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Light is one of the most promising carriers of quantum information. It is robust against decoherence because it does not interact with stray electric and magnetic fields and passes unscathed through transparent matter.

But this prized robustness is also a serious limitation. Photons do not easily interact with each other so processing the information they carry is tricky.

In recent years, however, physicists have worked out how to make photons interact using interferometers and to carry out quantum computations using the output of one interferometer as the input for another.

The trouble is that interferometers are notoriously fickle. Sneeze and they need re-calibrating. So cascades of them tend to be hard to handle.

Today, Jonathan McDonald at the Air Force Research Laboratory in Rome New York, and a few pals reveal a way round this problem.

Their idea is to make holograms of interferometers so that their properties become 'frozen' in glass. This makes them much more stable.

The researchers then plan to stack the interferometers to perform simple quantum computations. "The approach here will "lock" these interferometers within a tempered piece of glass that is resistant to environmental factors," they say.

MacDonald and co suggest using a commercial holographic material called OptiGrate to store these holograms and show how these devices could carry out simple tasks such as quantum teleportation and CNOT logic.

There are two serious limitations to this approach, however. First, these devices are not scalable. The reason is that a hologram requires a certain volume of space to carry out each computation with high fidelity. And since computations scale exponentially in quantum computers, so must the volume.

Second, these devices are not reprogrammable, at least not with today's technology. The reason is that OptiGrate is a write-once material. Re-recordable holographic media are available but not currently with the fidelity that allows this kind of work though clearly that could change in future.

Given these limitations it's easy to dismiss this idea as just another of a growing number of exotic forms of quantum computation that are gathering dust on (metaphorical) library shelves.

But there are a number of emerging applications for the kind of reliable but low-dimensional quantum computations that these devices could perform. These include quantum memory buses, quantum error correction circuits and quantum key distribution relays.

For the moment, no technology does these jobs reliably well, although there are many pretenders for this crown. The difference with McDonald and co's idea is that it ought to be possible to build these devices now with off-the-shelf technology.

In fact, it wouldn't be surprising if this paper was a forerunner for practical work being done to develop prototypes. We'll be watching!

Prototypes will be important for ironing out a number of practical question marks about this approach. For example, these holograms will have to be stacked to carry out even simple quantum computations. But nobody is quite sure whether this output from one hologram can be accurately channelled into the input for another.

There's only one way to find out.

Ref: arxiv.org/abs/1112.3489: Quantum Computing In A Piece Of Glass

Source: Technology Review

 

“Imagine making solar panels by a process that looks like printing newspaper roll to roll,” said Franky So, a UF professor in the department of materials science and engineering.

Industry has eyed the roll-to-roll manufacturing process for years as a means of producing solar cells that can be integrated into the exterior of buildings, automobiles and even personal accessories such as handbags and jackets. But, to date, the photovoltaic sheets cannot muster enough energy per square inch to make them attractive to manufacturers.

The UF team has crossed the critical threshold of 8 percent efficiency in laboratory prototype solar cells, a milestone with implications for future marketability, by using a specially treated zinc oxide polymer blend as the electron charge transporting material. The full report outlining the details of their latest laboratory success in solar cell technology is published in the Dec. 18 online version of Nature Photonics.

The researchers said the innovative process they used to apply the zinc oxide as a film was key to their success. They first mixed it with a polymer so it could be spread thinly across the device, and then removed the polymer by subjecting it to intense ultraviolet light.

John Reynolds, a UF professor of chemistry working on the project, said the cells are layered with different materials that function like an electron-transporting parfait, with each of the nano-thin layers working together synergistically to harvest the sun’s energy with the highest efficiency.

Reynolds’ chemistry research group developed an additional specialized polymer coating that overlays the zinc oxide polymer blend.

“That’s where the real action is,” he said. The polymer blend creates the charges, and the zinc oxide layer delivers electrons to the outer circuit more efficiently.”

