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New Molecules for a Faster Internet

Zonk posted more than 7 years ago | from the just-think-all-of-the-internets-could-benefit dept.


Roland Piquepaille writes "An international team of researchers has discovered a new generation of optical molecules which interact 50% more strongly with light than any molecules ever tested. These organic molecules, known as chromophores, have been theorized by physicists at Washington State University, synthesized by chemists in China and tested for their actual optical properties by chemists in Belgium. But if they're excellent candidates for being used in optical technologies such as optical switches and Internet connections, these new materials should not be used before several years — if ever. Read more for additional details and a picture of the physicist who broke a law he established in 1999."

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fp (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17484648)

Sweet, now I can get my FPs faster!

I don't get it (4, Insightful)

ArcherB (796902) | more than 7 years ago | (#17484654)

But if they're excellent candidates for being used in optical technologies such as optical switches and Internet connections, these new materials should not be used before several years -- if ever.

OK, I RTFA'd, but I didn't find any reason as to why.
Did I miss something here?

Re:I don't get it (1)

wired_LAIN (974675) | more than 7 years ago | (#17484686)

"The molecules described in the current report have just one "speed bump;' now that researchers have confirmed that the theoretical designs work, they are synthesizing molecules with more bumps. "The calculations show that the more bumps, the better," said Kuzyk."

It seems like they have to manually synthesize each molecule with certain specifications. It would be impossible to produce enough of the new material to use for optical technologies.

Re:I don't get it (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17484688)

It's just Roland Pigpile's crappy grasp of English.

Similarly confused... (4, Insightful)

Animaether (411575) | more than 7 years ago | (#17484708)

the slashdot summary makes it sound like what they discovered is akin to an Omega Particle [wikipedia.org] of the Star Trek kind. Like pursuing and making use of it would result in disaster.

Instead, at best: the article explains that the guy had a theory that particular matter could conly interact with light to a certain extent. Now some researchers have found possible evidence to the contrary. This means that either A. he and thus his theory (rule, law, theorem, whatever - not even the science community seems to use them consistently) was wrong or B. the researchers are wrong (meaning what they found does not violate the guy's theory - either because it's a whole different phenomenon, or because they made a mistake.. whatever).

I'm sure it's all highly interesting to those within those circles, and I even found the premise interesting enough - but to have a statement such as "should not be used for several years -- if ever".. hmm.

Re:Similarly confused... (5, Interesting)

kebes (861706) | more than 7 years ago | (#17484884)

The summary and Roland's article (not surprisingly?) get the details about these 'limits' somewhat wrong. If you read the intro to the arXiv article [arxiv.org] (warning: PDF), they say:

Quantum cal-culations using sum rules have been used to place an upper-bound on the molecular susceptibilities; [1, 2, 3, 4] but, the largest nonlinear susceptibilities of the best molecules fall short of the fundamental limit by a factor of 10^(3/2).[4, 5] A thorough analysis shows that there is no reason why the molecular hyperpolarizability can not exceed this apparent limit.[6] In this letter, we report on a novel set of molecules where the one with modulated conjugation[7] is found to have a hyperpolarizability that breaches the apparent limit.
If you look up reference [4], which you can find here [aps.org], you see this is an "Erratum" (publication pointing out a mistake you made in a previous publication). In it, he shows (see graph), that what he previously plotted as the "limit" was a plotting mistake (not a theoretical mistake). So what he claims is that there is a fundamental (quantum) limit, but there is also an "apparent limit" based on the accumulated experimental data on chromophores so far.

Thus, this new paper is claiming to have broken through an "apparent limit" that existed before. Nothing fundamental about this limit, of course... it was merely that synthetic chemists had yet to be able to create molecules that good. This new report is a 'breakthrough' in the sense that they've made molecules with still higher nonlinear susceptibilities. (But still not violating the theories...)

Will this ever show up in real technology? Probably not. In 'real devices' of course having good optical response is only half the challenge. It must also be cheap enough, stable enough, easy to process, etc. So it's a step forward, but I would call it's more a 'pushing the edge of what can be synthesized' rather than a 'telecom breakthrough' as Roland tries to spin it.

