Monday, 27 November 2017

Artificial Photosynthesis Gets Big Boost From New Catalyst Developed

A step Closer to Artificial Photosynthesis

We all know about the continuing threat of global warming. Global warming is caused by many gases in the air but one of the most important concerns in the world is about carbon emissions. As carbon emissions come from burning of fossil fuel, which gives us our energy, there are undoubtedly many steps taken by researchers worldwide to look for alternate sources of renewable energy.

One such attempt is being made by researchers at the University of Toronto. They are trying to replicate the photosynthesis process used by plants, in order to create a renewable source of energy. While there are many other renewable sources of energy out there such as wind, water and solar energy all these can be expensive. So researchers at the University are trying to use artificial photosynthesis to create an alternate source of energy.

What is meant by Artificial Photosynthesis?

So we all know that plants get their energy by using the sun’s rays to convert carbon dioxide and water into their food. So the scientists at the University of Toronto are trying to do just by using artificial photosynthesis.

In plants, water is broken down into protons and oxygen gas while with carbon dioxide; it is broken down into carbon monoxide. Carbon monoxide is what is actually needed, which is then through an industrial process known as Fischer-Tropsch synthesis converted to hydro carbon fuels which will give us our energy source.

Problems encountered in Artificial Synthesis:

While breaking down water and carbon dioxide into its respective components, researchers encountered problems with their catalysts. The process of breaking down the components required in artificial photosynthesis, involves two reactions, while the first reaction uses high levels of PH the second reaction uses neutral PH levels.

This inconsistency in replicating artificial photosynthesis poses a problem because the movement of particles between reactions consumes a lot of energy. Therefore the artificial photosynthesis process is not as efficient as it could be.

Overcoming problems in artificial photosynthesis:

In order to bring in more efficiency into the artificial synthesis process, researchers have developed a new catalyst for the initial reaction. Initially water was split into protons and oxygen but this reaction involved high PH levels which made the artificial photosynthesis process inefficient.

But now, researchers are using a new catalyst which will use a neutral PH level in the artificial photosynthesis process, just as in the second reaction. This discovery now means that energy is not lost by moving particles through both reactions.

Benefits of the Catalyst in Artificial photosynthesis:

The new catalyst which is made of nickel, cobalt, iron and phosphorous, consumes less energy in the artificial photosynthesis process and when combined with the second reaction, the overall energy consumption is brought down.

The elements used in making the catalyst are not only cheap but also safe. It can even be made at room temperatures using inexpensive equipment. This makes the overall artificial photosynthesis process not only inexpensive to replicate but also increases the efficiency of the system.

While testing the catalyst, it showed stability for all of the 100 hours that it was tested.

Saturday, 25 November 2017

NeoXCraft: British Company Reveals Its Luxury Flying Car

The future in cars is upon us. We saw flying cars in ‘The Jetsons’, a serial on Cartoon Network, some years ago. The kids were talking about flying cars then. This seems like becoming a reality.

VRCO (Vehicle Redesign Company), has revealed that they will be launching a flying car in 2020. This amphibious car will not only fly in air, but travel on the road as well.

The car is slated to take off vertically. In other words, you can even take off in the NeoXCraft from right outside your home or your place of work.

The NeoXCraft project has been sponsored by investors to the tune of about 500,000 pounds. VRCO is expecting to get another 10m pounds from private individuals. This backing for the NeoXCraft project will help the company in creating these futuristic vehicles as well as get the Civil Aviation Authority to certify it. It will be a big boost in the car manufacturing sector, as there will be no carbon emission, less road congestion and promises to be more efficient.

About 100 orders for the NeoXCraft vehicles have already been placed. They are expected to be ready in the year 2020. Only those who are qualified, will be able to pilot the NeoXCraft.


The NeoXCraft can accommodate two passengers with a maximum of 180kg capacity. It can travel at speeds of 210mph (320 kph) and between 1000ft to 3000ft for an hour. It will be controlled by a computer program and will also have an in-built parachute. The NeoXCraft comes at a cost of 1.5 million pounds ($2 million).

It has 4 high-powered fans that act as propellers, enabling the NeoXCraft to reach its speed of 210mph. At the time of landing, these fans fold down and you can use it as wheels while driving on the road.

Working Principle

The NeoXCraft will take off vertically, making it possible to take off from right outside your home or work place. The 4 high-powered fans act as propellers enabling the NeoXCraft to attain its speed of 210mph. The NeoXCraft is computer controlled and equipped with voice commands to enable flying in the air and driving on the road. At the time of landing, the fans will fold and act as wheels for driving on the road. Parking too is done by the NeoXCraft itself. You need to push a button to convert the NeoXCraft from flight mode to road mode.

