Me MySelf & I

12 02 2011

Who am I ?

The name is Dinendran Sathyadinesan which I’ve to admit, doesn’t quite have the Bond-James-Bond ring to it. As to who I am, I could tell you but then I would have to kill you.

Do people find your name weird?

Well, I hope not! People do have a hard time pronouncing my name though.

So, how do I pronounce your name?

Here’s yours truly giving you a martian-like greeting while pronouncing own name (over indistinguisible snippets of Star Wars theme for theatrical effect). If all things fail, just call me Dinu.

Hmm, so Dinu, how old are you?
I’m at an age that would raise eyebrows if said age is divulged. FYI, I celebrate my birthday on May 6. No, I don’t mind anonymous birthday gifts.

Finally Do you work?
Yes, I’m a Telecommunication Engineer .

Top 10 Futuristic Weapons

17 02 2013

Top 10 Futuristic Weapons

Futuristic weaponry is far from reserved for SiFi films on TV anymore and military research around the world are pushing weaponry that is increasingly destructive. If we thought the 1940’s atomic bomb was devastating wait for the next generation of weapons technology.

10. Biodesign Synthetic Organism

future org 300x300 Top 10 Futuristic Weapons Being Developed Today

Being developed by DARPA, this project, is potentially meant for soldier modification. Biodesign Synthetic Organisms are meant to live indefinitely and contain molecules that resist death. Despite being deactivated with a button, the idea of zombie ‘organisms’ is scary. Still no debut for this technology despite the Department of Defense’s $6 million funding.


future blast 300x300 Top 10 Futuristic Weapons Being Developed Today

Another project by DARPA is the ‘Magneto Hydrodynamic Explosive Munition’ or more frighteningly known as ‘mayhem without the Y.’ MAHEM has the power to penetrate enemy armor using molten metal. Tanks and troop transporters won’t stand a chance. DARPA representatives say eventually the weapon in its warhead format will have better control and efficiency than before.

8. Free Electron Laser

future eleclas 300x300 Top 10 Futuristic Weapons Being Developed Today

This pet project of the US Navy is a laser system meant to be able to intercept missile and rocket attacks on US ships. The laser is also able to work as a tracking sensor and information exchange tool when there is no perceived attacks. Already in the prototypes phase last year, the laser is likely to soon become a modern part of the warships arsenal.


future laser 300x300 Top 10 Futuristic Weapons Being Developed Today

Another laser system project funded by the Pentagon with DARPA, ‘High Energy Liquid Laser Area Defense System’ is mean for aircraft missile protection. This laser is meant to be a tiny but incredibly powerful laser that will intercept and destroy enemy missile fire.

6. Railgun

future rail 300x300 Top 10 Futuristic Weapons Being Developed Today

This new and improved version of its predecessors has been being developed for the past decade and will be capable of launching projectiles at 2.4 kilometers per second. That is seven times the speed of sound. The US military claims to see version of this weapon in the next ten to fifteen years.

5. Corner Shot Launcher

future corner 300x300 Top 10 Futuristic Weapons Being Developed Today

A collaboration between two Israeli and German defense firms, this weapon is fairly self-explanatory. A hinged frame and an under barrel camera linked to a screen makes this weapon perfect for elite urban-combat. The user can both fire and look around corners from cover. The Corner Shot Launcher was announced about a decade ago but hasn’t been deployed by either nation.

4. Hybrid Insect MEMS

future bug 300x300 Top 10 Futuristic Weapons Being Developed Today

This weapon is as close to 007 as they come. Hybrid Insect MEMS are part bug part robot meant for gathering intelligence or working as a gas or radiation detector. These bionic bugs are created by implanting a micro-mechanical system in the insect while still in the early stages of metamorphosis.

3. DREAD Silent Weapon

future silent 300x300 Top 10 Futuristic Weapons Being Developed Today

This weapon is a deadly accurate, swift, and fairly undetectable fire arm that fully earns its title. Able to fire 120,000 fully accurate round a minute and eliminates gunpowder by using electrical energy instead. This means there is no recoil, no noise, and no heat.

