Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Scientists Create Electron Surf Machine

Date:
June 13, 2007
Source:
National Physical Laboratory
Summary:
Scientists have found a new way to control the movement of individual electrons -- they are making them ride the crests of energy waves like surfers.

Scientists have found a new way to control the movement of individual electrons -- they are making them ride the crests of energy waves like surfers.

By precisely controlling billions of individual electrons every second, they hope to develop new computing systems and increase the security of digital communication.

Much like the conveyor belt in a production plant, NPL's electron surf machine delivers electrons one by one in a reliable steady stream at a rate of more than a billion a second. Whilst small streams of electrons can already be produced, until now no one has found a way to deliver them in a controlled fashion at such a high rate.

NPL's method involves creating oscillating waves of electro-static force which flow like the surf rolling into a beach. A single electron is placed on the crest of each wave and the electro-static waves are then focused in a particular direction or at a particular object.

The applications for the control of so many individual electrons include better new computers and ensuring absolute security for digital communication.

Better computers

All computer systems rely on a flow of electrical current through microprocessors. In existing computers, thousands of electrons flow in a disorderly manner in and out of each processor. This random motion causes significant heating (just feel the bottom of your laptop) and limits the computer's efficiency. By controlling individual electrons, exactly the right amount of current can be targeted at the processor at exactly the right time, allowing the computer to undertake more tasks, run more efficiently and cope with more requests at once.

Secure communication

Digital communication relies on the break up of a signal into small pieces, which are transported through wired or wireless communication networks and then pieced together at the recipient's end. Anyone wishing to eavesdrop needs to remove part of the message in transit to see or hear the information. The new electron surf machine could be used to encode the message into individual tiny light pulses (photons), making it much simpler to identify any which have been 'removed' by eavesdroppers, deterring snooping and alerting the sender or recipient that tampering has taken place.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by National Physical Laboratory. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

National Physical Laboratory. "Scientists Create Electron Surf Machine." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 13 June 2007. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/06/070612105455.htm>.
National Physical Laboratory. (2007, June 13). Scientists Create Electron Surf Machine. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 19, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/06/070612105455.htm
National Physical Laboratory. "Scientists Create Electron Surf Machine." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/06/070612105455.htm (accessed September 19, 2014).

Share This



More Computers & Math News

Friday, September 19, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Virtual Reality Headsets Unveiled at Tokyo Game Show

Virtual Reality Headsets Unveiled at Tokyo Game Show

AFP (Sep. 18, 2014) — Several companies unveiled virtual reality headsets at the Tokyo Game Show, Asia's largest digital entertainment exhibition. Duration: 00:48 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
What HealthKit Bug Means For Your iOS Fitness Apps

What HealthKit Bug Means For Your iOS Fitness Apps

Newsy (Sep. 18, 2014) — Apple has delayed the launch of the HealthKit app platform, citing a bug. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Apple's iOS8 Includes New 'Killswitch' To Curb Theft

Apple's iOS8 Includes New 'Killswitch' To Curb Theft

Newsy (Sep. 18, 2014) — Apple's new operating system, iOS 8, comes with Apple's killswitch feature already activated, unlike all the models before it. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Let's Review Apple's Latest iPhone Reviews

Let's Review Apple's Latest iPhone Reviews

Newsy (Sep. 17, 2014) — The tech press has shared its thoughts on the latest iterations of Apple's iPhone. We summarize the reactions to help you decide: iPhone 6 or 6 Plus? Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins