Sunday, 3 January 2016

Scientists Discover New Form of Carbon Harder Than Diamonds

New Form of Q-carbon Discovered

Jay Narayan together with his colleagues discovered a new type of solid carbon known as Q-carbon that enables them to create diamond connected structures within room temperature and at ambient atmospheric pressure in the air.

 The two solid formulas or phases of carbon are graphite and diamond and this would be a new phase which the researchers believe seems to be harder than diamonds. Narayan who had authored three papers comprising of one in the Journal of Applied Physics on the work with doctoral student AnaghBhaumik, had mentioned in a statement that `they have now created a third solid phase of carbon and the only place it could be found in the natural world would be probably in the core of some planets.Together with being harder than diamonds, Q-carbon seems to be ferromagnetic, which means that it is easily magnetized and tends to glow whenever it is exposed to low levels of energy.

Narayan further adds that the strength of the Q-carbon and low work function, its inclination in releasing electrons, tends to make it very likely in the development of new electronic display technologies. He adds that Q-carbon could be used also in creating various single crystal diamond objects.

Discovery – Synthesis/Processing of Nanodiamond/Microdiamond

The researchers had mentioned in another study on the discovery in the journal APL Materials that `this discovery had opened a new chapter in synthesis and processing of nanodiamond as well as microdiamond for various application which could be ranging from abrasive powders, novel catalytic properties, myriads of biomedical and microelectonic, smart displays and nanoelectronic applications.

 In order to come up with Q-carbon, the researchers started with a substrates like sapphire, glass or a plastic polymer and the substrate is later coated with amorphous carbon. This is hit with only a lase pulse which tends to last about 200 nanoseconds. The pulse tends to cause the temperature of the carbon to stretch to 4,000 Kelvin or around 6,740 degrees Fahrenheit and thereafter rapidly cools down. The outcome of the procedure is a film of Q-carbon between 20 nanometers and 500 nanometers thick.

Two Provisional Patents Filed – Q-carbon/Diamond Creation Techniques

The cooling rate can be handled by utilising various substrates and altering the duration of the laser pulse. On changing the rate of cooling they are capable of creating diamond structures within Q-carbon. Narayan had stated that `these diamond objects tend to have a single crystalline structure which makes them stronger than polycrystalline material which is all done at room temperature and at ambient atmosphere.

 So not only does this enable them to develop new applications but the procedure tends to be comparatively economical. However, the researchers agreed that there seems to be plenty of queries with regard to Q-carbon, adding that they were still in the early stage of comprehending how to handle it.

 He had commented that they know a lot about diamond and can make diamond nanodots but they do not know yet how to make Q-carbon nanodots or microneedles and that is something which they are working on. Two provisional patents on the Q-carbon and diamond creation techniques have been filed by North Carolina State.

This Innovative Fingerprint Scanner can Discern Fake Fingerprints from Real Ones


Revolutionary Fingerprint Scanner – Discerning Fake Fingerprints

One can beware of career crooks and villains now with BitFlow, the machine vision technology company that has created a revolutionary fingerprint scanner with the potential of discerning fake fingerprints from the real ones. While fingerprint scanners could be easy to fool, the new tech of BitFlow tends to scrap the process of photo scanning in favour of a method that looks inside the person’s finger.

Developed in amalgamation with the scientist at the Langevin Institute in Paris, France, the new scanner can quickly and accurate capture what according to the team is a person’s internal fingerprint. Just as the fingerprints are seen on the surface of a finger, an internal fingerprint has the similar topographical features that resides around half a millimetre below the skin.

Besides this, the system also has the potential of imaging sweat pores in the finger of the person, thereby enhancing its means of recognizing an individual. The internal sensor, engineered by Langevin Institute postdoctoral researcher Egidijus Auksorius and scientific instrument professor, Claude Boccara, is based on a full field optical coherence tomography of FF-OCT.

FF-OCT Depends on 2D Detector

Different from the standard optical coherence tomography that makes use of the 3D data as well as lasers, the FF-OCT tends to depend on a 2D detector thus making it easy as well as faster for utilisation. Essentially the images of an internal fingerprint could be captured within a second on using this tech which is of great advantage for the fingerprint scanning industry.

The scanner analyses the difference interference patterns produced when in use, after a beam of light reflects off a sample, which is the finger, against a reference beam of light. For example when a light beamed at a finger tends to register with the system, it has the capabilities of seeing the different grooves, patterns as well as pores linked with someone’s unique fingerprint.

