Tuesday, 31 July 2012

Mobile Phones, the latest in microwave technology

With the increasing number of portable telephones and the sophisticated array of functions, I am starting to believe the health risks involved with a portable device that emits radiation  has been covered up.
A mobile phone device is really a sophisticated two way radio, It s a full duplex radio, meaning that it uses one frequency to listen and another frequency for talking. Unlike a half duplex CB radio to pause in-between talking and listening, a mobil phone would allow both functions like a land line phone.

The phone would also need 1,664 channels or more, a typical frequency range of a mobile phone is 700 MHz to 1.4 Ghz for GSM to 3G devices. Though the next generation of phone would be using 4G with frequencies reaching 2.7 Ghz which is a few mega hertz away from the classification of microwave frequency.
In a typical analog cell-phone system in the United States, the cell-phone carrier receives about 800 frequencies to use across the city. The carrier chops up the city into cells. Each cell is typically sized at about 10 square miles (26 square kilometers). Cells are normally thought of as hexagons on a big hexagonal grid, like this:

Part of the radio waves emitted by a mobile telephone handset are absorbed by the human head. The radio waves emitted by a GSM handset can have a peak power of 2 watts, and a US analogue phone had a maximum transmit power of 3.6 watts

One well-understood effect of microwave radiation is dielectric heating, in which any dielectric material (such as living tissue) is heated by rotations of polar molecules induced by the electromagnetic field. In the case of a person using a cell phone, most of the heating effect will occur at the surface of the head, causing its temperature to increase by a fraction of a degree. In this case, the level of temperature increase is an order of magnitude less than that obtained during the exposure of the head to direct sunlight.
exposure of 2–3 hours duration has been reported to produce cataracts in rabbits' eyes at Specific Absorption Rate values from 100-140W/kg, As far as we know, there is no problem with the radio frequencies used to send out analogue radio signals, but more and more research is showing that pulsed digital frequencies can have non-thermal effects on living organisms.

Professor Hardell of the University Hospital in Orebro Sweden, told the conference – held at the Royal Society by the Radiation Research Trust – that "people who started mobile phone use before the age of 20" had more than five-fold increase in glioma", a cancer of the glial cells that support the central nervous system. The extra risk to young people of contracting the disease from using the cordless phone found in many homes was almost as great, at more than four times higher.

Those who started using mobiles young, he added, were also five times more likely to get acoustic neuromas, benign but often disabling tumours of the auditory nerve, which usually cause deafness. By contrast, people who were in their twenties before using handsets were only 50 per cent more likely to contract gliomas and just twice as likely to get acoustic neuromas.
The research has shown that adults who have used the handsets for more than 10 years are much more likely to get gliomas and acoustic neuromas, but he said that there was not enough data to show how such relatively long-term use would increase the risk for those who had started young.

In 2000 and 2005, two official inquiries under Sir William Stewart, a former government chief scientist, recommended the use of mobile phones by children should be "discouraged" and "minimised".
Children are certainly more susceptible because they are still growing and their neural circuitry will not be fully formed until they reach their early twenties. Until then, they need protection from anything that could interfere with their brain’s development.

Penetration of cell phone radiation into human skull 835 MHz Pin = 600 mW

Electromagnetic Radiation, and especially its impact on the immune system, behaviour, childhood cancers, breast cancer, and brain tumours. This is an epic piece of work, the summary alone runs to 28 pages, which concludes that some effects can be shown from existing research and that further research is needed, but until then the safety standards for exposure need to be revised downwards. In other words, it would be prudent to adopt the precautionary principle, and there are other independent scientists and doctors who are also urging caution.

Monday, 30 July 2012

Medical use of Silver

No one likes illness of any kind so discussions with friends turned to skepticism when they pointed out some ideas of alternative medicine. I never thought that silver could be used in a certain way as a form of medicine.
The chemical symbol is AG with an atomic number of 47 a soft white lustrous transition metal, the highest electrical and thermal conductivity of any element. it is widely used in the electronics, photography and for mirrors in optics. The father of medicine Hippocrates wrote that silver had beneficial healing and anti-disease properties.

The ancient semitic canaanite civilization situated on the coastline of the mediterranean over 300 years BC, stored water, wine and vinegar in silver bottles. in the early 20th century people would put silver coins in milk  bottles  to prolong the milk's freshness. Its germicidal effects increased its value in utensils and as jewelry.

