Discovery & Innovation

Student-professor collaboration could result in a better-fed astronaut

As an undergrad studying ecology and evolutionary biology, Lizzie Lombardi found herself as one of the few “plant” people on a team of University of Colorado Boulder engineering students who were tasked with a lofty mission: build a robotic system that could garden in space.

JILA physicists discover ‘quantum droplet’ in semiconductor

February 26, 2014

NIST news release

JILA physicists used an ultrafast laser and help from German theorists to discover a new semiconductor quasiparticle—a handful of smaller particles that briefly condense into a liquid-like droplet.

JILA is a joint institute of CU-Boulder and the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST).

President Barack Obama delivers remarks announcing two new public-private Manufacturing Innovation Institutes, and launches the first of four new Manufacturing Innovation Institute Competitions, in the East Room of the White House, Feb. 25, 2014. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

President Obama announces CU-Boulder will be a partner in digital manufacturing institute

February 25, 2014

The University of Colorado Boulder and the Colorado Office of Economic Development and International Trade will be part of the new Digital Manufacturing and Design Innovation Institute announced today by President Barack Obama.

Nanoscale pillars could radically improve conversion of heat to electricity, say CU-Boulder researchers

February 20, 2014

University of Colorado Boulder scientists have found a creative way to radically improve thermoelectric materials, a finding that could one day lead to the development of improved solar panels, more energy-efficient cooling equipment, and even the creation of new devices that could turn the vast amounts of heat wasted at power plants into more electricity.

Equations connect ancient settlements to modern cities, says CU-Boulder anthropologist

Visitors to the ancient city of Teotihuacan—with its pyramidal structures arranged in careful geometric patterns, its temples, and its massive central thoroughfare, dubbed Street of the Dead—in Mexico may have the sensation they’re gazing at the remains of a society profoundly different from their own.
 
But new research from anthropologists armed with a bevy of recently derived mathematical equations shows that in some fundamental ways, today’s cities and yesterday’s settlements may be more alike than different.

Ancient settlements and modern cities follow same rules of development, says CU-Boulder researcher

February 12, 2014

Recently derived equations that describe development patterns in modern urban areas appear to work equally well to describe ancient cities settled thousands of years ago, according to a new study led by a researcher at the University of Colorado Boulder.

JILA atomic clock sets new world records

Feeling out of synch? The world’s most precise clock is now located on the CU-Boulder campus.

In a laboratory at JILA—a joint institute of CU-Boulder and the National Institute of Standards and Technology—researchers have developed a new strontium atomic clock that has set world records for both precision and stability. It “ticks” 430 trillion times per second.   

CU-Boulder alum and NASA astronaut Steve Swanson heading for space station

January 22, 2014

Making his third flight as a NASA astronaut, University of Colorado Boulder alumnus Steve Swanson will blast off for the International Space Station aboard a Russian Soyuz spacecraft from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan on March 25.

Swanson, who earned a bachelor’s degree in engineering physics from CU-Boulder in 1983, will serve as flight engineer for Expedition 39, which already will be underway on the ISS. In late May, Swanson, who considers Steamboat Springs, Colo., his hometown, will become space station commander as Mission 40 begins on the ISS.

CU study a step toward more-efficient wind farms

Being first in line has its advantages, even for wind turbines, which are propelled by comparatively smooth wind flow that helps them produce near-optimal power at varying wind speeds.

A pair of new studies sheds light on toddler sleep

In the basement of a building on the University of Colorado Boulder’s east campus, sleep researchers have been busy trying to explain one of the biggest mysteries of parenting: Why won’t my child just go to sleep?

The Sleep and Development Lab, headed up by integrative physiology Assistant Professor Monique LeBourgeois, specializes in early childhood sleep: why it’s important, what happens when there isn’t enough of it and why sometimes it seems so hard to come by.

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