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How to count atoms

August 13, 2003

NIST researchers are developing a diode-laser based interferometer device that can resolve distances smaller than the radius of an atom and that could serve as a reliable method for writing 10-nanometer-sized features on silicon.

They are packaging the new technology into a scanning tunneling microscope (STM) system designed to write patterns with dimensions determined by counting the atoms that make up the patterns’ structural features. Ultimately aiming for an… read more

IBM Takes Search to New Heights

August 13, 2003

IBM is using a combination of artificial intelligence techniques to create “Google on steroids.”

Return of the green Luddites

August 12, 2003

Environmental activists want governments to enforce the “precautionary principle,” which states that when there is any risk of a major disaster, scientific progress must halt….

“The folks at Greenpeace must have been watching too many ‘Matrix” and ‘Terminator’ movies, because their report spends a few dozen pages worrying about the threat of ‘predatory machines’ and a ‘robot take-over.’”

The New Diamond Age

August 12, 2003

Diamond microchips could handle higher temperatures than today’s microprocessors, allowing them to run at speeds that would liquefy ordinary silicon.

“If Moore’s law is going to be maintained, processors are going to get hotter and hotter,” says Bernhardt Wuensch, an MIT professor of materials science. “Eventually, silicon is just going to turn into a puddle. Diamond is the solution to that problem.”

Two startups are developing multicarat, gem-quality… read more

Casimir force measured precisely

August 12, 2003

The latest in a series of experiments has yielded precise measurement of the Casimir force, which could make nanoscale machines behave erratically.

The Casimir force has to do with the minute pressure that real and virtual photons of light exert when they bump against an object. To manipulate light beams at the nanoscale will likely require tiny mirrors that can pivot to reflect photons down different channels.

Knowledge… read more

Neural-Network Technology Moves into the Mainstream

August 12, 2003

Real-time data mining, powered by neural-network technology, has begun to remake the way large corporations manage customer accounts for fraud detection and customer-behavior prediction, using relational databases and Predictive Model Markup Language.

Visionaries Outline Space Exploration Advances at Telluride TechFest

August 12, 2003

New technological advances will bring about great change in both robotic and human exploration throughout the 21st century, according to visionary thinkers and futurists in science, technology, and the arts gathered at the annual Telluride Tech Festival.

Star supply dwindling

August 12, 2003

Star formation is now 30 times slower than it was 6 billion years ago, a University of Edinburgh team has found. More stars are fizzling out than are being born.

3-D Printing’s Great Leap Forward

August 12, 2003

Rapid prototyping machines (3-D printers) — which carve a model of an object out of metal, paper, plastic or starch – can now build moving parts, not just block models. University of California at Berkeley researchers are developing “flextronic” devices — or flexible mechatronics — a small model with flexible joints and electronic parts built in.

In 10 years, you might be able to fax a toy car to… read more

Fastest network simulations

August 11, 2003

Researchers at the Georgia Institute of Technology have created the fastest detailed computer simulations of computer networks ever constructed, simulating networks containing more than 5 million network elements and more than one million web browsers in near real time.

This work will lead to improved speed, reliability and security of future networks such as the Internet, according to Professor Richard Fujimoto, lead principal investigator of the DARPA-funded project.… read more

‘Spintronics’ could enable a new generation of electronic devices

August 11, 2003

Theoretical physicists at Stanford and the University of Tokyo says they have discovered the equivalent of a new “Ohm’s Law” for spintronics.

”Unlike the Ohm’s Law for electronics, the new ‘Ohm’s Law’ that we’ve discovered says that the spin of the electron can be transported without any loss of energy, or dissipation,” says Shoucheng Zhang, a physics professor at Stanford. “Furthermore, this effect occurs at room temperature in materials… read more

Quantum logic gate lights up

August 11, 2003

University of Michigan physicists have taken another important step towards making a quantum computer. They have created a logic gate using two electron-hole pairs, also known as “excitons,” in a quantum dot.

More than six degrees separate us

August 8, 2003

An e-mail experiment has confirmed the famous “six degrees of separation” of human social networks, but revealed that individuals don’t necessarily benefit from their connectedness.

Witchcraft: Sinatra lives

August 8, 2003

In October, Radio City Music Hall in New York will feature a lifelike virtual performance by Frank Sinatra.

Video images of the singer will be projected onto three-dimensional screens as his recorded voice plays over the sound system. The producers will use rotoscoping to black out background imagery and project Sinatra across a series of moveable 3-D panels.

Musical roots may lie in human voice

August 7, 2003

Key universal features in world music may have their roots in the ever-present sound of the human voice during the course of evolution, suggests a new study.

The analysis of thousands of recorded speech samples found peaks in acoustic energy that precisely mirror the distances between important notes in the twelve-tone scale, the system that forms the foundation of almost all music.

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