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Accelerator on a chip: Technology could spawn new generations of smaller, less expensive devices for science, medicine

Accelerator on a chip: Technology could spawn new generations of smaller, less expensive devices for science, medicine
In an advance that could dramatically shrink particle accelerators for science and medicine, researchers used a laser to accelerate electrons at a rate 10 times higher than conventional technology in a nanostructured glass chip smaller than a grain of rice. The achievement was reported today in Nature by a team including scientists from the U.S. Department of Energy's (DOE) SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory and Stanford University. "We still have a number of challenges before this technology becomes practical for real-world use, but eventually it would substantially reduce the size and cost of future high-energy particle colliders for exploring the world of fundamental particles and forces," said Joel England, the SLAC physicist who led the experiments. "It could also help enable compact accelerators and X-ray devices for security scanning, medical therapy and imaging, and research in biology and materials science." Today's accelerators use microwaves to boost the energy of electrons. Related:  physicsComputer Hardware

The Feynman Lectures on Physics Breakthrough: The World’s First Carbon Nanotube Computer "'m just wondering that, with less and less electricity required to make these "switches" in a carbon-nanotube processor work, how vulnerable does it make them to being accidentally switched by the ambient, static electricity already in the atmosphere, like from thunderstorms or generated by household appliances, etc." That is one of the reasons why you when you open your computer, you ground yourself first before touching circuit boards. I assume these new circuits would be protected and shielded in the same manner as circuits made of silicon are now. The same goes for EMPs. Eight Toxic Foods: A Little Chemical Education Update: You'll notice in this post that I refer to some sites that the original BuzzFeed article I'm complaining out sends people to, often pointing out that these didn't actually support the wilder claims it's making. Well, the folks at BuzzFeed have dealt with this by taking down the links (!) The article now says: "Some studies linked in the original version of this article were concerning unrelated issues. They have been replaced with information directly from the book Rich Food, Poor Food". Many people who read this blog are chemists. But that's what we have the internet for. That doesn't mean that we just have to sit back and let it wash over us, though. This piece really is an education. Number One: Artificial Dyes. Artificial dyes are made from chemicals derived from PETROLEUM, which is also used to make gasoline, diesel fuel, asphalt, and TAR! Emphasis is in the original, of course. It is true, in fact, that many artificial dyes are made from chemicals derived from petroleum.

If Time Were 2D… - From Quarks to Quasars Question: There are lots of articles written about trying to imagine a 4th dimension of space, but what would it be like to live in a universe with a 2nd dimension of time? The short answer: We simply don’t know. This question is a bit more complicated than talking about different spacial dimensions because we experience 3 dimensions of space, and so we can use what we know about life in one dimension (and how it changes when you have two dimensions) to make inferences about what 4 or more dimensions would be like. But it would be extremely difficult to imagine how things behave in 2 or 3 dimensions if we lived in a one dimensional universe (we would have nothing upon which to base our inferences). And now for the long answer: A universe with two dimensions of time would be super confusing and probably a little bit lonely. To illustrate this point, let’s talk about meeting a significant other (who we’ll call Bob). Time is almost certainly more like this. Jolene Creighton

HP Memristors Will Reinvent Computer Memory 'by 2014' | Wired Enterprise By the end of 2012, HP may introduce a new breed of electrical building-block: the memristor. Image: Luke Kilpatrick/Flickr HP is two and half years away from offering hardware that stores data with memristors, a new breed of electrical building-block that could lead to servers and other devices that are far more efficient than today’s machines, according to report citing one of the technology’s inventors. As reported by The Register, at a recent conference in Oxnard, California, HP’s Stan Williams said that commercial memristor hardware will be available by the end of 2014 at the earliest. A company spokesman tells us that the company has not officially announced its plan for memristors. But Williams’ remarks indicate that the introduction of the technology has been pushed back. “It’s sad to say, but the science and technology are the easy part,” Williams said at the recent conference. Memristor via electron microscope. “[The memristor] holds its memory longer,” Williams said.

