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Record High Frequency Achieved

ScuttleMonkey posted more than 7 years ago | from the music-to-their-ears dept.

Communications 141

eldavojohn writes "Researchers at UCLA Henry Samueli School of Engineering and Applied Science managed to push our control of frequencies to another level when they hit a submillimeter 324 gigahertz frequency. As any signal geek out there might tell you, this is a non-trivial task. 'With traditional 90-nanometer CMOS circuit approaches, it is virtually impossible to generate usable submillimeter signals with a frequency higher than about 190 GHz. That's because conventional oscillator circuits are nonlinear systems in which increases in frequency are accompanied by a corresponding loss in gain or efficiency and an increase in noise, making them unsuitable for practical applications.' The article also talks about the surprising applications this new technology may evolve into."

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141 comments

In other news, dogs in the area go berserk (5, Funny)

eln (21727) | more than 7 years ago | (#18752073)

The article also talks about the surprising applications this new technology may evolve into

Like making your dog's head explode.

Re:In other news, dogs in the area go berserk (1)

JMcWright (1038670) | more than 7 years ago | (#18752119)

...if your dog happens to have a high frequency radio receiver implant in his brain.

In other news..... (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18752877)

People across the nation began shitting themselves for no apparent reason. Victims recall feeling an unusual vibration in their bowels before immediately discharging feces. Some believe an evil genius may have finally discovered the "brown note". For Action 11 news I'm....oh god.....>PPHHBBBBHHTTHHHHH!!!!!

Take that Mythbusters!!!

Re:In other news, dogs in the area go berserk (5, Funny)

ShieldW0lf (601553) | more than 7 years ago | (#18752217)

The article also talks about the surprising applications this new technology may evolve into

Like making your dog's head explode.


The article talks about the military being interested in acquiring the technology so they can see through peoples clothes, and that was the best you could come up with?

That's weak.

Re:In other news, dogs in the area go berserk (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 7 years ago | (#18752335)

You can already see through people's clothes with backscatter X-Ray.

Re:In other news, dogs in the area go berserk (1)

Gilmoure (18428) | more than 7 years ago | (#18753175)

And the old Sony Handicams.

Re:In other news, dogs in the area go berserk (5, Funny)

$RANDOMLUSER (804576) | more than 7 years ago | (#18752353)

"Because the wavelength is submillimeter, you may image through people's clothing," Chang said. "For example, it would be possible to remotely view if some civilian walking up to you has plastic explosives hidden under his coat."
Yah. I know that's what I'd use that technology for.

Re:In other news, dogs in the area go berserk (4, Funny)

Hoi Polloi (522990) | more than 7 years ago | (#18752645)

Bah, just give them a few drinks and you'll get all of their clothes off the old fashioned way.

Re:In other news, dogs in the area go berserk (1)

Cctoide (923843) | more than 7 years ago | (#18752845)

Except this story isn't about a wonderful new date rape drug. :P

Re:In other news, dogs in the area go berserk (5, Insightful)

s_p_oneil (795792) | more than 7 years ago | (#18753591)

What site do you think you're on? This is Slashdot, where most of the submitters can't even get a girl to accept a drink. ;-)

Re:In other news, dogs in the area go berserk (1)

vtolturbo (729585) | more than 7 years ago | (#18754099)

some of us have no problems in this area. the problem i find is figuring out how to get rid of the chick after i realize that she's just a lush and not worth my time.

Re:In other news, dogs in the area go berserk (1)

LilGuy (150110) | more than 7 years ago | (#18754191)

As the winner of the International Pimp of the Year award for the past 4 years, I find your response amusing.

Re:In other news, dogs in the area go berserk (1)

s_p_oneil (795792) | more than 7 years ago | (#18754299)

I said "most", not "all", and I think my point is still valid. I'm married with kids, so I'm out of the race entirely. I just can't believe my previous post has an "Insightful" rating.

Re:In other news, dogs in the area go berserk (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18754265)

Why would you want to see a guy with plastic explosives drunk and naked?

Re:In other news, dogs in the area go berserk (4, Funny)

eln (21727) | more than 7 years ago | (#18752419)

Whoa whoa whoa, slow down...Slashdot submissions have articles now? I only started reading the summaries last week!

Re:In other news, dogs in the area go berserk (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18752225)

Egads, now I will need to wear tinfoil clothing to go with my tinfoil hat.

