Agriculture
Fast-flying fungal spores
Watering the Air
Seeds of the Future
Amphibians
Poison Dart Frogs
Newts
Frogs and Toads
Animals
Baboons Listen for Who's Tops
Moss Echoes of Hunting
Jay Watch
Behavior
The Electric Brain
Math Naturals
The chemistry of sleeplessness
Birds
Parrots
Quails
Mockingbirds
Chemistry and Materials
Sticky Silky Feet
When frog gender flips
Makeup Science
Computers
Computers with Attitude
Galaxies on the go
The Shape of the Internet
Dinosaurs and Fossils
Ferocious Growth Spurts
Dinosaurs Grow Up
Teeny Skull Reveals Ancient Ancestor
E Learning Jamaica
2014 GSAT Results for Jamaican Kids
Results of GSAT are in schools this week
E Learning in Jamaica WIN PRIZES and try our Fun Animated Games
Earth
Petrified Lightning
Bugs with Gas
Surf Watch
Environment
Lessons from a Lonely Tortoise
Alien Invasions
Animal CSI or from Science Lab to Crime Lab
Finding the Past
Of Lice and Old Clothes
Watching deep-space fireworks
Writing on eggshells
Fish
Eels
Seahorses
Lungfish
Food and Nutrition
Chocolate Rules
The Color of Health
The mercury in that tuna
GSAT English Rules
Order of Adjectives
Adjectives and Adverbs
Pronouns
GSAT Exam Preparation Jamaica
Results of GSAT are in schools this week
2014 GSAT Results for Jamaican Kids
GSAT stars reap scholarship glory
GSAT Exams Jamaica Scholarships
GSAT stars reap scholarship glory
GSAT Practice Papers | GSAT Mathematics | Maths
Results of GSAT are in schools this week
GSAT Mathematics
10 Common Mistakes When Preparing for the GSAT Math Test
Detecting True Art
A Sweet Advance in Candy Packing
Human Body
Teen Brains, Under Construction
Nature's Medicines
Attacking Asthma
Invertebrates
Nautiluses
Flies
Invertebrates
Mammals
Siberian Husky
Humans
Bloodhounds
Parents
Expert report highlights the importance to parents of reading to children!
The Surprising Meaning and Benefits of Nursery Rhymes
What Not to Say to Emerging Readers
Physics
Hold on to your stars, ladies and gentlemen
Invisibility Ring
The Mirror Universe of Antimatter
Plants
Tracking the Sun Improves Plant Pollen
The algae invasion
Assembling the Tree of Life
Reptiles
Crocodilians
Lizards
Box Turtles
Space and Astronomy
Mercury's magnetic twisters
Galaxies Divide Sharply Along Color Lines
Tossing Out a Black Hole Life Preserver
Technology and Engineering
Weaving with Light
Slip Sliming Away
Squeezing Oil from Old Wells
The Parts of Speech
Problems with Prepositions
What is a Preposition?
What is a Verb?
Transportation
Charged cars that would charge
Are Propellers Fin-ished?
Tinkering With the Basic Bike
Weather
The Best Defense Is a Good Snow Fence
Science loses out when ice caps melt
A Change in Climate
Add your Article

