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(The Register)   IBM builds world's smallest torch, begins work on worlds smallest crack pipe   ( ) divider line
    More: Spiffy  
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13484 clicks; posted to Main » on 05 May 2003 at 6:12 PM (13 years ago)   |   Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»

90 Comments     (+0 »)
2003-05-05 01:21:23 PM  
Ermmm....a "torch" is BritSpeak for a flashlight. Amusing title though, and neat nerd article.

2003-05-05 01:56:31 PM  
Yeah, I know, but I could not think of anything flashlight related that would be funny enough to have it actually make it to fark proper...

Maybe... IBM Builds world's smallest flashlight, still can't find keys........
2003-05-05 06:17:00 PM  
Fark working on worst day of headlines EVAR.
2003-05-05 06:17:22 PM  
What? No pictures?
2003-05-05 06:17:52 PM  
Send some crack to your friends:

[image from too old to be available]

Pardon me while I go take a shiat.
2003-05-05 06:18:03 PM  
Kpar90, definitely.
2003-05-05 06:21:24 PM  
If this improved my ability to access porn, I'm all for it.
2003-05-05 06:21:48 PM  
And in other news, the Foreign division of IBM located in Poland is reported to be working on a solar powered carbon nano tube torch.

/offending the Poles. (Sorry, tis but a joke)
2003-05-05 06:22:43 PM  
Also in development, the world's largest boot, the world's heaviest lift.
2003-05-05 06:22:56 PM  
Exactly what form of matter is light?
2003-05-05 06:24:04 PM  
I thought Nanotubes were made out of buckminsterfullerene, not simple graphite. They're both carbon allotropes, but I thought BMFene was carbon-60, and graphite carbon-4?
2003-05-05 06:25:57 PM  
IBM? Those farkers still in business?
2003-05-05 06:30:26 PM  
well Shadeyboi, if they are using Graphite for their carbon, they are getting a much much much smaller little nanotube ;)... so if they got it down that small, probs to ibm.
2003-05-05 06:30:27 PM  
Shadeyboi: Please administer yourself a healthy dose of the rocks in my earlier post.

Thank you,

2003-05-05 06:30:56 PM  
The first customer in line to buy...
[image from too old to be available]
2003-05-05 06:31:03 PM  
Killerbird: You too :>)
2003-05-05 06:31:23 PM  
Shadeyboi: don't question IBM! They and their science writers can do no wrong!

</Iraqi Information Minister>
2003-05-05 06:32:17 PM  
Will this increase the possibility of everyone getting a flying monkey?
2003-05-05 06:32:37 PM  
Light isn't matter its energy. Though it characteristics of a particle.
2003-05-05 06:36:55 PM  

[image from too old to be available]
2003-05-05 06:38:23 PM  
I'm with you 3horn

Not real torch = sad
article = cool
headline = exelent
2003-05-05 06:39:11 PM  
am i on or, hard to tell with all the boring ass articles today
2003-05-05 06:39:38 PM  

/Still no cure for cancer
2003-05-05 06:41:48 PM  
Ah, ok. Hey, as long as it boosts my IBM stock.
2003-05-05 06:42:18 PM  
Thanks, CatchrNdRy. I was just about to answer that for him. I just can't find enough time to Fark and work, lately.
2003-05-05 06:42:31 PM  
Does heat affect the "density" of light?
2003-05-05 06:44:41 PM  
All over the world, scientists are looking to replace silicon as the foundation for microchips, since most agree that in ten to 15 years, it will be extremely difficult to improve silicon chip performance. So-called "nanotubes," such as the new IBM torch, are thought to be a possible solution to the problem because they will effectively allow for microscopic chips to be built.

I wonder if the new chips will be built by picoDoozers?

/...down at Fraggle Rock.
2003-05-05 06:49:44 PM  
What? No pictures?