Interactive: Snake Oil Supplements? The scientific evidence for health supplements See the data: bit.ly/snakeoilsupps. See the static versionSee the old flash version Check the evidence for so-called Superfoods visualized. Note: You might see multiple bubbles for certain supplements. This visualisation generates itself from this Google Doc. As ever, we welcome your thoughts, crits, comments, corrections, compliments, tweaks, new evidence, missing supps, and general feedback. » Purchase: Amazon US or Barnes & Noble | UK or Waterstones » Download: Apple iBook | Kindle (UK & US) » See inside For more graphics, visualisations and data-journalism:

Light completely stopped for a record-breaking minute - physics-math - 25 July 2013 The fastest thing in the universe has come to a complete stop for a record-breaking minute. At full pelt, light would travel about 18 million kilometres in that time – that's more than 20 round trips to the moon. "One minute is extremely, extremely long," says Thomas Krauss at the University of St Andrews, UK. "This is indeed a major milestone." The feat could allow secure quantum communications to work over long distances. While light normally travels at just under 300 million metres per second in a vacuum, physicists managed to slow it down to just 17 metres per second in 1999 and then halt it completely two years later, though only for a fraction of a second. Stripy light To break the minute barrier, George Heinze and colleagues at the University of Darmstadt, Germany, fired a control laser at an opaque crystal, sending its atoms into a quantum superposition of two states. The storage time depends on the crystal's superposition. Journal reference: Physical Review Letters, doi.org/m86

HP pulls memory Missing Link from bottle of beer More than 35 years ago, when the world assumed that circuits were crafted from three basic building blocks, a man named Leon Chua predicted the existence of a fourth. The capacitor, the resistor, and the inductor, he said, would be joined by something called the memristor. Today, scientists at HP Labs announced that this prediction was right on the money. After a good five years of work, HP Labs Fellow R. Naturally, HP is trumpeting this as a cure-all for all those data centers up in the cloud. Leon Chua's memristor wasn't much more than a math project. "He saw that there were patterns in those circuit equations, and in looking at those patterns, he noticed a hole," Williams tells us. Chua could predict the behavior of this fourth building block - he knew it could remember charges without power - but he couldn't actually build one. HP's nano-scale memristor is fashioned from two layers of the semiconductor titanium dioxide - one that includes tiny "oxygen vacancies" and one that doesn't.

Human Experimentation: The Good, The Bad, & The Ugly. Timeline Photos Ring Could Log Users In to Houses, Phones and Website as Soon as Next Month The need for more passwords that our feeble human brains struggle to remember can make it feel like we work for the machines instead of the other way around. Wearable, and even embeddable, login storage has emerged has a possible solution. After Google researchers floated the idea of a USB stick or a ring that would generate login keys, it appeared the Web giant would lead the way. But a UK project recently closed a $380,000 Kickstarter campaign, promising delivery of 61,000 password-bearing rings in September. The company, NFC Ring, makes a simple silver ring with two near-field communication transmitters inside it, storing access information that can potentially be used to unlock phones, cars or houses or even to log in to websites. One transmitter faces out and stores information that the user may want to share, such as his or her contact information. Users won’t have to charge or update the rings because the transmitters are passive. Images courtesy NFC Ring

Is Your Illness Viral or Bacterial? A New Rapid Blood Test Can Tell A blood test developed by researchers at Duke University can predict with tremendous accuracy whether someone with, say, pneumonia has a viral or bacterial infection, even if it's a previously unknown strain. The test, described today in the journal Science Translational Medicine, could someday help stop the unnecessary prescribing of antibiotics to patients who have viral infections. Although the study's authors say the timing of their report is coincidental, on Monday the director of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) told reporters that something must be done to curtail the inappropriate use of antibiotics. “The timing of the CDC report regarding the overuse of antibiotics and our results is really amazing,” said Dr. The CDC director announced that 23,000 Americans per year die of antibiotic-resistant bacterial infections. How the Test Works The Duke test can recognize a specific genetic fingerprint that the body expresses when it's sick. Dr. Learn More

Model describes universe with no big bang, no beginning, and no end (PhysOrg.com) -- By suggesting that mass, time, and length can be converted into one another as the universe evolves, Wun-Yi Shu has proposed a new class of cosmological models that may fit observations of the universe better than the current big bang model. What this means specifically is that the new models might explain the increasing acceleration of the universe without relying on a cosmological constant such as dark energy, as well as solve or eliminate other cosmological dilemmas such as the flatness problem and the horizon problem. Shu, an associate professor at National Tsing Hua University in Taiwan, explains in a study posted at arXiv.org that the new models emerge from a new perspective of some of the most basic entities: time, space, mass, and length. “We view the speed of light as simply a conversion factor between time and space in spacetime,” Shu writes. As Shu writes in his paper, the newly proposed models have four distinguishing features:

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