-ics, -tics [-ac after i]

(Greek: a suffix that forms nouns and is usually used to form names of arts and sciences)

A field that aims to develop self-powered devices that do not require replaceable power supplies; such as, batteries.

A certain type of piezoelectric material can covert energy at a 100 percent increase when manufactured at a very small size; in this case, about 21 nanometers in thickness.

Many high-tech devices contain components that are measured in nanometers, which is a microscopic unit of measurement representing one-billionth of a meter; a human hair is about 100,000 nanometers wide.

Piezoelectrics are materials; usually, crystals or ceramics, which generate voltage when a form of mechanical stress is applied. They demonstrate a change in their physical properties when an electric field is applied.

Discovered by French scientists in the 1880's, piezoelectrics are not a new concept. They were first used in sonar devices during World War I.

Today they can be found in microphones and quartz watches. Cigarette lighters in automobiles also contain piezoelectrics. Pressing down the lighter button causes impact on a piezoelectric crystal which then produces enough voltage to create a spark and ignite the gas.

While advances in piezoelectrics applications are progressing, piezoelectric work at the nanoscale is a newer endeavor with different and complex aspects to consider; especially, because the size of a hair is much more pliable and susceptible to change from its surrounding environment than larger kinds of materials.

More research is being done to accomplish a self-powering cell phone that never needs to be charged because it will be able to convert sound waves produced by the user into the energy it needs to keep running without batteries.

—Compiled from information discovered in
Physorg.com; science; physics, tech, and nano news; "Self-powered devices possible,
researcher Tahir Cagin says", who is a professor in the Artie McFerrin Department
of Chemical Engineering at Texas A&M University; December 1, 2008.
plasmonics (noun)
1. The technology of transmitting plasmons, or light-like waves, along nanoscale wires.
2. A system which is thought to embody the strongest points of both optical and electronic data transfer.

The Dazzling Future of Plasmonics, a New Optical Technology that Yields Faster Computing

  • Optical data transfer, as in fiber optics, allows high bandwidth, but requires bulky "wires," or tubes with reflective interiors.
  • Electronic data transfer operates at frequencies inferior to fiber optics, but only requires tiny wires.
  • Plasmonics, sometimes called "light on a wire", would allow the transmission of data at optical frequencies along the surface of a tiny metal wire, despite the fact that the data travels in the form of electron density distributions rather than photons.
  • Nanostructured materials must be used to fabricate effective plasmonic devices; so, for this reason, plasmonics is frequently associated with nanotechnology.
  • Before all-plasmonic chips are developed, plasmonics will probably be integrated with conventional silicon devices.
  • Plasmonic wires will act as high-bandwidth freeways across the busiest areas of the chip.
  • Plasmonics has also been used in biosensors; so, when a particular protein or DNA molecule rests on the surface of a plasmon-carrying metallic material, it leaves its characteristic signature in the angle at which it reflects the energy.
  • Applied Plasmonics, Inc. creates innovative intellectual property that enables the design, development, and fabrication of light emission devices on standard CMOS silicon, and other substrates, by exploiting the lithographic capabilities of mainstream semiconductor processing in combination with vacuum microelectronics.
  • In the 1980s researchers experimentally confirmed that directing light waves at the interface between a metal and a dielectric (a nonconductive material such as air or glass) can, under the right circumstances, induce a resonant interaction between the waves and the mobile electrons at the surface of the metal.
  • The oscillations of electrons at the surface match those of the electromagnetic field outside the metal.
  • The result is the generation of surface plasmons or density waves of electrons that propagate along the interface like the ripples that spread across the surface of a pond after someone throws a rock into the water.
  • Over the past decade investigators have found that by creatively designing the metal-dielectric interface they can generate surface plasmons with the same frequency as the outside electromagnetic waves but with a much shorter wavelength.
  • Plasmonic interconnects would be a great advantage for chip designers, who have been able to develop ever smaller and faster transistors but have had a harder time building minute electronic circuits that can move data quickly across the chip.
—Compiled from excerpts located in "The Promise of Plasmonics" by Harry A. Atwater;
Scientific American magazine; April, 2007; pages 38-45.
platetectonics, plate-tectonics
1. A theory that explains the global distribution of geological phenomena; such as, seismicity, volcanism, continental drift, and mountain building in terms of the formation, destruction, movement, and interaction of the earth's lithospheric plates.
2. The dynamics of plate movements.
1. A method of eye exercises created to stimulate and train an amblyopic (reduced vision) eye.
2. A treatment for suppression amblyopia (reduction or dimness of vision) that relatively enhances macular vision by dazzling the paramacular area with a ring of light accurately localized by a pleoptophor (device for treating eccentric fixation by dazzling the perimacular retina, thereby relatively enhancing the visual capability of the fovea [small cup-shaped depression or pit]).
plutonomics (plural form used as a singular) (noun)
The study of wealth and the management of wealth: "Plutonomics may be the first modern theory to capture all manner of wealth phenomena from money and property to citizenship and reputation."
The mechanics or action of breathing.
pogoiatrics, pogo-iatrics (s) (noun) (plural used as a singular)
The field of medical knowledge that deals with ailments that are caused by beards; such as, skin rashes.
1. The art or science of government or governing, especially the governing of a political entity; such as, a nation, and the administration and control of its internal and external affairs.
2. Political science: The activities or affairs engaged in by a government, politician, or political party.
3. Although plural in form, it takes a singular verb when used to refer to the art or science of governing or to political science: "Politics has been a concern of philosophers since Plato."

The word "politics" comes from Middle French politique, "political" from Latin politicus "of citizens" or "the state, civil, civic," from Greek politikos "of citizens or the state", from polites, "citizen", from polis, "city".

polyacoustics (pl) (noun) (a plural used as a singular)
The art of magnifying sounds: "The sound engineer at the outdoor concert venue was trained in polyacoustics and he was able to ensure that the amplification equipment was working properly."
A description of of any disease or condition marked by numerous remissions and exacerbations (increase the severities of or making worse).
ponesiatrics, effort training
1. A system of therapy in which misdirected neurophysiologic reactions are made perceptible (as by the oscilloscope, electromyograph, etc.) and used as a guide in recognizing and correcting such undesirable responses (dysponesis).
2. A technique of training which is dependent on the perception of errors by the observation of physiological parameters; such as, biofeedback training.
A branch of physics and specifically continuum mechanics and acoustics that studies the behavior of fluid-saturated porous media.

A porous medium or a porous material is a solid (often called matrix) permeated by an interconnected network of pores (voids or empty spaces) filled with a fluid (liquid or gas).