Showing posts with label Science. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Science. Show all posts

Saturday, June 7, 2014

Gravitational Waves – Ripples in Space-time Continuum

Gravitational Waves – Ripples in Space-time Continuum

Gravitational waves are ripples in space time continuum which was seen by Albert Einstein in his general theory of relativity. These are ripples that carry energy across the universe and were predicted to exist as a consequence of Einstein General Theory of Relativity in 1916.

Though there is a strong evidence of its existence, gravitational waves has not been directly detected earlier since they are minuscule which is a million times smaller than an atom.

Ripples in Space-time Continuum

They seem like tiny waves on a lake far away and the lake’s surface looks glassy smooth and the details of the surface can be seen only when very close to it.Einstein, in the year 1916, discovered a mathematical way to explain gravity and called it his general theory of relativity.

This theory relied on a set of coordinates which described the combination of space and time known as the space time continuum.

Warping of Matter and Energy – Force of Gravity

Since matter and energy warp the space time continuum like heavy weight on a mattress, the warping thus creates the force of gravity and gravitational waves are ripples in the space time continuum.

General relativity shows us how gravity can affect time which should be taken into account by satnav to inform where you are. A telescope at the South Pole known as Bicep – Background Imaging of Cosmic Extragalactic Polarisation, has been looking out for evidence of gravitational waves by detecting subtle property of the cosmic microwave background radiation.

The radiation which was produced in the big bang was originally discovered by American scientist in the year 1964 with the help of radio telescope and has been called as the `echo’, of the big bang. The large scale polarisation of this microwave had been measured by Bicep. Primordial gravitational waves only can imprint such pattern if they have been amplified by inflation.

Curvature of Space-time 

Curvature of Space- Time
According to Einstein’s theory of general relativity, gravity has been treated as a phenomenon, the outcome of the curvature of space time and this curvature is the result of the presence of mass. The more mass that is contained within a volume of space, the greater is the curvature of space-time at the boundary of the volume.

When the objects with mass move around in space-time, the curvature also changes to reflect the changed location of these objects.

In some situations, accelerating objects may generate changes in this curvature propagating outwards at the speed of light like a wave and these propagating situations are known to be gravitational waves.

Effects of Passing Gravitational Wave

Effects of Passing Gravitational Wave
As these gravitational wave passes far away, an observer will find space-time distorted due to the effects of strain and the distance between free objects may increase and decrease rhythmically as the wave may pass at a frequency which corresponds to the wave despite free objects not being subjected to an unbalanced force.

 The effect of the magnitude decreases inversely with distance from the source. Effects of passing gravitational wave can be seen by imagining a flat region of space-time with that of a group of motionless test particle lying in a plane and as the gravitational wave passes through the particles along a line which is perpendicular to the plane of the particles, the particles tend to follow the distortion in space-time.

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Heat Death Of Universe

Heat Death Of  Universe
Living among Glowing Filaments of Energy

The universe differs in composition in various places and we live among glowing filaments of energy and matter which are collected together in a background of nothingness and the planetary systems, stars, nebulae, black holes, galaxies are all concentrated specks in space.

In the distant future, these hot heavy specks may tend to spread out into cold void mixing till everything will change in a thin mist and like boiling water added to cold content; the two extremes will balance out and thereby leave it lukewarm.

 Heat death began from the work of several physicist who started the study of comprehending how the machines transformed heat to mechanical work and formed an empirical conception on how steam engines and other suppliers of force did this which led them to the understanding of the entire system settling down to an intermediate temperature with no more energy transfer taking place.

This is known as the maximization of entropy. The atoms, subatomic and molecules particles tend to collide in space spreading the energy and momentum from fast to slow wherein the motion of these particles of the universe gradually become random and they collide and interact with no change of energy, finally going out into the empty space.

Universe Reaches Maximum Entropy

The heat death of the universe will take place when the universe reaches a state of maximum entropy when all the available energy like the hot source will have moved to places of less energy as a colder source and when this takes place no additional work will be possible from the universe.

 Since heat will cease to flow, no more work would be acquired from heat transfer while the same sort of equilibrium would also be expected from other forms of energy namely mechanical, electrical etc.; resulting it to be effectively dead especially for the use of humankind. The heat death originated from the second law of thermodynamic which is the entropy that increases in an isolated system being the universe.

 Entropy that can be arranged in a number ways where a system can be arranged should not decrease, but evolve to maximum disorder or thermodynamic equilibrium. When this takes place, it will be divided equally throughout the cosmos leaving no space for any reusable heat or energy to break into existence resulting in the processes which consume energy would cease to exist, including our planet Earth.

Big Freeze/Big Chill

The theory on how the universe will tend to end, the heat death which is also known as the big Freeze or the big chill has been suggested as one of the ways where the cosmos would come to an end especially when it’s expanding.

 The heat death of the universe is considered as the ultimate fate of the universe wherein the universe will tend to diminish to a state of no thermodynamic free energy and will no longer be capable to sustain processes which will consume energy. It does not imply any temperature but needs temperature difference or other processes that may no longer be needed for performance of work.

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Wow Signal – Brief Burst of Radio Waves

Wow Signal
The Search for Extra Terrestrial Intelligence, SETI, has seen many astronomers touring the sky with hopes of receiving artificially generated radio signals sent by alien civilization. Nicknamed the `Wow’, signal, saw a brief burst of radio waves detected by astronomer Jerry Ehman, on August 15, 1977, a strong narrowband radio signal, while he was working on a SETI project at the Big Ear radio telescope, of the Ohio State University which was then located at Ohio Wesleyan University’s Perkins Observatory in Delaware, Ohio.

The signal was so remarkable that Ehman circled it on the computer printout with a `Wow’, in the margin and unintentionally gave the received radio signal the name for which it became very famous. The signal had the unexpected hallmarks of non terrestrial and non solar system origin and it lasted for the full seventy two second window that Big Ear was ever able to observe and has not been detected again. This signal has been the subject of significant media attention ever since.

No Identification for Signal’s Source

No identification has been found for the signal’s source inspite of great efforts without repeated signal found which turns out to be a mystery. The only conclusion drawn was that if the signal could have originated in deep space then it could either be an astrophysical phenomenon which was never seen before or it could have been an intercepted alien signal.

