IT Research

Image: IT Research

Caption: Caption: Collage of information technology imagery representing networks, signals, and data storage.

(1) Femtosecond laser waveguide system
Caption: The waveguide as it appears within the femtosecond laser amplifier system. Combining concepts from electromagnetic radiation research and fiber optics, researchers have created an extreme-ultraviolet, laser-like beam capable of producing tightly-focused light in a region of the electromagnetic spectrum not previously accessible to scientists.

(2) Blue Jet Lightning
Caption: First image ever captured of blue jet lightning, taken at the National Science Foundation's (NSF) Arecibo Observatory in Chile. A team of researchers at the National Science Foundation's (NSF) Arecibo Observatory have captured video evidence from the ground of a lightning phenomenon known as a blue jet. The discovery is the first ground-based evidence linking the ionosphere with cloud tops in blue jet events. According to Victor Pasko of Penn State, an electrical engineer working at Arecibo, Pilots and others reported observations of red sprites and blue jets long before the first one was captured on video, and numerous undocumented reports of similar phenomena have appeared in scientific literature for over a century. Blue jets develop at cloud tops at 12 to about 26 miles. They appear blue to the naked eye, last for up to several hundreds of milliseconds, and are cone-shaped. According to Sunanda Basu, program director in NSF's Division of Atmospheric Sciences, which funded the research, the video is the first ground-based evidence of a direct electrical discharge from a thundercloud top to the lower edge of Earth's ionosphere. The electrical contact may represent an important component of the global electrical circuit, says Basu. The event was recorded using a monochrome low-light video system, but the researchers all agree that the phenomena was seen visually as blue in color. The top of the jet appears to look much more like a red sprite than a blue jet, with hot spots and a fuzzy diffused appearance. Scientists do not yet know if this is a new phenomenon.

(3) NSF Net, Circa 1991
Caption: This image is a visualization study of inbound traffic measured in billions of bytes on the NSFNET T1 backbone for September 1991. The traffic volume range is depicted from purple (zero bytes) to white (100 billion bytes). It represents data collected by Merit Network, Inc. In 1985 with the creation of the National Science Foundation's Supercomputer Centers program, NSF created NSFNET, a network that connected the five supercomputer centers and provided a network for research and education. Based on the ARPANET protocols, the NSFNET created a national backbone service.

(4) Storm
Caption: Visualization shading project that shows rainwater distribution in an evolving thunderstorm simulation. The rainwater is volume rendered varying in intensity from dark blue to purple to orange to pink to white.

Source: (1) University of Colorado and NSF (3) NCSA-National Center for Computing Applications (4) David Bock, NCSA (National Center for Computing Applications)

Credit: (2) Victor Pasko, Penn State University
Design by: NSF/ E. Myers
Websites: (1) (2)
NSF Funded: (1) Yes (2) Yes (3) Yes (4) Yes
NSF Permission to Use: (1) Yes Internal and External (2) Yes Internal and External (3) Yes Internal and External (4) Yes Internal and External
Original File Name: ITresearch.jpg
In Image Library: Collage: No (1) Yes (2) Yes (3) No (4) No

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