University of Central Florida

  • Science operations have been suspended at the Arecibo Observatory in Puerto Rico after the radio telescope was damaged on Monday August 10. An auxiliary cable supporting a platform appears to have snapped and fallen, damaging the dish.
  • Scientists have created a new class of laser beam that appears to violate long-held laws of light physics. Known as “spacetime wave packets,” these lasers follow different rules of refraction, which could lead to new communication technologies.
  • A Florida team working with the US Air Force says that it's built and tested an experimental model of a rotating detonation rocket engine, which uses a spinning series of chaotic explosions inside a ring channel to create super-efficient thrust.
  • A team of researchers at the University of Central Florida have developed a prototype steam-powered space probe using water as a propellant. The World Is Not Enough spacecraft can operate indefinitely by topping off on ice gathered while visiting asteroids and other bodies to fuel future travels.
  • In 1974, astronomers used the Arecibo Observatory to beam a message from humanity to the stars, in one of the most well-known attempts to contact possible alien life. For the 44th anniversary of the Arecibo Message, scientists are reaching out to the public for help in designing an updated version.
  • Science
    ​​Ancient civilizations could have benefited, and at times suffered from belonging to an interconnected global economy, according to evidence presented in a newly-published study.
  • Pluto was demoted from planet status to dwarf planet in 2006. But a new study suggests it should be resurrected as a planet, since the definition the object failed to meet was not based on precedents set in scientific literature.
  • The theory of relativity predicts that any two objects in a vacuum will fall at the same rate. Whether or not this applied to massive objects like planets and stars has long been debated, but now astronomers have shown that the phenomenon does hold true, meaning Einstein was right yet again.
  • The 2D wonder material, graphene, has a long list of superpowers, but one thing it hasn’t been great at is absorbing light. Now, a study from the University of Central Florida (UCF) has found a way to boost graphene’s light absorption, allowing it to make better use of that energy.
  • Science
    If you’ve ever used your phone in sunlight only to see a reflection of your own face, moths might have your back. Inspired by the natural nanostructures that keep the insect’s eyes from being shiny, a team from the University of Central Florida has developed an antireflective film for phone screens.
  • Scientists at the University of Central Florida have developed a way to effectively shrink pixels down to a third of their size, using different voltages to tune the color of individual subpixels to red, green or blue. The result could be screens with much higher resolution and improved brightness.
  • Science
    Dcientists at the University of Central Florida have come up with synthetic material that draws on visible light from the sun to produce solar fuels, sucking harmful CO2 out of the air in the process. ​