2. Aurora Excalibur

future aurora 300x267 Top 10 Futuristic Weapons Being Developed Today

This weapon will probably be a reality sooner than later. This unmanned aircraft moves like a jet-plane helicopter combination. The Aurora Excalibur takes off and lands vertically like a helicopter but can reach over 450 miles an hour. This combination is exciting because, not only was it successfully tested in the summer of 2009, but it nullifies the need for a runway or pilot. Likely the aircraft will be equipped with missiles and other propellants and will be able to be controlled remotely from the ground.

1. XM-25 Grenade Launcher

future grenade 300x300 Top 10 Futuristic Weapons Being Developed Today

Already used in Afghanistan field operation since early last year, the XM-25 is able to fire up to 25 highly explosive grenades at almost any viewable distance. This is made possible through a computer predetermination and programming aspect. This lethal combination of computer and gun is made even more powerful by its versatility and ability to be carried and employed by any soldier.

This list of Top 10 Futuristic Weapons does little to make the common man feel safer. The brutality and extreme power of these weapons will be a force to be reckoned with, and there is no stopping the development that is already under way.


26 06 2012

Invisibility Crystals Make Small Objects Disappear

8 09 2011

A piece of pink paper vanishes under a new invisibility cloak developed by MIT researchers

Using natural crystals, two independent research teams have designed “carpet cloaks” that can abracadabra 3-D objects as big as an ant or a grain of sand seemingly into nothing. Up to now, making things invisible has relied on tiny structures called metamaterials. These fabrications are often a mix of stacks and crisscrosses of nano-sized metals and other materials that can guide electromagnetic rays, such as microwaves or infrared and visible light, around objects. If researchers tweak metamaterials just right, they can make tiny things disappear — at certain light wavelengths and from certain angles, at least.

But now two teams, including an MIT group that published its results in Physical Review Letters in January and another from England and Denmark that published Tuesday in Nature Communications, didn’t bother with metamaterials. They adopted calcite prisms, a type of naturally occurring crystal, to build carpet cloaks. Carpet cloaks aren’t true now-you-see-them-now-you-don’t apparatuses. The bottom of the cloaking device is notched with a small triangle that looks like a bent mirror. Thanks to the optical properties of metamaterials or, in this case, calcite, the bent mirror can look like a flat plane when viewed from some angles. Anything hiding in the notch vanishes.

This low-tech design sidesteps some of the limitations of metamaterial invisibility cloaks, says Ulf Leonhardt, a physicist at the University of St. Andrews in Scotland who was not involved in either study. His landmark 2006 paper in Science helped to launch invisibility research. Because metamaterials require intricate sculpting by lasers or other tools, scientists can make them only so big. Harry Potter would need to be more than paper-thin to hide under early carpet cloaks. The calcite shields, on the other hand, can disappear objects 1 to 2 millimeters tall. Metamaterial designs “liberated the imaginations,” he says. “Now, it’s time to come back to reality.”

But with such tricky optical sleight of hand, reality may seem like a misnomer. With the right type of light, calcite prisms can bend laser beams in different directions based on the crystal’s orientation. Light enters the cloak — a triangle or trapezoid made of two prisms glued together — and bounces off the bent mirror at the bottom into the second prism, then out. By the time the beams leave the cloak, they look like they changed direction only once, says George Barbastathis of MIT, coauthor of the Physical Review Letters article. His team used the cloak to hide a small metal wedge. “Putting calcite on top of the wedge, the light goes back into the same direction that it would have with a flat mirror,” he says. But it’s not just the same direction — the light looks exactly like it bounced off a flat mirror. The metal wedge vanishes.

“It’s not a Harry Potter cloak,” says Shuang Zhang, a physicist at the University of Birmingham in England and one of the Nature Communications study coauthors. The cloak works only under one light polarization. And while it works at all angles, it’s not three-dimensional. It only cloaks when Zhang aims the light source dead-on at the crystals. But, he says, scaling up to 3-D isn’t too big of a leap from 2-D. Zhang imagines similar technology one day concealing submarines on the sea floor.

