From understanding next-generation DVDs to what Power over Ethernet means, having a handle on today's science and technology is even more important than before. Knowing what is behind the faceplate will help you make the right decisions when it comes to today's science and technology.
- The Casimir Effect
First proposed by the Dutch scientist Hendrick Casimir in 1948, the Casimir force supports the quantum electrodynamics portion of the vacuum fluctuation theory by Max Planck and Werner Heisenberg. That's the theory that proposes that space is not empty, but full of virtual particles that are constantly appearing and disappearing.
- Analog Noise
As a method for storing and reproducing music, analog is being supplanted by digital, but there are still a lot of devices out there that use analog technology. It is useful to understand where noise comes from, so you can more easily eliminate it.
- What is a Crossover?
A crossover is a filtering device that takes a music signal and splits it into separate frequency ranges. This is usually done in order to send them to speakers that are tuned to best reproduce each frequency range.
- Power matters
Power is the only staple in the electronics buffet. A product may not have logic, a display, buttons and switches, cables, or even an enclosure, but it will have to have power of some kind.
- Power over Ethernet
Known officially as IEEE specification 802.3af, Power over Ethernet (PoE) is a technology standard for transmitting up to 13 Watts of power over any length of Cat 5 Ethernet cable.
- Turret Stabilization
Fighting in a tank has never been the easiest job in the world. When first developed in WWI, tanks were noisy, dangerous, and difficult to operate. (And that was before they even engaged the enemy.) One of the most difficult tasks was aiming and firing the guns of the tank with any accuracy.
- What is a Liquid Lens?
A liquid lens uses one or more fluids to create an infinitely-variable lens without any moving parts by controlling the meniscus (the surface of the liquid.) There are two primary types, transmissive and reflective.
- Taking risks
Living in New York City, I'm confronted by myriad choices when it comes to Internet and communication access. (I imagine this is the case in most large cities, and a few smaller ones, as well.) This being our Telecom Special, it made me think about how those choices are reflected at the design level.
- A vanishing standard?
While in Munich, Germany, recently for the Electronica Trade Show, I was reminded that few international power standards exist. The realization came as I encountered the standard international power supply wall plug angst that every foreign traveler has.
- The 21st Century Household
I can remember when I was a child in the 60's and 70's reading lots of science-fiction books and thinking of the future. I would read about the wondrous world of tomorrow, and calculate how old I would be when the year 2000 arrived. I wondered about how different our lives would be then.
- The tube is dead; long live the tube!
We are steadily confronted with new devices, better methods of chip construction, and revolutionary technologies. From copper chip construction to OLEDs, the electronics industry is moving forward by leaps and bounds. However, just as the Coelacanth--a fish thought long extinct--shows us that "living fossils" can not only continue to exist, but can even thrive, the lowly vacuum tube still shows signs of vigorous life.
- Tube redux
The June Viewpoint on vacuum tubes generated a lot of reader mail. Some of the letters were nostalgic, some informational, but they all were interesting (and appreciated).