Electronic Paper Turns a Page

Reading and computer screens don't go together very well. If you've ever tried to do lots of online research for a school report, stayed up late playing computer games, or gone on an instant-messaging marathon with some friends, you probably know what I mean. Whenever deadlines force me to stare intently at a computer screen for hours, I get terrible headaches. My eyes start to smart. Sometimes, I have to go for a walk or lie down until waves of dizziness pass. As much as I hate to waste paper, I usually print out information I really need, and I get the newspaper delivered every morning so I don't have to read it online. Someday soon, though, we might be able to have our computers and read them, too. It would be like having computers built into the pages of a book or a magazine. At a company in Massachusetts called E Ink, a team of chemists, engineers, and computer scientists are working to make electronic paper a reality. The battery-powered paper would be easy to read in bright sunlight or in dark subway trains. It would be flexible and foldable. It would feel a lot like paper. But electronic paper would also be a display. Coated with a special type of electronic ink, each sheet would be infinitely changeable. Just one page could hold and display the contents of many books. It might even receive e-mails or include full-color video clips, as in Harry Potter's newspaper, The Daily Prophet. Electronic paper might one day serve as the vehicle for a low-cost stream of information to schools all over the world. And, while students today often strain their backs with the hefty books they have to lug around in their backpacks, students of the future might get by with only one textbook. It would be electronic, and its pages would change with the touch of a button. Ultimately, we are trying to create the "last book," says Darren Bischoff of E Ink. It would be "one book that could be all books." Beach reading Joseph Jacobson, E Ink cofounder, was sitting on the beach when he first dreamed of creating electronic ink. He had just finished reading a novel and wished that he didn't have to get up to go buy another one. Wouldn't it be great, he thought, if he could simply turn the book he had just read into a new one? Scientists had been working on electronic paper since the 1970s, but technical difficulties kept getting in the way. Jacobson is a physicist at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) Media Laboratory. So, he embarked on a new series of research projects to come up with a fresh approach. With the help of two undergraduate students at MIT, Jacobsen found a promising technology, and the team launched E Ink in 1997. Electronic-paper technology relies on tiny spheres called microcapsules. Several industries already use microcapsules. Scratch-and-sniff stickers, for instance, enclose smelly chemicals in tiny bubbles that burst open when you scratch them. Drug companies also use microcapsules to make time-release pills. E Ink's microcapsules are filled with a clear liquid that holds very small particles. Some particles are black. Some are white. All of the particles have an electrical charge. To make a sheet of electronic paper, engineers spread millions of the particle-filled microcapsules onto a piece of plastic. Because opposite electrical charges attract, applying a positive electric field to a microcapsule causes negatively charged black particles to rise and become visible—just like answers in a Magic 8-Ball. The positively charged white particles sink. So you would see a black dot at this spot. By controlling electric field patterns, engineers can decide which particles rise to the top. The resulting patterns of black and white dots, viewed from a distance, create the words and pictures you see on the sheet. To move the ink around, computer programs simply change the electric fields. The pattern of black and white dots changes in turn. Electronic paper is much easier to read than typical computer screens, Bischoff says. Many traditional displays count on lights inside the machine to light up the screen from behind, for example. That makes such screens easy to see when you're indoors, but they're hard on the eyes and difficult to read in bright sunlight. Electronic paper, on the other hand, reflects the light around it. "If you can read the newspaper, you can read our display," Bischoff says. "It's a much clearer, crisper, easier way to read text on a display." E Ink's electronic paper also sucks up a lot less power than ordinary computer displays do because the particles stay where they are until an electric field makes them move. Images on a computer screen have to be lit up and constantly refreshed. Changing signs So far, applications for E Ink's technology have been limited. In one effort, the company has made large, changeable store signs that get people's attention or give information to shoppers. "One thing I'm learning is that making something look good once [in the lab] is so much easier than making a product," says Brian Hone, a software engineer at E Ink. In fact, it takes a long time and a lot of hard work to go from something that works in the lab to a reliable, safe, easy-to-use product that people can buy. Most technologies, including CD-ROMs and DVDs, have taken at least 10 or 20 years to go from concept to market, Bischoff says. Still, E Ink's first commercial electronic reading device is set to come out in Japan next year, Bischoff says. Japan is a natural place to start, he says, because people there spend hours every day commuting to and from work on crowded trains. If you've seen Japanese or Chinese writing, with its arrays of complicated characters, you might get a sense of why a light, compact electronic-paper display that can hold a great deal of information would be attractive. E Ink isn't the only company trying to make electronic paper and ink. The Xerox Palo Alto Research Center is working on a reusable electronic paper that it calls "Gyricon." A Gyricon sheet has millions of tiny beads in oil-filled cavities. Each bead is half black and half white, and it can rotate to show one color or the other. Another company is using particles in microcapsules filled with air instead of liquid. And scientists in the Netherlands have used a thin film of oil over colored dots to make moving images with lots of brilliant colors. With all this activity, there's bound to be some form of electronic or even video paper in your future. Harry Potter will always be a fictional character, but some pieces of his magical world may yet become part of your daily life.

Electronic Paper Turns a Page
Electronic Paper Turns a Page








Designed and Powered by HBJamaica.com™