Top 10 Science and Technology Inventions for the Week of April 3, 2020

01. Physicist from Hannover develops new photon source for tap-proof communication 02. Extreme high-frequency signals enable terabits-per-second data links 03. Quantum copycat: Researchers find a new way in which bosons behave like fermions 04. Quantum-entangled light from a vibrating membrane 05. Researchers catch light in a funnel 06. Smaller scale solutions needed for rapid progress towards emissions targets 07. World record transmission of 172 Tb/s over 2040km distance coupled-3-core multi-core fiber 08. An all-organic proton battery energized for sustainable energy storage 09. Scientists electrify aluminum to speed up important process 10. Graphene-based actuator swarm enables programmable deformation And others… Does […]

An all-organic proton battery energized for sustainable energy storage

EurekAlert  April 2, 2020 Researchers in Sweden have developed a battery using quinones, which occurs in photosynthesis, as the active material. It has the ability to absorb or emit hydrogen ions during charging and discharging. An acidic aqueous solution was used as an electrolyte. They demonstrated the battery can be easily charged using a solar cell without the help of advanced electronics and it is unaffected by ambient temperature. The battery retains properties such as capacity down to as low as -24°C… read more. TECHNICAL ARTICLE

Does relativity lie at the source of quantum exoticism?  April 2, 2020 In quantum mechanics inherent randomness happens without any cause. Randomness that appears in non-relativistic quantum theory tacitly respects relativity, for example, it makes instantaneous signaling impossible. An international team of researchers (Poland, Singapore, UK) argues that this is because the special theory of relativity can itself account for such a random behavior. They show that the full mathematical structure of the Lorentz transformation, the one which includes the superluminal part, implies the emergence of non-deterministic dynamics, together with complex probability amplitudes and multiple trajectories. This indicates that the connections between the two seemingly different theories are […]

Energy-harvesting design aims to turn Wi-Fi signals into usable power  March 30,2020 Existing rectifiers are mostly based on semiconductor diodes, with limited applicability to small-voltage or high-frequency inputs. Researchers at MIT present an alternative approach to current rectification that uses the intrinsic electronic properties of quantum crystals without using semiconductor junctions. They identified a previously unknown mechanism for rectification from skew scattering due to the inherent chirality of itinerant electrons in time-reversal invariant but inversion-breaking materials. Their calculations reveal large, tunable rectification effects in graphene multilayers and transition metal dichalcogenides. Their work demonstrates the possibility of realizing high-frequency rectifiers by rational material design and quantum wave function engineering…read more. […]

Extreme high-frequency signals enable terabits-per-second data links  March 31, 2020 A team of researchers in the US (Brown University, industry) tested sending extremely high-frequency 200 GHz signals through a device with two wires running parallel inside a sheath with a large diameter that facilitates increased mixing of the waveguide modes. These mixtures enable the transmission of parallel noninterfering data channels. They demonstrated that the waveguide could support a data rate of 10 terabits per second. Their work demonstrates the feasibility of this approach to high-rate data transmission…read more.

Graphene-based actuator swarm enables programmable deformation

Nanowerk  April 1, 2020 Graphene-based actuators featuring fast and reversible deformation under various external stimuli are promising for soft robotics. However, these bimorph actuators are incapable of complex and programmable 3D deformation, which limits their practical application. Researchers in China fabricated a moisture-responsive graphene actuator swarm that has programmable shape-changing capability by programming the SU-8 patterns underneath with specific geometries and orientations on a continuous graphene oxide film, forming a swarm of bimorph actuators. They achieved predictable and complex deformations including bending, twisting, coiling, asymmetric bending, 3D folding and the combination of them due to the collective coupling and coordination […]

How to Design a Perpetual Energy Machine

Quanta Magazine  April 1, 2020 It is a tradition among puzzle columnists to pay homage to April Fools’ Day by testing the credulity of their readers with outrageous propositions. The late (and great) Martin Gardner, who authored the famous monthly column Mathematical Games in Scientific American for a quarter century, once used an April column to describe a thought experiment that purported to falsify the special theory of relativity. It was a version of the bar and ring paradox. Special relativity is still hale and hearty, but the thought experiment seems convincing at first glance. In the spirit of this […]

“Living drug factories” might treat diabetes and other diseases

MIT News  March 30, 2020 To have a living drug factory that you can implant cells in patients, which could secrete drugs as-needed a team of researchers in the US (MIT, Boston Children’s Hospital, Joslin Diabetes Center, UMass Worcester) devised a way to protect the transplanted cells from the immune system by housing them inside a device built out of a silicon-based elastomer (polydimethylsiloxane) and a special porous membrane. The device contains a porous membrane that allows the transplanted cells to obtain nutrients and oxygen from the bloodstream but the pores are small enough so that immune cells such as […]

Novel graphene-based filters to make gas purification more effective

Nanowerk  March 27, 2020 Precise molecular sieving is potentially possible using graphene oxide‐based membranes, if the porosity can be matched with the kinetic diameters of the gas molecules, which is possible via the tuning of graphene oxide interlayer spacing to take advantage of gas species interactions with graphene oxide channels. An international team of researchers (Australia, South Korea) have shown highly effective separation of gases from their mixtures by using uniquely tailored porosity in mildly reduced graphene oxide (rGO) based membranes. The study will lead to new avenues for the applications of graphene for efficiently separating CO2 from N2 and […]

Physicist from Hannover develops new photon source for tap-proof communication

EurekAlert  March 27, 2020 Sources of entangled photons have been realized mainly in the near-infrared 700- to 1550-nm spectral window. Using custom-designed lithium niobate crystals for spontaneous parametric down-conversion and tailored superconducting nanowire single-photon detectors an international team of researchers (UK, Japan, Germany) has demonstrated two-photon interference and polarization-entangled photon pairs at 2090 nm. These results open the 2- to 2.5-μm mid-infrared window for the development of optical quantum technologies such as quantum key distribution in next-generation mid-infrared fiber communication systems and future Earth-to-satellite communications much more secure in the future….read more. Open Access TECHNICAL ARTICLE