Researchers at Duke Universitys Pratt School of Engineering have captured the best images ever produced of "sprites" -- mysterious flashes of light resembling giant undulating jellyfish that can occur above strong thunderstorms -- using a high-speed camera that recorded thousands of video frames a second.
The researchers said their findings could lead to a better understanding of the physics and chemistry of this fleeting, still-unexplained lightning phenomenon. They recorded and analyzed video of sprites associated with powerful thunderstorms occurring over the Great Plains during the summer of 2005. Their findings are scheduled to appear online in Geophysical Research Letters on Feb. 22. The research was supported by the National Science Foundation.
"By analyzing the high-speed images in sequence, weve been able to clearly define, for the first time, the processes by which sprites develop and what happens inside of them," said Steven Cummer, assistant professor of electrical and computer engineering at Dukes Pratt School. "This understanding of sprite structure is a necessary step to further elucidate sprite dynamics and their possible effects on the upper atmosphere."
Kendall Morgan | EurekAlert!
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Researchers from the Institute for Quantum Computing (IQC) at the University of Waterloo led the development of a new extensible wiring technique capable of controlling superconducting quantum bits, representing a significant step towards to the realization of a scalable quantum computer.
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In a paper in Scientific Reports, a research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute describes a novel light-activated phenomenon that could become the basis for applications as diverse as microscopic robotic grippers and more efficient solar cells.
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By forcefully embedding two silicon atoms in a diamond matrix, Sandia researchers have demonstrated for the first time on a single chip all the components needed to create a quantum bridge to link quantum computers together.
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COMPAMED has become the leading international marketplace for suppliers of medical manufacturing. The trade fair, which takes place every November and is co-located to MEDICA in Dusseldorf, has been steadily growing over the past years and shows that medical technology remains a rapidly growing market.
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'Ferroelectric' materials can switch between different states of electrical polarization in response to an external electric field. This flexibility means they show promise for many applications, for example in electronic devices and computer memory. Current ferroelectric materials are highly valued for their thermal and chemical stability and rapid electro-mechanical responses, but creating a material that is scalable down to the tiny sizes needed for technologies like silicon-based semiconductors (Si-based CMOS) has proven challenging.
Now, Hiroshi Funakubo and co-workers at the Tokyo Institute of Technology, in collaboration with researchers across Japan, have conducted experiments to...
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