Re:In other news, dogs in the area go berserk (1)

gb506 (738638) | more than 7 years ago | (#18753019)

Perhaps this will mean the return of the codpiece industry... Check out my metallic codpiece!

Re:In other news, dogs in the area go berserk (2, Funny)

jesdynf (42915) | more than 7 years ago | (#18753557)

Oh, is that what that is? I just thought you were putting some Vienna sausages in the refrigerator.

Re:In other news, dogs in the area go berserk (3, Funny)

rwyoder (759998) | more than 7 years ago | (#18752811)

The article also talks about the surprising applications this new technology may evolve into
Like making your dog's head explode.
I usually just use a Slim Whitman album for that.

Re:In other news, dogs in the area go berserk (1)

Verte (1053342) | more than 7 years ago | (#18753877)

I guess we will all need to re-tune our tin hats, too.

red utility tape (1)

Travoltus (110240) | more than 7 years ago | (#18753943)

Buy some now.

M$ was waiting for this ... (2, Funny)

garry_g (106621) | more than 7 years ago | (#18754107)

... as it will finally allow a PC processor to run at the speeds necessary to have fluent Vista GUI ... now if someone would invent the 16TB ram chip, so that the also necessary 64TB of main memory could be added to said machine ...

Nooo! (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18752075)

Think of the bees :p

Re:Nooo! (5, Funny)

voice_of_all_reason (926702) | more than 7 years ago | (#18752139)

Or worse, the dogs with bees in their mouths and when they bark they shoot bees at you.

Re:Nooo! (2, Funny)

rizole (666389) | more than 7 years ago | (#18754267)

...with frickin' laser beams attached to their heads!

First Guess: +1, Patriotistic (0, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18752145)

New weapons for the military-industrial-Congressional complex [sourcewatch.org] .

War mongeringly yours,
George W. Bush [whitehouse.org]

Re:First Guess: +1, Patriotistic (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18752963)

Only at /. does "paranoid conspiracy theory" get +1 interesting...

Nice try (3, Interesting)

Headcase88 (828620) | more than 7 years ago | (#18753597)

This post was clearly planted by the U.S. government.

How they did it (2, Interesting)

$RANDOMLUSER (804576) | more than 7 years ago | (#18752157)

The researchers first generated a voltage-controlled CMOS oscillator, or CMOS VCO, operating at a fundamental frequency of 81GHz with phase-shifted outputs at 0, 90, 180 and 270 degrees, respectively. By linearly superimposing these four (or quadruple) rectified phase-shifted outputs in real time, they ultimately generated a waveform with a resultant oscillation frequency that is four times the fundamental frequency, or 324 GHz.
Sounds like there's room to scale, using this method.

Re:How they did it (5, Informative)

ToxikFetus (925966) | more than 7 years ago | (#18752277)

The researchers first generated a voltage-controlled CMOS oscillator, or CMOS VCO, operating at a fundamental frequency of 81GHz with phase-shifted outputs at 0, 90, 180 and 270 degrees, respectively. By linearly superimposing these four (or quadruple) rectified phase-shifted outputs in real time, they ultimately generated a waveform with a resultant oscillation frequency that is four times the fundamental frequency, or 324 GHz.

This sounds a lot like a phased-lock loop [wikipedia.org] . And yes, from the article, it appears as though this does have pretty good scalability. TFA said 600 GHz is achievable. 324 GHz a nice because fog is transparent at that frequency.

Re:How they did it (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18752389)

"TFA said 600 GHz is achievable. 324 GHz a nice because fog is transparent at that frequency."

So in twenty years time cars will have an anti-fog display on the windscreen (which will have the ability to switch between transparent and display mode), which will make travelling through fog much safer at high speeds (let's just accept that cars will not have an auto-drive mode by then, eh?).

On the downside, many crashes will occur because pedestrians on the sidewalk will appear to be naked! Perverts will be making the school run even worse as they hang around outside schools. And we'll all accept it as the price to pay for safety and anti-terrorism requirements.

Re:How they did it (2, Informative)

leighklotz (192300) | more than 7 years ago | (#18754053)

This sounds a lot like a phased-lock loop
It doesn't sound like a PLL to me; a PLL has VCO in it, and this is a VCO, but the VCO is just the oscillator part.
I.e., where's the phase comparator?

