Sunday, December 16, 2012

Science Videos - Robitics, Medicine, Alternative Energy, Space Travel, etc.

SUMMARY: This video gives a short history of physics, and explains all the principles of physics in simple terms.

1. One of the great mysteries of mankind is how far we will develop our technology. We’ve come a very long way since 1900. It’s possible that in another 100 years we’ll be amazed by what our descendants can do. In a thousand years, imagine how much farther we could go.

2. Aristotle’s beliefs lasted for 2000 years, until Isaac Newton proved him wrong, realizing that the moon is constantly falling toward the earth. To understand how the moon moves, he created calculus. He used calculus and his newly invented reflecting telescope to calculate the movement of the planets. It’s so accurate we still use his equations today.

3. Haley helped Newton by paying to publish his book Principia.

4. Newton’s three laws of motion are:
            1. Objects in motion stay in motion, unless acted upon by an another force. Objects don’t get tired. Aristotle was wrong.
            2. Force equals mass x acceleration. (This made possible the industrial revolution)
            3. For every action, there’s an equal and opposite reaction. (This is the science of rockets)

5. There are four forces of the universe:
            1. Gravity
            2. Electromagnetic Force
            3. Weak Nuclear Force (radioactive decay)
            4. Strong Nuclear Force (e=mc2) (explained the secret of the sun)

6. Faraday’s law - a wire turning in a magnet creates electric current. Electricity and magnetism are the same force.

7. James Clerk Maxwell discovered electricity has the velocity of light, because it is light, and light is electricity. He created equations for light.

8. e=mc2 means the faster you move, the heavier you get. This law created problems. Scientists had to research thousands of sub-atomic particles.

9. antimatter is the opposite of matter. You can create anti-atoms and anti-molecules. When matter and anti-matter collide it creates the greatest release of energy in the universe.

10. The standard model of subatomic particles is the most fundamental basis of reality we know today. It’s the ugliest theory known to science, but it works.

11. String theory states that the four forces of the universe are connected. It’s the theory of everything. It’s being tested by the large Hadron conductor at Cern. It will help explain the big bang – the physics of a black hole. It also suggest the existence of a multi-verse, with many universes. The big bang could’ve been caused by either the collision of fissioning of two universes.

12. The Hadron collider will help scientists find new particles like the Higgs-Boson, and sparticles, which are super particles that vibrate at high frequencies.

13. A wormhole is a connection between universes, a shortcut between space and time. No one knows if it’s possible to go through one. It could also serve as a time machine.

14. In trillions of years the universe will get cold, stars will die, and people will die. The only way to escape the universe is to go to a new one.

15. Is there a fifth force? No one has found one.

16. 73% of matter in our universe is dark energy. 23% is dark matter. Stars are 4% of the universe. But, we still don’t know what dark matter is.

17. Every single physics textbook is wrong. Most of the universe isn’t atoms. It’s dark.


SUMMARY: This video explains current robotic research, and the biggest problems.

Bionics, mixing man and machine:

  1. A robotic exoskeleton, a suit you can wear that makes you stronger. Pressure sensors similar to a blood pressure tester tell a computer when to lift something. The idea is to help weak, old people to be independent.
  2. Doctors in Chicago have designed a light-sensitive microchip that can be implanted into a human eye to replace a damaged retina, helping the blind to see.
  3. Scientists can connect your mind to electrodes which the mind then controls to move a digital cursor, and even operate a wheel chair.
Artificial Intelligence (AI): Some things, like math are hard for people, but easy for robots. Other tasks, like walking, talking, and seeing, are easy for people but very hard for robots.

  1. CVI is a robot in Japan. He learns how to move by mimicking people, and then remembers what he’s learned, even hitting a baseball with a bat.
  2. It took 20 years to design robots that can walk, run, jump, and climb stairs. The best robot at these skills now is ASIMO, designed by Honda.
  3. ASIMO also has sophisticated eyes that can remember objects it’s seen before, learning their names. Even better, it can look at an object, determine its size, shape, and then interpret its function. It can look at a chair it’s never seen before and realize it’s a chair. And it knows a table is not a chair because it’s too big.
  4. Programmers have written code to allow people to talk to computers, giving them a long list of responses to use. The computer seems to have a human personality, based on the list given, and seems like artificial intelligence, but it’s not. It’s just a random generator of sentences.
  5. Computers can also be programmed to imitate classical composers. They mimic musical patterns, but there’s no attempt to create an emotion.
Ethical Questions: Can robotics truly replace human interaction and companionship? Should it? Will virtual worlds replace the real one, and is this a good or bad thing? Once robots become capable of real artificial intelligence, should they be treated like real, living beings? What rights should they have?