The reference beam of light that is a pure beam enables the scientist to precisely read the variations and chart the grooves and the patterns. As per the published press release of BitFlow, a study which was done by the Department of Homeland Security, it was observed the wearing of fake prints, or spoofing a fingerprint sensor beats a scanner by about 80 percent of the time.

Produces Fingerprint Biometric Data

Taking this into consideration, it is a surprising percentage in any given capacity. Auksorius and Boccara’s collaboration with BitFlow seems to be a forensics expert’s best colleague. The system is expected to produce fingerprint biometric data which is less vulnerable to spoofing and could also be popular if the concern for security of 2D scanners tends to rise.

However, with the other 3D imaging systems like the ones based on ultrasonic technology developing at the same time, size and the cost would be essentially important and the FF-OCT system could envisage stiff competition in that sphere. As per a scientific paper published in a leading journal, Auksorius and Boccara had initially used an expensive InGaAs camera though recently had demonstrated that images of the internal fingerprints of same quality could be recorded on utilising a new silicon camera from Adimec which is due to the camera’s high frame rate together with the pixel’s high capacity. A compact LED source releasing at 780 nm is utilised to provide the illumination.

Saturday, 2 January 2016

Tokyo Police are Using Drones with Nets to Catch Other Drones



Camera Equipped Drones – Capture Suspicious Drone

Exclusive fleet of interceptor drones designed to chase and capture suspicious looking drones in nets flying over sensitive areas in the midst of concern for the safety of the prime minister, has been introduced by Tokyo’s police force. The riot police would be controlling the camera-equipped interceptor drones in chasing private drones which may be spying on buildings including the Japanese prime minister, Shinzo Abe’s office and trap them in large nets before reaching back to the ground.

 Those in control of the force drone would first caution the operator of the suspicious drone to cease the flight before tracking them. In April, a four propeller drone with trace amounts of radioactive caesium was seized on the top of the prime minister’s office which raised terror concerns in the capital. Police had informed that radioactivity levels were only at a maximum of 1 microsievert of gamma rays per hour, which is a level that is not harmful to humans.

Illegal to Pilot Drones in Certain Area in Japan

Yoshihide Suga, the chief cabinet secretary had mentioned in a press conference that `the situation concerns the centre of the Japanese government, the prime minister’s office and are taking every essential measure inclusive of a detailed investigation by police’. Later on, a man had been arrested.

The drones of the police force measures about one metre in diameter while the net measures two metres by three meters which is suspended below the body of the interceptor. The drones will only take to the air when an unlawful drone is spotted and the police officers on the ground will utilise loudspeakers in an effort to warn the drone’s controller to evacuate the area.

The net to catch other quadcopters was eventually decided, as there would be less chance of an aircraft falling from the sky and injure civilians. The force intends to start utilising them later this month before rolling the enterprise out more broadly in February. It is illegal to pilot drones over certain areas in Japan, including airports, over roads or 150 meters above the land.

Drones – Most contentious Creation of Technology

Unmanned aerial vehicles or drones are the most contentious creations of technology and though the opportunity that they provide for the retail industry like Amazon’s delivery services is remarkable, there is a concern over safety, warfare as well as surveillance which tend to continue blocking their adoption in the mainstream utilisation. Solar powered drones had been developed by Facebook to fly over the UK in order to plug gaps in mobile coverage offering a boost to `not spot’ areas of the country which are yet without mobile internet.

As per reports from The Asahi Shimbun andthe Asian Review, a drone had been first deployed on a trial basis from mid-December and a more complete operation would then be introduced later in the year. The drone squads would provide protection for some of the most sensitive areas in the city comprising of the Imperial Palace, the National Diet, where the Japan’s parliament meet besides the office of the prime minister.

 Japan’s police force may be the first law enforcement agencies in introducing countermeasures for the consumer drones, though several other government as well as commercial agencies having been considering the same in the West.

Friday, 1 January 2016

Google’s new quantum computer is '100 million times faster than your PC

quantum computer

Google’s Quantum Computer – 100 Million Times Faster

Google together with NASA has been working on a lightning fast quantum computer which seems to be 3,600 times quicker than a super computer in solving difficult problems. The artificial intelligence lab of the technology company is of the belief that they may eventually have proof that their opinion dividing quantum computer would actually work.

 Google and NASA have announced that they would be collaborating on the D-Wave X2 quantum computer which according to them is 100 million times faster than a conventional computer chip in 2013. It has the capabilities of answering certain systems in second instead of years. Google’s interest in D-Wave machine which has also been invested in by IBM as well as Microsoft is due to the large power quantum computers that could potentially unlock.