Actually, yes, they had an actual size picture in the article, which I reproduce here for your edification.
There, what do you think?
2003-05-05 06:51:40 PM  
Apocalypso No prob, was slightly afraid of a flame war about the wave/particle nature. Thats Fark for ya.

M.C.PeePants Heat doesn't really affect light. Light at certain wavelengths can excite electrons releasing energy thereby causing heat.

For the most part there is no direct correlation.
2003-05-05 06:52:19 PM  

2003-05-05 06:52:57 PM  
Contrary to half of Fark population I don't think she is that good looking. Though the Family Ties girl is.
2003-05-05 06:53:57 PM  
Boy, nothing like letting someone with a high-school level understanding of science write a tech article.
2003-05-05 06:57:02 PM  
Here are my 10 tips for designing a great website:

1. Animated Gifs: You need at least 300 animated gifs for your page to be successful. Animated gifs ensure the user has a seizure before he actually gets to read any of your content. Fancying having 30 animated gifs of different kinds of pie? Go for it! Your users will thank you for it, and probably sporadically projectile vomit, but thats ok. All in the name of design!

2. Clipart: Throwing in 2,000 pieces of clipart is also a great idea so grab your users attention. The best combination lies in randomness: like a picture of a heart next to a picture of a skateboard next to a picture of a paperclip. Random and excessive clipart makes the user think "Gee, a Drain-O enema sure would seem nice right about now". Remember: Killing brain cells is fun!

3. Embedded MIDI: Nothing says "I'm here, Im queer" like a MIDI file playing "Benny and the Jets" in the background. MIDI files ensures that your website has visual as well as auditory sensations, kind of like putting one tong of an ice carrier in your eye and the other in your ear! and then yanking it!

4. Tiled backgrounds: A great way to show-off your keen sense of having no idea what style is, is to put a tiled background of a picture you found on the internet, like a poorly-drawn Ferrari or you with straws up your nose. This makes the reader think "Im going to gouge my eyes out with a splintered wooden spatula". BONUS: if you can figure out how to make the background animated.

5. Javascript mouse cursor that leaves trails: A Javascript mouse cursor shows that you control technology with a heavy hand. It also shows the reader that your parents probably take rat poison to make you go away. The more letters on the cursor, the better. That way you could move the cursor across the screen and the letters that follow the cursor around would take so long to catch-up to the cursor, the visitor would be so distracted he would be totally oblivious to your shiatty excuse for content!

6. Use "Leet Speak" (l33t sp34k): Leet Speak shows your command of the English language and your mastery of being able to hold down the SHIFT key for extended periods of time. The more l33t sp34k the less they will be able to understand any of your incoherent babble, like "5h0UT 0U+ +0 my HoME9irl reB3Cc4!", or rants like "m0m wOuLdNT L3T mE driVe +O T3h M@Ll" that just scream "TEEN ANGST". This makes people think, "Wow, that persons cool! he can substitute letters for numbers and probably rolls around in used hypodermic needles in his spare time!". BONUS: If you decide on a solid background, make sure the text is the close to or the same color of the background; users love seeing a page with a bunch of pictures and no "content".

7. Content: This part is way over your head so just skip it.

8. Pop-up Banners: If you dont have any money, make sure to choose a free host like Geocities that has millions of pop-up banners advertising things like "INSTANT WEIGHT LOSS PILL LOOSE 200 POUNDS IN 17.8 MINUTES" or "PUNCH THE GOAT AND WIN A FREE SOCK MONKEY" Pop-up banners help stimulate your reader's brain and wrist by furiously making them click on the X in the upper right hand corner. Its almost like a game. Almost.

9. Pictures with Lens Flares: If you have photoshop, you should add 7,034 lens flares to all of your pictures of you or your friends "hanging out" or your mom putting on your bicycle helmet in preparation of you getting ready to eat your soup. Lens flares add a touch of class and screams to the user "I only know how to use one clichd filter!". It also gives the visitor the visual sensation of a litter of hungry kittens clawing their eyes out. Dont forget; the more lens flares, the longer your penis size.

