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The Technology Thread - Rich's reign of thread title terror must end


loki679
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Cheers :thup:

 

They've developed a new kind of antennae that uses laser light and a highly excited gas which essentially cuts out interference completely.  Pretty awesome stuff and the kicker is it'll be way smaller than anything we have now.  The prototypes they've been working with have a gaseous cell a few millimetres across.

 

An antenna is typically a collection of metal rods that pick up passing radio waves and convert their energy into an electrical current, which is then amplified. One might argue that the good old-fashioned radio antenna has served us well since the dawn of the 20th century, so why do we need anything to replace it?

 

According to David Anderson of Rydberg Technologies, those antennae are wavelength-dependent, so their size depends on whatever wavelength of signal they are trying to measure (they need to be about half the size of whatever wavelength they are designed to receive). That means you need antennae of several different sizes to measure different radio frequencies.

 

Anderson is a co-author of a new paper posted to the arXiv describing a novel alternative to conventional antennae, based on vapor cells filled with a gas of so-called "Rydberg atoms." That just means the atoms are in an especially excited state, well above their ground (lowest-energy) state. This makes them especially sensitive to passing electric fields, like the alternating fields of radio waves. All you need is a means of detecting those interactions to turn them into quantum sensors.

 

The Rydberg Technologies team realized they could zap their vapor cells filled with excited cesium atoms with laser light tuned to just the right critical frequency. This saturates the atoms so they can't absorb any more light, such that a second laser beam can pass right through them, effectively making the gas transparent. The critical frequency at which this transition happens will change in response to a passing radio wave, so the light from that second laser beam will flicker in response. The vapor cell becomes a purely optical radio wave detector, with no need for any wires or circuitry.

 

Plus it's capable of measuring pulsed and modulated RF fields, according to Anderson, which is how information is transferred across the airwaves. They have already tested the concept with AM and FM microwaves to transmit recordings of various team members singing "Mary Had a Little Lamb"—a nod to Thomas Edison, who sang the same song when he invented the phonograph in 1877.

 

The all-optical nature of the vapor cells means that even if they are hit with a massive burst of electromagnetic radiation, like that from a solar flare, they won't be permanently damaged because there is no circuitry to fry. This is a major concern for the electrical grid or certain defense systems and satellites. An atomic antenna would also be less vulnerable to the recent spate of suspected microwave attacks at US embassies in Cuba and China. And the cells are ideal for secure communications. "You can design the receiver to operate at whatever band or whatever frequencies you want and avoid intentional electromagnetic interference much more easily," says Anderson.

 

https://arstechnica.com/science/2018/09/a-new-antenna-using-single-atoms-could-usher-in-the-age-of-atomic-radio/

 

It's an interesting development which could lead to microreceivers which are impervious to EMP or solar effects.  Particularly useful for defense technologies you'd think.

 

 

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  • 4 weeks later...

Well, this is all kinds of awesome

 

In Chengdu, there is reportedly an ambitious plan afoot for replacing the city’s streetlights: boosting the glow of the real moon with that of a more powerful fake one.

 

The south-western Chinese city plans to launch an illumination satellite in 2020. According to an account in the People’s Daily, the artificial moon is “designed to complement the moon at night”, though it would be eight times as bright.

 

The “dusk-like glow” of the satellite would be able to light an area with a diameter of 10-80km, while the precise illumination range could be controlled within tens of metres – enabling it to replace streetlights.

 

https://www.theguardian.com/science/2018/oct/17/chinese-city-plans-to-launch-artificial-moon-to-replace-streetlights

 

Would be kind of weird never having a 'real' night though although I suppose with all the streetlights we kind of have that already.

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This sounds cool, first I've heard of lithium batteries in such popular devices being potentially on the way out.

 

https://www.phonearena.com/news/Samsung-Galaxy-Note-10-graphene-batteries_id110262

 

45% more capacity and 5 times faster charging and that's just the first iteration, sure they'll be able to improve it as the technology matures.  I wonder how scalable it is?  If they can scale it up it'd be brilliant for electric cars.

