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Coaxial cable shrunk

Boffins find something better
Mon Jan 08 2007, 15:43
BOFFINS THINK THEY have come up with the next generation of coaxial cable which is several times thinner than the standard we have been tripping over for decades.

According to the journal Applied Physics Letters, which we get for the crossword, boffins from Boston College have built a new cable which they think will change the face of electronics. The cable is built around a light-transmitting coaxial cable that contains an inner wire of carbon surrounded by an insulator and an outer wire of aluminium. It is 300 nanometres wide with the centre wire sticking out at one end to serve as an antenna for light.

Chief boffin Michael Naughton said that the design enables the cable to carry electromagnetic signals with wavelengths bigger than its own diameter. It can squeeze a full colour spectrum down the cable a lot faster than electronics.

Such cables would be shoved into optical computer chips and could find their way into high-efficiency solar energy cells high on top of the INQ head office. Certainly by the time Harrow Council pulls its finger out and grants us the cash, the new cable will be on the market and Duke Nukem: Forever will be in the shops.

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