The oligodynamic effect discovered by 1893 by swiss karl Wilhelm von Nageli as toxic effect of metal ions on living cells, algae, molds, spores, fungi even at low concentrations. This effect is shown by ion of mercury, copper, lead, zinc, bismuth, gold, aluminum and silver. Metal ions of heavy metals show this effect  the exact mechanism of action is still unknown. Data from silver suggest that these ions denature enzymes of the target cell or organism by binding to reactive groups, resulting in their precipitation and inactivation.

Silver is widely used in topical gels and impregnated into bandages because of its wide spectrum antimicrobial properties of silver. When the Ag+ ion forms a complex with these molecules, they are rendered unusable by the bacteria, depriving them of necessary compounds and eventually leading to their death.

In world war 1 silver compounds were used before the advent of antibiotics, silver nitrate solution used continued, then was largely replaced by silver sulfadiazine cream  (SSD cream), which be came the the standard cure for the antibacterial and antibiotic treatment of serious burns right up until the late 1990's

Prior to the introduction of antibiotics, colloidal silver was used as a germicide and disinfectant. Physicians used it as an eye-drop for ophthalmic problems, for various infections, and sometimes internally for diseases such as tropical sprue, epilepsy, gonorrhea, and the common cold. Colloidal silver preparations (CSP) were used to treat or prevent gonorrhea and gonorrheal conjunctivitis
With the introduction of antibiotics in the 1940s, the use of silver as an antimicrobial agent diminished.[6] One well known, highly successful, brand name, silver colloid product in the period before 1940 was Argyrol.
Electrolytically-dissolved silver has been used as a water disinfecting agent, for example, the drinking water supplies of the Russian Mir orbital station and the International Space Station. The World Health Organization includes silver in a colloidal state produced by electrolysis of silver electrodes in water, and colloidal silver in water filters as two of a number of water disinfection methods specified to provide safe drinking water in developing countries. Along these lines, a ceramic filtration system coated with silver particles has been created by Ron Rivera of Potters for Peace and used in developing countries for water disinfection (in this application the silver inhibits microbial growth on the filter substrate, to prevent clogging, and does not directly disinfect the filtered water).

Since about 1990, there has been a resurgence of the promotion of colloidal silver as an alternative medicine treatment, marketed with claims of it being an essential mineral supplement, or that it can prevent or treat numerous diseases, such as cancer, diabetes, HIV/AIDS, and herpes, as well as tuberculosis. Silver is not an essential mineral in humans; there is no dietary requirement for silver, and no such thing as a silver "deficiency". No medical evidence supports colloidal silver as being effective for any of these claimed indications.

The 1997 final ruling from the FDA said that any product contain colloidal silver or silver salt is not generally recognized as safe or effective and is misbranded if stated other wise. This has retreated the reputation of silver as a form of medicine into the arms of Alternative medicine. Despite of that silver is still used as a form of bandage today, there is no reason to dismiss this age old method of medicine. Instead embrace all methods of medicine as there is no one cure to fix the many diseases out there.

Sunday, 29 July 2012

Space travel, the possible escape factor

I am not a futurists that likes to think of the romantic side of sci fi or who thinks that technology is going to change everything. After all the internet seems to have a good influence on information exchange, but then again I don't want to know everything like gossip or hurtful comments by trolls. Science in what ever angle you look at it have positive and negative sides.

Take Space travel and all the crazy film influences of war in space, industry in space and the possibility of living in space makes me think of the practicalities that are need for planetary travel. I look at that and think how do we travel to orbit, and prepare for any dangers along the way?

My guess is that the liquid fuel and oxidizer mixed and burned in a thrust chamber is an old idea which has its problems. Even with solid fuel rockets that are the large equivalent of strapping on a firework and flying to orbit Wile E Coyote style, has a fundamental flaw. There is so much energy wasted for a vertical lift, and with the fuel spent the dead weight is the empty rocket tanks that carried you there.

Hopefully the use of modern engines will take you high orbit where you can use a solid fuel booster can push you the rest of the way. Or my new favorite way is that the use of scram jets which works at mach 6 gives you the speed to break orbit and by momentum allow you to reach the space station.