It sounds more like a quadrature oscillator with 4 outputs. Oscillators have an inherent need for a 180 degree phase shift, and a quadrature oscillator gives you two outputs 90 degrees out of phase. This one gives you 4 outputs 90 degrees out of phase, which seems a bit of a trick.

It may be some variant on the Bubba Oscillator [google.com] , which uses 4 stages to reach the 180 degree inversion, but of course the output of each of those is 45 degrees.

Re:How they did it (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18752413)

You can't generate new frequencies by linearly superposition. This means that all they did was cancel low harmonics of a not-so-sine wave to "see better" some high harmonic. But this high harmonic was already present in each individual oscillator, so one could say that the frequency was already "achieved".

Re:How they did it (1, Informative)

zippthorne (748122) | more than 7 years ago | (#18752661)

Mod parent down. You can indeed do this. They superimposed rectified quarter-phase signals. In fact, it is a pretty common effect that has been known about since at least the invention of the http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rectifier>rectifier.

Long story short: a full-wave rectified sine wave will have 2x the frequency of the original. Even if the original is a PURE SINE WAVE. The output however is no longer a pure sine wave. You can get a pure sine wave if you have the right filters, but you're going to lose quite a bit of gain.

No amount of filtering can extract a "higher harmonic" from a pure sine wave. Perhaps you could filter out any harmonic frequency you desired from a square wave, or sawtooth wave, but it's going to have terrible gain, and I don't think that's what they did: a square wave superimposed with itself pi out of phase and rectified is a constant voltage.

Re:How they did it (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18753117)

You can indeed do this.
No linear combination of terms of the form sin(a*x+b) can give you a term in sin(c*x) with c != a, but feel free to try.

They superimposed rectified quarter-phase signals
So that's the not-so-sine wave I was talking about. How about we mod *you* down for misrepresenting a post just so you can tear it apart and appear knowledgeable?

Re:How they did it (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18753645)

The GGP (presumably you) said, "But this high harmonic was already present in each individual oscillator, so one could say that the frequency was already "achieved"." That is wrong - the harmonic was generated by the rectifier, which comes after the oscillator. The oscillator itself could generate a pure sine way.

Hardly the highest frequency! (5, Informative)

oskay (932940) | more than 7 years ago | (#18752199)

Precision phase coherent control of lasers has become possible in the last ten years- Laser beams at frequencies exceeding 1 PHz (10^15 Hz) have been precisely controlled, phase locked, and tuned to have frequencies that are *exact multiples* of our best microwave frequency standards (e.g, cesium). It works the other way too-- our most precise microwave-frequency signals come from divided-down optical frequency references now! See also: 2005 nobel in physics.

Re:Hardly the highest frequency! (1)

alexj33 (968322) | more than 7 years ago | (#18752257)

Maybe it just needed to be mounted on the head of a shark.

Re:Hardly the highest frequency! (4, Funny)

niro5 (1081199) | more than 7 years ago | (#18752433)

I agree, my girlfriend reached a far greater frequency when she found a spider in the bath tub. Old news.

Re:Hardly the highest frequency! (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18752487)

I was able to get your girlfriend to emit some fairly high frequencies also, and it had nothing to do with a spider.

Re:Hardly the highest frequency! (1)

TheMadcapZ (868196) | more than 7 years ago | (#18752959)

Yeah, a high frequency of laughter whenever you take it, out at best!

Re:Hardly the highest frequency! (1)

inviolet (797804) | more than 7 years ago | (#18753311)

Yeah, a high frequency of laughter whenever you take it, out at best!

Or the frequency of reciprocations of his right hand... which are, likely, sinusoidal.

Re:Hardly the highest frequency! (4, Informative)

insignificant1 (872511) | more than 7 years ago | (#18752485)

Yes, people have achieved higher frequencies, and controlled them very precisely, as you point out; however, such oscillators aren't CMOS oscillators. That's the news, that they've built a CMOS oscillator at such a frequency, not that they have achieved the highest frequency ever to be controlled (which would be a joke). Not exactly what the /. headline implies, though.

Re:Hardly the highest frequency! (1)

YourMotherCalled (888364) | more than 7 years ago | (#18753657)

Duh GP! Don't you know???

Re:Hardly the highest frequency! (2, Informative)

jcorno (889560) | more than 7 years ago | (#18752565)

That's an optical frequency. Well, UV, but still, totally different from what they're talking about. Your example has to do with electronic states of matter. They're talking about circuitry.

