words recorded during just under 200,000 trials.

How the hell do you analyze that data?” DeDeo wondered. It wasn’t the size of the data set that was daunting; by big data standards, the size was quite manageable. It was the sheer complexity and lack of formal structure that posed a problem. This “big data” looked nothing like the kinds of traditional data sets the former physicist would have encountered earlier in his career, when the research paradigm involved forming a hypothesis, deciding precisely what one wished to measure, then building an apparatus to make that measurement as accurately as possible.

One of the latest artificial intelligence systems from MIT is as smart as a 4-year-old
When kids eat glue, they’re exhibiting a lack of common sense. Computers equipped with artificial intelligence, it turns out, suffer from a similar problem.
While computers can tell you the chemical composition of glue, most can’t tell you if it is a gross choice for a snack. They lack the common sense that is ingrained in adult humans. 
For the last decade, MIT researchers have been building a system called ConceptNet that can equip computers with common-sense associations. It can process that a person may desire a dessert such as cake, which has the quality of being sweet. The system is structured as a graph, with connections between related concepts and terms.
The University of Illinois-Chicago announced today that its researchers put ConceptNet to the test with an IQ assessment developed for young children. ConceptNet 4, the second-most recent iteration from MIT, earned a score equivalent to the average 4-year-old. It did well at vocabulary and recognizing similarities, but did poorly at answering “why” questions. Children would normally get similar scores in each of the categories.

One of the latest artificial intelligence systems from MIT is as smart as a 4-year-old

When kids eat glue, they’re exhibiting a lack of common sense. Computers equipped with artificial intelligence, it turns out, suffer from a similar problem.

While computers can tell you the chemical composition of glue, most can’t tell you if it is a gross choice for a snack. They lack the common sense that is ingrained in adult humans. 

For the last decade, MIT researchers have been building a system called ConceptNet that can equip computers with common-sense associations. It can process that a person may desire a dessert such as cake, which has the quality of being sweet. The system is structured as a graph, with connections between related concepts and terms.

The University of Illinois-Chicago announced today that its researchers put ConceptNet to the test with an IQ assessment developed for young children. ConceptNet 4, the second-most recent iteration from MIT, earned a score equivalent to the average 4-year-old. It did well at vocabulary and recognizing similarities, but did poorly at answering “why” questions. Children would normally get similar scores in each of the categories.

Kinect Installation Lets Visitors Control A Living Human Cell [Video] - PSFK
Living Cell is an interactive installation created by design agency Clever Franke for the research group Eriba Institute.
The data visualisation work allows you to physically step inside a cell, walk around its organelles and influence its processes. Visitors can discover information about specific parts of the cell by walking into the cell and touching the part of interest. The lifetime of the cell is approximately an hour; if there is no interference from the visitors eventually the cell will die and be born again.

Kinect Installation Lets Visitors Control A Living Human Cell [Video] - PSFK

Living Cell is an interactive installation created by design agency Clever Franke for the research group Eriba Institute.

The data visualisation work allows you to physically step inside a cell, walk around its organelles and influence its processes. Visitors can discover information about specific parts of the cell by walking into the cell and touching the part of interest. The lifetime of the cell is approximately an hour; if there is no interference from the visitors eventually the cell will die and be born again.

New all-solid sulfur-based battery outperforms lithium-ion technology
(Phys.org) —Scientists at the Department of Energy’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory have designed and tested an all-solid lithium-sulfur battery with approximately four times the energy density of conventional lithium-ion technologies that power today’s electronics.
The ORNL battery design, which uses abundant low-cost elemental sulfur, also addresses flammability concerns experienced by other chemistries.
"Our approach is a complete change from the current battery concept of two electrodes joined by a liquid electrolyte, which has been used over the last 150 to 200 years,” said Chengdu Liang, lead author on the ORNL study published this week in Angewandte Chemie International Edition.
Scientists have been excited about the potential of lithium-sulfur batteries for decades, but long-lasting, large-scale versions for commercial applications have proven elusive. Researchers were stuck with a catch-22 created by the battery’s use of liquid electrolytes: On one hand, the liquid helped conduct ions through the battery by allowing lithium polysulfide compounds to dissolve. The downside, however, was that the same dissolution process caused the battery to prematurely break down.
Read more at: http://phys.org/news/2013-06-all-solid-sulfur-based-battery-outperforms-lithium-ion.html#jCp

New all-solid sulfur-based battery outperforms lithium-ion technology

(Phys.org) —Scientists at the Department of Energy’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory have designed and tested an all-solid lithium-sulfur battery with approximately four times the energy density of conventional lithium-ion technologies that power today’s electronics.

