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: firstname.lastname@example.org.
The engineers and inventors of the post WWII period turned their attention to advancements in electronics, communication, and entertainment. Breakthrough inventions range from LEGOs and computer gaming to the integrated circuit and Ethernet -- a range of advancements that have little in common except they changed our lives.
Neil Fromer is the executive director of the Resnick Institute, a program for energy and sustainability at the California Institute of Technology, working to develop new ideas and research technologies related to providing a sustainable future. He spoke to us about the severity of the current drought in California and how solar energy can help prevent such situations in the future.
Focus on Fundamentals consists of 45-minute on-line classes that cover a host of technologies. You learn without leaving the comfort of your desk. All classes are taught by subject-matter experts and all are archived. So if you can't attend live, attend at your convenience.