US military technology superiority is challenged as reaching near parity in some capability areas

The Military Balance 2017 is the annual assessment of global military capabilities and defence economics from the IISS (International Institute for Strategic Studies, London) There has been no reduction in the range and number of security challenges demanding the attention of policymakers. Conflict and insecurity continue in Africa, the Middle East and, in the case …

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Carbon-neutral Cement Manufacturing

Each year, manufacturers produce around 5 billion tons of portland cement — the gray powder that mixes with water to form the “glue” that holds concrete together. That’s nearly three-quarters of a ton for every person on Earth. For every ton of cement produced, the process creates approximately a ton of carbon dioxide, all of …

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Triton Hopper: Exploring Neptune’s Captured Kuiper Belt Object

COMPASS Conceptual Design Team has a funded NASA NIAC phase 1 study. They want to develop a hopper vehicle using a radioisotope thermal rocket engine, using in-situ propellant, to explore Neptune’s moon Triton. This moon is thought to be a captured Kuiper Belt object due to its retrograde orbit and surface. It has a very …

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Lawrenceville Plasma Physics Latest Update and Plans to Demonstrate Net Gain Nuclear Fusion in 2014 and a commercial reactor in 2018

Eric Lerner presented at the 2013 Fusion Energy Symposium. What Has Lawrenceville Plasma Physics (LPP) achieved so far ? * Ion temperature—goal achieved—over 1.8 billion degrees, enough to ignite pB11 *  Confinement time—goal achieved 20 ns—more than 8 ns goal *  Energy transfer to plasmoid—over 50% of goal * Density—must increase by 10,000 Steps To …

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One new physics theory suggests no Big Bang and another suggests that the Higgs could change and start a Big Crunch at any moment

1. There is a theory called “rainbow gravity,”. It posits that gravity’s effects on spacetime are felt differently by different wavelengths of light. Rainbow gravity was first proposed 10 years ago as a possible step toward repairing the rifts between the theories of general relativity (covering the very big) and quantum mechanics (concerning the realm …

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Pentacene with over 100% quantum solar-to-electric conversion efficiency

Splitting Singlets Solar cell efficiency is limited because light at wavelengths shorter than the cell’s absorption threshold does not channel any of its excess energy into the generated electricity. Congreve et al. have developed a method to harvest the excess energy in carbon-based absorbers through a process termed “singlet fission.” In this process, high-energy photons …

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Virgin Galactic has engine ignition and goes supersonic

Virgin Galactic’s Spaceshiptwo was dropped from a carrier aircraft high above California’s Mojave Desert and ignited its rocket engine to go supersonic for a few seconds. Although it has been in the air on more than 20 occasions, this was the first time its hybrid motor had been ignited. It was only a short burn …

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BMW and international automotive supplier Continental Partnering on Fully Self Driving Cars by 2025 and Partial Self Driving by 2016

The international automotive supplier Continental, based in Hanover, and the Munich-based BMW Group are pooling their development capacities to define the long-term prerequisites for seriesintroduction of highly automated driving on European freeways. In January 2013, the two companies signed an agreement to jointly develop an electronic co-pilot for this purpose. The overarching aim of the …

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Spacex Grasshopper pictures and video

TPM – SpaceX has over the past few months been testing a new experimental reusable rocket design, which the company calls “Grasshopper,” launching and landing it twice in two separate “test hops,” from its site in McGregor, Texas. Spacex’s ultimate goal, and that of its founder Elon Musk, is to drastically reduce the current costs …

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3D-printed exoskeleton gives a little girl use of her arms

Venturebeat – A heartwarming new video documents the story of a small child whose life has been radically changed for the better because of 3D printing technology. Two-year-old Emma was born with a rare disease called arthrogryposis that makes it so she can’t raise her arms without assistance. Through the use of 3D printing, a …

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Status of Lab Grown Organs

ABC News – Dr. Anthony Atala, director of the Wake Forest Institute for Regenerative Medicine, currently heads up more than 300 researchers in the Wake Forest University lab who are working on growing more than 30 different organs and body tissues. Currently, scientists are able to create some types of tissues for human transplant use. …

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