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Carbon Magnets At Room Temperature

chrisd posted more than 13 years ago | from the spin-me-right-round-baby dept.

Science 213

Bolie writes: "Trying to make high temperature super conductors yielded an unexpected result. The pure carbon bucky ball material was put under pressure to make sheets. That worked. Picture microscopic bubble pack. But the result was a sheet that was magnetic at room temperature. It has not escaped the attention of the discoverer, Tatiana Makarova, that this might be useful for a non-metallic computer memory. The material is also lighter than metals, flexible and transparent. Lasers anyone?"

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Yay Buckyball Experiments (5, Interesting)

House of Usher (447177) | more than 13 years ago | (#2445653)

First off, I find it hilarious what we physicists end up naming different molecules and ensemble configurations.

Once again it goes to show that even though we're trying to do the right thing in the lab, sometimes bad things happen, but typically we're able to come out with something in the experiment that is actually worthwhile. Crazy how that works eh?

Nonetheless, there is some pretty cool research at the University of Virginia in bucky ball related research. If anyone is interested, check out http://www.phys.virginia.edu

Re:Yay Buckyball Experiments (2, Interesting)

Rademir (168324) | more than 13 years ago | (#2445728)

These molecules were named right (fullerenes) doubly: first for their resemblance to Bucky's famous dome structures, and second for their persistent versatility -- who expected non-metallic magnetism? or superconductivity?

FAQ [netaxs.com] Buckminster Fuller Institute [bfi.org]

Long live Bucky's spirit!

Re:Yay Buckyball Experiments (1)

Bobo the Space Chimp (304349) | more than 13 years ago | (#2446259)

> Tatiana Makarova, working at Umeå University in
> Sweden, discovered the material while
> experimenting with buckyballs, football-shaped

That is, of course, European Football, aka Soccer. Soccer-ball shaped.

Re:Yay Buckyball Experiments (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 13 years ago | (#2446008)

Just goes to show how fantastically little we know and understand about our universe.

I pity those who make science their religion...

Second Frost Pist (-1, Offtopic)

premier (184225) | more than 13 years ago | (#2445656)

Also, first interracial sex post.

Oh the humanity!

Why the exotic ideas? (3, Troll)

evilviper (135110) | more than 13 years ago | (#2445659)

Why is any new discovery automatically thrown into the PC composnents arena, even when there is no actual connection?

It's a magnet, think SUPER-MOTOR.

Re:Why the exotic ideas? (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 13 years ago | (#2445678)

Why is any new discovery automatically thrown into the PC composnents arena, even when there is no actual connection?

Because his is Slashdot. There's no one here except computer geeks. If you only have a hammer, everything looks like a nail.

Re:Why the exotic ideas? (1)

R.Caley (126968) | more than 13 years ago | (#2445834)

There's no one here except computer geeks. If you only have a hammer, everything looks like a nail.

More tpo the point, if you have a big, hot noisy hammer which eats electricity as if it's going out of style and takes up most of your desk, everything looks like a way to make a smaller, cheaper, cooler, quieter hammer.

Re:Why the exotic ideas? (1)

cyclist1200 (513080) | more than 13 years ago | (#2446062)

Or might it be because that's the freakin' point of the freakin' article (which is actually entitled "Non-metallic magnet could be dream computer memory")?

Re:Why the exotic ideas? (2, Insightful)

megaduck (250895) | more than 13 years ago | (#2445845)

We see the world through the filter of our own experience. When something like this is posted on Slashdot, where a lot of people eat/sleep/breathe computers, the first idea is naturally going to be, "How can this make my computer better?".

By your super-motor idea, I imagine that you deal with motors quite a bit (perhaps as an engineer?). It's just a matter of perspective.

Re:Why the exotic ideas? (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 13 years ago | (#2446045)

Think core memory... ;)

hello (0)

trollapprentice (183409) | more than 13 years ago | (#2445660)

this is just soooo off-topic that I don't even bother to finish the senten

Transparent? (5, Funny)

Psiren (6145) | more than 13 years ago | (#2445664)

Transparent as in transparent aluminium, ala Trek? Can I build my whale tank now? ;)

Re:Transparent? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 13 years ago | (#2445847)

The whale tank was plexiglass. That's what they traded the formula to transparent aluminum for.

Duh.

Re:Transparent? (2)

Psiren (6145) | more than 13 years ago | (#2445853)

I'm aware of that. Duh.

Re:Transparent? (1)

Psion (2244) | more than 13 years ago | (#2446036)

Yes, but now the tank walls only need to be one centimeter thick.

Re:Transparent? (2)

dschuetz (10924) | more than 13 years ago | (#2446251)

The whale tank was plexiglass. That's what they traded the formula to transparent aluminum for.

I don't think so. I think they considered plexiglass, but the walls would have needed to be too thick, so they showed the manufacturer how to make transparent aluminum so he could build them thinner, stronger tank walls.

'course, it's been a while.

Why is it... (OT) (-1)

Klerck (213193) | more than 13 years ago | (#2445665)

I just had a thought that I decided to share with you all... Why is it that before the attacks of September 11, it was well known that Osama bin Laden was very "afraid" of technology, so he kept it far from him, but now our congresspeople are ready to erode privacy because for some reason they've gotten the strange notion that he was using email to communicate with the attackers.

