Following my retirement, we have closed our company for new business.

Please do not hesitate to contact me directly, our email portal remains open and I would be delighted to hear from you and provide ongoing support or advice.

Richard Thomson

support@rta-instruments.com

Companies represented up to the end of December 2023. Please now contact them directly.

k-Space Associates, Inc.
Phone: +1 (734) 426-7977
requestinfo@k-space.com
https://www.k-space.com

STAIB INSTRUMENTS GmbH
Phone: +49 8761 76 24 0
sales@staibinstruments.com
https://www.staibinstruments.com/

Friday 19 November 2010

Me-mobile?

We could all form the backbone of powerful new mobile internet networks according to researchers on body centric communications at Queen's University Belfast (body-to-body). By carrying wearable sensors we could create new ultra high bandwidth mobile internet infrastructures, communicate with each other to create potentially vast body-to-body networks and thus reduce the density of mobile phone base stations.

Thursday 18 November 2010

Getting smaller

Whilst official confirmation is awaited, Reuters (Small line width) reported last week that Intel, Samsung and Toshiba are planning to join forces to develop IC technologies down to 10 nanometre line widths by 2016. According to the report Japan's Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry will likely provide around 5 billion yen ($61.21 million) of the roughly 10 billion yen in initial funds for the R&D efforts.

Wednesday 17 November 2010

Expensive Spam

My local supermarket sells Spam (340g) for £1.72, about $2.75. Last month a Canadian Superior Court upheld the decision of a US court (canadian-spammer-1-billion). It fined a certain Mr Adam Guerbuez $100 US in damages and an additional $100 US in punitive damages for each of the spam messages that Facebook said he posted with users in 2008. Unfortunately for Mr Guerbuez the judgement refers to a mere 4,366,386 spam messages. The fines therefore amount to $873,277,200. Mr Guerbuez has filed for bankruptcy. He has also been banned from using Facebook.

Tuesday 16 November 2010

Botnets

Whilst clearly a plug for its security products, the recent Microsoft Security Intelligence Report (microsoft-botnets) is an eye-opener concerning botnets. A botnet (also known as a zombie army or hijacked computers) is a number of Internet computers that, although their owners are unaware of it, have been set up to forward transmissions to other computers on the Internet. According to Microsoft, over two million US PCs were found to be part of botnets in the first six months of 2010. Brazil had the next total level of infections at 550,000, with relative infections being the highest in South Korea where 14.6 out of every 1,000 machines were found to be enrolled in botnets.

Monday 15 November 2010

Congratulations Ted

It really could not have been awarded to a nicer person. All at RTA Instruments Ltd wish to echo and add to the complements and plaudits to Professor Theodore (Ted) Moustakas for being awarded the 2010 MBE Innovator Award. The North America MBE organisation selected Prof Moustakas (Ted Moustakas) for his pioneering contributions in the development of MBE growth of nitride materials and the development of nitride optoelectronic devices prepared by MBE.

Saturday 13 November 2010

But perhaps silicon?

The kilogram is the only one of the SI’s seven base units still defined in terms of a material artefact - a 130-year-old platinum-iridium cylinder maintained at the International Bureau of Weights and Measures in France. The US National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST, nist 1) is working on a proposal that defines the kilogram in terms of the Planck constant h which is expressed in units containing the kilogram. Work at NIST such as the watt balance experiment (nist 2) and determinations of the mass of one mole of silicon atoms offer new ways of determining an accurate value of h, thereby contributing to a more reliable definition of the kilogram.

Friday 12 November 2010

Diamond, not forever?

Recently (Imperial X-ray tabletop) researchers from Imperial College London, the University of Michigan and Instituto Superior T├ęchnico Lisbon have described a tabletop instrument that produces synchrotron X-rays, whose energy and quality allegedly rivals that produced by some of the largest X-ray facilities in the world ("Bright spatially-coherent synchrotron X-rays from a tabletop source" Nature Physics 24 October 2010, Imperial X-ray tabletop 2). Based on a helium ion plasma, the acceleration and X-ray production happens over less than a centimetre with the whole tabletop X-ray source housed in a vacuum chamber that is approximately 1 metre on each side. Apparently, the Diamond Light Source synchrotron facility in Didcot, UK, is 0.5km in circumference and cost £263M to build.

Thursday 11 November 2010

Armistice Day

Today is a public holiday for many of our readers, being Armistice Day or Veterans Day. Some photographs from around the World can be seen at remembrance-day-in-pictures. Some 80% of the technology applications in the area of science we serve are non-military related, we hope this will lead to better outcomes Worldwide for future generations.

Friday 5 November 2010

Thought for the month

"...[Guy Fawkes] ....the only man to enter Parliament with honest intentions." From: Sharpe, J. A. (2005), Remember, Remember: A Cultural History of Guy Fawkes Day, Harvard University Press.