The Future Technology of Carbon Nanotubes

carbon-nano-tubeThe atomic structure of carbon, more specifically naturally occurring diamond, is neatly stacked in a cuboid shape. Carbon nanotubes use carbon but instead stack their atoms in a hexagonal shape. The result is a material which weighs virtually nothing, yet is stronger than any material known upon Earth, including poly-paraphenylene terephthalamide, more commonly referred to as “Kevlar”, zylon, and titanium. Some scientists have argued that carbon nanotubes will most likely be the strongest substance in the known universe and that nothing will ever have the ability to surpass its strength. Carbon nanotubes have a strength of 200 gigapascals; to provide frame of reference, the strongest materials known to civilization have a strength of approximately 5 gigapascals. 1 gigapascal, which is commonly abbreviated as “GPa”, is equal to 1,000,000,000 (1 billion) pascals, and 1 pascal, which is commonly abbreviated as “Pa”, is the SI unit for pressure defined as “1 newton per 1 square meter”. If a space elevator ribbon made of carbon nanotubes stretching 100 kilometers were ever to break (e.g. the counterweight above breaking), it would gently float down to Earth because it would only weighs 7 kilograms per every 1 kilometre of length

Galileo Galilei’s Telescope Design Improvement upon the Dutch Spyglass Design

Galileo-Galilei-telescopeIt had been known since the first spectacles were produced in the middle of the 13th century, that glass was capable of bending light, a property which no other known material of the period could achieve. The Dutch spyglass worked upon this very principal, arranging lenses with careful attention to detail to create a compounding magnification effect. If light hits a plano-convex (pronounced “play-noh”) lens, which is flat upon one side and convex upon the other, the same formation used for those who suffer from hyperopia, rays of light streaming inward are bent toward eachother, eventually meeting and converging at a specific triangular point. Right before this focal point, Galilei improved the original Dutch design by placing his second lens, an ocular lens which is plano-concave, meaning flat upon one side and concave upon the other, the same formation used for those who suffer from myopia. This secondary lens pushes the bent rays of converging light back out again so that they can hit the eye and provide a clear image. The eye focuses this light upon the retina so that the observer can view the image produced by the spyglass. The magnification power of a telescope depends upon the ratio between the focal lengths of the lenses, with these distances marked as F1 for the distance between the front of the spyglass and the plano-concave lens, and F2 from the plano-concave lens toward the back of the spyglass. The largest difficulty impeding Galilei was the grinding down process of his convex lens, in an attempt to make it as shallow as possible to maximize the length of the F1 partition, as the longer the distance is, the greater the magnification will be. Within a few weeks of developing this new technology, Galilei’s first telescope had a clear magnification of 8x, far exceeding the power of the original Dutch spyglass. On August 21, 1609, Galilei climbed a Venice bell tower to meet up with Venetian nobles and senators so that he could display his new technology. This new bleeding edge feat of engineering permitted Venetians to spot sailing ships 2 hours earlier than if they had used the naked eye. 3 days after the event, Galilei gifted his telescope to the Duke of Venice and was afforded a guaranteed job for life in exchange, with this salary equating to double his original income. With his finances secured, Galilei went on to develop and produce even more powerful telescopes

The Mathematics Behind Why Rockets Can Escape The Gravitational Pull of the Earth

Konstantin-TsiolkovskyRobert Goddard’s liquid rocket never reached the 3 kilometer mark because of Tsiolkovsky’s Rocket Equation named after Soviet scientist Konstantin Tsiolkovsky (pronounced “con-stan-tyin tsel-kov-skee”). This equation states that as fuel increases for faster and further voyages, so too does the weight, becoming increasingly heavy as more and more fuel is added. Tsiolkovsky took into account the velocity of a rocket alongside its mass of payload, mass of fuel, and the mass of the rocket itself. The longer the engine burns, the more velocity the rocket will have, however longer burning means more fuel which adds weight and makes it more difficult to push upwards. To travel fast enough to deliver a rocket to space, most of the craft must be fuel. Scientists have battled with this question for decades and although mathematical constructs have been developed to explain the relationship between weight and thrust, no one has yet to develop an idea to get around this problem with currently available technologies. The equation developed to explain this limitation of space travel is △V^R = V^E x log^e (M^P + M^F + M^R / M^P + M^R). This effectively states that only a tiny portion of a rocket can be used to deliver payload, with notable cases being the Apollo missions which employed enormous rockets to carry just a few small astronauts and the things they needed into space. Tsiolkovsky theorized this in the beginning of the 20th century as his calculations demonstrated that kerosine wouldn’t be enough to go from the Earth to the moon with a single craft