The ORNL  design, which uses abundant low-cost elemental sulfur, also addresses flammability concerns experienced by other chemistries.

"Our approach is a complete change from the current battery concept of two electrodes joined by a , which has been used over the last 150 to 200 years,” said Chengdu Liang, lead author on the ORNL study published this week in Angewandte Chemie International Edition.

Scientists have been excited about the potential of lithium-sulfur batteries for decades, but long-lasting, large-scale versions for commercial applications have proven elusive. Researchers were stuck with a catch-22 created by the battery’s use of liquid electrolytes: On one hand, the liquid helped conduct ions through the battery by allowing lithium polysulfide compounds to dissolve. The downside, however, was that the same dissolution process caused the battery to prematurely break down.

Read more at: http://phys.org/news/2013-06-all-solid-sulfur-based-battery-outperforms-lithium-ion.html#jCp

Google and NASA Launch Quantum Computing AI Lab
Quantum computing took a giant leap forward on the world stage today as NASA and Google, in partnership with a consortium of universities, launched an initiative to investigate how the technology might lead to breakthroughs in artificial intelligence.
The new Quantum Artificial Intelligence Lab will employ what may be the most advanced commercially available quantum computer, the D-Wave Two, which a recent study confirmed was much faster than conventional machines at defeating specific problems. The machine will be installed at the NASA Advanced Supercomputing Facility at the Ames Research Center in Silicon Valley and is expected to be available for government, industrial, and university research later this year.
Google believes quantum computing might help it improve its web search and speech recognition technology. University researchers might use it to devise better models of disease and climate, among many other possibilities. As for NASA, “computers play a much bigger role within NASA missions than most people realize,” says quantum computing expert Colin Williams, director of business development and strategic partnerships at D-Wave.

Google and NASA Launch Quantum Computing AI Lab

Quantum computing took a giant leap forward on the world stage today as NASA and Google, in partnership with a consortium of universities, launched an initiative to investigate how the technology might lead to breakthroughs in artificial intelligence.

The new Quantum Artificial Intelligence Lab will employ what may be the most advanced commercially available quantum computer, the D-Wave Two, which a recent study confirmed was much faster than conventional machines at defeating specific problems. The machine will be installed at the NASA Advanced Supercomputing Facility at the Ames Research Center in Silicon Valley and is expected to be available for government, industrial, and university research later this year.

Google believes quantum computing might help it improve its web search and speech recognition technology. University researchers might use it to devise better models of disease and climate, among many other possibilities. As for NASA, “computers play a much bigger role within NASA missions than most people realize,” says quantum computing expert Colin Williams, director of business development and strategic partnerships at D-Wave.

Real-time brain feedback can help people overcome anxiety | KurzweilAI
People provided with a real-time readout of activity in specific regions of their brains can learn to control that activity and lessen their anxiety, say Yale researchers.
They used functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), to display the activity of the orbitofrontal cortex (a brain region just above the eyes) to subjects while they lay in a brain scanner.
Through a process of trial and error, these subjects were gradually able to learn to control their brain activity. This led both to changes in brain connectivity and to increased control over anxiety. These changes were still present several days after the training.
Extreme anxiety associated with worries about dirt and germs is characteristic of many patients with obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD). Hyperactivity in the orbitofrontal cortex is seen in many of these individuals.

Real-time brain feedback can help people overcome anxiety | KurzweilAI

People provided with a real-time readout of activity in specific regions of their brains can learn to control that activity and lessen their anxiety, say Yale researchers.

They used functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), to display the activity of the orbitofrontal cortex (a brain region just above the eyes) to subjects while they lay in a brain scanner.

