Hydrogen Revolution…

•April 2, 2009 • 2 Comments

              Futurology is a risky science. Some people don’t even consider it as a science. Having said that, sometimes it’s not a bad idea to let your minds free and look at the possible outcomes of our most recent discoveries as well as glancing at the windows of future. One example of these recent discoveries is Hydrogen Energy. Here is a good place to clarify the fact that Hydrogen Energy can refer to both nuclear type as well as chemical type.
               Hydrogen energy is currently being used in lunching telecommunication satellites, power generators and some vehicles. Since this type of energy is incredibly efficient and clean, comparing to fossil fuels, more and more people are getting attracted to it. According to Energy Information Administration, by 2020 we will be able to walk into an automobile dealer and drive away in an affordable hydrogen-powered car(Energy Information Administration). By 2025 this type of energy will become so common that it will replace all gas stations with its own stations. As a result, the number of cars on roads will increase which will lead to more traffic and it surely will require the government to spend more money on highway projects as well as faster public transportation projects. Long distance transportations will become so cheap and it will enable every person to travel all around the world at a very low cost which will lead to more tourism for almost every country just as railroad and steam engine did in 1800’s*. Tourists bring foreign money into countries which will improve the economics of that country which as a result will improve the quality of life of every person and family. The cost of electricity will decrease dramatically. Also environmentalists no longer have to worry about the emission of Co2 by fossil fuels. The only emission of burning Hydrogen is water. A decrease in the cost of energy will attract more people to investing in industry. Since energy is the key to advanced civilization, an increase in the sources of energy accessible to humans as well as discoveries of new types of energy can cause many technological breakthroughs; for example the discovery of electricity followed by the inventions of devices powered by electricity**. We can summarize this paragraph in the following formula: Cheaper Energy =More Technological discoveries= More Consumption = Better Life Quality.
                Now let’s look at the nuclear side of Hydrogen energy. Currently there are eight countries that have nuclear weapon capability. However the number of countries that are using nuclear energy as a green energy exceeds that number. Jonathon Schell, in his watershed book ‘The Fate of the Earth’, points out how perilously close we have come to mutual annihilation. There are a considerable number of countries that are seeking nuclear energy. Many of these countries will achieve nuclear bombs by 2030 which will increase the danger of nuclear proliferation. The discovery of element 92 upsets the balance between the slow, steady rise of the cohesive social unit and its technological development. The releasing of the nuclear energy dwarfs chemical explosives by a factor of a million( Kaku, Michio). That basically means that only a few nuclear bombs give enough energy to a person to demolish humane race. The question that arises is whether we are all at a comprehensible social stage to realize the peril of global nuclear accessibility. Surely, as accessibility to nuclear energy increases more and more strict laws should be applied to the way it’s going to be used. Atomic bombs were already used in World War II and we all know how many innocent people were killed as a result. Just imagine how devastating and rueful the next world war could be.
               Now let’s illustrate the positive possible outcomes of Hydrogen Energy (Nuclear Type). As hydrogen energy becomes more and more popular, it becomes cheaper. Hydrogen energy will be used in laptops, cell phones, vehicles, home appliances and etc. Basically Hydrogen energy will dominate every home, machine and device. All devices powered by Hydrogen will be more efficient and users barely have to be worried about charging them. Since 75% of all the matter in our universe is Hydrogen, we no longer have to be worried about how much energy we consume and how we consume it. In future people will be able to convert sea waters directly to energy. A vehicle will be able to travel across America with only one gallon of sea water. We might even be able to run our electronic devices by water. When they are run out of battery, we just have to fill up the tiny tank with water. In countries with high humidity, you don’t even need to charge up your devices. The machines will convert the water molecules in the air to electricity. What a wonderful world it will be …

  -* For more information refer to paragraph 4 from, https://am35.wordpress.com/2009/03/19/the-technological-development-of-hydrogen-energy-through-history/

  -** For more information refer to paragraph 5 from, https://am35.wordpress.com/2009/03/19/the-technological-development-of-hydrogen-energy-through-history/

References:

Energy Information Administration.(August 2008). The Impact of Increased Use of Hydrogen on Petroleum Consumption and Carbon Dioxide Emissions. Retrieved March 29, 2009 from, http://www.eia.doe.gov/kids/energyfacts/sources/IntermediateHydrogen.html#HydrogenFuture
Kaku Michio.(1994). Hyperspace : a scientific odyssey through parallel universes, time warps, and the 10th dimension. ( chapter 9,pg 295-296). New York : Oxford University Press.
Schell, Jonathon.(2000). The Fate of the Earth. The Second Death (pg. 111-115). California: Stanford University Press.

