Posts tagged with "engineering"

Book illustration by Heather Skovlund for 360 Magazine

Education Tips For Children

7 Ways to Ensure Your Child Gets a Good Education

The Oxford Method, a tutoring community, offers tips to help your child be successful in school

Over the last year, during the pandemic, there have been many kids who have struggled academically. This is in part due to the millions who have had to do online learning and find the setup difficult. Whether children are learning online, in person, via classroom, or through a combination of the three, there are things that parents can do to help them be more successful. Knowing what to do can help make a world a difference and reduce the struggling.

“Many parents are aware of the way their kids are struggling with school over this school year,” explains David Florence, professor and founder of The Oxford Method, a community that offers tutoring services around the country. “Rather than let them fall behind, it’s a good idea to take action and do what you can to help them keep up and even pull ahead.”

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, 93% of households with school-age children report that their kids have engaged in some sort of distance learning during the pandemic. They also report that the vast shift in the way kids are learning has also caused digital inequality because some kids don’t have access to computers and/or the Internet. Whether students are learning online or in class, there are things parents can do to help them get a good education.

Here 7 ways to help ensure your child gets a good education:

  1. Sleep. It’s crucial for a child to get enough sleep each night, which will help them to be more focused, as well as improve their behavior, quality of life, and mental and physical health. The American Academy of Pediatrics reports that children ages 6-12 should get 9-12 hours of sleep per night, and teens ages 13-18 should get 8-10 hours of sleep per night.
  2. Teach value. It usually starts at home whether or not a child values an education. Parents who want their kids to get a good education should instill a love of learning in their children and teach them to value the education they are getting.
  3. Get them help. If your child is struggling, you may be able to help them, but there also comes a time when kids need a tutor to step in. A good tutor can make a world of difference in ensuring that a child gets a good education. They can help ensure that students will not fall behind and that they will get the foundation they need to move on in a subject.
  4. Show them how. Oftentimes, kids don’t know how to effectively study for a test or to take notes when they are in class. Take the time to show them how to do it effectively, as well as how to stay organized with their schooling. When students are organized, they are more likely to succeed.
  5. Ask them questions. Be sure to ask your kids how it is going, if they got their homework done, if they need any help, or if there’s anything they need to be more successful. They like to know that you are interested in how they are doing, so it’s good to show an active interest.
  6. Get involved. It’s always a good idea if you can get involved with the school and have good communication with the teacher. That way you will be aware of what is going on and know how to help your child more. Teachers love it when parents take an active interest in their child’s education.
  7. Praise your kids. Help kids to know what they are doing is right or what they are doing is wrong. Praising and encouraging the kids builds their confidence and helps them to succeed as they grow.

“Just about every parent has the ability to help kids succeed with their academics, even if it’s ensuring they have the tools they need to succeed,” added Florence. “We help parents be successful, even those who don’t have the funds to pay for a tutor. Our mission is to help as many students to achieve as we can.”

The Oxford Method has over 100 tutors around the country, covering all subject areas. They offer online tutoring, as well as in-person and in-classroom options. Their tutoring services are available 24 hours per day, 365 days per year. Instructors have a minimum of a bachelor’s degree, with many of them having a master’s degree, Ph.D., and at least four years of teaching experience. The Oxford Method works with their nonprofit, Social Actualization, Inc., by giving them 10% of all profits. The funds are used to provide free computers, high-speed internet, and instruction to underprivileged families in urban and rural America. Plus, 40% of their instructors are PhDs, 40% have a master’s degree, and 20% have only a bachelor’s degree.

The Oxford Method believes that education is the great equalizer and the best gift you can give the next generation. Subject areas include science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM), as well as business, social studies, psychology, English, history, public speaking, study methods, test-taking, and more. To get more information about The Oxford Method, visit the website.

Lexus IS Wax Edition: Madlib × KAYTRANADA

Madlib and KAYTRANADA Take Lexus IS Wax Edition for the Ultimate Spin

Artists’ first joint record debuts in custom Lexus with fully functional turntable

“Driven by Sound” video series documents ambitious collaboration and engineering feat

The Lexus IS Wax Edition hits all the right notes. The custom concept vehicle, a modified 2021 Lexus IS sports sedan, has a fully functional turntable built into the dashboard that is capable of playing vinyl records while the car is in motion without missing a beat – even on a bumpy road. To celebrate this innovation, Lexus and Pitchfork brought together legendary DJ and producer MC Madlib and chart-topping artist and producer KAYTRANADA for the first time to create a brand-new double-single on vinyl and debut it in the Lexus IS Wax Edition, giving a whole new meaning to “taking it for a spin.”

This impressive fusion of music and cars was captured in a two-episode documentary series, “Driven by Sound,” created in partnership with Pitchfork. Episode One offers a behind-the-scenes look into the creative process of Madlib and KAYTRANADA. Episode Two documents the creation of the in-dash turntable and reveals the Lexus IS Wax Edition. It features music from the highly anticipated release of the artists’ joint double-single. Vinyl Me, Please (VMP), a monthly record subscription club that curates and creates vinyl packages, will distribute the exclusive 7″ vinyl to select members as part of their subscription.

“When I make music, I usually do it in headphones, so I hear everything clear,” said Madlib. “And I take it to the car, test it out. Every time. That’s the big test. To have the turntable in a Lexus? That’s beyond.”

“When Lexus said they wanted to build this car, I didn’t think it was possible,” added KAYTRANADA. “It was amazing to see and hear vinyl playing while cruising in a car.”

With vinyl listening once again on the rise and the Lexus IS attracting drivers with a passion for authenticity and amazing experiences, creating an in-car turntable that works flawlessly with the vehicle in motion was a challenge worth pursuing. To bring the concept car to life, Lexus commissioned SCPS, a world-renowned creative technology and custom fabrication studio based in Los Angeles. For over a decade, SCPS has been behind the marketing innovations of consumer brands and Hollywood’s biggest blockbusters.

The record player, created with a 3D printer and modified with carbon fiber and machined aluminum, fits snuggly into the vehicle’s glovebox and is large enough to play a full-size 12-inch record. Once the needle hits the grooves, a rotating motor helps stabilize the turntable to avoid skipping while the vehicle is in motion. The enhanced suspension system of the Lexus IS and fine-tuned handling provide a smooth and stable ride, which are critical for the needle of a record player. The Lexus IS Wax Edition offers an ideal environment for appreciating the warmth and depth that vinyl records give to recorded music. The modified vehicle, designed to celebrate the launch of the 2021 Lexus IS sports sedan, will not be for sale, but will be on display at future Lexus events.