Safety is a factor for space tourists and I wonder if there will be any possibility for escape?. After all from the  looks of the new virgin galaxy craft the only precaution for a passenger is the space suits and the fact the hybrid rocket motor has the ability to shut down at any time by the Pilot. Granted the flights to space is a 50,000 ft climb and a stop and enjoy the moment while experiencing zero G, before a gradual decent to the space port.
Could future flights be equipped with escape pods or something?. My guess the small transport vehicles might not have this, though I wonder if it would be possible for High altitude skydives.
Felix Baumgartner might be the key to this answer. In january 2010 Baumgartner was working with a team of scientists and sponsor Red Bull to attempt the highest sky-dive on record. Despite the law suit of Daniel Hogan in Los Angeles claiming the idea originated from his 2004 idea for  parachute dive from the edge of space, Baumgartner did complete 2 test jumps from 71,581 feet. early this year he completed a 2nd of planned test jumps at 96,640 feet, which is less then one twelfth of the way of the height of the International space station (370 km). The highest jump anyone has attempted was 102,800 feet by Joe kitinger in 1960, this 20 mile is approximately 1 tenth if the distance of the International space station.

Considering the facts that there will be more traffic into space through space tourism, and that new engines like the scram jet will be reliable form of propulsion. I am guessing that there needs to be some safety feature. Escape pods might be a possibility in the form of a craft no bigger then ourselves with maneuverability for final descent and a parachute for a landing phase. The craft would handle protection from  high temperatures and possible timed landing and navigation functions ( who would want to land in the middle of nowhere). Flying skills shouldn't be required for a passenger.

As time moves on for the space tourist, they will eventually be equipped for escape and pioneers like Joe kitinger and Felix Baumgartner will have made it possible for a relatively safe experience. Today the possibility of the International space station crashing into space junk is a true threat. In june the ISS has been threatened by space junk, which is a third time in 12 years. The increase in space junk is a real threat that the crew on the ISS have sheltering exercises.
In the years to come there will be escape pods that will be designed for the unskilled passenger, but until then I am thinking you will be entering space at your own risk.

Saturday, 28 July 2012

The World Wide Web, a british invention.

like most people who are blissfully unaware of things, I was watching the olympics laughing at the pre-show performance area thinking my goodness the cast of the Hobbit might show up and do an jig on the hill. Instead it was a excellent collection of all things British including music humor and innovation. Well done film director Danny Boyle for setting up this unique sporting event.

One of the main people I remember besides Mr Bean's hilarious musical number was Sir Tim Berners Lee.
Apparently he invented the internet, along with Robert Cailiau a young student at Cern he implemented the first successful communication between a Hypertext transfer protocol (HTTP) for client and server via the internet. christmas day in 1990 might have been the point when the first web page was viewed.

Berners Lee saw an opportunity to connect hypertext to the transmission protocol and domain name system ideas. Creating the web was really was an desperate act, because the situation without it was difficult.
the first website from Cern was put online on the 6th august 1991. There was no graphics on the page due to the limited information placed there. Any computer with a terminal would be able to read information from a universal line Browser.
During 1991 servers appeared in other institutions in europe, by December 1991 the first server outside the continent was installed in the US at Stanford linear Accelerator Center. By November 1992 there were 26 servers in the world, and about a year later there were 200 known web servers. In February 1993 the national Centre for Supercomputing Applications ( NCSA) at the University of Illinois released a copy of a web browser called Mosaic.
This was to make the web available to people using PC's and Apple macintosh  computers. This was the first popular graphical web browser which played an important part in the expansion of the internet. Marc Andeerssen and Eric Bina wrote the  NCSA Mosaic later went on to develop Netscape Web browser. Mosaic was later licensed to spyglass Inc the foundation to Internet Explorer.

During the 90s, it was estimated that traffic would grown 100 percent on the general public. This growth attributed to the lack of central administration which allowed organic growth of the network. Instant communication by email, instant messaging, voice over internet protocols (VOIP) phone calls, blogs increase in graphics and video needed more data to be transmitted. Higher and higher speeds over fiber-optic networks operating at 1 Gbit/s, or more.

As of march 2011 the estimated total number of internet users was 2 billion (30.2% of the worlds population. In 1993 the internet carried 1% of the information flowing through a two way telecommunication,  by 2000 this figure had grown to 51% and by 2007 more then 97% of all tele-communicated information was carried over the internet.
Originally the technology of packet switching and communications form computer to computer was long before 1990. Some people argue that because of nuclear treat, the infrastructure of the network was born. But for me all the internet started when computer Boffin Sir Tim Berners Lee Proposed an idea utilizing the existing technology and posted a web page for scientific communications at CERN. Who would of thought it would develop into a global communications hub of  blogs, Trolls and video distractions.