Re:Similarly confused... (1)

Sillygates (967271) | more than 7 years ago | (#17486042)

Why worry about all that stuff?
I would be more than happy if telcos in the US would offer me fiber.

Re:Similarly confused... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17493462)

>> I would be more than happy if telcos in the US would offer me fiber.

You Luddite, you! Fiber is now pasé - you're supposed to be 'lighting candles' to Kuzyk and embracing the chinee scientists. :)

I know... (1)

thrill12 (711899) | more than 7 years ago | (#17486832)

People like to (put things between) (paranthesis) because they cannot (place the sentence) into (the current context) but (this irritates the reader) who (has to read over these out of context) blocks (each time he reads) the (sentence). Did (you) (find this) easy to (read) ?

(Stop) (using) (too) (many) (paranthesis) please...

Re:I know... (1)

jonnyelectronic (938904) | more than 7 years ago | (#17488248)

People like to because they cannot into but who blocks the. Did easy to? please...

A sentence should still make sense grammatically if you take out everything in the parentheses (although it may be missing information on the context). Yours do not, so fail to make any useful point other than you don't like them.

He's not even started using nested parentheses yet...

Re:I know... (1)

mattxmayhem (961548) | more than 7 years ago | (#17488836)

The thing is, proper grammar and sentence structure can basically eliminate the need for nearly all parenthesis.

Re:I know... (1)

AmigaBen (629594) | more than 7 years ago | (#17490016)

Except that they can be a useful way to succinctly add a relevant bit of information without diverging.

Re:I know... (1)

mattxmayhem (961548) | more than 7 years ago | (#17493570)

yeah, but for readibility, they're not the most usable grammatical system, and that's why they don't have heirarchy over other devices, like comma usage or simply explaining something with eloquence.

Re:Similarly confused... (1)

It'sYerMam (762418) | more than 7 years ago | (#17487406)

Which, oddly enough, is exactly what the image at the bottom of the second article shows, yet the text appears to contradict it.

Re:Similarly confused... (1)

Stile 65 (722451) | more than 7 years ago | (#17485102)

His theory is not wrong. The new material interacts 50% more strongly than light than any previously known material, but that previous record was still 30 times less than the theoretical limit proposed in 1999. So now, it's only 20 times less than the theoretical limit.

Roland sucks - even your version is wrong (4, Insightful)

arete (170676) | more than 7 years ago | (#17485490)

Perhaps Roland has no grasp of science, English, or both. Or more likely, he's simply a whore who doesn't care about the truth. I wouldn't have read this if I'd noticed it was him.

He ALWAYS lies, horribly, in the summaries to make them sensational. These lies are inconsistent with the blog HE WROTE, so I have to go with the (ad-revenue?) whore theory.

Honestly, I think anyone who _repeatedly_ pimps their own links without pointing out that it's THEIR link should get a warning... and then be cut off from posting those links. (I'm not even saying "he can't post other stories" I'm saying "stories with that blog linked in them get at least SOME scrutiny)

Even your watered down version isn't right. Scientist predicted a theoretical limit "L". Scientist noticed all actual materials are at or below 0.3*L. Now we've found materials with... *drumroll* - 0.45*L. That does NOT break his law.

Re:Roland sucks - even your version is wrong (0, Offtopic)

wish bot (265150) | more than 7 years ago | (#17486130)

Too damn right. Usually I just ignore Roland's articles...but this one has just pissed me right off.

Re:Similarly confused... (1)

bh_doc (930270) | more than 7 years ago | (#17495372)

(rule, law, theorem, whatever - not even the science community seems to use them consistently)

It's probably got more to do with the only subtle differences between those terms than anything else. These are what I understand as typical definitions (after 5 years of study in physics):

  • Theory - An explanation or model to describe the internal mechanisms of a system.
  • Theorem - A mathematical derivation, proof, or (complex) equation. Not necessarily related to any particular system.
  • Law - A simple mathematical equation (or otherwise worded relationship) relating a small number (two or three typically) of aspects of a system. Usually more system-specific.
  • Rule - Usually a limitation on what a system can or will do, rarely stated in mathematical terms. More often they state the list of things a system will or can do in certain states. I think "rules" commonly define a discreet set as opposed to the continuity of "laws".

