Defense Advanced Research Projects AgencyTagged Content List

Fundamental Physical Science

Pushing the boundaries of knowledge of the physical sciences

Showing 111 results for Fundamentals RSS
In March 2016, DARPA announced the Targeted Neuroplasticity Training (TNT) program, an effort to enlist the body’s peripheral nervous system to achieve something that has long been considered the brain’s domain alone: facilitation of learning. Work on TNT has now begun. The crux of the wide-ranging program is to identify optimal and safe neurostimulation methods for activating “synaptic plasticity”—a natural process in the brain, pivotal to learning, that involves the strengthening or weakening of the junctions between two neurons—then build those methods into enhanced training regimens that accelerate the acquisition of cognitive skills.
DARPA’s Defense Sciences Office (DSO), which identifies and pursues high-risk, high-payoff research initiatives across a broad spectrum of science and engineering disciplines, will host Discover DSO Day (D3) on June 15, in Arlington, Virginia. The event is designed to familiarize potential proposers with the mission, research areas of interest, and business processes pursued by the DSO, a fundamental research office with a history of not only reshaping existing technical fields but also creating entirely new disciplines—and of transforming bold, paradigm-challenging initiatives into game-changing technologies for U.S. national security.
DARPA’s Defense Sciences office (DSO)—whose mission is to identify and pursue high-risk, high-payoff research initiatives across a broad spectrum of science and engineering disciplines—today announced the first programs under its new Disruptioneering effort, which pushes for faster identification and exploration of bold and risky ideas with the goal of accelerating scientific discovery.
A unique class of engineered light-manipulating materials, known as metamaterials or structured materials, makes use of patterns of strongly interacting wavelength or sub-wavelength-sized elements. Because of these intricate internal and surface structures, new properties have emerged, some exhibiting behavior that has resulted in rewriting long-understood “laws” for how light and other electromagnetic (EM) waves interact with materials. These materials have been opening up new options for controlling EM waves in many technological arenas, among them imaging, thermal control, and frequency conversion. Specific applications include night-vision, heat reflection and management in aircraft engines, and temperature regulation of electronics on satellites in the hot-and-cold extremes of space.
Whether it is excited electrons emitting photons in a lightbulb or the vibrational frequency of atoms in an atomic clock, quantum phenomena are simultaneously fundamental aspects of nature and the basis of current state-of-the-art and future technologies. This is particularly the case as sensor and device performance continue to improve and approach their fundamental limits. It is not lost on DARPA that controlling quantum phenomena is an increasingly important challenge in the realm of national defense.