September10/17, 2003   

   Display brighter than film
Computer screens can't hold a candle to film where dynamic range is concerned, but that could change. A display with 10 times the brightness range of film and 300 times that of the average LCD promises to dramatically liven up medical images, video games and eventually even television.
Full story
Sponges grow sturdy optical fiber
Primitive sea creatures from the murky depths are providing tips on how to improve one of the fundamental technologies of the information age -- optical fiber. Sea sponge spines act like fiber optics, but with some key advantages.

Electron teams make bigger qubits
Producing any kind of quantum computer is challenging enough -- and may yet prove impossible -- but being able to make quantum computers from electronic chips rather than cumbersome laboratory equipment has the added challenge of requiring control over individual electrons. A scheme that has a string of electrons acting as one could ease the task by expanding the target to a whopping 250 millionths of a millimeter.

Vision chip shines
Robot eyes that are comparable to biological eyes are a long way off, but chips that work like retinas are sprouting up in laboratories around the world. An artificial retina that gives what it receives -- light -- is ready to plug into superfast all-optical circuits.

News briefs
VR system grabs 3D video... Quantum computing has limits... Gold speck highlights molecules... Neural net tracks skin color... Nano thermometer withstands heat... Light drives electron logic.

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