Chronos is one of the many Smalltalk-related blogs syndicated on Planet Smalltalk

Discussion of the Essence# programming language, and related issues and technologies.

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Even More "Room at the Bottom" Than We Ever Imagined

Scientists at Stanford University have invented a new technology, dubbed "Electronic Quantum Holography," to construct the world's smallest-ever writing. As reported by Science Daily:

"How densely can you encode information on a computer chip? The assumption has been that basically the ultimate limit is when one atom represents one bit, and then there's no more room—in other words, that it's impossible to scale down below the level of atoms.

"But in this experiment we've stored some 35 bits per electron to encode each letter. And we write the letters so small that the bits that comprise them are subatomic in size. So one bit per atom is no longer the limit for information density. There's a grand new horizon below that, in the subatomic regime. Indeed, there's even more room at the bottom than we ever imagined."


Single Atom Quantum Dots Bring Real Devices Closer


Single atom quantum dots created by researchers at Canada’s National Institute for Nanotechnology and the University of Alberta make possible a new level of control over individual electrons, a development that suddenly brings quantum dot-based devices within reach. Composed of a single atom of silicon and measuring less than one nanometre in diameter, these are the smallest quantum dots ever created.



Quantum technologies move a step closer with the demonstration of an 'entanglement' filter

( -- A team of physicists and engineers has demonstrated an optical device that filters two particles of light (or photons) based on the correlations between their polarisation that are only allowed in the seemingly bizarre quantum world. This so called "entanglement filter" passes the pair of photons only if they inhabit the same quantum state, without the user (or anything else) ever knowing what that state is.



Microscopic 'Hands' For Building Tomorrow’s Machines

From Science Daily:

In a finding straight out of science fiction, chemical and biomolecular engineers in Maryland are describing development of microscopic, chemically triggered robotic “hands” that can pick up and move small objects. They could be used in laboratory-on-a-chip applications, reconfigurable microfluidic systems, and micromanufacturing, the researchers say. A report on their so-called “microgrippers” is published in the Journal of the American Chemical Society.



Scientists develop first examples of RNA that replicates itself indefinitely


...scientists have synthesized for the first time RNA enzymes that can replicate themselves without the help of any proteins or other cellular components, and the process proceeds indefinitely.