After trying and failure in finding any repeat of the signal, the Wow signal researchers faced difficulty and Ehman became skeptical of its origin stating that `something suggest it was an Earth sourced signal that simply got reflected off a piece of space debris’, and when he made attempts to investigate the explanation, he faced more problems.

Signal’s Intensity

Wow Signal  Location
On investigations, it was found that the signal could have probably originated on Earth with likely reflection off a piece of space junk. The received signal being specific, the explanations required too many assumptions and a logical thinking pattern known as Occam’s razor pointed towards this signal with an astrophysical origin though it did not provide an explanation.

The signal’s intensity at the start was noticed to rise and fall over a period of 72 seconds, consistent with the Earth’s rotation with a single source tracking in the sky with the help of the Big Ear telescope which gave the signal a characteristic signature caused by object seen in the sky. This would be impossible to match for any Earth bound object.

Amazing Frequency – Sharp Transmission

The signal also stood out over the background noise found in deep space, about 30 times louder than anything else and the most amazing thing about it was its frequency which was sharp transmitting at only a single frequency.

Natural radio sources do not operate that way but spread across a range of frequencies, in other words, the same signal covers a broad band of transmission and the Wow signal is far from it showing only one specific frequency of 1420 MHz approximately which is also known as the hydrogen line, a frequency which is internationally banned from use by terrestrial radio signals due to its use in radio astronomy.

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Angel Hair – Connected to UFO

Angel Hair
Angel hair or siliceous cotton is a fibrous, sticky substance which had been reported in connection with UFO sightings. It has been named for its similarity to fine hair or spider webs and in some instances it is found to be the web threads of migrating spiders where it is reported that angel hair evaporates or disintegrates within a short span of time of forming.

 It is an important aspect of Raelism, UFO religion and one of its theories is that it is created from ionized air sleeting off an electromagnetic field surrounding a UFO. This cobweb and jellylike substance slightly radioactive often falls to the ground after UFO sightings, has been dubbed `angle hair’ which when held in the hand that seems like cottony tufts have an offensive smell.

 American ufologist refers it as angel hair, while Italian considers it as siliceous cotton and the French call the term `the Madonna’s present, describing the semitransparent threads that fell from heavens.

Phenomenon of Shining Flying Spindles started in 1954

Angel Hair 1
Discussions of the phenomenon first started in 1954 when two men known as Gennaro Lucetti and Pietro Lastrucci stood on a hotel balcony in the vicinity of St. Mark’s Square of Venice on October 27, 1954 when suddenly they saw two shining spindles flying across the sky.

These objects left behind a fiery white trail while they moved along and flew at high speed each at some distance away from the other taking a U turn to fly away in the direction of Florence. It was also reported that an unexpected interruption in a soccer game played in one of the stadiums of Florence took place when the players, referees along with 10 thousand spectators stood gazing into the skies at the two objects making their rounds over the stadium with a couple of unidentified objects flying over the city thrice from 14.20 to 1429 and a number of strange cobweb like threads dropping to the arena as these objects disappeared.

Fibrous Material Highly Resistant to Tension 

Since the substance would disintegrate when held in hand, a student called Alfrede Jacopozzi was the only one to have picked up a few threads and seal them in a hermetic test tube and handed over the tube to Professor Giovanni Canneri, the director of the Chemical Analysis Institute, University of Florence. His colleague, Professor Danilo Cozzi, carried out a series of test on the mysterious substance and his conclusion was that it was a fibrous material which was highly resistant to tension and torsion and once subjected to heat, the material would tend to grow dark and evaporate leaving transparent sediments which melted away. These sediments were found to contain boron, silicon and magnesium which hypothetically speaking could be some kind of boron-silicon glass according to Professor Cozzi.

Comprehensive Analysis Conducted

Charles Maney, an American ufologist suggested that the material was the UFO excess energy which materialized and according to him the threads returned to their dimension or some other space time continuum while fading away.

 Another British ufologist suggested that the angel hair was a variety of ectoplasm that emanated during a spiritualistic session. A Soviet researcher, B.V.Lyapunov, who had done much contribution to popularize science, received sample of angel hair from New Zealand in 1967 in a tightly sealed tube which contained some unknown stuff measuring less than one tenth of a cubic centimeter. A comprehensive analysis was then conducted by a team of scientist on the substance.

Physicist, L.V. Kirichenko, specialist in radiometry was of the opinion that the substance was a fine fibered material where some of its fibers were less than 0.1 micron in diameter and most of the fibers were tangled in the bundles or separate threads measuring 20 microns in diameter looking whitish and semitransparent. Analogues are unknown to the analyzed substance. Academician I.V. Petryanov Sokolov on summing up the study of the material stated that the sample is of considerable interest as a material with extremely fine fibers and it is unlikely that the material was formed by nature.

Flying Web Type Substance

The entire substance unfortunately was used during the research and no fresh samples of angel hair were obtained inspite of repeated reports in the country. British Society for UFO Studies reported in August 1998, that mysterious cobwebs fell to the ground shortly after an UFO sighting in North Wales and a sixty old woman and her daughter-in-law sighted about 20 silver balls in the sky before taking note of cobweb like material which fell to the ground.

In 1898, residents of the city of Montgomery in United States reported angel hair which fell from the clear blue sky stating the fall as `flying web type substance’ and according to eyewitness, the threads of the material resembled fluorescent asbestos fibers. A large number of sticky fibers were seen falling from the sky for two hours on February 10, 1978, in the vicinity of the coastal city of Samaru, New Zealand where the fibers appeared to be quite finer than cobwebs though clearly visible against a clear blue sky.

Monday, March 31, 2014

Galactic Center Alignment Of Milky Way

Galactic Alignment between the Sun and the Center of Galaxy

Galactic Center Alignment Of Milky Way 3
Our planet is connected to our solar system and our solar system is connected to our galaxy which in turn is connected to the universe, the living and breathing organism of life. The earth orbits round the Sun, which itself is a part of the Milky Way galaxy taking about 220 million years for the Sun to complete a single journey around the Milky Way. The Sun moves up and down during its travel in orbit around the center of the galaxy, its oscillation taking a total of 64 million years to complete. When the Sun passes directly through the galactic disk, there is a perfect galactic alignment between the Sun and the center of the galaxy. The Milky Way is 100,000 years away and 1,000 light years thick and during the course of those 64 million years cycle, the Sun tends to rise above the galactic plane, 500 light years moving down through the galactic plane, till its 500 light years below and then returns back again.

