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December 2015 • The PCB Design Magazine 9 the shaughnessy report Andy Shaughnessy is managing editor of The PCB Design Magazine. He has been covering PCB design for 16 years. He can be reached by clicking here. the way back to the beginning and shares a little "inside baseball" on the forming of the council. Design instructor Rick Hartley discusses how he helped start a DC chapter in Ohio, and he lays out the many educational and net- working benefits of being involved with your local chapter. San Diego PCB's Mike Creeden talks about his work with the DC, and he ex- plains how the executive board functions as well. And Zentech's Judy Warner interviewed Freedom CAD's Scott McCurdy, president of the Orange County Designers Council Chap- ter. The Orange County chapter meetings rou- tinely draw nearly 100 attendees, and Scott was happy to share his "playbook" for starting and sustaining an active DC chapter. I think Scott spends part of each week planning the next DC chapter meeting, but the results speak for themselves. It's been quite a year. In 2015, we covered a lot of big news. We also said goodbye to some good people, like Gary Smith and Steve Weir. In this issue, don't forget to check out the most popular PCB design articles and news items of 2015. I hope you have a great holiday. I'll see you in 2016! PCBDESIGN ThE DESIGNErS CouNCIl: ElEvATING PCB DESIGN, AND DESIGNErS A mathematical problem underlying funda- mental questions in particle physics and quantum physics is provably unsolvable, according to scien- tists at UCL, Universidad Complutense de Madrid— ICMAT and Technische Universität München. The findings show that even a perfect and complete description of the microscopic properties of a ma- terial is not enough to predict its macroscopic be- haviour. The study, published today in Nature, investi- gated the problem of the 'spectral gap' – the ener- gy needed for a material to transfer from its lowest- energy state to an excited state. When this energy becomes very small (i.e. the 'spectral gap closes'), it becomes possible for the material to transition to a completely different state and the properties of the material can under - go dramatic changes. For example, when a mate- rial at a very low temperature transitions from in- sulating to superconducting, this dramatic change is the result of its spectral gap closing. Co-author Dr. Toby Cubitt from UCL Comput- er Science, said, "Alan Turing is famous for his role in cracking the Enigma code, but amongst math- ematicians and computer scientists, he is even more famous for proving that certain mathemati- cal questions are `undecidable' – they are neither true nor false, but are beyond the reach of math- ematics. "What we've shown is that the spectral gap is one of these undecidable problems. This means a general method to determine whether matter described by quantum mechanics has a spectral gap, or not, cannot ex- ist." The researchers are now seeing whether their findings extend beyond the artificial mathemati- cal models produced by their calculations to more realistic quantum materi- als that could be realised in the laboratory. Quantum Physics Problem Proved Unsolvable

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