A Week in Review: 6/29/14 – 7/5/14

July 2, 2014

Researchers Invent ‘Meta Mirror’ to Help Advance Nonlinear Optical Systems Researchers at the Cockrell School of Engineering at The University of Texas at Austin have created a new nonlinear metasurface, or meta mirror, that could one day enable the miniaturization of laser systems. The invention, called a “nonlinear mirror” by the researchers, could help advance nonlinear laser systems that are used for chemical sensing, explosives detection, biomedical research and potentially many other applications.

Video: Origami Artists Don’t Fold Under Pressure
The four-day OrigamiUSA convention, held at the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York, drew 650 people from a dozen countries across the Americas, Europe and Asia. The largest contingent was from the U.S., followed by Japan. And the convention is serious business — each attendee received a “survival kit,” which included a packet of origami paper and a giant schedule of the 215 classes offered.

FSU engineer uses light to change makeup of plastics
A FAMU-FSU College of Engineering professor is using rays of light to control the shape of a special type of plastic, a project that could have long-term implications for manufacturing, solar energy harvesting, aerospace flow control and robotic actuators. Mechanical engineering Associate Professor William Oates is in the midst of a four-year project supported by the Air Force Office of Scientific Research to test the possibilities of how light can change the shape of plastics and how those changes could help robots perform different tasks, like grip materials through adhesion. It is a collaborative project with a colleague in chemical engineering, Associate Professor Anant Paravastu. http://news.fsu.edu/More-FSU-News/FSU-engineer-uses-light-to-change-makeup-of-plastics

July 1, 2014

Air Force engineer developed unique method to track space debris
Richard Rast, a senior engineer at the Air Force Research Laboratory, created an innovative way to track this space debris to help reduce the risk of potential collisions—a system that could become a cost-effective supplement to the current processes used by the Air Force and NASA that rely on expensive telescopes, radar systems and considerable manpower for analysis.

Behind a Marine Creature’s Bright Green Fluorescent Glow In a study published in Scientific Reports, an open-access journal of the Nature Publishing Group, Dimitri Deheyn and his colleagues at Scripps Oceanography, the Air Force Research Laboratory, and the Salk Institute for Biological Studies have conducted the most detailed examination of green fluorescent proteins (GFPs) in lancelets, marine invertebrates also known as “amphioxus.” The fish-shaped animals, which spend much of their time in shallow coastal regions burrowed in sand except for their heads, offer unique insights on natural fluorescence since individual specimens can emit both very bright and much dimmer versions of the light, a rare capability in the animal kingdom. https://scripps.ucsd.edu/news/behind-marine-creatures-bright-green-fluorescent-glow