The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Crystal Ball

Clean bathrooms

Australian scientists have developed an environment-friendly coating containing special nanoparticles that could do the job of cleaning and disinfecting the bathroom for us, reports BBC. These surfaces contain tiny particles of titanium dioxide, which become excited when they absorb ultraviolet light with a wavelength of less than 380 nanometres. This gives the particles an oxidising ability stronger than chlorine bleach. The excited particles can break down organic compounds and kill bacteria.

Missile disrupter

A California-based laboratory has come up with a novel way to jam shoulder-launched missiles targeting a passenger plane, according to a report in New Scientist. The system uses a laser to produce a stream of picosecond pulses at an infrared wavelength. The pulses are fed through a crystal to generate harmonic distortions. These distorted signals can be beamed in the direction of an incoming missile (detected by an airliner’s radar). The pulsed infrared waves would then confuse the missile’s sensor, causing it to veer off target.

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