Galactic Equator – Milky Way

Galactic Center Alignment Of Milky Way 1
The Galactic Alignment is the alignment of the December solstice sun with the Galactic equator of our galaxy, the Milky Way which occurs as a result of the precession of the equinoxes and is associated with the end of the ancient Mayan calendar in 2012. Precession is the result of the earth moving very slowly on its axis shifting the position of the equinoxes and solstices by a degree every 71.5 years due to which the sun is one half of a degree wide which will take the December solstice sun, 36 years to precess through the Galactic equator. The Galactic Equator, a virtual line that describes 0 degrees longitude and 0 degree latitude acts as a divisionary line between the northern and southern hemisphere of the Milky Way galaxy and the precise alignment of the solstice point with the Galactic equator was calculated to occur in 1998. This date was refined further by Smelyakov to May 7, 1998.

Galactic Alignment once every 25,000 years 

Galactic Center Alignment Of Milky Way 2
Due to the width of the Sun being the cause of an inprecise alignment of visual alignment, the Galactic Alignment `zone’ is 1998 +/- 18 years = 1980 – 2016, according to Jenkins – era 2012. The Galactic Alignment takes place only once every 25,000 years and occurs to what the ancient Maya pointed, with the 2012 end date of their Long Count calendar. Some, who claimed that the Maya predicted the end of the world in 2012, used a particular astronomical alignment into believing that this would take place at the end of the 13 Bak’tun in the Maya Long Count calendar – December 21st 2012. The claim was that the Sun on that date would align with the center of the Milky Way Galaxy, a thing which happens once in every 25,772 years. It was further claimed that the Maya knew about the alignment and set their Long Count calendar to end on that day since that alignment would be leading to something to take place which was left to the imagination and would affect mankind involving every level of dimension as well as every planet in our solar system.

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Science Mystery: WORMHOLE, A Means To Travel Back In Time

Science is filled with fiction on tales of traveling through wormholes and the reality of this type of travel is somewhat complicating though we are yet to identify one. A theoretical passage on long journeys in space across the universe with shortcuts created, known as wormholes are, predicted by the theory of general relativity, though they tend to bring about high radiation, sudden collapse together with dangerous contact with exotic matter. Wormholes comprises of two openings which are spherical with a throat connecting the two.

The throat could be a straight stretch and it could also wind around taking a longer route than a conventional one. Physicists like Nathan Rosen and Einstein used the theory of general relativity in 1935, to introduce the existence of bridges through space time and the wormhole is known as an Einstein Rosen bridge which is considered a hypothetical topological feature of space-time with shortcuts through space time. These paths known as wormholes or Einstein Rosen bridges form a connection between two different points in space time creating shortcuts which can reduce the distance and time.

A simple version of the wormhole is to visualize space as a two dimensional surface of a tube which connects various points of the surface where the mouths of a wormhole are analogous to the holes at both ends of a two dimensional surface.

WormHole -2
No observational evidence has been found for wormhole though the equation of general relativity has resulted in valid solutions containing wormholes. Due to its theoretical strength, it is one of the great metaphors in general relativity. And the first kind of wormhole discovered was the Schwarzschild wormhole. This is present in Schwarzschild metric which explains an eternal black hole though it was observed that this particular type of wormhole collapsed quickly for anything to cross from one point to the other. While wormholes which could be crossed from both ends known as traversable wormholes would only be possible, if exotic matter combined with negative energy density was used to stabilize them.

When the wormhole contains adequate exotic matter either naturally or artificially, it could be used as a method of sending travelers or information through space. Adding exotic matter to wormhole to some extent might stabilize the same to a point where travelers there might be a possibility of the addition of regular matter which would be sufficient to destabilize the portal. Besides connecting two separate regions within the universe, wormholes could also connect two different universes and some scientists presume that if one mouth of a wormhole is shifted in a specific manner, it could be used for time travel though there is a controversy according to British cosmologist Stephen Hawking that this argument is not possible.
Present time technology is insufficient to stabilize or enlarge wormholes if they could ever be found though scientist are still debating on the possibility of exploring the concept in obtaining a method of space travel where technology could be utilized.

Without directly observing a wormhole, scientists can only wonder on how they could operate. Some are of the opinion that a black hole, at a point in space time where gravity is the strongest, with no possibility of light could serve as an entrance and this opening could be connected to a tube which would empty from a white hole from which point matter and light would exit. Chances are less that this type of wormhole can be used for space travel where the passages are likely to prevail only on small subatomic scale and if large enough to traverse, the gravitational forces would enable them to collapse at an instant, on opening.

WormHole -3
Scientist are of the belief that wormholes which are made of hypothetical exotic matter could contain negative energy to stay stable with the addition of outside object such as a spaceship, would result in the tunnel falling apart. The Einstein Rosen wormhole would not be considered useful for travel since they collapse quickly though recent research indicate that a wormhole containing exotic matter can stay open without changing for a long period of time.

The theory of Einstein on general relativity, mathematically relates the presence of wormholes though none have been discovered till date. A case of negative mass wormhole could have been discovered whose gravity is so intense that even light cannot escape. Certain solutions of general relativity could be considered for the existence of wormholes wherein the mouth is a black hole though a naturally formed black hole occurred during the collapse of a dying star could not be considered for the creation of a wormhole.

Since it cannot be seen, NASA scientists focused on the tiny core of the galaxy M87 instead which was a super massive cosmic engine, 50 million light years from the earth and astronomers indicated that the core of M87 contained ferocious swirling maelstrom of superhot hydrogen gas which spun at 1.2 million miles per hour. In order to keep this disk of spinning gas from flying violently apart in various directions, a colossal mass concentrated at the center, weighing around 2 to 3 billion sun was essential. According to Davis’ publication in July in the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics journal, reference is made to time machines with the possibility that wormhole could become or could be used as a means to travel back into time.

Moreover he relates that scientist’s understanding of the laws of physics are connected with time machine where there are numerous space time geometry solutions to portray time travel or have properties of time machines. A wormhole would probably permit a ship to travel from one point to another much quicker than the speed of light since the ship would arrive at its destination faster than a beam of light by taking a shortcut through space time through the wormhole. Thus the vehicle does not actually break the universal speed limit, the speed of light where in fact the ship never really travels at a speed faster than light. A wormhole could be utilized to cut through space as well as through time.