“Like audiophiles who go ‘all in’ to create the purest listening experiences, we went ‘all in’ to design the new 2021 Lexus IS as the purest expression of a sports sedan,” said Vinay Shahani, vice president of Lexus marketing. “The Lexus IS Wax Edition exemplifies the ultimate union of our respective passions, bringing together vinyl and cars in a fresh new way.”

Featuring the Mark Levinson Premium Surround Sound Audio System, the new 2021 Lexus IS boasts one of the best sound-listening spaces for music lovers. Its 17 speakers and new amplifier offer 1,800 watts of power for a 7.1 surround sound listening experience.

For more information on the new IS, visit Lexus’ website.

About Lexus

Lexus’ passion for brave design, imaginative technology, and exhilarating performance enables the luxury lifestyle brand to create amazing experiences for its guests. Lexus began its journey in 1989 with two luxury sedans and a commitment to pursue perfection. Since then, Lexus has developed its lineup to meet the needs of global luxury customers in more than 90 countries. In the United States, Lexus vehicles are sold through 243 dealers offering a full lineup of luxury vehicles. With six models incorporating Lexus Hybrid Drive, Lexus is the luxury hybrid leader. Lexus also offers eight F SPORT models and two F performance models. Lexus is committed to being a visionary brand that anticipates the future for luxury customers.

FNL Episode 2_04 Photo Credit Pitchfork for use by 360 Magazine

analysis illustration by Rita Azar for 360 Magazine

Sphere We Go! STEM Exhibit

WonderWorks Orlando Unveils New STEM Exhibit Explaining Earth’s Spheres: Sphere We Go!

WonderWorks Orlando announces the opening of a new exhibit focused on science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM). The new exhibit topic will focus on the layers of the Earth’s spheres and is scheduled to open March 11, 2021.

“Earth is a topic that most people love to learn about, so we are excited about this new exhibit,” says Brian Wayne, general manager of WonderWorks Orlando. “This will give families a fun way to learn about this STEM topic, whether it’s just for fun or if they are looking for a way to expand upon their child’s formal education.”

The new exhibit will help teach people about the four different layers in Earth’s spheres, including the lithosphere (or geosphere), hydrosphere, biosphere, and atmosphere. In addition to learning about each layer, the exhibit also explains how the four layers interact with each other. The new exhibit will include images and content to read. There is also a 3D hologram high-definition video–no special glasses required–that provides a visual explanation of the layers and how they interact, to enhance the viewing experience.

STEM education, according to the National Inventors Hall of Fame, focuses on teaching children real-world applications that help develop a variety of skill sets. Some of the skills children gain through STEM education include technology literacy, problem solving, creativity, curiosity, critical thinking and being innovative. Finding ways to introduce them to STEM topics in a fun way can help to get them more interested.

“We look forward to helping families learn more about the spheres that make up Earth,” added Wayne. “We continue in our mission of making learning fun!”

To choose the name for the new poll, WonderWorks held a poll asking people to choose from three names. Employees and social media users weighed in, with the following being the outcome of the exhibit name poll: Sphere We Go! is the official new name of the exhibit.

  1. Sphere We Go! – 51% of the vote
  2. Get Outta Sphere! – 38%
  3. Sphere Not These Earthly Layers! – 11%

Additional onsite and community programs include the WonderWorks WonderKids event, virtual learning labs, FLO-Art Florida Youth Art Gallery, science fair partnerships, online science information and worksheets and a homeschool program. WonderWorks Orlando also offers various STEM activities, including virtual learning labs, onsite exhibits, activities and more.

To learn more about the programs offered at WonderWorks Orlando, visit the site.

Due to a county-wide mask restriction in Orlando, guests will need to bring one with them. WonderWorks does also have some for sale onsite. WonderWorks has implemented COVID-19 safety protocols, including reduced capacity and hours, enhanced cleaning efforts, social distancing measures, hand sanitizer stations, employee health screenings and employee personal protective equipment (PPE). Guests are encouraged to review all safety rules before their visit on the webpage devoted to COVID-19.

About WonderWorks

WonderWorks, the upside-down adventure, is a science-focused indoor amusement park for the mind that holds something unique and exciting for visitors of all ages. Guests enter through an upside-down lobby with the ceiling at their feet, the ground above their head and must pass through an inversion tunnel to turn right side up. There are three floors of nonstop “edu-tainment,” with over 100 hands-on and interactive exhibits that serve a STEM educational purpose to challenge the mind and spark the imagination. WonderWorks Orlando is also home to The Outta Control Magic Comedy Dinner Show. WonderWorks is located in Orlando, Pigeon Forge, Myrtle Beach, Panama City Beach, Syracuse and Branson. For more information, visit the site.

LAND ROVER REVEALS 2022 MODELS

Land Rover has launched the powerful Defender V8 for 2022 model year as part of the expanded Defender 90 and 110 lineup, along with a range of enhancements to the award-winning 4×4 family. (The table of new Defender models can be viewed at the bottom of this article.)

The new 518hp Defender V8 and flagship Defender V8 Carpathian Edition provide a unique combination of performance and capability, with bespoke chassis settings delivering new levels of driver engagement and agility both on and off-road.

The powerful new models build on decades of Land Rover V8 heritage – spanning the original Stage I V8 of the 1970s, North American specification models of the 1990s, and powerful Defender Works V8 as the characterful engine joins the latest range of efficient Ingenium engines.

The V8 engine isn’t the only introduction. There’s also a new XS Edition, fresh exterior design packs that provide greater personalization potential and an optional larger 11.4-inch Pivi Pro2 infotainment touchscreen.

The Defender V8 builds on the rugged 4×4’s outstanding capability, delivering new levels of performance and driver engagement by combining a powerful 518hp 5.0-liter V8 supercharged engine with expertly developed suspension and transmission tuning to create the fastest and most dynamically rewarding Defender yet.

The exclusive new Carpathian Edition is based on the Defender V8 and represents the ultimate expression of Defender design, performance and capability, while a new XS Edition replaces the successful First Edition and combines bespoke design and specification enhancements inside and out.

The SUV’s personalization potential has also been expanded with the introduction of new optional exterior design packs. The Bright Pack, Extended Bright Pack and Extended Black Pack feature unique exterior design touches to enhance the unmistakable silhouette of the Defender.

Heightened connectivity is also part of the updates for 2022. The Pivi Pro2 infotainment system on Defender is now available with a range of desirable new features, including the option of a larger 11.4-inch touchscreen display. Wireless device charging with integrated signal booster is now fitted as standard for improved convenience and call quality.

