Electric Planes

For the purpose of cleaning up the aviation sector, scientists funded by NASA are working on developing electric planes powered by cryogenically-liquefied hydrogen fuel. The scientists dealing with this project are from the University of Illinois. Their plan is to use technology that can revolutionize the entire aviation sector. For this purpose, these scientists have been successful in collecting funding of $6 million over three years from NASA.

What is an electric plane?

An electric aircraft is an aircraft that is powered by electric motors. This electricity may be in the form of power cables, batteries, solar cells, power beaming, fuel cells or ultra-capacitors.

In 2010, NASA initially proposed the idea and introduced the concept of NASA Puffin, for vertical takeoff and landing (VTOL) vehicles. Since then, there have been many projects financed by the European Commission for this purpose. NEAT (NASA Electric Aircraft Testbed), is a testbed in Plum Brook Station, which is used for the development, design and assembling of electrical aircraft systems. Furthermore, in order to improve electric-propulsion components, NASA grants NRA (NASA Research Agreements), which will be finished by 2019.

X-57 Maxwell is a development by NASA to showcase the technology used to eliminate noise, fuel use and emissions. NASA tested this first propulsion technology consisting of 14 electric motors turning propellers, all of which were connected to an extraordinarily designed wing. Through this research and invention, NASA will prove that using electrical planes will help in creating planes that are efficient, quieter and more environmentally friendly. Furthermore, there will be many other advantages too. X-57 Maxwell is a development that will be using batteries, which reduce the emission of carbon, and demonstrated how it could result in reducing demand for lead-based carbon fuel in the aviation sector.

It is only a matter of time, but electric power will change the way the aviation industry works. We humans never think for the long-term. NASA is currently working on the problem. However, there is one limiting factor in this program, which is the battery. Battery development is not something that the current NASA program is looking at. Battery development will be risky, complex and costly. The main aim of NASA is to save the world by presenting this amazing invention. This is the reason why the space agency is putting so much funding behind this project, and invent the very first electric aircraft. Scientists from the University of Illinois are looking for options to use liquid hydrogen fuel cells for the purpose of powering the aircraft.

If successful, a revolution in the aircraft industry is on its way.

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Hologram Campaigning

In 1977, a science fiction adventure called Star Wars was released. The epic was met with unprecedented anticipation and fanfare. The general populace and media alike were fascinated by the concepts depicted in the movie.

One of its most famous scenes involved a princess leading a rebellion who records a distress signal in the form of a holographic message. At the time, it felt like a distant and innovative concept. However, a few decades later, it has become a reality.

Even politicians are relying on holograms to contest elections. With the United States elections of 2020 only eighteen months away, candidates have already incorporated holograms into their campaigns.

Joko Widodo

One of the highest profile cases of a politician using holographic images to generate buzz is that of President Joko Widodo of Indonesia. Widodo has used a hologram to beam himself to areas and voters in key regions in anticipation of the election.

As Indonesia is the third largest democracy in the world and with elections fast approaching, Widodo and Ma’ruf, his vice presidential candidate, began projecting three dimensional images at campaign rallies. This allowed them to reach their followers in various hard to reach regions of the country and overcome stringent time constraints as well.

As more than 190 million voters were registered to participate in the elections, time was of the essence and through hologram campaigning, Widodo was able to deliver his message to more prospective followers.

The life size hologram was simply moved from one place to another across Indonesia as voting day grew closer. Widodo is not the only high profile example of a politician banking on the power of holographic images to reach his followers. Others include Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

As Widodo shuttled around the archipelago, the 57-year-old tactics seemed to have paid dividends, since the latest polls have shown that Widodo and party held a lead over their rivals.

Narendra Modi

Modi, the incumbent Prime Minister of the largest democracy in the world, solved the conundrum of how to reach the maximum number of people all the way back in 2014. The BJP leader used holograms to address rallies across India and convey his message to the largest electorate on the planet.

Indian voting can typically last longer than a month which means that campaigning can become frantic at times. However, Modi successfully used the aid of holographic images to address various rallies simultaneously.

Once he emerged victorious in the aftermath of the elections, experts lauded Modi for pioneering the use of holograms in the country and using them to great effect. In a vast country such as India, embracing the technology meant that Modi was able to reach remote villages and garner greater support for his cause.

