Bruce Wessels wants to increase the data transmission connection on your computer. The Northwestern University professor of material science and engineering patented a device and material for integrated optic circuits. He says his thin-film electro-optical modulator provides a faster way to transmit information. Wessels uses a metal-organic molecular beam epitaxy apparatus for the thin-film deposition. In addition to the modulators, Wessels and associate professor Seng-Tiong Ho developed wave guides and optical amplifiers using ferroelectric material. They point out that bulk crystals used in optical circuits now have limits and their thin film is superior because it enables high-speed operations with low voltage for less expense. The researchers demonstrated that their thin-film modulators work at frequencies up to 20 gigahertz. SVT Associates is working with Wessels to develop and commercialize the technology. For more information, go to www.northwestern.edu.
According to a study by the National Institute of Standards and Technology, one of the factors in the collapse of the original World Trade Center towers on Sept. 11, 2001, was the reduction in the yield strength of the steel reinforcement as a result of the high temperatures of the fire and the loss of thermal insulation.
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Robots are getting more agile and automation systems are becoming more complex. Yet the most impressive development in robotics and automation is increased intelligence. Machines in automation are increasingly able to analyze huge amounts of data. They are often able to see, speak, even imitate patterns of human thinking. Researchers at European Automation
call this deep learning.
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