The rose, a brilliant red. The sky, a purplish blue. The sunset, a soft magenta. If you are seeing these vivid colors, then you may be looking at the next generation of video screens or computer displays. If you aren't, that means the products aren't commercialized yet. But they are possible, thanks to a new blue laser, developed by Dr. E. Fred Schubert, professor of electrical and computer engineering and a member of the faculty of the Photonics Center at Boston University (Boston, MA). In the February 1998, Issue 4, of Electronic Letters, Schubert describes how he and Dean Stocker, a doctoral candidate in physics, fabricated the world's first gallium nitride (InGaN) double-heterostructure laser from tiny pieces of polished sapphire under even smaller layers of semiconducting crystal. The laser materials were scored with a diamond and then "cleaved"--or broken--along the scratch to produce smooth facets that control the paths of the photons that make up the laser beam. The blue laser may also expand the storage capacity of today's digital video disks up to four times. For more information, contact Joan Schwartz at (617) 353-4626, e-mail: email@example.com.
Applied Research Associates has delivered several of its Pointman Tactical Robots to the CBP in Tucson, which the agency is using to explore drainage tunnels that run between Nogales, Ariz., and Nogales, Mexico. These tunnels are out of sight from border surveillance and are increasingly being used for illegal activity.