Our task as technical and scientific writers is to talk about technically complex subjects in a way that informs and engages our readers. It is our job to inform not to entertain.
On the other hand science and engineering does not need to be dull but can it be romantic?
In our latest book, 5G and Satellite Spectrum, Standards and Scale we discuss the impact that materials have on network economics.
In the context of radio engineering this includes the use of exotic and relatively rare elements which occur in microscopic quantities in the earth’s crust such as Gallium, a fundamental material used in power amplifiers and low noise amplifiers and other RF front end functions such as mixers where the higher losses of using lower cost silicon at higher frequencies becomes insupportable.
Gallium is usually produced as a by-product of aluminium and zinc production as direct extraction would be prohibitively expensive. As such it is one of many rare earth materials, elements and minerals that are essential to modern electronics.
Gallium combined with nitride is used in many space components where higher power efficiency is more important than cost. It is one of the rare earth materials that enable us to explore space, make money out of space and use space for military defence.
Rare earth elements are a product of the big bang, an event that produced a large quantity of soot, also known as carbon and a small quantity of magic dust, material that 13.8 billion years later helps us to build rockets run by computers that launch satellites that can do useful things in Near Space like delivering TV and broadband, imaging and positioning and wonderful things in Deep Space. Voyager 1 and 2, launched in 1977 have both now left the solar system and we can still talk to them with radio systems powered by radio isotopes, also a by-product of the big bang. The latest US NASA mission to Mars is also powered by radio isotopes.
Satellites and space exploration powered by Stardust- what could be more romantic?
You can order a copy of 5G and Satellite Spectrum, Standards and Scale from Artech House
And read Geoff’s monthly update technology blog