The LouseBuster returns

SALT LAKE CITY, Dec. 6, 2010 — Four years after the LouseBuster prototype made headlines when research showed the chemical-free, warm-air device wiped out head lice on children, a new study reveals that a revamped, government-cleared model is h…

Ultra-Simple Desktop Device Slows Light to a Crawl

Though Einstein put his foot down and demanded that nothing can move faster than light, a new device developed at the University of Rochester may let you outpace a beam by putting your foot down on the gas pedal. At 127 miles per hour, the light in the new device travels more than 5 million times slower than normal as it passes through a ruby just a few centimeters long. Instead of the complex, room-filling mechanisms previously used to slow light, the new apparatus is small and, in the words of its creator, “ridiculously easy to implement.” Such a simple design will likely pave the way for slow light, as it is called, to move from a physical curiosity to a useful telecommunications tool. The research is being published in this week’s Physical Review Letters.

More efficient and reliable refrigerators and air conditioners a step closer

Scientists at Research Triangle Institute in North Carolina have created the world?s first working device that uses nanometer-scale materials to convert electric power into cooling or heating, or heat into electricity. Among its many potential applications, the development could eventually lead to more reliable solid-state refrigerators and air conditioners, and more efficient and compact power sources, according to the researchers.