Friday, 27 July 2012

Everything you wanted to know about vitamins but afraid to ask

Vitamins are suppose to be essential for the Human body they are organic compounds that are required by organisms. They occur naturally in foods which cant be manufactured by the body it self (with the exception of L-ascorbic acid, vitimin C though not enough for our daily requirements). Early studies proved that vitamins were needed to prevent certain diseases. Scurvy was a illness people were deficient in vitamin C, certain forms of blindness and growth deformities were caused by the lack of vitamin A. Rickets or the softening of bones and dental deformities was the result of a deficiency in vitamin D or calcium and phosphate.
Linus Carl Pauling awarded twice for the Nobel prize in different fields, which gave him scientific credibility when he claimed that vitamins could not only prevent deficiency diseases they could prevent other diseases not related to vitamins.

Cancer, heart disease and the processes in aging could be theoretically reduced by the excessive intake of vitamins. During this time Pauling's message seem to offer comfort of preventing diseases by the simple idea of taking multi vitamins in pill form. The idea seemed to be an organic and natural compared with the pharmaceutical approach of a band aid. 10 mili grams of vitamin C would prevent Scurvy, the theory would suggest many oranges over 250 times the recommended daily allowance would prevent colds and flu symptoms.
vitamin nutritionists would like to think that taking supplements have many benefits

Vitamin A –
Promotes healthy cell growth; used in cell division and specialization throughout the body; and helps regulate the immune system. Poisonous if taken to excess.
B Complex – a combination of most or all of the B Vitamins. General uses: converting foods into energy; growth; metabolism.
Vitamin B1 (thiamine) –
Uses: helps supports the normal function of the nervous system, muscles and heart.
Vitamin B2 (riboflavin) –
Uses: red blood cell and antibody production; respiration; and regulating human growth and reproduction. Vitamin B5 (Pantothenic Acid) -  Uses:  normal growth; metabolism of fat and sugar to energyVitamin B17 (Laetrile or Amygdalin) –
An extract of many seeds, nuts, etc, especially almonds. Claimed to be a cancer cure. Claimed by opponents to be poisonous because it includes an arsenic compound.

Vitamin C (Ascorbic Acid)  –
Humans are the only animals unable to store Vitamin C. Lack of this vitamin causes scurvy, a potentially fatal disease. It is used in forming collagen, cartilage, muscle and blood vessels and in maintaining bones and teeth, and in the absorption of iron. 
Vitamin D – 
Is made in the body by exposure to UV rays (sunlight).
Uses: promotes the absorption of calcium and phosphorous that are vital in forming and maintaining strong bones. It may also be involved in regulating cell growth and maintaining a healthy immune system. 
Vitamin E –
Uses: as a powerful source of antioxidants; is involved in immune system function; DNA repair; the protection of blood cells, the nervous system, muscles and the retinas.
Omega-3 fatty acid. Omega-3 fish oil supplements have piqued great interest. Studies suggest that a higher intake of omega-3 fatty acid from foods such as cold-water fish, plant and nut oils, and English walnuts are strongly linked to a lower risk of Alzheimer's. However, thorough studies comparing omega-3s to placebo are needed to prove this memory benefit from supplements. 

Orthomolecular medicine coined by Linus Pauling is finding the right molecules in the right amount, could provide the optimum health. This have been described as food faddism or quackery by critics.
Certain forms of over the counter vitamins have different absorption rates with the body it hard capsules offer 20% while other offer 40% gels give 50% while in liquid form is 80% better the best is isotonix giving 90% is absorbed into the body.

It is uncertain that Orthomolecular medicine has prevented all the diseases that the vitamins are said to be beneficial for. No extensive research on the whole range of vitamins has led to this conclusion. though studies on vitamin C disproved the theory of preventing a cold. And Beta Carotene tests on subjects was to prevent lung cancer. 1500 Test subjects were given the equivalent of 6 carrots in one pill form. Dr Demetrius Albanes of the Us National Cancer institute found smokers who are most likely to develop lung cancer, were in fact 18% worse off when taking the vitamin that was to prevent the cancer. A study found that a Swedish diet rich in vitamin A (oily fish dairy products and vitamin supplements). Professor Hakan Melhus of Uppsala University Hospital found many cases of bone fracture. Cross referencing those cases with the dietary intake of vitamin A. The results was that their diet was a direct factor of osteoporosis a common killer in Sweden. Long term consumption of low doses of vitamin A (twice the daily dose) have a dramatic effect of 10% reduction in bone density.

