Volume 17 - April-August 2012
Story 1 - 16/4/2012
Towards Better X-ray Lasers
Red, green and blue lasers all produce extremely good-quality light and therefore play a key role in everyday life. X-ray lasers, in comparison, are still in their infancy. Building on the principles of visible-light lasers, however, it is possible to produce better X-rays.
Story 2 - 2/5/2012
Baffle the Bug!
Puzzled by the zebra’s appearance? Experimental data of recent research supports the idea that zebras developed their striped coat to stave off horseflies.
Story 3 - 7/6/2012
A Seriously Defocused Spider
A jumping spider about to pounce on its prey needs to be able to accurately measure its distance from its target in order to be able to hit it with precision. This is possible thanks to a visual approach previously unknown to exist in nature.
Story 4 - 9/7/2012
Anti-aging Treatment for Ancient Books
Ancient manuscripts offer a fascinating glimpse into the knowledge and technology of times long gone. Alas, these cultural treasures fade over time as a result of the slow oxidation of cellulose. A combination of optical techniques and numerical studies may soon aid in their preservation and restoration.
Story 5 - 26/7/2012
The Artistic Touch of Light
Art masterpieces reveal surprising facets when we look at them through different eyes. Visible light is not always enough to disclose all of the details they hide. Use thermal radiation, however, and a good deal of their mysteries can be unveiled.
Story 6 - 9/8/2012
Towards Reconciling Einstein and Planck
Quantum physics and general relativity have completely changed our understanding of nature and kick-started the 20th century’s technological revolution — be that as it may, these two theories sometimes deliver contradictive results. A new proposal may finally be able to shed light on this issue.
Story 7 - 24/8/2012
A Rather Random Microscope
A new recipe from the microscopy world. Take a standard microscope, add a pinch of noise. Mix it all together and voilà: an image with improved resolution is served!