Researchers at the Georgia Institute of Technology have developed a system that encodes information onto chaos, transmits it, and then decodes the information away from the chaos. Rajarshi Roy, one of the researchers and chair of Georgia Tech's School of Physics, explains how it works. "In an ordinary digital signal, the message can immediately be seen," Roy reports. "But in our system, digital information is encoded in the chaos, so the message would not be obvious to a person who may intercept it." In the experimental system, a stable semiconductor diode laser produces a square wave "message" signal. That signal, amplified by an erbium-doped fiber amplifier (EDFA), is introduced into a chaotic signal produced by an erbium-doped fiber ring laser like that used in today's communications industry. The resulting combined signal, containing a mix of the message and chaotic carrier, moves through an optical fiber to a second EDFA nearly identical to the first. Upon encountering the combined signal, the receiving EDFA begins generating chaotic fluctuations synchronized with those produced by the transmitting laser. The chaotic portion of the signal, measured by a digital oscilloscope, is subtracted from the combined signal and low-pass filter to recover the original "coded" message. E-mail email@example.com.
The engineers and inventors of the post WWII period turned their attention to advancements in electronics, communication, and entertainment. Breakthrough inventions range from LEGOs and computer gaming to the integrated circuit and Ethernet -- a range of advancements that have little in common except they changed our lives.
Neil Fromer is the executive director of the Resnick Institute, a program for energy and sustainability at the California Institute of Technology, working to develop new ideas and research technologies related to providing a sustainable future. He spoke to us about the severity of the current drought in California and how solar energy can help prevent such situations in the future.
From home enthusiasts to workers on the manufacturing floor, everyone's imagination is captured by the potential of 3D printing. Prototyping, spare parts creation, art delivery, human organ creation, and even mass product production are all being targeted as current and potential uses for the technology.
Focus on Fundamentals consists of 45-minute on-line classes that cover a host of technologies. You learn without leaving the comfort of your desk. All classes are taught by subject-matter experts and all are archived. So if you can't attend live, attend at your convenience.