Researchers send the first wireless message through solid rock

Researchers send the first wireless message through solid rock
Those of you with connection issues in Manhattan or San Francisco need to keep this study in perspective, but researchers based at the University of Rochester, as well as North Carolina State University, have managed to send a wireless signal through 800 feet of solid rock. For those of you wondering, the message was "neutrino".

No, it wasn't even a full tweet, and no, this probably won’t be used any time soon to help your cell signal reach through skyscrapers, but it actually could lead to advances in global communication.

How is that? Glad you asked! The researchers made use of neutrinos, which have a weak negative charge and essentially no mass, allowing them to travel through almost anything – including planets! The upshot could someday be global communication that doesn’t’ require wires or satellites. The downside is you’d need a heck of a lot of expensive gear at both communications points.

The experiment was conducted at the Fermi National Accelerator Lab near Chicago, one of the most powerful particle accelerators in the world. These aren’t the type of thing you keep at most high end universities, let along your local NBC affiliate. At a current price of several billion dollars per installation, we imagine that costs will have to drop quite a bit before we hear more about practical applications of this research.

Still, many technologies (including the smartphones we carry) were once prohibitively expensive, so perhaps your children (or grandkids, if you’re already a member of the parental class) will tune their personal tablets into their favorite streaming 3D cartoons, and just possibly those cartoons could be delivered to the local server station via neutrino, rather than cable or cell signal.

Or maybe your great grandchildren; it’s hard to say.

source: University of Rochester via electronista


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