Nine New Technologies To Blow Your Mind

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Radio receiver built from components the size of two atoms

Researchers from Harvard John A. Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences have made the world’s smallest radio receiver, built out of an assembly of atomic-scale defects in pink diamonds.

This tiny radio, whose building blocks are the size of two atoms, can withstand extremely harsh environments and is biocompatible, meaning it could work in places as varied as a probe on Venus to a pacemaker in a human heart.

The diamond’s tiny imperfections make up a system of nitrogen atoms with a hole next to it. This arrangement can emit single photons or detect very weak magnetic fields. Also, these flaws have photo-luminescent properties, which means these can convert information into light that could offer uses in sensors and quantum computing.

The radio is extremely resilient, thanks to the inherent strength of the diamond. The team successfully played music at 350°C (Image courtesy: Harvard John A. Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences)
The radio is extremely resilient, thanks to the inherent strength of the diamond. The team successfully played music at 350°C (Image courtesy: Harvard John A. Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences)

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