Reynolds’ chemistry research team is aligned in an ongoing collaboration with So’s materials science team, which they call “The SoRey Group.”

The most recent fruit of their collaboration will now go to Risř National Laboratory in Denmark, where researchers will replicate the materials and processes developed by the SoRey Group and test them in the roll-to-roll manufacturing process.

“This sort of thing can only happen when you have interdisciplinary groups like ours working together,” said Reynolds.

Source: PhysOrg

 

This randomized study on trachoma, the leading cause of infection-caused blindness in the world, could potentially treat twice the number of patients using the same amount of medication."The idea is we can do more with less," said Bruce Gaynor, MD, assistant professor of ophthalmology at the Francis I. Proctor Foundation for Research in Ophthalmology. "We are trying to get as much out of the medicine as we can because of the cost and the repercussions of mass treatments."

In a paper published this month in The Lancet, researchers conducted a cluster-randomized trial, using an antibiotic called azithromycin to treat trachoma in Ethiopia, which has among the highest prevalence in the world. They picked 24 communities and randomized the two treatment options: 12 villages were given azithromycin every six months and the other 12 were treated every 12 months.

"What we found was the prevalence of trachoma is very high at baseline. Forty to 50 percent of the children in these communities have this condition," Gaynor said. "They are the most susceptible and it can quickly spread from person to person by direct or even indirect contact."

Researchers tracked both groups and found the prevalence of infection decreased dramatically.

"We found that from as high as 40 percent, the prevalence of trachoma went way down, even eliminated in some villages regardless of whether it was treated in an annual way or a biannual way," Gaynor said. "You can genuinely get same with less."

Their finding is significant because of how easily the disease spreads. Trachoma can be transmitted through touching one's eyes or nose after being in close contact with someone who is infected. It can also be spread through a towel or an article of clothing from a person who has trachoma. Even flies can transmit the disease.

Approximately 41 million people are infected with trachoma globally, and 8 million go blind because of lack of access to treatment. More than 150 million doses of azithromycin have been given out worldwide to treat this disease. Unlike other antibiotics, resistance to azithromycin has not been found in Chlamydia trachomatis, the bacteria that causes trachoma.

This and the paper's major finding give hope to Africa, Asia, the Middle East, and parts of Latin America and Australia, where trachoma is still a major problem.

"We will now be able to reach more people and make the treatment go twice as far as before," Gaynor said. "This will make a huge impact in slowing down trachoma-related blindness globally."

Source: Science Daily - via ZeitNews.org

 

As envisioned, the microbots, which are less than one millimeter in size, might someday be able to travel throughout the human bloodstream to deliver drugs to specific targets or seek out and destroy tumors, blood clots, and infections that can't be easily accessed in other ways.

One challenge in the deployment of microbots, however, is developing a system to accurately "drive" them and maneuver them through the complex and convoluted circulatory system, to a chosen destination. Researchers from Korea's Hanyang University in Seoul and Chonnam National University in Gwangju now describe, in the AIP's Proceedings of the 56th Annual Conference on Magnetism and Magnetic Materials, a new navigation system that uses an external magnetic field to generate two distinct types of microbot movements: "helical", or corkscrew-like, motions, which propel the microbots forward or backward, or even allow them to "dig" into blood clots or other obstructions; and "translational," or side-to-side motions, which allow the 'bots to, for example, veer into one side of a branched artery.

In lab tests, the researchers used the system to accurately steer a microbot through a mock blood vessel filled with water. The work, the researchers say, could be extended to the "precise and effective manipulation of a microbot in several organs of the human body, such as the central nervous system, the urinary system, the eye, and others."ike motions of tiny robots.

Source: PhysOrg - via ZeitNews.org

 

The discovery will help understanding of other protein-folding disorders such as Alzheimer's, Parkinson's and Huntington's diseases, as well. Findings are featured as the cover story in the current issue of Chemistry & Biology.