I know there's a few qualifiers in that list, but I think that about covers it nicely. I can't think of cases that don't fit off the top of my head, but feel free to present any.

Re:I don't get it (0, Offtopic)

ClamIAm (926466) | more than 7 years ago | (#17484748)

Well, when you put a big fat teaser in your Slashdot submission (which coincidentally links to a story written by the submitter), you are able to break the law of RTFA, which states that "Slashdotters don't read articles with boring blurbs". I only pray it doesn't continue:
"Find out what unexpected shell command will totally hose your system. Details in the real story!!1"

Also, I'd like to congratulate Roland Piquepaille. Not many Slashdot submitters can whore themselves out to a point where it pisses me off enough to boycott reading anything they submit, but 'ol Roland here has done it. Now please DIAF.

Re:I don't get it (0, Offtopic)

ultranova (717540) | more than 7 years ago | (#17486872)

"Find out what unexpected shell command will totally hose your system. Details in the real story!!1"


su -c "rm -Rf / > /dev/null 2>&1 & ; disown %1"

and give your password when prompted. The efficient multitasking of Linux will hose your system in the background. How to set up a voice synthethiser talking with HAL's voice in the foreground is not covered in this post.

Re:I don't get it (3, Insightful)

calciphus (968890) | more than 7 years ago | (#17485022)

I believe this comes from bad grammar, not a warning of apocalyptic molecular research.

Try "But if they're excellent candidates for being used in optical technologies such as optical switches and Internet connections, these new materials /will/ not be used before several years -- if ever."

Because the technology to produce them inexpensively and well does not yet exist.

Re:I don't get it (0, Offtopic)

Ctrl-Z (28806) | more than 7 years ago | (#17485060)

No, it's just another Piquepaille. I didn't actually realize it until I clicked on the article link. Unfortunately, by that point, the damage had been done.

Re:I don't get it (1)

falconwolf (725481) | more than 7 years ago | (#17485526)

OK, I RTFA'd, but I didn't find any reason as to why. Did I miss something here?

I missed it too.


Re:I don't get it (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17485846)

Did I miss something here?

It's quite obvious, once you start looking through RIAA/MPAA glasses. Better, faster internet technology is like promoting piracy, and as we all know, pirates equal terrorists, which means: Preventing improvements in technology is saving our children. Now, do you want to kill babies? Do you?

Re:I don't get it (1)

Sj0 (472011) | more than 7 years ago | (#17490704)

I didn't want to say anything, but yes, I do enjoy killing babies. Are you happy now?

I believe that to kill any baby that isn't from my bloodline will increase the proportion of babies coming from my bloodline, thus increasing the number of people with my bloodline in the world. Because I think that my bloodline is objectively superior to other bloodlines, that children born of it will be more capable of living happy and productive lives, it is thus ethical to say that the world will be much happier over the long run if I kill a few billion babies, and that under the ethical principle of preference utilitarianism, which states that one ought to strive to make the largest number of people happy, it is ethical and thus makes me happy to kill babies.

But downloading MOVIES? There's no way you can justify THAT!

Re:I don't get it (1)

mutende (13564) | more than 7 years ago | (#17485872)

OK, I RTFA'd, but I didn't find any reason as to why. Did I miss something here?
I was also intrigued but the "these new materials should not be used before several years -- if ever". After reading the articles, however, I have reached conclusion that the word should should have been a may...

Re:I don't get it (3, Funny)

bm_luethke (253362) | more than 7 years ago | (#17485952)

It is because studies have shown the probability of a societies demise is related to their access to porn, the easier the more likely they are to die.

Currently western society is right near the limit where a society stays stable. An increase in 30% will definitely put us over the top, the sheer amount of porn downloaded would result in widespread danger. Birth rates are already abysmally low, add in that we can totally stay in house, be as fat/lazy/repulsive as we want and still see hot women nekkid will lead to not only a severe decrease in human interaction, but no one will ever want to leave their house to even work. In just a few short years - death of all of western civilization.

Hurry now, write your govt official in whatever country you are in. Lets make bandwidth restrictions so that this will never come about. Studies such as this should never reach the light of day.

We also know that speeding up light is bad - that causes the signal to go back in time. That would also allow MUCH more porn to be downloaded. You could get several hours worth instantly as long as you remembered to start it later on.