Fictional Facebook Profile ( Thomas Edison) …

•March 26, 2009 • Leave a Comment

I researched about the personality, work history, achievements and social life of my historical figure (Thomas Edison) and I tried to fit them in a Facebook profile. Facebook allows users to include information about their interests, favorite quotes, activities, hobbies, education and some personal information such as date of birth, relationship status and etc. This useful feature of Facebook enabled me to sort my information and categorize them very well. I also tried to come up with some notes or conversations (wall posts) that could happen between him and other significant figures in that time as well as present. I also found some of the most important people in my historical figure’s life and put them in his friends list.

The Technological Development of [Hydrogen] Energy Through History

•March 19, 2009 • 4 Comments

Since Hydrogen Energy is a new type of energy source and its history doesn’t go back more than one hundred years ago, a brief history of other types of energy sources will be illustrated as well as their effects on societies and how they evolved from one type to another.

 

Looking at the history of energy takes us far back to the time when humans discovered fire.Wilhelm Oswald in his book, The Modern Theory of Energetics, argues that energy is the key to advance civilization. Indeed energy plays an essential role in forming civilized cities and there is an inextricable connection between the variety of sources of energy accessible to a society and how fast that society grows.

 

It is almost impossible to say when fossil fuels where used for the first time. But this type of energy source has been around since hundreds and hundreds of years ago and it is still the most important and crucial source of energy. After the industrial revolution the demand for fossil fuels to consume at factories and also asRefinery a raw material increased dramatically. There have been enormous political tensions between oil producing countries (especially in Middle East) and The United States as well as some European and Asian countries. Billions of dollars have been spent on wars with the purpose of invading oil producing countries (i.e. Iraq). Thousands of people have lost homes and were killed as a result of those wars.  Because of the amount of pollution that is emitted by burning fossil fuels and the limited access  to this type of energy, alternative sources of energy are replacing fossil fuels really quickly(for example hydrogen energy, electricity, and etc).

 

A defunct source of energy which was widely being used in the eighteenth century is steam. Even though steam power is generated by burning coal, coal is not credited for this type of energy. The modified version of Thomas Savery and Thomas Newcomen’s  steam engine is James Watt’s steam engine which Steam_engine1extended the utilizations of steam engine from mining to manufacturing and transportation(All Sands).The synergy of steam engines, coal and iron mining, led to incorporating of steam engine in agriculture, manufacturing, and transportation(i.e. railroad). Doubtlessly, the invention of steam engine and its vast utilizations was one of the first sparks of the industrial revolution. The changes that occurred as the outcomes of steam engine marked the transition from an agricultural society to an industrial one even though steam engine caused enormous improvements in agriculture (steam engines were used as water pumps which made it possible to harvest lands located away from water). The first practical use of steam engine was in mining which led to a huge increase in production of raw materials such as iron, copper and etc. As a result, many factories and industrial towns were formed. As industrial cities continued to form and expand, many people who were seeking high paying jobs, moved to urban accommodations. Consequently railroads were built to extend the market for manufactured foods. Not to mention that by that time, almost all locomotives and ships were powered by steam. Railroads were also a great chance for people to immigrate to the different parts of continents which was the beginning of multiculturalism. Thus, it is very clear that steam engine (energy) had incredible effects on every aspect of human lives.

 

As the industrial revolution continued to dominate many and many countries, people were introduced to many sciences and as a result many scientific discoveries were achieved. The discovery of electricity was a new beginning for another industrial and technological blossom. In 1831 electric energy was first used to run an electric motor by Michael Faraday(The Great Idea Finder). Electricity with its wide potential led to many great inventions such as radio communication devices, generators, lamps (incandescent light bulb) and etc. Since then, the news of potentials and advantages of this type of clean energy spread over the whole world and it started to replace fossil fuels. Also electromagnetism enabled us to use electric generators in order to convert wind and tidal energy into electric energy. Also, telecommunication devices which are all outcomElectricityes of electricity (and they also run on electricity) turned our isolated and dark world into a world of information and instance communication. Even after almost 180 years, we are still witnessing the impacts of electricity. Electricity is vital to our everyday lives.New laws and policies had to be made regarding the use of it. Long cables were to be placed all over the countries. New branches of science were created. The overall quality of human’s lives was improved significantly and it is still improving really fast and as we can see today, a minute without this precious energy could be really disastrous for any country.

