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Light-based memory chip that permanently stores data

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London: A team of British scientists led by an Indian-origin professor has developed the world’s first entirely light-based memory chip to store data permanently that can help dramatically improve the speed of modern computing.

The new device uses the phase-change material — the same as that used in rewritable CDs and DVDs — to store data.

This material can be made to assume an amorphous state, like glass or a crystalline state, like a metal, by using either electrical or optical pulses.

The team has shown that intense pulses of light sent through the waveguide can carefully change the state of the phase-change material.

An intense pulse causes it to momentarily melt and quickly cool, causing it to assume an amorphous structure; a slightly less-intense pulse can put it into an crystalline state.

“This is a completely new kind of functionality using proven existing materials,” said professor Harish Bhaskaran from Oxford University’s department of materials.

“These optical bits can be written with frequencies of up to one gigahertz and could provide huge bandwidths. This is the kind of ultra-fast data storage that modern computing needs,” he noted.

Today’s computers are held back by the relatively slow transmission of electronic data between the processor and the memory.

“There is no point using faster processors if the limiting factor is the shuttling of information to-and-from the memory. But we think using light can significantly speed this up,” Bhaskaran explained.

For the study, the material scientists at Oxford University worked in collaboration with scientists at Karlsruhe, Munster and Exeter universities.

With this device, “we could read and write to thousands of bits at once, providing virtually unlimited bandwidth”, explained professor Wolfram Pernice from University of Munster.

The team is working on a number of projects that aim to make use of the new technology.

They are particularly interested in developing a new kind of electro-optical interconnect, which will allow the memory chips to directly interface with other components using light, rather than electrical signals.

The paper was published in the journal Nature Photonics.

(IANS)

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Trauma in Childhood is Linked to Negative Outcomes in Adulthood

"The participants who felt more optimistic or in control of their lives may have been better at waking up with pain but somehow managing not to let it ruin their day.

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The findings, published in the Journal of Behavioural Medicine, suggested that experiencing trauma or adversity in childhood or adolescence was linked with mood or sleep problems in adulthood.
A Child in pain, Pixabay

Do you want your children to be happy when they grow up? If yes, then you have to make sure that they are not experiencing any kind of trauma as a child. A new study, including an Indian-origin researcher, suggests that childhood trauma or adversity may trigger physical pain in adulthood.

The findings, published in the Journal of Behavioural Medicine, suggested that experiencing trauma or adversity in childhood or adolescence was linked with mood or sleep problems in adulthood.

“The findings suggest that early life trauma is leading to adults having more problems with mood and sleep, which in turn lead to them feeling more pain and feeling like pain is interfering with their day,” said co-author Ambika Mathur from the Pennsylvania State University.

But the connection was weaker in those who felt more optimistic and in control of their lives, the researcher said.

“The participants who felt more optimistic or in control of their lives may have been better at waking up with pain but somehow managing not to let it ruin their day.

“They may be feeling the same amount or intensity of pain, but they’ve taken control of and are optimistic about not letting the pain interfere with their day,” Mathur added.

The findings, published in the Journal of Behavioural Medicine, suggested that experiencing trauma or adversity in childhood or adolescence was linked with mood or sleep problems in adulthood.
Childhood Trauma can lead to pain in Adulthood, Pixabay

The findings build on previous research that suggests a link between adult physical pain and early-in-life trauma or adversity, which can include abuse or neglect, major illness, financial issues, or loss of a parent, among others, the researcher said.

For the current study, researchers recruited a diverse group of 265 participants who reported some form of adversity in their early lives.

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They answered questions about their early childhood or adolescent adversity, current mood, sleep disturbances, optimism, how in control of their lives they feel, and if they recently felt pain.

The researchers also looked at how optimism or feeling in control could affect how much pain a person experiences.

They found that while participants who showed these forms of resilience didn’t have as strong a connection between trouble sleeping and pain interfering with their day, the resilience didn’t affect the intensity of pain. (IANS)

 

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