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Hermann von Helmholtz: A 19th Century Renaissance Man

 Portrait of Helmholtz by Ludwig Knaus (1881). If any life exemplifies the value of interdisciplinary education and good mentoring, it is that of Hermann Ludwig Ferdinand von Helmholtz. From the time he was a boy, Helmholtz was encouraged to follow his curiosity and to cultivate an appreciation for both science and the arts. The first of five children, he was born on August 31...

03/01/2010 00:00

Retinal Hot Spot Inspires Solar Cell Design

The fovea centralis, Grand Central for the eye’s cone cells, suggests a design for better light trapping in photovoltaics.

03/02/2015 08:52

Research and Industry News

The modulator converts an electronic data signal to an optical one. [Image: Second Bay Studios/Harvard SEAS]Integrated PhotonicsA Chip-Scale Electro-Optic ModulatorTeam creates a low-loss lithium niobate device that runs at CMOS-compatible voltageElectro-optic modulators, which convert electronic data to optical signals, are key components of telecom networks. For decades, lithium niobate (LN...

12/01/2018 15:13

The Optical Illusions of Cosmetics

  Cosmetic products—foundation, eye shadow, blush, mascara and lipstick—carry with them the promise of transformation. Every morning around the world, millions of people open small tubes, jars and plastic cases in an effort to accentuate their features, rewind the clock, or simply express themselves in unique ways. But how do cosmetics create their illusory effects? If...

07/01/2010 00:00