 

Hydrogen energy can be traced to a technical report from the University of Michigan in 1970 (Jones). Even though Hydrogen energy is not as common as fossil fuels but its growth rate is about 10% per yearHydrogen Energy( University of Leeds). Since the efficiency of Hydrogen Energy is higher than fossil fuels, this type of energy is being used to lunch satellites as well as running vehicles. This could result in an increase in the number of satellites being lunched each year. Also environmentalists really appreciate this type of energy because it emits less pollution. Hydrogen energy is now available at some gas stations as well. Hydrogen energy as a great alternative energy could boost a country’s economy simply by reducing its dependency on oil.

 

Looking at how our world has evolved through hundreds of years just with the help of the sources of energy available to humans, takes us to a concise conclusion expressed in a form of an equation: energy=progress=civilization (Basalla, George).

 

 

Sources:

All Sands. (2008). All sands. Retrieved March 15, 2009, from http://www.allsands.com/potluck1/steamenginehi_uvb_gn.htm

Basalla, George, (1980) Energy and Civilization, in Science, Technology and the Human Prospect, Chauncey Starr, ed. (Pg 39-52). New York: Pergamon Press.

Jones, Lawrence W. ( 1970) Toward a liquid hydrogen fuel economy. University of Michigan engineering technical report UMR2320.

Oswald ,Wilhelm. The Modern Theory of Energetics. (1907). Ian Barbour, Harvey Brooks, Sanford Lakoff, and John Opie, Energy and American Values. (pg510-11). New York: Praeger Publishers.

 The Great Idea Finder. (2007) ideafinder. Retrieved March 14, 2009, from http://www.ideafinder.com/features/smallstep/electricity.htm

University of Leeds. (26 November 2007). Leeds researchers fuelling the ‘hydrogen economy’. Retrieved March 17, 2009, from

http://reporter.leeds.ac.uk/press_releases/current/biodiesel.htm

Online and Offline Public Spaces-Persistence

•March 14, 2009 • Leave a Comment

        According to Boyd’s principle of persistence in an online space, information is stored and accessible at any future date and usually completely out of our control. Google and its unlimited storage, stores archives of anything it indexes. Other sites, like archive.org, allow users to access archived sites and see the changes over time.

        In an actual physical space, such as the mezzanine in SFU Surrey, there is not the same kind of persistence. People move around the space, but there are usually no permanent traces of their actions and movements. Security cameras may capture activity and store it for a period of time, but due to space constraints, it is not kept forever.

        Other information may also persist for a short period of time in a physical space, such as information posted on the information board in the mezzanine, or the menu posted at Blenz. Also, the eyes and ears of those who work in the mezzanine (baristas, security personal,  bookstore workers, etc), record activity and they may keep their “memories” but this is not nearly as accurate as the precise archives found online. Memories also fade over time.

        Graffiti, too, is more permanent, as it may be a long time before it is removed or even discovered. It can be found in very discreet places which may go undiscovered.

        Perhaps the most permanent record of a physical space would be photos. Camera phones may record activity which is then posted on the internet (ie. Facebook), thus creating a permanent record.  Also a student artist who produces a picture of the mezzanine will always remain as a permanent record. Another permanent record of a person being in the mezzanine is the information stored in the database when a student accesses the computer lab by swiping their student cards.  In addition, the parking prohibition signs posted in the mezzanine will always be displayed since the Central City Mall will always enforce their parking regulations.

Team Members: Ali Madani, Kiet Luong, Timothy Arndt, Alexey Borisenko

Wetpaint – Wiki Research Project

•March 5, 2009 • Leave a Comment

Collecting the information gathered by each member of a group at one place is a clever way of communicationWetPrint which gives the opportunity to the members to improve the content and contemplate about the content. Wetpaint as a social publishing website enables us to record our information all at one place but at different categories/sections. Since all the members were able to edit any related page, we had the chance to look through the information to add more information or discard unwanted and unnecessary information. Also members are able to comment on each page which definitely helps us in improving our content. Wetpaint updates users if any member modifies a page, so all the members are up to date about the process of the work.