Re:Hardly the highest frequency! (4, Informative)

oskay (932940) | more than 7 years ago | (#18752799)

The work with the CMOS circuits is clearly an important achievement.

However, both the Slashdot title ("Record High Frequency Achieved") and summary ("...managed to push our control of frequencies to another level ...") do seem imply that frequency control has not been possible at frequencies that high before. So, it's important to point out that while it's a record, it's only a record within context. (Records within context are fun; you can do anything with them. For example, I hold the bicycle land speed record for all persons with my SSN.)

In any case, it's *not* totally different. Both are examples of frequency control, which is it's own discipline that spans precision timing and applications in all frequency ranges, from RF (on chips and in free space) to optical (on chips, in fibers, and in free space) and beyond.

Re:Hardly the highest frequency! (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18753345)

You also hold the record for most pedantic asshat with your screen name, as well as biggest waste of space. No qualifier for the last one.

And as an aside, it's pretty fucking pathetic that you have to attempt to demonstrate your knowledge in the fashion you chose. YOU are the only idiot who thinks what you wrote was worthwhile or necessary.

Fuck off and die.

Re:Hardly the highest frequency! (1)

kdemetter (965669) | more than 7 years ago | (#18753689)

Well , at least he's not insulting people while hiding behind anonymity , like you did in the above post.

VA Tech shooting 22 dead 28 injured. (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18752201)

Why isn't Slashdot reporting on this? Shit.

Re:VA Tech shooting 22 dead 28 injured. (1)

guruevi (827432) | more than 7 years ago | (#18752437)

Did they use computers, the internet or any other geek method to kill? No? Freakin' lasers on their heads?

Re:VA Tech shooting 22 dead 28 injured. (1)

alienmole (15522) | more than 7 years ago | (#18752839)

Well, my young fella-me-lad, with your 800K+ uid you may not remember this, but there once was a Slashdot contributor named Jon Katz who would have found a way to make this about geeks, no matter what contortions were necessary. Katz was a master of modern journalism: if a story wouldn't cooperate, he just keep pounding at it until he made it his bitch -- or vice versa, didn't really matter.

Re:VA Tech shooting 22 dead 28 injured. (1)

Gilmoure (18428) | more than 7 years ago | (#18753337)

Oh man, I haven't thought of Katz for ages. Because of that cartoon back then (when Foxtv was cool), I always viewed his posts through squiggle vision.

Re:VA Tech shooting 22 dead 28 injured. (1)

coopex (873732) | more than 7 years ago | (#18754305)

Damn you! I thought I'd never have to hear about JonKatz again! Curse you for soiling my mind!

Re:VA Tech shooting 22 dead 28 injured. (0, Offtopic)

vertinox (846076) | more than 7 years ago | (#18752531)

1. Every news channel is reporting it right now.
2. Slashdot has a 24 hour story submission turn around time (I submitted a Garry Kasparov storry and they didn't post another submitted one on same topic til the next day)
3. It is a tragedy and saddening, but again more people will die in Iraq today (and tomorrow) and in the scope of things it isn't the end of the world as we know it and may not be on topic with Slashdot at this point. Too much speculation of what happened as it is...

Re:VA Tech shooting 22 dead 28 injured. (1)

pclminion (145572) | more than 7 years ago | (#18753861)

It is a tragedy and saddening, but again more people will die in Iraq today (and tomorrow)

The latter is, sadly, not news. The former is. Honestly, the original poster's comment was the first I'd heard of it.

Re:VA Tech shooting 22 dead 28 injured. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18754185)

more people will die in Iraq today

And the US! Even if you only count accidental deaths, there are about three times as many automobile-related fatalities in a single day than what happened there. The national murder rate per day is about equivalent to the number of deaths in this shooting. In the grand scheme of things, it hardly makes a bump.

Re:VA Tech shooting 22 dead 28 injured. (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18752593)

Damn, too bad it wasn't on a religious campus.

Re:VA Tech shooting 22 dead 28 injured. (1, Funny)

HolyCrapSCOsux (700114) | more than 7 years ago | (#18752611)

What were their majors? May affect the job market. If they were going into Law or Marketing, we already have enough of those.