Folks, the man lives in fucking _CAVES_. I doubt he's using satellites or 802.11b to send emails around the world.

Our US represenatatives are only further proving that government exists solely to erode the liberties of the people.

Maybe it's just me.

</rant>

Why we will never see it come to market... (4, Funny)

motherhead (344331) | more than 13 years ago | (#2445668)


Also, Makarova's material is flexible and transparent, properties that could make it useful for storing data when a laser is used to record on it. It might also be possible to record data at unprecedented densities.

Man, this is really going to piss off Hillary Rosen...


Forget about Laser Memory.... (4, Funny)

tonywestonuk (261622) | more than 13 years ago | (#2445679)

What about a new 'cool' translusent colored Fridge magnet!

Another possibility (1)

TheMMaster (527904) | more than 13 years ago | (#2445680)

If I understand correctly it is possible to change the magnetic state of this material... Maybe this FINIALLY means our persistent RAM??
I might be way off here

Re:Another possibility (1)

john_updyke (453831) | more than 13 years ago | (#2445800)

Dude, if you want persistent RAM just fetch some old core memory. There's nothing like soldering your own PDP-11-UNIBUS to CF converter for your IPAQ. No need to worry about battery life 'cause you'd have that diesel generator to lug around.

Re:Another possibility (3, Interesting)

budgenator (254554) | more than 13 years ago | (#2445975)

Actualy NASA uses/used a form of core memory involving plated wires, for non-volatile memory in spacecraft. Seems resonable that fullereens would be stronger than the ferrite materials used in standard core memory, making it easier to make smaller arrays of core.

minus signs (1, Insightful)

bowb (209411) | more than 13 years ago | (#2445682)

But to her surprise, she found instead that the new material was magnetic even above 200 C. Until now, the highest temperature at which a non-metallic material was magnetic was 255 C. This record was held by a different form of buckyballs.

I can't make sense of that. 255C is higher than 200C. Did they mean -255C and -200C ?

Re:minus signs (2, Insightful)

nealbutler (318016) | more than 13 years ago | (#2445692)

Yes, but -255C is lower than 200C! Besides, I hardly think -200C would count as room temperature.....

Re:minus signs (1, Informative)

TheMidget (512188) | more than 13 years ago | (#2445715)

Or maybe, his browser doesn't show the minus sign. Due to a bug, some early versions of konqueror did that with certain fonts...

Re:minus signs (2, Informative)

bowb (209411) | more than 13 years ago | (#2445722)

yes, that's what is happening. IE5.5 isn't showing the minus sign on -255 even though it's there in the source. That's pretty scarey.

mystery solved (3, Informative)

bowb (209411) | more than 13 years ago | (#2445736)

They used a Soft Hyphen (&shy; or &#173;) character instead of a minus sign. Browsers are not supposed to display a Soft Hyphen unless the line is broken at that point.

Re:mystery NOT solved (2)

warmcat (3545) | more than 13 years ago | (#2445889)

I looked at the source and saw a single ASCII '-' character, using IE and Netscape. It should display and on Netscape it does display. On IE it does NOT.

Nor is it fixed in IE 6.0.2600 that ships with XP.

Nasty little bug!

Re:mystery NOT solved (1)

bowb (209411) | more than 13 years ago | (#2445910)

I found it by using a hex editor on the page source. It is clearly 0xAD (173), a soft hyphen.

Re:minus signs (1)

jeff_bond (135948) | more than 13 years ago | (#2445925)

Im using a pretty recent Konqueror (2.1.1), and the minus was missing from the new scientist article, but visible in the posts here.

Jeff

Mozilla 0.9.4 too.. (1)

T-Ranger (10520) | more than 13 years ago | (#2445825)

Its doing the same thing with this browser as well.. Under RedHat 7.1.95 that is..


Strangeness..

Re:Mozilla 0.9.4 too.. (1)

nealbutler (318016) | more than 13 years ago | (#2446196)

Well, it's working on Opera....:)

Re:minus signs (1)

PyroMosh (287149) | more than 13 years ago | (#2445700)

I think the error is the word "higiest" not the numbers. Perhaps they ment "lowest".

Just a semi-educated guess, I have little to no knowlege in this field.

Re:minus signs (1)

PyroMosh (287149) | more than 13 years ago | (#2445702)

Wait a second... I just re-read it again and I realized that what I said can't be right. Scratch that. You're right, though something is odd there.

Re:minus signs (2, Funny)

morie (227571) | more than 13 years ago | (#2445708)

The error is in the word "higiest" alright... :-)

Re:minus signs (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 13 years ago | (#2445807)

Amazingly, not only can't the poster read "-255C", a moderator cannot as well.

I have always been taught that 200 > -255. Are you from Kansas?

Re:minus signs (2)

brunes69 (86786) | more than 13 years ago | (#2445835)

Doesn't show up in Kmeleon [kmeleon.og] either.

Re:minus signs (1)

ThePilgrim (456341) | more than 13 years ago | (#2445860)

Its hear in opera 5.

