[March 31] Interesting Things I Learnt This Week

 1. MRI Headphones - This is an interesting post about how MRI Headphones work. During MRI normal headphones cant be used at they use metal and have magnets. So there is a simple solution for that, have electronics outside and audio piped through a tubing. 

My Take: When I first read about it, I was blown over by the fact that there were headphones for MRI. I have never seen one but then when I read the post about how and why it works, its seems like a no brainer. Its a simple elegant solution which has been invented because of the constraints on the system.


2. How many natural satellites does Earth have : There has been multiple discussion and articles on it. Earth has one permanent moon, but many other objects are temporarily captured in Earth’s orbit. These temporary moons are called minimoons, quasi-satellites, or ghost moons. Some are asteroids that get caught in Earth’s gravity for a short time. Others are pulled in by the sun’s gravity and follow a similar path to Earth.

My Take: While space resource acquisition is a fascinating topic, current technology limits detection of smaller objects. Advancements in instrumentation will undoubtedly expand our knowledge of these celestial bodies, potentially enabling responsible extraction of valuable resources to minimize Earth's environmental impact or the establishment of extraterrestrial refueling stations.


3. Radiative Cooling and Solar Power generation : This study presents a promising new approach for simultaneously generating solar power and achieving cooling, potentially leading to significant improvements in solar energy harvesting.

My Take: The potential for improved solar cell efficiency through temperature control using a selective heat-filtering glass layer warrants further investigation. Similar technologies are already employed in building facades to achieve thermal comfort.  Implementation of such a system could significantly enhance power generation in India, contingent upon a cost-effective, readily available, and durable glass solution.


4. KSTAR :  The South Korean fusion reactor, is getting closer to sustained fusion energy. Previously holding 100 million degree plasma for 30 seconds, a tungsten upgrade will extend that time 10x by 2026. This longer confinement is key for generating more energy than used for heating. KSTAR's research aids the ITER project, another major fusion experiment. Tungsten is crucial as it prevents plasma particles from sticking to the reactor, unlike previous carbon. By holding plasma for longer, KSTAR is on track to be a leader in developing clean fusion energy.

My Take: This is an amazing milestone, we need to go a lot further to make it a viable source of electricity. I hope we get rid of all the fossil fuels and get these pollution free options viable. The energy need for us is going to only rise and I hope this does not fall into the polluting category.

 

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