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

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

k-Space Associates, Inc.
Phone: +1 (734) 426-7977

Phone: +49 8761 76 24 0

Thursday 29 September 2011

R&D Awards 2012

The September issue of R&D magazine will profile the top innovations selected for 2011 R&D 100 Awards. However, nominations are now open for the 2012 R&D 100 Awards with the deadline being March 16, 2012.

Tuesday 27 September 2011

Atoms move just a little bit

An international team based at the European Synchrotron Radiation Facility in Grenoble studying multiferroic materials using an X-ray interference scattering technique, have set a world record for accuracy in absolute measurements of atomic displacements. The experimental technique exploits the interference between charge and magnetic scattering of a polarised X-ray beam. Studying a single crystal of TbMnO3 they measured the displacement of specific atoms with an accuracy approaching one femtometre (10E-15m).

Thursday 22 September 2011

Anti-creativity bias

A study to shortly be published in the journal Psychological Science reveals that most people view creativity as an asset until they come across a creative idea. That’s because creativity not only reveals new perspectives, it promotes a sense of uncertainty. The study will reveal: Creative ideas are by definition novel, and novelty can trigger feelings of uncertainty that make most people uncomfortable; People dismiss creative ideas in favour of ideas that are purely practical; Objective evidence shoring up the validity of a creative proposal does not motivate people to accept it; Anti-creativity bias is so subtle that people are unaware of it, which can interfere with their ability to recognize a creative idea.

To quote one of the authors: “Revealing the existence and nature of a bias against creativity can help explain why people might reject creative ideas and stifle scientific advancements, even in the face of strong intentions to the contrary.”

Tuesday 20 September 2011

What goes up.....

There is no easy way to defy Newtonian mechanics and gravity, even in North Africa. Whilst not wishing to dampen any freedom related joy of the Libyan people, they might want to note that celebratory firing of guns into the air is not without risk. One study found that 118 people were treated for random "falling-bullet injuries" at one Los Angeles medical centre between 1985 and 1992, resulting in 38 deaths. Apparently 0.30 calibre rounds can reach terminal velocities of 300 feet (91m) per second as they fall and that 200 feet (61m) per second is enough to penetrate the skull.

Thursday 15 September 2011

New route to 3D ICs

It has been generally accepted that 3-dimensional ICs are the way forward. However severe challenges have been presented in developing production technologies using either multilayer growth with suitable interconnect techniques or TSVs (through silicon vias). At the recent Semicon West event a third way was proposed by MonolithicIC 3D. They suggest an approach based on the technology Soitec use for making SOI wafers whereby active layers are stacked on top of each other. For full details see the article.

Tuesday 13 September 2011

Korean schools save trees

As you can now access your favourite read on a range of electronic devices - from Kindles to computers, iPods, iPhones, iPads and BlackBerrys - it is not surprising to note that Amazon is now selling 105 digital e-books for every 100 printed versions (both hardback and paperback forms). In a bold move the South Korean ministry of education has announced a plan to digitize all textbooks which are in use in Korean schools and thus completely phase out printed materials by 2015. Additionally the creation of a cloud computing network will allow students to access digital textbooks and store their homework so it can be accessed via any internet-connected device. Will Amazon and the like be selling e-homework download answer packages?

Wednesday 7 September 2011

Cook to avoid Apple crumble?

Last month Steve Jobs resigned as CEO of Apple Inc to be replaced by Tim Cook. Sadly, recent photographs have indicated the fragility of Mr Jobs' health. Love him or hate him, there is no denying the impact upon the world of Apple's products under his guidance and the debate has already started as to his place in history. Inevitably things will now change and it will be interesting to see if Steve Jobs is correct in predicting that Apple's brightest and innovative days are ahead of it.

Monday 5 September 2011

Granny's better forecast?

Our Newsletter Editor has just returned from a family vacation in sunny south Wales. a region not generally noted for its sunshine. However he was intrigued and perplexed by the weather forecasts whilst he was there. He admits to being totally non-scientific and un-quantifiable in this comment, but they were rubbish. The inability to correctly predict the weather on a 12 - 18 hour time frame was mind boggling. Fortunately the predicted rain and cloud was in reality sunshine but people other than tourists should be reliant on more accurate information. We gather that the UK Met Office has a 1.2MW IBM supercomputer that can do 100 trillion calculations per second (as well as generating over 1,000 tonnes of CO2 per year). It has recently requested funding for changes to improve its forecasting accuracies. Our Editor's grandmother used to forecast the weather based on the position of cows in the adjacent field and the good people of Punxsutawney put faith in the groundhogs. He proposes a research project for the good folk at his alma mater, the University of Wales: Sheep behaviour as a predictor of climatic events. We wonder if the Met Office IT department were also thinking that some extra ram would improve matters?