People born with Fabry disease have a faulty copy of a single gene that codes for the alpha-galactosidase (?-GAL) enzyme, one of the cell's "recycling" machines. When it performs normally, ?-GAL breaks down an oily lipid known as GB3 in the cell's recycling center, or lysosome. But when it underperforms or fails, Fabry symptoms result. Patients may survive to adulthood, but the disorder leads to toxic lipid build-up in blood vessels and organs that compromise kidney function or lead to heart disease, for example.

The faulty gene causes its damage by producing a misfolded protein, yielding an unstable, poorly functioning ?-GAL enzyme. Like origami papers, these proteins are unfolded to start and only become active when folded into precise shapes. At present, enzyme replacement therapy (ERT) is the only FDA-approved treatment for such lysosomal storage disorders as Fabry, Pompe and Gaucher diseases, but ERT requires a complicated and expensive process to purify and replace the damaged ?-GAL enzyme, and it must be administered by a physician.

The alpha-galactosidase enzyme (yellow) is shown binding to the pharmacological chaperone DGJ (colored). The key interaction responsible for the high potency of DGJ is marked with an arrow at right. Credit: Graphic courtesy of Scott Garman at UMass Amherst

Instead of replacing the damaged enzyme, an alternative route called pharmacological chaperone (PC) therapy is currently in Phase III clinical trials for Fabry disease. It relies on using smaller, "chaperone" molecules to keep proteins on the right track toward proper folding, but their biochemical mechanism is not well understood, says Garman.

Now, he and colleagues report results of a thorough exploration at the atomic level of the biochemical and biophysical basis of two small molecules for potentially stabilizing the ?-GAL enzyme. He says their use in PC therapy could one day be far less expensive than the current standard, ERT, and can be taken orally.

This work, which improves knowledge of a whole class of molecular chaperones, represents the centerpiece of UMass Amherst student Abigail Guce's doctoral thesis and was supported by the National Institutes of Health. Other members of the team are graduate students Nat Clark and Jerome Rogich.

"The interactions we looked at are exactly the things occurring in the clinical trial right now," Garman says. Further, "the same concept is now being applied to other protein-folding diseases such as Parkinson's and Alzheimer's disease. Many medical researchers are trying to keep proteins from misfolding by using small chaperone molecules. Our studies have definitely advanced the understanding of how to do that."

In their current paper, Garman and colleagues compare the ability of two small chaperone molecules, galactose and 1-deoxygalactononjirimycin (DGJ) to stabilize the ?-GAL protein, to help it resist unfolding in different conditions such as high temperature and different pH levels.

They found that each chaperone has very different affinities: DGJ binds tightly and galactose binds loosely to the ?-GAL, yet they differ in only two atomic positions. "Tight is better, because you can use less drug for treatment," Garman says. "We now can explain DGJ's high potency, its tight binding, down to individual atoms."

In earlier studies as in the current work, the UMass Amherst team used their special expertise in X-ray crystallography to create three-dimensional images of all atoms in the protein to understand how it carries out its metabolic mission. They also found a new binding site for small molecules on human ?-GAL that had never been observed before.

Crystallography on the two chaperones bound to the ?-GAL enzyme showed that a single interaction between the enzyme and DGJ was responsible for DGJ's high affinity for the enzyme. Other experiments also showed the ability of the 11- and 12-atom chaperones to protect the large, 6,600-atom ?-GAL from unfolding and degradation.

For the first time, by making a single change in one amino acid in protein, they forced the DGJ to bind weakly, indicating that one atomic interaction is responsible for DGJ's high affinity.

"It was surprising to find these two small molecules that look very much the same have very different affinities for this enzyme," says Garman, "and we now understand why. The iminosugar DGJ has high potency due to a single ionic interaction with ?-GAL. Overall, our studies show that this small molecule keeps the enzyme from unfolding, or when it unfolds, the process happens more slowly, all of which you need in treating disease."

