UCF Takes Lead on 5-Year, $7.5M Project for Department of Defense

The University of Central Florida is taking the lead on a five-year, $7.5 million investigation into machines that can operate at trillions of cycles per second for the Department of Defense.

The grant award comes from the DoD’s highly competitive multidisciplinary university research initiative (MURI), which combines the brainpower of top scientists in their respective fields to tackle some of the most complex issues in science. UCF is the primary investigator on a physics team that also includes the University of California, Santa Cruz and Riverside, Ohio State University, Oakland University (Michigan) and New York University.

Their focus is increasing the complexity and speed of the electromagnets that form the foundation of our technology. Think faster computers, highly sophisticated security scanning and pinpoint accuracy on missiles. To do that, they’re finding ways to boost antiferromagnet operations from the gigahertz wavelength to the terahertz wavelength. That would allow machines to operate trillions of cycles per second.

“As of today, there are just some very basic, preliminary tests showing this is possible. This award will allow us to develop new testing techniques and advance the theories behind antiferromagnets,” said Enrique del Barco, Ph.D., an associate dean and physics professor.

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