I guess we can all be current benders now!
The weirdest ice.
Scientists devise the most promising carbon nanotube transistors yet.
Computer chips today have billions of tiny transistors just a few nanometers wide (a hair is 100nm thick), all crammed up in a small surface. This huge density allows multiple complex operations to run billions of times per second. This has been going on since the ’60s when Gordan Moore first predicted that the number of transistors on a given silicon chip would roughly double every two years. So far, so good – Moore is still right! But for how long? There’s only so much you can scale down a computer chip. At some point, once you cross a certain threshold, you pass from the macroworld into the spooky domain of quantum physics. Past this point, quantum fluctuations might render the chips useless. Moore might still be right, though. Or he could be wrong, but in a way that profits society: computer chips could increase in computer power at a far grater pace than Moore initially predicted (if you still keep Moore’s law but replace transistors with the equivalent computing power). This doesn’t sound so crazy when you factor in quantum computers or, more practical, a 3D computer architecture demonstrated by a team at Stanford University which crams both CPU and memory into the same chip. This vastly reduces the “commuting time” electrons typically have to go through while traveling through conventional circuits and makes them more efficient. Such a 3D design could make a chip 1,000 faster than what we typically see today, according to the researchers.
Moore’s law says that the number of transistors in an integrated circuit doubles every two years, hence doubling also the computing power. Since it was first predicted in 1965, this trend has hold true allowing computers to evolve at an exponential rate. To support the law, scientists tweak one or all of these three main manufacturing parameters: chip size, speed
In the Middle Ages, Blacksmiths were highly regarded, and this was one of the most active industries. Nowadays, with modern technology, blacksmiths are all but extinct; yet some of them are still forging, working on spectacular blades. Here is such an example: Damascus steel was a type of steel used in Middle Eastern swordmaking. These swords are characterized by distinctive
You might have thought black is too solemn or boring, but you may just change your mind. Through careful material science manipulation, involving thousands of tightly packed carbon nanotubes, British company Surrey NanoSystems made a super black coating that absorbs almost 99.96% of visual light – a world record. Practically only a tiny fraction of the visual spectrum is reflected, so the
Reliable, well supplied and with years and years of manufacturing experience behind it, copper is the most widespread material used for delivering electrical charge. Some applications warrant more efficient materials, though, and researchers at Rice recently showed that carbon nanotubes spun into fiber can carry four times as much electrical charge than copper cables of the same mass. Of course,
Carbon nanotubes and graphene have been hailed time and again as the wonder materials that will change the face of technology in the future. Before silicon can be dethroned from its reigning position, however, a lot of manufacturing issues need to be addressed. A new technique developed by researchers at University of Illinois provides a simple and straight-forward way of
In an inspiring breakthrough, Stanford researchers have created the first ever working computer made entirely out of carbon nanotubes. The technology is still very infant, as the computer operates on just one bit of information, and can only count to 32. Theoretically, however, it can be scaled up to perform billions of operations given enough memory. With more refining, computers such
A group of researchers at MIT have devised a new method for infiltrating cells with large molecules such as nanoparticles or proteins that is a lot more non-intrusive and doesn’t damage the cell. Imaging target cells or growing more stable stem cells might thus be possible with this method. Every cell has a membrane, which is put to great use
Scientists at University of Texas Dallas have made artificial muscles capable of supporting 100,000 times their own weight and generate 85 times more mechanical power than natural muscle of the same size. Applications for this kind of technology are quite numerous, ranging from extremely strong and intelligent textiles to high-temperature applications since the fabric has a negative thermal expansion coefficient.
Scientists at Stanford University have successfully devised the world’s first solar cell made entirely out of carbon. This alternative to typical silicon solar panels is not only a lot cheaper to produce, but also a lot less simpler to use. Such carbon cells can be coated on any surface and turn it into a solar panel, be it windows, roof
Researchers at MIT have developed a novel technique of creating cheap and reliable sensors for toxic gases by simply etching carbon nanotubes with a mechanical pen on a special paper, fitted with electrodes. The method allows for easy to make, cheap and reliable sensors that detect noxious gases in the environment, without the hassle that usually follows carbon nanotube manufacturing.
While on the macro-scale conventional scales make us of gravity to measure mass, on the microscale there are a myriad of factors that interfere with measurements. Scientists at Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona have successfully created a scale made out of a single carbon nanotube which can accurately measure the smallest unit of mass, a yoctogram (one septillionth of a gram – 10-24 grams)
A team of researchers comprised of scientists at the NanoScience Center of the University of Jyväskylä, Finland, and at Harvard University, US, have shown through computer simulations a novel technique for generation nanomaterials. The whole process revolves around the extremely simple idea of twisting narrow graphene nanoribbons until they become rolled up into carbon nanotubes, which are 20 times stronger
This is the kind of engineering feat that sounds so preposterous, so crazy, so … foolish, that it might actually work. A Japanese construction company plans to build an elevator that can lift tourists in space, up to a quarter the distance between Earth and the moon. While entrepreneurs like Richard Branson or Paul Allen are busy planning exclusive private
Butterflies are one of the most enchanting beings in the animal kingdom, a symbol of grace and beauty encountered in every art form. From a crawling larva to a majestic winged creature, it’s difficult not to take notice of the similarities between the butterfly’s metamorphosis process and the ups and downs life serves before one may truly find himself. Before
Recently, a team of scientists has created a new metallic material which they claim to be the lightest in all the world, not even coming close to styrofoam or aerogels, and even making carbon nanotubes seem heavy. This lightest material has an estimated density of just of 0.9 milligrams per cubic centimeter (mg/cc), compared with carbon nanotubes, which come at
In the new mobile information age where smartphones have become an ever common part of our lives, there seems to be a dominant trend which tends to incorporate interactive touch screen capabilities to more and more consumer electronics. It’s pretty clear that our electronics are getting smarter day by day – I, for one, am still waiting for the next