Science and Technology

Researchers in Yi Cui lab

Stanford engineers develop 'invisible wires' that could improve solar cell efficiency

Making the electrical wiring on top of solar cells nearly invisible to incoming light, using silicon nanopillars to hide the wires, could dramatically boost solar-cell efficiency.  

Scientists Leo Yu and Carsten Langrock

Stanford physicists set quantum record by using photons to carry messages from electrons over a distance of 1.2 miles

By using photons to communicate between two electrons through more than a mile of fiber optic cable, physicists have taken an important step toward proving the practicality of quantum networks.

Four views of an Acheulean handaxe. Photo: Didier Descouens/Wikipedia

Biologists trace how human innovation impacts tool evolution

Professor Marcus Feldman's lab has devised a computer model that could help solve a long-standing mystery over why the introduction of new tools in prehistoric societies sometimes comes in periodic bursts.

solar panels and wind turbines / genuisksy/Shutterstock

Stanford researcher suggests storing solar energy underground for a cloudy day

Stanford researcher Mark Z. Jacobson's proposal addresses the issue of how to affordably store wind, water and solar power.

student studying a textbook / Dean Drobot/Shutterstock

Textbooks inaccurately present science on climate change as uncertain and doubtful, Stanford research shows

Stanford research shows that some California science textbooks by major publishers portray climate change as a debate over different opinions rather than as scientific fact.

students Nikhita Obeegadoo, Eric Ehizokhale and Sophie Ye working on their laptops / L.A. Cicero

Stanford students put computer science skills to social good

Four undergraduates have co-founded CS+Social Good, an organization that utilizes technology to make a positive social impact.  

illustration of planet formation

Stanford astronomers observe the birth of an alien planet

The newly found 'protoplanet' is 450 light years away, but observing how it collects matter and grows could answer some of the biggest questions concerning how our solar system formed.

Sun shining

Stanford designs underwater solar cells that turn captured greenhouse gases into fuel

Taking a cue from plants, researchers figure out how to use the sun's energy to combine CO2 with H2O to create benign chemical products, as part of a futuristic technology called artificial photosynthesis.

illustration representing chain-like molecules of polystyrene between layers of nanocomposites / Dauskardt Lab

Tough enough: Stanford and IBM test the limits of toughness in nanocomposites

By slipping springy polystyrene molecules between layers of tough yet brittle composites, researchers made materials stronger and more flexible, in the process demonstrating the theoretical limits of how far this toughening technique could go.

white-coated doctor with hands behind his back; one hand has fingers crossed in gesture indicating he's lying / Andrey Popov/Shutterstock

Stanford researchers uncover patterns in how scientists lie about their data

When scientists falsify data, they try to cover it up by writing differently in their published works. A pair of Stanford researchers have devised a way of identifying these written clues.

silhouette of woman with flowing hair that looks like screen of data / Courtesy Women in Data Science

Needed: More women in data science

A recent gathering at Stanford on the emerging science of big data turned the usual gender ratio of science conferences on its head.

field of corn

Stanford researchers develop new way to measure crop yields from space

A Stanford-led team has used satellites to measure a special light emitted by plants to estimate crop yields with more accuracy than ever before.  

view of internal organs and skeleton in a see-through body supeimposed on a graph / vitstudio/Shutterstock

New "tricorder" technology might be able to "hear" tumors growing

A new technology has promise to safely find buried plastic explosives and maybe even spot fast-growing tumors. The technique involves the clever interplay of microwaves and ultrasound to develop a detector like the Star Trek tricorder.  

Karl Deisseroth portrait. / Photo: Saul Bromberger and Sandra Hoover

Three Stanford professors honored by Breakthrough Prize Foundation

Karl Deisseroth has been awarded a $3 million Breakthrough Prize in life sciences for his pioneering work in optogenetics. Stanford Physicists Xiao-Liang Qi and Leonardo Senatore won New Horizons in Physics Prizes for their outstanding contributions to fundamental physics.

Persis Drell talking to the Faculty Senate. / Photo: L.A. Cicero

Stanford Engineering: Driven by desire to have an impact on the world

The speakers at the Faculty Senate meeting yesterday included Professor Persis Drell, dean of the School of Engineering, and Professor Andrew Fire, chair of the Ad Hoc Faculty Committee on IT Privacy and Security.