Tech

Researchers working at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) have demonstrated for the first time the existence of a key magnetic—as opposed to electronic—property of specially built semiconductor devices. This discovery raises hopes for even smaller and faster gadgets that could result from magnetic data storage in a semiconductor material, which could then quickly process the data through built-in logic circuits controlled by electric fields.

"Increased services like Video on Demand will put pressure on the system and create an energy bottleneck," said Dr Kerry Hinton of the University's Department of Electrical and Electronic Engineering and the ARC Special Centre for Ultra-Broadband Information Networks (CUBIN).

In a world-first model of internet power consumption, University of Melbourne researchers have been able to identify the major contributors to Internet power consumption as the take-up of broadband services grows in the coming years.

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. — New ways of squeezing out greater efficiency from solar photovoltaic cells are emerging from computer simulations and lab tests conducted by a team of physicists and engineers at MIT.

Using computer modeling and a variety of advanced chip-manufacturing techniques, they have applied an antireflection coating to the front, and a novel combination of multi-layered reflective coatings and a tightly spaced array of lines — called a diffraction grating — to the backs of ultrathin silicon films to boost the cells' output by as much as 50 percent.

Scientists from Queen Mary, University of London have improved their understanding of the inner workings of our computers and mp3 players, thanks to an exciting new field of research called 'organic spintronics'.

Dr Alan Drew from Queen Mary's Department of Physics and the University of Freiburg, Switzerland, along with colleagues from the Paul Scherrer Institute (PSI)*, Switzerland, has become the first to measure how the magnetic polarisation is lost in a device similar to a hard drive 'read-head' found in every computer produced in the last ten years.

November 23, 2008 -- At the 61st Meeting of the American Physical Society's Division of Fluid Dynamics this week, a team of researchers from Arizona State University and the University of Maryland is reporting research that may soon give avid golfers another way to improve their game.

The promise of quantum computing is that it will dramatically outshine traditional computers in tackling certain key problems: searching large databases, factoring large numbers, creating uncrackable codes and simulating the atomic structure of materials.

Scientists using ESA's Mars Express have produced the first crude map of aurorae on Mars. These displays of ultraviolet light appear to be located close to the residual magnetic fields generated by Mars's crustal rocks. They highlight a number of mysteries about the way Mars interacts with electrically charged particles originating from the Sun.

CAMBRIDGE, Mass., Nov. 20, 2008 -- Quantum computers would likely outperform conventional computers in simulating chemical reactions involving more than four atoms, according to scientists at Harvard University, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and Haverford College. Such improved ability to model and predict complex chemical reactions could revolutionize drug design and materials science, among other fields.

They've made electronics that can bend. They've made electronics that can stretch.

And now, they've reached the ultimate goal -- electronics that can be subjected to any complex deformation, including twisting.

The Internet contains vast amounts of information, much of it unorganized. But what you see online at any given moment is just a snapshot of the Web as a whole – many pages change rapidly or disappear completely, and the old data gets lost forever.

"Your browser is really just a window into the Web as it exists today," said Eytan Adar, University of Washington computer science and engineering doctoral student. "When you search for something online you're only getting today's results."

A major milestone has been achieved in the completion of the UK's next-generation particle accelerator, ALICE, which is set to produce an intense beam of light that will revolutionise the way in which accelerator based light source research facilities will be designed in the future. To mark the occasion, ALICE was visited today, 13 November 2008, by His Royal Highness The Duke of Kent as part of his visit to the Daresbury Science and Innovation Campus.

Physicists in the USA and at the London Centre for Nanotechnology have found a way to extend the quantum lifetime of electrons by more than 5,000 per cent, as reported in this week's Physical Review Letters. Electrons exhibit a property called 'spin' and work like tiny magnets which can point up, down or a quantum superposition of both. The state of the spin can be used to store information and so by extending their life the research provides a significant step towards building a usable quantum computer.

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. - Researchers have discovered that tiny structures called silicon nanowires might be ideal for manufacturing in future computers and consumer electronics because they form the same way every time.

The researchers use an instrument called a transmission electron microscope to watch how nanowires made of silicon "nucleate," or begin to form, before growing into wires, said Eric Stach, an assistant professor of materials engineering at Purdue University.

Scientists at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) have developed a radical new method of focusing a stream of ions into a point as small as one nanometer (one billionth of a meter).* Because of the versatility of their approach—it can be used with a wide range of ions tailored to the task at hand—it is expected to have broad application in nanotechnology both for carving smaller features on semiconductors than now are possible and for nondestructive imaging of nanoscale structures with finer resolution than currently possible with electron microscopes.