Other than that, I couldn't really figure out why either. Maybe the writer owns stock in copper wiring companies or something.

Re:I don't get it (1)

Sj0 (472011) | more than 7 years ago | (#17490734)

Sir, I demand the article in a peer reviewed journal which covers these findings. Porn is originates from and is most prevelant in societies in the first world, where the death rate is ridiculously low. Other countries without internet access, however, are filled with pain and strife and suffering.

Thus, I dispute your conclusions, and require evidence of your assertions.

Re:I don't get it (1)

donwhompo (1013581) | more than 7 years ago | (#17486018)

I think they meant "should" as in "I should have that login page finished by next week", not as a substitute for "ought to", as in "you ought to write that damn login page yourself."

When you control a man's thinking you do not have to worry about his actions. - Carter Godwin Woodson

Message in a bottle... (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17484662)

Roland, baby, suck my dick.

Re:Message in a bottle... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17484926)

"Roland, baby, suck my dick."

I don't get it.

Barriers (3, Insightful)

Haxx (314221) | more than 7 years ago | (#17484666)

theorized by physicists at Washington State University, synthesized by chemists in China and tested for their actual optical properties by chemists in Belgium

  If only the rest of the world had the lack of national barriers like those in the scientific community.

Done to death (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17485240)

I for one welcome our...

ahhh forget it.

Re:Barriers (1)

ScrewMaster (602015) | more than 7 years ago | (#17487654)

If only the rest of the world had the lack of national barriers like those in the scientific community.

You mean "lack of national barriers like North America." If the rest of the world were like us now with borders that are such in name only, well ... you'd all have to learn Chinese, for one (we will too, no doubt, once we've all become competent in Spanish.) Besides, nation-states still serve a valuable purpose, the same one they've served for centuries. The question is not whether nations are bad (they're not, intrinsically) but what kind of political systems are running them.

The only way that nations will disappear is if a true global Empire is created and enforced, something along the lines of the Soviet Empire only much bigger. China could do it, maybe, if it has the political will and sufficient need for land and resources (the answer is probably "yes" in both cases, but that's just an opinion.) And even if such an Empire did come to pass, it's been pretty thoroughly demonstrated that central control simply doesn't work on even the scale of a single nation comprised of a single race. So, you'd have to have different regions under more localized control (call them "states" or "provinces" or whatever) which would eventually begin to resent the central government and would break away, once again forming sovereign nations. The Romans did a lot of things right, when it comes to managing an Empire (their's lasted for a long time, by our standards) but even they couldn't hold it together forever.

Unless some fundamental change in the human psyche occurs nations will be with us for a long time to come.

Re:Barriers (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17501990)

The question is not whether nations are bad (they're not, intrinsically) but what kind of political systems are running them.

Thanks for solving the issue of whether nation-states are good for humanity with a single simplistic answer and no justification! Possibly, if you could do the same for the other question you posed, your answer might be of great use to humanity.

Quick, adblock, are you broken? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17484680)

A Roland submission? Say it aint so!, i havent seen them for so long. Quick, adblock, why havent you blocked this submission?!

Re:Quick, adblock, are you broken? (1)

dacut (243842) | more than 7 years ago | (#17485524)

There are other ways to handle this, too: http://userscripts.org/scripts/show/5738 [userscripts.org]

Re:Quick, adblock, are you broken? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17485778)

moo -----

do we really need faster internet?

havent had a problem with speed in like 5 years..im sure everyone same.

Re:Quick, adblock, are you broken? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17489050)


Just what we need... (4, Funny)

Mikachu (972457) | more than 7 years ago | (#17484696)

more tubes.

Re:Just what we need... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17485086)

I predict that one day the Internet will be composed of a series of carbon nanotubes.

Re:Just what we need... (3, Funny)

d4nowar (941785) | more than 7 years ago | (#17485484)

It's not the tubes, those are already in the ground. It's the molecules. These must obviously be smaller, meaning they can fit through the tubes much easier than the molecules we have now, and get past those pesky spam emails that are blocking up the rest of the internets for everyone else.

tagged slashvertisment (3, Insightful)

MustardMan (52102) | more than 7 years ago | (#17484730)

Tagged slashvertisement for roland's constant whoring of his zdnet blog. I knew that zdnet had officially jumped the shark when they gave that hit-whore a place to regurgitate others' work and profit from it.