 

Since the whole class was acting as a group, it was very difficult to get everyone together to get started. Some people weren’t even participating while some were trying to come up with a way to split the class into smaller groups and give each sub-group a unique task.

Even after when information were gathered, it was very time consuming to proceed because we had to put all the pieces together which were written in different formats. Considering our class (with more than 30 students) I think it was almost impossible to finish the activity.

 

A research project produced by only one person(me) would be very different since, the style and the form are unique and consistent throughout the whole research (unlike a wiki research which could have different styles and forms since different people are involved in writing it). The depth of the research might not be as deep as the depth of a wiki research, because a wiki research project involves a group of people with different understanding levels about a certain topic as well as different points of views.

 

Hydrogen Energy/ Fuel

•February 12, 2009 • 8 Comments

 

Hydrogen Energy/Fuel

 

Hydrogen is the simplest element in the periodic table but its practical role in real world from our everydayh3 lives to lunching telecommunication satellites and spaceships are far beyond the understanding of normal people. The domain of hydrogen fuel is very vast and it is continuously dominating every industrial sector quickly and once it becomes well known and common, it will affect the economics, industry and environment of our country. Hydrogen fuel became technologically popular since a few decades ago.  This amazing element can undergo nuclear fusion to release an incredibly huge amount of energy with the least amount of pollution comparing to fossil fuels. Some primary utilizations of Hydrogen fuel are:

·         Generating Electricity in huge scalesh1

·         Green transportation

·         Hydrogen satellites

·         Hydrogen vehicles

·         Hydrogen bombs

According to IDRC Canada (The International Development Research Centre) it is necessary to get involvedliquid_hydrogen with developing countries in South America because of the advantages that Hydrogen fuel can create in both continents which are at the moment mostly environmentally. According to IDRC the number of vehicles on the road will reach 3.5 billion by 2050 which is a considerable increase comparing to 1996’s rate with 670 million vehicles. Thus shifting from fossil fuels to hydrogen fuels is definitely an admirable step toward decreasing air pollution and health related issues.( Mytelka, Lynn K, IDRC)

Hydrogen fuels are efficient. The only emission of Hydrogen burning is water vapor. A vehicle running on Hydrogen fuel travels twice as far as a vehicle which uses gasoline does, using the same amount of hydrogen as gasoline. (The reason is that hydrogen has the highest energy content /energy per unit of content)  (Alice, Love to Know)

Hydrogen is the most abundant element in our universe. Almost ¾ of all the matter in our universe is hydrogen_cyclehydrogen. Anywhere there is water, there exists hydrogen too. Even Shell Oil Company claims to have produced hydrogen. Considering Canada, there is the Atlantic Ocean at east and Pacific Ocean at west. Hydrogen is also a renewable energy source. As it was mentioned earlier, the only emission of burning hydrogen is water which again contains hydrogen.

Dependency on Hydrogen fuel can reduce dependency on foreign oil. With all these economic crisis, high oil price and political issues related to oil business specially in Middle East, it is very wise to focus more on alternative energy sources such as Hydrogen energy. If the government invests on hydrogen projects, researches and different ways to develop hydrogen fuels, we can save lots of money in future and escape from all sorts of issues related to rarity and high cost of oil. (Alternative Energy Resources)

According to Virtual Science Fair, there are some obstacles which influence the development of hydrogen vehicles such as “hydrogen storage, the high reactivity of hydrogen, the cost and methods of hydrogen fuel hproduction, consumer demand and the cost of changing the infrastructure to accommodate hydrogen vehicles.” However, the advantages of this alternative source of energy are so great that those obstacles in no ways can cast any despairing shadow on development of this energy source. (Virtual Science Fair)

Hydrogen energy/fuel definitely has positive effects on nature, economy, politics and the living quality of a society.  It might be costly in the beginning to develop this efficient and clean source of energy but in future it will benefit us in many ways. Spending a little more time and more money on this project can put the mentioned obstacles out of the way and put a nation in a brighter and more advanced stage, opening doors to further technological breakthroughs.

There are other sources of energy that are competitors of Hydrogen energy and are cheaper and more accessible but less efficient such as solar energy, or for example new generation batteries which their efficiency is yet to be improved. Another source of energy that might overcome Hydrogen energy is nuclear energy which is way powerful and efficient than Hydrogen energy. Even though we are not at a technological level to develop its applications beyond the current ones but in future it will doubtlessly dominate many industrial sectors and even individuals.

