Today in Science History -
Beginning in the year 2000 and running through
today, May 24, 2020, I have been creating weekly custom
technology-themed crossword puzzles for the brain-exercising benefit and pleasure
of RF Cafe visitors who are fellow cruciverbalists. A database of thousands of words
has been built up over the years and contains only clues and terms associated with
engineering, science, physical, astronomy, mathematics, chemistry, familiar company
names etc. You will never find a word taxing your knowledge of a numbnut soap opera
star or the name of some obscure village in the Andes mountains. You might, however,
encounter the name of a movie star like Hedy Lamarr or a geographical location like
Tunguska, Russia, for reasons which, if you don't already know, might surprise you.
Here are three more
technology-themed comics from vintage of Radio & Television New magazines.
Some issued had multiple comics, but these three had just one apiece, so I combined
them onto a single page. There is a huge list of previously posted comics at the
bottom of the page. With many of these comics, you might need to be familiar with
the mindset of the electronics world back in the day. Today it considered hilarious
today to see a video of someone walking into a street lamp pole while staring obliviously
into a smartphone. In the middle of the last century, fun was made of wives not
understanding their hubbies' hobbies, dealings with servicemen, and and goofy things
do-it-yourselfers of the era were doing.
This assortment of custom-designed themes
by RF Cafe includes T-Shirts, Mouse Pads, Clocks, Tote Bags, Coffee Mugs and Steins,
Purses, Sweatshirts, and Baseball Caps. Choose from amazingly clever "We Are the World's Matchmakers" Smith
chart design or the "Engineer's Troubleshooting Flow Chart." My "Matchmaker's" design
has been ripped off by other people and used on their products, so please be sure
to purchase only official RF Cafe gear. My markup is only a paltry 50¢ per item
- Cafe Press gets the rest of your purchase price. These would make excellent gifts
for husbands, wives, kids, significant others, and for handing out at company events
or as rewards for excellent service. It's a great way to help support RF Cafe. Thanks...
"According to researchers from the University
of Sydney Nano Institute and Max Planck Institute for the Science of Light,
chips that use light and sound, rather than electricity, will be important for
the development of future tech, such as high-speed internet as well as radar and
sensor technology. This will require the low-heat, fast transmission of information.
Scientists in Australia and Europe have taken an important step towards removing
'hot' electrons from the data chips that are a driving force in global telecommunications.
Microchips without electrons will allow for the invention of data processing systems
that don't overheat, have low energy costs, and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
This foundational work will help scientists invent systems to achieve those aims..."
"There is no new thing under the sun." -
Ecclesiastes 1:9. "Everything
old is new again." - Peter Allen in All That Jazz. Many such idioms exist regarding
how often things tend to run in cycles; it's just that often times people who think
they are witnessing a new phenomenon are not aware of the previous occurrences.
I have written of examples where 'old timers' lament the attitudes of a fledgling
work force when writings show the previous generation of 'old timers' who worked
with the current 'old timers' in their youth expressed the same type concern. Experienced
Ham operators think newbies cannot carry on the tradition of wireless because they
are not required to learn Morse code anymore to earn a license.
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Here is Part 14 of a series entitled
Saga of the Vacuum Tube," by Gerald Tyne, that appeared in Radio News magazine
in 1944. Part 1 was printed in March 1943, and Part 22, the final chapter,
was published in April 1946. It could have been a stand-alone book. If I manage
to be able to buy issues with some of the other parts, those will be posted as well.