Source: University of Massachusetts at Amherst - via ZeitNews.org

 

 

Julian Assange, founder and Editor-in-Chief of WikiLeaks, has been under house arrest, without charge, for almost 500 days. Over the past two months, his temporary home in the English countryside has played host to a series of extraordinary conversations with some of the most interesting and controversial people alive in the world today. 

“The World Tomorrow” is a collection of twelve interviews featuring an eclectic range of guests, who are stamping their mark on the future: politicians, revolutionaries, intellectuals, artists and visionaries. The world's last five years have been marked by an unrelenting series of economic crises and political upheavals. But they have also given rise to the eruption of revolutionary ferment in the Middle East and to the emergence of new protest movements in the Euro-American world. In Julian's words, the aim of the show is “to capture and present some of this revolutionary spirit to a global audience. My own work with WikiLeaks hasn't exactly made my life easier”, says Assange, “but it has given us a platform to broadcast world-shifting ideas.” 

For Julian, part of the show's strength lies in its “frank and irreverent tone”. “My conviction is that power can only be transformed if it is taken seriously – but ordinary people must resist the temptation to defer to the powerful."

The original music for the show has been composed by British-Sri Lankan artist M.I.A. 

The first interview will be broadcast on RT on Tuesday 17 April, at 11:00 London time. Subsequent interviews, edited to last 26 minutes each, will be broadcast on a weekly basis. The interviews and transcripts will also be made available online. Arrangements are currently being made with other licensees to publish longer edits of the series. For more information on the show, please visit worldtomorrow.wikileaks.orghttp://worldtomorrow.wikileaks.org

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS (FAQs) 

:: Who is producing “The World Tomorrow”? 

The show is being produced by Quick Roll Productions, a company established by Julian Assange. 
The main production partner is Dartmouth Films, a UK producer of independent films. Indispensable help and advice has been received from friends and supporters of WikiLeaks. If your network is interested in licensing the show, please visit the website of the distributor, Journeyman Pictures (http://www.journeyman.tv/63130/about-us/how-to-find-us.html). 

:: What has RT got to do with “The World Tomorrow”? 

RT is the first broadcast licensee of the show, but has not been involved in the production process. All editorial decisions have been made by Julian Assange. RT's rights encompass the first release of 26-minute edits of each episode in English, Spanish and Arabic.

:: Will the full material recorded during the interviews be made available? 

We are devoted to making available as much material as possible within the constraints of Julian's circumstances. Longer edits of the episodes will be released in due course, and transcripts of the interviews will be published on the show's independent website, worldtomorrow.wikileaks.org. (http://worldtomorrow.wikileaks.org./) 

:: Who is Julian Assange? 

Julian Assange is an Australian-born publisher, entrepreneur and internet activist. He is the Editor-in-Chief of WikiLeaks, which he founded in 2006. Since then, WikiLeaks has been responsible for releasing the biggest leaks in history, including the Afghan (http://wikileaks.org/afg/) and Iraq (http://wikileaks.org/irq/) War Logs, the Collateral Murder Video (http://collateralmurder.com/), Cablegate (http://wikileaks.org/cablegate.html) and the Global Intelligence File (http://wikileaks.org/the-gifiles.html)s. Julian and WikiLeaks have received a number of awards for journalism and campaigning, including: The Economist Award for Freedom of Expession (2008), the Amnesty International Media Award (2009), the Le Monde Person of the Year (2010), The Sydney Peace Foundation Gold Medal (2011), the Martha Gellhorn Prize for Journalism (2011) and the Walkley Award for Outstanding Contribution to Journalism (2011). He won the popular vote for TIME Person of the Year 2010. 

:: What is the current status of Julian Assange? 

As of Friday 13 April 2012, Julian has been under house arrest (http://justice4assange.com/), without charge, for 492 days. This follows on from his imprisonment in solitary confinement, also without charge, in December 2010. Julian is currently residing at a supporter's home in the English countryside, as dictated by his bail conditions. He is forced to wear an electronic manacle around his ankle at all times. Monitoring units are installed in the house and report to the British government via the security contractor, G4S (http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk/2011/mar/16/mubenga-g4s-face-charges-death). 