Through a process of trial and error, these subjects were gradually able to learn to control their brain activity. This led both to changes in brain connectivity and to increased control over anxiety. These changes were still present several days after the training.

Extreme anxiety associated with worries about dirt and germs is characteristic of many patients with obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD). Hyperactivity in the orbitofrontal cortex is seen in many of these individuals.

A Boy And His Atom: The World’s Smallest Movie

Scientists are known for loving their work. Biologists tend to their cultures and animals. Physicists polish their exquisite machines like sports car entusiasts treat vintage Ferraris. So do chemists love atoms? Apparently they do. At least enough to write a love story with, and about them.

IBM scientists have created the world’s smallest movie using individual atoms. It’s the story of a boy and his playful atom buddy, drawn in stop motion and with each quantum pixel positioned using a scanning tunneling microscope. Every frame is magnified a stunning 100 million times!

This amazing feat was accomplished by using a charged atomic needle to drag single carbon monoxide molecules (the individual atoms we see are one side of that two-atom molecule) around on a copper substrate. I’ve posted a little bit about these feats of atomic art before, with these “quantum corrals” and “ferrous wheels”

See those ripples around each atom? They remind me of pebbles being tossed into a still pond. They are actually ripples in the electron field of the copper surface below! It’s a reminder that, contrary to many textbooks, electrons behave more like waves than particles following an orbit. And like any other wave, they can form intricate interference patterns. Check out this previous post for more on that.

The hope is that manipulating atomic structures like this may lead to even greater information storage capacity. Imaging all the world’s books and movies on your mobile phone at once!

Here’s a “making of” movie from IBM, featuring the sound of atoms being moved as well as the encouraging sight of several female team members.

This makes me as happy as atom boy there.

What’s In Your Gut? Ask Citizen Science | Co.Exist
The American Gut Project is trying to create a better picture of the human “microbiome.” Give it some of your info, and they’ll tell you a lot about all the bugs that make up your digestive system and how they’re affecting your health.

What’s In Your Gut? Ask Citizen Science | Co.Exist

The American Gut Project is trying to create a better picture of the human “microbiome.” Give it some of your info, and they’ll tell you a lot about all the bugs that make up your digestive system and how they’re affecting your health.

New Plasma Device Considered The ‘Holy Grail’ Of Energy Generation And Storage
Scientists at the University of Missouri have devised a new way to create and control plasma that could transform American energy generation and storage.
Randy Curry, professor of electrical and computer engineering at the University of Missouri’s College of Engineering, and his team developed a device that launches a ring of plasma at distances of up to two feet. Although the plasma reaches a temperature hotter than the surface of the sun, it doesn’t emit radiation and is completely safe in proximity to humans.
While most of us are familiar with three states of matter – liquid, gas and solid – there is also a fourth state known as plasma, which includes things such as fire and lightning. Life on Earth depends on the energy emitted by plasma produced during fusion reactions within the sun.
The secret to Curry’s success was developing a way to make plasma form its own self-magnetic field, which holds it together as it travels through the air.
“Launching plasma in open air is the ‘Holy Grail’ in the field of physics,” said Curry.
more

New Plasma Device Considered The ‘Holy Grail’ Of Energy Generation And Storage

Scientists at the University of Missouri have devised a new way to create and control plasma that could transform American energy generation and storage.

Randy Curry, professor of electrical and computer engineering at the University of Missouri’s College of Engineering, and his team developed a device that launches a ring of plasma at distances of up to two feet. Although the plasma reaches a temperature hotter than the surface of the sun, it doesn’t emit radiation and is completely safe in proximity to humans.

While most of us are familiar with three states of matter – liquid, gas and solid – there is also a fourth state known as plasma, which includes things such as fire and lightning. Life on Earth depends on the energy emitted by plasma produced during fusion reactions within the sun.

The secret to Curry’s success was developing a way to make plasma form its own self-magnetic field, which holds it together as it travels through the air.

“Launching plasma in open air is the ‘Holy Grail’ in the field of physics,” said Curry.

more

(via republicofideas)