Thursday, May 24, 2012

Next Big Future - 14 new articles

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Next Big Future"Next Big Future" - 14 new articles

  1. Nanocomposite aluminum alloys shopw increased ductility and strength
  2. Carnival of Space 250
  3. New 'metamaterial' practical for optical advances
  4. UCL Resistive RAM Memristor Compared to Flash Memory
  5. Rossi Energy Catalyzer, Defkalion and other LENR Updates
  6. Google Chrome is the World's Top Browser - leverages speed and HTML advantages
  7. Symposium on Telerobotics for Space
  8. Plasmonics Used to Create an Invisible Photodetector
  9. Production of low-defect single-walled carbon nanotubes in large quantities at the Fraunhofer IWS
  10. Nuclear Regulatory Commission Chairman Gregory Jaczko Resigns
  11. $200 Infant warmer could eventually save three million Premature babies each year
  12. Guesses about the Future of Greece and Europe
  13. Spacex ready for new launch attempt for 3:44 AM Tuesday EST
  14. Europeans set new quantum teleportation record of 150 kilometers
  15. More Recent Articles
  16. Search Next Big Future
  17. Prior Mailing Archive

Nanocomposite aluminum alloys shopw increased ductility and strength

Abakan portfolio company Powdermet, Inc. ( announces it has made significant advancements in the performance levels of forged nanocomposite aluminum alloys. Working with the U.S. Army, Powdermet's nano/micro-aluminum composites have achieved 30-50% higher ductility than traditional high strength aluminum alloys such as aluminum-lithium. Powdermet has devised a powder metallurgy process allowing the retention of nano-crystallites and ductile phases throughout the powder forging process, resulting in near-net shape, high strength aluminum materials having over 16% elongation to failure strengths, exceeding 350MPa (50KSI). Competing aluminum-lithium high strength alloys have tensile strengths of 50-70ksi at 8-12% elongation, whereas the nanocomposite materials are showing 50-72ksi with 7-16% elongation depending on forging conditions. Powdermet has also shown nanocomposite aluminum alloys with up to 200ksi strengths with 1-2% elongation. Current product development goals are to continue process development to achieve a 100ksi, 8% ductility system that is cost-effective and utilizes no costly strategic or rare-earth alloying additions, and to demonstrate repeatable large cross-section part manufacturing using Powdermet's unique small footprint 5000-ton press and related equipment in its newly acquired and refurbished multimillion dollar Deformation Processing Center.

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Carnival of Space 250

New 'metamaterial' practical for optical advances

Researchers have taken a step toward overcoming a key obstacle in commercializing "hyperbolic metamaterials," structures that could bring optical advances including ultrapowerful microscopes, computers and solar cells.

The researchers have shown how to create the metamaterials without the traditional silver or gold previously required, said Alexandra Boltasseva, a Purdue University assistant professor of electrical and computer engineering.

Using the metals is impractical for industry because of high cost and incompatibility with semiconductor manufacturing processes. The metals also do not transmit light efficiently, causing much of it to be lost. The Purdue researchers replaced the metals with an "aluminum-doped zinc oxide," or AZO.

The novel metamaterial can easily be integrated into semiconductor electronics, which could advance sensors, solar collectors, quantum computing and optical cloaks, and could lead to devices that make optical microscopes 10 times more powerful.

PNAS - Demonstration of Al:ZnO as a plasmonic component for near-infrared metamaterials

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UCL Resistive RAM Memristor Compared to Flash Memory

This is a follow up on the University College of London work on memristors (Resistive RAM)

A memristor is a device whose resistance depends on its past history - more precisely, it depends on the flux of electric charge through the device. In this sense, a RRAM is a device that shows memristive behaviour, and can be thought of as a specific type of memristor.

Why are RRAMs and memristors of interest?

RRAM devices may help overcome some of the bottlenecks that we are currently facing in microelectronics. As we shrink the size of the transistors that make up semiconductor memories further and further we run into problems of fabrication difficulty, power dissipation and switching speed. RRAM devices can be packed much more densely. fabricated in 3D arrays, and have very low switching energies and fast switching speeds.

In addition, devices whose state depends on their past history behave in some ways similarly to neurons - RRAMs and memristors can thus be used to fabricate very high density neural networks.

What is the UCL Resistive RAM?

