Skip to Content

Blinding glare is a common-and sometimes dangerous-problem for drivers, welders, commercial pilots, even for optical sensors in delicate equipment. Now a Penn State researcher has made liquid crystal materials that perform a kind of optical jujitsu-reacting to the light intensity by increasing their own opacity and blocking out the glare.

Electrical engineering professor I.C. Khoo says the most promising initial applications are protective goggles for anyone exposed to bright light or lasers, such as commercial pilots or welders. In addition, says Khoo, devices based on the materials could protect sensitive optical detectors used in instruments and satellites. He expects to build prototypes by this summer but declines to elaborate on what they will be used for. Research funding comes from the U.S. Army and the Naval Air Development Center.

Keep Reading

Most Popular

Workers disinfect the street outside Shijiazhuang Railway Station
Workers disinfect the street outside Shijiazhuang Railway Station

Why China is still obsessed with disinfecting everything

Most public health bodies dealing with covid have long since moved on from the idea of surface transmission. China’s didn’t—and that helps it control the narrative about the disease’s origins and danger.

individual aging affects covid outcomes concept
individual aging affects covid outcomes concept

Anti-aging drugs are being tested as a way to treat covid

Drugs that rejuvenate our immune systems and make us biologically younger could help protect us from the disease’s worst effects.

Europe's AI Act concept
Europe's AI Act concept

A quick guide to the most important AI law you’ve never heard of

The European Union is planning new legislation aimed at curbing the worst harms associated with artificial intelligence.

Stay connected

Illustration by Rose WongIllustration by Rose Wong

Get the latest updates from
MIT Technology Review

Discover special offers, top stories, upcoming events, and more.

Thank you for submitting your email!

Explore more newsletters

It looks like something went wrong.

We’re having trouble saving your preferences. Try refreshing this page and updating them one more time. If you continue to get this message, reach out to us at customer-service@technologyreview.com with a list of newsletters you’d like to receive.