The introduction of our V8 powertrain adds a new dimension of driving engagement and off-road capability to Defender. Fast and fun to drive, it represents the pinnacle of the Defender family and is as rewarding on the road as it is capable off it,” said David Hemming, Chief Product Engineer, Jaguar Land Rover. “We’ve also broadened the appeal of the entire Defender lineup with new derivatives, option packs and enhanced connectivity, so there really is a Defender for everyone.”

New Defender V8

The new Defender V8 is the ultimate expression of the Land Rover brand’s toughest 4×4 and recalls the rich heritage of eight-cylinder Land Rover vehicles dating back to the 1970s. The potent new V8 supercharged engine is available in both 90 and 110 body styles and delivers elevated performance and driver engagement without compromising capability.

With unique suspension and transmission tuning, including bespoke spring and damper rates and a new Electronic Active Rear Differential, it delivers more agile and engaging handling with heightened body control – all accompanied by a characteristic V8 soundtrack.

Power comes from a 5.0-liter V8 supercharged engine, which produces 518hp, 461lb-ft of torque and drives through an eight-speed automatic transmission. The Defender 90 V8 accelerates from 0-60mph1 in just 4.9 seconds (0-100km/h1 in 5.2 seconds) with a top speed of 149mph1 (240km/h1).

Exceptional off-road capability is a Defender hallmark and the V8 adds a new layer of driver appeal, with the introduction of a new Dynamic program within the Terrain Response® system3 – only available on V8-powered Defender vehicles. It helps drivers to exploit the more dynamic character and handling balance of the 518hp model on tarmac and loose surfaces. Engineered to be the fastest and most engaging production Defender ever, it delivers unrivalled agility and driver appeal.

“The 5.0-liter V8 supercharged engine further enhances the unique character of the Defender. It sounds fantastic and delivers incredible performance – providing new levels of driver appeal,” said Iain Gray, Senior Manager, Powertrain Advanced Engineering, Jaguar Land Rover. “Our engineering focus has been to optimize powertrain calibration for Defender to deliver both responsive on-road performance and fine control off-road – all without compromising the Defender vehicle’s all-terrain capability and wading ability.”

Larger-diameter solid anti-roll bars are designed to help reduce body roll in cornering, while the unique Electronic Active Rear Differential introduces a Yaw Controller that allows fine control of the cornering attitude of the Defender V8.3

Careful calibration of the new Dynamic program in Terrain Response® 2 gives Defender V8 a more agile, playful and responsive character. In this setting, a sharper throttle response and bespoke tuning for the Continuously Variable Damping combine with the stiffer suspension bushes for immediate steering responses. Working in harmony with the Torque Vectoring by Braking technology, Traction Control Systems and new Yaw Controller, the Defender V8 is faster, more engaging and more controllable than ever.3

Instantly recognizable, the Defender V8 features a number of unique exterior enhancements; unique exterior badging, distinctive quad exhaust tailpipes and unique 22-inch alloy wheels combine to set the most powerful model in the lineup apart. The Defender V8 is further identified by its Xenon Blue front brake calipers and 15-inch from brake discs.

Careful acoustic tuning of the Defender V8 induction and exhaust systems provides a purposeful and authentic sound. Calibrated to suit a broad range of driving situations, this evocative soundtrack can be enhanced by selecting Dynamic program in the Terrain Response® system.

Customers have a choice of three colors – Carpathian Grey, Yulong White, both of which feature a contrast roof in Narvik Black, and Santorini Black. Shadow Atlas exterior detailing completes the distinctive exterior finish of the New Defender V8.

Inside, the Defender V8 features seats trimmed in unique Ebony Windsor Leather with Miko Suedecloth and Robustec accents, each finished with a unique Ebony tag, while the exposed Cross Car Beam on the Defender features an exclusive Satin Black finish. The four-spoke steering wheel is enhanced by an Alcantara rim and tactile satin chrome gearshift paddles, which are unique to V8 models. Leather covers the airbag housing and gear selector, while illuminated treadplates are completed with a V8 script.

Defender V8 Carpathian Edition

The exclusive New Defender V8 Carpathian Edition is designed to be the ultimate expression of performance, durability and design, and represents the very pinnacle of the Defender range. Finished exclusively in Carpathian Grey premium metallic paint, the vehicle’s exterior is distinguished by a Narvik Black contrast roof, hood, and for the first time on the New Defender, tailgate. Additional visual highlights include bespoke V8 Carpathian Edition badging finishes, Satin Black tow eyes, Carpathian Gloss front and rear skid pans, front grille bar and Xenon Blue brake calipers.

The unique exterior is finished with Land Rover Satin Protective Film. The recyclable PU-based wrap is applied to external bodywork giving the 4×4 a contemporary semi-matte finish that is designed to help protect against everything from parking lot scratches to off-road brush and scrub scratches.

Inside, the Defender V8 Carpathian Edition features the same upgrades as the V8, with seats finished in Miko Suedecloth and Robustec accents, an Alcantara-wrapped steering wheel and illuminated treadplates.

Defender XS Edition

The new XS Edition replaces the successful First Edition, but with additional premium touches, including unique exterior and interior treatments

Externally, the XS Edition is identified by its bespoke body-colored lower cladding and lower wheel arches, and distinctive 20-inch, contrast diamond-turned alloy wheels finished in Satin Grey. A choice of four exterior color options is available: Silicon Silver, Hakuba Silver, Gondwana Stone and Santorini Black.

Inside the XS Edition, 12-way, heated and cooled electric memory seats are finished in Ebony Grained leather and Robust Woven Textile, while the exposed Cross Car Beam has a Light Grey powder coat brushed finish. Extended Leather and unique illuminated metal treadplates complete the interior.

Comprehensive standard specification includes Electronic Air Suspension, Adaptive Dynamics, Configurable Terrain Response®, Three-zone Climate Control with Rear Cooling Assist, Cabin Air Ionization with PM2.5 filter, and Adaptive Cruise Control.3 In addition, the XS Edition features a P400 engine, signature DRL, ClearSight Rear View4 mirror technology and Pivi Pro2 infotainment with 10-speaker Meridian sound system.

Pivi Pro upgrade

New for 2022 model year, wireless device charging, which features a signal booster to help optimize network reception and Wi-Fi signal is now standard across the Defender model range.