 The weirdness of the so called quantum mechanics, where the basic laws of physics tend to break down, has the capabilities of solving long standing issues in machine intelligence and materials science. On the part of NASA, the computers could support schedule rocket launches or even produce complex simulation of space missions.

Quantum Monte Carlo

Hartmut Neven, Google director of engineering had commented that for a specific carefully crafted proof of concept problem, they had achieved a 100 million fold speed up. He had also added in a blog post that they had found that for problem instances involving almost 1,000 binary variables, quantum annealing significantly beats its classical counterpart, simulated strengthening and is more than 108 times faster than simulated annealing running on a single core.

The quantum hardware to another algorithm known as Quantum Monte Carlo was also compared. This method had been designed to match the behaviour of quantum systems though it tends to run on conventional processors. While scaling with size between two methods was comparable they were again separated by a large element at times as high as 108.

The computer figures out the most efficient overall course of action in completing a task and a set of number of options has been provided and could be key to the innovation of next generation artificial intelligence according to Engadget.

Disruptive Technology

Cynics have questioned whether the computer actually taps into quantum physics to resolve procedures, though Google and NASA informs that they have proof. The director of exploration technology at NASA’s Ames research centre in California, Deepak Biswas, has commented that `it is a disruptive technology which could alter how we tend to do everything.

Quantum computing depends on quantum bits or qubits and unlike the traditional computers wherein the bits should have a value of zero or one, a qubit could represent a zero, a one or even both the values at the same time.

Signifying information in qubits enables to process the information in ways which have no equivalent with regards to classical computing, taking advantage of the occurrences like quantum tunnelling together with quantum entanglement. Quantum computers may theoretically be capable of solving certain issues within a few days which on a classical computer would take millions of years.

Google Wants to Suck the Blood from Your Body


Google’s Patent for Needle-Free Blood Draw System

Google has filed a patent for a `needle-free blood draw’ system which could act as a wearable or a hand held device in order to draw a small amount of blood from the body. Unlike the traditional needle to draw blood, the proposed method is gas-based which tends to suck the blood in a very small barrel.

It tends to work by sending a surge of gas in a barrel containing micro particles which pierces the skin and when the blood is released from the skin, it sucks up into the negative pressure barrel. The patent which seems to be still pending indicates that the device could be utilised for testing blood sugar levels and also to take blood automatically or manually.

An example presented by Google portrayed a small cylindrical device being utilised on a person’s fingertips or as a wrist worn device, recommends a future version of Android Wear which could have enhanced biometric potentials. Google states that when the skin tends to be broken `a resulting micro-emergence of blood could be drawn into the negative pressure barrel’.

Aid Diabetics in Monitoring Blood Sugar Levels

Specific medical application for the needle free process that could be used has not been included by the company, though it could be the latest of the company’s work to aid diabetics in monitoring their blood sugar levels. The patents states that `such an application might be used to draw a small amount of blood, for example, for a glucose test’.

Patents, generally do not lead to direct development of commercial products and hence it is not known if the same would reach the market in the future. The team working at the Google’s Life Sciences, as part of the recently created parent company, Alphabet had already developed various items designed in helping diabetics.

 The lab had unveiled smart contact lenses which included circuitry to monitor glucose levels in 2014. Moreover, according to the report of Verge, it has also developed bandage sized glucose monitors that could detect sugar levels which could be disposable. Other diabetes work outside Google has seen bionic pancreas developed which could stop those with the disease and have the insulin levels monitored at all together with holographic sensors which can measure the relevant data.

Health Data – Next Big Arena

The World Health Organisation had estimated that 9% of adults above 18 years tend to live with diabetes with a total of 1.5 million deaths due to chronic disease in 2015. Google is not the only tech giant making attempts in the healthcare market.

 There are other companies who are also interested in identifying more elegant solutions to living with the condition. A company by the name of Tasso, supported by Darpa, had already developed an almost painless blood withdrawal method which does not utilise needles. Similar to the design of Google, the device of Tasso draws blood on using a vacuum.

Health data seems to be the next big arena among the tech companies with the new generation of wearable gadget enabling users in measuring heart rates, exercise activities and sleep patterns. Google seems to hold patents on various different ideas and not all would make it to the production. But the needle free blood draw device could be a big success taking into account that lots of people are very uneasy with the sight of injection being inserted into their skin.