Re:tagged slashvertisment (1)

Jeff DeMaagd (2015) | more than 7 years ago | (#17484778)

Roland has generally improved but then doesn't bother to explain why these molecules shouldn't be used, maybe the word is "couldn't", but the explaination was not there.

I still don't like his work out of principle though.

tagged "fuckroland" (1)

1u3hr (530656) | more than 7 years ago | (#17484834)

because of his consistent "additional details and a picture" links to his blog where he plagiarises the real source.

As for "should not be used for several years" ... not sure if this is a sensationalistic warning against disaster, or just clumsy phrasing of someone not writing in his native language. But in either case, it's bullshit.

tagged "pigpile", as usual (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17484864)

Please Slashdot stop giving this nutter ad hits!

Or at least give us the option to filter by tags...

Well, tagging as "pigpile" as usual...

Idiot. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17485646)

Why would they cut him off, when he's paying them? Do you really think they post his shit for any other reason? Slashdot has been getting a cut right from the beginning.

Physicist scandal (4, Funny)

dangitman (862676) | more than 7 years ago | (#17484820)

Read more for additional details and a picture of the physicist who broke a law he established in 1999.

Should he arrest himself, or should the police do it?

Re:Physicist scandal (1)

Stile 65 (722451) | more than 7 years ago | (#17485090)

Roland's just not that bright. The "law" is a theoretical limit to a molecule's interaction with light. The new molecules are nowhere near it. They interact with light 50% more strongly than any previously created materials, not 50% more strongly than the theoretical limit the physicist calculated.

RTF(Primary Source)A (1)

GrEp (89884) | more than 7 years ago | (#17484844)

Looks like they came up with long molecules using double bonded nitrogen and double bonded carbon atoms as bridges. Between these bonds they have different types of rings made mostly of carbon. I am assuming these rings act kind of like capaciters for storing electrons, but I am not a chemist :)

Re:RTF(Primary Source)A (4, Informative)

kebes (861706) | more than 7 years ago | (#17484954)

Well I am a chemist... and in fact my Ph.D. thesis had alot to do with these kinds of chromophores!

Yes the molecules in question are "azobenzenes [wikipedia.org]" (benzenes linked via N=N) and "stilbenes [wikipedia.org]" (benzenes linked via C=C). These are well-established classes of molecules that have strong "nonlinear optical" properties.

The reason they are "nonlinear optical molecules" is because (in basic terms) the electron distribution is highly asymetric. You can see the chemical structures in the arXiv preprint [arxiv.org] (pdf). One end of the molecule has a group that 'attracts' electrons, and the other end has a group that 'donates' electrons, and the end result is that the electron distribution is strongly skewed. This means that when light hits the molecule, the electron cloud oscillates not like a normal sine wave (harmonic oscillator) but in a much more skewed way (think of a sawtooth wave). This means that when it re-emits light, that light can be very different from the incident light.

That's why these molecules can be used as amplifiers in lasers, and "frequency doublers" (where you input a certain frequency of laser light, and what comes out has double the frequency (i.e. half the wavelength)). They are remarkable molecules, really. This new paper is certainly noteworthy, but I'm not sure it's going to revolutionize the world of telecommunications anytime soon...

Re:RTF(Primary Source)A (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17485804)

Well I am a chemist... and in fact my Ph.D. thesis had alot to do with these kinds of chromophores!

Well obviously, you shouldn't be posting on this article then! We don't take kindly to informed opinions 'round these parts... :)

Phenazopyridine (4, Interesting)

MillionthMonkey (240664) | more than 7 years ago | (#17486014)

I used to work as an analytical chemist in a place that made phenazopyridine [wikipedia.org] tablets, which are sold under the brand name Pyridium. This stuff is prescribed for women with urinary tract infections, and acts as a urinary analgesic.

