Netherlands Current Affairs

French mathematician Yves Meyer wins 2017 Abel Prize

French mathematician Yves Meyer has won the prestigious 2017 Abel Prize for his pivotal role in the development of the mathematical theory of wavelets (small waves or ripples).

His theory is used for applications ranging from image compression to the detection of gravitational waves from the merging of black holes. It also allowed scientists to create unique wavelet transforms suited to specific signals.

About Abel Prize

  • It is awarded annually by the Norwegian Academy of Science and Letters to one or more outstanding mathematicians. It is named after Norwegian mathematician Niels Henrik Abel.
  • The award was established by the Government of Norway in 2001. It is described as the mathematician’s Nobel Prize and is one of the world’s top prizes in mathematics
  • It carries monetary award of 6 million Norwegian kroner (NOK) (around 600,000 Euros).
  • Indian American mathematician R. Srinivasa Varadhan was bestowed with this award in 2007 for his fundamental contributions to probability theory and for creating a unified theory of large deviation.

About Wavelets

Wavelets are widely used in signal processing, including in compressing certain formats of JPEG images. They are like their more famous cousins Fourier transforms. They are particularly useful when the goal is to discard some extraneous information (such as low-frequency noise from the universe) while keeping the important signal.


Scientists develop new Wi-Fi system to offer super-fast connectivity

Scientists from Eindhoven University of Technology in Netherlands have developed a new wireless Internet network based on infrared rays that is reportedly 100 times faster than existing Wi-Fi (Wireless Fidelity) networks.

It has a huge capacity, more than 40 Gigabits per second (Gbit/s). It also does away with the need of sharing Wi-Fi, as every device gets its own ray of light.

How it works?
  • The wireless data in this network comes from a few central ‘light antennas’, that are able to precisely direct the rays of light supplied by an optical fibre.
  • These antennas contain a pair of gratings that radiate light rays of different wavelengths at different angles (passive diffraction gratings).
  • If a user is walking and his smartphone or tablet is moving out of the light antenna’s direction, then another light antenna takes over.
  • In this system, changing the light wavelengths also changes the direction of the ray of light. It uses safe infrared wavelength that does not reach the retina in the eye.
Key Features of the new system
  • The network tracks the precise location of every wireless device using its radio signal transmitted in the return direction.
  • Different devices are assigned different wavelengths by the same light antenna and so do not have to share capacity.
  • It uses infrared light with wavelengths of 1,500 nanometres and higher. Current, Wi-Fi uses radio signals with a frequency of 2.5 or five gigahertz.
  • On this network, researchers have managed to achieve a speed of 42.8 Gbit/s over a distance of 2.5 metres.
  • It is hundred times fast than best Wi-Fi systems currently available that can provide users maximum 300 mbps speed.
  • The new system so far has used the light rays only to download. Uploads are still done using radio signals since in most applications much less capacity is needed for uploading.