Sunday, January 5, 2014

Science Mystery: Insight on the Butterfly Effect

Butterfly Effect-1

The term Butterfly effect is a concept invented by the American meteorologist, Edward Lorenz to highlight the possibility of small changes causing momentous effects; in simple term it was used in chaos theory to describe how small changes to unrelated thing or conditions could affect large complex systems. This term is derived from a suggestion in South America, that the flapping of the wings of a butterfly could affect the weather in Texas showing that the tiniest influence on a single part of a system could have an impact on another part. The butterfly effect occur when small event have an exceeding far reaching and a large impact. This term is used because its wings though fragile do not stir much air as they flap but its minute movement does initiate a series of changes which grow eventually causing a large storm thousands of miles away. It implies that large events may be connected to small or even to the minuscule occurrences. The Butterfly effect in other words is a way of describing the concept that unless all factors are accounted for, major systems like the weather tends to become impossible to predict with accuracy due to various unknown variables.

Butterfly Effect-2
This concept of the butterfly was attributed to Edward N. Lorenz, a meteorologist as well as a mathematician who was the first proponents of chaos theory. He studied the concept mathematically and also drew the attention of other meteorologists. He saw meaningful pattern in what seemed to be random events in weather patterns and these ideas contributed to the new science of chaos. One day as he was running global climate model on his computer with the hope to save him some time, ran one model from the middle rather than from the beginning. The process of the two weather predictions, one based on the whole process inclusive of the initial conditions and the other based on a portion of the data with the process which was already half way, diverged drastically. Lorenz was of the belief that the computer models would be identical regardless of where it had started but realized that the two models differed in tiny and unpredictable variations. It was initially used to explain why weather forecast were often inaccurate and initial conditions at times would go unnoticed or were overlooked and these minute conditions were the cause of hurricanes or similar changes in the weather.

This insight regarding the large impact of minor occurrences led to the butterfly effect in many other fields including psychology and explained why predictions at times remained inaccurate. Hence recognizing the importance of initial conditions can bring about improvement in accuracy of scientific predictions. Several biologist, epidemiologist, physicists, ecologist as well as psychologists presently consider the butterfly effect, nonlinear reasoning and chaos while making certain predictions which have proved to be useful in various social and behavioral sciences as well as physical and biological sciences. The butterfly effect is used to explain various unpredictable behaviors and thinking patterns which though may appear to be meaningless can be understood as a result of nonlinear reasoning. This could lead to an understanding of the creative original insights by taking initial perceptive into account and permitting nonlinear cognitive processes leading to valuable insight or solutions to a given problem.

Friday, December 27, 2013

Science Mystery: Supercavitation

Cavitation being a significant cause of wear in engineering context is the formation of vapor cavities in small liquid free zones, in the form of bubbles or voids, which are the consequence of forces on the liquid. In other words, it is the breaking of a liquid medium under excessive stress. It normally occurs when the liquid undergoes a rapid change of pressure causing the formation of cavities due to low pressure and when subjected to higher pressure, the voids generate shockwave and implode. The collapsing voids which implode towards the metal surface give way to cyclic stress due to repeated implosion resulting in surface fatigue of the metal leading to a type of wear also known as cavitation. There are four types of inducing a bubble growth namely gaseous cavitation, for a gas filled bubble, pressure is increased or reduced in temperature. Vaporous cavitation is applicable for a vapor filled bubble by pressure reduction. While for a gas filled bubble, which is diffused, is known as degassing, as the gas comes out of the liquid, vapor filled bubble, rises with sufficient temperature, is called boiling.

It is the use of cavitation intending to create bubble of gas in a liquid which is large enough to cover an object travelling within the liquid, reducing the skin friction drag on the object thus enabling the achievement of great high speeds. It current applications are limited to projectiles, extremely fast torpedoes as well as some propellers but the techniques could be extended to include the whole vehicle and this phenomenon can also be used for fast strike of the appendices of the crustacean mantis shrimp which is used to attack and kill its prey. For supercavitation techniques, an object is composed of a specially designed nose, usually shaped flat with sharpened edges and streamlined body which is both aerodynamic as well as hydrodynamic. When the object travels in water at a speed of 100 miles an hour, the nose deflects the water swiftly thus forming a bubble and the speed of advance through the water prevents the water pressure from collapsing the bubble. Gas if injected in the resulting bubble which is a process known as ventilated supercavitation or if adequate speed is maintained around 110 miles per hour, the nose results in creating an extended and constantly renewed bubble of air which enables the object to fly.

Cavitation is classified into two types of behavior namely inertial or transient and non inertial cavitation. While inertial cavitaion is a process wherein a void or bubble in liquid collapses rapidly, producing shock wave, it takes place in nature in the strikes of pistol shrimps and mantis shrimps as well as in the vascular tissue of plants. In the case of manmade items, it occurs in control valves, pumps, impellers and propellers. With regards to non inertial cavitation, it is a process wherein the bubble in a liquid is compelled to oscillate in shape or size from energy input like an acoustic field which is often employed in ultrasonic cleaning baths and observed in propellers, pumps etc.
Cavitation is basically undesirable since shock waves formed by collapse of the voids are known to be strong enough to cause considerable damage to moving parts. It is often specifically avoided in machine designs namely in the case of turbines or propellers thus eliminating cavitation as a major field in the study of fluid dynamics though it is at times useful and does not cause much harm when the bubbles collapse from the machinery as in the case of supercavitation. Cavitation in water occurs when the water pressure is below the water’s vapor pressure thus forming bubbles of vapor when the water is moved to high speeds while turning a sharp corner around a moving piece of metal as in the case of a ship’s propeller or a pump’s impeller. Greater the depth of water or pressure for a water pipe, at which the fluid rises, the lesser the tendency for cavitation due to the difference between the local and vapor pressure.

Its technique was first used in World War II Germany when supercavitating torpedoes were manufactured and tested but was never used during the war. After the war, the Germans and the Russians only were reported to be in possession of supercavitating weapon systems where the Russian had Shkval torpedoes using rocket engine to gain a speed of 200 knots underwater with a part of the rocket exhaust which was directed to the front of the torpedo to enable the supercavitating bubble. The Germans in their turn started deploying their supercavitating torpedoes in the year 2004. The Russian too had assault rifle for underwater work which was used by their combat swimmers or frogmen. These were developed at the same time as the German HK P11 underwater pistol, which is used by Dutch, German, Norwegian, Danish, Israeli, together with other units of the British SAS and US Navy SEALS as well as other special operational groups.

