December 6, 2009

Spin polarisation achieved at room temperature

Filed under: Science,Technology by Branko Collin @ 2:04 pm

We could hardly contain ourselves either, but then we found out what Engadget is getting so excited about, and it is pretty nifty.

Electronic particles don’t just have or constitute a charge, but also a spin direction. If you have a medium, say a hard disk that works by setting the charge of particles, you can add an extra dimension of information by also storing and reading its spin direction (polarisation). It appears that by doing so, you can speed up reading a hard disk by several orders of magnitude.

The only problem so far was that all this reading and writing required an environment dozens of degrees Celsius colder than even the basement of the loneliest computer geek. Scientists from the University of Twente apparently have now come up with a way of doing all this spinning at room temperature, which has the added bonus of not scaring away their dates, thus improving their sex lives. And you were wondering what science was good for!

The University of Twente also mentions huge energy gains that can be acquired this way.

(Source of sciency looking image: University of Twente)

Tags: ,