A Week in Review: 10/26/14 – 11/1/14

October 30, 2014

AFOSR continues legacy of Nobel Prize-winning research
The Air Force Office of Scientific Research will add four winners to its illustrious list following the Nobel Foundation’s announcements of the 2014 laureates for Physics and Chemistry on Oct. 7 and 8.

October 28, 2014

Air Force takes table-top approach to quantum physics
Air Force Research Laboratory scientists can now study the mysteries of quantum physics in house and at a lower cost, thanks to a new high performance table-top quantum computing system. With funding in part from the Air Force Office of Scientific Research (AFOSR) and the DoD High Performance Computing Modernization Program, cold-atom technology developer, ColdQuanta, delivered two table-top Bose Einstein Condensate (BEC) systems–one in April 2014 and the second in September 2014–to a new facility jointly operated by AFRL and the University of Hawaii at Manoa, Department of Physics and Astronomy.

AFOSR, NIH and NASA collaborate on basic research with Australia

by Air Force Office of Scientific Research Staff Writers
Air Force Office of Scientific Research

10/21/2014 – ARLINGTON, Va. – In the continuing work to expand the horizon of scientific knowledge through international partnership and leadership, the Air Force Office of Scientific Research (AFOSR), in collaboration with the National Institutes of Health (NIH), National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), Australian Department of Education, the Australian Academy of Science, and the Australian National Fabrication Facility have organized a researcher exchange effort to create new, as well as strengthen existing relationships between scientific communities in the United States and Australia. This activity is the result of AFOSR’s ongoing collaboration with U.S. interagency and Australian partners that includes participation in the Inaugural United States – Australia Joint Commission Meeting, and co-organization of the 2011 Australian National Fabrication Facility (ANFF)/AFOSR Meeting and the 2012 AFOSR/ANFF Program Review. According to Mr. Michael Schwager, Minister Counsellor (Education, Science and Technology) at the Australian Embassy in Washington, DC, “the most successful international collaborations form at the researcher-to-researcher level and are then spurred through mutual and strategic interest. These research exchanges are great examples of that and will enhance our strong science linkages and particularly longer-term research collaborations with AFOSR, NIH and NASA.”

Beginning in mid-2014 through 2015, Australian graduate students and post-doctoral researchers from the University of Melbourne, University of New South Wales, University of Queensland, University of South Australia, Australian National University, Griffith University, and Monash University will travel to U.S. laboratories to perform research in multiple technical areas up to several months. Hosting U.S. institutions are the Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL), Oregon Health Science University, University of Pennsylvania, Stanford University, University of California – San Diego, University of California – Berkeley, and University of Puerto Rico. “This effort is a testament to the patience, perseverance and drive of everyone involved to build and nurture long-lasting relationships between the best and brightest within our communities,” said Dr. Sofi Bin-Salamon (AFOSR). He added that “our domestic and international partnerships are key to opening new vistas in scientific discovery.”

AFOSR continues to discover, shape, and champion basic science that profoundly impacts the future Air Force (USAF). Proactively engaging with the international community is critical to AFOSR’s mission.

Over the years, AFOSR has supported many international research efforts (primarily grants) performed at foreign universities and institutes. In addition to funding research projects, AFOSR builds relationships among foreign researchers, the Air Force Research Laboratory and U.S. scientists and engineers through a variety of programs. AFOSR annually supports hundreds of international activities including technical exchanges, visits of foreign researchers to present their research to USAF audiences, and AF scientists and engineers conducting research in foreign laboratories.

A Week in Review: 10/12/14 – 10/18/14

October 15, 2014

Project to detect possible damages in aircraft parts early in process
UT Arlington engineering professors have received a $451,781 Air Force Office of Scientific Research grant to examine the material surface at the micro- and nano-scale level that will provide clues for predicting fatigue in aircraft parts. https://www.uta.edu/news/releases/2014/10/AFOSR-DURIP-grants.php

October 14, 2014

Fluorescent ‘sandwich’ takes step toward ultrafast LEDs
When scientists very precisely trapped fluorescent molecules between a silver nanocube and a thin sheet of gold, the molecules emitted photons of light 1,000 times faster than normal.