Considering the negative effects of high dose of vitamins and the fact that over the counter pill forms of vitamins are expensive, I wonder if it is worth the risk of a unproven theory of Lingus Pauling. A normal diet with vegetables, fish, meat and dairy foods seems like a better way forward. Pill vitamin supplements in any of its forms may be the small weight that tips the scales, this could lead to an unhealthy diet. Pills in my opinion are for lazy people who can't be bothered to cook. With this in mind then the fussy eaters or the lazy cooks are mostly likely to suffer. The only time to indulge in vitamins is when pregnant ladies are encouraged to take folic acid to prevent birth defects. I will still look at Orthomolecular medicine with a skeptics eye though now I'll make sure I eat foods with each vitamin is checked so I am not deficient in anything.

Thursday, 26 July 2012

3D Printing file share your illegal weapon downloads

In a ever changing world the use of 3D printers may increase in numbers, Rep rap machines have been around since 2007, their ugly designs of miniature scaffolds without the buildings have been exclusive to Boffins, engineering students and nerds. Though intentionally open sourced the complex range of components and software has been exclusive, for people who can under stand this level of mechanical, electronic and software engineering.
At the heart of the of RepRap is a thermoplastic extruder, early attempts at controlling the plastic flow to the extruder was to us a Dc motor which proved inaccurate. The stepper motor allowed precision timing for the drive assembly to give the right amount of plastic to the area for printing. The whole complex operation requires full knowledge of X,Y and Z axis. RepRap's electronics based on the popular Arduino mini micro processor board platform. with additional boards to control the stepper motors. The current version uses an Arduino derived Sanguino motherboard, this architecture allows expansion to additional controls.

There are many different versions 3D printer Cubify came to light at CES 2012. Also Makerbot, which is similar to the Darwin or Mendal models of RepRap designs. Though Makerbot uses laser cut milled parts  that encases the printer into a more acceptable appearance. Makerbot's website, sells small accessories and electronic kits as well as replacement parts and printers fully assembled. This seems limited as the number of makerbot projects listed are 5 in total. Compared to Cubify's website which has a small library of files to download similar to itunes store, where each item has a small fee. the website encourages a small community to design their own products to add to the library.
Despite the online community of RepRap and Cubify's efforts of its 3D printing library, there seems to little in the way of obtaining 3D designs to download and print. Until recently Pirate bay has been a file sharing company that allows the simple sharing of mp3 and movie files, which have been controversial due to the copyright restrictions of music and film studios. Pirate bay has now added a new torrent category Physibles, which is the 3D printer plans or possibly the STL files of any virtual model to be made real by a printer. 
This will open up a new area of file sharing physical items such as toys machine parts or other peoples designs. Hopefully the use of 3D printing will eliminate the need to buy most toys from the shops, or cheap items from china. In a ideal world this will be the end of expensive packaging for toys and simple gadget products too.
There is a danger to this type of illegal downloads as it will be very easy to manufacture 3D prints of gun parts to be made as a untraceable weapon. "Haveblue" documented in a blog post that using a Stratasys 3D printer to craft the parts to a .22 pistol and fired 200 rounds with it. He also tried to assemble parts for a .223 AR-15 rile which didn't work, though it was down to the compatibility of actual gun parts and the lower receiver 3D print.

3D printing has yet to be popular.  Sales have increased and will eventually lower in price, which will probably turn the manufacturing industry on its head. Though 3D prints are not easily available, people will be turning to the internet, Pirate bay in particular for free designs. Examples in 3D print designs include clothing, shoes, toys, musical instruments and now lethal Guns. Considering that the possibilities of 3D printing can be limitless. There is a slight possibility that this new technology will be used for evil purposes.

Wednesday, 25 July 2012

Moog, a brief history of electro

The great thing about electronic music is that I can mimic the tonal richness of a full band. early pioneers like moog still continue to influence modern electronic music. Great music now seems to be a combination of retro style synths and excellent studio techniques subjective to the producer. Working on my own music I cant help but remember the pioneers of synth and the technology that goes into their music.

