Nanotechnology is the study of objects whose size varies in the range of nanometers--that is a billion times smaller than a meter. Although humans have been known to use nanotechnology since the ninth century, its role became prominent with the rise of information technology, with most of our current technologies like the smart phones, satellites and rovers on mars, depending on nanotechnology. We have just started uncovering the properties of the different elements and molecules at this scale, giving rise to new technologies as we do.
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Ever since Einstein’s theory predicted their existence, Black holes have captivated our imaginations. They are formed when sufficient mass collapses, whether through a supernova explosion or gravitational influence, to form a compact object, with gravity so high that not even light can escape its pull. Supermassive black holes are found at the center of most of the currently known galaxies and can weigh as much as a billion times more than our Sun.
While open defecation has well known health risks, toilets with sewage pits come with their own drawbacks. One of them is the contamination of ground water due to sewage leachate -- the water that seeps into the soil from the pit and has extremely toxic levels of nitrates, ammonium and organic carbon. These toxins are known to contaminate ground water making it unfit for drinking. Now scientists have designed a twin-pit toilet system that reduces the levels of nitrates, ammonium and organic carbon in the sewage water before it is being absorbed by the ground. This treated water, the researchers say, have low levels of toxins, making it safe and saving water bodies from contamination due to sewage.
Zirconium is a hard and ductile metal with high resistance to corrosion and low absorption of thermal neutrons, like the ones produced in a nuclear reactor, making them extremely useful as cladding for fuel rods in nuclear reactors. Zr-1Nb is an alloy of Zirconium and Niobium, which is one of the common alloys used as cladding. Processing of Zr-1Nb usually takes place in two phases to get the right microstructure of the alloy and perform optimally as a cladding agent.
India is no stranger to air pollution, with the capital, New Delhi, being identified as one of the most polluted cities in the world, several times. The harmful effects of this deteriorating air quality can be seen in the increasing number of patients with respiratory disorders. Now, a team of scientists have designed a novel gas sensor using MEMS technology that is compact, highly sensitive, consumes very little power and accurately detects gaseous pollutants like CO, CO2, NO2 & SO2.
The race to space is heating up with the addition of private players around the world. With increasing competition to make space explorations affordable, there is a whole ecosystem of small and big companies trying to eye the possible revenues. One among them is the award winning start-up from Bangalore, incubated at IISc, called Bellatrix Aerospace. In a recent conversation with Research Matters, the company reveals its plans for the future and talks about its innovative solutions that aim to make space explorations cheaper than ever.
The Education and Research Network or better known as the ERNET project was initiated in 1986 by the central government with the aim of connecting the different academic institutions across the country and introducing research in networking in the country. By 1992, ERNET had become the country’s first internet service provider. In January 2016 it was mutually decided to end the agreement between ERNET and IISc, thus bringing to an end a three-decade long effort in data networking.
Cyanide is any chemical compound that contains a carbon atom triple bonded to a nitrogen atom, called a cyano group. Some of the cyanide compounds are known to be extremely toxic with the ability to cause death within minutes. In a recent study, scientists from the Indian Institute of Technology, Bombay, North Maharashtra University and SV National Institute of Technology have developed a novel sensor that can detect the tiniest amounts of cyanide.
With the advent of Big Data and Artificial Intelligence, there are numerous technologies built today that help us live ‘smart’ and have revolutionized many fields. Transportation is one such field where numerous solutions are available that make it safe and reliable. But how do these systems collect the data required to turn them smart? Researchers at the Indian Institute of Technology, Bombay, have found an answer in crowdsourcing.
Securing communication channels has been a long standing challenge for humans ever since early civilisations. Thanks to advances in computation, many so called 'secure' algorithms have been broken and the risk of information being in the wrong hands is at an all time high. A new study by researchers from IISc and NIT-Karnantaka has now developed an improvised version of a cryptographic algorithm based on quantum physics. This algorithm, the researchers claim, works efficiently and faster than their previous versions and allows higher data rate. They also also developing a new breed of communication devices running the improvised algorithms. These devices, the researchers claim, can be integrated into existing infrastructure, making them all the more secure.