Inspiration abounds in this mini-roundup. The next digital revolution is here, and bringing with it gizmos and gadgets that are faster, smarter, and more powerful than ever.
Harvard’s B2 flow battery
(Image via Harvard)
One such advent is a new battery fashioned by Harvard researchers that is almost identical to the molecular structure of B2 vitamin riboflavin. The scientists were trying to find an organic compound to support the development of flow batteries for renewable energy resources, such as solar energy and wind power. The team wanted to create a high-capacity flow battery that was safer for the environment than current batteries, and stumbled upon riboflavin.
In the human body, riboflavin is responsible for converting carbs into fuel. In a flow battery, it exhibits a similar process, with a few molecular tweaks. The result is a high capacity battery that has a simple synthesis process, and is low cost to manufacture. The team will continue to experiment with other organic compounds, but it is one example of what new science can do.
UT Delft’s hard drive with 500x the storage capacity
UT Delft’s nano hard drive (image via UT Delft)
Another recent development is Delft University of Technology’s new hard drive that has a storage capacity 500 times greater than existing hard drives of its size. The technology relies on a unique atom positioning technique that uses chlorine atoms as data bits. This measure allows the hard drive to store up to 1KB of information per 100 nanometers of width, which equates to 62.5TB of information storage per square inch.
The technology can currently only survive in freezing temperatures (77 kelvin) and environments that are extremely clean. The researchers are continuing to expand its capabilities, and believe it could make insufficient data storage on mobile phones and devices a thing of the past.
Quantum computers out think us all
(Image via Google.)
On Google’s research blog, quantum software engineer Ryan Babbush noted the successful development of quantum computing has not only opened the door to artificial development of organic structures, but has also enabled rapid computing.
Complex chemical problem solving, such as determining the specific reaction rate for propane, can take as long as 10 days for even the smartest chemists to computer. In various trials across quantum labs in the nation, researchers have found quantum qubits can estimate such reactions accurately within a fraction of the time. This allows researchers to expedite ongoing research studies, and even compute seemingly impossible equations, such as the successful development of high-temperature superconductivity.
These are only a few of the technology advances popping up every day. The future is here, so hold your hats and strap in.
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