The Tek Pulse: The latest and greatest engineering and science posts


Informative, innovative and interesting articles from our favorite blogs


  1. Graphene Layered with Magnetic Materials Could Drive Ultrathin Spintronics, DOE/Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, May 29, 2018, ECN -- Researchers have produced exotic behavior in electrons that could be used for next-generation computing applications. The team coupled graphene with thin layers of magnetic materials like cobalt and nickel to create the behavior. In this work, the team showed that spin property – analogous to a compass needle that can be tuned to face north or south – is affected by the interaction of graphene with the magnetic layers. The researchers found that the material’s electronic and magnetic properties create tiny swirling patterns where the layers meet. This effect gives scientists hope for controlling the direction of these swirls and tapping the effect for a form of spintronics called, “spin-orbitronics” in ultrathin materials. The ultimate goal is to quickly and efficiently store and manipulate data at small scales without heat buildup, which is a common roadblock for miniaturizing computing devices. For the full story visit ECN.
  2. Black holes from an exacomputer, Goethe University Frankfurt, May 28, 2018, EurekAlert – Using a novel numerical method, researchers have now simulated what happens when two black holes merge and when stars collide with a black hole. The simulation code is designed in such a way that it will be able to calculate gravitational waves on the future generation of “exascale” supercomputers. The challenge in simulating black holes lies in the need to solve a complex Einstein system of equations. This can only be done numerically and by exploiting the power of supercomputers. The method applies the ideas of the Russian physicist Galerkin to allow the computation of gravitational waves on supercomputers with high accuracy and speed. The new mathematical algorithms also apply to the study of tsunamis and earthquakes in addition to black holes and other astrophysical objects. For the full article visit EurekAlert.
  3. World’s Fastest Water Heater Can Boil Water Within Fraction of a Second, Aniqa Ajmal, May 29, 2018, Wonderful Engineering -- Scientists have developed the world’s fastest water heater. A new and powerful X-ray beam can heat water from room temperature to 100,000 degrees Celsius in less than a tenth of a picosecond or a millionth of a second. The system relies on a mechanism that resembles a traditional microwave. Electromagnetic waves are shot toward a body of water, which absorbs the energy instantly. When the temperature rises quickly, the electron in the molecules become too excited for the nucleus to hold them. The electrons are then released from the atom and leave hydrogen and a single oxygen particle behind as positively charged particles. The process is repeated several times causing the water to rapidly build up the positive charge. The positive charges in the water repel and force each other in opposite directions, causing the water to heat instantly. The research is helping scientists better understand the peculiar characteristics that were observed with water at different temperatures and beyond its plasma point. For more information visit Wonderful Engineering.
  4. Supercomputer Technology is Helping Unlock the Mystery of Medieval Graffiti, University of Illinois, National Center for Supercomputing Applications, May 29, 2018, Scientific Computing -- Mia Trentin, a postdoctoral fellow, with the help of the National Center for Supercomputing Applications (NCSA), is studying graffiti to learn what life was like in the middle ages. Graffiti may have been ubiquitous in medieval Europe, but if so, most have suffered decay or destruction due to deteriorating architecture. According to Trentin, almost all enduring graffiti is on religious buildings due to good caretaking. With advanced technologies from NCSA, Trentin will have a better chance of understanding what the graffiti means. The plan is to integrate Trentin’s data with Clowder – a versatile data management system developed at NCSA. Clowder will provide a unique database to further investigations. Clowder will also allow Trentin to define her own standard vocabulary and metadata definitions. This will allow other users to perform advanced, targeted searchers of the data using their own metric. Clowder’s Web Service API also enables the creation of a custom web interface, allowing researchers to immerse themselves in the graffiti. For the full story visit Scientific Computing.   
  5. And lastly, the most popular Tektronix download of the week goes to Making Standby Power Measurements. Our definitive guide to making standby power measurements covers standby power measurement challenges and connecting to the system under test. Our guide will also provide you with example measurements.

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