Science and Technology

Invention Hall of Fame award plaques / Linda Chao

Stanford Invention Hall of Fame welcomes six new technologies and honors 27 new prolific inventors

Each new technology has earned more than $5 million in royalties for Stanford. The 27 new prolific inventors have invented at least seven technologies that, in aggregate, have generated over $500,000.

Spacecraft approaching Pluto

First spacecraft to visit Pluto carries software and equipment developed at Stanford

The university's planetary scientists and engineers have their eyes peeled on the edge of the solar system as New Horizons approaches the dwarf planet.

Lovebirds in flight

Stanford high-speed video reveals how lovebirds keep a clear line of sight during acrobatic flight

Lovebirds turn their heads at record speeds to maneuver through densely crowded airspace. Stanford's David Lentink says this strategy could be applied to drone cameras to improve visual systems.  

Driverless Ed

Stanford engineering students teach autonomous cars to avoid obstacles

The best way to survive a car accident is to avoid collisions in the first place. Professor Chris Gerdes' engineering students are developing algorithms and pop-up obstacles that could lead to safe autonomous driving.  

enlarged image of ultra thin layer of semiconductor material stretched over peaks and valleys of an electronic device  / Hong Li

Stanford researchers stretch a thin crystal to get better solar cells

Crystalline semiconductors like silicon can catch photons and convert their energy into electron flows. New research shows a little stretching could give one of silicon's lesser-known cousins its own place in the sun.

Graduate student Haotian Wang

Single-catalyst water splitter from Stanford produces clean-burning hydrogen 24/7

Stanford scientists have developed a cheap and efficient way to extract clean-burning hydrogen fuel from water 24 hours a day, seven days a week. 

Amazon farming

Stanford researchers seek least destructive balance of agriculture vs. forests

Scientists show that deforestation can have vastly different impacts. For example, clearing intact forest can damage biodiversity and carbon storage up to four times more than clearing forest edges.

Synapses

Brain connections last as long as the memories they store, Stanford neuroscientist finds

A team of Bio-X scientists applied microscopy know-how to a long-standing theory in neuroscience: if brain connections called synapses store memories, those synapses should last as long as the memories themselves. It turns out they do, as Mark Schnitzer was able to show.

Earth from space

Stanford researcher declares that the sixth mass extinction is here

Paul Ehrlich and others use conservative estimates to prove that species are disappearing faster than at any time since the dinosaurs' demise.  

illustration of human head showing brain and robot with wired brain exposed / Shutterstock

Building a brain: Stanford neuroscientists and engineers work together

Computers will one day match our own mental agility; learning, navigating and performing complex interactions all on scant power. But getting to that point will require neuroscientists and engineers to reverse engineer our least understood organ – the brain.

Seismograph

Oklahoma earthquakes linked to oil and gas wastewater disposal wells, say Stanford researchers

A new Stanford study finds that the recent spike in triggered earthquakes in Oklahoma is primarily due to the injection of wastewater produced during oil production – but not from fracking.

Mark Zobeck and Fatemeh Rassoulil at computers. /Photo: Stacy H.Geiken

New research initiative at Stanford to comprehensively study development and use of natural gas

Stanford University's Natural Gas Initiative will research many questions related to the responsible development of natural gas as a fuel supply in the United States and around the world.

Professor Charbel Farhat

Stanford engineers team up with U.S. Army to set computational record

Now billions of questions can be answered in about three minutes.

solar and wind power

Stanford engineers develop state-by-state plan to convert U.S. to 100% clean, renewable energy by 2050

Mark Z. Jacobson and colleagues show that it's technically possible for each state to replace fossil fuel energy with entirely clean, renewable energy.

light beams on a blue background / SP-Photo/Shutterstock

Strong constraint exists on one-way street that delivers optical signals to computers, say Stanford researchers

Stanford engineers highlight the limitation of a popular technique for one-way optical data transmission on computer chips.