New Camera Sensor Could Eliminate The Need For A Flash

Made of an abundant and inexpensive compound, the sensor could make digital cameras five times more sensitive to light, "opening up" the realms of low-light and night photography.

What's the Latest Development?

Scientists at Switzerland's École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL) have created a prototype of an image sensor that, when built into a digital camera, could make that camera five times more sensitive to light. In low-light or night conditions, such a camera could take photos without the need for a flash, slower shutter speed, or other commonly used tricks of the trade. Specialized areas of astronomy and biology would especially benefit, says EPFL team leader Andras Kis: ""It would make it possible to take photographs using only starlight." Details are included in an article recently published in Nature Nanotechnology.

What's the Big Idea?

A typical image sensor's surface is made of silicon that has been divided into millions of pixels. This version's surface is made of molybdenite, a molybdenum-sulfur compound with "amazing" semiconducting properties, and comprises only a single pixel. However, it needs only a fraction of the light used by silicon-based sensors to generate the electric charge that is then used by the camera's firmware for processing an image. Kis and his team have been experimenting with molybdenite since 2011, and they believe that this inexpensive, plentiful material could eventually replace silicon in many applications.

Photo Credit:

Read it at ScienceDaily

A dark matter hurricane is crashing into Earth

Giving our solar system a "slap in the face"

Surprising Science
  • A stream of galactic debris is hurtling at us, pulling dark matter along with it
  • It's traveling so quickly it's been described as a hurricane of dark matter
  • Scientists are excited to set their particle detectors at the onslffaught
Keep reading Show less

Are we all multiple personalities of universal consciousness?

Bernardo Kastrup proposes a new ontology he calls “idealism” built on panpsychism, the idea that everything in the universe contains consciousness. He solves problems with this philosophy by adding a new suggestion: The universal mind has dissociative identity disorder.

We’re all one mind in "idealism." (Credit: Alex Grey)
Mind & Brain

There’s a reason they call it the “hard problem.” Consciousness: Where is it? What is it? No one single perspective seems to be able to answer all the questions we have about consciousness. Now Bernardo Kastrup thinks he’s found one. He calls his ontology idealism, and according to idealism, all of us and all we perceive are manifestations of something very much like a cosmic-scale dissociative identity disorder (DID). He suggests there’s an all-encompassing universe-wide consciousness, it has multiple personalities, and we’re them.

Keep reading Show less

New study reveals what time we burn the most calories

Once again, our circadian rhythm points the way.

Photo: Victor Freitas / Unsplash
Surprising Science
  • Seven individuals were locked inside a windowless, internetless room for 37 days.
  • While at rest, they burned 130 more calories at 5 p.m. than at 5 a.m.
  • Morning time again shown not to be the best time to eat.
Keep reading Show less