We have developed, and filed a patent on, a RRAM device based wholly on the Si/SiO2 system. Unlike competing technologies, it does not rely on the diffusion of metal ions, can be fabricated only from n- and p- type silicon and silicon oxide, and operates in ambient conditions. Resistance contrast is up to 5 orders of magnitude, switching time 90ns or shorter, and switching energy is 1pJ/bit or lower. Scanning Tunneling Microscopy suggests that the individual switching elements may be as small as 10nm

How does the UCL RRAM compare to existing technologies?

The UCL RRAM devices switch 100 times faster than Flash memory, but need to be made in an area that is 1 million to 8 million times smaller.

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Rossi Energy Catalyzer, Defkalion and other LENR Updates

Ecat World reports that the most recent issue of the American Chemical Society's Chemical and Engineering News magazine includes an article entitled, "Reviving Cold Fusion." written by Steven K. Ritter. The brief summary reads, "After 20-plus years of outcast status, unconventional heat-producing nuclear reactions still seem plausible".

The article is really a review of the history and current state of LENR, much of its content is what people following recent developments in LENR research already know. Ritter contacted a number of people involved in the field, including Dennis Bushnell of NASA, Robert Duncan of the University of Missouri, Steven B. Krivit of New Energy Times, and Andrea Rossi. Quite a bit of the article is devoted to describing Rossi's E-Cat, and emphasizes that as yet it is unproven.

Bushnell maintains that, "From more than two decades of experiments producing heat and transmutations, 'something' is real and happening."

Krivit says of the E-Cat, ""Rossi has no credible evidence for his extraordinary claims, I have stopped paying attention to him."

Duncan states, " "I don't need to have an opinion about the E-Cat. Nobody does. Rossi is claiming to be going commercial with it. If he does deliver to the marketplace, then the marketplace will decide the efficacy of the technology.

PESN has an update on the LENR to Market for May 17. has the main Rossi ecat update

ECAT Licensees to be revealed October, 2012

Leonardo Corp have a number of Licensees for its products for various regions around the world including its northern Europe Licensee Hydro Fusion Ltd, which also attended the E-Cat 1MW October test. All E-Cat Licensees have attended demos of operating E-Cat units.

A convention will be held for all E-Cat Licensees and is set for October. An official list of all licensees will then be published online at

ECAT 1 MW Updates

One ECAT 1 MW plant has been delivered and is working in a military facility. Andrea Rossi recently made the following statement:

"The 1 MW plant has been delivered and is working in a military concern. It has been made in the USA, after the October test of the prototype made in Italy; such prototype will be delivered, with the modifications which we will complete based on what we learnt from the model at work, to a European Customer in July. "

The ECAT 1 MW plant in USA is now stable at very high temperatures.
The industrial plants will get the necessary certification within weeks.
The price for an E-Cat 1 MW plant is still $1.5M; orders can be made from the inquiry form on the right side at this website.

Home ECAT-units will not be available until 2012-2013 due to rigid testing, certification and regulation procedures.

Rossi has stated that the ecat (Energy Catalyzer) works at 600 degrees celsius which is a high enough temperature to power generation of electricity

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Google Chrome is the World's Top Browser - leverages speed and HTML advantages

Google Chrome is the top browser in the world according to Stat Counter

ZD NEt - Google's Chrome appears to be the most used browser as it passed Microsoft's Internet Explorer, according to StatCounter. The larger question about the browser war revolves around whether there is a platform benefit to being top dog.

StatCounter's stats are based on a sample of 15 billion page views in the company's network. StatCounter's browser usage data is notable, but I'd like to see a few others call the Chrome win before accepting the stats as gospel.

Venture Beat - A month after Google introduced its multi-browser tab opening functionality for Chrome Beta, the new feature already set to make its debut in the stable release of the browser.

The new feature lets you manage open tabs across different computers and mobile devices running Android OS 4.0 and higher.

Tab sharing works by connecting all the open tabs in Chrome on several different computers. So long as you're signed into Google via Chrome on each computer, a new menu — aptly named "Other devices" – lets you view all the tabs open on every install of the browser across multiple platforms.

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Symposium on Telerobotics for Space

Here is a NASA site for a recent Symposium on Telerobotics for Space

Top Three Fallacies of Telerobotics from Dave Akin (University of Maryland Space Systems Lab)

* Cylon Fallacy – Humans are the competition!
The best way to maximize accomplishments in space is a collaboration of humans and robots at the work site

* Highlander Fallacy – There can be only one!
Like all ecosystems, a robust robotic ecosystem is highly diverse - one size does not fit all

* Yeager Fallacy – Time delay is an insurmountable barrier!
Time delay mitigation has been studied for half a century, and excellent mitigation strategies are known for 6-10 seconds of latency (at least)

David Akin presentation from a 2010 NASA Workshop

HERRO Missions to Mars and Venus using Telerobotic Surface Exploration from Orbit (12 pages)

Telerobotics lets one orbital manned mission to Mars match several manned missions to the surface by leveraging real time telerobotics.