The moog company pioneered the commercial manufacture of modular analogue synthesizer. The company founded by Dr Robert Arthur Moog had begun manufacturing valve-state\Theremins in kit form, while he was a student. Moog later went on to market the transistorized theremin kits in 1961, which grew his interest in the design and construction of complex electronic music systems.

Wendy carlos was an American composer who gained commercial success, by recording compositions of Johann Sebastian Bach using only the Moog Synthesizer. Originally consulting with Robert Moog on the musical refinements of his modules. Wendy carlos purchased a large Moog modular system in 1968 and constructed a state of the art 8 track multi recorder.

The resulting album was released by CBS records later that year with the title Switched on to Bach. It became the highest selling Classical music recordings ever released up to that time, which earned Carlos 3 grammy awards. On the success of switched on to Bach came 3 more electronic Baroque music, which led to a sound track for Stanley Kubric's Iconic film A clockwork orange.
The 1970's brought about a change to the Moog company with the creation of the mini moog it's a monophonic analogue synthesizer, invented by Bill Hemsath and Robert moog. The mini moog synthesizer was designed for rock and pop music, due to it portability compared with large modular synthesizers that were large ,expensive, easily damaged and not ideal for live performances. many many Bands  like Emerson lake and Palmer ( and other prog rock bands), Kraft werk, Gary Numan, ABBA and even Michael Jackson used the Mini moog in their recordings.
Sales for the mini moog reach as high as 13,000 units sold right up to the 1980's, though analog synthesis were succeeded by a reliable digital oscillator in the frequency modulated synthesizer. The advent of affordable synthesizers, from foreign japanese companies sealed the fait of Moog. The Moog Liberation was the last synthesizer released by the original Moog music, it was a programable polyphonic Memorymoog in 1985. Moog music was declared bankrupt in 1986.
By the mid-1990s, analog synthesizers were again highly sought after and prized for their classic sound. In 2001, Robert Moog's company Big Briar was able to acquire the rights to the Moog name and officially became Moog Music. Moog Music has been producing the Minimoog Voyager modeled after the original Minimoog since 2002. As of 2006, more than 15 companies are making Moog-style synthesizer modules, including Arturia a virtual instrument software company. Moog music continue to make excellent products their mission of the foundation is to educate and inspire through the power of electronic music science and innovation. With product like the Moog guitar and various moog pedals MoogMusic has come back stronger then ever

Tuesday, 24 July 2012

Hypersonic engines, from missiles to space travel

The speed of sound is about 340 metres per second, so when you count to one second, sound has traveled roughly over the distance of a 3 soccer pitches. Thats faster  then any over priced footballer can do. More or less I feel sorry for the ball at this speed. But replace the sportsman with a expensive jet engine along with a aircraft design to cut though the air like a knife, then you might have the makings of a plane that can beat the sound barrier.

Mans quest for going that little bit faster has brought you Bell x-1 at 670 mph, the SR-71 Black bird at 2269 mph and the X15 at 4,510 mph. Super sonic jets started in 1947 with the Bell X1 in hope to break the sound barrier, this led to the production plane F86. The SR-71 black bird  was reconnaissance aircraft in the mid 60's its ability to outrace anything in the sky at March 3. Probably was most effective at the height of the cold war against any MIG-25 by out running any threats.
Concord seems to be the only non military supersonic plane, which ran for 27 years before retiring in 2003. It claimed to fly from London to New york  in 2 hrs, the range of concord was limited to 500 miles along with rising fuel cost and limited sales for the plane it was soon cancelled.

Nasa are looking at ways to improve aircraft designs for 2025, talks with Boeing, Lockheed Martin, and Northrop Grumman were given the tasks to reduce noise and fuel consumption for a new type of aircraft.
They already made aviation history by launching X-43A scramjet in march 2004, in hope to increase the speed the unmanned aircraft will reach mach 10 or 7000 mph. The possibilities are most-likely for very high altitude flight or as a alternative to the space shuttle payload transport for larger aircraft.

 The US military has the same idea to fly a hypersonic plane at 20 times the speed of sound by 2016. The X plane will travel at March 20 or about 13,000 mph. According to a government agency the project comes in response to the US's military advantage being threatened by other nations increasing abilities in stealth and counter stealth warfare.

