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Ma Ru

An intellectually challenging game of loop - 2 views

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    In case you are looking for inspiration for a new piece of ACT's meeting room furniture...

    "This is almost an example, not of mathematics but how mathematics changes when it becomes physics"
jcunha

Introducing A Brain-inspired Computer [IBM TrueNorth] - 0 views

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    Built in Silicon technology (Samsung's 28 nm process), its power is measured as one million neurons and 256 million synapses. It contains 5.4 million transistor being the largest IBM chip in these terms. All this said, it consumes less than 100 mW!!

    "These systems can efficiently process high-dimensional, noisy sensory data in real time, while consuming orders of magnitude less power than conventional computer architectures." IBM is working with initLabs to integrate the DVS retinal camera with these chips = real time image neuro-like image processing.

    In what seems to be a very successful project hugely funded by DARPA, "Our sights are now set high on the ambitious goal of integrating 4,096 chips in a single rack with 4 billion neurons and 1 trillion synapses while consuming ~4kW of power."
Nina Nadine Ridder

Going solid-state could make batteries safer and longer-lasting - 3 views

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    If you pry open one of today's ubiquitous high-tech devices-whether a cellphone, a laptop, or an electric car-you'll find that batteries take up most of the space inside. Indeed, the recent evolution of batteries has made it possible to pack ample power in small places.
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    solidstate batteries would be perfect indeed, but up to now I know of no solid electrolyte that can do the trick. The article itself does not mention any material beyond superionic lithium-ion conductors, but does not specify which one in particular. The premis seems to be "if it conducts fast enough, the battery can conduct efficiently"
LeopoldS

Fastest Ship in the Universe: How Sci-Fi Ships Stack Up - 2 views

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    for the geeks ... and Anna&Jai
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    Gotta love that improbability drive
jcunha

Interference of thermal waves - Can heat be controlled as waves? - 1 views

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    Imagine a material that only admits thermal conduction for certain temperatures. Martin Maldovan from Georgia Tech holds a tiny thermoelectric device that turns cold on one side when current is applied. Recent research has focused on the possibility of using interference effects in phonon waves to control heat transport in materials.

    These are exciting news (see Nature Materials paper here http://www.nature.com/nmat/journal/v14/n7/full/nmat4308.html). Heterostructure research lead to outstanding new possibilities when applied to electronic transport (e.g. in quantum well and quantum dots) and to photonics (e.g. Quantum Cascade Laser tunnable lasers).
    Apparently the time has come to see selective thermal control in this way! Truly exciting!!
jcunha

Researchers design metamaterial that buckles selectively - 4 views

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    New 3D printed macro structure exhibits selective buckling open the way for custom shape-memory materials found our neighbor scientists from the Lorentz Institut of the Leiden University. Wonder if it can be applied for self-assembled deployment of structures.
Thijs Versloot

Student Confirms That There Are Enormous Tubes Of Plasma Floating Above The Earth - 1 views

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    A 60-year-old theory about the structure of the magnetic fields that surround Earth has been confirmed directly for the first time. The lead author of the paper is an undergraduate student who invented a way to view the Earth's magnetosphere in three dimensions.
Wiktor Piotrowski

Revolutionary Silicon Chip Brings Us Closer To Light-Speed Computer Technology | IFLSci... - 1 views

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    They created a 50 times smaller optical beam splitter, which is certainly impressive in itself. Question remains how much does this actually bring us closer to optical chips?1% 50% 20% ?
jcunha

Silicon Valley celebrates Moore's Law 50 years anniversary - 2 views

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    A bit late, but it is very interesting and instructive to listen to Gordon Moore's words "It almost doubled every year (...) so I said in the next 10 years it's going to continue to double every year, we are going to go from 16 components on a chip to 16 000. Pretty wild extrapolation!". This extrapolation (exponential with only 5 initial points) is now well-known and is one of the things that changed the World, it is pretty amazing how this "wild" futuristic vision came true.
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    A great source is also the blog from Chris Mack (http://life.lithoguru.com/?p=451) who is a semicon pioneer and publisher of many books on the subject. He wrote an article for IEEE Spectrum on Moore's law and its future. Find it here, http://spectrum.ieee.org/semiconductors/processors/the-multiple-lives-of-moores-law
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    Whenever I think about moore's law and extrapolating like that I end up back at this xkcd comic
    https://xkcd.com/605/
jcunha

Space data representation - 1 views

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    A common data hub that allows the representation and comparison of data from numerous space missions. "The IMPEx portal offers tools for the visualization and analysis of datasets from different space missions. Furthermore, several computational model databases are feeding into the environment." As they say, with its massive 3D-visualization capabilities it offers the possibility of displaying spacecraft trajectories, planetary ephemerides as well as scientific representations of observational and simulation datasets.
jcunha