10. Flow: Who needs petty things like "flow"? If you've followed all of my directions above, you probably have no flow and this will be the last page your visitors will ever visit because in the futility of exiting your site they ended-up stabbed themselves in the kidney with a pair of crayola-brand safety scissors.
2003-05-05 06:58:16 PM  
Is it safe to assume that the "basic unit of light" smaller than the smallest discovered subatomic particle? (a quark, or whatever than implies...)

or do we even dare to assume something like that?
2003-05-05 06:59:39 PM  
Sorry, CatchNdRy and Apocalypso, matter is energy. E=mc^2 isn't just a popular t-shirt decal. See my above comment.
2003-05-05 07:00:47 PM  
well, I guess if light is a form of energy there IS no smallest particle...

sorry for the idiotic question.
2003-05-05 07:02:03 PM  
M.C.PeePants, that question makes no sense.
2003-05-05 07:04:31 PM  
"I thought Nanotubes were made out of buckminsterfullerene, not simple graphite. They're both carbon allotropes, but I thought BMFene was carbon-60, and graphite carbon-4?"

I'm not sure if you mean isotopes, or what. Nanotubes, graphite, diamond, and fullerenes are (typically) all the same isotope of carbon, 12C. (The 12 should be superscript)

Graphite consists of continuous sheets of carbon in hexagons, so the number of atoms per sheet varies (but is typically huge)

Buckminster fullerene is called C60 by some because it has 60 carbon atoms, arranged in hexagons and pentagons, in exactly the same pattern as a soccer ball. There's also an egg-shaped ball-thing with 70 carbon atoms, called C70

The graphite sheets are typically flat, but can bend into tubes. (Technically, they don't "bend" into tubes, they have to form that way, but the tubes are long cylinders of six-membered carbon rings, with a half a fullerene at each end.

Both the tubes and the fullerenes are formed from graphite using voodoo, a strange catalyst, and high temperatures.

Oh, and diamond is a big network of tetrahedral carbon atoms forming a 3-d network.
2003-05-05 07:04:34 PM  
I'm ashamed to say that interested me.
2003-05-05 07:06:53 PM  
stupid brits, why can't they speak english like we do?
2003-05-05 07:07:41 PM  
Thanks for the smug intellectual superiority Drredhook. I was waiting for someone to maek one.

Reading that very equation you quoted matter is only energy when at the speed of light.

Right now, I am describing things in more of a Newtonian than quantum level. (ie the heat vs luminescense)

M.C.PeePants Phrase your answer in the form of a question.

Are you asking whether or not photons are smaller than quarks?
2003-05-05 07:07:52 PM  
Finally, a man of intelligence!
2003-05-05 07:08:14 PM  
M.C. Peepants: There IS a smallest unit of light, known as a quanta. It's the basis for quantum physics and heisenberg and all that. Try google.
2003-05-05 07:12:07 PM  
Matter and energy are convertable, and on a small scale, happen frequently.

High energy light (gamma rays) can turn into an electron and a positron (the electron's antiparticle).

Similarly, if an electron and positron combine, they turn back into energy.

And let's not forget nuclear fission and fusion, the energy there comes from a small amount of matter that is converted.
2003-05-05 07:15:19 PM  
NightGyr are those new Battletech books that take place 400 years in the future any good?
2003-05-05 07:26:12 PM  
I hate my job. .. just thought I would share that with you all.
2003-05-05 07:26:51 PM  
Is it safe to assume that the "basic unit of light" is smaller than the smallest discovered subatomic particle?


Can light squeeze through the spaces between the smallest subatomic particle?
2003-05-05 07:27:20 PM  
since I seem to have stumbled on a light-physics thread,
here's a question for you scientific farks- nobody's been able to answer it for me yet, especially the guys who sell these things....
Background: I'm building a small camera sled to take pictures from a lake bottom down to 85 feet. the current
cam I have has twenty IR LED's around the outside of it,
and it works spiffy in pitch dark on the surface.

