Monday, January 10, 2011

Welcome back to JJNN!

Welcome again to yet another incarnation of Jei's Japan New Network. After having no time to keep up with this for the longest time I have decided to give it another try. Hopefully this time I can keep it going.

Today I want to look at an interesting news story I found on According to the story a scientist named Kawai Tsuyoshi from the Nara Institute of Science and Technology produced a molecule that changes color with just the slightest application of light. Professor Kawai and his team discovered the discovered the key to their light sensing molecule by examining many of light sensing molecules in the human eye. They wanted to find just the molecules that possessed the largest reaction (either changing of color or shape) in the presence of light. The resulting molecule has an almost 100% reaction rate to even the most minimal source of light.

That may not seem very exciting, but it actually has many different applications. One of the most exciting is in the field of optical media. Conventional optical media is written using the heat of LASER light to change the surface of a disc. If the disc uses this new material, those same changes in the disc can be made with just the application of the light. There is no need to wait for the area of the disc to heat up so it will be a faster process. It should be possible to produce "burn" (it no longer actually takes burning though) a disc in about 10 times the speed of a conventional disc using only about a hundredth of the power. Professor Kawai also says it should be possible to make a 100 layer disc with this material so the amount of storage should also go way up for they new type of disc.

It is now time for the word of the day. Today's word is 光(ひかり). It is pronounced hikari and it means light. Anything seems more futuristic if it has LASERs in it.

See you next time at JJNN!

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