Stanford scientists eavesdrop on erupting volcano’s astonishing seismic sound

Stanford University, July 2013

When volcanoes grumble, scientists listen.In 2009, Redoubt Volcano outside Anchorage, Alaska, began spewing towering ash plumes more than 12 miles tall. While similar volcanic outbursts are common in Alaska, seismic sensors listening to the volcano’s innards recorded something unusual: an accelerating series of earthquakes leading up to each of the volcano’s eruptions.

Picked up by National Geographic, New Scientist, Discovery News, ScienceNOW, Los Angeles Times, EarthSky, NPR,, The Guardian, CBS News and others.

SLAC X-rays resurrect 200-year-old lost aria

Stanford University, June 2013

At first glance the beautifully bound 1797 Luigi Cherubini opera Médée looks like an impeccably preserved relic of opera’s golden age. However, flip to the final pages of the aria “Du trouble affreux qui me dévore” (“The terrible disorder that consumes me”) and you see the problem: Thick smudges of carbon completely black out the closing lines.

Picked up by KQED, the San Jose Mercury News, Discover Magazine,, LiveScience,, NBC News, Yahoo News, The Daily Mail, the Mumbai Mirror, and others.

Stanford physicists develop revolutionary low-power polariton laser

Stanford University, May 2013

Lasers are an unseen backbone of modern society. They’re integral to technologies ranging from high-speed Internet services to Blu-ray players. The physics powering lasers, however, has remained relatively unchanged through 50 years of use. Now, an international research team led by Stanford’s Yoshihisa Yamamoto, a professor of electrical engineering and of applied physics, has demonstrated a revolutionary electrically driven polariton laser that could significantly improve the efficiency of lasers.

Featured in Game Changers: Energy on the Move.

Stanford engineers monitor heart health using paper-thin flexible ‘skin’

Stanford University, May 2013

Most of us don’t ponder our pulses outside of the gym. But doctors use the human pulse as a diagnostic tool to monitor heart health. Zhenan Bao, a professor of chemical engineering at Stanford, has developed a heart monitor thinner than a dollar bill and no wider than a postage stamp. The flexible skin-like monitor, worn under an adhesive bandage on the wrist, is sensitive enough to help doctors detect stiff arteries and cardiovascular problems.

Picked up by the San Francisco Chronicle, The Daily Mail, The Future of Things, and others.