Weird Quantum Effect can Make Hollow Man !

8 09 2011

When you shine light on a substance, part of the light is reflected, part is transmitted and part is absorbed. If you choose the color of light and the substance sensibly, you can arrange things so that all the light is absorbed. Nothing special about that, right? OK, but what if you could shine a second light on the substance and make it transparent for the first light field? That would be a bit strange, wouldn’t it?

Electromagnetically induced transparency (EIT), as it is called, is a bizarre phenomenon all by itself. But there is nothing like taking the bizarre and making it even more so. A group of researchers has shown that, under the right conditions, this second light field doesn’t have to hit the substance to make EIT work—it only has to have the potential to be there. My response: OMFG, that is too cool to be true.

Warning: here there be quantum mechanics

EIT occurs due to an interaction between two light fields that is mediated via an atom. Atoms absorb light in discrete chunks. Normally, an atom would be sitting in a single ground state, but some atoms have two states that are at about the same energy and are about as stable. In this case, we can think of the atom as having two ground states. Through careful preparation, we can generate a group of these atoms so that they are all in just one of the two ground states. If I turn on a light field (called the probe light) with the right color, it will be absorbed by the atoms, putting them into an excited state.

A light field, called the control light field, that is tuned to match the energy required to move the atom from the other ground state to an excited state, however, will not be absorbed; there are no atoms in that ground state to act as an absorber. But the presence of the control light still sets the electrons around the atom in motion. Provided this motion remains coherent, it changes the energy levels of the atoms slightly. More specifically, the excited state splits into two excited states: one at a slightly higher energy, and one at a slightly lower frequency.

If we turn on the probe light while the control light is on, neither will be absorbed. That’s because the control light has shifted the excited state of the atoms, so that the probe light no longer matches that expectation. Indeed, one can turn off the control light while the probe light is on and trap some of the probe light in the atoms. Turn the probe light off and the control light back on, and the atoms emit a pulse of probe light as if nothing had happened.

An important point is that, when the control field is applied, the energy level of the excited state always splits into two, with one moving up in energy and one moving down in energy. But the distance that they move depends on how bright the control field is. So, if the control field is off, there is no splitting and EIT won’t work, right?
EIT without any control

Not so, according to results published in Science. What we have overlooked is that, when atoms absorb and emit light, they do so from what are called modes. And, because photons are bosons, they like to get together. What this means is that if a mode has a photon in it already, an atom is more likely to emit into the mode of that photon in preference to all the others. Normally, we don’t observe this because atoms are surrounded by empty space—there are a near infinite number of modes and none of them have photons in them.

But we can change that. By putting the atoms between two mirrors, we create an optical cavity. This cavity severely restricts the number of modes available to the atom. Combine that with the fact that the atom is most likely to emit a photon with a particular energy, and it will find that it has just one mode available to it.

How do modes relate to EIT? To explain, let’s jump back to the experiment. The researchers put their cloud of atoms between two very highly reflective mirrors and prodded them until they were all in the first ground state. The probe light field is shone through the sample from the side—this light field doesn’t go anywhere near the mirrors, but it does pass through the atoms. That light is absorbed, and all seems to be lost.

But, once excited, the atoms have a choice: decay back to the first ground state, or decay to the second ground state and emit a photon into the optical cavity. Most respond to the existing light field and decay back to their original ground state.

But a few don’t. These atoms emit photons at the frequency of the control light field. And, thanks to the cavity, these few photons pass back and forth through those atoms a large number of times, making the atoms respond as if it were in a much stronger light field.* As with the normal EIT, once this field is established, the excited state energy level splits, and the cloud of atoms becomes transparent to the probe light. Even though we’ve never exposed the sample to the control light, it ends up behaving as if it were present.

That is pretty cool. But I suspect the pragmatists among you will be asking, “Where’s the application?” To be honest, I doubt if this will ever be directly applied. EIT has the potential to be very useful in terms of light being used to switch light—think optical computers. But no one really wants a cloud of atoms and optical cavities and all that sort of stuff hanging around in their computers: if you think dust is a problem now, imagine getting dust in this system.