Maze-solving automatons can repair broken circuits - 1 views

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    Researchers in Bangalore, India together with the Indian Space Research organization come up with an intelligent self-healing algorithm that can locate open-circuits faults and repair them in real-time. They used an insulating silicon oil containing conductive particles. Whenever a fault happens, an electric field develops there, causing the fluid to move in a 'thermodynamic automaton' way repairing the fault. The researchers make clear it could be one advantage for electronics in harsh environments, such as in space satellites.
jcunha

Metals used in high-tech products face future supply risks - 0 views

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    First peer review study about he criticality of rare-earth metals.
    It can be read "They found that supply limits for many metals critical in the emerging electronics sector (including gallium and selenium) are the result of supply risks. The environmental implications of mining and processing present the greatest challenges with platinum-group metals, gold, and mercury. For steel alloying elements (including chromium and niobium) and elements used in high-temperature alloys (tungsten and molybdenum), the greatest vulnerabilities are associated with supply restrictions"
    Questions about estimation apart, this can be a valuable market for asteroid mining.. (ot just more market for Infinium-like companies http://www.technologyreview.com/news/527526/a-cleaner-cheaper-way-to-make-metals/).
annaheffernan

Acoustic topological insulator could hide submarines - 2 views

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    Researchers have proposed a new "acoustic topological insulator" that could help alleviate sound scattering problems by transmitting sound in certain directions without any backscattering.
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    If I understood correctly the triangular structure would channel the incident sound wave to a unique direction between two options, according to the rotation direction of the cylinders included in its mesh. So, one (possibly two) directions left to detect the hypothetical submarines? Very interesting though, I hope no oceanographers take measurements simultaneously to the signals as climate models will get even more wrong...!
annaheffernan

How to make a tougher quantum computer - 0 views

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    A system of nine quantum bits (qubits) that is robust to errors that would normally destroy a quantum computation has been created by researchers at the University of California, Santa Barbara (UCSB) and Google. The device relies on a quantum error-correction protocol, which the team says could be deployed in practical quantum computers of the future.
annaheffernan

How to make droplets chase each other and self-assemble into devices - 0 views

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    Droplets can be made to chase each other around a track and even self-assemble into devices, simply by mixing two everyday liquids. This remarkable discovery made by scientists in the US has already been used to create beautiful shapes and patterns, and could also be exploited to create optical components that assemble themselves and even to clean surfaces. It looks very like Jojo's self-assembling balls :p
jcunha

Wireless 10 kW power transmission - 1 views

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    Mitsubishi Heavy Industries said Friday that it has succeeded in transmitting 10 kW of power through 500 m. An announcement that comes just after JAXA scientists reported one more breakthrough in the quest for Space Solar Power Systems (http://phys.org/news/2015-03-japan-space-scientists-wireless-energy.html). One step closer to Power Generation from Space/
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    from the press release (https://www.mhi-global.com/news/story/1503121879.html) "10 kilowatts (kW) of power was sent from a transmitting unit by microwave. The reception of power was confirmed at a receiver unit located at a distance of 500 meters (m) away by the illumination of LED lights, using part of power transmitted".

    So 10kW of transmission to light a few efficient LED lights???

    In a 2011 report (https://www.mhi-global.com/company/technology/review/pdf/e484/e484017.pdf), MHI estimated this would generate the same electricity output as a 400-megawatt thermal plant - or enough to serve more than 150,000 homes during peak hours. The price? The same as publicly supplied power, according to its calculations.

    There are no results to boost these claims however. The main work they do now is focused on beam steering control. I guess the real application in mind is more targeted to terrestrial applications, eg wireless highway charging (http://www.bbc.com/future/story/20120312-wireless-highway-to-charge-cars). With the distances so much shorter, leading to much smaller antenna's and rectenna's this makes much more sense to me to develop.
johannessimon81

No Big Bang? Quantum equation predicts universe has no beginning - 3 views

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    Told you so...
jcunha

Electron spins controlled using sound waves - 0 views

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    Cornell applied physicists have demonstrated an unprecedented method of control over electron spins using extremely high-frequency sound waves - new insights in the study of the spin of the electron. Crazy idea but, no further need for complicated quantum encryption techniques of sound signals?
Thijs Versloot

Watch uranium radiation inside a cloud chamber - 6 views

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    Ever wondered what radiation looks like? If you have, I bet you didn't think it would look as cool as this. This is a small piece of uranium mineral sitting in a cloud chamber, which means you can see the process of decay and radiation emission....
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    Once I saw a DIY spark chamber in LIP (CERN associated laboratory). It was the work of a bunch of BSc students, they made it all from scratch, so it seemed to be not that difficult to have one at home. Yet another project for the future 'Experimental Physics' stagiare maybe :)
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