Spectrum Talks

It has been observed that IEEE Spectrum, the flagship magazine and website of IEEE, is often not properly utilized by student members. Keeping in mind the importance of being updated about the latest technological advancements, our SB decided to conduct Spectrum Discussions monthly. Each session would require a volunteer to prepare on a topic and present it to the rest of the student community. This initiative proved to be very informative to students and instigated many to consider pursuing research in various areas of technology after their graduation.
1) ADMX (27 / 06 / 14)
Turnout – 20 -25 students
Duration – An hour and half
Speaker – Pooja M ( S3 AE )
The Spectrum Discussion was on ADMX (Axion Dark Matter eXperiment) , which is designed to hunt for one of the leading dark matter candidates: the axion , by exposing the particles to a very strong magnetic field. This field would create a sea of “virtual photons”—packets of electromagnetic energy. As axions decay into two photons, a virtual photon could be used to trigger the conversion of an axion into another photon. The trick would be to create virtual photons with the axion’s frequency. Axions, like all other particles in quantum mechanics, are also waves and so have a corresponding wavelength and frequency.

There was a chance of this conversion using an electromagnetic cavity with a high quality factor. In such a cavity, electromagnetic radiation at a particular resonant frequency bounces back and forth with little loss, like sound waves
in an organ pipe. Thus amplitude of the the given photons and that of axions will be same and it could be detected due to resonance.The entire structure and components used in ADMX was discussed during the talk.
2) GRAVITATIONAL WAVES (27 / 06 / 14)
Turnout – 20 -25 students
Duration – An hour and half
Speaker – Gireesh( S3 EC )
The Spectrum Talk was on Gravitational waves, which are ripples in the curvature of space-time that propagate as a wave, travelling outward from the source. Predicted in 1916 by Albert Einstein to exist on the basis of his theory of general relativity, gravitational waves theoretically transport energy as gravitational radiation. Although gravitational radiation has not been directly detected, there is indirect evidence for its existence. For example, the 1993 Nobel Prize in Physics was awarded for measurements of the Hulse–Taylor binary system that suggests gravitational waves are more than mathematical anomalies. Various gravitational wave detectors exist and on 17 March 2014, astronomers at the Harvard–Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics claimed that they had detected and produced “the first direct image of gravitational waves across the primordial sky” within the cosmic microwave background, providing strong evidence for inflation and the Big Bang.

3) WORLD BEYOND SILICON ( 18/ 08 / 14 )
Turnout – 25 students
Duration – 40 minutes
Speaker – Gopika G Kumar ( S5 EC )

The Spectrum Discussion was on the future of the integrated circuit industry and new technologies in the domain of semiconductors and chip manufacturing. The talk touched on the topic of complications over Moore’s Law and its implications in the present times when the node name no longer owes a relation with chip dimension and density. The discussion went on to cover some of new trends in the research towards more efficient and faster processors.

The main headings include

(1) 2D FETs (atomic monolayers of graphene, molybdenum bisulphide and hBN)
(2) FinFETs (3 D circuitry)
(3) Compound Semiconductors(like indium gallium arsenide)
(4) Perovskites (new black in the field of photovoltaic)
(5) Vacuum Transistors (marriage between vacuum diodes and silicon
(6) Tunnel FETs (make use of quantum mechanical phenomenon of tunneling).