Finally, a Lithium Battery That Warns You Before It Bursts Into Flames

Lithium ion batteries are wonderful things, but they're unfortunately given to short circuiting and bursting into flames every now and then. It's extraordinarily rare, but it happens. A Stanford research team thinks they've solved this little big problem by building an early warning system into an existing battery.… » 10/13/14 11:46am 10/13/14 11:46am

This Stress-Sensing Fitness Tracker Won the Nation's Top Design Award

The National Design Awards were last night in New York, where 20 products were vying to be named the country's best. The winner, chosen by public voting, was a fitness tracker called Spire, which claims to keep tabs on your overall well-being by measuring heart rate and breathing patterns to monitor stress. » 10/10/14 4:24pm 10/10/14 4:24pm

This Custom Poop-Chute Dispenses Droppings for Lions to Play With

There's a lion in the San Francisco Zoo that absolutely adores rhino dung: loves smelling it; loves rolling in it. A team of Stanford students found this out during a design-build course, and you know what they did? Those undergrads developed a custom three-pronged poop-chute for the lion lair. » 9/16/14 3:25pm 9/16/14 3:25pm

Researchers Found a New, Easy Way to Turn Graphite Into Diamond

Since graphite—the dark material used in regular old pencils—and diamonds are both made from carbon, it's technically feasible to turn the former into the latter. You just need to apply a little pressure—about 150,000 times what the atmosphere on Earth's surface is like. But researchers at Stanford University claim to… » 4/04/14 9:40am 4/04/14 9:40am

Q&A with an Astrophysicist from Stanford's Particle Accelerator

The SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory is one of those places that makes magic. Originally named the Stanford Linear Accelerator Center, this facility is where many modern discoveries about how matter works were made. Six researchers have earned Nobel prizes for their work at SLAC. It's also where the first website… » 3/04/14 1:30pm 3/04/14 1:30pm

Tomorrow's Rechargeable Batteries Might Never Wear Out

The problem with lithium ion batteries is that the more discharge cycles you put them through, the less efficient the negative electrode becomes at holding electrons. This just won't do in our mobile future, so researchers at Stanford University have developed a battery that actually heals itself. It's nearly alive. » 11/17/13 1:00pm 11/17/13 1:00pm

The NSA Hated Civilian Encrypted Data Way Back in the 1970s

In the 1970s, civilian researchers at places like IBM, Stanford and MIT were developing encryption to ensure that digital data sent between businesses, academics and private citizens couldn't be intercepted and understood by a third party. This concerned folks in the U.S. intelligence community who didn't want to get… » 7/24/13 3:01pm 7/24/13 3:01pm

When Every Student Realizes They Can Reply All and Spam Every Other…

When you connect a bunch of young college kids together on the Internet, any meeting eventually devolves into a crying mess of memes, Internet hall of fame pictures and a whole lot of trolling. So when students in Stanford's computer science program realized that e-mailing one address would contact EVERY student,… » 2/13/13 1:00am 2/13/13 1:00am

How Stanford's Million-Core, Five Dimensional Super Computer Will…

The modern day jet engine may be powerful enough to shuttle travelers across a continent in just six hours but it's also unbearably loud—for both the ground crews that work around them and residents within earshot of airports. And while aircraft engineers are developing quieter designs, building and testing these… » 2/01/13 11:30am 2/01/13 11:30am

NASA's Developing Robotic "Hedgehogs" to Explore a Martian Moon

Exploring micro-gravity climates like Mars, which has just 38 percent of the Earth's force, or its moon, Phobos, which has 1000 times less gravity than that, can be a challenge for rovers that rely on wheels or skittering legs for traction. That's why Stanford researchers plan to survey the Martian moon with an fleet… » 1/02/13 4:40pm 1/02/13 4:40pm

Scientists Manipulate Electrons Into Material Never Seen on Earth

Stanford scientists have created designer electrons that behave as if they were exposed to a magnetic field of 60 Tesla—a force 30 percent stronger than anything ever sustained on Earth. The work could lead to a revolution in the materials that make everything from video displays to airplanes to mobile phones. » 3/14/12 2:00pm 3/14/12 2:00pm