Stories tagged Berkeley

Jul
06
2008

The shrinking radio: Courtesy Zettl Research Group, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory and University of California at Berkeley.
The shrinking radio: Courtesy Zettl Research Group, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory and University of California at Berkeley.Courtesy Zettl Research Group

Tiniest radio yet

A fully integrated radio receiver, orders-of-magnitude smaller than any previous radio, was made from a single carbon nanotube (CNT).

When a radio wave of a specific frequency impinges on the nanotube it begins to vibrate vigorously. An electric field applied to the nanotube forces electrons to be emitted from its tip.

This nanotube radio is over 10,000,000,000,000,000,000 times smaller than the Philco vacuum tube radio from the 1930s.

The single nanotube serves, at once, as all major components of a radio: antenna, tuner, amplifier, and demodulator. (Berkely physics research)

See and hear a nano radio

Videos from an electron microscope view of the nanotube radio playing two different songs are linked below.

Nov
27
2006

Robin Low: What will he think about new regulations?  Robin Low makes textiles using nanotechnology.  Ask him what he thinks about these new regulations.
Robin Low: What will he think about new regulations? Robin Low makes textiles using nanotechnology. Ask him what he thinks about these new regulations.

Nanotechnology research is kicking into full gear the world over but almost everyone agrees that we simply don't know how to properly regulate its use. What will particles billions of times smaller than a meter do to our bodies and the environment? Well...they might cure our cancers and clean up our water. But they also might penetrate our blood brain barriers and stick in our gray matter or cause ecosystems to decline due to tiny tiny pollutants.

EPA takes a step in the right direction

Well, at least our government is beginning to look at this stuff. The EPA announced on Thursday that they will be regulating all use of nano-silver in US commercial products. If you make odor eating socks with nano-silver you now have to make sure that it won't get out into the environment and cause harm.

The city of Berkeley, California is also looking at creating the first local government nanotech regulations. This isn't surprising for two reasons.

  1. Berkeley has long history of being environmentally conscious and has a very active political community, often leading detractors and jokesters to dub this enclave The Socialist Republik of Berkeley
  2. They actually play host to a great deal of research into nanotechnology at UC Berkeley and the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. They have a vested interest in protecting their communities from the potential harmful effects of nanotech research.

I will be watching this closely and hope that the concerned community members and the scientists can come to some middle ground where research isn't totally crippled by massive regulation but where unknown safety risks are considered.

Fun times in the nanoworld.