Quantum mechanics is aiding the development of all sorts of new technologies, especially in semiconductors, but these scientists use it to map the interior of the Earth, according to Ken Driver (see photo). Look for quantum mechanics to become increasingly commonplace in the 21st century. R.C.J.
Here's what these scientists say about themselves: Scientists have used quantum mechanics to reveal that the most common mineral on Earth is relatively uncommon deep within the planet. Using several of the largest supercomputers in the nation, a team of physicists led by Ohio State University has been able to simulate the behavior of silica in a high-temperature, high-pressure form that is particularly difficult to study firsthand in the lab. Since silica makes up two-thirds of the Earth’s crust, we could use the new discovers to find new sources of glass and ceramics as well as electronic applications in computer chips and fiber optic cables.
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