Entries in Research (3)


Researchers Invent Invisibility Cloak

Joseph Ludken/Purdue University(WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind.) -- Researchers at Purdue University have developed an invisibility cloak that uses time to make things disappear.

“A lot of people have seen the invisibility cloak in the Harry Potter movies,” said Purdue professor Andrew M. Weiner.  ”In scientific research terms that is a spatial cloak. What we’ve done involves time cloaking.”

Joseph Lukens, a Ph.D candidate in electrical engineering, co-published his findings in the June issue of Nature, published online on Wednesday. Lukens isn’t a Harry Potter fan, but appreciates all the attention his work has received.

“This has been a lot bigger than I expected. It’s great, I’m just trying to soak it all in,” Lukens said.

Lukens’ method creates moments in time where things can occur undetected.

“Time cloaking is relatively new. It’s based on the idea that there are places in time where if something were to happen it wouldn’t be picked up, so no one can tell that it has occurred,” Lukens explained.

If that seems hard to grasp, he offers this explanation:

“Say you have a light beam,” Lukens said, “speed up the front half and slow down the back half, and you create a place where the light beam splits apart. There is no light intensity there.”

According to Lukens, when data is sent it makes a record in a light beam. “If you send a piece of data, but the light beam isn’t there, you can’t make the record. So if someone depicts the absence of light they will think no data was sent.”

For now, Lukens is able to only cloak small electrical signals.

“But in the future it would be interesting to see if we can create cloaks that use both space and time. These space-time cloaks would allow us to create entire spaces where things can go undetected. For example, we could cloak an entire room and whatever is in it,” Lukens said.

“As a dreamer I hope that can be a possibility, but I’m not making any promises,” Lukens added.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio


Study: Best Policy is to Ask First Before Changing Company Logo

Image Courtesy - Getty Images(UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa.) – When companies change their logo, it is most likely to upset customers that are most loyal to the brand, a study conducted at Penn State found. Researchers took a look at how consumers reacted to logo redesigns, and found that poor reaction to a change can lead to bad numbers for a business.

The study, called Do Logo Redesigns Help or Hurt Your Brand? The Role of Brand Commitment, surveyed 632 undergraduate students and had them look at a change in two famous logos on the market—Adidas and New Balance. Researchers had a professional graphic designer create two new logos for those companies, and found that those respondents who were highly loyal to the brand before the change did not like the new logos. However, individuals who were not originally loyal to the brand were receptive to the new designs.

The main finding of the study was that customers feel personal connections to brands, and that when logos change, they feel a sense of betrayal. Take for example, Gap. The company changed its iconic logo in October 2010, only to be bombarded with ridicule on Facebook and Twitter. Just days later, Gap reverted to the original logo.

 "Most companies presume that their most precious customers -- those having strong brand commitment -- will be more accommodating to changes," the study reads. "Our results show this is likely a mistaken assumption -- one that can alienate the core, the most committed of a brand's customers."  

The best way to tackle change, the researchers found, is to ask the most loyal customers first for input. If they feel like they have an inside track to what’s happening, they will be more likely to respond positively when a change does occur.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Disney Study: Moms Spend 24 Hours a Week Online

Photo Courtesy - PRNewsFoto | Disney Online(NEW YORK) -- A new study shows that the typical mom spends 24 hours a week surfing the Web. Most of that time, according to Disney Online's Mom on a Mission research study, is spent connecting with family, searching for information and managing their lives.

"Our study results showed that technology and the Internet are helping to make moms' lives more manageable, so they can spend more quality time with their families,” said Paul Yanover, EVP of Disney Online.

The study, released Wednesday, included two phases: consumer immersion blogs and online quantitative study. In the first phase, nine moms interacted in a secure, online blog for one week, uploading video, images and text. The second phase was an online study of 3,300 females, ages 21-54, who were either pregnant or had one child 14 years old or younger.

The top subjects researched by moms online include deals and discounts and recipes. Other topics include family activities, entertainment and travel, personal health, arts/crafts projects, holiday planning and activities.
 Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio

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