Bloomberg Anywhere Remote Login Bloomberg Terminal Demo Request


Connecting decision makers to a dynamic network of information, people and ideas, Bloomberg quickly and accurately delivers business and financial information, news and insight around the world.


Financial Products

Enterprise Products


Customer Support

  • Americas

    +1 212 318 2000

  • Europe, Middle East, & Africa

    +44 20 7330 7500

  • Asia Pacific

    +65 6212 1000


Industry Products

Media Services

Follow Us

Bloomberg Customers

Businessweek Archives

Truth That's Stranger Than Friction

Developments to Watch


RESEARCHERS AT OHIO STATE UNIVERSITY HAVE MEAsured the friction of one atom rubbing against another--and it's not what textbooks say it should be. At the atomic level, explains Bharat Bhushan, head of OSU's microtribology work, the classical theory of friction doesn't hold up. So for tomorrow's nanotechnology products, which will get stitched together atom by atom, a new theory of friction will be necessary. A paper co-authored by Bhushan in the Apr. 13 Nature outlines the implications--not all of which are in the distant future.

Within five years, Bhushan believes the new theory of friction could yield far smaller computer hard drives. His team has tested supersmooth aluminum surfaces, similar to the platters used in hard drives, that were lubricated with a film only one molecule thick. The film resisted abrasion 80 times better than predicted. Thus, a hard drive's read/write head could be reduced to a fraction of its current size and moved closer to the disk. This would decrease the size of the area needed to store bits of data, increasing capacity by as much as 400 times.EDITED BY OTIS PORT

blog comments powered by Disqus