Question: How much IR energy does water absorb? I'm
debating standard dive lighting on the sled, but
why bother if the IR lighting will suffice within about
five to ten feet of the camera...

2003-05-05 07:30:34 PM  
In other words, Skiinstructor is looking for nessie.
2003-05-05 07:32:05 PM  
Skiinstructor Perhaps I'm not answering it directly.

IR is just a wavelength of energy in the large spectrum of energy. For example like the color red is 400 nm, and say a microwave is like 2m. (dont quote me on the values)

So the question you want to ask, is what wavelength does water absorb at? You want to due a search on the absorption coefficient of water at certain lights or something.

I'm an engineer not a scientist. And I had bad grades in college so be forewarned.
2003-05-05 07:33:50 PM  

So you are asking can light bounce between subatmoic particles? I'm no physics guy in the least, but for what I understood no subatomic particles exsists (for very long) in nature, they only exisist in the context of busting up an atom.

In short I have no idea.
2003-05-05 07:36:52 PM  

"I have no idea." is a perfectly acceptable answer. Thank you. (and I mean it)
2003-05-05 07:53:09 PM  
yup... soon we will be saying...

check out my 3000ghz PDA Tablet Latop
2003-05-05 07:58:35 PM  
CatchrNdRy, a photon is a subatomic particle. Neutrinos, which constantly bombard and penetrate everything with an infinitesimal chance of actual contact, are subatomic particles.
2003-05-05 07:59:07 PM  
Cool thing is I actually helped build a mill that processed high-end graphite for use in nanotubes. It's a damn dirty place (imagine yourself covered in thick layers of pencil lead dust), but it was neat to watch.
2003-05-05 08:05:28 PM  
Light is Consciousness
Gravity is Love.
2003-05-05 08:09:40 PM  

Excellent rant, my man!!!

What was it about? And why here?

LMAO, though! It's funny because it's true!
2003-05-05 08:11:48 PM  
And now I have a beam of light to catch.
2003-05-05 08:16:06 PM  

yup... soon we will be saying...

check out my 3000ghz PDA Tablet Latop

Will it talk to you in a smartass tone? How about a world-weary tone?

Will it store every single piece of information ever recorded?

If it won't, take it down the street. Throw that dead cat into somebody else's back yard!

/Drunk already and it's only 7 pm
2003-05-05 08:25:26 PM  
1. Animated Gifs: You need at least 300 animated gifs for your page to be successful. Animated gifs ensure the user has a seizure before he actually gets to read any of your content. Fancying having 30 animated gifs of different kinds of pie? Go for it! Your users will thank you for it, and probably sporadically projectile vomit, but thats ok. All in the name of design!

Funny you say that. For a while, I had images on Fark blocked for this very reason. I get these bad sinus infections that cause something to go weird with my right eye. All the blinking ads on the side were more torture than I could bear.
2003-05-05 08:27:33 PM  
no Frankmanhog, He means allotropes. An isotope has a different number of neutrons per atom. An allotrope has a different number of atoms per mollecule thus giving the molecules different properties. For instance, O2 is the oxygen we breath, O3 is ozone, a toxic gas and the stuff that blocks UV light and makes that smoggy-haze around big cities (also is the main thing that makes that "smell after the rain")
2003-05-05 08:34:13 PM  
For instance, O2 is the oxygen we breath, O3 is ozone, a toxic gas and the stuff that blocks UV light and makes that smoggy-haze around big cities (also is the main thing that makes that "smell after the rain")