A closed United States Grand Jury investigation into Julian Assange has been active in the USA for 574 days. Julian is currently awaiting the result of his UK Supreme Court appeal against his extradition to Sweden (http://www.swedenversusassange.com/). Information leaked to WikiLeaks from the email accounts of US private intelligence agency Stratfor (the “shadow CIA (http://english.al-akhbar.com/content/stratfor-wanted-assange-out-any-means)”), show that the United States government issued a sealed indictment (http://wikileaks.org/Stratfor-Emails-US-Has-Issued.html) against Julian Assange as early as January 2011. 

More info: http://justice4assange.com/

:: What is the current status of WikiLeaks? 

Despite 495 days of unlawful financial blockade (http://www.wikileaks.org/Banking-Blockade.html) by a cartel made up of VISA, Mastercard, the Bank of America, Western Union and PayPal, and despite severe restrictions on the liberty of Julian Assange, WikiLeaks is continuing its operations as normal, to the best of its abilities. On Monday 27 February 2012, WikiLeaks began publishing the Global Intelligence Files (http://wikileaks.org/the-gifiles.html), over five million emails from Texas-based “global intelligence” firm Stratfor. WikiLeaks is conducting its activities in conjunction with over ninety media partners all over the globe. A number of formal actions against the banking blockade are active in Europe and South America. 

More info: http://wikileaks.org/Banking-Blockade

http://worldtomorrow.wikileaks.org/
http://justice4assange.com/
http://wikileaks.org
http://wikileaks.org/Banking-Blockade.html

Source: http://www.twitlonger.com/show/gunqv7

 

1. Uzbek government allegedly running full-scale sterilization program
 
A BBC investigation has revealed evidence of a government program to sterilize thousands of women throughout Uzbekistan – often without their knowledge. 
 
According to sources quoted by journalist Natalia Antelava, every Uzbek doctor is given a quota. One doctor said she must sterilize four women per month, but others said the figure might be as high as eight per week in rural areas.
 
A source in the Health Ministry said the program is meant to slow population growth. Medical professionals, however, said the real aim was to reduce the number of births and, therefore, to lower the rate of infant and maternal deaths in international measures.
 
Evidence also suggests that a two-year increase in the number of Caesarean sections, which make sterilization easier, is linked to the program. While official statistics say Caesareans account for 6.8 percent of births, doctors interviewed for the article challenged those numbers, with a chief surgeon at a hospital near Tashkent estimating the figure was as high as 80 percent.
 
In an official response to the BBC, the authorities denied the program’s existence, arguing that women are sterilized only voluntarily.
 
The BBC says forced sterilization in Uzbekistan was first discovered by pathologist Gulbakhor Turaeva in 2005. She gathered evidence of 200 cases, but when she revealed the data publicly, she was fired and later imprisoned, accused of smuggling opposition literature into the country.
 
2. Swiss story about Roma crime draws fire
 
A cover story about Roma published in a Swiss magazine earlier this week continues to cause outrage across Europe, Der Spiegel reports. The article, which was published 5 April in Die Weltwoche, carried the headline “The Roma Are Coming: Robberies in Switzerland” with the subhead “They come, steal, and leave,” a reference to an alleged increase in crimes committed by Roma gangs.
 

 
The photo illustrating the article, of a Roma child pointing a gun at the camera, contributed to the backlash. Livio Mancini, the Italian photographer who took the photo in 2008 in Kosovo, told a Swiss newspaper that Weltwoche had obtained the photo through an agency and used it without asking him.

