Among spin-offs from research sponsored by the Ballistic Missile Defense Organization(BMDO)are two very powerful, but different, microscopes. One is an infrared device that uses a focal plane array to obtain both spectral images and signatures of biological and materials. A group of researchers at the National Institutes of Health developed the microscope based on work by BMDO's Exoatmospheric Kill Vehicle program. Essex Corp. (Columbia, MD) invented the other microscope, parlaying BMDO-sponsored development of a wideband-range Doppler imager for ground-based radar. The Essex microscope can produce high-resolution holographic images in a few seconds.
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.