I always thought ozone smells like electric trains.
2003-05-05 08:37:08 PM  
or slot cars...
2003-05-05 08:42:27 PM  
Well they had to come up with something to make us purchase a new PC every 6 months...*grumbles8
2003-05-05 08:48:32 PM  
Kinda related:
Who has read "A Brief History of Time"?
2003-05-05 08:50:33 PM  
But, will it hang on my keychain?
2003-05-05 09:10:43 PM  
dav925, there's a more important any of the people strutting their 'physics knowledge' understand that book at all? Did they graduate from high school? Do they find Marmaduke funny?
2003-05-05 09:10:52 PM  
[image from too old to be available]
2003-05-05 09:12:10 PM  
it's also the stuff that comes out of laser printers and xerox machines. in "after rain smell" its just less concentrated
2003-05-05 09:13:08 PM  
I thought an isotope had a different number of protons. Neutrons are devoid of charge...
2003-05-05 09:15:16 PM  
My bad, it is neutrons.
2003-05-05 09:16:41 PM  
Drredhook, if carbon had 1 more proton, it wouldn't be carbon. It'd be Nitrogen. Neutrons are devoid of net charge, which is why adding more of them doesn't change the atom.
2003-05-05 09:37:36 PM  

I'm quite aware what an allotrope is.

Because Shadyboi was implying that you can't convert materials from one allotrope to another (which is wrong, because you can), I thought he might have meant isotopes.
2003-05-05 09:57:22 PM  
How much light would a lightchuck chuck if a lightchuck could chuck light?
2003-05-05 10:10:47 PM  
I have a physics question, not relating to light though.

Which do you think would be more aerodynamic: a pickup truck with the bed door up, or with it down. I see people touting online that with the bed door down, the air flows down across it; but in that case, you also risk getting pebbles and sand scratching the door. In the case of having the bed door closed, i read that this creates a circular air flow inside the truck bed, causing the air flowing above it to glide above it, thus creating a more aerodynamic.. thingy. Any thoughts?
2003-05-05 10:19:07 PM  
Which do you think would be more aerodynamic: a pickup truck with the bed door up, or...

(C). Anything other than a pickup truck.
2003-05-05 10:34:34 PM  
Shutup, my fark account number is lower than yours. That means that I am superior to you.
2003-05-05 10:42:38 PM  

You want that bed gate in the upright and locked position. Something to do with air pockets or bubbles that it creates that allows smoother flow in an egg shape around the truck. Something like that. At least, that's what Tom and Ray said, and Tom and Ray know all.

Of course, they also said rolling the windows down creates enough drag to put an amount of strain on the engine as running the A/C. So you should go ahead and use the A/C

/I'm not drunk, yet
2003-05-05 11:39:17 PM  
Actually, M.C. PeePants is raising some very good questions about quantum phsyics. Regarding the "size" of light compared to atomic/subatomic particles: The "size" of a given photon corresponds to its wavelength--more energetic photons (such as cosmic and X-rays) have very short wavelengths, therefore are physically "smaller" than longer wavelength photons (such as microwaves and radio waves.) "Smaller" in the sense that they will pass through smaller gaps in physical matter. This is why microwaves won't pass through the wire mesh screen on the window of your microwave oven, but the smaller visible light waves will, letting you see what's cooking inside without getting fried yourself.
2003-05-06 12:11:37 AM  
Mini-Torch, woo hoo, now we can torture terrorist organisms like SARS.
2003-05-06 12:22:58 AM  
Rain smells like wet dust. Because that's what it is.
2003-05-06 12:43:00 AM  
Terrorist organisms? You mean like, little terrorist units, so small you can't see them? terrorist . . cells?

Get it? Terrorist organism, terrorist cell . . .

. . . tumbleweed, sound of crickets . . .

yeah, I'm leaving
2003-05-06 12:51:09 AM  

Poor attempted at "Controversy."
2003-05-06 01:26:06 AM  
dav925, there's a more important any of the people strutting their 'physics knowledge' understand that book at all? Did they graduate from high school? Do they find Marmaduke funny?

the answer is no. the only person who thinks marmaduke is funny is bil keane, and is not a real human.
2003-05-06 01:53:45 AM  

Baghdad Bob rocks. He should become a gameshow host.