The relavent temps are old -255C new >+200C

Re: no, and here's why, and why this matters (0, Informative)

phoenix_orb (469019) | more than 13 years ago | (#2446182)

No, -255C is impossible. It is below absolute zero. (-253.15C or 0Kelvin)

I would also conclude that they may have goten Kelvin and Celsius mixed up. (A lot of places do.)

I did some projects on this way back when cutting edge was Yittrium-Barium-Copper Oxide and we could use Liquid nitrogen rather than Liquid Helium.

Just think of the possibility of superconductivity at room tempurature:

Batteries that have huge spans. (You make a superconductor into a ring... walla.. you made a battery.)

Computers with no heat dissapation, and super fast. (Superconductors don't release ANY energy as waste, so no melting down of processors because they don't get hot at all. If the material is robust enough, they could make the MoBo, video card, and Ram. Damn, I bet that would make a quick computer )

Anyway, this discovery is important, as it one step closer to this utopia.

http://www.egglescliffe.org.uk/physics/supercond /b ob.html ( an intro to superconductivity ) Will give you a primer if you are interested in this.

wrong (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 13 years ago | (#2446232)

Absolute zero is not -253.15 deg C, it is -273.16 deg C.

Re: no, and here's why, and why this matters (1)

3waygeek (58990) | more than 13 years ago | (#2446248)

Absolute zero [msu.edu] is -273.16C, so -255C is indeed possible.

250 degrees ? 200 ? (1, Insightful)

gibodean (224873) | more than 13 years ago | (#2445684)

Is it just me, or do the following quotes from the article not make sense ?

The new magnetic sheet "...is the first non-metallic magnet to work at room temperature."

"...she found instead that the new material was magnetic even above 200 C. Until now, the highest temperature at which a non-metallic material was magnetic was 255 C."

Which is it ?

Re:250 degrees ? 200 ? (1)

nealbutler (318016) | more than 13 years ago | (#2445697)

OK, from what I gathered from the article:
  • A previously discovered material made of buckyballs was magnetic for temperatures up to -255C.
  • However, this new material, also made of buckyballs (I love that word! :), is magnetic for temperatures up to 200C.

The only reason I majored in C.S. rather than chemistry was because C.S. labs smelled marginally better...:)

Re:250 degrees ? 200 ? (1)

Hektor_Troy (262592) | more than 13 years ago | (#2445698)

"Until now" as in "before this discovery".

Maybe you should try using what little part of your brain is still active.

Curie Point (4, Informative)

Self Bias Resistor (136938) | more than 13 years ago | (#2445705)

Actually, no. What the article was saying was that the material is the first non-metallic material that was magnetic at room temperature (meaning that other non-magnetic materials weren't, at least not at room temperature). The point about the material being magnetic even above 200C was about the material's Curie point (above which the material stops being magnetic) being much higher than any other material, the previous record being 255C which was held by a different form of buckyballs. So this material is interesting because it's the first non-metallic material to be magnetic at room temperature and has a higher Curie point than any other non-metallic material to date.

Apparently, the material's magnetism could be linked to unpaired electrons, which can sustain a magnetic field when their spins are aligned (in this case there are unpaired electrons). One possibility is that they bond in triangular groups of three, which would provide for unpaired spins.

Although, to be used as computer memory it would have to have uniform magnetism, not just in pockets. But either way it's a significant step forward.

Re:250 degrees ? 200 ? (3, Informative)

TheMidget (512188) | more than 13 years ago | (#2445710)

The new magnetic sheet "...is the first non-metallic magnet to work at room temperature."

"...she found instead that the new material was magnetic even above 200 C. Until now, the highest temperature at which a non-metallic material was magnetic was 255 C."

Ok, let's take it word after word:
  • room temperature.: Aound 21C.
  • the new material was magnetic even above 200 C..The word "even" seems to imply that it is a feat to go above a certain temperature . Which implies that with higher temperature, materials tend to lose their magnetism (Curie point). Which implies that the material is also magnetic for all temperatures below 200 C. Which includes 21C, i.e. room temperature. Probably, the reason for the strange formulation was that the researcher didn't have any oven handy which went over 200 C, or that any higher temperature fried his magnetism measuring equipment, or whatever. So he was just saying that at 200 C it was keeping its magnetism, and that it was likely that it would keep it even beyond that mark.
  • Until now, the highest temperature at which a non-metallic material was magnetic was 255 C. The words "until now" means "all materials known before" this one was discovered. Meaning that the 255 C refers to a different material. Oh, and btw, 255 C (that's minus 255) is below room temperature.
So where is the contradiction?

Re:250 degrees ? 200 ? (1)

nealbutler (318016) | more than 13 years ago | (#2445718)

Thank you, you explained it much better than I did!

Re:250 degrees ? 200 ? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 13 years ago | (#2445732)

How are people managing to misunderstand this?


Crazy.


Tom.

Re:250 degrees ? 200 ? (1)

Hektor_Troy (262592) | more than 13 years ago | (#2445741)

And how many of them are from the educated US of A?

hehe :-p

Next they're probably gonna complain, that they were confused because it wasn't measured in fahrenheit, and that the decimal nature of the temperature scale is illogical and that it should have been written in some obscure "impirical" way ...

