Mimicking Birdsongs

August 29, 2017
image of a bird singing

Researchers at the Harvard John A. Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences have developed a simple device that mimics complex birdsongs. The device, developed by the group of L. Mahadevan, the Lola England de Valpine Professor of Applied Mathematics, of Organismic and Evolutionary Biology, and of Physics, uses air blown through a stretched rubber tube to recreate birdsongs found in nature, including the songs of zebra and Bengalese finches.


Safely Releasing Genetically Modified Genes into the Wild

August 2, 2017

Super-mendelian genetics increases the likelihood of inheritance of a desired trait to nearly 100 percent, even if that trait confers a selective disadvantage (Image courtesy of Hidenori Tanaka/Harvard)

So, you’ve genetically engineered a malaria-resistant mosquito, now what? How many mosquitos would you need to replace the disease-carrying wild type? What is the most effective distribution pattern? How could you stop a premature release of the engineered mosquitos?


Topological Quantum Optics in Two-Dimensional Atomic Arrays

July 20, 2017

Snapshot of the time evolution (at t = 5.7 Γ0−1) of the system as an atom on the edge (red star) is driven by a laser (inset). The color code shows the excitation probability | 〈ψ(t)|σ1+ 〉 |2 + | 〈ψ(t)|σ1- 〉 |2at each atomic site i = 1,..., N. Approximately 96% of the emitted excitation is coupled into the forward direction and scattering into bulk and backward edge modes is strongly suppressed.


Control and Measure of Electron Spin Voltage

July 16, 2017

Researchers used atomic-size defects in diamonds to detect and measure magnetic fields generated by spin waves. (Image courtesy of Peter and Ryan Allen/Harvard University.)

Information technologies of the future will likely use electron spin — rather than electron charge — to carry information. But first, scientists need to better understand how to control spin and learn to build the spin equivalent of electronic components, from spin transistors, to spin gates and circuits.