Several criminal complaints against the magazine have been filed in Austria, Germany, and Switzerland, including by Austrian journalist Klaus Kamolz, who said he wanted to send a “symbolic signal” against the “blanket condemnation of Roma as criminals.” The Central Council of German Sinti and Roma also filed a criminal complaint with a German prosecutor for racial incitement and libel against the magazine and declared it would take steps to prevent its sale in Germany. The council’s leader, Romani Rose, accused the newspaper of equating a person’s ethnic origin with criminality, comparing the story with anti-Roma propaganda from the Nazi era.


 
In a video on the Weltwoche website, deputy editor in chief Philip Gut, who co-authored the article, said he didn’t understand the outrage caused by the photo. It was used, he told a Swiss newspaper, to illustrate “the fact that Roma gangs abuse their children for criminal purposes.”
 
3. Serbia arrests 14 for 2008 U.S. embassy riot
 
Serbian police have arrested 14 people in connection with the 2008 riot in Belgrade that resulted in a blaze that killed one person at the U.S. Embassy, according to Balkan Insight. In announcing the arrests, Prosecutor Zagorka Dolovac said her office had been investigating the suspects for more than a year. Some of the arrested were football hooligans known to have caused problems in the past, according to B92.
 
On 21 February 2008, hundreds stormed and set fire to the U.S. Embassy to protest Kosovo’s declaration of independence. In the process, protester Zoran Vujovic, a 20-year-old Serb displaced from his home in Kosovo, died of smoke inhalation.
 
The day after the arrests, Serbian Interior Minister Ivica Dacic said he had been kept in the dark about the operation. “I have nothing to do with this, because nobody informed me about it, which I consider to be impermissible. I consider this to be an absolutely poor example of doing things,” he told B92. Dacic also wondered why the arrests had taken place the day before the 11 April Belgrade derby, a soccer match between city rivals Red Star and Partizan.
 
Speculation about the extremely long delay in bringing the culprits to justice has touched on the suspected ties of some of the hooligans to political parties, who supposedly helped them escape prosecution, until now.
 
4. New pressure to free jailed Facebook activist in Azerbaijan
 
As one year passes since the arrest of a young Azeribaijani activist, new campaigns are sprouting up for his release. Bakhtiyar Hajiev was taken into custody in March 2011 and later sentenced to two years in prison for evading military service.
 

Photo from the Support Bakhtiyar Facebook page.

 A new video on YouTube purports to “tell the story of his persecution,” recounting that Hajiev had faced repression when he ran for parliament as an independent in 2010. During the campaign, he focused on the issues of human rights and corruption. But Hajiev and human rights organizations link the timing of his arrest to the activist’s role in organizing a Facebook campaign in the wake of the Arab Spring calling for a day of protests against the government and meetings across the country.    
 
At his trial, Hajiev said he was a conscientious objector and should have been granted the option of alternative service. His requests for parole have twice been rejected, most recently in late March, Radio Free Europe reports.
 
Students and teachers from Harvard University, where Hajiev graduated from the Kennedy School of Government in 2009, have also ramped up their protests. Almost 900 members of the Harvard community signed an online petition earlier this year calling for Hajiev’s release. And a 28 March editorial in Harvard’s student-written Crimson called on the university to do more to highlight Hajiev’s plight, saying, “Harvard University has failed to officially condemn Bakhtiyar’s arrest and conviction, or leverage its weight on the international stage to raise awareness about his case.”
 
5. In Chechnya, loose lips sink … taxis?
 
A new initiative in Chechnya hopes to put a lid on what some see as a growing social ill: gossip. The campaign was launched by the Chechen Government Committee on Youth and has been targeting mainly taxi and bus drivers, according to Radio Free Europe.
 

Ramzan Kadyrov

 

Campaigners have passed out bumper stickers to drivers with slogans like, ”Drive in silence, you’ll go farther,” and “The Almighty is against gossip,” according to the report. The group said the initiative was to help clean up the image of taxi drivers, who have “lost respect in the eyes of society because of their spread of disinformation among the passengers, ignorance of road regulations, and destruction of cultural values,” according to a statement posted on the group’s website.
 