Monday, December 23, 2013

5 amazing facts about magnets

5 awesome facts that make magnets slightly more interesting!

Magnets, despite their amazing applications and interesting nature, can be perceived as being quite a dull subject; a lump of metal that can stick to another lump of metal. Hardly shaking-at-the-bones science but their application, uses and overall nature can make this quite a fun subject.

I'm Mark and I write all the content material for Rotary, the UKs leading magnet specialists. I also enjoy writing educational material and I've compiled my favourite facts about magnets.

Whether you’re looking for 5 top facts to entertain the kids, or on your lunch break looking for something interesting to read, we have put together our favourite facts about magnets!

  1. The Chinese invented the first magnetic compasses during the Qin Dynasty, around 221 to 206 B.C, for use by fortunetellers. It wasn’t until the 19th Century that the Chinese developed compasses for navigational purposes.
  2. The phrases opposites attract because of the way magnets work. Every magnet has a north pole and a south pole. It’s only possible for a magnet to fuse with another magnet if their opposite poles are touching.
  3. If you find a strong magnet, be careful not to put it anywhere near computer hard drives, credit cards or video and audiotapes. Why? Magnets that are strong enough have the ability to completely erase the data that is stored on these devices. It’s considered good practice, however, that if you want to throw away a hard drive, then firstly format it, run strong magnets over it then smash it to bits!
  4. Heated iron can’t be magnetized! The thermal energy from heating it up makes the atoms in the material jiggle. When atoms jiggle, it’s difficult for them to line up properly, so heated iron actually loses it’s magnetism. The point at which this occurs is the Curie Point, named after Pierre Curie. Who’s he? A physicist that discovered this.
  5. Feeding or inserting magnets into cattle might sound extremely horrendous but it’s actually common practice. When cows graze, they might ingest bits of wire and nails left in fields by careless workers. These shards of metal can cause huge health problems if they become lodged into the lining of the stomach. Not only that, but the cow can’t eat properly and stops producing milk. To prevent this, magnets are carefully placed in cows stomach to attract any pieces of metal. Crazy, eh?

Magnets are incredibly useful and range from simply play things right through to being the very crux of expensive medical machinery. But how was this simple and effective bit of metal found? Legend has it that a chap named Magnes, some 4,000 years ago, got his foot stuck to a rock because of the nails in his shoes. Named after him, they called this rock Magnetite. As legend and folklore grew, many thought magnetite contained magical powers; heal and frighten evil spirits. It was also believed to dissolve ships made of iron!

So the next time you see a magnet jut lying around, remember how extremely simply it is but how extraordinarily useful it can be!

Mark is the Head of Content at Rotary, Sheffields leading engineering company. Mark writes beautiful copy and wonderful flowing scripts to ensure that Rotary convey the message they strive hard to achieve. Following Mark over at

Friday, November 22, 2013

Apollo Spaceflight


The Apollo program, one of the most famous in American history, was the third human spaceflight program which was carried out by National Aeronautics and Space Administration NASA, the United State’s civilian space agency and was responsible for the landing of the first humans on the Earth’s Moon in 1969. It was first conceived during the time of Presidency of Dwight D. Eisenhower with a three man spacecraft followed by one man Project Mercury putting the first Americans in space. Apollo later on was dedicated to President, John F. Kennedy’s national goal of landing a man on the Moon and bringing him back safely to Earth towards the end of 1960 when he proposed an address to Congress in May 25, 1961. Project Mercury was then followed by two-man Project Gemini between 1962–1966 and the first manned flight of Apollo was in the year 1968 and Kennedy’s goal was finally accomplished on the Apollo 11 mission when astronauts Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin landed their LM, Lunar Module on the Moon on July 20, 1969 and walked on its surface while Michael Collins stayed in lunar orbit in the command spacecraft and thereafter, all three landed safely back to Earth on July 24.

After this, five subsequent Apollo missions also landed astronauts on the Moon the last being in December 1972 and it included a large number of uncrewed test missions and 12 crewed missions: Apollo 7, 9 and Apollo Soyuz, three Earth orbiting missions with two lunar orbiting missions – Apollo 8 and 10, a lunar swing-by Apollo 13 together with 6 Moon landing missions Apollo 11, 12, 14, 15, 16, and 17. Two astronauts from each of these six missions walked on the moon and were the only humans who had the opportunity to set foot on another planet in the solar system. They were Neil Armstrong, Edwin Aldrin, Charles Conrad, Alan Bean, Alan Shepard, Edgar Mitchell, David Scott, James Irwin, John Young, Charles Duke, Gene Cernan and Harrison Schmitt. The twelve men, who walked on the Moon between 1969 and 1972, came back with around 1/3 ton of moon rocks with the total funding for the Apollo program was approximately $20,443,600,000. Apollo 15, 16 and 17 provided important data with regards to geological features and enabled the formation of theories in accordance to the formation of the moon’s core, crust and mantle. The Apollo mission started with Apollo 1 also known as Apollo 204 with crew Edward White, Virgil Grissom and Roger Chaffee. It was destroyed on January 27, 1967 and planned launched was on February 21, 1967.

Apollo 1
Apollo 1 faced the worst tragedies of spaceflight when the crew in Apollo Command Module was killed in a fire during a preflight test at Cape Canaveral and was training for the first Apollo flight, an Earth orbiting mission which was planned for February 21. While they were taking part in plug out test, where the Command Module was mounted on the Saturn 18 of the launch pad as they normally do for actual launch, the Saturn 18 was not fueled and the plan had to go through an entire countdown sequence. Several minor problems propped up delaying the test with failure in communication taking place which forced a hold in the count at 5.40 pm. At 6:31, when one of the astronauts reported a fire in the cockpit, which spread in the entire cabin within a span of few minutes, the last crew communication was heard 17 seconds after the fire had started and they faced loss of telemetry.

