A New System With 1-Nanosecond Accuracy To Be Integrated Into The Large Hadron Collider
University of Granada researchers, in collaboration with the European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN), are working on the development of an extremely precise communications and synchronization system that has an accuracy of one nanosecond. Researchers plan to integrate this system into CERN's accelerators, more specifically, into the Large Hadron Collider (LHC), the world's largest and highest-energy particle accelerator.
white rabbit solution
The new system will be used to control experiments with particles. Researchers plan to use this technology to confirm neutrino speed in an experiment to be conducted in May.
This technology has been developed by the University of Granada –through the Centro Andaluz de Innovación y Tecnologías de la Información y las Comunicaciones, CITIC—, Seven Solutions (www.sevensols.com), Integrasys and CERN. This system requires no complex manual calibration before measurement, which allows automated and more accurate and reliable measurements. For this reason, experts are planning to integrate this system into the LHC for the timing and control of several instruments.
This development is part of the project White Rabbit developed by the four institutions mentioned, along with other organizations. The aim of this project is to develop an advanced communications technology capable of synchronizing more than 2 000 nodes with an accuracy of one nanosecond at distances over 10 kilometers. White Rabbit is a communications network based on the Ethernet standard, which incorporates new features with enhanced applications in diverse fields.
Application to State-of-the-Art Telescopes
The new system and its high performance with a nanosecond-level synchronization accuracy will have a huge impact on large distributed instrumentation facilities, such as the array of radio telescopes CTA (Cherenkov Telescope Array, an initiative to build the next generation of telescopes for the study of the universe in very-high energy gamma rays); or the project Square Kilometer Array (SKA, an initiative to build the world's largest telescope) as well as other fields such as electric power distribution.
As Javier Diaz Alonso, the project manager of the White Rabbit project in Granada, explains, measuring neutrino speed "may have more applications in the long-term" but this developing technology "will undoubtedly have applications in the short-term". For example, this technology allows the geotagging of a mobile phone to the nearest centimeter (inside and outside buildings, while current GPS technology only works on the outside). This technology does not rely on satellites –which may be affected by solar storms or other factors–, but only on terrestrial infrastructures.
An advantage of this technology is that it can be applied to conventional mobile phones, as it is the telecommunications infrastructure what has to be upgraded, rather than mobile phone terminals. Its feature of mobile-phone geotagging might be useful, for example, to control subjects with conditions such as Alzheimer's disease, "its geotagging feature would allow the user to locate a patient in case s/he gets disoriented or lost," says Javier. This system might help geotag stolen vehicles, large costly instruments, or to detect failures in the electric power distribution system.
The Universe as the square root of the irrational number pi
Very interesting fits well enough with all of my schemata.
(Picture; something we want to keep alive)
A new method of DNA reading*
Biophysicist Stuart Lindsay, of the Biodesign Institute at Arizona State University, has demonstrated a technique that may lead to rapid, low cost reading of whole genomes, through recognition of the basic chemical units – the nucleotide bases that make up the DNA double helix. An affordable technique for DNA sequencing would be a tremendous advance for medicine, allowing routine clinical genomic screening for diagnostic purposes; the design of a new generation of custom-fit pharmaceuticals; and even genomic tinkering to enhance cellular resistance to viral or bacterial infection.
Lindsay’s technique for reading the DNA code relies on a fundamental property of matter known as quantum tunneling, which operates at the subatomic scale. According to quantum theory, elementary particles like electrons can do some very strange and counter-intuitive things, in defiance of classical laws of physics. Such sub-atomic, quantum entities possess both a particle and a wave-like nature. Part of the consequence of this is that an electron has some probability of moving from one side of a barrier to the other, regardless of the height or width of such a barrier.
Remarkably, an electron can accomplish this feat, even when the potential energy of the barrier exceeds the kinetic energy of the particle. Such behavior is known as quantum tunneling, and the flow of electrons is a tunneling current. Tunneling is confined to small distances – so small that a tunnel junction should be able to read one DNA base (there are four of them in the gentic code, A,T,C and G) at a time without interference from flanking bases. But the same sensitivity to distance means that vibrations of the DNA, or intervening water molecules, ruin the tunneling signal. So the Lindsay group has developed “recognition molecules” that “grab hold” of each base in turn, clutching the base against the electrodes that read out the signal. They call this new method “recognition tunneling.”...