How Many Laser Pointers Would You Need in Order to Kill a Human?

Scientists seem to have a lot of time on their hands if this is anything to go by, but hey ho, if you quite liked the idea of world domination while using a death ray, then this article is for you.

A single laser pointer is not anywhere near powerful enough to inflict a nasty end on one’s enemies due to having a power rating of 5-milliwatts. According to James Kakalios who is a physics professor at the University of Minnesota and the author of “The Physics of Superheroes”, what a job that is, makes the point that it’s in reality quite tough to kill a human being with lasers. But he did have a go at explaining it by stating that the most effective way to use a laser on a human is to “target the eye and thus melting the brain”, blimey, he must be fun at dinner parties.

So, how many lasers would you need? Well, according to Rebecca Thompson of the America Physical Society, you would need a laser at approximately 1KW, this equates to around 200,000 laser pointers. You would also need each laser pointer to focus through a lens on one spot with the aim of concentrating enough power. Every laser beam would also need to be in a “semi-circle with a radius of about 5.5”, so in theory you could buy 200,000 “laser pointers before mounting them on a Sphere with a radius of 5, 5 and aim them all through a lens.”

So yes, there you go, now you can in theory build your own death ray, well sort of, (quick disclaimer, eTeknix would advise that no one attempted to build their own death ray, we do want readers that are not melted.)

On a side note, below is a video that shows this concept being conveyed at an insane level, a Youtuber who goes by the username “styropyro” has built his own Laser shotgun which has a combined power of 40W, as you do. Guns are a problem within society, let’s hope no one decides to use laser weapons instead.

Glass 3D Printing Technique Is Stunning

Recent years have seen the technique of 3D printing evolve from a niche concept to a mainstream phenomenon, which in turn has opened up a whole new horizon for product manufacturing. If you thought this was exciting, then be prepared to be blown away as a new development centres on glass 3D printing.

MIT’s Mediated Matter Group has unveiled a first of its kind optically transparent glass printing process which goes by the name of G3DP, If you are wondering, it stands for “Glass 3D Printing”. In order for this process to become a reality, an additive manufacturing platform is applied with dual heated chambers. The first or upper chamber is a “Kiln Cartridge,” which operates at an intense heat of 1900°F, while the lower chamber works with the aim of heating before cooling in order to soften the glass.

This technique is not creating glass but rather building layers upon layers with pre-existing materials. Below is a video to convey this process in action, as you can see, it is compelling, mind-blowing and quite relaxing to watch, the building up of an object looks similar to a lava lamp which used to be popular.

https://vimeo.com/mediatedmattergroup/glass

The consistency looks to be incredibly hot syrup which is drizzled onto a sugary treat, yep I know, perhaps a poor observation but I have included a screenshot below which kind of backs it up, sort of.

It’s intricate and opens up a whole new set of possibilities for everyday applications in the near future, for now, if your feeling stressed and would like a few moments to relax, then by all means watch the video, aside from the fact that it is pretty amazing to view, it might also soothe you.

Thank You to Gizmodo for providing us with this information.

Watch: Solar-Powered Ray Can Melt Metal

Kevin Moore and Grant Reynolds from the Science Channel looked at one of their favourite childhood pastimes – burning things with the rays from a magnifying glass – and wanted to magnify it. They wanted to magnify the ray so much so that it could melt metal.

So how do you get that much heat? Pretty simple really. They used an old fresnel lens from a rear-projection TV in place of the magnifying glass, thus increasing the intensity of the light.

The effect, as you can see in the video, is pretty incredible.

Source: Gizmodo

Extremely Thin Coating Could Keep Buildings Cool During Summer

How do you keep buildings cool? Right now, there’s not much you can do apart from crank the air conditioning and close the blinds – but thanks to some researchers from Stanford University, we could see a new solution cool things down considerably.

The researchers are currently working on a new solution that could keep the inside of buildings much cooler, with a new super-thin coating that reflects up to 97% of sunlight, while at the same time radiating head from inside of the building. It’s win-win. A technique that has researchers calling it photonic radiative cooling. The material they have created is made from 8 layers and is just 1.8 micros thick (this is thinner than the thinnest sheet of aluminum foil). It is made from 7 layers of silicon dioxide and hafnium oxide, on top of a thin layer of silver.

It’s not perfect yet, as there’s the problem of getting it to transfer heat from the inside of the building, to its exterior coating. Once it is there, the material can expel it, but getting the heat tunnelled to the new material is the big hurdle right now. The second issue, is scaling. The researchers’ previous prototype is the size of a regular pizza, so it’s nowhere near as big as it needs to be to be used in a real-world scenario, especially being painted up and down an entire skyscraper. At least we know it’s coming, as this is something that could change the face, literally, of buildings in the future.

Source: TechSpot.

New Self Cooling Solar Panel Design Will Increase Efficiency

The last thing that comes into my mind when thinking about solar panels is how they are cooled, after all they are designed to have the sun shining on them for 65% of the day every day. Solar power cells need to stay relatively cool for the sake of both efficiency and longevity, but active cooling (like ventilation) isn’t practical; it’s expensive, and may block the very rays the cells are supposed to collect, which defeats the point of a solar panel all together.

Now, very clever researchers at Stanford University have created a new form of Solar Cell, one that cools itself without needing additional help. The new design consists of placing very small cone and pyramid shapes into the collector’s silica surface, bouncing hot infrared wavelengths away whilst letting in the visible light that generates the most energy, which is a win win if you ask me.

Scientists say that the results are very nearly ideal, the solar panel takes in more energy whilst reflecting most of the heat that hit it, prolonging the panels lifespan and cost efficiency. The team at Stanford University have a long way to go yet, including actual outdoor testing, but they see this new design hitting a commercial level in the not so distant future.