Connectivity is also enhanced by the latest evolution of Pivi Pro infotainment, available with an optional larger 11.4-inch touchscreen for the first time. The new curved glass interface is 60 percent larger than the standard screen. The fast and intuitive Pivi Pro system provides immediate responses, even when starting the vehicle for the first time.2

A simple menu structure allows the most commonly used functions to be accessed directly from the home screen to reduce driver distraction. The system can be easily customized to suit the preferences of individual customers. Additional app ‘panels’ can be added, moved and removed, while swiping left or right of the screen quickly reveals the most relevant information at a glance.2

The advanced navigation uses self-learning algorithms and dynamic guidance to optimize routing, while Smart Voice Guidance knows to cancel audio instructions in familiar surroundings. The Software-Over-The-Air (SOTA) technologyin Defender helps deliver the latest Navigation mapping.

Intelligent learning allows the navigation system to identify routes owners use regularly, even without inputting a destination, and use this information to inform drivers of the fastest route to their likely destination based on current traffic conditions. If a faster route becomes available, Pivi Pro will propose this as an alternative. 2

Greater personalization with new Exterior Packs

Customers can now choose from three new exterior design packs. The Bright Pack, Extended Bright Pack and Extended Black Pack further extend the personalization potential of New Defender.

Available on all Defender models, the Bright Pack features a Noble Chrome finish for the front and rear skid pans, plus a Noble Chrome front grille bar and badging. The Extended Bright Pack, adds Ceres Silver to the lower body cladding and wheel arches.

Defender X, Defender X-Dynamic and Defender V8 customers can select the new Extended Black Pack. It provides a Gloss Black finish for the front and rear skid pans, front grille bar, hood checker plate, badging, lower body cladding and wheel arches for a stealthy and purposeful appearance.

The 2022 Defender model range will go on sale in the U.S. in summer 2021. U.S. pricing will be announced at a later date. 

Trim Level Powertrain
Defender 90 2.0L Turbocharged Ingenium I4 (296hp / 295 lb-ft)
Defender 90 S 2.0L Turbocharged Ingenium I4 (296hp / 295 lb-ft)
Defender 90 X-Dynamic S Mild Hybrid 3.0L Turbocharged Ingenium I6 (395hp / 406 lb-ft)
Defender 90 X-Dynamic SE Mild Hybrid 3.0L Turbocharged Ingenium I6 (395hp / 406 lb-ft)
Defender 90 X-Dynamic HSE Mild Hybrid 3.0L Turbocharged Ingenium I6 (395hp / 406 lb-ft)
Defender 90 XS Edition Mild Hybrid 3.0L Turbocharged Ingenium I6 (395hp / 406 lb-ft)
Defender 90 X Mild Hybrid 3.0L Turbocharged Ingenium I6 (395hp / 406 lb-ft)
Defender 90 V8 5.0L Supercharged V8 (518hp / 461 lb-ft)
Defender 90 V8 Carpathian Edition 5.0L Supercharged V8 (518hp / 461 lb-ft)
Defender 110 2.0L Turbocharged Ingenium I4 (296hp / 295 lb-ft)
Defender 110 S 2.0L Turbocharged Ingenium I4 (296hp / 295 lb-ft)
Defender 110 SE Mild Hybrid 3.0L Turbocharged Ingenium I6 (395hp / 406 lb-ft)
Defender 110 X-Dynamic SE Mild Hybrid 3.0L Turbocharged Ingenium I6 (395hp / 406 lb-ft)
Defender 110 X-Dynamic HSE Mild Hybrid 3.0L Turbocharged Ingenium I6 (395hp / 406 lb-ft)
Defender 110 XS Edition Mild Hybrid 3.0L Turbocharged Ingenium I6 (395hp / 406 lb-ft)
Defender 110 X Mild Hybrid 3.0L Turbocharged Ingenium I6 (395hp / 406 lb-ft)
Defender 110 V8 5.0L Supercharged V8 (518hp / 461 lb-ft)
Defender 110 V8 Carpathian Edition 5.0L Supercharged V8 (518hp / 461 lb-ft)

About Land Rover

Founded in 1948, Land Rover designs and engineers its vehicles in the United Kingdom. For over 70 years the brand has built a reputation for providing its clientele with some of the most luxurious and capable vehicles in the world; whether driving through the heart of the city or traversing the countryside on- and off-road. Today’s Land Rover lineup includes the Defender; Discovery and Discovery Sport; Range Rover, Range Rover Sport, Range Rover Velar and Range Rover Evoque. Land Rover is fully engaged with sustainability initiatives and social concerns with continuous involvement in environmental and community programs. For more information, visit the official Land Rover website.

About Jaguar Land Rover

Jaguar Land Rover is the UK’s largest automotive manufacturer, built around two iconic British car brands: Land Rover, the world’s leading manufacturer of premium all-wheel-drive vehicles; and Jaguar, one of the world’s premier luxury sports sedan and sports car marques.

At Jaguar Land Rover we are driven by a desire to deliver class-leading vehicles, providing experiences people love, for life. Our products are in demand around the globe and in 2020 we sold 425,974 vehicles in 127 countries.

At heart we are a British company, with two major design and engineering sites, three vehicle manufacturing facilities, an Engine Manufacturing Centre and soon to be opened Battery Assembly Centre. We also have vehicle plants in China, Brazil, India, Austria and Slovakia. Three of our seven technology hubs are in the UK – Manchester, Warwick (NAIC) and London – with additional sites in Shannon, Ireland, Portland, USA, Budapest, Hungary and Changshu, China.

Land Rover Defender v8 90 for use by 360 MagazineLand Rover Defender 90 Group image for use by 360 MagazineLand Rover Defender 110 Carpathian for use by 360 Magazine

Alfa Romeo x “Passione”

By: Emily Bunn

Love is in the air this Valentine’s Day with Alfa Romeo’s interactive e-book release, “Passione.” The Italian “Passione” translates in English to “passion,” inspired by Alfa Romeo’s roots in Turin, Italy. The brand’s iconic designs and craftsmanship over the past 110 years of automotive production have set Alfa Romeo apart, though the brand’s love for creating luxurious, beautiful vehicles has remained unchanged. Their new e-book looks to detail how key design elements have distinguished Alfa Romeo’s legendary automobiles, and how the company’s unparalleled approach has caught the eyes and hearts of Alfa Romeo fans, adoringly dubbed ‘Alfistis’, globally.

Upon opening the e-book, readers are met with a bold statement from Orazio Satta Puliga, Head of Alfa Romeo Engineering from 1946-1973.

“We are in the realm of sensations, passions, things that have to do more with the head than the heart.”