The Reason Carbonated Drinks Become Flat

carbonated-soft-drinkCarbonated drinks are in a state of super saturation in respect to how much carbon dioxide they contain. Once a solution has reached complete saturation, it won’t allow any more of whatever substance is saturating it. If salt is added to a glass of water, eventually it will reach a point in which the salt just falls to the bottom rather than being dissolved in the water due to over saturation. If a solution is heated, it will be able to tolerate higher levels of saturation, and if it is cooled it is able to tolerate lesser levels of saturation. Carbonated drinks are water saturated with carbon dioxide, and this carbon dioxide is always looking for a method to escape which is why all carbonated drinks eventually turn flat provided enough time has passed. When sugar is added to a carbonated drink, the sugar nucleates the drink in that it provides a method of escape for the carbon dioxide present. Sugar, Mentos, and other various substances have a large surface area which allows a lot of carbon dioxide to become attached to it resulting in a rapid escape

Super Mario’s Super Human Jumping Capabilty

Super-Mario-jumping

The Nintendo mascot Mario has a vertical jumping range of 11’5” within his own world which equates to 27’ upon Earth as Earth has a different gravitational pull than that of Mario’s world. Mario is capable of leaping 2.25x his own body height however his exact agreed upon height when converted to a real world measurement is unclear. Statues erected of Mario tend to be 4’10” – 5’1” in length and Nintendo has stated that Mario’s official height is in fact 5’1” however different video games portray Mario with a varying degree of physical characteristics (e.g. height, weight, speed etc.). Mario falls back down to the ground within 0.3 seconds of his take off which means that the gravitational pull of his fictional world is 8x stronger than the gravitational pull of Earth. If this world were physically real, Mario would need to have legs powerful enough to allow him to jump at a speed of 22.2 meters per second, an incredible feat of physical prowess as the average person standing upon the Earth is only able to jump at a rate of 2.24 meters per second, resulting in an almost 10x difference in terms of Mario’s physical capabilities to that of a typical human being

