World’s First Smog Filtering Tower Is A Step Forward For Clean Air Tech

An air purifier is considered to be a common household appliance and is certainly not considered to be exciting; a seven metre (22ft) tall smog filtering tower on the other hand could potentially be a revolutionary step forward for clean air technology.

This giant ‘Honey I blew up an appliance’ is situated in The Dutch city of Rotterdam and has been imagined by Bob Ursem, a nano particles expert and Co-designed by Dutch artist Daan Roosegaarde. The inner workings allow the skyscraper to “suck in dirty air like a giant vacuum cleaner, Ion technology then filters it, before returning bubbles of smog-free air through the tower’s vents”. The process is very efficient which allows the structure to clean 30,000 cubic metres of air every hour.

Testing in outdoor environments showed the filter was able to clean the air by 60%, to quantify this the measurements accounted for the share of nano particles removed.

The applications behind such a feat could in theory lead to implementations in countries which trade a booming economy for air quality, which is perfectly illustrated by the polluted smog in China where health warnings are a daily occurrence. A startling illustration of the scale of China’s pollution lies in the shutting of hundreds of factories and the removal of 5 million cars from the road in preparation for a parade, which saw the emergence of blue skies instead of dangerous toxic air.

There are limitations however, relying on technology as the sole response to an ever warming and toxic world is foolish, the root causes need to be tackled, which includes a reduction in pollution from manufacturing, transport and an end to the butchery of the Amazon Rainforest.

Furthermore, the filters which have been developed range from €1,600 (£1155.96) to more than €118,000 (£85,251.86), the developers of this tech have not disclosed the exact figure for the tower, but one would have thought it would be very costly.

A fascinating website by the name of the “world air quality index” provides an extensive data set on the levels of air pollution within many parts of the world, if you have a spare moment, it’s worth a look.

Thank you theguardian and waqi for providing us with this information.

NVIDIA Just Made Its PhysX Source Code Free

‘Free’ looks like the word everyone is using recently when it comes to technology. After we saw Epic make its Unreal Engine 4 available for free, it now looks like NVIDIA is taking the same approach with its PhysX technology by giving away its source code for free.

While some bits of the PhysX technology were available for free on Windows, the developer now has given the full source code, which means that it will include the PhysX Clothing and PhysX Destruction features.

By having the full source code free and available for anyone out there, developers will be able to take full advantage of this world-class physics effect in their games, as well as speed up the adoption of the technology in future games.

Unreal Engine 4 itself has the Clothing and Destruction technologies integrated into the engine. However, developers can now add the technology in their own game engines, should they choose not to use the UE4 engine.

The aforementioned technology has been seen in titles such as Batman: Arkham Asylum, Batman: Arkham City, Bioshock Infinite, Borderlands 2, Lords of the Fallen, Monster Hunter Online, Daylight, as well as the upcoming title, The Witcher 3.

All PhysX technologies can be found in the NVIDIA GameWorks library, including the latest version of PhysX, namely 3.3.3. It is said that the latter version brings improved stability and performance, along with features such as constrained rigid body dynamics, collision detection, scene queries, character controller, particles, vehicles and much more.

The GameWorks library can be found on GitHub and accessed via the NVIDIA GameWorks Developer Program.

Thank you Guru3D for providing us with this information

Scientists Have Simulated a Time Travel Scenario… But Only with Photons

Time travel is a thing for science fiction, a theory that has been debated for a long time, but without any physical proof of it being possible. Scientific advancements and human curiosity however tends to take imagination to the next level. This is the case of a few scientists from University of Queensland, where they managed to successfully simulate quantum particles travelling through time, helping them understand some inexplicable aspects of modern physics.

The scientist state that time travel stands between two of the most successful yet inexplicable physical theories, which are Einstein’s general relativity and quantum mechanics. While the first is described as viewing the world at a very large-scale full of stars and galaxies, the other describes it as very small, at a scale of atoms and molecules.

“The properties of quantum particles are ‘fuzzy’ or uncertain to start with, so this gives them enough wiggle room to avoid inconsistent time travel situations,” UQ’s Tim Ralph explains. “Our study provides insights into where and how nature might behave differently from what our theories predict.” These include the violation of Heisenberg’s uncertainty principle, cracking of quantum cryptography, and perfect cloning of quantum states.

What is known so far is the fact that time speeds up and slows down depending on how fast an object is moving relative to another object, having Einstein’s theory suggest that traveling back in time would require following a space-time path that returns to the same point in space, however at an earlier time.

The theory described above is said to be called a closed timelike curve, having the author state that the paradox of time travel can be solved in a quantum regime. The principle works by having a quantum particle travelling through a wormhole back in time and returning to the same location at an a previous time.

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