Best of Last Week – First 3D magnetic logic gate, water tractor beam and charging phones wirelessly

August 11, 2014 by Bob Yirka report
Magnetic force microscope images of the 3D magnetic logic gates, each containing three input magnets and one output magnet. Numbers show the magnetization states of the output magnet for all input configurations. Credit: Eichwald, et al. ©2014 IOP

( —It was a busy week for applied physics as Researchers build first 3D magnetic logic gate—they used programmable 3D nano-sized magnets to build the gate–it could lead to circuit chips with increased density. And speaking of circuit chips; Tiny chip mimics brain, delivers supercomputer speed. A collaborative effort has led to the development of a "neurosynaptic" chip, its makers claim, and it works by using processes that mimic the human brain. Because the chip, named TrueNorth uses a neural design it is able to process data on par with a supercomputer, opening the door for such uses as driverless vehicles that don't have to rely on communications with a more powerful remote computer to get around. In related news, neuroscientists are zeroing in on The fastest neurons in the brain, aka "fast-spiking parvalbumin-positive interneurons." Perhaps their findings will lead to an even faster neurosynaptic chip.

Also, Physicists create water tractor beam—a team at The Australian National University found they could use wave generation to move objects sitting on the surface of a liquid. That could come in handy for managing ships in tight quarters, or perhaps to help move floating drones. Also, smartphone users can start holding their breath: Charging with ultrasound: uBeam has functional prototype—it's a wireless charging platform that uses ultrasound to send electricity to devices through the air to charge portable electronics. They hope to have a product ready sometime in the next two years.

In biology news, Scientists create purple-winged butterflies in six generations using nothing but selective breeding. All they had to do was measure the ultraviolet reflectivity of moth wings and breed those with the color closest to purple, a process the researchers believe could be replicated when designing devices that trap light, tune color or steer light beam. Also, Flores bones show features of Down syndrome, not a new 'hobbit' human.

And finally, if you're wondering if you're perhaps a little too into yourself, you can find out, as a team of researchers has discovered that Just one simple question can identify narcissistic people. Turns out, all they had to do was ask them, which suggests, you could do the same.

Explore further: ARM chip makers set to reach 3GHz next year

Related Stories

ARM chip makers set to reach 3GHz next year

July 10, 2013

( —ARM chip makers TSMC and GlobalFoundries have revealed that they plan to release ARM processor chips capable of running at 3GHz sometime next year. Such chips will almost certainly be welcomed with open arms ...

Charging with ultrasound: uBeam has functional prototype

August 8, 2014

uBeam on Wednesday announced its first "fully functional prototype," ready to build for consumers. This is a company that on its Careers page tells visitors, "We're on a mission to untether the world," and that they seek ...

Researchers build first 3D magnetic logic gate

August 8, 2014

( —The integrated circuits in virtually every computer today are built exclusively from transistors. But as researchers are constantly trying to improve the density of circuits on a chip, they are looking at alternative ...

Physicists create water tractor beam

August 10, 2014

Physicists at The Australian National University (ANU) have created a tractor beam on water, providing a radical new technique that could confine oil spills, manipulate floating objects or explain rips at the beach.

Recommended for you

The culinary habits of the Stonehenge builders

October 13, 2015

A team of archaeologists at the University of York have revealed new insights into cuisine choices and eating habits at Durrington Walls – a Late Neolithic monument and settlement site thought to be the residence for the ...

Ancient genome from Africa sequenced for the first time

October 8, 2015

The first ancient human genome from Africa to be sequenced has revealed that a wave of migration back into Africa from Western Eurasia around 3,000 years ago was up to twice as significant as previously thought, and affected ...

Mexican site yields new details of sacrifice of Spaniards

October 9, 2015

It was one of the worst defeats in one of history's most dramatic conquests: Only a year after Hernan Cortes landed in Mexico, hundreds of people in a Spanish-led convey were captured, sacrificed and apparently eaten.

From a very old skeleton, new insights on ancient migrations

October 9, 2015

Three years ago, a group of researchers found a cave in Ethiopia with a secret: it held the 4,500-year-old remains of a man, with his head resting on a rock pillow, his hands folded under his face, and stone flake tools surrounding ...


Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.