Chaos Manor View Wednesday, April 15, 2015
Barnes was over for a story conference and lunch, so I didn’t get to the mail until late, when I discovered I had made an error yesterday. I have corrected it on yesterday’s View, so will do so again.
Just a minor correction to your 4/14 View: “A plutonium fission weapon â€“ Little Boy â€“ is easily constructed if you have ten kilos of weapons grade Pu.”
“Little Boy” was the name of the uranium gunbarrel design nuke as used on Hiroshima. The plutonium implosion design was called “Fat Man” due to the girth of the shaped high explosive charges surrounding the hollow plutonium core.
A “Fat Man” bomb was dropped over Nagasaki, Japan, on Aug. 9, 1945, near the end of World War II. Released by the B-29 Bockscar, the 10,000-pound weapon was detonated at an altitude of approximately 1,800 feet over the city. The bomb had an explosive force (yield) of about 20,000 tons of TNT, about the same as the bomb dropped on Hiroshima. Because of Nagasaki’s hilly terrain, however, the damage was somewhat less extensive than of the relatively flat Hiroshima.
“Fat Man” was an implosion-type weapon using plutonium. A subcritical sphere of plutonium was placed in the center of a hollow sphere of high explosive (HE). Numerous detonators located on the surface of the HE were fired simultaneously to produce a powerful inward pressure on the capsule, squeezing it and increasing its density. This resulted in a supercritical condition and a nuclear explosion.
I certainly mixed them up, and to make it worse, I know better; no one doubted that the Uranium bomb would work, but there was considerable concern about the Pu weapon.
As to whether Iran is really an existential threat to the United States, I cannot say (although unlike Mexico and Honduras and Guatemala, they are not ACTUALLY INVADING THE UNITED STATES. But I digress).
However, IMHO, the Iranians would be nuts not to want nuclear weapons. I’m only confused that it’s taking them so long. Let’s review the record:
Iraq: Saddam Hussein gives up weapons of mass destruction, helps us fight terrorists. We invade, kill his family, kill him, turn Iraq into a failed state.
Libya: Gaddafi gives up nuclear weapons, we invade, kill him, turn Libya into a failed state.
Syria: Assad has at best primitive chemical weapons, we arm jihadist nut job extremists to take him out (which backfires on us, duh), and trash the place.
North Korea: They have nukes. We are nice to them and give them money.
Pakistan: The have nukes. Even though they are primary abettors of terrorism against the United States, we are nice to them and give them money.
If we really don’t want nuclear weapons to spread, why are we giving other countries such an inventive to get them? If I was the ruler of Outer Nowhere, I’d sure want nukes. I mean, I’d be crazy not to, right?
: APOD: 2015 April 4 – Voorwerpjes in Space,
Every time I read stuff like this I think that whatever inhabitants of those galaxies are, were and might have been, they’re all fried now:
Graphene Spintronics Beats All ee times
Moore’s Law to be extended again
4/14/2015 01:23 AM EDT
PORTLAND, Ore. — Moore’s law may be extended by graphene, whose very high electron mobility plus better-than-metal uniformity makes it a perfect candidate for nanoscale spintronic devices. Spintronic devices encode information on the spin of individual electrons instead of the charge of thousands, which can potentially shrink device sizes into smaller, less power-consuming circuitry than silicon, according to Chalmers University of Technology (U.K.) at its Nanofabrication Laboratory.
Today a few devices use spin encoding, including advanced hard drives and magnetic random access memory (MRAM), but these devices only have to move spin-encoded electrons a few nanometers. Unfortunately, copper and aluminum are not uniform enough to encode spin much longer runs, limiting spintronics capabilities. Chalmers University of Technology’s goal is to extend that distance to millimeters so that any digital circuit can use spintronics.
Professor Saroj Dash and his collaborators, including doctoral candidate Venkata Kamalakar Mutta, recently reported success at long-distance spintronic communications over wires fashioned from graphene deposited by chemical vapor deposition (CVD) on copper then transferred to silicon-on-insulator (SoI) wafers at room temperature. Characterization showed that spin transport could be extended to 16 millimeters with a lifespan of 1.2 nanoseconds and a six millimeter spin diffusion length (the distance that magnetization can be exchanged spontaneously between spins) — six times more than other reported graphene based spintronics, according to Dash.
“Graphene can be obtained in three ways: mechanical exfoliation from graphite bulk crystals, which is widely used technique and mostly reported; epitaxial graphene, which is grown on a silicon carbide (SiC) wafer by removing the silicon atoms from surface layers — a candidate for large scale applications; and chemical vapor deposited graphene on copper foils, which can be transferred to any substrate by dissolving copper chemically,” Mutta told EE Times. “Of these different forms, CVD is most viable form, which can be grown easily and transferred to any substrate. Exfoliated graphene is limited to small flakes and epitaxial is grown on large SiC substrates is good, but yet not very viable to be transferred to other substrates.”