Phenazopyridine has an aromatic azo -N=N- bond in it that exists in resonant conformation between a benzene ring and a pyridine ring. Azo bonds impart strong red-orange-yellow colors, and in pure form phenazopyridine is a dark red powder. It's only slightly soluble in water, but it really likes alcohols and the standard solvent in most lab procedures was methanol. And you have to use alcohol for everything with this stuff- you'll end up spraying alcohol everywhere and wiping stuff down with alcohol multiple times. Saturated alcoholic solutions are dark reddish-orange, but in lower concentrations the color fades to dark orange and then light orange before settling on a powerful yellow at extremely low concentrations that gives everything a just-pissed-on look. The tiniest speck could probably turn an Olympic swimming pool a noticeable yellow. In alcohol the yellow stain is really mobile, and a major way it gets around is when people try to clean it. The alcohol turns into yellow ink that gets everywhere. But you can't use water because that will set the stain.

All the hallways had fuzzy yellow lines running down their centers because people were tracking phenazopyridine around. The copy machine, the doorknobs, the tables, the balances, books, papers, sinks, everything- it all picked up a faint yellow sheen. You'd see a yellow tinge along the edges of things, and soon stuff at your house would pick up a yellow tinge. I haven't worked at that place for over a decade and I still have a few yellow-tinged items around.

The major side effect when taken for urinary tract infections is dark orange urine. Make sure to close the lid when you flush or your house might turn yellow. For that matter, your blood is now a powerful yellow dye so be careful if you bleed in the house. You can't wear contact lenses either because your corneas will stain them yellow. And avoid Olympic swimming pools I guess.

I heard an interesting phenazopyridine story recently, from someone who had a friend taking it for a UTI. She thought her urine was so pretty that she decided to stain her hair orange for Halloween with one of her tablets. Which worked, until she tried to wash it out. I can't imagine what that scene must have been like, but without an alcoholic shower it sounds pretty hopeless. She ended up shaving her head.

Re:Phenazopyridine (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17486056)

I'd rather have an alcoholic shower!

Re:Phenazopyridine (1)

Sj0 (472011) | more than 7 years ago | (#17490840)

It's not as good as it sounds. Basically, you get in and they toss drunks at you. "I love you man!" "I served in 'nam and saw all my buddies die, one by one!" "Why did Veronica leave me?"

Not pleasant at all.

Re:Phenazopyridine (1)

kebes (861706) | more than 7 years ago | (#17487794)

Yup, I can related! The azo chromophores we used were a very bright red, even in very small concentration. It sounds like the quantities we were dealing with were quite a bit smaller, so with care it was usually possible to avoid getting everything red. However for a couple years we had a postdoc who was, to put it lightly, clumsy when it comes to lab techniques.

First he dropped a bit of azo solution on the newly polished floor, and decided that he would clean it up with acetone...which of course completely ruined the finish on the tiles in that room!

Then we noticed redish stains on the phone, computers, and all over the place. Since the azos we were working with were not exactly bio-safe, this caused us some measure of concern.

And finally, at one point he wanted to run a gel chromatograph on an azo-polymer, so he used the machine in another research lab. Needless to say, that lab was not amused when the effluent from their GPC was running red for the next weeks. We had to buy them a new column, and were banned from using their equipment any more.

Re:Phenazopyridine (1)

warm sushi (168223) | more than 7 years ago | (#17520674)

Karma burning time, but whatever...

This is EXACTLY the sort of post that makes /. worth reading. Informative, funny and real. From a geek doing something cool.

It's good for the soul.

Re:RTF(Primary Source)A (1)

dreamlax (981973) | more than 7 years ago | (#17486054)

I tip my hat to you, sir. I passed chemistry at the highest level in high school and found it impossible to progress. Chemistry to me had no consistency.

In maths or even physics I suppose, everything can fall back to a common set of axioms, but in chemistry, you just have to take it as it comes and believe that everything is true. Maybe it changes after high school, but I didn't want to waste more years just in case it didn't.

Anyone who can study something like that deserves credit! But I ran out of mod points.

Re:RTF(Primary Source)A (1)

kebes (861706) | more than 7 years ago | (#17487742)


Just for your information: chemistry does get more rigorous at the higher levels. I, too, found high-school and 1st-year university chemistry to be very wishy-washy and 'inconsistent' as you put it. It seemed like alot of rules that didn't necessarily mix well.