Reaction to the campaign has been mixed, and many see Chechnya’s gossip-inspiring leader, Ramzan Kadyrov, as behind it, according to RFE. One man told RFE that the initiative, which he said harks back to the days of Joseph Stalin, has actually fueled more rumors about local leaders.


Joshua Boissevain and Ioana Caloianu are TOL editorial assistants. Jeremy Druker is TOL’s executive director and editor in chief. Anna Shamanska is a TOL editorial intern.

Source: Tol.org - Authors: Joshua Boissevain, Ioana Caloianu, Jeremy Druker, and Anna Shamanska

 

The "passive optical diode" is made from two tiny silicon rings measuring 10 microns in diameter, or about one-tenth the width of a human hair. Unlike other optical diodes, it does not require external assistance to transmit signals and can be readily integrated into computer chips.

The diode is capable of "nonreciprocal transmission," meaning it transmits signals in only one direction, making it capable of information processing, said Minghao Qi (pronounced Chee), an associate professor of electrical and computer engineering at Purdue University.

"This one-way transmission is the most fundamental part of a logic circuit, so our diodes open the door to optical information processing," said Qi, working with a team also led by Andrew Weiner, Purdue's Scifres Family Distinguished Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering.

The diodes are described in a paper to be published online Dec. 22 in the journal Science. The paper was written by graduate students Li Fan, Jian Wang, Leo Varghese, Hao Shen and Ben Niu, research associate Yi Xuan, and Weiner and Qi.

Although fiberoptic cables are instrumental in transmitting large quantities of data across oceans and continents, information processing is slowed and the data are susceptible to cyberattack when optical signals must be translated into electronic signals for use in computers, and vice versa.

"This translation requires expensive equipment," Wang said. "What you'd rather be able to do is plug the fiber directly into computers with no translation needed, and then you get a lot of bandwidth and security."

Electronic diodes constitute critical junctions in transistors and help enable integrated circuits to switch on and off and to process information. The new optical diodes are compatible with industry manufacturing processes for complementary metal-oxide-semiconductors, or CMOS, used to produce computer chips, Fan said.

"These diodes are very compact, and they have other attributes that make them attractive as a potential component for future photonic information processing chips," she said.

The new optical diodes could make for faster and more secure information processing by eliminating the need for this translation. The devices, which are nearly ready for commercialization, also could lead to faster, more powerful supercomputers by using them to connect numerous processors together.

"The major factor limiting supercomputers today is the speed and bandwidth of communication between the individual superchips in the system," Varghese said. "Our optical diode may be a component in optical interconnect systems that could eliminate such a bottleneck."

Infrared light from a laser at telecommunication wavelength goes through an optical fiber and is guided by a microstructure called a waveguide. It then passes sequentially through two silicon rings and undergoes "nonlinear interaction" while inside the tiny rings. Depending on which ring the light enters first, it will either pass in the forward direction or be dissipated in the backward direction, making for one-way transmission. The rings can be tuned by heating them using a "microheater," which changes the wavelengths at which they transmit, making it possible to handle a broad frequency range.

Source: Science Daily - via ZeitNews.org

 

While shoppers in minority religions may view malls and stores much differently: as central meeting places that "can play an active role in the creation of a sacred event."

The study, co-authored by Temple University Fox School of Business marketing professor Ayalla Ruvio, found that holiday consumption in dominant religious settings – such as Christians in the U.S. or Jews in Israel – can lead to greater frenzy and a "social tidal wave" that pushes people to excess during the holidays.

The researchers also found that consumers in minority or immigrant religions tend to seek the company of those who share their beliefs during holidays. For some, shopping outlets aren't shrines to spending. Instead, they can offer a gathering place for a "critical mass" in a religion to interact and temporarily overcome their minority religious status – creating a type of "marketplace sacralization."