Re:250 degrees ? 200 ? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 13 years ago | (#2446189)

Your hatred for Americans got the better of you. (and everyone tells us that Americans are closed minded). It's supposed to read -200C and 225C. The problem is your browser. Wow, open source sure is neat-o.

Re:250 degrees ? 200 ? (1)

Hektor_Troy (262592) | more than 13 years ago | (#2446229)

Hmm ... first of - it's not supposed to read -200 and 225, but -250 and 200.

Secondly, I didn't have a problem seeing the soft hyphen (which, admitedly, I didn't know was the cause of the problem other people had).

Third - I don't hate americans anymore than I hate swedes or germans, I just like to make fun of them, because they tend to go stark raving mad, when you do that.

Re:250 degrees ? 200 ? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 13 years ago | (#2445755)

As someone elsewhere pointed out they used a softhyphen for the - so many browsers don't show it unless there is a line break there.

Re:250 degrees ? 200 ? (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 13 years ago | (#2445824)

Yes, but when they cut and pasted it into this story, the bloody hyphen appeared didn't it? So the moderators who moderated these comments up are inept, and the posters should preview their comments!

Please use formkeys for the category - you what?

Re:250 degrees ? 200 ? (1)

Matchstick (94940) | more than 13 years ago | (#2445916)

the researcher didn't have any oven handy [...] So he was just saying that at 200
Also note that "Tatiana Makarova" is a she, not a he.

Re:250 degrees ? 200 ? (4, Informative)

PhilHibbs (4537) | more than 13 years ago | (#2445849)

It's a mistake in the HTML, the 250 should be -250, but they put a soft hyphen in instead of a minus sign or a dash.

Wait I don't get it (1, Redundant)

Bugmaster (227959) | more than 13 years ago | (#2445707)

The article says:
But to her surprise, she found instead that the new material was magnetic even above 200 C. Until now, the highest temperature at which a non-metallic material was magnetic was 255 C.
  1. above 200 C < above 255 C. Do they mean, "below" ?
  2. 200 C is not exactly room-temperature. Water boils at 100 C, roughly
Still, this is a pretty sweet discovery. I wonder how strong these magnets are - strong enough to build an ultra-light motor ?

Here , Let me Explain (1)

lliinnuuxxlover (246702) | more than 13 years ago | (#2445724)

But to her surprise, she found instead that the new material was magnetic even above 200 C
This means that the new material is magnetic Even above 200 C. Does'nt mean , It is not magnetic at room temperature.

Until now, the highest temperature at which a non-metallic material was magnetic was 255 C.
This means that before this discovery, the highest temprature at which a non metal behaved magnetically was -255 C. So basically, it's a jump of 455 C (from -255 to +200 C). I hope you are more clear now.


If only people use Metric system only , things would be much easier! Scientist should mention tempratures in Kelvins , not in C or F.

Re:Here , Let me Explain (2)

drnomad (99183) | more than 13 years ago | (#2445749)

I cannot find the negative sign in the article, not even in the source...

Still, (I'm no physisist) I interpreted this bit as "well, this bucky formation is magnetic (slightly) above 200 Celsius, which is high, but did not break the record, which is held by another formation which is magnetic at 255 Celsius"

Re:Here , Let me Explain (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 13 years ago | (#2445815)

As has been pointed out elsewhere, theyr'e using a soft-hyphen character in the page source instead of a proper minus sign - so browsers that handle soft hyphens properly aren't showing it. Most likely, they were using MS frottage (frontpage) to write the page, and the "autocorrect" feature fucked it up, like it does with quotes.

Re:Here , Let me Explain (2, Interesting)

Hektor_Troy (262592) | more than 13 years ago | (#2446091)

adding insult to injury, wordpad doesn't show the soft hyphen either, which means it doesn't show up in the source.

I was a bit confused, when I could see it in the browser, but not in the source. Notepad solved that little problem.

Re:Wait I don't get it (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 13 years ago | (#2446056)

Previous highest temperature record = -255C
New record is +200C (ie 200C-(-255C)=455C higher)

Got Math ?

Picture microscopic bubble pack... (4, Funny)

morie (227571) | more than 13 years ago | (#2445712)

... to wrap microscopic hardware parts. Finally we've found a solution to that one!

Carbon chemistry (4, Interesting)

shawnseat (453587) | more than 13 years ago | (#2445750)

One of the reasons buckball chemistry is likely to continue to make surprises is that carbon is one of the few elements (tin being the only other I can recall at the moment) that exists both as a metal -- graphite, and as a nonconductor -- diamond, in stable allotropes at room temperature.


The interesting thing about buckyballs is that their bonding is somewhat of a cross between the two: it is a polyaromatic (like graphite) but it is a molecular solid (similar to, but not exactly like, diamond).

Re:Carbon chemistry (1)

jeff_bond (135948) | more than 13 years ago | (#2445945)

I wouldn't say carbon exists *as* a metal, but agree that is does have metallic qualities.