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As ever with battery technology, they've taken some very loose details and made it sound much more spectacular and closer to realisation than is the truth. The source is literally some wank blog site's Twitter account saying they've been told developing has finished. That could mean they can't even get it to work.

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As ever with battery technology, they've taken some very loose details and made it sound much more spectacular and closer to realisation than is the truth. The source is literally some wank blog site's Twitter account saying they've been told developing has finished. That could mean they can't even get it to work.

 

:thup:

 

They've been promising much better battery technology for years.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Just watched a programme on BBC4 about Materials and they had a piece on glass data storage. It's been in development for around 5 years and obviously fucking Musk has a disk, but it sounds pretty mint. 360tb of storage per one cd sized half a cm thick disk of glass. That will survive indefinitely, pretty much.

 

https://www.southampton.ac.uk/news/2016/02/5d-data-storage-update.page

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Just watched a programme on BBC4 about Materials and they had a piece on glass data storage. It's been in development for around 5 years and obviously fucking Musk has a disk, but it sounds pretty mint. 360tb of storage per one cd sized half a cm thick disk of glass. That will survive indefinitely, pretty much.

 

https://www.southampton.ac.uk/news/2016/02/5d-data-storage-update.page

 

That is ace. I still don't fully understand what 5D actually is though :D

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Is it read only (only write once)?  Obviously a fantastic way to archive our knowledge but i'd love it paired up with the new super-fast non volatile RAM for a blazing system with gobs of storage.

 

Kind of reminds me of Stargate and the Go'auld systems.

 

edit:  Wow, five or six of these would hold all of the porn on the whole internet.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Samsung have a new folding phone coming out.  The outside is a standard phone, you can unfold it for a seamless tablet size display in the middle.

 

15.jpg

 

17.jpg

 

These flexible OLED screens are looking pretty cool.  I've got a feeling AR is gonna be the next big thing and an easily curvable or malleable screen material could do wonders there.

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Samsung have a new folding phone coming out.  The outside is a standard phone, you can unfold it for a seamless tablet size display in the middle.

 

15.jpg

 

17.jpg

 

These flexible OLED screens are looking pretty cool.  I've got a feeling AR is gonna be the next big thing and an easily curvable or malleable screen material could do wonders there.

 

After the debate involving Microsoft stealing the look of their original OS, Apple must be livid that every single phone manufacturer is copying them again.

Think for yourselves! You're supposed to be 'tech' companies.

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I think it looks pretty cool.  Alright, the first iteration of a new tech is never going to be the most elegant version but it saves hauling around a tablet as well as a phone when you're travelling and stuff and should be much more convenient for work / email than a regular phone.

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Some interesting work on memristors.  Still too expensive but this new method seems a bit more practical and we could eventually see the end of the RAM / HD pairing instead just using one unified storage system.  As fast as RAM, more capacity than standard HDs and non-volatile.  Yes please.

 

The sheets they're working with are 11 atoms thick which is pretty amazing in itself.

 

Phase-change memory seems to offer the best of both worlds: the speed of current RAM with the permanence of a hard disk. While current implementations are too expensive for widespread use, researchers have been doing interesting things with test hardware. Its distinct properties have allowed people to perform calculations and train neural networks, all in memory. So finding out how to make phase-change memory more efficient could open some new approaches to computing.

 

This week, a collaboration between scientists at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst and Brookhaven National Lab is publishing a paper describing how it made a tiny set of memristors that acts similar to phase-change memory. The features of the memory are only two nanometers across, and they can be separated by as little as 12nm—below the cutting edge of processor manufacturing. The down sides? So far, the team has only made nine bits at a time, and they're made using platinum.

 

https://arstechnica.com/science/2018/11/memristors-built-with-2-nanometer-thick-parts/

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