Since the cabin had pure oxygen atmosphere at normal pressure for the test, the oxygen had circulated in the cabin resulting in spreading the fire rapidly in the cabin and the astronauts with no chance to open the hatch though the technician made attempts to open the hatch but were unable to do so due to the heat and the smoke. Moreover the Apollo hatch could only be opened from inside which were closed by a number of latches which needed to be operated by ratchets. Besides, it was also held closed by the interior pressure which was much higher than the outside atmospheric pressure and required venting of the command module before opening the hatch and the process of opening the hatch took 90 seconds under an ideal condition. All these problems that came up disabled the technicians in reaching the astronauts and by the time they succeeded in getting the hatch opened, approximately 5 minutes after the fire had broken off, the astronauts had perished due to the smoke inhalation and burns within the first 30 seconds.

A detailed investigation was made on the accident and the Apollo program was kept on hold for some time and the conclusion they arrived at was, that it was the most likely cause that there could be a spark from short circuit in a bundle of wires which ran in front of Grissom’s seat towards the left and with flammable material present in the cabin together with the oxygen environment that enabled the fire to break out and spread quickly. A good many suggestions came up after this event, which included designing a new hatch which could be opened outward and quickly. Removing flammable material and replacing them with fire extinguisher, making nitrogen oxygen mixture at launch together with recordings of all changes and checking all modifications to spacecraft designs more intently.

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Insight on the Concept of Mpemba Effect

Mpemba Effect

The Mpemba effect is the assertion that warmer water can freeze faster than cold water and is so named after a Tanzanian student, Erasto Mpemba from Africa. His first encounter with this phenomenon started in 1963 in Form 3 of Magamba Secondary School while freezing ice cream mix which was hot initially and his observation that it froze before the cold mix. On upgrading from his O level examinations, he went on to be a student of Mkwawa Secondary School in Iringa, Tanzania where the headmaster invited Dr. Denis G. Osborne from the University College, to conduct lecture on physics after which, Mpemba put forward a question asking why, when two similar containers with equal volume of water, one at a temperature of 35 degrees Cent; and the other at 100 degrees Cent; when placed in the freezer, the one with 100 degrees Cent; freeze first.

For this, Erasto Mpemba was ridiculed by his classmates as well as his teachers, but after initial confusion, Dr. Osborne experimented back at his workplace and confirmed Mpemba’s finding and the results were published in 1969. To understand the factors involved in how the water freezes will help to explain the Mpemba Effect. Here the temperature is the factor in water freezing and the temperature of water in the container is the average energy of its molecules where the heat of the water is defined as total amount of energy of its molecules. The heat depends on the content of the water and how many molecules are present in the container.
The change takes place when a container of water is placed in the refrigerator, in the freezer compartment, the water first cools and then freezes. When the temperature of the water drops down, the heat of the water – energy of the water molecules reduces and at this point, when the temperature reaches 0 degrees cent; the water changes from the liquid to a solid state. A point to be noted here is that the temperature of the water keeps dropping till it reaches freezing point and stays at 0 degrees cent; until the water becomes solid. When the water has turned into ice, its temperature can tend to be lower if the air temperature is lower. Most of the cooling is done through conduction, where the container is in direct contact with cold material namely the freezer shelf and gets cold thereby cooling the contents by conduction. Since metal is a good conductor, a metal container would quicken the cooling of water by conduction while wood is a poor conductor of heat.

Air which is in contact with the container as well as the water transfers heat to the cooler air through conduction which helps in lowering the temperature of the water. Convection is the transfer of energy through movement of currents of liquid which can be seen while heating a vessel of water on a stove, the effects which can also be seen on a cold windy day. Cold water being denser than warm water, will sink to the bottom of the vessel causing convection currents during freezing process and when the temperature reaches below 4 degrees cent; it tends to get less dense and float to the top till it finally freezes. Air convection also helps to move the cold air around so that the water gets cooled through air convention.

Evaporation is also another factor which helps the warm water to freeze quicker than cold water since the evaporation from hot or warm water is more, than in cold water and the during the evaporation process it carries some of the water resulting in less water to freeze in a particular container though it causes the temperature to drop due to heat loss in the warm container. Dissolved gases are another possible factor which has the effect of lowering the freezing point and water always has these impurities in the form of oxygen and carbon dioxide. As the water gets heated, the gases escape because they are less soluble in water at higher temperature and when hot water cools with less dissolved gas, it has a higher freezing point and freeze fast than the water which is not heated.

With the knowledge on the factors that are involved in the freezing process, it has been concluded that the Mpemba Effect takes place based on conduction, convection, evaporation, and dissolved gases. Another theory is that, frost can slow down the cooling process and if hot water is kept in the freezer in a container which is a good conductor of cold or heat, the heat of the container can melt away the frost that is collected on its surface including the ice at the bottom which when refreezes creates a good connection between the container and the surface. This provides a good conduction of cold than a container with cold water having frost on its surface as well as at the bottom, resulting in heat being drawn out from the warm container more quickly than with cold water in it. As the layer of frost at the surface can slow down the process of conduction of heat from the water, a layer on the surface on the upper side of the water can insulate water from colder air currents.

Thursday, October 24, 2013

One Giant Struggle - The First Space Walk; 1965

By the sixties the main space agencies had realised there is nothing like stretching your legs after a long drive. The race was on to conduct the first walk in space. The Soviets were so determined to complete a successful spacewalk that they boldly pushed Alexei Leonov out of the airlock in March 1965. Going where no man had gone before proved easy enough – but getting back into where man had just been proved somewhat harder.
The live TV feed of Leonov’s bold, slightly stilted steps, was abruptly cut, officially due to transmission difficulties. The reality on the final frontier was that scientists had not accounted for the effects of space on the suit Leonov was wearing, or the technicalities of keeping him alive for any longer than forty five minutes. The result was that Leonov was running out of air and his space suit had become rigid, making it difficult (very nearly impossible) to manoeuvre sufficiently to open and then re-enter the airlock.

In what can only be described as sheer bravery (Leonov himself used the word "desperation") he persisted in his efforts, eventually beating the odds, squishing his bloated and rigid suit back head first into the airlock. By some miracle Leonov vented just enough oxygen from his suit to continue breathing while not actually raising his body temperature boiling point – all of which he achieved alone.