These two prominent examples show that hologram campaigning is no longer just a concept depicted in science fiction, but has become a reality.

Drone Warfare

You may have heard of drones being used at weddings and ceremonies to capture the most memorable moments. You may have even come across news of drones being used to deliver supplies to those in need.

Combat Device

However, there is another major application of drones. Also called Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV), drones are frequently used in combat. Typically, these combat machines are used to carry missiles and execute strikes.

Drones are usually under human control in real time, although the level of autonomy can vary from one case to another. They are beneficial for combatants because no pilot is on board, which means there is no collateral or casualties if the drone is shot down.

In principle, the operator runs the drone from a remote location. The equipment that a pilot would utilise is not needed, which means that the drone is considerably lighter than a manned vehicle would be.

The United States, Israel and China are generally considered as industry leaders when it comes to drone technology and the art of implementing them in warfare.

History of Drones

Although it may seem that drones have come to the fore in recent years, their first use can be traced all the way back to the 19th century, when Austrians employed hot air balloons to bomb Italian cities without using pilots.

As soon as the Wright brother made a significant breakthrough and pioneered the first aircraft, work on pilotless planes began in earnest. While remote controlled planes were in development during the First World War in 1914 and 1918, unmanned vehicles were also being researched extensively.

It was at that time that the term drone was being thrown around. The United Kingdom created the Queen Bee, which was a plane that was regulated using a radio from the ground. This vehicle was designed for target practice, similar to most unmanned appliances at the time.

In the decades following the Second World War, countries realised the need for innovation and making headway in combat devices. It was in the second half of the 20th century that drone technology witnessed a revolution of sorts.

First, it was the Israeli aviation team of the 70’s that established an aircraft which operated similar to how a glider would. This unmanned vehicle was capable of flying for more than 24 hours at a stretch. This became the basis of drones and even to this day, these vehicles take inspiration from the design produced by Israel.

The next advancement came in the 90’s when transmitters were attached to drones. This meant that footage could be recorded and transmitted to operators on the ground. This was used to devastating effect by NATO commanders and expedited the signing of the Dayton peace accords.

Another imperative improvement was made at the turn of the century by the United States once again. They were able to fasten missiles to drones as the CIA began their pursuit of Osama Bin Laden, the most wanted man on the planet at the time.

Quantum Computing – The Next Big Revolution

From classical computers to the modern day mobile and VR era, science and technology have completely revolutionized the world like never before. And it seems to be just the beginning. The world is about to witness the next big revolution in technology with Quantum Computing.

Where do we stand when it comes to understanding it?

Researchers and scientists from all over the world have thoroughly explored and realized the exceptional computing capabilities of this discrete quantity of energy. Leading technology companies namely, IBM, Google, and several others are striving to introduce a whole new era of quantum-based computers. IBM has unveiled “System One” and shared its vision to bring this unique invention to the commercial market.

How does Quantum Computing work?

In order to draw a better understanding of this whole new technology, one has to understand the concept of “Qubits” which is similar to “Bits” in classical computing. Just like classical computing relies on the binary system that builds bits, Quantum computing relies on Qubits. These super-conducting electrons – a type of subatomic particle – enable a multilayer circuit to work.

The Quantum Leap and Artificial Intelligence

In an era where Artificial Intelligence can analyze and break down the data using classical computing, “System One” is expecting to give an unbelievable boost to AI with Quantum Computing. It looks like IBM and many other renowned names in the field of science and technology have started to believe Quantum Computing as a dream for the “not too distant future” of the modern day world.

What are the Current Challenges?

According to the researchers, Quantum Computing can add great value to the existing concept of Artificial Intelligence by enabling it to extract restrained patterns within huge datasets. According to IBM scientists, they aim to build a strong and truly capable Quantum Machine which can outpace any classical computer when it comes to machine learning tasks.

Most of the industry experts and scientists have concluded that Quantum Computing may contribute extensively to the area of medical research and climate change but will not be sophisticated enough to resolve the existing scientific mysteries.

On the other hand, scientists and researchers are still striving to predict the possible uses of Quantum Computing. Moreover, they are still unclear about patterns and data-centric discoveries they should look for.