It is considered to have a short range for driving and medium range for flying.

If the NeoXCraft proves to be a success, then it will become the much anticipated car of the future. It can be a trendsetter for other models. They will have an autonomous electric program that will help to fly passengers with no driver. It will bring about road decongestion, purer air; free from carbon emission. We will see a future with flying cars, which will actually be the supercars of the sky with all the trimmings of luxury and high-performance.

Wednesday, 22 November 2017

What Are Headphone Drivers and How They Effect Sound Quality

For in-ear headphones, there is always talk of dynamic drivers and balanced armature drivers. Today we deal with the topic and show the differences. If the in-ear listener sits properly in the ear canal and thus "closes" well, the space between the eardrum and the membrane is closed and very small. The whole thing then works like a kind of spring system (or "push-pull mechanism") and the membrane can move the eardrum well with little deflection and little energy, ensuant in a very good bass upshot. As soon as there is a leak in this system, this is immediately noticeable by the fact that low frequencies are lost (as is the case with ear buttons). This is because the human ear is less sensitive to low frequencies (below about 150 Hz) than to higher frequencies.

So if we want to hear low frequencies better then a lot of energy has to be applied to amplify them. When using loudspeakers, low frequencies are still physically noticeable. This is not the case with headphones. Also, speaker diaphragms are larger and more stable (thicker material), which allows much more air to be set in motion than headphones. In order to be able to make the best possible use of the low energy that the headphone system develops, care must be taken to ensure that the headphones or in-ear headphones are optimally terminated.

Ok! Which driver was used certainly determines how well the in-ear headphones sound. In the development of the drivers most of the money usually flows in the production of in-ear headphones.

What are balanced armature drivers?

Balanced Armature Drivers (BA) are often used only in in-ear headphones in the higher price segment. Balanced armature drivers are made to sound particularly good in a certain frequency range, such as: As the heights, which is why in-ear headphones with Balanced Armature drivers often several drivers installed. For example, the Sony XBA 3 iP incorporates 3 Balanced Armature drivers, which ensure that the entire sound spectrum is covered.

Advantages of Balanced Armature Driver

  • You can make a frequency range sound great
  • The sound sounds more detailed
  • The sound plays faster
  • The treble sounds clearer than dynamic drivers
  • They are smaller than in-ear headphones with dynamic sound transducers and weigh less
  • They need less power than dynamic drivers

Disadvantages of Balanced Armature drivers

  • The bass is weaker than dynamic drivers
  • In-ear headphones with Balanced Armature drivers are more expensive
  • Often several drivers are necessary to cover all frequency ranges

What are dynamic drivers?

Dynamic drivers in in-ear headphones make it possible for in-ear headphones to be offered at a good price. Unlike Balanced Armature drivers, only one driver covers the entire sound spectrum. They work on the same principle as loudspeaker boxes.
Advantages of dynamic drivers
  • Cheaper than Balanced Armature sound transducer
  • Bass frequency is better
  • The sound signature is better coordinated
  • Often they are also more robust than Balanced-Armature drivers

Disadvantages of dynamic drivers

  • No detailed sound like Balanced Armature drivers
  • The heights are not that clear in comparison
  • They weigh more and are bigger too

Balanced Armature Drivers and Dynamic Drivers

In some in-ear headphones both types of drivers are worn, such. B. the Sony XBA H3. The advantage of having multiple types of drivers is that the bass and treble sound great, but the case is usually larger and they weigh more.

Moving Armature driver

Moving Armature drivers are new drivers that combine the benefits of Balanced Armature drivers and dynamic drivers. Moving Armature drivers work like Balanced Armature drivers but have the advantage that the entire frequency range is covered in contrast to Balanced Armature drivers where multiple drivers are needed, the Moving Armature driver in-ear headphones only need a driver. However, very few models use this type of driver so far and they are also quite expensive.

The classic and most commonly encountered headphone driver is - as with speakers - the electrodynamic principle assign.

However, in order to map the entire frequency spectrum as accurately as possible, partially modified drivers are used, such as the Variomotion technology from AGK (depending on the frequency position, a larger or smaller part of the diaphragm swings) or the ring driver of the Sennheiser HD800.

Tuesday, 21 November 2017

Google Cloud Natural Language API

Cloud Natural Language API
Google’s Cloud Natural Language API

Cloud Natural Language API, established by Google is said to provide customers with language analyser which according to the company `reveals the structure as well as the meaning of your text. The public beta launch of Cloud natural language API is a new service giving developers access to Google-powered emotion analysis, entity, recognition together with grammar analysis.

