45th Annual Meeting of the Division of Plasma Physics
MIT physicists will report a new advance with the plasmatron, a small device that converts part of a fuel into a hydrogen-rich gas that reduces the emission of pollutants from vehicles. Developed by MIT researchers, the plasmatron was tested on a diesel-engine bus in Columbus, Indiana. The bus was tested by a team of engineers from ArvinMeritor, a major automotive and heavy truck components manufacturer which has licensed the plasmatron technology from MIT.
At the meeting, the MIT researchers will report that the plasmatron device, used with a special catalyst that treats the exhaust, reduced nitrous oxides from the vehicle by 90 percent. Nitrous oxides (NOx) are a major component of smog. In development for a half-dozen years, the plasmatron is showing special promise for early commercialization in diesel engines, which power many buses and trucks. The MIT researchers believe the plasmatron may provide an excellent means for those vehicles to meet stricter EPA standards planned to go into effect by 2007 for buses and heavy trucks. The plasmatron technology can also be used in gasoline engines, and makes them run potentially 30% times more efficiently while also being affordable and very clean.
David Harris | American Physical Society
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Computer Tomography (CT) is a standard procedure in hospitals, but so far, the technology has not been suitable for imaging extremely small objects. In PNAS, a team from the Technical University of Munich (TUM) describes a Nano-CT device that creates three-dimensional x-ray images at resolutions up to 100 nanometers. The first test application: Together with colleagues from the University of Kassel and Helmholtz-Zentrum Geesthacht the researchers analyzed the locomotory system of a velvet worm.
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The quantum world is fragile; error correction codes are needed to protect the information stored in a quantum object from the deteriorating effects of noise. Quantum physicists in Innsbruck have developed a protocol to pass quantum information between differently encoded building blocks of a future quantum computer, such as processors and memories. Scientists may use this protocol in the future to build a data bus for quantum computers. The researchers have published their work in the journal Nature Communications.
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