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


Informative, innovative and interesting articles from our favorite blogs

  1. Astrophysicists estimate the size of neutron stars, June 26, 2018, UPI – The exact size of a neutron star has always been a mystery to scientists. But now, researchers have developed a formula for narrowing the size limits of neutron stars. To do this, researchers analyzed the gravitational waves produced by merging neutron stars. At a certain point, they become so dense that they collapse and become black holes, but scientists have struggled to pinpoint this threshold. To narrow the size limits of neutron stars, researchers compared the predictions of two billion theoretical models. Researchers plan to effectively reduce uncertainties by exploring all possible values of the parameters. The results suggest that neutron stars are between 7.4 and 8.4 miles in diameter, but experts note one catch: ultra-dense neutron stars could exist at even smaller dimensions. For the full article, visit UPI.
  2. New tech improves ability to reflect sound back to its source, June 26, 2018, EurekAlert – A new device is able to reflect sound back where it came from rather than at an angle. The device, called a “retroreflector,” reflects sound at an operating range of 70 degrees in either direction, which more than doubles the effective range of previous techniques. Previous models, which were bulky in design, bounced sound within a rectangle shape and ricocheted around before bouncing back. However, this design makes use of two engineered materials; the first material focuses the sound wave onto the second material and the second material sends the sound back to the source. The prototype is fully functioning but must be fine-tuned at this stage for use in specific applications, such as ultrasound. Researchers believe there will be new applications in the future that they haven’t even considered. For more information, visit EurekAlert.
  3. Grain of Rice Towers over “World’s Smallest” Computer, June 25, 2018, ECN – University of Michigan researchers now hold the title for building the “world’s smallest computer.” The device measures .3mm on each side, about one tenth the size of the previous titleholder, IBM. The tiny computer has RAM, photovoltaics, processors, wireless transmitters, and receivers. Since traditional radio antennae wasn’t an option to send and transmit data, designers had to use visible light to play the role, where a base station receives data, and provides light for programming and power. Because of the tiny design, the computer had to run on low power.  Given this, researchers say they had to invent new ways to of approaching circuit design for low power that also tolerates light. Microdevices like this one can be used in a number of fields such as audio surveillance, biochemical process monitoring and more. Visit ECN for details.
  4. Template to create superatoms could make for better batteries, June 21, 2018, Science Daily – Superatoms are combinations of atoms that mimic properties of more than one group of elements on the periodic table. And now, researchers have created a novel way for creating superatoms, which can be used to create more efficient batteries, better semiconductors, most computerized devices and more. Batteries and semiconductors rely on the movement of charges from one group of atoms to another, but they must maintain structural stability during this process. The team devised a new approach whereby one can synthesize metal-based superatoms that could result in the creation of more effective energetic materials. Researchers believe this work could have wide-ranging applications in electronics. For more, visit Science Daily.
  5. And lastly, the most popular Tektronix download of the week goes to  Simplifying MOSFET and MOSCAP Device Characterization e-Guide. This e-guide answers common questions about making better semiconductor measurements, with a focus on DC-IV and capacitance-voltage (C-V) measurements. It also touches on more specific applications and how you can simplify making the measurements your most challenging applications require.

    Download your copy today!


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