Bending the light with a tiny chip

Imagine that you are in a meeting with coworkers or at a gathering of friends. You pull out your cell phone to show a presentation or a video on YouTube. But you don't use the tiny screen; your phone projects a bright, clear image onto a wall or a big screen. Such a technology may be on its way, thanks to a new light-bending silicon chip developed by researchers at Caltech.

Claim: Bright pulses of light could make space veggies more nutritious

Exposing leafy vegetables grown during spaceflight to a few bright pulses of light daily could increase the amount of eye-protecting nutrients produced by the plants, according to a new study by researchers at the University of Colorado Boulder.

Want your computer to go faster? Just add light

Every second, your com­puter must process bil­lions of com­pu­ta­tional steps to pro­duce even the sim­plest out­puts. Imagine if every one of those steps could be made just a tiny bit more effi­cient. “It would save pre­cious nanosec­onds,” explained North­eastern Uni­ver­sity assis­tant pro­fessor of physics Swastik Kar.

How to tap the sun’s energy through heat as well as light

A new approach to harvesting solar energy, developed by MIT researchers, could improve efficiency by using sunlight to heat a high-temperature material whose infrared radiation would then be collected by a conventional photovoltaic cell. This technique could also make it easier to store the energy for later use, the researchers say.

Penn scientists demonstrate new method for harvesting energy from light

Researchers from the University of Pennsylvania have demonstrated a new mechanism for extracting energy from light, a finding that could improve technologies for generating electricity from solar energy and lead to more efficient optoelectronic devices used in communications.

Researchers slow light to a crawl in liquid crystal matrix

Light traveling in a vacuum is the Universe’s ultimate speed demon, racing along at approximately 300,000 kilometers per second. Now scientists have found an effective new way to put a speed bump in light’s path.

A new way to trap light

There are several ways to "trap" a beam of light — usually with mirrors, other reflective surfaces, or high-tech materials such as photonic crystals. But now researchers at MIT have discovered a new method to trap light that could find a wide variety of applications.

Video: Why is X-ray light emanating from black holes?

It is a mystery that has stymied astrophysicists for decades: how do black holes produce so many high-power X-rays?

Does your dog know what you're thinking?

It won't come as much of a surprise to most dog owners, but new research has shown that man's best friend is a lot more likely to steal food when nobody's looking, suggesting for the first time that dogs can understand a human's point of view.

Fermi spots the shadows of the very first stars

Astronomers have measured the light from the very earliest stars, working out for the first time the total amount of light from all the stars that have ever shone.

NASA detects light from super-Earth

NASA scientists have, for the first time, seen the light from a planet outside our solar system  that's a similar size to the Earth.

Light clocked going faster than light - sort of

Researchers at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) have worked out a way to produce light pulses that - in a way -  travel faster than the speed of light.

This futuristic Audi is tricked-out with OLED panels

For innumerable decades, drivers have attempted to set their vehicles apart from the rest by customizing their ride with everything from wheels to paint.

Transparent car roof is light source at night

BASF and Philips have developed an OLED car roof that can flip between acting as a window and a light source, giving light when switched on but becoming transparent when turned off.

Trillon fps camera fast enough to film photons

MIT's created a camera that can capture a trillion frames a second - the ultimate in slow motion, say its developers.

And Chalmers University said 'let there be light'

Scientists at Chalmers University of Technology have succeeded in creating light from vacuum.

LCD components used to operate worms like robots

Researchers say they've been able to control the brains and muscles of small organisms such as worms, controlling them like tiny robots.  

IBM hits terabit speeds with new chip technique

IBM has developed a new chip technology that integrates electrical and optical devices on the same piece of silicon, enabling data transfer using pulses of light.

Physicists create new type of light

Physicists from the University of Bonn have developed a completely new source of light, previously thought to be impossible - a so-called Bose-Einstein condensate consisting of photons.

Physicist turns trees into street lights

Cities could one day be lit by glowing trees, thanks to a discovery at Taiwan's National Cheng Kung University (NCKU).