UC Berkeley astronomer Chung-Pei Ma, graduate student Nicholas McConnell and colleagues have discovered the largest black holes to date ‑- two monsters with masses equivalent to 10 billion suns that are threatening to consume anything, even light, within a region five times the size of our solar system.
Imagine tapping into the mind of a coma patient, or watching one’s own dream on YouTube. With a cutting-edge blend of brain imaging and computer simulation, UC Berkeley scientists are bringing these futuristic scenarios within reach. Using functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging (fMRI) and computational models, researchers have succeeded in decoding and reconstructing people’s dynamic visual experiences – in this case, watching Hollywood movie trailers.
UC Berkeley engineers have shown that by using ferroelectric materials, they can pump up the charge accumulated at a capacitor for a given voltage, a phenomenon called negative capacitance. The achievement could reduce the power draw of today’s electronics, and break the bottleneck that has stalled improvements in computer clock speed.
Photos and observations posted to the website of the Global Amphibian BioBlitz now cover more than 700 species: 10 percent of the world’s frog, toad and salamander species that the social networking effort hopes to track. This success has now spawned a Reptile BioBlitz.
Skywatchers should get their binoculars and telescopes ready. Scientists at UC Berkeley and Berkeley Lab caught a supernova soon after its explosion. The supernova, located in the Big Dipper constellation, is appearing brighter than any other supernova of its type in the last 30 years. Earthlings might even be able to see it with good binoculars in 10 days’ time.
Pieter Abbeel, a UC Berkeley, professor known for his novel work in the field of machine learning in robotics – including robots that can fold laundry – has been named to a prestigious list of 35 of the world’s top young innovators by Technology Review magazine.
I-School student volunteers who evaluated a Disabled Students Program pilot test, which provided Livescribe computerized pens to students with learning disabilities, found that the smartpens had effects that extended well beyond note-taking abilities.
The NSF has launched a massive five-year, $121 million project involving 17 institutions, including UC Berkeley, to bring advanced digital services to the nation’s scientists and engineers. Collectively known as the Extreme Science and Engineering Discovery Environment (XSEDE), the new project replaces the TeraGrid, which for 10 years provided researchers with computational and data resources in an open infrastructure to support scientific discovery.
Information theory dictates that a logical operation in a computer must consume a minimum amount of energy. Today’s computers consume a million times more energy per operation than this limit, but magnetic computers with no moving electrons could theoretically operate at the minimum energy, called the Landauer limit, according to UC Berkeley electrical engineers.
Intel Labs announced a second Intel Science and Technology Center to open at UC Berkeley with a focus on secure computing. Funded by $15 million over five years, the new center will encourage tighter collaboration between university thought leaders and Intel.
In early May, Intel announced a radical new transistor design: a 3D device that will enable the production of integrated-circuit chips that operate faster with less power. The breakthrough has its roots in research begun in 1997 by a team led by Berkeley electrical engineers Chenming Hu, Jeff Bokor and Tsu-Jae King Liu.
UC Berkeley researchers have shown that graphene, a one-atom-thick layer of crystallized carbon, can be tuned electrically to modify the amount of photons absorbed. This ability to switch light on and off is the fundamental characteristic of a network modulator, opening the door to optical computing in handheld electronics.
Researchers at UC Berkeley and UCSF have launched the joint Center for Neural Engineering and Prostheses to develop technology that can translate brain signals into movements controlling prosthetic limbs, circumventing damaged or missing neural circuits in people suffering from disabling conditions.
Can mobile phone–based information improve the lives of farmers in the developing world? A research project — led by School of Information assistant professor Tapan Parikh and funded by the National Science Foundation — aims to address this question.
UC Berkeley engineers have found a way to grow nanolasers directly onto a silicon surface, an achievement that could lead to a new class of faster, more efficient microprocessors, as well as to powerful biochemical sensors that use optoelectronic chips.
Berkeley Lab researchers have carried out the first experimental demonstration of GRIN plasmonics, a hybrid technology that opens the door to a wide range of exotic optics, including superfast photonic computers, ultra-powerful optical microscopes, and “invisibility” carpet-cloaking devices.
One of the world's most popular volunteer computing projects, Einstein@Home, has discovered an unusual pulsar from data captured by the giant radio dish in Arecibo, Puerto Rico. The project, built on UC Berkeley's BOINC platform, demonstrates the scientific value of volunteer computing.