Others are using choosing chemical vapor deposit too, including Texas Instruments, but few labs have reported the successes of Chalmers University of Technology. So far, Dash’s group has only characterized their graphene’s capabilities and built some small devices to prove the concept.
“My experimental setup consists of two ferromagnetic electrodes (one injector and one detector) placed on graphene (see illustration above). Other electrodes are used for completing circuits as reference electrodes and they may not be ferromagnetic,” Mutta told EE Times. “It has two circuits namely the current circuit and the voltage circuit. These are isolated from one another for faithful measurement of spin signal.”
So far the group has prototyped a few simple circuits, but their next step will be to fabricate memory, processor and other more complex circuits, as well as to improve the CVD method for perfect single-crystalize graphene wafers.
“Next, my future aim is use the present CVD graphene for spin logic and memory circuits,” Mutta told EE Times. “Another challenge will be to improve it further by employing single crystalline CVD graphene, where the spin scattering would be less as there are no grain boundaries.”
If the team is successful, it could extend Moore’s law beyond the end-of-the-road circa 2028 as reported in the International Technology Roadmap for Semiconductor (ITRS).
10 images that explain the incredible power of Moore’s Law washington post
By Dominic Basulto April 14 at 7:44 AM
Moore’s Law, which states that the number of transistors per integrated circuit will double approximately every 18-24 months, has become the defining metaphor of the modern technological age. As a result, the logarithmic graph plotting the number of transistors per integrated circuit over time has become instantly recognizable ever since it first appeared on April 19, 1965.
A copy of the 1965 Electronics Magazine article in which Moore made a prediction about the semiconductor industry that has become the stuff of legend. (Intel Newsroom)
In commemoration of the 50th anniversary of the publication of Gordon Moore’s seminal piece “Cramming More Components Onto Integrated Circuits,” we’ve assembled a series of photos that show – not tell – what Moore’s Law has changed the way we think about the astounding rate of change in the technology sector over the past 50 years.
 The increase in computing power first predicted by Gordon Moore in 1965 means that a single device – the smartphone – has become as powerful as an entire collection of devices and gadgets just a generation ago.
 This exponential growth of computing power over time means that a single computer may one day have the supercomputing power of a single human brain, sometime within our lifetime. That sets up for the Singularity. By 2045, a single computer may have the processing capability of all human brains combined.
 Across the entire technological spectrum, we’ve witnessed the incredible shrinking in the size of common technology products over the past 50 years made possible by cramming more transistors onto a single integrated circuit.
 The computing power that once fit inside an entire room now fits in the palm of your hand. According to Peter Diamandis, author of “Bold” and “Abundance: The Future Is Better Than You Think,” the average smartphone now boasts close to $1 million worth of apps.
 Moore’s Law also helps us to understand the remarkable shrinking in the price and size of storage over the past 50 years.
 Including the ability to crank out significantly better video games.
 Given the staggering rate of technological change over the past 50 years, there has been an attempt to put this pace of innovation in terms understandable for the non-technologist. As Intel pointed out at the beginning of 2014, if human population followed the same growth trajectory as Moore’s Law, it would mean that the population of the Earth would be 1 trillion by 2029.
 Another way of thinking about this is by thinking of transistors as if they were people crammed into a music hall. In 1970, if an event at that concert hall were attended by 2,300 people, 40 years later, you would now have 1.3 billion people crammed into that same concert hall.
 Ultimately, we may not be able to cram any more transistors onto a single circuit, at which point Moore’s Law would suggest that any improvements in computing power would have to come at the atomic level. Transistors simply couldn’t get any smaller.
Instead of telephone pole size weapon, how about something closer to a 1-2m piece of rebar, for antipersonnel, antivehicle, antiarmor scale strikes? Call it Demigod. Will such a size munition deorbit (or would a fall from say 30-50km suffice), maintain integrity, be steerable, strike with effect? I have it particularly in mind to home on IR and pin a car or truck to the ground by impaling the engine/transmission, no doubt subjecting crew/pax/cargo to ungodly negative acceleration, but not necessarily causing an explosion. Hopefully cheap and numerous, with conflicting; perhaps ablebtobstop a wave of Boghammers or Chinese junk.
Would value your thoughts, sir. Kindly anonymize me. Best, N
When I worked seriously on the THOR concept, I could show how to steer a tungsten pole. Anything smaller would have a large CEP. I am not aware of later developments, which does not mean they have not been developed. Kinetic energy weapons are inevitable, but I don’t know when.
Not global warming or climate change is affecting weather, according to these guys:
Weird Anomaly Called ‘The Blob’ Is Causing Strange Weather Across US
“The strange anomaly is a patch of unusually warm water lurking along the West Coast of the United States and it may be responsible for all sorts of recent weird weather. Researchers believe that it is behind the Californian droughts and even extreme cold weather on the Eastern coast of US.”
Fear the blob!
Freedom is not free. Free men are not equal. Equal men are not free.