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Optical Fiber Fabric Snaps Pictures

Semiconductors nestled in a polymer fiber can create a photographic image

2 min read
Optical Fiber Fabric Snaps Pictures

16 July 2009—T-shirts that can snap photos or carpets that are able to report a buildup of dust may one day be possible, thanks to the creation of a fiber that can detect images. Researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology have created a polymer fiber that can detect the angle, intensity, phase, and wavelength of light hitting it, information that can be used to re-create a picture of an object without a lens.

”Once you have the phase and amplitude of a wave, you can then figure out what the object was that the wave emanated from,” says Yoel Fink, director of MIT’s Photonic Bandgap Fibers and Devices Group.

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The Transistor at 75

The past, present, and future of the modern world’s most important invention

2 min read
A photo of a birthday cake with 75 written on it.
Lisa Sheehan

Seventy-five years is a long time. It’s so long that most of us don’t remember a time before the transistor, and long enough for many engineers to have devoted entire careers to its use and development. In honor of this most important of technological achievements, this issue’s package of articles explores the transistor’s historical journey and potential future.

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