Conclusion

Leading companies are trying new and unique ways to use quantum computing and find out how it can aid and extend the various capabilities of classic computing. Researchers have concluded that the idea of Quantum Computing can benefit several diverse industries across the world which could include healthcare, climate, finance, energy and a lot more. Keeping this in view, it cannot be denied that Quantum Computing is about to become the future of today’s world while bringing exceptional technological leaps in other areas of research and development.

Algorithm Control

In the modern day world of high-end technology and futuristic inventions, recognizing the role of algorithms is of paramount importance. From classical computers and gaming consoles to modern day mobile technology, artificial intelligence, cloud computing, and big data, it is the algorithm that has made it possible for us to come across these fantastic inventions.

While taking a brief outlook of how these technologies began and consider the rising demands of the end users, it is quite evident that mankind has used technology as a vital tool to achieve greater ease and comfort, but it seems like Algorithms have started to control our lives.

Let’s take a look at why algorithm control has become one of the most trending topics across the global IT sector.

Algorithms Now Run Several Industries

It cannot be denied that modern-day systems and software are completely backed by high-end computing and information technology which is solely based on Algorithms. From the world’s most famous search engine Google to a more diversified set of domains such as stocks, finance, investments, marketing, engineering, and many more. According to most of the industry analysts and experts, the use of the algorithm is now starting to control our lives.

Can It Be Blindly Trusted?

Putting blind trust on algorithms and then encountering its adverse repercussions has become one of the most prominent and widely discussed topics among researchers and industry analysts.

According to them, putting greater trust in today’s algorithm based technologies and systems result in severe market crashes. Most of the researchers have found that dependency upon computing, data, and algorithms have made the entire finance industry its primary dependent. From banks and financial institutions to stocks and shares, everything is now completely controlled by algorithm-based systems and software which is a blessing but at the same time a threat to skyrocketing industry progress.

Human Vs Machines

We cannot deny that today’s fast-paced digital marketplaces and global businesses run on machines that have already decreased the need for excessive manpower. It was the biggest economic change the world has ever experienced and appears not to be ending any time soon if data and algorithms continue to influence the domain of technology.

Findings

The modern world relies completely on exchanging capital for labor which creates economic growth and it is indeed one of the biggest concern that today’s technological leaps are rapidly decreasing the need for labor.

Industry critics and analysts have supported the claim that data and algorithms will continue to transform the shape of today’s world, and to a greater extent our near future.

Turning Back Time

We have all heard about “Time Travel” in films and books and the concept of traveling into the future. But, scientists are now focused on the real possibility of going back into the time.

The Latest Scientific Development

Although it sounds like a strange concept modern-day scientists are striving to make time travel a reality by using Quantum Computing – a completely new idea and concept of computing which relies on “Qubits” instead of “bits” in classical computing technology.

After reviewing today’s research and development in the area of modern-day technology, some Russian scientists have claimed that they have actually rolled back the flow of time in a Quantum Computing based experiment.

Findings from the Experiment

According to the research published on the journal Nature Scientific Reports by Gordey Lesovik, a quantum physicist at the Moscow Institute of Physics and Technology, he has created an artificial state that is capable of evolving in contrast to the thermodynamic arrow of time; however, the discovery is not at all capable of transforming its shape into a time machine.

Lesovik’s team has conducted numerous experiments to reverse time on a single electron programmed quantum system. Compared to the three-qubits system that is more complex and resulted in only 49% succession in the objective, they found it easier to achieve an unbelievable 85% of succession towards their desired goal with a two-qubit system.

It is imperative to understand that quantum computing has nothing to do with time traveling, but everything is currently unclear due to a lack of supporting arguments and evidence. Nevertheless, it is surprising to know that Russian scientists have made the impossible happen.

The majority of scientists, researchers, and analysts have concluded that an immense amount of comprehensive research and development is needed to achieve the desired effect from quantum computing. On the other hand, scientists continue to face several limitations to study and explore more about this subatomic discovery.

While looking at the current span of knowledge that we have about quantum physics and quantum computing, we have not yet stepped into an era where we are able to build a time machine for humans, but scientists from all over the world consider it a huge leap forward that will help them further explore quantum computing and the possibilities it may bring.