Future may bring much faster cell phones

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In the debate between 3G and 4G, cell phone users may have lost sight of the fact that technology sometimes increases by miles rather than inches. What would be a huge leap forward in cell phone speeds? Scientists working out of the University of Pittsburgh may have the answer. A research study there has found a way to transmit data many times faster than current rates.

The technique used, developed by a research team headed by chemistry and physics professor Hrvoje Petek, uses frequencies that encompass “more than 100 terahertz of bandwidth by exciting a coherent collective of atomic motions in a semiconductor silicon crystal.” Petek explained that this leap ahead “could increase the amount of information carried by more than 1,000 times when compared to the volume carried with today’s technologies. Needless to say, this has been a long-awaited discovery in the field.”

If this type of technology eventually comes to market, it could revolutionize the world of cell phones. In the main, this would be a good thing, but it might conceivably have one large negative impact. If virtually every cell phone owner suddenly wanted a new, improved type of handset, then that would create a huge amount of waste in landfills when they toss out their unwanted phones.

Or would it? Americans are becoming more environmentally conscious all the time, and more of us are beginning to understand that recycling cell phones is the right thing to do. The next time you need a new phone, even if it is not one that operates in the terahertz range, look online for a fast and easy way to recycle your old cell phone.