 There is also a concern about Hydrogen energy that  is definitely worth mentioning. Theoretical physicist Michio Kaku in his book ‘Hyperspace’ mentions his fear of public accessibility to powerful energy sources such as Hydrogen energy. He suggests that at some point in future, when using hydrogen or nuclear energies are so common that even a normal man can understand fundamentals of fusion and energy generators, it is possible that our planet faces a very unsafe and unstable situation. Just imagine how destructive and bloody this green energy can become (Hydrogen or nuclear bombs) if there comes a conflict between some countries, political groups or some individuals (including terrorists)(Kaku, Michio, Hyperspace). Fortunately we are far behind that point, and at the moment we shall focus on how to develop this great alternative source of energy in order to reduce pollutions, increase the efficiency of our machines, improving our economic and the quality of our lives.


 

Sources:

Alice.( 2007, September 17). The Advantages of Hydrogen Fuel. Love to Know. Retrieved February 9,2009, from  http://greenliving.lovetoknow.com/The_Advantages_of_Hydrogen_Fuel

Alternative Energy Resources.(2008 ) . Hydrogen Fuel Advantages – The Reason for Further Research. Alternative Energy Resources .Retrieved February 9, 2009, from 

http://www.alternative-energy-resources.net/hydrogen-fuel-advantages.html

Kaku Michio.(1994). Hyperspace : a scientific odyssey through parallel universes, time warps, and the 10th dimension. ( chapter 9,pg 289-291). New York : Oxford University Press.

Mytelka, Lynn K. (2008, October 22). Dealing with a disruptive technology: Issues for developing countries. The international Development Research Centre. Retrieved February 9, 2009, from http://www.idrc.ca/en/ev-132194-201-1-DO_TOPIC.html

Virtual Science Fair.(2003).Hydrogen Problems. Virtual Science Fair. Retrieved February 9,2009, from http://www. virtualsciencefair.org/2003/kaush3k/public_html/HydroProbs.html


 

 

 

Beyond The Future…

•January 20, 2009 • 1 Comment

Futurology is a risky science; some people don’t even call it a science. Throughout the history there are some examples of futurology which turned out to be true and some other predictions that turned out to be complete failures. But if you look at it from a wider angle you might find some interesting ideas. Russian Astronomer Nikolai Kardashev once categorized future civilizations in the following way:

A type 1 civilization: is capable of controlling and using all the energy sources of an entire planet. This civilization is also able to control the weather and prevent catastrophes such as earthquakes.

A type 2 civilization can harness the sun as well and will begin to colonize the local star systems.

A type 3 civilization is the one that controls the power of the entire galaxy. To produce enough energy to run their powerful machines they have to use sources of energy at other sides of their galaxy. This civilization has mastered Einstein’s equations and is able to easily manipulate space-time at will.

Note that this categorization is based on energy consumption and power sources available to humans. Now the question that may come to your mind is, which civilization is our civilization? Unfortunately, we are type 0 civilization as you can realize that our civilization with its current technology level doesn’t belong to any of the mentioned categories. Let’s briefly look at mankind’s development and improvement now.

During the evolution of humans, the basic energy source available to mankind was the power of our own hands which is about one-eighth of a horsepower. But within the last 100,000 years, with the invention of hand tools the power available to humans increased to one quarter of a horsepower. Within the last 10,000 years, the energy output of humans doubled once again and the reason was probably the end of ice age which led humans to domesticating of animals and agricultural improvements. 99.99% of the existence of humanity on this planet, our technological level was only one step above that of animals. It has been only within the last few hundred years that we have had more than 1 horsepower available to us.

Newton’s discovery of the universal laws of gravity and motion led to invention of steam-powered engines in the 19th century. By the late 19th century, Maxwell opened doors to electromagnetic force which made it possible to electrify our cities and led to invention of new generations of engines (motors). And finally about 60 years ago humans were able to unleash a vast amount of energy via nuclear force. If we think about it, it’s astonishing to see how fast we improved within the last 200-300 years.  Technology is growing exponentially. But how close are we to type 1 civilization?

To be continued…

Source:

Hyperspace by Michio KaKu

 
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