“Passione” looks to showcase the impressive history of Alfa Romeo, providing an exclusive look at renderings and sketches from AR’s designers at Centro Stile (Design Center) in Turin, Italy. The e-book looks to the past and future of Alfa Romeo, including ten chapters of diverse designs, timeless beauty, and Italian inspiration: “Italian roots”, “Heritage”, “Purity”, “Disruption”, “Red”, “Beauty Is Everywhere”, “Beauty and the Beast”, and “Design Melting Pot.” The informational text in the e-book chronicles the brand’s legacy, and is paired with beautiful imagery, inspired by 14th century Italian Renaissance art and design elements.

To learn more, read Alfa Romeo’s “Passione” e-book here.

Alfa Romeo DNA (sketches by Centro Stile)

Purity: Alfa Romeo Giulia GT (rendering by Centro Stile)

Beauty for everyone: Alfa Romeo 8C Competizione and MiTo (rendering by Centro Stile)

Sports by Allison Christensen for 360 Magazine

Super Bowl STEM Activities

With millions of families tuning into Super Bowl LV to see if Tom Brady will win another championship, there is also a great opportunity to introduce some fun activities that will keep kids learning and active.

Youth sports and learning experts at Skyhawks Sports Academy and STEM Sports® recommend two fun activities to get children learning and active for Super Bowl weekend. The activities are easy to learn and use objects found in most households. Bonus–there may or may not be a STEM education hidden in these activities, so it is a win-win.

  • Farthest Football Throw: We all know a key skill for a quarterback is to throw the football accurately and for distance, but even the pros fall short or overthrow the ball. So, grab a football and measuring tape and start a fun competition to see which family member can throw the ball the farthest. Have each person try it 3 times and record the results. This activity will also teach your children math skills as they calculate the distance between the farthest and the shortest throws.
  • Glove Grip Test: Notice how many football players wear gloves during the game? It’s not because they’re cold, it’s because the gloves give them a better grip while catching and passing the ball. To test it out, gather different types of gloves you may find around the house – sports gloves, boxing gloves, leather gloves, mittens, dish cleaning gloves, or even disposable gloves. Try passing the football and catching it from different distances and with different gloves to notice the difference in grip and accuracy when throwing and catching.

With football being such a popular sport, these easy and fun activities provide the perfect opportunity to introduce kids to science and math concepts, as well as get them away from their screens and moving around. Consider spending a commercial break doing one of these activities, or pivoting to any of these activities if things aren’t going well for your team.

For children interested in taking STEM learning to the next level, Skyhawks and STEM Sports® offer in-person and virtual programs using sports as the real-life application to teach science, technology, engineering, and math skills. Skyhawks also offers Flag Football camps for children between the ages of 5 and 12 and in a variety of formats in communities across the country. Current program offerings continue to follow proven COVID-19 protocols per state and local guidelines. Winter programming is currently underway, and more information, schedules, and registration are available on the Skyhawks’ website.

About Skyhawks Sports Academy

Skyhawks Sports Academy is a youth sports camp organization based in Spokane, Washington. Skyhawks was founded in Spokane in 1979 as a soccer program for children to learn sports in a fun, safe and non-competitive environment. Skyhawks currently offers programs in more than 11 different sports including Soccer, Basketball, Flag Football, Baseball, Multi-Sport, Tennis, Mini-Hawk, Lacrosse, Golf, Volleyball, Cheerleading, and Track & Field for children ages 4-14 across North America. The format of our programs includes traditional weeklong summer day camps, year-round after-school programs, sports leagues, and clinics. For more information, visit their website.

About STEM Sports®

STEM Sports® provides turnkey K-8 supplemental curricula that use various sports as the real-life application to teach science, technology, engineering, and math skills in classrooms, after-school programs, and camps. Our double-play combination of physical activity and cognitive thinking provides a comprehensive, inquiry-based educational experience and a solution for crucial STEM literacy for students. As a result, students develop critical thinking, collaboration, creative problem-solving, and leadership skills that can be applied throughout their education and future careers.

Aligned with Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS), Common Core State Standards (CCSS), and National Standards for K-12 Physical Education, our curricula will cultivate and promote participants’ STEM engagement and retention. STEM Sports® provides all of the necessary and relevant sports equipment along with the entire list of supplies called for in the teacher/administer manual and all of the items have a long-lasting shelf life. Learn more on their website.

Pirelli Elect

The Porsche Taycan is the first car to use Pirelli Elect tires.

With low rolling resistance to increase autonomy, decreased road noise, immediate grip that puts the power down for a quick getaway and a special structure to support the weight of a battery-powered vehicle, Pirelli Elect tires are changing the game.

They are developed specially with leading car manufacturers to meet specific technical requirements of and be compatible with electric and plug-in hybrid vehicles.

The Elect marking, which was launched at the Geneva Motor Show in 2019, is the distinguishing factor. It is available as original equipment for the most modern cars.

The new P Zero Elect was developed by Pirelli’s own engineers for the Porsche Taycan, and they capitalize on the already staggering performance.

Pirelli’s perfect fit philosophy was the baseline for the tire, and the compound, construction and tread pattern suit the Taycan to a tee.

Even with the power and low-down torque of the Taycan, the Pirelli tires give the driver autonomy, grip and reduced noise, enhancing drivability and perfecting safety.

All drivers of Taycan can now feel comfortable with tires designed with fully electric cars in mind. 

Pirelli has also created Elect versions of their Winter Sottozero 3, Scorpion Winter and P Zero Winter for all of the laws mandating winter tires in many different countries. The P Zero Winter is available in 19-inch and 20-inch sizes.

Winter tires are recommended for those who put in a lot of miles in the cold or simply want the best performance in harsh conditions.

When temperatures drop below 44 degrees, summer tires are unable to perform to their maximum capabilities. Winter tires are softer, allowing them to work even when temperatures drop below zero, providing secure braking.

To learn more, you can click right here.

Bugatti Baby II

The Bugatti Owners’ Club and The Little Car Company announced a new partnership Wednesday following the release of The Little Car Company’s Bugatti Baby II.

With this partnership, the Bugatti Owners’ Club gives its stamp of approval to the Bugatti Baby II, giving it certified status and hopefully building the foundation for a long and successful relationship.

Based at the Prescott Hill Climb in the UK, the Bugatti Owners’ Club was founded in 1929 and has more than 2,000 members.  It is the oldest club for the marque in the world.

This partnership will allow members of the two organizations to connect and share their passions for cars, design and engineering. It will also offer the chance for members to get together at events at the Bugatti Owners’ Club clubhouse.

The Bugatti Baby II is a remastering of the original Bugatti Baby. It preserves the history of Bugatti while also inspiring a new generation of Bugatti fans and enthusiasts.