The mission was successful although even the re-entry was plagued with problems; the capsule's automatic guidance system failed. This required the crew to manually land the ship, avoid hitting China (harder than you might think from a height) and inadvertently starting a war, whilst also avoiding any major population centres. On re-entry the module began to spin wildly and went into free-fall which resulted in them landing so far off course that nobody was quite sure if they had landed – at least in one identifiable piece. The authorities assured their families that they had landed safely and were 'resting' which, depending on your interpretation of the word, was kind of true.

Stranded in Siberia, surrounded by aggressive wolves and bears in temperatures as low as 30C was something of a walk in the park for Leonov and his colleagues. However, issues with the capsule's doors (again) made the night uncomfortable. Unable to shut the door, the cosmonauts had to endure the temperatures, a fact which was not helped by the sweat that had pooled inside their spacesuits. Proving that even space explorers can be down to earth, practical types, they stripped, rung out their wet clothing and pulled the space suits apart to access the layers of softer, warmer material. More or less respectably dressed once more they were rescued the following day when a passing cargo plane picked up their signal. The nine kilometre ski to the nearest rescue helicopter probably made the whole experience seem like a holiday. No doubt the sort of experience that you laugh about later; much later.

While the first spacewalk didn't go entirely to plan and the landing didn't go much better, with a experience everything should run much more smoothly.
Space Travel Infographic
Freelance writer Chris Hoole is fascinated by the bits of space exploration history that nearly went wrong.  Here he explores the near-disaster of the first spacewalk.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Love Scent Pheromone

Love Scent Pheromone  Part.II

                                A study was conducted among the ladies who were sensitive to the smells. The results were quite amazing the women categorized as unpleasant scents of other people who had the same type of scent as themselves. The conclusion is the social animal human being obviously experience sexual desire and attraction only to the people whose love scent smells differently from their own. This is nothing but a protecting mechanism of nature.  People related by  blood are generally have same love scent pheromones therefore the attraction to the different smell of love scent pheromone  is a strong physiological barrier to incest and is greatly reduce the possibility of harmful genetic defect occur.
                 Do you know? Your nose does a lot more than you aware. One of the notable thing is the nose helps the memory to store your partners love scent pheromone smell in your brain. From the beginning of birth, are guided by smell. Even though the baby appears to focus its gaze on its mother while suckling, obviously it perceives her using the sense of sight, it is the mother’s love scent smell in particular that tells the baby that is suckling milk from her own mother’s breast.
           According to the French scientists, within couple of days of birth, the babies are capable of recognizing their mother from the smell of their perspiration and their nipples. In the womb itself the baby posses the ability to smell the amniotic fluid that surrounds her.  The amniotic fluid has a scent comparable to a mixture of buttermilk, fat, urine and honey. The new born babies were tested with a cloth that has been soaked with amniotic fluid and they immediately turn their face towards the cloth. In the other way around the mother can recognize their infants by their body scent only after a couple of days after birth.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Love Scent Pheromone

Love Scent Pheromone Part. I

                   It is not only in the animal kingdom that love scent Pheromone plays a key role in general life structures. Scientists have now found that the love scent Pheromone also plays an important role for human when it comes to choosing a mate partner. You probably know that liking or unlinking someone goes hand in hand with the body scent (odor).  A French medical encyclopedia fittingly described the human sense of smell as ‘the sense of tender memories’. All the men and women subconsciously perceive a range or scent lures that encourage passion and love. The body scent is determined by factors such as diet, mental health, personal hygiene, but so far the scientists could not be able to decode the unique combination of ingredients that make up an individual’s personal love scent. We aware, the most important source of personal scent it underarm perspiration.
                The following is the most famous seduction through the smell of love scent in France. In 15th century Maria of Cleve, seduced King Henri III by handing him a towel damped with her sweat after a dance. King Henri was so excited by the fragrance of the love scent of Maria of Cleve and married her. Earlier the scientists thought that animals only posses vomerine a nasal organ on the roof of the mouth, which can identify and recognize the sexual attraction love scent Pheromone of the female mate. An American scientist discovered that is an organ similar to vomerine in human nasal septum. According to the scientists, the human have an individual love scent Pheromone  fingerprint.
           You aware, that the Smell of scents may evoke images in the mind, which is a decisive role that the sense of smell plays in our life.  Most of the animals use their love scent signatures to mark their territory or during courtship rituals.  Even ants regulate their routine life in their social colonies by means of the scents only.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

The Light , The Fantastic!!!!!

We can produce many different forms and colors of light both visible and invisible. But the most extraordinary light of all come from the laser.

A ruby laser is the original type of solid laser. It uses a large rod of artificial ruby crystal. A coil of a very powerful flash lamp is wound around the ruby rod when it is switched on its intense light excites the atoms in the ruby rod that gives them extra energy. The excited atoms in the ruby rod give of this energy as a very pure light. This builds up to a powerful beam as it is reflected back and forth by the mirrors at each end it eventually emerges as laser light.

Ordinary white light is a mixture of many different wavelengths or colors. The waves are all jumbled up and out of step. They jostle one another and lose energy as they do. A light source such as bulb gives out waves in all directions and it quickly dims if you move away because it spreading over a larger and larger area but the light from the laser is made up of a single wavelength all the waves are in step so they can build up energy and the waves travels in the single direction and their energy is concentrated to a narrow beam.

The ruby laser is the most powerful type of laser, producing its vivid red beam in pulses. These are millions of times brighter than sunlight. The drawback in ruby laser is it can produce its light on in pulses.

The continuous laser producers are gas laser and semi conductor laser. The gas leaser is a common type laser. The gas contained in a tube with parallel mirrors at each end. It’s atoms excited by passing electricity through them.

Semi conductor lasers consists of tiny slices of crystals which give out light when they placed together, they too have mirrors at the ends.

Friday, December 18, 2009

Wonders of animal communication

Wonders of animal communication

Animals may not talk but they can communicate, they constantly pass on wealth of information both of their fellow members as well as to others.  They can let others to know where they are, alert them if food is available or attract their mate even they can warn the others about the presence of predators. Hence a good communication is essential for every animal to survive.

Some animals like monkeys, bears communicate by touch.  It is used to comfort or maintain bond or prove leadership with in their group.  Sea Otters often rub their faces together to maintain social bond and to scent mark.

By secreting chemical called pheromones in their urine or scent glands, animals can recognize other member of their species, mark territory, find prey or locate mates.

