boost disc capacity
the microscopic magnetic fields that serve
as bits in rewritable compact discs too small
and they become unstable and unneighborly.
Deliberately adding defects to the discs puts
virtual walls around the bits. The result
could be hundreds of times more capacity.
quantum bits go natural
Building bits for quantum computers usually means
making atoms or subatomic particles jump through
hoops. But if you can get a hold of enough of them,
letting the particles do their own thing could be
a better way to go.
powers molecular piston
Building machines out of individual molecules is
no longer such a fantastic notion. Researchers have
found a molecule that acts like a piston and runs
on the cheapest fuel around. Now they just have
to hook it up to something.
could make better biochips
Rust is usually a sign of disorder. But for a range
of thin metal films, oxidation produces uniform
bumps. The microscopic hillocks could eventually
control biochips' fluid flow and make better display
changes shape in ultraviolet light
Shine light on most crystals and the only thing
that happens is the light bounces off. But one crystal
gets bent out of shape when you hit it would ultraviolet
rays. The reaction could power microscopic machines.