Gemma Price, the general manager of the Bugatti Owners’ Club said she is delighted to work with The Little Car Company.

“We are looking forward to working with The Little Car Company closely and developing a strong partnership centered around the excellence of Ettore Bugatti’s design and engineering prowess that has proven to be visionary and timeless throughout the decades,” Price said. “This has been exceptionally captured and reimagined with the Bugatti Baby II and we look forward to celebrating this common affection through the development of the association of our two organizations.”

The first Bugatti Baby was created in 1926. Ettore Bugatti and his son decided to build a half-scale version of he Type 35 for Ettore’s youngest son’s fourth birthday. It was expected to be a one-off, but it received positive feedback, so the car went into production. 500 units were made between 1927 and 1936.

The Bugatti Baby II is based on a digital 3D scan of a Lyon GP car, so the handling is authentic. The handling can be adjusted because of adjustable dampers, which you can see an example of by clicking right here.

It also has replicas of the original Type 35’s instruments but with modern practicality. The fuel pressure gauge is now a battery gauge. Also, the oil gauge has been transitioned to a power gauge, which is a nod to the Bugatti Veyron.

It is also 75% scale of the Type 35 and can go from zero to 60 kph in six seconds, depending upon the weight of the driver. It tops out at 70 kph, and only 500 will be made.

Ben Hedley, CEO of The Little Car Company, said the Bugatti Owners’ Club has been incredibly supportive in the process.

“As custodians of Ettore Bugatti’s legacy we knew their approval would always be the hardest to earn, a remarkable undertaking that we are incredibly proud to have achieved. We are honoured that with this partnership we are able to help ensure that the extraordinary craftsmanship of Ettore lives on to be enjoyed for the generations to come,” Hedley said.

For more information, you can click right here.

Kaelen Felix Illustrates a Harley-Davidson Museum Article for 360 MAGAZINE

New Exhibits at Harley-Davidson Museum

Two new special exhibits premiere at the Harley-Davidson Museum 
Plus, celebrate the season with a special Holiday Weekend Sale, the H-D Museum shows its appreciation to those who served with free admission to Veterans* on Veterans on Veterans Day and special gallery talks focused on H-D’s long history with the U.S. military.

Art, engineering and the timeless pursuit of adventure are always on display at the Harley-Davidson Museum. And beginning this month, two new special exhibits bring those elements to the fore.

“Off-Road Harley-Davidson” opens to the public Nov. 1 and tells the history of motorcycles designed for rough roads, the people who rode them and the adventures they shared. Dating back to the Motor Company’s earliest days and shining a spotlight on what the all-new, all-electric LiveWire® motorcycle is capable of, this exhibit is sure to thrill those who prefer the road less traveled. “Performance Builds from Born-Free” brings together four customized Harley-Davidson® motorcycles where imagination and ingenuity take center stage.

And in what has become an annual tradition of expressing gratitude for those who serve and those who have served, the Veterans Day 2020 appreciation includes free admission to the H-D Museum on Nov 11 and 12.

Finally, be sure to check out the H-D Museum’s Holiday Weekend Sale and score on your favorite H-D branded gear. Give as a gift or add to your wardrobe!

As always, the safety of our guests is a top priority for the Harley-Davidson Museum. Guests may notice changes since their most recent visit, including limited capacity. Visit the H-D Museum website to find out more about our safety measures or to purchase tickets in advance.

MUST-SEE EXHIBITS
“Off-Road Harley-Davidson”
Opening Nov. 21, 2020; Media Preview: Friday, Nov. 20
In the decades before America paved its highways, early riders had to be prepared for all sorts of terrain: sand, clay or dirt – and wandering those makeshift byways were Harley-Davidson® motorcycles. Today, it’s called off-road or adventure touring; back then it was just called riding. Since 1903, Harley-Davidson motorcycles proved their toughness by riding over wooded hills, through stone-choked creek beds and up mountain sides. “Off-Road Harley-Davidson” tells the history of motorcycles designed for rough roads, the people who rode them, and the adventures they shared. Stay tuned to the H-D Museum social channels for a behind-the-scenes look at this exhibit.

“Performance Builds from Born-Free”
The Born-Free Motorcycle Show has been bringing together intrepid builders for more than a decade. The H-D Museum is pleased to display the passion projects of four top-notch Born-Free wrenchers whose canvas is a stock Harley- Davidson® motorcycle. Now on display in the Engine Room.

Stevan Dohanos painting, “Tex’s Motorcycle”
Dohanos, a frequent contributor to the Saturday Evening Post, enjoyed capturing his subjects as they were in real life. For this piece, Dohanos found his muse on a street in Georgetown, Conn. “Tex” Keller had decorated his saddle bags with nickel spots and covered his saddle with fur, putting his own flair on the Harley-Davidson® motorcycle. Though Dohanos probably didn’t title the work, many motorcyclists now refer to it as “Tex’s Motorcycle” and prints of it can be found in shops across the country. The original has found a home at the H-D Museum.

“Building a Milwaukee Icon: Harley-Davidson’s Juneau Avenue Factory”
(Now)
A recently recovered cache of architectural drawings includes plans for the original Juneau Avenue facility. The pencil drawings, along with archival photographs, demonstrate the whirlwind pace of the company’s early growth. While building an international business—going from producing just over 1,000 motorcycles in 1909 to manufacturing 27,000 motorcycles in 1920—the company’s Milwaukee factory experienced near-constant expansion. Construction through this relatively brief period created the buildings that today, a century later, are still the proud home of Harley-Davidson.

“Building a Milwaukee Icon” provides a snapshot of Harley-Davidson’s formative years and illustrates a chapter of Milwaukee history when the city was known as the “Machine Shop to the World.” Stay tuned to the H-D Museum social channels for a behind-the-scenes look at this exhibit.

EVENTS
Veterans Day Appreciation
Nov. 11, 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. & Nov. 12 10 a.m. – 8 p.m.
We salute you! On November 11th and 12th, the Harley-Davidson Museum will offer free Museum admission for all active Military, Veterans and their families.* Learn more about H-D’s military involvement during the Military Gallery Talks on November 11th at 11 a.m. and 2:30 p.m.and November 12th at 11 a.m., 2:30 and 6 p.m. For more than a century, Harley-Davidson has been on the front line – right next to the troops. The first American to enter Germany after World War I did so on a Harley-Davidson® motorcycle. Active military and veterans always enjoy special discounts at The Shop and while dining at MOTOR® Bar & Restaurant.