"Whose Lie is it Anyway?"
2003-05-06 03:46:20 AM  
05-05-03 06:22:56 PM M.C.PeePants

Light is electromagnetic energy having particle-wave duality (properties of both
waves and particles).

05-05-03 06:32:17 PM Interceptor1

No. For more on flying monkeys please go

05-05-03 06:42:31 PM M.C.PeePants

No, heat does not effect the 'density' of light. Light really doesn't have a
density, I think what you might be wondering about is the property of matter
when it is heated it normally expands. This property doesn't apply because light
has particle-wave duality (properties of both waves and particles).

05-05-03 06:24:04 PM Shadeyboi

Nanotubes are just normal carbon, they can be of any size it's the geometry that
is important. Bucky balls are 60 atoms of carbon, they are just arranged in one
huge (atomically speaking) sphere resembling a soccer ball.

05-05-03 06:53:57 PM Drredhook

Wholeheartedly agree, even more evidence that you can find people who will say
anything, even when they don't understand what the hell they are talking about,
on the internet.

05-05-03 06:58:16 PM M.C.PeePants

No, absolutely not. The smallest particle of light, the photon, can have varying
size dependent upon the amplitude and the wavelength.

05-05-03 07:04:31 PM Frankmanhog

Voodoo? I think you should layoff the glue sniffing and sober up with some
sodium pentathol.

Synthetic Diamonds (bottom of the page)

Crystal structure info

05-05-03 08:27:33 PM The_Original_Roxtar

-> I think M.C.PeePants meant allotropes, different molecular
forms of the same element.

05-05-03 07:27:20 PM Skiinstructor
I understand your question, but there are many variables that one must
account for which will effect the answer to your question. Clarity of the water
(turbidity), intensity of your IR LED's output in lumens, sensitivity of your
camera (lumens), interference of the sun's IR spectrum (lumens/cm^-1),
temperature of the water (Kelvin) (will effect how much IR is absorbed).

Find out these answers and we could work on this together.

05-05-03 08:48:32 PM Dav925

I own it, haven't completed it yet...
2003-05-06 08:28:08 AM  
Light, unfortunately, requires a quantum mechanics explanation; it behaves like a particle when it needs to, and like a wave (ray) when it needs to. This 'waveicle' is called a photon. The amount of energy it has is reflected in the frequency of light we see - red=low, blue=high. This in turn depends on what atomic change released the energy and so it dependent on the type of atom involved, which is why certain materials have certain colours.

The classic experiment is the single-photon-double-slit, where photons fired at a double slit come out the other side and hit a screen as a discrete point (like a bullet or particle), but if you do the experiment 10,000 times, the 'bullet holes' fill-in a distinct shape on the screen called a diffraction patten (lots-none-lots-none etc).

Either each photon 'knows' what has and will happen in the experiment and chooses where to go (unlikely), or, it behave like a wave as it goes through the slit, interferes with itself (no giggling) so that it has a probability to its momentum proportional to the diffraction, and that propability is 'called' by the screen, requiring it to appear somewhere as a particle.

In short, in this case, the setup is such that the position of the photon as a particle is determined by the behaviour of the photon as a wave.

2003-05-06 10:20:50 AM  
Thanks to everyone. Once again, Four questions on FARK provide more understanding than all my high school and college physics classes could.
2003-05-06 11:11:09 AM  
Well, by "voodoo" I mean that all they do is hit graphite with an arc discharge in the presence of a catalyst, and all this "soot" settles out which is C60, or C70, or nanotubes, depending on the conditions and what catalyst is used. I don't think the mechanism of the catalyst is understood, so finding new ones, or optimising the process is really a trial and error thing.
2003-05-06 11:32:57 AM  
"Ermmm....a "torch" is BritSpeak for a flashlight."

Shouldn't that be

"Flashlight is the americanised version of torch."


ps: yay! finally unbanned!
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