The Future of Body Modification

nanotechnology-dermal-implant

Near field communication, often abbreviated as “NFC” is the ability for wireless devices to communicate with eachother and has now made its way into the bodies of human beings with some opting to implant small subdermal microchips using a large gauge hypodermic syringe (e.g. 14 – 18 gauge) which is preloaded so that these individuals gain the ability to start their vehicle(s), open their home door locks, send contact information to another persons smartphone etc., wirelessly and without any intervention or effort upon the end user. This adaptation is referred to as “transhuman” as it goes beyond what the biological human body can do by introducing technology which cannot be evolved into existence. Devices have been developed for a number of different purposes (e.g. vibrating when pointed towards magnetic north turning the body into a compass or implanting a small chip containing tritium gas which glows beneath the skin but is radioactive and therefore not battery powered lasting indefinitely as tritium gas has a 12 year half-life etc.). In 2018, at the University of Colorado, Dr. Carson Bruns and his team developed a technology which allows for smart tattooing in that newly and highly specialized tattoo inks will be able to deliver new functions to the artistic medium of tattooing. The first design invented was a tattoo ink which is sensitive to ultraviolet light which allows it to lay invisible under typical lighting conditions and only appear as a blue hue once outside in the presense of sunlight or an artificial ultraviolet light source. This technology would be practical as well as esthetic as it would allow a person to know when they’ve had too much sun exposure while outside. Bruns’ team has also developed tattoo ink which changes color as the temperature of the body changes which again would be functional as well as artistic, acting as a thermometer to indicate when a person has had too much or too little exposure to cold or heat. Nanotechnology is used to engineer and design tattoo particles which have specialized properties and characteristics (e.g. thermal battery and/or storage mechanism). Real world applications could be spurred by this advent like the ability to keep the entire body at a comfortable temperature at all times, regardless of the environment, if the entire body was tattooed, either visibly with color or invisibly with translucent ink. Specially engineered tattooing can also have medical applications such as that of the distribution of a pharmacological medication or hormone which helps regulate biochemistry (e.g. insulin or neural catecholamines to control mood etc.). World militaries may find use with specially engineered tattoos as well, allowing skin to become more resilient to abrasions or epidermal damage. Specialized tattoo pigments are also tactile sensitive in that when touched, they have the ability to turn on or off as well as perform other functions (e.g. manipulate an options menu upon a screen or act as a controller for a game or software etc.). In 2018, billionaire futuristic Elon Musk unveiled Neuralink, a technology which he states provides the ability of “self-directed evolution”. Neuralink will be installed within the human body by using a specialized, robotic hypodermic syringe to inject an ultra thin mesh, referred to as “neuro lace”, into the neurocortex of the brain, to form a body of electrodes which are able to monitor and influence brain function. These microelectrodes will be able read and write onto neurons; a bi-directional information exchange. This will allow for the downloading and uploading of information to and from the internet, wirelessly. This technology will allow for thoughts to be sent between users in the same format that data is shared online during the modern day using peer to peer networking. This technology will also allow for the control of devices, remotely; in principle, telekinesis. Nanotechnology now provides scientists with the technology required to manufacture electronics small enough to become tattooed, which means that in the future, Neuralink will only require a small, cranial tattoo instead of a cranial implant

A Revolutionary Breakthrough in Oncology Treatment

T-cell-cancer

Cancer kills 9,000,000 (9 million) people each year and despite having searched for centuries, a cure has yet to be discovered by scientists. At the center of the immune system is the T cell, a type of leukocyte which respond against bacterial and viral infections alike in an effort to keep their host healthy and alive. T cells determine between threatening and non-threatening foreign and non-foreign bodies within a host by leveraging a molecule upon the surface of all cells referred to as the “T cell receptor”. Jim Allison was the first person to successfully isolate and purify the molecule which recognizes this lock and key model for infectious disease, auto-immune disease, and other innocuous substances within the body be they foreign or internally created. In 1987, French scientist Pierre Golstein and his team discovered a new protein upon the surface of T cells which he named “CTLA-4”. To study CTLA-4 in laboratory rats, Allison had to build and design a rat antibody, a Y shaped protein which would trigger a reaction by CTLA-4. Cancers are mutations and should in theory be visible to the immune system, which is why the scientific community has struggled with the paradox of why tumors go undetected by the immune system for decades. There is no discernible reason as to why the immune system can recognize and resist influenza or any other foreign or domestic body but not cancer. Allison theorized that tumors have evolved an ability to fool the immune system, engaging CTLA-4 which turns on the T cells response to halt its search and destroy measures. Allison hypothesized that if he inserted a Y shaped antibody to block the gap in between the tumor and T cells, the tumor would no longer have its ability to hide, a trait which has been evolved by tumor cells over hundreds of millions of years. This would allow the T cell to infiltrate, attack from within the tumor, shrink, and ultimately kill the growth. Allison spent the next decade trying to turn this revolutionary breakthrough discovery into a medication which could be provided to cancer patients. Allison found Alan Korman, a scientist creating medications for auto-immune disease which provided him with the expert he required to turn this idea into a reality. Korman was tasked with taking the CTLA-4 antibody which Allison and partner Max Krummell developed for laboratory rats, and turn it into a medication which could safely work within human beings with this medication subsequently being named “Ipilimumab” (pronounced “ipi-lim-ooh-mab”). Korman ended up collaborating with a friend from graduate school, Nils Lonberg to accomplish this task. Ipilimumab consists of an intramuscular injection into the leg and a 90 minute intravenous medication drip in comparison to chemotherapy and radiation therapy which take months of treatment to complete and have devastating effects upon overall health as both bad and good tissue are destroyed in an effort to eradicate all tumor cells. Allison’s work with laboratory rats demonstrated that with the help of this newly developed antibody, T cells gained the ability enter into tumors and expand their size in an effort to destroy them from the inside out. This means that the fact that tumors grow initially upon administration is a positive marker and indicative of the medication working as it demonstrates successful infiltration of the tumor cells themselves. Patients often report feeling better after a few treatment sessions, sometimes even a single session, despite computer tomography scans demonstrating that their tumors are growing larger, which under normal circumstances would make a patient feel worse. Some patients even noted increased improvement after having stopped the Ipilimumab treatment, with no further therapy required. On March 25, 2011, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration released approval for Ipilimumab. Ipilimumab and its successors have treated nearly 1,000,000 (1 million) patients worldwide with many of these patients achieving permanent remission which is essentially the definition of having been cured of cancer. Although these medications do not work in every single case, they have definitively demonstrated to be a miracle medication for hundreds of thousands of people thus far. After completing this revolutionary discovery, Allison was awarded the Nobel Prize in Medicine in 2018 for his series of discoveries related to T cells and their ability to halt cancer in its progression in perpetuity