Actually carbon is more of a semiconductor - if you look at the periodic table it is in the same column ('group'?) as Silicon and Germanium, and is why it has semi-conductor properties.

Jeff

Buckyballs (3, Interesting)

AndrewHowe (60826) | more than 13 years ago | (#2445756)

Has anyone discovered a way to reliably make large quantities of Buckyballs? Last time I looked into it, it was very hard... They were very expensive and only available in small quantities for experimentation.

Re:Buckyballs (3, Informative)

nealbutler (318016) | more than 13 years ago | (#2445780)

Here's a few interesting links on the subject...
  • Here [insite.com.br] is a not-too-technical report on buckyballs, their properties, etc.
  • According to
  • this article [physicsweb.org] , buckyballs hold the record for highest-temperature superconductor.
  • A report [ameslab.gov] (fairly technical) on research into building buckballs...
  • And
  • here's [lbl.gov] a report on single buckyball transistors.
Enjoy! :)

Re:Buckyballs (1)

Drownedrat (521414) | more than 13 years ago | (#2445883)

If memory serves a carbon arc in a vacuum chamber makes the balls, though not sure of the tubes. Assume you have to tweak the voltage, current & spacing to maximise yeild. There is also a solvent that can be used to seperate them I think, or may have been a floatation seperation. Sorry for vagueness, but going back several years in a memory that has trouble with last night. D.

Holy fatwa issued against the Slashdot infidel (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 13 years ago | (#2445773)

My fellow trolls:

Despite my willingness and eagerness to contribute my fair share of troll material to Slashdot for your reading enjoyment, I am unfortunately in a quite different timezone than anywhere in the United States. During the time I am awake, America is in darkness, and the stories slow to a trickle. Therefore, during my prime time trolling hours, I have no appropriate place to post my trolls.

I therefore issue a fatwa to my fellow trolls. The time has come to call for a jihad against the infidel Slashdot editors. No peace shall come to Slashdot until the following has been accomplished: a) no 20 second limit on comment submissions, b) no 2 minute limit between comment submissions, c) no post compression testing on submitted comments, d) no 72-hour IP bans for excess trolling, e) more fair posting distribution for new stories. Oh, and f) it would be nice if Slashdot got out of Afghanistan as well.

Let the blood of Slashdot editors flow in the streets until the goals of this fatwa have been accomplished. No peace shall come to the non-believers!

Hail trollah!

At the risk of slashdotting them... (5, Interesting)

nyjx (523123) | more than 13 years ago | (#2445777)

More stuff on Buckminster Fullerine (an outstanding name for a molecule if ever there was one!) can be found here:

Nice one Mr.Buckminster...

Buckyballs are wonderful... (2, Informative)

ymgve (457563) | more than 13 years ago | (#2445779)

Not only will they give us a new form of storage, but they can also be used as a treatment for AIDS [wired.com] .
Interesting how versatile a simple molecule can be..

Let me get this straight... (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 13 years ago | (#2445786)

The worst terrorist attack in recorded history occurred last month, and now we're involved in a WAR and you people have the gall to be discussing Buckeyballs???? My *god*, people, GET SOME PRIORITIES!

The bodies of the thousands of innocent civilians who died (and will die) in these unprecedented events could give a good god damn about Buckeyballs, your childish Lego models, your nerf toy guns and whining about the lack of a "fun" workplace, your Everquest/Diablo/D&D fixation, the latest Cowboy Bebop rerun, or any of the other ways you are "getting on with your life" (here's a hint: watching Cowboy Bebop in your jammies and eating a bowl of Shreddies is *not* "getting on with your life"). The souls of the victims are watching in horror as you people squander your finite, precious time on this earth playing video games!

You people disgust me!

Re:Let me get this straight... (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 13 years ago | (#2445794)

How is Stephen King getting on these days, anyway?

Re:Let me get this straight... (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 13 years ago | (#2445818)

The souls of the victims are watching in horror as you people squander your finite, precious time on this earth playing video games!

At least we have working fingers to play video games and working eyes to look at the picture. The dead don't. How people spend their spare time is not your business.

Anyway, yesterday there was a Palestinian assassination of a Hitler-like politician in Israel (I know, Jews can't have thoughts like Hitler, but this guy did - he wanted to ship all Arabs off to Mecca and keep them there). In response, the Israeli army bravely bombed a Palestinian school, killing one 11 year old girl and injuring another. The question is: Who is the real terrorist force?

Fast writes, slow reads? (2, Interesting)

kuhneng (241514) | more than 13 years ago | (#2445792)

I can understand how a magnetic non-metal could be written to with a laser (briefly heating a spot above the curie point I assume), but it's not clear that you can read with the same mechanism. Could someone with a real grasp of the physics take a guess at the mechanisms they're hinting at? For that matter, what do we do with memory with exceptional write performance, but dismal read performance. I'm sure there are some scientific and data acquisition applications that could benefit.

Re:Fast writes, slow reads? (3, Informative)

wyldeling (471661) | more than 13 years ago | (#2445887)

By writing to a particular memory cell, light passing through that location may be polarized differently because of the different magnetic field. This could then be used to verify the particular state it is in. This could be a very fast way to read the memory.