The boeing X51 wave rider scramjet Engine test project is a demonstration  in 2010, that will give the company better understanding for scram jet technology. Though uses for this kind of technology can be easily adapted for cruise missiles or surveillance with a quick travel time of any where in the world in a hour. Its engines incorporates the mixture of air and onboard fuel at speeds higher then mach 6. With no moving parts and the engine can be reused again and again for repeated military operations.

Normal jet engines can achieve anywhere up to mach 2, but with the new scramjet technology things might get even faster. With promises of possible space flight propulsion to high altitudes it might be a reality that space tourism will be powered by scramjets. Also with NASA looking for new designs for aircraft in 2025, I am hoping Scramjet technology will be powering the commercial flights of the future. Its hard to say where the future lays with flight at the moment. It might take decades of safe testing for this new engine technology, towards commercial flight. Though some people have ideas that a test hypersonic plane named Aurora already exists, and that scram jet technology will remain in military hands. I am forever hopeful it might be filtered down for something better then just warfare.

Monday, 23 July 2012

Nuclear Fusion, might be a waste of time

Safe clean energy is hard besides using wind turbines and Solar cells, like artificial leaves that soaking the suns rays. Nuclear fission is much easier, by splitting a large atom (with a neutron crashing in to it) you can effectively create  heat from that interaction. The disadvantage is that the current system for nuclear fission produces waste which is toxic and the examples of Chernobyl and Fukashima proves that the current methods of creating heat by nuclear fission is dangerous.

Nuclear fusion on the other had seems to be the opposite, instead of using a toxic material like uranium 235 and controlling the reaction process by exposing the control rods to the core reactor. The control rods are cadmium and boron and they absorb the the neutrons, which is the key factor of cascading effect when splitting the uranium 235 atom.
 Theory is that when you collide light materials like Hydrogen or Isotopes of Hydrogen (hydrogen with an extra neutron or two) The heat produced from that interaction is much more then the energy that went into producing those conditions. The reality though is difficult the only current man made method to make a fusion reaction is by using a fission explosion as a primary to force Tritium gas and Lithium -6 (fusion fuel) to be slammed together with in a Xray reflective casing (secondary).

Thermonuclear fusion could possibly happen if matter is sufficiently hated into a plasma, the fusion reaction due to collisions with extreme thermal kinetic energies of the particles. This process is called Thermonuclear fusion. Magnetic confinement is when electrically charge particles will follow magnetic field lines. The fusion fuel can therefore be trapped using a strong magnetic field. A variety of magnetic configuration exist, including the toroidal shape ( donut shape) and magnetic mirror. The pinch concept is based on the concept that plasma are electrically conducting. If you run a current through the plasma, the field will, according to lenz's Law creating inward directed force that causes the plasma to collapse inward. This will raise its density and more current will give more denser plasma increasing the inward force leading a chain reaction. If conditions are correct this will lead to an environment just right for fusion to start. The difficult part is to get current into the plasma, this is solved by inducing the current in the plasma by induction from an external magnet, which produces the field that squeezes it self.

Inertial fusion involves spherically convergent implosions of 100 micron diameter, driven by 1 mega joule bursts of energy delivered in 1 nanosecond. They require enormous laser beam or particle beam energies to rise the temperature and conditions for reaction.

other methods of cold fusion and sonoluminescence prove unfruitful using current pass through a jar of heavy water with palladium electrode. Or using intense sound waves induces a gaseous cavity within a liquid to collapse quickly both methods are discredited, due to the fact the neutrons that was to be emitted from reactions were not from actual reaction but from the background radiation of the sun.
Most of the methods of nuclear fusion I read about seem to forget that gravity provides a stable element in maintaining a constant reaction. Squeezing plasma by magnetic fields is like holding something intangible, when the reaction starts eventually it will touch the sides of the reactor and cool down. This whole idea of recreating the suns power is a pipe dream which is significantly more expensive then fission. Granted there is a flaw in the current technology of fission reactor. Though Thorium fission reactors seem to be a better system, there still will be a waste product. There are optimists who think that fusion reactors might be around the corner, wait around 20 or 30 years for someone to think up a way to squeeze a ball of plasma so hot and dense that it won't touch the sides of the reactor wall. And then harness that heat for power to sustain the system and have enough to supply a city or two, is an incredible task which might be too much. With the level of technology we can smash together atoms even find subatomic particles that will prove a theory. But we haven't been able to create gravity or a container that will hold a plasma ball for sustained fusion. Beside making the reactor chamber hotter research has taken us so far but I seriously doubt, there are any more improvements we can do.