Read more »

Plasmonics Used to Create an Invisible Photodetector

A team of engineers at Stanford and the University of Pennsylvania has for the first time used "plasmonic cloaking" to create a device that can see without being seen – an invisible machine that detects light. It is the first example of what the researchers describe as a new class of devices that controls the flow of light at the nanoscale to produce both optical and electronic functions.

At the heart of the device are silicon nanowires covered by a thin cap of gold. By adjusting the ratio of metal to silicon – a technique the engineers refer to as tuning the geometries – they capitalize on favorable nanoscale physics in which the reflected light from the two materials cancel each other to make the device invisible.

An image showing light scattering from a silicon nanowire running diagonally from bottom left to top right. The brighter areas are bare silicon while the dimmer sections are coated with gold demonstrating how plasmonic cloaking reduces light scattering in the gold-coated sections. Photo: Stanford Nanocharacterization Lab.

Nature Photonics - An invisible metal–semiconductor photodetector

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Production of low-defect single-walled carbon nanotubes in large quantities at the Fraunhofer IWS

Researchers at the Fraunhofer IWS Dresden inexpensively produce single-walled carbon nanotubes for industrial applications using a process that is worldwide unique.

Fraunhofer IWS Dresden has developed a process suitable especially for the mass production of single-walled carbon nanotubes. The single-walled carbon nanotubes are produced inside a reactor during a pulsed arc evaporation of carbon.

The diameters of the produced carbon nanotubes are between 1.0 and 1.6 nm. This corresponds to about 1 / 10 000 of the human hair. After the production the tube length lies in the range of several micrometers. Carbon nanotubes then show a metallic conductivity or semiconductivity depending on their diameter. The proportion of semiconducting to metallic conducting carbon nanotubes is in general between two thirds and one third. This proportion, however, can be specifically varied with the process developed at the Fraunhofer IWS and is yet another characteristic feature of the process. Moreover, the carbon nanotubes have a very low defect density. So there are hardly any defects with the hexagonal arrangement of the atoms.

The Fraunhofer IWS is currently one of the few institutes worldwide which is able to produce the single-walled carbon nanotubes on a kg-scale. The process seems to be very promising for the industrial mass production. It allows for the development of attractive applications based on the excellent electrical, thermal and mechanical properties of the single-walled carbon tubes.

SWCNT synthesis based on pulsed arc process

SWCNT synthesis is possible via physical vapor deposition (PVD) processes. In contrast to the commonly used continuous arc process, IWS engineers use a unique pulsed arc process. A pilot line was set up, which includes numerous in-house developments.

The manufacturing process is continuous and shows the greatest potential for SWCNT mass production compared to alternative approaches (PVD: continuous arc process, laser ablation and chemical vapor deposition (CVD): thermal CVD, high pressure carbon monoxide (HiPCO)-process).

Principle design of the IWS SWCNT manufacturing line based on pulsed arc technology. Right: synthesis reactor with anode and cathode, left: second part of the reactor for functionalization processes.

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Nuclear Regulatory Commission Chairman Gregory Jaczko Resigns

CNN - Embattled Nuclear Regulatory Commission Chairman Gregory Jaczko announced Monday he is resigning.

Jaczko, a former top aide to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nevada, has been under fire after complaints from Democrats and Republicans on the commission about his management style surfaced last year.

NY Times - Dr. Jaczko, chairman since May 2009 and the longest-serving member of the five-member commission, was an outsider and a maverick. He had drawn sharp criticism for helping to end government consideration of a proposed nuclear waste dump at Yucca Mountain, a volcanic ridge about 100 miles from Las Vegas, and for assuming some emergency powers at the commission after the triple meltdown of Japan's Fukushima Daiichi reactors in March 2011.

Political gridlock will likely delay the appointment of a replacement for Jaczko.

Calls for Immediate Resignation

The Hill - House Science Committee Republicans called on Nuclear Regulatory Commission Chairman Gregory Jaczko Monday to step down immediately instead of waiting for President Obama to name his successor.