Re:VA Tech shooting 22 dead 28 injured. (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18752721)

> 100,000 people dead worldwide in just the past 24 hours! The bodies from this carnage laid end-to-end would stretch over 100 miles! Why isn't anybody reporting this catastrophe??!

That's nothing (3, Funny)

lelitsch (31136) | more than 7 years ago | (#18752203)

More than 15 years ago, quite a few of the students at the physics lab I was teaching had their oscillating circuits reach 483 terahertz and more pretty easily. For a short amount of time that is.

Short amount of time??? (2, Interesting)

msauve (701917) | more than 7 years ago | (#18752509)

Red/orange LEDs typically have a lifetime measured in the 10,000+ hour range, when reasonably driven. A $1 blue LED will provide a reliable 600+ THz.

That's nothing (1)

wsanders (114993) | more than 7 years ago | (#18752623)

My device runs at 500+ THz for several hours on one set of batteries, fits on a keyring, and I bought it at Fry's.

This makes me wonder ... (2, Insightful)

LaughingCoder (914424) | more than 7 years ago | (#18752299)

... how they are able to visualize such high frequencies. How do they know they succeeded?

Re:This makes me wonder ... (3, Funny)

MrP-(at work) (839979) | more than 7 years ago | (#18752477)

They got a Vista score of 5, so obviously it's running at 324GHz

Re:This makes me wonder ... (2, Insightful)

pclminion (145572) | more than 7 years ago | (#18752519)

"High frequencies?" We're not even talking terahertz here. The frequency of VISIBLE LIGHT is about a million times higher. This frequency is "high" in the sense that it is one of the highest frequencies ever achieved with an oscillating circuit. It's nowhere near the highest frequencies humans have ever produced or measured. So how do they "visualize" these frequencies? Probably with the same techniques they use to visualize frequencies trillions of times higher?

Re:This makes me wonder ... (1)

m0nstr42 (914269) | more than 7 years ago | (#18753409)

.. how they are able to visualize such high frequencies. How do they know they succeeded?
As mentioned in one of the other replies, there are lots of measurement devices for very high frequency stuff. I'm sure they used something far more precise than this, but here's a couple relatively simple ways to measure a signal that you can't capture on a scope: - use a frequency counter to count the number of zero crossings against a known, calibrated, time-base - use a signal multiplier to multiply by a lower-frequency signal of known, calibrated frequency and filter out the summed component.. repeat as necessary.. eventually you can work your way down to a low enough frequency to view on a scope. You know what frequencies you multiplied, so you can work back the frequency of the original signal. This is how AM radio works, as well as MRI machines and lots of other stuff.

So you're saying... (3, Funny)

Lord Bitman (95493) | more than 7 years ago | (#18752325)

They found frequencies... they didn't even know existed?!

+1 funny
-8 bad movie
-9000 overrated

Sorry, been done before and topped... (2, Informative)

AetherBurner (670629) | more than 7 years ago | (#18752403)

Check out http://www.arrl.org/qst/worldabove/dxrecords.html [arrl.org] for the Amateur Radio DX records. This was achieved long ago and at higher frequencies. Highest RF frequency used for a confirmed two-way communication was 403 GHz between WA1ZMS/4 (FM07ji) and W4WWQ/4 (FM07ji) on 21-Dec-2004 over a distance of 1.42 kilometers. Achieving a frequency is one thing but being able to use it is another.

Re:Sorry, been done before and topped... (1)

Volante3192 (953645) | more than 7 years ago | (#18752511)

I can't help but think there's a world of difference between how DX stations work and how these CMOS chips work, but I don't think I'll have the time to figure it out before someone more versed in the topics can give a brief rundown.

One thing that sticks out is that this CMOS variation seems to allow for finely tuned control of the frequency, which allows them to use it regularly and reliably, but I could be way off.

Re:Sorry, been done before and topped... (1, Redundant)

insignificant1 (872511) | more than 7 years ago | (#18752573)

I'll post this again: The news is not that they've built an oscillator at the highest frequency ever (think: LASER is much higher frequency); the news is that it's the highest-frequency CMOS oscillator built to date. (Which I can't confirm, but it sounds right to me.)