When you go deeper into it, and learn about physical chemistry, thermodynamics, and quantum mechanics, it all becomes much more complicated, but also much more consistent and unified. It's a real problem with chemistry education, however, because those introductory classes do not do a good job showing what the field is really like. Hence, very few students become interested in pursuing it.

Off Topic, No Guilt (2, Interesting)

rohar (253766) | more than 7 years ago | (#17484870)

I love love articles like this, submitted by the author as links to their own blog. I don't feel guilty about posting off-topic links to articles I wrote.

Some New Ideas [energytower.org] in Indirect Solar Electrical Power Generation, Clean Water Capture and Seasonal Heat Storage

Re:Off Topic, No Guilt (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17485318)

Thanks for the link, I followed it over Roland's since you wrote about something you actually did yourself. As both a chemical engineer and mechanical engineer, I found your project interesting and also reminiscent of past discussions I have participated in regarding 'how to exploit thermodynamics'.

I looked through your site mostly because I was curious if you have done any work regarding the expected efficiency and power density with the tower?

These two issues are likely to dominate the economics and thus viability of the project. Do you happen to have posted any of your work online regarding this?

Thanks, - B

Re:Off Topic, No Guilt (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17485330)

I agree. here's a link [ygil.org] to my blog. Nothing there but a couple of links to old digg stories and me whining about a bad relationship. I could use the hits on my google ads though. Does that make me knowledgeable about anything? >:)

yes, mark this as troll or whatever. It's not meant to see the light of day. ;)

Re:Off Topic, No Guilt (1)

PieSquared (867490) | more than 7 years ago | (#17485476)

That actually looks like a pretty cool idea to me, but my only problem is that I'm not entirely sure that it would make enough energy to justify the land use... though I guess it might.

My own personal favorite idea is to harness one of the greatest powers on earth - the tide. A simple ratcheting device that offers a bit of resistance to a wave could produce some pretty decent power on a fairly consistent basis, especially if you could turn it around whenever the tide changed.

Anyway, making use of the difference in heating between the day and night sounds interesting.

Re:Off Topic, No Guilt (0, Offtopic)

Lord_Dweomer (648696) | more than 7 years ago | (#17485608)

Please mod parent down. This guy is some farmer in Saskatchewan who has ZERO academic credentials listed on his site and who continuosly spams his energy crap. Just check his posting history. Hell, he even spams it twice in this same story.

oh geez, lay off (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17486200)

First I've seen it. Looks cool to me, certainly as useful as any other proposed alternate energy schemes I've seen. And inspiration can come from any place from any one, it doesn't matter a whit what someone's credentials are if they get a brainstorm. What got your panties in a bunch anyway? You get the swooning faintoids if you see an offtopic post? Might want to see a shrink about that....

Excellent Summary (1)

BioCS.Nerd (847372) | more than 7 years ago | (#17484938)

I really enjoyed that summary. It really appreciated that it had a link to his papers. Thanks for hooking us up!

*CUM (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17485002)

look at the market shaZr3. Red

Telescopes? (4, Interesting)

AtariDatacenter (31657) | more than 7 years ago | (#17485044)

I wonder... could this make a higher transmissive reflective coating for telescopes?

Re:Telescopes? (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17485438)

You are correct that a molecule could be designed to emit light at one energy at the expense of transmission of light at another energy. However, optical coatings used for telescopes tend to be designed with materials which adhere well to the lens and can produce nearly atomically flat layers by processes such as sputtering or molecular beam epitaxy etc. (google epitaxial growth to read up on this). However, the quantum yield (efficiency) of many chromophores is fairly low (quantum dots are the leaders here) and application to glass would be difficult. As an aside, quantum dots tend to absorb a wide range of energy and emit at one wavelength, thus integrating a wide field of spectral energy which is emitted at a single primary energy. Since quantum dot emission is highly tunable by physical dimension alone, they might be a better candidate for some sort of novel application along the lines which you are thinking. Sure you could experiment with the referenced chromophores, but I would expect the optical clarity to be more adversely affected than any improvement that might be realized from optical activity, that is, unless you have a chromophore that absorbs/emits just where is needed. In my case, by analyzing the emitted light I am able to identify nearby molecules due to the specific changes in particular resonance modes which are perturbed by multi-molecular interactions between the chromophore and nearby adsorbate. Thus chromophores are useful for all sorts of things, such as molecular recognition. But honestly, I'm not waiting for Roland to opine on the subject. Let's hope that greasemonkey script mentioned below gets adopted into the slash code ASAP.

