Follow Slashdot blog updates by subscribing to our blog RSS feed


Forgot your password?
DEAL: For $25 - Add A Second Phone Number To Your Smartphone for life! Use promo code SLASHDOT25. Also, Slashdot's Facebook page has a chat bot now. Message it for stories and more. Check out the new SourceForge HTML5 Internet speed test! ×

Comment Re:Now can we (Score 1) 334

Even if it was a cheap mass-producable metastable room temperature superconductor the stored energy in hydrogen compressed to such a density would mean it would be a very good explosive - not something you would want to use for energy transfer with wires. Maybe as a thin nm level coating for superconducting computers or something.

Likely though this will never be anything else other than a scientific curiosity. Diamond anvil cells are not something you can automate, but a complete pain in the ass to set up, align, and use. There is a reason that this took so long to accomplish despite DACs being around for decades. I very much doubt that it would be metastable at room temperature - I can't find any good publication that convinces me otherwise.

Only counter argument would be if it *was* metastable typically anything that can be made at high pressure can be made using other shortcuts - CVD, hydrothermal synthesis, chemically with catalysts, other plasma discharges, etc. If it turned out to be metastable you could bet someone would find another way of synthesizing it.

Comment Re:Now can we (Score 1) 334

Aluminum oxynitride and aluminum oxide are no more "aluminum" than table salt is metallic sodium. This material might be good for high strength windows, but isn't altogether that different from high strength glass, quartz, or sapphire. It behaves more closely to concrete than a sheet of aluminum (no ductility).

Comment Re:Can someone explain in laymans terms how.... (Score 1) 334

The debate is more of a chicken-egg problem. Computers would certainly come about and then drive the mathematics. Actually, it's more common for experiments to drive theory. Superconductors, superfluids, semiconductors, etc. all existed before theory could account for their behavior. Even the phosphorus doping of semiconductors was "discovered" by a machinist who noticed the faint smell of the ones that worked (phosphorus lamps had a similar odor). It's actually harder to think of fundamental technologies that were imagined using theory - lasers are the only thing that come to mind immediately.

Now of course modern integrated circuits would never really be possible without theory, nor would state of the art superconducting cables. But, theory is almost always driven by experiments, not the other way around. Quantum theory needed black body / photoelectric experiments, relativity needed Michelson–Morley. In my opinion the modern stagnation in new theories failing to dig deeper into reality is due to the lack of experiments that challenge our understanding. CERN is verifying very old existing theories, not challenging them. All this is immensely valuable, but we need a new WTF moment to go to the next step.

Comment Re:Energy input. (Score 1) 156

I'll have to pick up a copy of that book, thanks. I don't think DeBeers has much control over patents, but purchases companies that start using the technology. For example was purchased by DeBeers, I presume to control their tech. The old press technology is still in use by several companies mostly to produce diamonds for drills, like Novatek (started by Hall but still in business). Many use CVD tech though, but sell under the radar to avoid DeBeers.

Comment Re:Energy input. (Score 4, Informative) 156

The first hydraulic presses (tetrahedral presses) were made by an american engineer Tracy Hall. The "diamond makers" is a great book that discusses these early efforts and the long history of trying to create artificial diamond. Also not sure about efficiency, but high pressure formed artificial diamonds tend to be way more defective - a problem if you're trying to create semiconductor properties of a beta voltaic. CVD actually produces diamonds with less flaws than nature.

Comment Applications (Score 1) 365

I know a bit about artificial diamonds with the CVD process. De Beers has been fighting this hard for a while, even buying out CVD companies to help regulate (look up synthetic diamond companies and see who owns them). I'm hopeful De Beers loses not because I care about jewelry, but due to how useful cheap diamond would be. Diamond really is the superlative substance - highest hardness (save for a few theoreticals and nano-sized stuff) and highest thermal conductivity at room temperature. Resistant to chemical attack, and can be doped to form semiconductors, superconductors, electron emitting materials, etc. If we could buy 10 cm^3 cubes of the stuff for $150 the number of engineering applications would be limitless. Looks like things could go this way eventually. It wouldn't be without historical precedent; aluminum and sapphire used to be exorbitantly expensive. The latter is now used occasionally as a window for barcode swipers at grocery stores.

Also a fantastic and underrated book about the history of diamond and the artificial high pressure synthesis of it is "the diamond makers" by Robert Hazen. All his books are pretty good (no affiliation).

Comment Re:The basest, vilest (Score 3, Interesting) 1017

Except that Hillary is the one being given a free pass. She's quick to shift the focus of her own wrongdoings with the email server and DNC hacks to Trump (based on NO evidence) to distract from the DNC and her own evils.

AND - she makes it look as if Trump is in collusion with Russia, when in fact she is the only person who illegally worked with Russia and took bribes. I'll copy and past a comment from an AC poster from another article here:

Story [] about how she received bribes for allowing Russia to buy 20% of the USA uranium production. She clearly stated how she wouldn't take foreign donations to her foundation while at state, would ask for a waiver to do it if it came up, and would disclose if it happened. She took the bribe, didn't ask for a waiver, didn't disclose it, and failed to report it on her taxes and had to amend them years later after she was caught. She showed "Intent" in hiding the donations because they were bribes. This isn't even questionable campaign donations, this is direct bribes to her for approving something the State Department wouldn't normally even consider.

I'm not sure why people bring up her email scandal. As bad as it was, it wasn't taking bribes from Russia for State Department favours while she was in charge.

How is she even possibly considered for the DNC nomination after this came out?

Comment Re:Stupid predictions (Score 1) 224

You could make an argument about beating chess not being AI, but that argument wouldn't hold for Go. With chess you don't have to program "intuition", it's evaluation of possible moves. With Go the possible number of boards is obscene : around 10^800 possible boards, where there are ~10^80 atoms in the universe. You can't just extrapolate and calculate possible moves, you have to program a deep neural net with a sort of AI "intuition". Very impressive feat, and the South Korean government immediately dumped billions into AI on hearing about the feat.

Slashdot Top Deals

I have the simplest tastes. I am always satisfied with the best. -- Oscar Wilde