When working with something called a quantum cascade laser, eggheads from Princeton University managed to discover a new type of double-beam laser not yet explained by existing theories, and the findings appear to prove the second laser beam to be more powerful and efficient than the primary.
Quantum cascade lasers are small and efficient sources of mid-infrared laser beams, with the conventional portion of the laser operating like those found in CD players. When enough electricity passes through, electrons enter a 'quasi-equilibrium state' almost entirely devoid of quantum momentum. It's in this state that they start to emit laser light in the mid to far infrared range.
While researching quantum cascade lasers, scientists discovered a slightly smaller wavelength, even though no existing quantum cascade theory of laser operations indicated that a second beam should exist. Because the second laser has proven more powerful and efficient, researchers are studying the technology at a breakneck pace. The mid to far infrared class of laser is useful in detecting minute traces of water vapor, ammonia, nitrogen oxides, and other gases that absorb infrared light, and the Princeton team says future applications could include air monitoring, medical diagnostics, and even homeland security. Rock on.
Everyone knows that technology is an important part of the world that we live in (well, just about everyone), and that includes the Democratic nominee for President, Barack Obama.
Should Obama be elected President of the United States (please, don’t let the comments turn into partisan bickering!), he lists in his plan for the country the appointment of a Chief Technology Officer. The CTO would primarily be responsible for getting broadband Internet access into more American homes (shockingly, only 23 out of every 100 homes have such access, putting us in 15th place among nations on that particular statistic). They’d also be responsible for advancing green tech, thanks to a $50 billion venture capital fund.
As mundane as the job might sound, there are some pretty big names being thrown around for the position. The likes of Vint Cerf (Google), Steve Ballmer (Microsoft), Jeff Bezos (Amazon) and Ed Felten (Princeton) are all potentials. But who cares what that one thinks, who would you want sitting in the biggest tech seat in America?