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Improving the Power of Optical Systems via Component Design

January 21, 2015

If you look up at the night sky, especially somewhere far away from city lights, you will see the stars twinkle. While an inspiration for poets and romantics throughout time, the beauty of the starry night sky has also been a challenge to astronomers studying the night sky and the universe. It has led to the development of adaptive optics, which is used nowadays to improve the power of optical systems beyond the obstacles imposed by the optical medium.

Happy Birthday, André-Marie Ampère

January 20, 2015

On this day, the French physicist and mathematician André-Marie Ampère was born in Lyon, France. Recognized as a founder of electrodynamics — or what is today known as electromagnetism — Ampère helped establish a theory defining the relationship between electricity and magnetism. We continue to celebrate the importance of his discovery in creating the groundwork for future developments in both of these fields.

From Books to Technology: Pop-Up Fabrication Techniques

January 19, 2015

The use of 3D structures in the design of pop-up books is a unique tool that fosters engagement in reading. Within the scientific community, researchers have found a use for these same fabrication techniques in the development of new technologies. We discuss these “pop-up” techniques and how they have shifted from libraries to research labs.

How to Use COMSOL Multiphysics, a Tutorial Video

January 16, 2015

We have created a video tutorial for those of you who are new to the COMSOL Multiphysics simulation software and need an introduction on how to use it. The video tutorial featured in this blog post shows you how to set up and run a simulation using COMSOL Multiphysics.

Simulating Vibration and Noise in a Washing Machine

January 15, 2015

The nonuniform distribution of clothes within a washing machine can produce notable vibration and noise. Modeling the dynamics behind this movement and sound can be a valuable tool in optimizing the design of these common household devices.

Using General Extrusion Operators to Model Rotation

January 14, 2015

One of the common modeling situations that we encounter is the simulation of rotating objects exposed to loads. There are many ways in which such rotation can be modeled. In this blog post, we will look at addressing this by using the General Extrusion operators and discuss why this approach is useful.

Personal Thermal Management with Highly Insulating Clothing

January 13, 2015

Could there be a substitute for indoor heating in the future? New research from Stanford University suggests that highly insulating clothing may provide enough heat that we can reduce or even eliminate the need for traditional heating systems. Today, we explore this research as well as other fabrics favorable for staying warm — and cool.

Magnetic Damping of a Vibrating Cantilever Beam

January 12, 2015

What happens when you place a vibrating conductive object in a static magnetic field? The magnetic field will induce a current in the moving solid and the charges moving through a magnetic field will experience a force. The resultant force acts to oppose the motion of the structure, which will lead to damping.