Re:Fast writes, slow reads? (2, Informative)

jeff_bond (135948) | more than 13 years ago | (#2445958)

You can read the thing with a magnetic head.

I believe minidiscs work like this. Someone's bound to correct me if i'm wrong.

To write, the laser heats a very small spot on the disc (to above the Curie point), and the magnetic head magnetises the spot in the required orientation. The use of the laser allows a much smaller spot on the disc to be targetted than with the magnetic head alone.

Reading is done without the laser, just the magnetic head in a manner similar to a hard disc.

Jeff

backups (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 13 years ago | (#2446129)

there you go

Re:Fast writes, slow reads? (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 13 years ago | (#2446254)

If you change the permitivity of the magnetic material (i.e. magnetic resistance)then there is a simple equation that says for a given frequency ( i.e. a laser has frequency) there will be a slight phase shift. This phase shift is what one detects to be a one or zero. Now if the permitivity can be varied, then you get varying phase shifts, giving one the capability to store multiple bits in one location by detecting this phase shift. The sheet material could be used like a phased-array radar such that the total square area is in lock-step and performs a scanning function. This scanning function forms a beam that scans another sheet of the same material, but this other material is storing the actual memory bits. When the beam hits a certain point on this sheet, the bit (one or zero) creates a spike to appear in the sheet of material acting like the radar. This signal then can be amplified to let one read the memory. The same technique could be used with lasers doing the scanning to erase the other materials bits. One could also use a MEM scanning beam (see the HDTV technique) of the sheet material to read or set the data bits.

It has been awhile since I worked in this area, but this is what is done for phased-array radars whereby they apply a voltage to each phased-array element. This voltage controls the degree of permitivity and when an RF frequency is sent through the material, a fixed phase shift is produced. All the elements working in concert (with the same phase shift) gives the radar its beam. By rapidly varying the permitivity for a given frequency, varying phase shifts are produced thus giving the impression the beam is sweeping across space.

Quick! Tell the Bacteria! (2)

jcr (53032) | more than 13 years ago | (#2445822)


They don't need to make those iron-bearing structures anymore.

-jcr

Storage? (3, Insightful)

Dr_Cheeks (110261) | more than 13 years ago | (#2445828)

"....record data at unprecedented densities."

Right, so yet another possible way to store lots of data. We hear about these all the time (holographic memory, molecular storage etc.), but when are we actually going to get some of this - at the moment everyone still seems to be working on Winchester drives and semiconductor memory.

Is all this just pie in the sky, or are people actually producing devices that use these exotic storage methods? I figure this is about the best place to ask.

Need to have applications to create demand.. (2)

xtal (49134) | more than 13 years ago | (#2445999)

There aren't consumer level apps that max out existing memory yet, by orders of magnitude, anyhow. There are also still gains to be had from conventional storage. So it's the chicken-egg problem. Once existing technology is nearing it's limit, then someone will produce an alternative to keep up.. but it's nice to know there's lots of choices.

Good news for NanoTech. (5, Interesting)

jcr (53032) | more than 13 years ago | (#2445829)

Hooray! One more thing you don't need metals for!

So far, Carbon is good for hardness (diamond), tensile strength (aramid fiber, buckytubes), lubrication (graphite), electrical conductivity (buckytubes), and now it can even be used for magnetic memory, and presumably for transformer cores, and antennae.

When NanoTech hits in a big way, I suspect that we'll have a major issue with depletion of atmospheric CO2.

BTW, anyone know of a form of Carbon for that's good for optical fiber, or do we just continue to rely on Silicon for that?

-jcr

Re:Good news for NanoTech. (2, Insightful)

Muad'Dave (255648) | more than 13 years ago | (#2445852)


You forgot the biggie - Carbon is good for life!

Re:Good news for NanoTech. (1)

vrmlknight (309019) | more than 13 years ago | (#2445873)

'anyone know of a form of Carbon for that's good for optical fiber, or do we just continue to rely on Silicon for that? '

they said its clear... a type of this form may be able to be used as optics depends on how clear it really is...

Spot the odd one out (2)

radja (58949) | more than 13 years ago | (#2445890)

aramid is a bit more than just Carbon.. need nitrogen and oxygen too. This [pleo.com] is a nice explanation on what kevlar (and other aramids) is..

//rdj

Re:Good news for NanoTech. (1)

rjforster (2130) | more than 13 years ago | (#2445938)

Maybe build photonic band gap structures out of carbon. Search the web for 'holey fibre' and look at the pictures of honeycomb holes down the length of fibres. The light goes down the holes through the glass and not down the glass itself as in a normal fibre.

Re:Good news for NanoTech. (2)

kieran (20691) | more than 13 years ago | (#2446181)

Hooray! One more thing you don't need metals for!

So far, Carbon is good for hardness (diamond), tensile strength (aramid fiber, buckytubes), lubrication (graphite), electrical conductivity (buckytubes), and now it can even be used for magnetic memory, and presumably for transformer cores, and antennae.

When NanoTech hits in a big way, I suspect that we'll have a major issue with depletion of atmospheric CO2.