You might be aware of the origins of the amplifying vacuum tubes, beginning with
the accomplishments of Dr. de Forest and his Audion. As with most new technologies,
progress moved very rapidly once other researchers glommed on to the concept. Here,
Mr. Tyne discusses the development of the "Kenotron," "Pliotron," "Dynatron,"
and "Magnetron," by Drs. Langmuir, Dushman and Hull of the General Electric Laboratories,
during the years 1913 to 1921.
quantum radar using entangled microwave photons has been created at the Institute
of Science and Technology Austria. Also known as 'microwave quantum illumination,'
the demonstration detected objects in a noisy thermal environment - and there are
potential applications for it in low-power biomedical imaging and security scanners,
according to the Institute. 'What we have demonstrated is a proof of concept for
microwave quantum radar,' said researcher Shabir Barzanjeh. 'Using entanglement
generated at a few thousandths of a degree above absolute zero, we have been able
to detect low-reflectivity objects at room-temperature.' Instead of using conventional
microwaves, the researchers entangle two groups of photons - 'signal' and 'idler'
In 2015 we would hardly think of electromagnetic
radiation in the 5 cm wavelength realm as being 'quasi-optical' as far as circuit-based
manipulation is concerned.
Optical wavelengths begin at around 6,300 Å for red light, which is 6.3x10-5 cm,
or 630 nm. The 5 cm wavelength used an example in a 1932 article in
Short Wave Craft magazine is equivalent to 6 GHz. 6 GHz was an
extraordinarily high frequency to be using for communications back then, and the
author did not intend to liken it to anywhere near visible light. Instead, his terming
its properties as 'quasi-optical' referred to how the waves interacted with physical
objects; e.g., reflection, refraction, absorption, and scattering. Barkhausen
oscillations were a popular subject of the era, as I pointed out recently in the
article "The Spook - Another Weird Effect to Haunt TV..."
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Triad RF Systems, a leading designer and
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SF Circuits' specialty is in the complex,
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At least in the U.S., laws regarding the
recording of telephone conversations seem to be constantly changing and vary
from state to state. Violation penalties - including imprisonment - can be severe
in both cases. Some states require that all parties in the conversation be apprised
of the recording, while others only require that at least one party (obviously the
one doing the recording) be aware of it. As mentioned in this 1954 "Macs Radio Service
Shop" story, some areas require that an audible "beep" be sounded at regular intervals
while recording is occurring. With the ubiquitous use of smartphones featuring built-in
recording capabilities, opportunities for recording and being recorded are constant.
Cave participantium, to coin a phrase. As with carrying concealed weapons or just
transporting them between states, if you have any intention of recording a telephone
conversation, you had best check on the most recent statutes before-hand.
"Engineers from EPFL have successfully demonstrated
laser-based microwave generator using integrated photonic chips. This new technology
could have a plethora of useful applications, and may one day be used in 5G wireless
networks, radars, and satellite communications. In order to achieve this feat, scientists
had to dramatically lower the optical losses of the photonic waveguides. These waveguides
are based on silicon nitride, which was manufactured with the lowest loss in any
photonic integrated circuit. With the help of this technology, engineers created
coherent soliton pulses with repetition rates in the X-band and the microwave K-band..."
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Here is an advertisement for Electro-Voice
microphones that I scanned from page 101 of my copy of the February 1943
QST magazine. As with many companies during the World War II era, this
one's theme is the service their products are providing to America's servicemen.
Per the ad: If you were receiving radio messages from men in the midst of earsplitting
battle noises, you'd hear crisp speech undistorted by background sound effects.
Electro-Voice Microphones, in military service, are helping to make it possible.
Similar microphones, designed to achieve such results, will be available for specific
commercial applications ... after our wartime job is done...
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Robert Taylor, along with inventing the concept
of "super-modulation," also coined the new communications term "Intelligence
Transmission Efficiency." It refers in part to the ratio of power in the intended
sideband relative to power in the at least partially suppressed other sideband and
carrier. Admittedly, I have not read this material enough to fully comprehend the
concept of super-modulation, but at least based on the Fig. 1 waveform, there
seems to be an element that adds a DC bias to the detected signal due to a nonsymmetrical
(about 0 Vdc) transmitter modulation by pumping more power into the positive peaks.
I'm happy to be corrected by any knowledgeable reader. For that matter, if you have
experience with super-modulation and care to share it with RF Cafe visitors, I'll
be glad to post your comments...