*Receive free admission to the Harley-Davidson Museum by presenting valid identification of service in the US Armed Services (active duty and veterans are welcome!) for the named servicemember, one (1) additional adult and up to four (4) children (under age 18). Valid on November 11, 2020 and November 12, 2020 for in-person use at the Harley-Davidson Museum. Not valid for online purchases. Non-transferable. Cannot be redeemed for cash or cash equivalent. Offer not valid on previously purchased Harley-Davidson Museum tickets. Cannot be combined with any other offer, discount or promotion. Offer is subject to change without notice. Void where prohibited or restricted by law.

Harley-Davidson® Merchandise Holiday Weekend Sale
Nov. 27 – 29, 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Come for the sale in The Garage and stay to explore. Pick up a few gifts for the holidays: shop 50%-70% off discontinued, end-of-season MotorClothes® products**
Including holiday festivities:
• “Off-Road Harley-Davidson” Special Exhibit
• H-D Museum Campus Walking Tour, Audio Tours & Youth Activity Guides
• H-D Museum holiday specials at The Shop
• MOTOR® Bar & Restaurant burgers, BBQ and monthly specials

**Valid for onsite use in The Garage only at the H-D Museum on purchase of select, end of season men’s and women’s Harley-Davidson® MotorClothes® merchandise. Not valid for online purchases; not valid in The Shop at the H-D Museum. Prices as marked in The Garage. Sale prices valid from November 27 – 29, 2020. While supplies last. Offer not valid on previously purchased merchandise. Cannot be combined with any other offer, discount or promotion. Offer is subject to change without notice. Void where prohibited or restricted by law.

TOURS
Engines 101
Thu, Fri, Sat and Sun – 11:30 a.m., 1:30 and 3 p.m.
What is a powertrain? What makes the Milwaukee-Eight® engine different? The Engines 101 class takes you inside the Milwaukee Eight engine and transmission. In a classroom setting, we break down the components and their functions while describing the performance of a 4-stroke engine. Engines 101 shows how an engine and transmission come together to make a powertrain. Advance tickets and more information can be found here.

H-D Museum Campus Walking Tour
Explore the campus of the world’s only Harley-Davidson Museum and enjoy the great outdoors. This 20-acre site is the place to see and experience Harley-Davidson history and culture. Download the PDF to your phone or mobile device and follow the path around the H-D Museum campus.

THE SHOP
Enjoy free shipping on all online orders Nov. 27 – Nov. 30.***

***Offer valid for online purchases only. Get free standard shipping to locations within the continental United States, Alaska and Hawaii on purchases at the Harley-Davison Museum online store (https://hdmuseum.archivea.com/perl/home.pl) any time from Nov. 27, 2020 – Nov. 30, 2020. Additional restrictions apply.

As we approach the holidays, please note the H-D Museum will be closed on Thanksgiving and Christmas.

About the Harley-Davidson Museum
Discover culture and history through stories and interactive exhibits that celebrate expression, camaraderie and love for the sport at the Harley-Davidson Museum. A visit to the H-D Museum is an experience that will stay with you for a lifetime. With an unrivaled collection of Harley-Davidson® motorcycles and memorabilia, a 20-acre, park-like campus, and a calendar full of activities, the H-D Museum is one of Milwaukee’s top tourist destinations for visitors from around the globe. Make your plans to visit the Harley-Davidson Museum at H-DMuseum.com.

Eat well while doing good at MOTOR® Bar & Restaurant this holiday season
New catering packages take the stress out of meal planning for your special occasions.

MOTOR® Bar & Restaurant is still open! If you have a hankering for the bold, American classics found at MOTOR Bar & Restaurant, we’ve got you covered! While we continue to place guest and staff safety as our top priority, we have been working alongside the City of Milwaukee Health Department to ensure proper protocols are in place for your next visit. Dine-in, takeout and delivery are all available for lip-smacking BBQ, juicy ground chuck burgers, monthly specials and more.

And beginning today, bring in your new, unwrapped toys and receive 10% off your bill at Motor Bar and Restaurant as a part of the Kids2Kids Toy Drive! Help brighten spirits during the holiday season.

Visit MOTORRestaurant.com to plan your next night out or get a delicious feast delivered to your front door.

HAPPENINGS
Kids2Kids Toy Drive at MOTOR® Bar & Restaurant, Nov. 9 – Dec. 13, 2020
Donate an item for the Kids2Kids Toy Drive at MOTOR® Bar & Restaurant at the Harley-Davidson Museum and receive 10% off your bill†. Your donation will help spread joy to children in need during the holiday season. Guests are encouraged to bring new, unwrapped toys that will be gifted to children in need. Kids2Kids Christmas not only makes an impact on the children who receive the toys, but it also helps instill the values of caring and giving in the children who donate the toys. Since the program began in 2006, more than 230,000 toys have been collected and distributed to families. Help us hit our goal of collecting more than 20,000 toys! Don’t forget, MOTOR’s kids menu is perfect for the pint-size set. More details are available at kids2kidstoydrive.com.

†10% off your bill at MOTOR® Bar & Restaurant at the Harley-Davidson Museum before tax with a donation for Kids2Kids Toy Drive hosted by Kapco Inc. on November 9 – December 13, 2020. Cannot be redeemed for cash or cash equivalent. Offer not valid on previous visits. Cannot be combined with any other offer, discount or promotion. Offer can be changed at any time without notice. Void where prohibited or restricted by law.

NOVEMBER SPECIALS
Monte Cristo: Shaved turkey and ham, bacon, Swiss cheese, and blackberry jam on battered thick toast ($13.95)
Braised Short Rib with Gnocchi: Braised beef short rib, sautéed carrots, onions, and mushrooms with a red wine-thyme demi-glace. Served over fresh potato gnocchi ($20.95)
Warm Pumpkin Blondie: Pumpkin blondie served with spiced pecans and cinnamon ice cream ($7.95)

SMALL-PLATE LUNCH MENU
Entrees
Chicken Biscuit Sliders: Two buttermilk biscuits with house-breaded fried chicken, topped with mayo and pickles; served with fries ($7.95)
Nashville Chicken Sliders: Two Nashville hot chicken sliders topped with pickles, coleslaw, and mayo on a brioche mini bun; served with fries ($8.95)
Quesadilla: Tortillas with shredded cheese, black bean-corn salsa with choice of BBQ chicken, shredded pork or brisket; served with chipotle ranch ($7.95)
Butternut Squash Ravioli: Brown butter sage with toasted walnuts, Parmesan cheese ($7.95)
Asian Rice Bowl: Grilled chicken, peppers, celery, carrots, green onions, edamame with sesame teriyaki rice ($8.95)
Baked Pasta: Chunky marinara sauce, mozzarella & provolone cheese, onions and mushrooms ($7.95) Add on sausage or chicken for $2