  1. Some scientists are designing a geminoid, a robot that looks like just like a real person, with many motors hidden under plastic skin, which mimics the movements of a real person.
  2. Programmers can also make a digital avatar of a person to interact in a digital world.

SUMMARY: This video discusses new forms of energy that are clean and can last for thousands of years.

1. Solar panels can be used to power cars, and they’re getting more powerful.

2. Solar towers are being built in sunny places to produce electricity for homes. Mirrors, called heliostats, track the sun and reflect light to the tower. One in Spain has 624 heliostats, and produces 11 megawatts. The temperature at the top reaches 400̊ C. Water pipes at the top of the tower convert water into steam. Dust on the mirrors is a problem. Also, they generate nothing at night.

3. Solar panels in space could generate power, even at night and send it down to Earth through a tether, or space elevator. The problem is creating a tether that’s strong and light enough. A space tether would also make space launch rockets obsolete, saving tons of fuel.

4. In the last 10 years, global energy use has increased 25%.

5. The EMV is an electric motorbike with a hydrogen fuel cell. It mixes with oxygen to produce electricity and water. It’s very clean, quiet, and weak, with only 8 horse power (hp). It’s very durable. You can also take out the fuel cell and use it to power home appliances. One problem is that hydrogen has to be extracted, currently using fossil fuels. It’s also flammable.

6. In some places along the coast at a narrows, ocean tides quickly come in and out, so it’s possible to generate electricity with tidal turbines. They’re like an underwater windmill. Tides are great because they’re predictable. The turbine can raise and lower, and turn around depending on the direction of the tide. It provides enough power for a small town. But, the turbines do sometimes kill fish, and the salt water can corrode the works, causing lubricants and pollution to leak out.

7. You can also produce power from wave power. A prototype is 120m long “water snake” and weights 700 tons.

8. Wind Turbines are already in use. They’d be better if they were up in the atmosphere. That’s where the jet stream is. So, scientists are developing a “smart kite” made of nylon and kevlar that can generate electricity. The steel cable turns a generator as the kite goes up, and it glides down to start again. The jet stream runs mainly over England, The Netherlands, and Denmark.

9. A tokamak is a huge circular oven which heats hydrogen to 100 million degrees, changing it into a plasma, thus creating nuclear fusion. None of the plasma touches the oven because of special magnets that repel it. Current experiments only last for a moment – a split second.

10. Another idea is to make synthetic petrol from thin air. First a solar furnace uses mirrors to reflect sunlight, heating air to 2,400 degrees. Then as carbon dioxide breaks down, you take the atoms and add with water to create carbon monoxide and hydrogen – the building blocks of petrol. One CR5 machine which makes the petrol can make over 2 gallons a day.
SUMMARY: This video asks ethical questions about new fields of biology and biochemistry
1. There are three stages or waves of evolution
                        1. The environment changed animals to best survive.
                        2. Humans changed the environment to suit us.
                        3. Evolution by design – people genetically change species, dogs for example.
2. Biologists using genetic technology have created: the beefalo, the geep, the cama, the liger, and the zorse.
3. Biologists have taken bioluminescent gene from jellyfish and put it into mammals. You can now get mice, cats, dogs, pigs, fish, and monkeys that glow in the dark. It’s theoretical to make people that glow in the dark.
4. Many governments don’t have laws or offices to regulate genetically altered species, some of which become the food you eat.
5. Most of the food in US supermarkets is genetically modified.
6. Many species of animals have been cloned. It’s a big idea for horses so you can have a gelding run in a race, and his genetic duplicate can have babies.
7. Some animals, like goats and pigs, are being genetically modified to make new chemicals.
8. Some pigs are being created to save endangered species. Guar eggs have been put into cows to produce new offspring – they look like guar, but they have cow DNA. They are hybrids, begging the question, “How do you define a specieas?”
9. Scientists have put electrodes in insects like cockroaches and moths, and can control the animals like a remote control toy. It’s an organic robot. They’ve also done it to mice. It’s scary to think how people could misuse this technology.
10. Scientists have taught monkeys to use an electronic, prosthetic arm with just their minds.
11.Another scientist, Thomas Demarse, grew mouse neurons to create an organic microchip which he used to run a computer program.
12. biologist Sandro Mussa-Ivaldi took an eel’s brain and put it in a bowl, and put it in a robot.
13. Mice have been created with skin that  the human body would accept, for use in growing body parts, like ears.
14. Scientists have created an artificial cell – the first living creature with a computer as its mother – a DNA synthesizer.


1 comment: