It has been a while since EMP (electromagnetic
pulse) has been in the news. With Iran and soon Venezuela having nuclear capability, there is a renewed emphasis on investigating
the issue. An organization named EMPACT produced
this video highlighting research on survivability of products and systems subject to an EMP. One demo
is of a car being disabled by an EMP generator frying its computer. Too bad a lot of the cars that might
survive a real EMP event have been destroyed in the government's Cash for Clunkers program.
Applied Wave Research launched
their AWR.TV service earlier in the year, and just announced
the addition of a broad array of content related to electromagnetics (see "Applications" channel under
"Electromagnetic"). Other enhancements to AWR.TV include applications tracks for MMICs, printed
circuit boards, and signal integrity, along with the option to download all material as iPod and iPhone-compatible
podcasts. Even if you do not do EM modeling, the videos are a great learning tool.
If you are fortunate enough to
be in the great circle path from the Gulf of Khambhat to Biratnagar to Beijing, you have the opportunity
to witness the longest total solar eclipse of the 21st century. It begins tonight at 8:24 pm EDT (Wednesday
morning in China). A full 6 minutes and 39 seconds of totality is predicted. The
Shadow & Substance website has some
really cool animations. Griffith Observatory will be showing a live webcast.
7/21/2009Trevor Baylis, inventor of the wind-up radio (Clockwork Radio, now marketed by
Freeplay), is advocating for making patent theft a criminal offense rather than just
statutory. His argument is that if offenders faced the threat of jail time rather than just a fine,
it might serve as more of a deterrent. Patent lawyers say the long, drawn-out nature of the prosecution
makes doing so unlikely. Note in the video that Mr. Baylis is using his lathe w/o proper eye protection.
This computer simulation
of water flow past a ship's hull is one of nine that made Wired's "Best Science Visualization Videos
of 2009." No EM simulations are included, but I can overlook that lapse of judgment after viewing
the amazing capabilities of what was chosen. Dynamic supernova explosions, earthquake propagation, human
body modeling, and other physical events require equation derivation and software coding skills that
are utterly unimaginable by most mortal beings.
circuits have been around for a while, but the process has been hampered by high temperatures needed
to sinter the deposited copper ink. Substrate materials like paper and low grade plastic can be impossible
to use with standard techniques. This new method developed by PulseForge uses a system that pulses μs-long
wideband spectral blasts that evaporate the copper ink volatile carriers and leave the conductor behind,
firmly adhered to the unscathed substrate.
You find electronics in the most unexpected places. Here, Freddie "Boom-Boom" Washington
is standing in front of a blackboard in Buchannan HS's radio broadcast studio that has a basic AM transmitter
schematic drawn on it - triodes and all. It is from the Welcome Back Kotter episode titled,
"Sweatwork." A while back
I posted an episode where the Sweathogs employed
ESD principles in shock
therapy to help Juan stop smoking.
A controversially graphic PSA
video has been produced in the UK that addresses the growing problem of texting while driving. Even
in the modern realm of senses desensitized to acts of intense violence, this video manages to invoke
a shocked reaction. My sister's daughter was killed last year in a texting while driving incident late
at night, where she ran off the road in a moment of inattention - phone records cooberated the suspected
cause. The car was unrecognizable. Her father delivered a eulogy at the funeral that included an admonition
against using a cellphone while driving.
always fascinated me. Even after taking engineer physics classes and learning the principles, I still
find it amazing that the momentum of a spinning, stationary object will resist an attitudinal perturbance.
This video demonstrates the ability of a gyro to hold up a relatively heavy mass, and the resulting
precession. It is the same phenomenon that causes the Earth's 26k-year cycle of the
precession of the equinoxes.
are in from the 2009 Rube Goldberg Machine Contest at
Purdue University. The task:
Replace an incandescent light bulb with a more energy-efficient bulb. This year's winners harkened from
a liberal arts college rather than from an engineering college - how shameful! For those not familiar
with Rube Goldberg, he was an engineer-turned-cartoonist who drew crazy contraptions to perform mundane
chores. The rendition style is recognizable as what was used in U.S. patents up through the mid 20th
Guitar Hero has
gained a following that its inventors never imagined. Every time I go into Best Buy there is a line
of kids waiting for a chance to show everyone how good they are. Boxes of the product are stacked high
on the floor. The connection speed between my fingers and my brain is measured in seconds, whereas Guitar
Hero requires milliseconds, so I do not bother embarrassing myself. This video shows a robotic player
that fingers the guitar by actuating solenoids after visually reading the colors off the display as
they rush by.
NI software drives the system.
First we had the humorous
Blend™ type of product abuse test, now we have guys at
Mechanics dropping phones phones in toilets to see how well they withstand "normal" abuse. In this
instance, they test commercial cellphones designed to comply with
MIL-STD-810F for ruggedness.
Of course, in the real world the willingness to retrieve the phone is a trade-off which contrasts the
value of the phone with the contents of the loo - yuk!