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The Low temperature and Nano- electronics group at IISc: The Future of Computing

Technology has been advancing at an incredible pace over the last 40 years, ever since the invention of integrated circuits. Computers that originally occupied large rooms can now sit on our palm. This rapid growth was due to the invention of an electronic device called the Field Effect Transistor in the year 1947.Semiconductors replaced the bulky vacuum tubes of the day, and reduced the size of electronic circuits. Commercial microprocessors today contain well over 1 billion transistors, and special purpose integrated circuits can contain ten times as many. In 1965 Gordon E Moore, a co-founder of Intel Corporation, predicted that the number of components in a dense integrated circuit would double every two years. Industries use this simple observation, called Moore’s law, to set their targets and drive innovation. This has resulted in faster computing, larger storage, better sensors and more pixels in our cameras. However, we are at a stage where industries find that they cannot shrink transistors further at the same rate, as they reach fundamental physical and economical challenges.

Getting a measure of atoms

We are not new to measuring things. From the simple ruler we start using as kids, to the fine balance that measures weight to a hundredth of a gram of gold, our lives are driven by instruments that measure stuff. However, not many of us know that many physicists need to measure quantities in a world that we can't even see: the atom. Vasant Natarajan, Professor of Physics, Indian Institute of Science, is one among them.

New technologies may help in early detection of diabetes

Researchers from the Indian Institute of Science have developed two new methods to detect glucose levels in the blood. Both the method use state of the art technology, and can potentially help in early detection of diabetes. One of the methods is developed using the 'field effect transistor', a device without which our technology dominated world wouldn't have existed. The other method uses what is called a 'Bragg grating', a device that is used in applications ranging from measuring pulse in humans to aircraft health monitoring. However, both the methods are radically different from the method presently used in diagnostic laboratories.

The Royal Society welcomes IISc physicist

Isaac Newton, Robert Boyle, Carl Gauss, Augustin Cauchy, George Ohm, James Maxwell, Albert Einstein, Srinivasa Ramanujan, Niels Bohr, Max Planck, Erwin Schrödinger, Werner Heisenberg, Richard Feynman and Stephen Hawking. The world’s most accomplished scientists have one thing in common: they have all been members of the elite Royal Society. Founded in 1660 ‘to promote knowledge of the natural world through observation and experiment’, the Royal Society in London felicitates outstanding researchers. To join the ranks of these pioneers in the field of science, Professor Ajay Sood from the Department of Physics at the Indian Institute of Science (IISc) has recently been elected as one of the fellows of this prestigious society.

Interstellar gas helps spiral arms survive longer, finds study by IISc

A two member astrophysics team (Mr. Soumavo Ghosh and Prof. Chanda J. Jog) from the Indian Institute of Science, have carried out investigations for understanding the role of gas in the persistence issue of the spiral arms in galaxies. They have shown that the interstellar gas present in spiral galaxies reduces the time for propagation of a wavepacket and thus helps maintain the spiral structure intact for longer time periods.

Prof Ajay Sood elected as a Fellow of the Royal Society, UK

Ajay Sood, Professor of Physics, Indian Institute of Science Bangalore has been elected as a Fellow of the Royal Society, UK for 2015 on May 1. In a career spanning four decades, he has initiated several contemporary research areas; provided deep insights into some of physics' long standing questions and developed potential applications using nanotechnology.

A breakthrough in decoding the mystery of glass formation

A team of Bangalore-based researchers may well have made big strides in answering an age old question in physics: how is glass formed? In a carefully crafted experiment the researchers have gained deep insights into the formation of glass which were in speculation stage since late 1960s. Their findings are published in the prestigious international journal, Nature Physics.

Mystery of flicker noise in graphene solved

The 'flicker noise' in graphene, which could potentially limit some of its applications, is down to some imperfections at the atomic level, a study has found. Graphene, which is essentially made of thin sheets of carbon, is a wonder material bursting upon the world of materials. It comes with some hard-to-believe properties: it's incredibly strong, allows heat and electricity to move freely through it, and is almost transparent.
The researchers found that a particular manufacturing method introduced some defects, which led to the flicker noise. The study was carried out by a team of Indo-Japanese researchers.

Book on sunspots and solar flares, released by Prof Roddam Narasimha

The book is about ‘sunspots’, regions of strong magnetic fields on the surface of the sun. Normally, but not always, the formation of sunspots in associated with spitting out huge chunks of plasma from Sun’s corona, which travel away from the Sun at extraordinary speeds. Plasma is a state of matter full of free protons, neutrons and electrons. Luckily, our planet is so far from the Sun that we can hardly notice those grand displays, unless we are sending out a satellite to capture them. However, such flares, thousands of times stronger than the atomic bombs, can potentially disrupt electrical and communication networks here on earth.