Thanks to Engadget for supplying us with this information.

Images courtesy of Engadget.

Forget the T-800, MIT and Google’s Boston Dynamics Are Said To Work on T-1000 Robots

There have been talk of future robots resembling the T-800 model from the Terminator series for some time now. Yet, no company has even arrived close to a design, yet alone a prototype of such a robot. While we won’t see any T-800’s running around anytime soon, we might see some versions similar to the T-1000. At least that is what MIT and Google’s Boston Dynamics are aiming to build.

Reports say that a team at MIT has discovered how to make a phase-changing material composed out of a mixture of wax and foam, having it change states from hard to soft at any given time. The researchers even state that thanks to the cheap materials and easy-to-make mixture, it can be used in a variety of robotics, spanning from common autonomous vacuum cleaners to high-tech advanced and complex robots.

The material has been stated to be the work of Anette Hosoi, a mechanical engineer and applied mathematics professor. She and her team, including her former graduate student Nadia Cheng, stated that the material could be used in a variety of fields, such as medical robots that can deform and change shape in order to navigate internal organs and vessels to perform delicate surgery. Other uses include rescue robots, having to navigate through collapsed structures in order to find and rescue survivors.

While the MIT has developed the material, it is said that Boston Dynamics is in charge of making the entire project, having it initially designed to contribute to Darpa’s Chemical Robots program aimed at developing robots with octopus-like abilities that are able to squeeze into small spaces. Therefore, the engineering team came up with the wax and foam idea, having the wax heated up with current running through a wire in the structure in order to make it malleable. A bonus to this technique is the material’s ability to ‘repair’ itself.

Having the wax material heated up, all deformations suffered while in the hardened state are said to repair themselves when in the soft state, just like the T-1000 robot from the Terminator movies, having the material recover from surface and even deeper damage. The researchers are said to now focus on finding a new material to replace the wax, having solder as a strong candidate. If the latter will prove to be true, then T-1000 models are not far away.

Thank you TechCrunch for providing us with this information
Image courtesy of TechCrunch

Two New World Records Broken With The ASRock Z97 OC Formula

It seems that ASRock’s latest motherboard, the ASRock Z97 OC Formula, was designed to break one world record after another. John Lam, a professional overclocker from HKEPC OC, has apparently used the motherboard and achieved what has been previously dubbed as ‘impossible’.

John has used the ASRock Z97 OC Formula along with the Intel Core i7-4770K CPU and overclocked the processor to an astonishing 7181.23 MHz, thus ranking as the world’s number #1 at HWBOT.org. However, John apparently was not satisfied with the world record. Having the same motherboard and processor combination, he also managed to achieve another world record, scoring 1601 marks in Intel XTU, giving a new definition of CPU overclocking.

People might be wondering how this was possible. The answer seems to lie in the motherboard itself, having it be designed and tuned by legendary overclocker Nick Shih. This is why the ASRock Z97 OC Formula comes with “Super Alloy Technology”, which includes XXL Aluminium Alloy heatsink for fast heat dissipation, Premium Alloy Choke used to largely lower working temperature, Dual-Stack MOSFET contributing to a more efficient CPU Vcore power and NexFET MOSFET, providing DRAM power more efficiently and resistance against electrostatic discharge of up to 15 KV.

Besides the Super Alloy Technology, the ASRock Z97 OC Formula also contains 4 Phase Memory Power design, Multiple FIlter Cap, Hi-Density Power Connectors, 12 Phase CPU Power design, 8 Layer PCB, four 2oz copper, and the list just goes on and on. In addition to the latter, the BIOS also features Jumbo V technology, allowing overclockers to select the most optimal settings for extreme overclocking.


Summing it all up, ASRock has just proved that the company has a beast amongst motherboards, specially designed by overclockers and dedicated to overclockers and overclocking. Therefore, if anyone would like to test his or her overclocking skills to the limit and does not know what motherboard to use, the ASRock Z97 OC Formula could be the answer.

Thank you TechPowerUp for providing us with this information
Images courtesy of TechPowerUp

Two Singapore Based Teams Create Heat Cloaking Device

Cloaking devices have always been a subject up for debate, either shape cloaking, thermal cloaking or any other type of cloaking device. Apparently, thermal cloaking has been a subject more people were interested in, and even brought forth from the imaginary realm to the real world.

Two teams based in Singapore have allegedly created two different types of thermal cloaking devices. Scientists have been fiddling with ways to cloak things for some time, and found out that microwaves can be bent easily. From there, light bending and infrared radiation, as well as sound, were the main topic in terms of testing and creating devices for bending the latter and devise cloaking devices.

Based on these studies, the two Singapore research teams applied the study on heat. Although heat is not a wave media such as the ones previously mentioned, they have stated that heat as well can be cloaked under certain circumstances. The idea behind cloaking heat is to create an environment where heat diffusion does not occur into an object placed into that environment. Instead, like wave cloaking, the heat is caused to stray from its normal path and move around the object instead of into it.

The first team created a heat cloak by binding strips of metal and polystyrene together and then placing the result inside of a block made of thermal conducting material. The arrangement allowed for thermal cloaking of an aluminium cylinder placed inside. The second team created their device by trapping a pocket of air inside a block made of stainless steel, having the air pocket was lined with copper. An object placed inside the air pocket was heat cloaked.

Both teams do not currently have a specific application in mind for their heat cloaking device, but suggest heat cloaking might be useful for managing heat in electronic circuits. One such application might be inside of cell phones as way to prevent batteries from overheating.

Thank you Phys.org for providing us with this information