Building a supercomputer using light

A leap into quantum computing: research from Stanford University details how huge amounts of information could be processed by a ‘supercomputer’ that uses light

Invisibility cloaking – hiding a whole new world

The idea of invisibility cloaking – being able to hide things from view – has been a point of interest to humans for thousands of years. Plato wrote in The Republic about The Ring of Gyges which allowed the wearer to become invisible. Within nature there are many different species of creatures that have evolved […]

5 Space Breakthroughs of 2011

With the New Year comes the inevitable question of resolutions – how will you better yourself in 2012? The familiar answers of getting fit, losing weight, saving money and the like are a bit jaded, although surprisingly resolutions have been proven to make a huge difference to how we accomplish our desired goals. With this […]

Light Conversation

Harald Haas and his team from the University of Edinburgh have invented what he calls “speaking light”. In a TED talk on 15 July, Haas demonstrated the wireless transmission of HD video via a rapidly blinking desk lamp. The trick involves quickly modulating the intensity of “high-brightness” LEDs, allowing binary-encoded data to be sent to […]

A world bubbling over with bubbles

The most recent financial crisis caused by the housing bubble, which popped as subprime mortgages in the US and many Western European countries defaulted, has been having dramatic consequences in many aspects of Western Europe and US economies such as high rate of unemployment and economical policies based on ”cut if you can”. Stock market […]

Monitoring your sleep patterns

It’s 3am. The cold light of my computer screen illuminates my face, highlighting the bags that are forming under my eyes and casting disturbing shadows around my bedroom. You might think that I was engaged in something incredibly important to keep me up so late. But no, the truth is, I am unable to sleep […]

Sun Sneezing

Although I am a massive fan of all this warm weather and cloudless sky, the inevitable rise in the pollen count does tend to put a downer on this time of year. However, this year I seem to be escaping the usually debilitating side effects of hay fever. I am, however, not quite as smug […]

Antarctic reveals lightning space whistles

Take yourself into the middle of nowhere and hold a radio receiver to the sky.  Above the snapcracklepop of static, you might just be lucky enough to catch a whistler. Sounding like weaponry from an early sci-fi film, whistlers are the remnants of lightning strikes that have travelled tens of thousands of miles through space […]

Top 5 Unseen Weapons

5. The ultrasound gun The sonic devastator Imagine the sound of fingernails scraping down a blackboard, then amplify it to 130 decibels (which is equivalent to a jet plane taking off) and you begin to understand how the Sonic Devastator got its name. Designed for riot control, the hand-held gun’s design restricts its beam to […]

‘Unseen Science’ – Issue 17 Out Tomorrow!

The way we perceive the world is inevitably shaped by the models created in our brains. As a species, we have evolved to understand the world in such a way as to maximise our survival chances out on the African savannah plains of the Pleistocene and this has inevitably had consequences in defining that which […]