A Week in Review: 10/5/14 – 10/11/14

October 9, 2014

Electrically conductive plastics promising for batteries, solar cells
An emerging class of electrically conductive plastics called “radical polymers” may bring low-cost, transparent solar cells, flexible and lightweight batteries, and ultrathin antistatic coatings for consumer electronics and aircraft. Researchers have established the solid-state electrical properties of one such polymer, called PTMA, which is about 10 times more electrically conductive than common semiconducting polymers. http://www.purdue.edu/newsroom/releases/2014/Q4/electrically-conductive-plastics-promising-for-batteries,-solar-cells.html

October 7, 2014

Hackathon challenges abilities to solve real-world AFRL problems
Air Force Research Laboratory is preparing to co-host LabHack, a 26-hour long coding competition which will task coding-savvy individuals, or “hackers,” to creatively solve challenges that AFRL researchers face every day. The Air Force’s first ‘Hackathon’ event –produced by AFRL, the Wright Brothers Institute, and Code for Dayton, part of the Code for America Brigade Program–will take place Oct. 25-26 at the Tec^Edge Innovation and Collaboration Center in Dayton, Ohio. http://www.wpafb.af.mil/news/story.asp?id=123427433

October 6, 2014

New way to make foams could lead to lightweight, sustainable materials A team of researchers from the Georgia Institute of Technology has developed a new type of foam – called capillary foam – that solves many of the problems faced by traditional foams. The new research shows for the first time that the combined presence of particles and a small amount of oil in water-based foams can lead to exceptional foam stability when neither the particles nor the oil can stabilize the foams alone. This research is supported by the Renewable Bioproducts Institute of Georgia Tech, by the National Science Foundation, and by the Air Force Office of Scientific Research (AFOSR). http://www.research.gatech.edu/news/new-way-make-foams-could-lead-lightweight-sustainable-materials

A Week in Review: 9/28/14 – 10/04/14

October 3, 2014

President Obama has announced a new competition to award more than $200 million in public and private investment to create an Integrated Photonics Manufacturing Institute, led by the U.S. Department of Defense (DOD), and the second of four new institute competitions to be launched this year. AFOSR was instrumental in creating this opportunity by leading the way with innovative research funding in integrated photonics, participating in the National Academies Optics & Photonics study, participating in the OSTP Fast Track Action Committee on Optics & Photonics, and working with our DoD colleagues. AFOSR support for this award was managed by Gernot Pomrenke, Program Officer, Optoelectronics and Photonics.
FACT SHEET: President Obama Announces New Manufacturing Innovation Institute Competition

October 2, 2014

Innovation: Scintillating Statistics
A Look at High-Latitude and Equatorial Ionospheric Disturbances of GPS Signals The data collection and analysis project discussed in this article was supported by the U.S. Air Force Office of Scientific Research and Air Force Research Laboratory grants. http://gpsworld.com/innovation-scintillating-statistics/

October 1, 2014

All directions are not created equal for nanoscale heat sources
Thermal considerations are rapidly becoming one of the most serious design constraints in microelectronics, especially on submicron scale lengths. A study by researchers from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign has shown that standard thermal models will lead to the wrong answer in a three-dimensional heat-transfer problem if the dimensions of the heating element are on the order of one micron or smaller. This work was supported by the Air Force Office of Scientific Research and was carried out, in part, at the Frederick Seitz Materials Research Laboratory.

Platinum meets its match in quantum dots from coal
Graphene quantum dots created at Rice University grab onto graphene platelets like barnacles attach themselves to the hull of a boat. But these dots enhance the properties of the mothership, making them better than platinum catalysts for certain reactions within fuel cells. The Office of Naval Research Multidisciplinary University Research Initiative (MURI) program, the Air Force Office of Scientific Research and its MURI program supported the research.

Head of Air Force lab at Wright-Patterson to give Rolls-Royce lecture
Air Force Maj. Gen. Thomas J. Masiello will give the 2014 Rolls-Royce Memorial Lecture at Purdue University on Oct. 8. Masiello is commander of the Air Force Research Laboratory at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base in Dayton, Ohio. http://www.purdue.edu/newsroom/releases/2014/Q4/head-of-air-force-lab-at-wright-patterson-to-give-rolls-royce-lecture.html

September 30, 2014

Causes of California drought linked to climate change, Stanford scientists say
In a new study, a team led by Stanford climate scientist Noah Diffenbaugh used a novel combination of computer simulations and statistical techniques to show that a persistent region of high atmospheric pressure hovering over the Pacific Ocean that diverted storms away from California was much more likely to form in the presence of modern greenhouse gas concentrations. http://news.stanford.edu/news/2014/september/drought-climate-change-092914.html

September 29, 2014

Adding natural uncertainty improves mathematical models
Mathematicians from Brown University have introduced a new element of uncertainty into an equation used to describe the behavior of fluid flows. While being as certain as possible is generally the stock and trade of mathematics, the researchers hope this new formulation might ultimately lead to mathematical models that better reflect the inherent uncertainties of the natural world. The work was supported by the Air Force Office of Scientific Research, the Department of Energy and the National Science Foundation. https://news.brown.edu/articles/2014/09/burgers