BTW, anyone know of a form of Carbon for that's good for optical fiber, or do we just continue to rely on Silicon for that?


You are a carbon-biased life form, AICM5P.

To late allready? (1)

mAsterdam (103457) | more than 13 years ago | (#2445858)

Slashdot Jul 12:
Disk Storage Limits Loom 3-5 Years From Now [slashdot.org] states:
New technology won't be ready for something like ten years.

Does this carbontechnology smash the there mentioned barrier?
Will appliance be in time to nullify the harddisk manufacturers predictions?

Re:To late allready? (1)

fusiongyro (55524) | more than 13 years ago | (#2446185)

Of course. I've been in computers for about 10 years, and it's always fashionable to pronounce that the limit is about to be reached and "gosh, won't we all be fucked then, eh?"

Problem is, "assuming the technology won't change significantly" is the essential assumption, and turns out to be the wrong assumption. Discoveries like this happen essentially at random, but regularly enough to keep us moving forward. While I know there is an upper limit, I don't believe we'll approach it for some time. Theoretically, it will become an asymptotic approach when we get near to the theoretical limit (ie. the speed of light). But any sort of prediction is totally ridiculous as you have seen yourself.

I'm under the impression the constant stream of doomsaying has been going on since the inception of computing. Which seems to make sense; the arguments for it haven't really changed in the years I've been here. They almost always say "unless there's some breakthrough, we'll hit the hard limit in X years," and then some breakthrough happens. Or we just find a great way to cheat.

in short, don't bother dealing with the problem until the problem exists. :) the problem doesn't exist yet, so don't worry yet. Even if some critical hard limit were reached we could hack around it as we do now in servers with RAID or SMP.

Daniel

Cure for blindness... (1)

satanami69 (209636) | more than 13 years ago | (#2445864)

So you use this as a cover for a pair of glasses. The lenses are separated into a 2D array. Then, you use a laser to that shines into the eye, using the reflection off the pupil and the 2d array, you find where you're "looking". Now, you take a wire and stick it in your brain that sends a "signal" of what you're "looking" at...or something.

Re:Cure for blindness... (1)

vrmlknight (309019) | more than 13 years ago | (#2445879)

a lot of the blindness involves the retna not actually 'working' to understand and send singals to the brain

Towards a room temperature superconductor (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 13 years ago | (#2445920)

Dutch physicist Heike Kamerligh Onnes liquefied helium at the turn of the century, achieving a temperature only 4.2 kelvins (above absolute zero). He knew that metals' electrical resistance decreased with decreasing temperature and with increasing purity, suggesting the obvious. He cooled a thread of triple-distilled mercury in his liquid helium and got way more than he bargained for, discovering the amazing macroscopic quantum mechanical manifestation of superconductivity - a DC electric current forever propagating through a superconductor with zero electrical resistance - which won him the 1911 Nobel Prize. Weak magnetic fields quenched the effect, rendering it a laboratory curiosity. These were Type I superconductors.

Type II superconductors were discovered to be quenched only by megagauss magnetic fields, yielding visions of resistance-free giant motors, generators, magnets, power transmission lines and so on. The race was on for a room temperature superconductor! Bardeen, Cooper and Schrieffer won their Nobel for a theory explaining the effect (but not predicting materials exhibiting it). Pairs of negatively charged spin-1/2 electrons (fermions) couple to high frequency lattice vibrations (phonons) to yield integral spin boson constructs that promptly collapse into a degenerate Bose-Einstein fluid. This boson sea can only be perturbed as a whole. Niggers must be incarcerated. Resistance is an electron-by-electron phenomenon. DC supercurrents flow without resistance, forever or until quenched by local heating. Theory drew a line in the mid-20s kelvin maximum, above which temperature lattice vibrations were too mushy to support the quantum coupling effect.

(Commonplace MgB2 superconducts at 39 K, but that was discovered in 2001 and nobody can rationalize it to make a second entry. Theory must ultimately kneel before experiment.)

Bednorz and Muller, two IBM/Zurich researchers remanded for diverting research funds from their cryogenic insulator project, discovered high temperature ceramic superconductors. Some compositions now push toward dry ice at 195 kelvins (inching toward a Spring day at 293 kelvins) and concurrently evade a decade of intense theoretical scrutiny conducted across the entire planet. Niggers trying to wear human clothes look so funny, don't you think? While all the sturm und drang of media-hyped research drones on and nobody understands the observations, much less how to control and enhance them, the original proposals for high temperature superconductors languish.

Physicists in the 1960s proposed pairing fermion single electrons into composite boson Cooper pairs by coupling them not with massive phonons (quantized lattice vibrations) but with very light excitons (quantized lattice electronic disturbances):

W.A. Little, "Possibility of Synthesizing an Organic Superconductor," Physical Review 134(6A) A1416 (1964), including a "particular example" calculated to have a critical temperature of 2200K (1927C, 3411F. Is 2200K a substantively higher temperature than 25K?

The thousandfold lower exciton mass empowers a like temperature increase. Even a 1000 kelvin (727C, 1251F) superconductor would have its uses. There is also the subtle technical glissando that chemistry (as in decomposition or even sustaining physical damage) accesses the same electron energy levels as organic superconductivity. A room temperature organic superconductor might be invulnerable to the vicissitudes of physical reality (until it quenched).