T-rays (3, Informative)

kebes (861706) | more than 7 years ago | (#18752481)

This technology is another step along to road to widespread technology exploiting Terahertz radiation [wikipedia.org] , which is the region of the EM-spectrum between IR and microwaves. Near the end of the article, they mention the possibility of creating imaging systems that can, for example, see through clothes. These applications of so-called T-rays have in fact already been demonstrated. For example, the image in this article [thznetwork.org] shows a man concealing a knife, which is easily visible in the T-ray image. (See also some other pictures here [thznetwork.org] .) T-rays reflect strongly off of metals but can penetrate to varying extents through things like clothing and tissue. The military and security applications are obvious. However it would also bring up new kinds of medical imaging, and has been investigated for quality control, too (for example, scanning the inside of foods in assembly lines, etc.). In the previous link I put, there is an example of scanning through a Hershey bar, where you can see the positions of the nuts.

Suffice it to say this is an area of active research that may have many, many applications.

Re:T-rays (1)

badfish99 (826052) | more than 7 years ago | (#18753047)

This is scary stuff. If metal knives and guns can be so readily detected when hidden in clothing, I'm going to have to keep mine in a metal container next time I go out on a killing spree.

Then someone would have to go to the trouble of inventing a metal detector to detect my knife.
Oh wait...

Re:T-rays (1)

AGMW (594303) | more than 7 years ago | (#18753213)

for example, see through clothes. These applications of so-called T-rays have in fact already been demonstrated.

Of course, now we have the T-rays we really want the C- and A-rays to go with it!

Re:T-rays (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18753567)

For example, the image in this article shows a man concealing a knife, which is easily visible in the T-ray image . . . In the previous link I put, there is an example of scanning through a Hershey bar, where you can see the positions of the nuts.


The jokes just write themselves!

Re:T-rays (3, Funny)

Tribbin (565963) | more than 7 years ago | (#18753633)

Too bad you can camouflage the reflecting T-rays by wearing a T-shirt.

Re:T-rays (1)

smellsofbikes (890263) | more than 7 years ago | (#18754273)

>In the previous link I put, there is an example of scanning through a Hershey bar, where you can see the positions of the nuts.

Since these can see through clothing...
oh, man, I can't bring myself to say it.

Anyway, tinfoil! It's not just for hats anymore!

If aliens are calling... (2, Interesting)

JAB Creations (999510) | more than 7 years ago | (#18752505)

If aliens are calling then they'd probably be using frequencies along those lines. The logic would be that if they found using such frequencies to be technologically challenging to use why would they bother to communicate with an abundance of lesser civilizations when they could potentially benefit from communicating with equal or superior civilizations across the cosmos?

Re:If aliens are calling... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18752617)

If aliens are calling then they'd probably be using frequencies along those lines. The logic would be that if they found using such frequencies to be technologically challenging to use why would they bother to communicate with an abundance of lesser civilizations when they could potentially benefit from communicating with equal or superior civilizations across the cosmos?

Because if they are anything like humans, they would pander to the lowest common denominator.

Re:If aliens are calling... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18752837)

Only if those frequencies stood out against the background well and weren't heavily attenuated. But then again, an advanced civ would see the value in finding any life and wouldn't act like galactic snobs now would they?

signal geeks don't post on slashdot (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18752525)

pearls before swine

That's nothing (2, Insightful)

Koyaanisqatsi (581196) | more than 7 years ago | (#18752571)

My flashlight achieves orders of magnitude higher frequencies in a snap!

Re:That's nothing (1)

Rosco P. Coltrane (209368) | more than 7 years ago | (#18753223)

and you know what, I've done even better. I can generate a pure sine carrier with an infinite frequency: It's a generator that generates 0V DC. Beat that!

Is this really new? (1)

mack knife (96580) | more than 7 years ago | (#18752677)

Didn't they create and usefully apply terahertz frequencies four years ago? Terahertz > 190 gigahertz, right? What's the big deal?

http://slashdot.org/article.pl?sid=03/02/11/184824 7 [slashdot.org]

Re:Is this really new? (1)

Alioth (221270) | more than 7 years ago | (#18753791)

The big deal was that it was done by a CMOS oscillator, i.e. something that can be fabbed in today's semiconductor factories in mass, not something that's limited to the laboratory.

MP3 (0, Offtopic)

wilsonthecat (1043880) | more than 7 years ago | (#18752881)

Where can I download the MP3

pulse (1)

null-sRc (593143) | more than 7 years ago | (#18752979)

*buys a lot of red tape*

it keeps them out you know

They've been beaten years ago. (1)

The Relentless (901624) | more than 7 years ago | (#18753081)

My late dog, Rover (may he rest in peace), had his head explode when my sister put on a Mariah Carey CD.