Vibration is yet another method of communication. An elephant not only uses its ears but also uses its feet too.  Elephant’s feet’s are so sensitive that they can detect the low rumblings on the ground created by others elephants some thirty kilometers away. They can detect the distance rumblings of water through their feet and will move towards that direction.

 The loudest sound of any land animals is made by the Howler monkey.  It howls to announce its territory and it can be heared up to sixteen kilometers away.

Chimpanzees are most intelligent as human.  They talk to each other through huge range of vocal sound, hand gestures body and facial expressions

Wednesday, December 16, 2009



It is quite interesting to know the changes in polarity of the earth’s magnetic field.  Suppose the earth’s magnetic field suddenly shifted means what will happen?  The entire radio communication of the world will get jammed, the birds and animals migration will not happen. Interesting, Is not it?  Let us see more about the earth’s magnetic field.

Around 7,80,000 years ago the earth’s magnetic field was reversed exactly 180 degrees.  For the last few decades scientists and geo physicists have known that earth’s magnetic field has shifted several times in the past.  But the exact timing and causes of these magnetic shifts are still not clear to the scientists.

Firstly we have to recollect some basics of the earths crust. The earth behaves like a giant magnet and its magnetic poles are not strictly aligned with rotational axis of the earth they are inclined about 11 degree and hence the magnetic poles are away form the geographical poles.

 The magnetic effect is caused by the electric current produced by the moving molten matter in the earth’s core.  This is like a dynamo hence the scientists call this theory as Dynamo theory.

Since the changes occurred a long ago it is very tough to know the shifts in the earth’s magnetic field, but it is unfolded by the rocks that makes up the earth’s crust.  When the rocks were formed the prevailing directions of the magnetic fields are frozen inside them. They are magnetized for a long time.

When the igneous rocks formed by the volcanic eruptions, the magnetic materials   present in the molten magma behaved as a magnetic compass needles and they deposited according to the earth’s magnetic field.  For finding this residual magnetism the scientists uses magnetometers and maps the fluctuations in the magnetic field.

In 1960 the French scientist Bernard Brunches determined the present magnetic epoch was happened 780000 years ago and hence it was named after his name.  What he did is, He discovered a series of lava flows with reversal polarity.  After finding them he record the ages of the events happened, by judging the age of the rocks series and makes it possible to date with greater certainty.  This is the only way of dating the rock series.

This procedure has revealed so many hidden secrets.  The rock series of normal and reverse polarity makes a zebra striped symmetry.  This shows the Ocean floor is spreading which is a proof to the Continental drift theory. When the shifting of magnetic field happens, the magnetic poles prefer certain routes such as north south route through America.

At present the magnetic field is weakening noticeably which is the system for a new shifting of earth’s magnetic field is going to happen.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Is the Moon the Earths own sibling?!

Is the Moon  the Earths own sibling?!

No other planet in the solar system possesses such a large satellite like moon. The first person to develop a theory about the moon was the scientist George Darwin son of the most famous Charles Darwin. He hold the view that the moon and the earth had once been very closer together than now.  He thought that they had been hold together as a single planet revolving at a high speed around its own axis with a time taking less than two hours per rotation.

By that time the earth was molten and with high temperature.  As the speed of rotation was high the earth bulged at the equator.  The centrifugal force gradually caused a drop of terrestrial matter to detach itself and fly out into the space.  This piece of the earth becomes moon, which continues to revolve around the earth as the satellite.

 As a proof for his theory, Darwin shows the Pacific ocean which is shaped like a bowl. What he says  is Pacific ocean is a scar left behind when the moon detached away. For most of the years the Astronomers  though that Darwin's theory was more or less correct, but however later realise that the separation of moon from the earth could not have taken place in the way he described.

Then another theory was framed.  The moon also was a small independent planet in the solar system when the solar system was formed however on one of its orbits it came a bit closer to the earth and it was influenced by the earth's gravitational pull and forced to follow the earth's orbit.

In 1960, a new hypothesis  Accreation theory was  framed according to this, when the solar system was young numerous planetary embryos, disintegrated near the earth.  The pull of the earth caused the embryo to form a ring around the earth.  Since the particles attracted one another and they began to cluster together finally forming the moon.

None of these theories was satisfactory  to the scientists. The chemical composition of the moons surface differ from the earths crust. On the moons surface there is no alkali metal such as sodium, potassium etc but heat resistant oxides of aluminium and calcium are abundant which proved Darwin theory was wrong and the rock analysis further revealed that moon contains only 10 percent of Iron compared to th30percent of Iron content  of the earth.  Hence this proved  capture theory and growth  theory are wrong.

The origin of moon still present mystery we know that our planet and moon are of the same age. Further we know that our own satellite functions as a climatic regulator for our earth.

Monday, December 14, 2009



In the recent past the green house effect has received a greater attention. In recent years most people are not sure what exactly global warming means and they don't know whether it is harmful or useful?

The term “GREEN HOUSE EFFECT" is used for mentioning warming influence of the atmosphere. Our atmosphere behave as a semi permiable membarane for particular radiation. The short wave radiation penetrates through the atmosphere almost unimpeded to the earth surface. Where as the long wave radiation reflected by the earth surface is blocked by the atmosphere, absorbed and converted into heat energy.

Before proceeding, Here I wish to mention "What is green house effect/" The glass roof of a closed car allows the light to enter in side where as it does not allow the heat inside to escape thus it does not allow the heat inside to escape thus it keeps inside warmer.

With out the green house effect our earth may be frozen and the earth temperature may fall down to -18 C to -20C. Do you know the average temperature of earth is 15C. The earth atmosphere acts as a permanent trap. In the atmosphere there are many numbers of gases, Primarily Nitrogen and Oxygen, with traces of several other gases and water vapor in varying proportion. While Carbon dioxide, Methane, Nitrous oxide, Ozone, the so called green house gases are of 0.01 percent only in dry air.

The amount of green house effect gases varies due to natural causes such as volcanic activity but recently they have increased to a greater extent which is alarming now.

The root cause of this problem is clearance of tropical forest, rapid industrialization, burning of more petroleum fuels, natural gas, coal and other fossil fuels.

Since 19th century the emission of carbon dioxide the main green house effect gas has increased more than sixty times. Due to lack of forests this emitted carbon dioxide increased concentration in the atmosphere with the green house effect gases.