Researchers from the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) and the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) have reported a way to measure the amount of laser light needed to shift the electrons in a type of quantum dot between two discrete states—a low energy, ground state and a higher energy, excited state. Quantum dots may be able to serve as the ones and zeros in a quantum computer, once physicists have the ability to turn them "on" and "off". NIST's and NREL's new technique measures the dipole moment directly by enclosing the dots in a cavity, a dimming laser light pulse passing over them repeatedly. This in turn helps measure the dipole moment, indicating how easy the dots are to excite. For details, go to http://nist.gov.
Artificially created metamaterials are already appearing in niche applications like electronics, communications, and defense, says a new report from Lux Research. How quickly they become mainstream depends on cost-effective manufacturing methods, which will include additive manufacturing.
Sharon Glotzer and David Pine are hoping to create the first liquid hard drive with liquid nanoparticles that can store 1TB per teaspoon. They aren't the first to find potential data stores, as Harvard researchers have stored 700 TB inside a gram of DNA.
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