5 Things You Need to Know Now

Quantum tech protects from fakes and is coming to your smartphone. The new technology can be used in smartphone app which can read whether a product is real or fake. It uses unique atomic-scale ID's based on the irregularities found in 2D materials like graphene. On an atomic scale, quantum physics amplifies these irregularities, making it possible to 'fingerprint' them in simple electronic devices and optical tags. Customer will be able to scan the optical tag on a product with a smartphone, which will match the 2D tag with the manufacturer's database. This has the potential to eradicate product counterfeiting and forgery of digital identities, two of the costliest crimes in the world today.

A cellphone that requires no batteries. A major leap forward in moving beyond chargers, cords and dying phones, the phone harvests the few microwatts of power it requires from either ambient radio signals or light. The research team also made Skype calls using its battery-free phone, demonstrating that the prototype made of commercial, off-the-shelf components can receive and transmit speech and communicate with a base station.

Tesla to build the world’s largest lithium-ion battery system to store electricity in Australia. The 100-megawatt installation—more than three times as powerful as the biggest existing battery system—will be paired with the Hornsdale Wind Farm near Jamestown, operated by the French renewable energy company Neoen, in a deal with the state of South Australia.

Spray-on sensors to monitor structural health of buildings. A novel breed of nanocomposites-inspired sensors can be sprayed directly on flat or curved engineering structural surfaces, such as train tracks and aeroplane structures. The sprayed sensors can be networked, to render rich real-time information on the health status of the structure under monitoring. Due to its light weight and low fabrication cost, large quantities of sensors can be deployed in a sensor network for detecting hidden flaws of structures, paving the way for a new era of ultrasonics-based structural health monitoring.

Why modern mortar crumbles, but Roman concrete lasts millennia. Modern concrete—used in everything from roads to buildings to bridges—can break down in as few as 50 years. But more than a thousand years after the western Roman Empire crumbled to dust, its concrete structures are still standing. Now, scientists have finally figured out why: a special ingredient that makes the cement grow stronger—not weaker—over timey found that the seawater reacts with volcanic ash and crystals to form Al-tobermorite and a porous mineral called phillipsite, extremely strong and taking centuries to form.


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