Two very short pieces of news last month, which might both turn out insignificant OR in a few decades’ time we might be looking back at April 2022 and saying that this is when it all started! (Where “all” means superior electronics and free energy.)
In superior electronics news: Researchers from the Universities of Buffalo and Nebraska Lincoln have come up with a possible new way to make transistors. Instead of relying on electrons’ flow, like it happens in good old electronics, this one will be based on a change of the electrons’ spin. Specifically, the change of the spin orientation on two layers of chromium oxide and graphene, due to external voltage applied to them. That’s a good point to mention that spin can be thought of as a particle’s rotation, although this is not entirely true.
The big advantage that such electronics would bring is a lot less heat produced, which right now puts limits on how small transistors can get.
In free energy news: The british company First Light demonstrated a new way to make nuclear fusion (fusion, if one day achieved by humans, will provide endless amounts of energy without radioactivity on the side). In fusion, atomic nuclei, well, fuse together. Up until now, reactors try to do that by confining the nuclei with superpowerful magnetic fields and lasers. But the new thing is called “projectile fusion” and shoots small projectiles to a capsule, designed in a way that creates shock waves which compress the nuclei in it.
The company showed that their method works in practice, while of course all this is still very very far away from actual production. But one can dream.
Finally, eye candy: The Hubble Space Telescope celebrated its 32nd birthday in space by giving us a wtf photo of a cosmic neighborhood with five galaxies attracting each other. Enjoy.
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One thought on “The latest in Ph-word: April ’22”
(a late reader)
Do these new transistors have only two states (on/off, 0/1), so they are fully/only binary digital? The description seems to imply it.