Defense Advanced Research Projects AgencyTagged Content List

Fundamental Physical Science

Pushing the boundaries of knowledge of the physical sciences

Showing 110 results for Fundamentals RSS
Soldiers often operate in extreme environments, where they may be exposed to the elements for long periods of time. Standard equipment such as electronics and armor are designed to withstand such stresses, but that is not true for the contents of a medic’s bag. Most medicines, including essential biotherapeutics such as insulin, degrade rapidly when stored outside of specified temperature, humidity, and light conditions. DARPA’s Fold F(x) program aims to develop new classes of rugged, shelf-stable medicines based on non-natural, synthetic polymers that can better withstand extreme conditions in the field. The Agency will hold a workshop next week to describe recent successes and discuss applications with potential collaborators.
DARPA-supported researchers have developed a new approach for synthesizing ultrathin materials at room temperature—a breakthrough over industrial approaches that have demanded temperatures of 800 °C or more. The advance opens a path to creating a host of previously unattainable thin-film microelectronics, whose production by conventional methods has been impossible because many components lose their critical functions when subjected to high temperatures.
National security challenges today are increasingly complex and multi-dimensional, demanding technological solutions that reflect the combined expertise of a broad diversity of professionals. But even when such experts are available and engaged, progress towards an integrated solution can be slowed by the lack of a versatile, domain-agnostic, collaborative platform, where innovation can happen not just despite but because of the disparate mix of participants’ perspectives and experiences.
For decades scientists have wondered whether electromagnetic waves might play a role in intra- and inter-cell signaling. Researchers have suggested since the 1960s, for example, that terahertz frequencies emanate from cell membranes, but they’ve lacked the technology and tools to conduct reproducible experiments that could prove whether electromagnetic waves constitute purposeful signals for biological function—or if they’re merely background noise. With recent advances in technology and modeling, experiments may now be possible to test signaling hypotheses.
As the complexity and volume of global digital data grows, so too does the need for more capable and compact means of processing and storing data. To address this challenge, DARPA has announced its Molecular Informatics program, which seeks a new paradigm for data storage, retrieval, and processing. Instead of relying on the binary digital logic of computers based on the Von Neumann architecture, Molecular Informatics aims to investigate and exploit the wide range of structural characteristics and properties of molecules to encode and manipulate data.