 Some of this tends to gauge believing some words positive and the others negative. When observed by Motherboard it was found that the analyser of Google interpreted some words like homosexual to be negative. This is evident that the API that tends to judge depending on the information it has been fed, now seems to give out partial analysis. The tool has been developed to provide companies with a preview on how their language would be expected.

Editing complete sentences would provide predictive analysis on each word and as the overall statement on a negative to positive scale, respectively. AI systems have been trained in utilisation of texts, media as well as books given to it.

Whatever Cloud Natural Language API consumed to form its criteria in assessing English text for sentiment, it influenced the study to negative attribution of certain descriptive terms. No confirmation has been provided by Google to Motherboard as to the body of the text fed to the Cloud Natural Language API.
API Connects Other Pre-Trained Machine Learning API
Once it begins to engage content from the outside world even if begins with a remote set of contents to comprehend sentiments, it tends to get polluted with the negative word connections found in it. A confirmation had been given by Google to Motherboard that its NLP API had produced biased results in a statement.

There had been clear parallels with the ill-fated as well as impressionable AI chatbots Tay of Microsoft, which had been rapidly, pulled offline by the company in March 2016 after the users of Twitters had taught it to be a shockingly racist as well as sexist conspiracy philosopher.

In July, Google had tried once again with its bot Zo which had learned the same horrible habits form human and had to be quickly shut down. The new API connects the other pre-trained machine-learning API of Google such as the Cloud Speech API which has been made available in public beta, together with the Vision API and the Translate API.
Assist Text in English/Spanish/Japanese
The latest Cloud Natural Language API presently tends to assist texts in English, Spanish and Japanese. The purpose of Google here is to provide a service which could meet the scale as well as the performance essential for developers and enterprises in a comprehensive range of industries. Providing API for sentiment analysis and entity recognition is not new where services like Thomson Reuters Open Calais have been providing assistance for entity recognition for around ten years now. Sentiment analysis is also not a new concept. On the other hand, grammar analysis API which tend to classify parts of speech and develop dependency analyse trees are not as extensively available still. It would be interesting to know how developers would be utilising these apps though it is easy to see how the same could be utilised to power chat bots for instance and support them in comprehending incoming request.

Saturday, 18 November 2017

Researchers Developed Flexible Photonic Devices

Flexible Photonic Devices
Photonics will have a direct impact on many areas of our daily life. Soon photonics will be fundamental, both for the improvement or replacement of existing processes and for the development of new solutions and new products.

On the other hand, society demands products with better and better features: new functionalities and improved properties, lightweight, flexible photonic devices, and capable of adapting to different materials and surfaces. Likewise, these developments must be competitive and not increase the price of the final product.

A team of MIT Associate professor Juejin Hu from the University of Central florida, China and France has developed a new method of making light based photonic devices. These special flexible photonic devices is made from a kind of glass called Chalcogenide. This specialized kind of glass material has a great flexible property which can be bend and strech to the very large extent without any damage. These flexible photonic devices can be used in field of biomedical sensors and flexible connectors in Electronics.

How about a device that can simultaneously detect blood oxygen level, heart rate and blood pressure? Yes, these flexible photonic devices of optical technology which are made from the strechy and bendable material can be mounted in skin to monitor the condition.

By using these kinds of new light based flexible photonic devices, we can stave off the condition for the conversion process. Because, if the original data is light based is having the advantages for a lot of applications.

The current photonic devices applied in the field are made up of rigid materials on rigid matters thus rises an intrinsic counterpart. The polymer based softmaterials is having a less refractive index tracks to not so good ability to circumscribe a light beam. To confront this issue, the team of MIT researchers have developed a stiff material that can stretch and bend which is almost like a Rubber. Its confuguration is like a spring made from a polymer matter has no noticeable abjection in its optical performance.

Other flexible photonic devices that are made by implanting nanorods of a rigid substrates in a polymer base need extra developmental steps. And hence they are not congruous with current systems. These flexible photonic devices can also be used for applications where the devices require to adapt to the rippled surfaces of some other material. But optics technology is extremely sensitive to strain, thus can observe deformations of lower than one hundredth of one percent.

This team recently has formulated a way of segregating layers of photonics, made of chalcogenide and graphene with customary semiconductor photonic electronic equipment. Current method of segregating such material need them to be made on a surface and then take off and tranfern to a semiconductor thin layer. This process is very difficult. But the new procedure permits the layers to be fancied directly on the surface of a semiconductor. This process no need a special temperature condition for the entire process and thus allows very simplified fabrication and more punctilious coalition.

This team of MIT researchers have confirmed very soon they develop this new technology of flexible photonic devices to reach commercially.