The glimmer of utility on the horizon are things called quantum dots. These are little packages of material that behave like artificial atoms. With the right physical structure, EIT should be possible with quantum dots. These could then be combined with integrated optical devices to create optical switches, without needing the vacuum and vast array of instruments. Unfortunately, even with this development, switching times will likely be slower than electronic devices, and individual gates will be much larger than current electronic gates. So, in the end, this is for the pure joy of discovery.

* This is technically incorrect. The light field in the cavity is actually that strong, but if the photons were not bouncing back and forth in a cavity, the light field would be very weak, and that is the comparison I want to make.

Where Superman Was Born???

8 09 2011

Krypton. You may think it’s in a remote galaxy, but no, it’s right here, in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean. A place that I like to call “That Island Where Björk and Eyjafjallajökull the Dragon Live” and other people call Iceland.

This outstanding image was taken by Stephane Vetter and it has won The World at Night’s 2011 International Earth and Sky Photo Contest. Taken at Jökulsárlón lake, the image merges six different exposures to capture two wild green auroral rings, caused by a massive coronal mass ejection back on February

RedShift Motorcycles Promise Big, Green Fun

6 08 2011

Another electric motorcycle startup is jumping into the e-moto arena with a pair of machines it promises will deliver the performance of a 250cc dirt bike.

The RedShift MX motocrosser and RedShift SM supermoto are the first machines from San Francisco startup BRD, a company started by, and for, guys who like to ride.

“We just want to make faster motorcycles,” says CEO Marc Fenigstein. “We’re a team of riders and racers with high-performance gas machines in the garage. We’re building the bikes we’d rather be riding.”

The BRD RedShift MX is good for 40 horsepower and weighs 240 pounds without lights, specs that put it on par with the KTM 250 SX-F. With a 5.2 kilowatt-hour battery pack, the electric motorcycle should be capable of one if not two full motos of anywhere from 10 to 20 miles apiece.

Google vs. Microsoft Isn’t Just a Battle of Products, But a Battle of Ideas

6 08 2011

Patent Application for the Cotton Gin

It’s not often that multibillion-dollar tech companies take to the internet to throw elbows at each other, at least without hiring outside PR to do it on the sly. Watching it unfold in public is a little like watching a big family meltdown at a restaurant: Harsh words turn from whispers to shouts, secrets are dredged up, and eventually the teenager storms out the door, stopping only to let everyone know how much she hates them for doing this to her and that she’ll be walking home alone.

That’s pretty much what happened with Google yesterday — only the big fighting family included Microsoft, Apple, Oracle and Samsung. The fight was over software patents, not dinner, and the declaration of independence in miniature didn’t come from an angry teenager, but an angry lawyer:

Android’s success has yielded … a hostile, organized campaign against Android by Microsoft, Oracle, Apple and other companies, waged through bogus patents….

Instead of competing by building new features or devices, they are fighting through litigation…. Unless we act, consumers could face rising costs for Android devices — and fewer choices for their next phone.

Google’s chief legal officer David Drummond is angry. He’s angry that Google lost its bid for Nortel’s patent portfolio. He’s angry that winners of the $4.5 billion bid, a consortium of tech companies including mobile rivals like Microsoft, Apple and RIM, will probably use Android’s real or apparent infringement patents as leverage in lawsuits against or licensing settlements with Google and Android device makers.

He’s angry that Microsoft makes more money straight-up for Android’s OS than Google does; he’s angry that companies like Oracle, who once stood against software patents in principle and claimed to use them only defensively, have aligned with other companies who aren’t, and don’t, and even sued Google for infringement; and he’s angry that Google, even after buying up patents from IBM and elsewhere, doesn’t have much intellectual property leverage of its own.

The semi-official response to Google’s attack from Microsoft general counsel Brad Smith was so simple, it fit on Twitter: “Google says we bought Novell patents to keep them from Google. Really? We asked them to bid jointly with us. They said no.”


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