You may not know this that a race of alien subatomic particles showering from the outer space have been slowly taking a toll over your personal electronics like computers, smartphones, and several other kind of personal devices. When you have the blue screen error or your operating system crashes you may have to go ahead by resetting everything and put blame over the manufacturer. However, this has also been taking place on account of electrically charged particles that have been coming from cosmic rays coming in from outer space.
Bharat Bhuva, an electrical engineering professor from the Vanderbilt University explained through a presentation that, “This is a really big problem, but it is mostly invisible to the public.” Whenever cosmic rays passing at a very slow speed of light strikes the Earth’s atmosphere leading to creation of secondary particles cascades along with energetic pions, alpha particles, muons, and neutrons. Millions of these particles have been striking your body every single second. The subatomic torrent of these particles is imperceptible despite such high numbers, but a small fraction of these can be enough to intervene with microelectronic circuitry operations. Bhuva explains, “When you have a single bit flip, it could have any number of causes. It could be a software bug or a hardware flaw, for example. The only way you can determine that it is a single-event upset is by eliminating all the other possible causes,”
There have been too many incidents that showcase how serious this problem can be. Bhuva further adds, “The semiconductor manufacturers are very concerned about this problem because it is getting more serious as the size of the transistors in computer chips shrink and the power and capacity of our digital systems increase. In addition, microelectronic circuits are everywhere and our society is becoming increasingly dependent on them.”
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