Top 10 Science and Technology Inventions for the Week of July 19, 2019

01. Physicists find first possible 3-D quantum spin liquid 02. Light may increase magnetic memory speeds 1000 times, decrease electricity consumption 03. Coupled exploration of light and matter 04. Researchers build transistor-like gate for quantum information processing — with qudits 05. Tiny vibration-powered robots are the size of the world’s smallest ant 06. Ultra-soft, liquid magnetic droplets could vault technology forward 07. Electrical engineers develop ‘beyond 5G’ wireless transceiver 08. Stripping down bacterial armor: A new way to fight anthrax 09. Artificial intelligence (AI) designs metamaterials used in the invisibility cloak 10. 1 in 5 Cities Is About to Have […]

1 in 5 Cities Is About to Have a Climate Unknown to Any Place on Earth

Science Alert  July 11, 2019 Researchers in Switzerland analyzed city pairs for 520 major cities of the world and tested if their climate in 2050. They found that even under an optimistic climate scenario 77% of future cities are very likely to experience a climate that is closer to that of another existing city than to its own current climate. As a general trend, they found that all the cities tend to shift towards the sub-tropics, with cities from the Northern hemisphere shifting to warmer conditions, on average ~1000 km south and cities from the tropics shifting to drier conditions…read […]

Ammonia from agriculture influences cloud formation over Asia

Science Daily  July 11, 2019 An international team of researchers (Germany, France, Italy) has shown that the presence of ammonium nitrate particles in the upper troposphere from the Eastern Mediterranean to the Western Pacific is fed by convection that transports large amounts of ammonia from surface sources into the upper troposphere. Solid ammonium nitrate particles in the upper troposphere play a hitherto neglected role in ice cloud formation and aerosol indirect radiative forcing…read more. Open Access TECHNICAL ARTICLE 

Artificial intelligence (AI) designs metamaterials used in the invisibility cloak

EurelAlert  July 14, 2019 Researchers in South Korea developed an AI system and taught it to design arbitrary photonic structures and gave additional level of freedom of the design by categorizing types of materials and adding them as a design factor, which made it possible to design appropriate materials for relevant optical properties. Previous studies required inputs of materials and structural parameters beforehand and adjusting photonic structures afterwards. The current process significantly reduced the time needed to design photonic structures…read more. Open Access TECHNICAL ARTICLE

Chaos theory produces map for predicting paths of particles emitted into the atmosphere

Eurekalert  July 16, 2019 Floating air particles following disasters and other largescale geological events can have a lasting impact on life on Earth. Using available wind data, researchers in Hungary have developed a model for following air particles as they travel around the globe. They found that lifetimes of particles ranged from about two to 150 days for typical volcanic ash particles, more than 10% of smaller particles survive in the atmosphere as much as one year, and more than 1% survive two years, particles coming from the area around the equator remain in the atmosphere for the longest time, […]

Coupled exploration of light and matter

Science Daily  July 15, 2019 Polaritonics is based on the strong coupling of photons to atomic or electronic excitations in an optical resonator. An international team of researchers (Switzerland, France) describes experiments which indicate that, in addition to strong correlations in the electronic ground state, exciton–electron interactions leading to the formation of polaron-polaritons have a key role in enhancing the nonlinear optical response of the system. The research opened fresh perspectives for exploring both ingredients of the polariton, novel functionalities for photonic devices and fundamental insight into exotic states of matter…read more. TECHNICAL ARTICLE

Electrical engineers develop ‘beyond 5G’ wireless transceiver

Science Daily  July 12, 2019 An international team of researchers (USA – UC Irvine, France) fabricated a single-channel 115-135-GHz receiver prototype in a 55-nm SiGe BiCMOS which has max conversion gain of 32 dB and a min noise figure of 10.3 dB. They measured a data rate of 36 Gb/s at 30-cm distance with the received 8PSK signal being directly demodulated on-chip at a bit-error rate of 1e-6. The prototype occupies 2.5 x 3.5 mm² of die area, including PADs and test circuit and consumes a total dc power of 200.25 mW…read more. TECHNICAL ARTICLE

Intel’s new AI chips can crunch data 1,000 times faster than normal ones

MIT Technology Review  July 16, 2019 Intel has just unveiled Pohoiki Beach, a system that contains 64 of its Loihi AI processors with neuromorphic chips. They can perform certain data-crunching tasks up to 1,000 times faster than more general-purpose processors such as CPUs and GPUs, while using much less power. The company will produce a system capable of simulating 100 million neurons by the end of 2019. Researchers will then be able to apply it to a whole new set of applications…read more.

Light may increase magnetic memory speeds 1000 times, decrease electricity consumption

Phys.org  July 11, 2019 To reduce energy consumption in magnetic memory devices and improve their speeds, a team of researchers in the US (NIST, University of Colorado, University of Oregon) has developed a method that uses optics through localized surface plasmon resonances to couple light to nanomagnets and produce faster spintronic devices switching speeds and potential lower energy consumption. The method could ultimately lead to memory writing speeds that are 1,000 times faster than current ones…read more. TECHNICAL ARTICLE 

Physicists find first possible 3-D quantum spin liquid

Phys.org  July 15, 2019 A quantum spin liquid is a state of matter where unpaired electrons’ spins, although entangled, do not show magnetic order even at the zero temperature. An international team of researchers (USA – Rice University, UC San Diego, Oak Ridge National Laboratory, Rutgers University, industry, UK, Switzerland, South Korea, University of Hong Kong) used thermodynamic, muon spin relaxation and neutron scattering experiments on single crystals of Ce2Zr2O7 to demonstrate the absence of magnetic ordering and the presence of a spin excitation continuum at 35 mK. With no evidence of oxygen deficiency and magnetic/non-magnetic ion disorder seen by neutron […]