"In effect, the marketplace, though normally viewed as profane and commercial, can, through the collective actions of religious devotees, be transformed into … a place of worship and fellowship," the authors wrote.

The researchers conducted 41 in-depth, in-home interviews with Muslims, Jews and Christians in the United States, Israel and Tunisia to examine consumers' behavior when their given religion represents either a majority, minority or immigrant faith. For example, Christians are a religious majority in the U.S., a minority in Israel, and an immigrant religion in Tunisia.

Some minority-religion consumers said they found comfort in marketplaces, or products, shared by those with similar beliefs. In one interview, a member of the Tunisian Jewish community used the animated Prince of Egypt movie to assist in his family's Passover observance. "Rather than the sacred being invaded by the secular, the sacred comes to inhabit the secular," the authors found.

In countries where a religious group was in the majority, the researchers found that the dominant religion experienced "consumption mass hysteria," which led to consequences of debt, drunkenness and overeating. Dominant religions also tend to view religious holidays as a time of national or ethnic glory and "perfection," while minority and immigrant religions report a stronger desire to preserve their traditions and customs, meaning these groups may be more orthodox in their observances.

Despite the many differences, the study found that, in every context and across the religious groups, participants emphasized charity and expressed the spiritual importance of helping others during the central holy days of Christmas, Ramadan and Passover.

Source: Temple University - via ZeitNews.org

 

Each semester, classes resume the challenge of improving on previous designs. At one point, their device had to be plugged into an outlet to work, then the students figured out how to make it battery powered. This semester, the students made it compatible with any music player.

The current model, known as free space optical transmission device, can beam “Party Rock Anthem” or any song from anyone’s iPod to a receiver and speakers up to 20 feet away.  Its battery life is more than two hours.

“Seeing everything come together at the end, working even better than we expected, was really cool,” said senior electrical engineering major Jana Sardoni, who has already accepted a job offer from Intel to design processors.

Sardoni’s team produced the winning design. Their device ran the longest without recharging and also added an LED display that indicated battery life.

“This project gives them experience in building to a customer’s desired outcome,” said Aaron Hawkins, who taught the class with fellow electrical and computer engineering professor Stephen Schulz. “A concrete product where we say to them, ‘Here’s how it is supposed to work, to these specifications. You go find your own solutions.’”

The students built a transmitter, which plugs into an audio device, and a receiver, which plugs into speakers. The transmitter directs a laser to flash in a distinct pattern. They also created a circuit that can compute the flashes of light and translate them into a recognizable format for the speakers.

“They gave us a little bit more flexibility in this class,” said Matt Seamons, another member of the winning group. “After we’d learned a lot of the foundational things, the flexibility allowed us to think more innovatively. We showed that we could go out into the industry and be ready to hit the ground running and be successful.”

Greg Loveland and Raymond Barrier were also on the winning team.

PhysOrg

Provided by Brigham Young University - via ZeitNews.org

 
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Titolo
en - Global Observatory (605)
en - Science and Society (594)
en - Video Alert (346)
it - Osservatorio Globale (503)
it - Scienze e Societa (555)
it - Video Alerta (132)
ro - Observator Global (399)
ro - Stiinta si Societate (467)
ro - TV Network (149)
z - Games Giochi Jocuri (68)

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Ultimi commenti - Last comments - Ultimele comentarii:
Hi, it's Nathan!Pretty much everyone is using voice search with their Siri/Google/Alexa to ask for services and products now, and next year, it'll be EVERYONE of your customers. Imagine what you are ...
15/01/2019 @ 17:58:25
By Nathan
Now Colorado is one love, I'm already packing suitcases;)
14/01/2018 @ 16:07:36
By Napasechnik
Nice read, I just passed this onto a friend who was doing some research on that. And he just bought me lunch since I found it for him smile So let me rephrase that Thank you for lunch! Whenever you ha...
21/11/2016 @ 09:41:39
By Anonimo


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09/08/2020 @ 03:54:42
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