Puhleease: Put Roland Piquepaille blog elsewhere (4, Informative)

viking80 (697716) | more than 7 years ago | (#17485126)

I would like to just suggest a link to Roland Piquepailles blog somewhere where those who are interested can click. And *no more articles please*

I read /. to get real news and facts, and see discussions from people with insight.
Roland Piquepailles submissions has not met this criterium. And again, chromophores has nothing to do with the speed of the internet.

You should mod this up if you agree or mod away as flamebait/offtopic/troll if you dont agree, but at least mod it.

Re:Puhleease: Put Roland Piquepaille blog elsewher (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17485274)

zonk is in love with roland piquepaille and it's obvious that they are bum chums. I am sure zonk swallows

yay! HD mirrors! (1)

ILuvRamen (1026668) | more than 7 years ago | (#17485566)

if they can get it to reflect, or if they did mean reflect when they said interact, that means....high def mirrors are coming, yay! I don't think people would buy em though lol.

I hope Roland never "profiles" my research (3, Insightful)

Goldsmith (561202) | more than 7 years ago | (#17485668)

You cannot claim to break a law in a news release, while in the scientific paper (where it counts) they say:

"While our best measured values of the hyperpolarizability are still more than an order of magnitude from the fundamental limit, this design strategy appears to be a promising new paradigm for making better molecules."

I would actually like people like Roland writing about science if they did even just a tiny, tiny bit of work. It took me all of 15 minutes to read that paper and follow a few references.
This particular paper is talking about a scientific curiousity: a system with a single molecule interacting with the light without interactions with it's neighbors. Systems with multiple molecular interactions are much better (55% of the fundamental limit), but harder to match to theory. The broken "law" was more of a guess (which none of the people in any of these papers made or supported), and was found to be wrong years ago.

There's plenty of interesting stuff going on there, and Roland missed it all and chose to make up his own story. We'd all know more about science by avoiding this kind of stuff.

How is this in "Science"? (1)

Freedom451 (966684) | more than 7 years ago | (#17485916)

How is a summary that claims a physicist "established" a "law" and then "broke" it showing up in "Science"?

If it is an attempt at Humor, shouldn't be put in Humor?

OMG (1)

posterlogo (943853) | more than 7 years ago | (#17486084)

"a new generation of optical molecules which interact 50% more strongly with light than any molecules ever tested"

what a crock of shit... it's just another chromophore/fluorophore, and it certainly is NOT a molecule that "interacts strongest with light".

why always so slow to report? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17486240)

this news was on tv and newspapers here in belgium (since our university, the KUL, was involved) a few days ago...
it couldn't possibly be hard for slashdot to also post it then...

Kuzyk and Xavier Perez-Moreno... (1)

gardyloo (512791) | more than 7 years ago | (#17490312)

... are both great guys. I was Xavi's roommate for a couple of years (before he went to Belgium), and see Kuzyk almost every day (my office is just down the hall from his, and across the hall from the Nonlinear Optics group's labs). I remember when Xavi was first starting his calculations, he'd say "this is crap!" and then *almost* invariably become convinced of Kuzyk's calculations. But he did find these second-order effects can actually become extremely important, and even (when the nonlinearities become significant and the concept of what's first-order can become muddled) dominate some of the interactions in certain regimes. Kudos to them! The work was a LOT of sum-rules, and Xavi would end up doing a lot of it in Mathematica, but also had to write it all out by hand to get an idea of the terms' meanings.

      In addition, Kuzyk's other students are doing some pretty important stuff with "twisted light" and some chaotic tunneling of light energy in optical fiber bundles, and self-healing chromophores, etc.

      What I think is amusing, though, is all the positing of how immediately important this stuff will be to the industries involved. Yes, it might show up in technologies in fifteen years, but no one has very concrete ideas of what to do with it yet. It's *extremely* interesting from a basic science standpoint, but so is a lot of what people are doing in academic research settings. It's funny that this particular story got picked up and blown all over the 'net in the last couple of days.
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