Engineering

  • New rules illuminate how objects absorb and emit light

    Monday, Dec 23, 2019
    by Scott Lyon, Office of Engineering Communications

    Princeton researchers have uncovered new rules governing how objects absorb and emit light, fine-tuning scientists' control over light and boosting research into next-generation solar and optical devices.

    The discovery solves a longstanding problem of scale, where light's behavior when interacting with tiny objects violates well-established physical constraints observed at larger scales.

  • ‘Grow-and-prune’ AI mimics brain development, slashes energy use

    Friday, Dec 20, 2019
    by Scott Lyon, Office of Engineering Communications

    It may come as a shock to parents facing the daily chaos of toddler life, but the brain's complexity peaks around age 3.

    The number of connections between neurons virtually explodes in our first few years. After that the brain starts pruning away unused portions of this vast electrical network, slimming to roughly half the number by the time we reach adulthood. The overprovisioning of the toddler brain allows us to acquire language and develop fine motor skills. But what we don't use, we lose.

  • Boosting wind farmers, global winds reverse decades of slowing and pick up speed

    Monday, Nov 18, 2019
    by Molly Sharlach, Office of Engineering Communications

    In a boon to wind farms, average daily wind speeds are picking up across much of the globe after about 30 years of gradual slowing. Research led by a team at Princeton University shows that wind speeds in northern mid-latitude regions have increased by roughly 7% since 2010.

  • Protecting smart machines from smart attacks

    Monday, Oct 14, 2019
    by Adam Hadhazy for the Office of Engineering Communications

    Machines' ability to learn by processing data gleaned from sensors underlies automated vehicles, medical devices and a host of other emerging technologies. But that learning ability leaves systems vulnerable to hackers in unexpected ways, researchers at Princeton University have found.

  • Princeton announces initiative to propel innovations in quantum science and technology

    Wednesday, Sep 25, 2019
    by Catherine Zandonella, Office of the Dean for Research

    Princeton University has announced the creation of the Princeton Quantum Initiative to foster research and training across the spectrum from fundamental quantum science to its application in areas such as computing, sensing and communications.

    The new initiative builds on Princeton's world-renowned expertise in quantum science, the area of physics that describes behaviors at the scale of atoms and electrons. Quantum technologies have the potential to revolutionize areas ranging from secure data transmission to biomedical research, to the discovery of new materials.

  • Controlling methane is a fast and critical way to slow global warming, say Princeton experts

    Thursday, Sep 19, 2019
    by Steven Schultz, Office of Engineering Communications

    In independent studies, two Princeton University research teams recently identified surprisingly large sources of methane, a powerful greenhouse gas, being leaked into the atmosphere. Pound for pound, methane causes a far greater warming effect in the atmosphere than does carbon dioxide — 86-fold more heating over 20 years, and 35-fold more over the course of a century.

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