"We welcome Chairman Jaczko's resignation announcement and look forward to new stewardship at the NRC," top Republicans on the committee, including Chairman Ralph Hall (R-Texas), said in a statement.

"However, because Chairman Jaczko conditioned his resignation upon confirmation of his successor, the problems associated with his troubled leadership will remain indefinitely. Accordingly, we call on him to step down from his post immediately and allow an acting chair to be appointed in his place.
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$200 Infant warmer could eventually save three million Premature babies each year

Business Week - Each year, twenty million babies worldwide are born prematurely or with a low birth weight, and four million of them die, most in developing nations. Those who survive often suffer from low IQ, diabetes, and heart disease when they reach adulthood. According to the World Health Organization, 75% of these deaths and ailments could be averted by simply keeping these premature babies warm. Unfortunately, current options for warming babies in developing nations are either expensive or unsafe. The incubators sold in Western countries cost up to $20,000 and require electricity — which is unreliable in developing nations. And ad-hoc solutions like positioning babies under bare light bulbs are simply risky.

The Embrace baby warmer website

Realizing that their customers were doctors and parents in villages (with regular electricity), they set out to identify the product features that would bring the most value to these rural users. That inquiry led them to design a portable infant warmer that looks like a tiny sleeping bag and gives mothers greater mobility and more intimate contact with their babies. The bag in turn contains a pouch of a wax-like phase-change material (PCM) that keeps babies warm for up to six hours at regular body temperatures. Not only is this infant warmer intuitive to use, but it requires only thirty minutes of electricity to heat up the PCM pouch — using a portable electric heater that comes with the product.

Most importantly, priced at approximately $200, the Embrace portable infant warmer costs merely 1 percent of what incubators in Western markets cost. In 2011, Embrace piloted the product in India, where 1.2 million premature babies die each year. Early results have been very encouraging. A preliminary study validated Embrace's safety and efficacy with twenty infants. Embrace then undertook a more extensive clinical study of 160 premature babies.

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Guesses about the Future of Greece and Europe

WSJ blog - As the prospect of Greece leaving the euro becomes more real by the day, economists are trying to figure out what would happen next to the economy and to the markets.

Guesses about the Future of Greece and Europe

ActionForex - We do not expect Greece to leave the euro. Note that there is wide backing among the Greek population (81% in favour in the latest poll) and 54% of the Greek population is in favour of sticking to the EU/IMF programme. The most recent polls suggest it is 50-50 between Syriza and ND on which party becomes the biggest after the election. We do not expect a 'Grexit' but acknowledge that the risk is real.

Three scenarios for Greece: positive, negative and very negative.

1. In the positive scenario, the euro-pro and austerity committed parties (mainly ND and PASOK) win increasing public support as we get closer to the election date and ultimately win the votes needed (possibly supported by Dimar) to continue implementing the programme. This scenario would trigger a relief rally.

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Spacex ready for new launch attempt for 3:44 AM Tuesday EST

Spacex will soon start a new countdown for an attempt to launch at 3:44 AM EST Tuesday. They fixed a valve which triggered an aborted launch on Saturday. Simulations showed the launch would still have been successful. Read more »

Europeans set new quantum teleportation record of 150 kilometers

Europeans have teleported photons 150 kilometers between two Canary Islands. this breaks a chinese record of 100 km set a couple of weeks ago Quantum teleportation is a quintessential prerequisite of many quantum information processing protocols. By using quantum teleportation, one can circumvent the no-cloning theorem and faithfully transfer unknown quantum states to a party whose location is even unknown over arbitrary distances. Ever since the first experimental demonstrations of quantum teleportation of independent qubits and of squeezed states, researchers have progressively extended the communication distance in teleportation, usually without active feed-forward of the classical Bell-state measurement result which is an essential ingredient in future applications such as communication between quantum computers. Here we report the first long-distance quantum teleportation experiment with active feed-forward in real time. The experiment employed two optical links, quantum and classical, over 143 km free space between the two Canary Islands of La Palma and Tenerife. To achieve this, the experiment had to employ novel techniques such as a frequency-uncorrelated polarization-entangled photon pair source, ultra-low-noise single-photon detectors, and entanglement-assisted clock synchronization. The average teleported state fidelity was well beyond the classical limit of 2/3. Furthermore, we confirmed the quality of the quantum teleportation procedure (without feed-forward) by complete quantum process tomography. Our experiment confirms the maturity and applicability of the involved technologies in real-world scenarios, and is a milestone towards future satellite-based quantum teleportation. Read more »

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