Archive for the ‘computing’ category: Page 508

Jul 24, 2018

Nanocrystals emit light

Posted by in categories: computing, quantum physics

Using advanced fabrication techniques, engineers at the University of California San Diego have built a nanosized device out of silver crystals that can generate light by efficiently “tunneling” electrons through a tiny barrier. The work brings plasmonics research a step closer to realizing ultra-compact light sources for high-speed, optical data processing and other on-chip applications.

The work is published July 23 in Nature Photonics.

The device emits light by a quantum mechanical phenomenon known as inelastic electron tunneling. In this process, electrons move through a solid barrier that they cannot classically cross. And while crossing, the electrons lose some of their energy, creating either photons or phonons in the process.

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Jul 24, 2018

Beyond silicon: $1.5 billion U.S. program aims to spur new types of computer chips

Posted by in categories: computing, military, nanotechnology, particle physics, policy

Silicon computer chips have been on a roll for half a century, getting ever more powerful. But the pace of innovation is slowing. Today the U.S. military’s Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) announced dozens of new grants totaling $75 million in a program that aims to reinvigorate the chip industry with basic research into new designs and materials, such as carbon nanotubes. Over the next few years, the DARPA program, which supports both academic and industry scientists, will grow to $300 million per year up to a total of $1.5 billion over 5 years.

“It’s a critical time to do this,” says Erica Fuchs, a computer science policy expert at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

In 1965, Intel co-founder Gordon Moore made the observation that would become his eponymous “law”: The number of transistors on chips was doubling every 2 years, a time frame later cut to every 18 months. But the gains from miniaturizing the chips are dwindling. Today, chip speeds are stuck in place, and each new generation of chips brings only a 30% improvement in energy efficiency, says Max Shulaker, an electrical engineer at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Cambridge. Fabricators are approaching physical limits of silicon, says Gregory Wright, a wireless communications expert at Nokia Bell Labs in Holmdel, New Jersey. Electrons are confined to patches of silicon just 100 atoms wide, he says, forcing complex designs that prevent electrons from leaking out and causing errors. “We’re running out of room,” he says.

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Jul 23, 2018

Uncovering the interplay between two famous quantum effects

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, computing, mobile phones, quantum physics

The Casimir force and superconductivity are two well-known quantum effects. These phenomena have been thoroughly studied separately, but what happens when these effects are combined in a single experiment? Now, Delft University of Technology have created a microchip on which two wires were placed in close proximity in order to measure the Casimir forces that act upon them when they become superconducting.

Is vacuum really empty? Quantum mechanics tells us that it’s actually swarming with particles. In the 1940s, Dutch physicists Hendrik Casimir and Dirk Polder predicted that when two objects are placed in very close proximity, about a thousandth of the diameter of a human hair, this sea of ‘vacuum particles’ pushes them together – a phenomenon known as the Casimir effect. This attractive force is present between all objects and even sets fundamental limits to how closely we can place components together on microchips.

Superconductivity is another well-known phenomenon, also discovered by a Dutchman, Heike Kamerlingh Onnes, in the early 20th century. It describes how certain materials, such as aluminum or lead, allow electricity to flow through them without any resistance at . Over the last 100 years, superconductors have revolutionized our understanding of physics and are responsible for magnetically levitated trains, MRI scans and even mobile phone stations.

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Jul 22, 2018

Home: Today, all the action beyond low earth orbit is telecom, government, and military

Posted by in categories: computing, government, military, space travel

Tomorrow it’s commercial tourism, space energy, space data centers, in-space manufacturing and resource exploration & utilization. Companies all over the world are creating incredible future technologies that will one day operate in deep space. But one question largely goes unanswered: how will they get there? We will take them.

Chemical and ion electrical propulsion have their limitations. We’re building breakthrough transportation technology to propel the next generation of space endeavors more efficiently, safely, and inexpensively than ever before.

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Jul 21, 2018

This wearable lets you control computers with your mind

Posted by in categories: computing, wearables

This wristband lets you control machines with your mind.

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Jul 20, 2018

Researchers prove the arrow of time is irrelevant to quantum computers

Posted by in categories: computing, quantum physics

It turns out that our limited understanding of time is born out of faulty observations and limited perspective. Luckily, quantum computers are on the way.

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Jul 20, 2018

Future electronic components to be printed like newspapers

Posted by in categories: computing, futurism

A new manufacturing technique uses a process similar to newspaper printing to form smoother and more flexible metals for making ultrafast electronic devices.

The low-cost process, developed by Purdue University researchers, combines tools already used in industry for manufacturing metals on a large scale, but uses the speed and precision of roll-to-roll newspaper printing to remove a couple of fabrication barriers in making electronics faster than they are today.

Cellphones, laptops, tablets, and many other electronics rely on their internal metallic circuits to process information at high speed. Current fabrication techniques tend to make these circuits by getting a thin rain of liquid metal drops to pass through a stencil mask in the shape of a circuit, kind of like spraying graffiti on walls.

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Jul 16, 2018

Pentagon sees quantum computing as key weapon for war in space

Posted by in categories: computing, military, quantum physics, space

The military wants to apply quantum computing to secure communications and inertial navigation in GPS denied environments.

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Jul 16, 2018

A Photonic Circuit for Quantum Computers

Posted by in categories: computing, quantum physics

Getting photons to interact is a key step toward using them as qubits.

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Jul 15, 2018

Automating Drug Discoveries Using Computer Vision

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, chemistry, computing

“Every time you miss a protein crystal, because they are so rare, you risk missing on an important biomedical discovery.”

- Patrick Charbonneau, Duke University Dept. of Chemistry and Lead Researcher, MARCO initiative.

Protein crystallization is a key step to biomedical research concerned with discovering the structure of complex biomolecules. Because that structure determines the molecule’s function, it helps scientists design new drugs that are specifically targeted to that function. However, protein crystals are rare and difficult to find. Hundreds of experiments are typically run for each protein, and while the setup and imaging are mostly automated, finding individual protein crystals remains largely performed through visual inspection and thus prone to human error. Critically, missing these structures can result in lost opportunity for important biomedical discoveries for advancing the state of medicine.

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