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Tech-news archive: March-April 2008

Nano switch hints at future chips
(Apr 18, 2008)

Researchers have built the world's smallest transistor – one atom thick and 10 atoms wide – out of a material that could one day replace silicon. The transistor, essentially an on/off switch, has been made using graphene [see image], a two-dimensional material first discovered only four years ago. Graphene is a single layer of graphite, which is found in the humble pencil.

Read more. Source: BBC

Texas Petawatt Laser
Powerful laser is 'brightest light in the universe'
(Apr 10, 2008)

Physicists have turned on the world's most powerful laser, whose pulses are more intense than any known light source in the universe. The incredible temperatures and pressures it generates when it hits a target will let scientists explore conditions found in exploding stars and the cores of giant planets.

Read more. Source: New Scientist

The Matrix
Matrix-style virtual worlds 'a few years away'
(Apr 3, 2008)

Are supercomputers on the verge of creating Matrix-style simulated realities? Michael McGuigan at Brookhaven National Laboratory in Upton, New York, thinks so. He says that virtual worlds realistic enough to be mistaken for the real thing are just a few years away.

Read more. Source: New Scientist

flexible silicon chip
Silicon chips stretch into shape
(Mar 27, 2008)

Normally fragile and brittle silicon chips have been made to bend and fold, paving the way for a new generation of flexible electronic devices. The stretchy circuits could be used to build advanced brain implants, health monitors or smart clothing. The complex devices consist of concertina-like folds of ultra-thin silicon bonded to sheets of rubber.

Read more. Source: BBC

artifical brain
Chemical brain controls nanobots
(Mar 13, 2008)

A tiny chemical "brain" which could one day act as a remote control for swarms of nano-machines has been invented. The molecular device – just two billionths of a metre across – was able to control eight of the microscopic machines simultaneously in a test. Writing in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, scientists say it could also be used to boost the processing power of future computers.

Read more. Source: BBC


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