Not what I expected (0)

Gramie2 (411713) | more than 7 years ago | (#18753207)

I had thought the article would be about a breakthrough in Slashdotter's wanking techniques...

"submillimeter" (2, Interesting)

ebcdic (39948) | more than 7 years ago | (#18753281)

Sincer "submillimeter" implies a frequency greater than 300GHz, it makes no sense to talk about "usable submillimeter signals with a frequency higher than about 190 GHz".

ouch (1)

Floritard (1058660) | more than 7 years ago | (#18753303)

"Because the wavelength is submillimeter, you may image through people's clothing,"


Another menacing blow to the psyche of cutoff-loving never-nudes everywhere. Time to buy plastic underwear.

Re:ouch (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18753473)

"Another menacing blow to the psyche of cutoff-loving never-nudes everywhere. Time to buy plastic underwear."

Plastic underwear? I was assuming it would be tin foil.

audio frequence research (0, Troll)

purpleraison (1042004) | more than 7 years ago | (#18753377)

While conventional oscillator circuits may be nonlinear systems, submicron research has been performed at the National Institute for Standards and Technology (NIST) and has focused on hemi-quazmatron acceleration under free radical assignment projection. While this sounds like a lot of bunk terminology, it is actually where the future lies for this field. The UCLA HSSEAS has often proven a valuable partner in this research, and has taken a slightly different approach this to research.

Regardless, pushing sub-millimeter frequency into the audio sphincter is always difficult because it runs counter to the way it should be. Simply put, things should be emitted FROM the sphincter, and not entered into it. However, when using sub-millimeter waves, the sphincter cannot contract. The scientific name for this is an 'audio rim jobe' -- after Dr. Heigh Liek ScrimJobes from the Netherlands.

Furthermore, research has shown that massaging the audio sphincter often causes it to relax. The only problem is that Dr ScrimJobes discovered the audio sphincter is in his pants, and that only women can massage it.

I must not be a nerd (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18753481)

I am familiar with all of the words in the summary, yet I am unable to comprehend it.

Tricorder (1)

metoc (224422) | more than 7 years ago | (#18753493)

The size of the circuits and ability to penetrate materials makes this technology part of a future Tricoder type device.

Sounds like extension of the push-push oscillator (3, Informative)

MetaDFF (944558) | more than 7 years ago | (#18753601)

What they did sounds like an extension of the technique used in push-push oscillators to "double" the oscillation frequency.

The basic principle behind a push-push oscillator is that two out-of-phase signals of fundamental frequency f_o are combined such that the fundamental signal and the odd harmonics cancel, while the second harmonic at 2*f_o add constructively. In the case of a push-push oscillator, you only need two signals 180 degrees out of phase. This could be generated with a differential VCO.

Using a push-push oscillator is a well known technique for increasing the frequency of oscillation of a VCO beyond the fMAX of a transistors at a given process node.

The only disadvantage with push-push oscillators is that you end up losing a lot of power as the second harmonics's power will always be much smaller than the power in the fundamental frequency of the VCO.

ET pissed (1)

Tablizer (95088) | more than 7 years ago | (#18753709)

These higher frequencies are pissing off all the stealth flying saucers in the area. They use the frequencies that humans don't use, but their range gets smaller and smaller as we move up the spectrum. They will retaliate with more ubductions and anal probes. You've been warned.

Re:ET pissed (1)

nsillik (791687) | more than 7 years ago | (#18754231)

ubductions? seriously?

How they did it (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18753825)

From TFA: "The researchers first generated a voltage-controlled CMOS oscillator, or CMOS VCO, operating at a fundamental frequency of 81GHz with phase-shifted outputs at 0, 90, 180 and 270 degrees, respectively. By linearly superimposing these four (or quadruple) rectified phase-shifted outputs in real time, they ultimately generated a waveform with a resultant oscillation frequency that is four times the fundamental frequency, or 324 GHz."

That's cheating!

new clothes (2, Funny)

mekane8 (729358) | more than 7 years ago | (#18754097)

So will we now start seeing tinfoil underwear to go with the hats?

Antenna Design (1)

hisstory student (745582) | more than 7 years ago | (#18754223)

This is going to be a problem for quarter-wave diapole fabrication.
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