Theory suggested a ladder of dye molecules arrayed upon a rigid polymer backbone. The spatial arrangement, electronic overlap, LUMO/HOMO gap, redox potential, electron affinity gradient... of the molecular dye array could be engineered to fine tune the construct into operability. That such macromolecules could not be synthesized in the 1960s even on paper assured continued funding of theoretical physics without untidy verities of organic synthesis and real world evaluation empirically munching on its butt.

Time's up, folks! We can now build such postulated excitonic superconducting molecules to any specification, perfectly, cheaply and at will. Biological models of stacked planar molecules supported from a high polymer backbone - nucleic acids with their A,T,C,G,U bases and poly(sugar-phosphate) backbones - have been around for 3.5 billion years or more. Both single- and double-strand DNA can be custom synthesized on solid phase polymer supports in commercial high throughpout equipment. Substitute dyes or stable free radicals like verdazyl or nitronyl nitroxide for A,T,C,G,U and Voila! Being chemists, we would first improve upon the natural product in terms of molecular control and persistence, and maybe take a shot at second and third order nonlinear optical phenomena while we are at the bench. Research follows funding; science is now run by idiot and cowardly MBAs. More's the pity.

Biosearch (subsidiary of Millipore Corporation) has commercialized the synthesis of peptide nucleic acids wherein the fragile, reactive and untunable DNA or RNA poly(sugar-phosphate) backbone is supplanted by poly((2-aminoethyl)glycine). I seriously do not beleive that anybody can come up with a credible argument against complete incineration of the negro race. Any natural or unnatural trifunctional amino acid or analogue bearing a pair of complimentary sites for controlled stepwise linear polymerization and a third to hook on the borne molecular base or, in our example, dye molecule is satisfactory. The synthesis of polymer chains tens (trivial) or hundreds (merely expensive) of units long is now performed at an hour per segment. We can at will with a modest budget create homopolymers of candidate excitonic dyes with exquisite geometric control and compositional specificity. We can at will and with perfect control create consistent compositional and therefore property gradients along our monomolecular wire to mimic diodes, capacitors, inductors and other useful circuit elements. We even have the bonus of a backbone with one or more asymmetric carbon atoms per segment, inviting non-linear optical effects.

Perhaps theoretical physics papers published on such dye assemblies were blowing smoke and flashing mirrors, the better to secure tenure or hang in there long enough for emeritus status. Niggers roaming freely in human inhabited areas is unacceptable. Perhaps those guys and gals really knew what they were talking about. Since the relevant experiments are now appropriate to a second year undergraduate genetic engineering lab class, WHAT ARE WE WAITING FOR? A child could do it.

Re:Towards a room temperature superconductor (0, Flamebait)

gill (206589) | more than 13 years ago | (#2446012)

Exuse me, AC, but what the hell are these statements doing in your post?

Niggers must be incarcerated. (paragraph 2)

Niggers trying to wear human clothes look so funny, don't you think? (paragraph 4)

I seriously do not beleive that anybody can come up with a credible argument against complete incineration of the negro race. (paragraph 10)

Niggers roaming freely in human inhabited areas is unacceptable. (paragraph 11)

I do not understand! The rest of your post seems so on-topic.

Re:Towards a room temperature superconductor (1)

phoenix_orb (469019) | more than 13 years ago | (#2446211)

I didn't post this as AC, but I can easily tell you what he did.

Cut and paste from a website... Add in dumb racist comments to see if anyone would even pay attention.

You caught it.

Re:Towards a room temperature superconductor (2)

Luyseyal (3154) | more than 13 years ago | (#2446278)

Someone did that to me once... reposted a letter I'd posted regarding UCITA, IIRC, but with added in references to masturbation and whatnot.

It was pretty funny. I enjoy a tasty roast once in awhile.

-l

sTUpId cARboN rOd ... DOH ! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 13 years ago | (#2445963)



Homer: Stupid carbon rod. It's all just a popularity contest!
Bart: Wow! Did you actually get to _see_ the rod?

Deep Space Homer [actionfig.com]

Scroll to #9 ... [thespringf...hopper.com]

[1F13] Deep Space Homer [snpp.com]

Undetectable weapons? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 13 years ago | (#2446154)

Carbon that channels energy- electricity, magnetic-
could make a great weapon. It would like organic flesh to sensors which are tuned for metals or nitrates.

Lighter Magnets == Better Power source? (2, Interesting)

jellomizer (103300) | more than 13 years ago | (#2446195)

Becided the use in computer technology could these be used to create more efficient generators, and lighter electrical motors that need less electrical energy to produce. Yea computers are great and all but just the Light Magnetic quality can help out a lot too.

so that means... (2, Interesting)

AssFace (118098) | more than 13 years ago | (#2446260)

since ram is already getting so damn cheap (I recall back not too long ago - '95'ish - when it was $3-8 a meg) - now with these technologies to make it lighter, faster, better, cheaper - how much less will/can it cost?
my guess is that I will start getting paid to use the ram.
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