Sweden’s Major Contributions to Vehicular Safety Standards Worldwide

Volvo-XC90-crash-test

In 1959, Nils Bohlin (pronounced “neels bow-leen”) created the 3 point seatbelt while working for Volvo, an invention which Volvo intentionally designed to be patent free so that the advent could be utilized and implemented globally in a concerted effort to save lives everywhere. This was one of the first examples of open source technology in business and manufacturing. It’s been estimated that the seatbelt has saved more than 1,000,000 (1 million) lives over the past 40 years as of 2020. Swedish company Autoliv (pronounced “ow-tow-leeve”) furthered this pursuit towards safety by creating the seatbelt pre-tensioner which instantaneously reels in seatbelt slack during a vehicular accident and has also helped to design newer, better airbag systems and advanced artificial intelligence automobile visual systems

The Etymology of “Matter Plasma” and “Blood Plasma”

plasma-blood-and-star

The term “plasma” is derived from the ancient Greek term “plassein” which means to “shape or mold something”. Plasma related to physics, specifically matter which has had its electrons separated from the rest of its atoms, forcing it to become an ion, more specifically a mixture of free floating electrons and ions, was first identified by British chemist and physicist Sir William Crookes in 1879 using cathode ray tubes. Crookes referred to this discovery initially as “radiant matter” but it became known as “plasma” in 1928 because of American chemist Irving Langmuir. Langmuir was exploring ionized gases, gases which were subjected to strong electrical fields to remove electrons from their orbital shells. Langmuir used the analogy of blood to explain this phenomena, with the ions representative of corpuscles and the remaining gas thought of as clear liquid. Blood is similar to plasma in that it is primarily comprised of 2 components which include its clear liquid and the corpuscles/cells entrapped within this fluid. This clear liquid was named “plasma” by Czech physiologist Johannes Purkinje In 1927. The definition of matter plasma and blood plasma however have absolutely nothing to do with eachother physically, aside from the fact that two different scientists had the idea to use the same term at approximately the same time. It is believed that these two scientists based their name upon the ancient Greek definition of the term “plasma”

The Reason Beer Bottles Are Brown and Green

brown-green-beer-bottlesAlcoholic beverages like beer are brown in color because clear glass allows ultraviolet light to penetrate which can alter the flavor profile. Bottles inevitably became tinted brown to prevent ultraviolet light from achieving full penetration. After World War II, green bottles became popular due to shortages of brown glass