Appetizers
Chili Cheese Fries: House-made chili served on golden French fries topped with sour cream shredded cheese and red onions ($7.95)
Crispy Ravioli: Five cheese-filled breaded raviolis served with homemade tomato sauce ($5.95)

CATERING PACKAGE (available beginning Nov. 13)Serves 4-6 and includes
Smoked Brisket -1 lb., BBQ Pork – 1.5 lbs., BBQ Chicken – 1.5 lbs., Hot Link Sausage – 1 lb. Coleslaw – 1 quart, Baked Beans- 1 quart, Corn Bread – 4, Crispy Fries – 1 lb. ($59.95)

WEEKLY SPECIALS
TACO TUESDAY
Join us every Tuesday for our weekly Chef’s choice taco special! Add a MOTOR Margarita for only $5.

FRIDAY FISH FRY
Visit MOTOR for our Friday AYCE Fish Fry! Every Friday, our All-You-Can-Eat Wisconsin Fish Fry is available all day, served with golden fried cod, crispy French fries, fresh jicama coleslaw, rye bread roll and tartar sauce for only $14.95.

BBQ & Blues
BBQ & Blues – the ultimate pairing of lip-smacking BBQ and blistering live (free) blues music – is back. Take in a live performance from a rotating lineup of blues musicians, plus all-you-can-eat, hickory-smoked BBQ chicken, pulled pork, smoked brisket and grilled sausage links for $29.99. All BBQ platters come with French fries, jicama coleslaw, BBQ baked beans and made-from-scratch cornbread. Not up for the AYCE task? Enjoy a special BBQ platter with hickory-smoked BBQ chicken, pulled pork, smoked brisket and grilled sausage link with all the sides for $19.99. In addition to the smokin’ BBQ, MOTOR® Bar and Restaurant will sizzle with the best in true American blues music from 5 – 8 p.m. – with no cover charge! Due to limited capacity, reservations are strongly encouraged!

H.O.G.® MEMBER SPECIAL
H.O.G.® Members can enjoy a 16-oz can of Budweiser, Bud Light, or Busch Light for just $3.

And if you’re looking to book your upcoming holiday party, wedding or team gathering, the pros at 1903 Events are ready to execute your vision and ensure a safe and memorable gathering. Winter is a magical time to host a wedding with extra sparkle! And if you want those all-American classics to come to your door, check outMOTOR® Bar and Restaurant’s Offsite Catering Menu!

About MOTOR® Bar & Restaurant
The only Harley-Davidson Museum® restaurant, MOTOR® Bar & Restaurant offers guests riverfront dining and Midwest camaraderie with a dose of genuine Harley-Davidson attitude. MOTOR® Bar and Restaurant takes diners on a culinary road trip of great American food and drink from its location in downtown Milwaukee. Guests can enjoy burgers, BBQ, seasonal favorites and a whole lot more. For more information and to learn about the latest menu, visit motorrestaurant.com or call 414-287-2778.

A Trillion Turns of Light Nets Terahertz Polarized Bytes

American and Italian engineers have demonstrated the first nanophotonic platform capable of manipulating polarized light 1 trillion times per second. 

“Polarized light can be used to encode bits of information, and we’ve shown it’s possible to modulate such light at terahertz frequencies,” said Rice University’s Alessandro Alabastri, co-corresponding author of a study published this week in Nature Photonics.

 “This could potentially be used in wireless communications,” said Alabastri, who is also an assistant professor of electrical and computer engineering in Rice’s Brown School of Engineering. “The higher the operating frequency of a signal, the faster it can transmit data. One terahertz equals 1,000 gigahertz, which is about 25 times higher than the operating frequencies of commercially available optical polarization switches.”

This new found research was a collaboration between experimental and theoretical teams at Rice, the Polytechnic University of Milan and the Italian Institute of Technology in Genoa. This collaboration started in the summer of 2017 when co-author of the study, Andrea Schirato was a visiting scholar in the Rice lab of physicists along with co-author Peter Nordlander. Schirato is a Politecnico-IIT joint graduate student under the supervision of co-corresponding author Giuseppe Della Valle and co-author Remo Proietti Zaccaria. 

Each of the researchers work in nanophotonics, a fast-growing field that uses ultrasmall, engineered structures to manipulate light. Their idea for ultrafast polarization control was to capitalize on tiny, fleeting variations in the generation of high-energy electrons in a plasmonic metasurface.

 Metasurfaces are ultrathin films or sheets that contain embedded nanoparticles that interact with light as it passes through the film. By varying the size, shape and makeup of the embedded nanoparticles and by arranging them in precise two-dimensional geometric patterns, engineers can craft metasurfaces that split or redirect specific wavelengths of light with precision.

“One thing that differentiates this from other approaches is our reliance on an intrinsically ultrafast broadband mechanism that’s taking place in the plasmonic nanoparticles,” Alabastri said. 

The Rice-Politecnico-IIT team designed a metasurface that contained rows of cross-shaped gold nanoparticles. Each plasmonic cross was about 100 nanometers wide and resonated with a specific frequency of light that gave rise to an enhanced localized electromagnetic field. Thanks to this plasmonic effect, the team’s metasurface was a platform for generating high-energy electrons.

“When one laser light pulse hits a plasmonic nanoparticle, it excites the free electrons within it, raising some to high-energy levels that are out of equilibrium,” Schirato said. “That means the electrons are ‘uncomfortable’ and eager to return to a more relaxed state. They return to an equilibrium in a very short time, less than one picosecond.”

Experiments were performed by study co-first author Margherita Maiuri at Politecnico’s ultrafast spectroscopy laboratories and they were confirmed by the team’s theoretical predictions. She used an ultrashort pulse of light from one laser to excite the crosses, allowing them to modulate the polarization of light in a second pulse that arrived less than a picosecond after the first.

Despite the symmetric arrangement of crosses in the metasurface, the nonequilibrium state has asymmetric properties that disappear when the system returns to equilibrium. To exploit this ultrafast phenomenon for polarization control, the researchers used a two-laser setup.

“The key point is that we could achieve the control of light with light itself, exploiting ultrafast electronic mechanisms peculiar of plasmonic metasurfaces,” Alabastri said. “By properly designing our nanostructures, we have demonstrated a novel approach that will potentially allow us to optically transmit broadband information encoded in the polarization of light with unprecedented speed.”