280 articles from TUESDAY 11.8.2020

Optics research demonstrates waveguides that guarantee stable propagation of azimuthons

The optical vortex plays an increasingly important role in optical information processing. As an information carrier, it improves the capacity of channels and offers an independent aspect for analysis—different from polarization, intensity, phase, and path. A new degree of freedom for encoding and encrypting optical information may be provided via nonlinear optics, using vortex beams known as...

Physicists accelerate the hunt for revolutionary artificial atomic materials

Scientists at the University of Bath have taken an important step towards understanding the interaction between layers of atomically thin materials arranged in stacks. They hope their research will speed up the discovery of new, artificial materials, leading to the design of electronic components that are far tinier and more efficient than anything known today.

Inexpensive, accessible device provides visual proof that masks block droplets

In a proof-of-concept study, researchers report that a simple, low-cost technique provided visual proof that face masks are effective in reducing droplet emissions during normal wear. They found that the best face coverings were N95 masks without valves -- the hospital-grade coverings that are used by front-line health care workers. Surgical or polypropylene masks also performed well. Hand-made...

The EU is launching a market for personal data. Here’s what that means for privacy.

The European Union has long been a trendsetter in privacy regulation. Its General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and stringent antitrust laws have inspired new legislation around the world. For decades, the EU has codified protections on personal data and fought against what it viewed as commercial exploitation of private information, proudly positioning its regulations in contrast to the...

Population immunity is slowing down the pandemic in parts of the US

The large number of people already infected with the coronavirus in the US has begun to act as a brake on the spread of the disease in hard-hit states. Millions of US residents have been infected by the virus that causes covid-19, and at least 160,000 are dead. One effect is that the pool of susceptible individuals has been depleted in many areas. After infection, it’s believed, people become...

The robots occupying our sidewalks

The Mountain View City Council voted on May 5, 2020 to allow Starship Technologies’ robots on city streets. Founded in 2014, Starship operates no-contact delivery robots in several cities around the world. How would the autonomous robots react to disabled...

Powerful storm leaves 1 dead, heavy crop damage in Midwest

Hundreds of thousands across the Midwest remained without power on Tuesday after a powerful storm packing 100 mph winds battered the region a day earlier, causing widespread damage to millions of acres to crops and killing a 73-year-old woman found clutching a young boy in her storm-battered mobile home.