Graphene: A Miracle Material

Dated: 22 August, 2015
The material at end of your pencil could rewrite the way our technology works. It has the potential to make our existing technology stronger, better, and faster.
We appreciated its immense potential when Sushant S. Samuel and Amey Luktuke, Bachelors 2nd Year IIT Roorkee, gave a brief presentation on Graphene and its applications in various fields.
Graphene which was theoretically proposed by P.R. Wallace in 1947, was successfully produced in 2004 by Andre Geim and Konstantin Novoselov.

Some of its special properties include –

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[Hangout Session] : Abhijit Pratap Singh

We had an informal video hangout session (25th Jan, 2015) with Abhijit Pratap Singh. He is an alumnus of Electronics and Computer Science department, IIT Roorkee. Right now, Abhijit is working as a software engineer for Housing.com.

The session was focused on the prospects of after Undergrad life. Also, being a recruiter for Housing, he shared his invaluable experiences about the placement and higher education opportunities.

It was a fun, informal session. The discussions are documented here, feel free to go through it.

Hangout transcript

Holography & Holographic Data Storage

The World is 3-D, Let’s record it that Way.

Motivation

Narendra Modi’s 3-D Holographic Rallies and Michael Jackson’s 3-D Holographic Dance at a Music Award intrigued us to take up Hologrphy in our SIG Meet on 17th January,2015.

 

modi

 

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From Bricks To Building –  Fundamental Concepts , Novel Technologies

  • The idea is to showcase like almost all other technologies, very fundamental principles like Interference, Diffraction in optics give us wonderful technologies and products like high storage Holographic Versatile Disc (Upto 4 TB storage space and data transfer rates of 1.0 Gbits/sec).
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Interference & Diffraction : Young’s Double Slit Experiment
  • The basic principle of Hologram Creation, Recording and Resurrection were discussed with visuals.

  • Then the Digital Holographic Data Storage was schematically taken up.

The Presentation with schematics, Illustrations can be found here : Link to the Presentation

Post Presentation Discussion matter :

  • HVD (Holographic Versatile Discs), big brother of Blue-ray DVDs inspite of being developed as long as from 2008, never catched up. Companies like In-Phase Technologies, US solely dedicated to HVDs went bankrupt around 2010. There was no one interested in storage discs anymore, pen drives, cloud storage started picking up. Isn’t this a demotivating story as far as taking up Technological Entrepreneurship (Tech-E) is concerned ? Isn’t Tech-E too risky a business ?

— The conclusion to above discussion, firstly from financial point of view, Tech-E Startups are funded accompanied with very nice exit policies. Secondly the research taken up never goes waste. Holography is finding applications in places like defence secret storage because of it’s highly cryptographically strong storage principles, holographic microscopy and yes the digital Image/Video Resurrection. The people involved in such startups are happy to innovate at new places in related applications.

Prof. Joby Joseph, who after leaving a US Company dedicated to HVDs, is leading a spearhead research in fields of Photonic Crystals, High Density Holographic Data Storage, Interference Lithography etc at IIT Delhi. Link : http://web.iitd.ac.in/~joby/., and has numerous patents at his name.

  • Second Thing we collectively realized was, We have almost lost a huge field : Optics, that we studied and loved during our + 2 . in Engineering there are almost no courses towards it and hardly few electives, say Optical Fibres that one can opt. So in sync with one of the motives of SIG – Getting Introduced to different possible fields where we can work, we concluded the session. And Yes obvious to mention, the meet was followed by a Tea Party. 🙂

 

 

 

Silicon Valley and Technology

While reading a recent article on MIT Tech Review that goes by the name The Purpose of Silicon Valley, we were inspired to take this as a topic for our discussion.

To sum up the meet, we worked on the following lines from the article and discussed about the way technology is perceived by present world, specially in Silicon Valley.

This town used to think big – the integrated circuit, personal computers, the Internet. Are we really leveraging all that intellectual power and creativity creating Instagram and dating apps? Is this truly going to change the world?

 

Withdrawal from Basic Sciences

People say, there are paradigm shifts in the way scientific research is done, and now is the age of Data Assisted Research.

The history of the legendary Bell Labs tells a different story. Its focus has shifted over the years, not much because of the inevitable paradigm shift, but more because of market demands, while other holy seats of development, including CERN, haven’t yielded to their core principles and have maintained sanctity.

John Bardeen, William Shockley and Walter Brattain at Bell Labs, 1948
John Bardeen, William Shockley and Walter Brattain at Bell Labs, 1948

Persistence and faith

Much more important issue that came out of the discussion is of persistence, and the way its rewarded in present world. Perhaps, making an app for an idea is more rewarding than researching through a long and harsh road to solve cancer. Perhaps this is the future, the way we are understanding social situations in much greater details, the way these apps are optimizing the usage of resources. But here is something that is a prick in the eye,

The old school of Science is getting neglected.

A better way might be to follow the change while having faith in the fundamentals that have powered us to this time and, most importantly, have provided the platform to sit and play with shiny new toys.


 

 

When information is cheap, attention becomes expensive

– James Gleick

 


Here are a few followup reads to understand what exactly is the situation and how the technology culture has been swinging in recent decades.

Fourier Series and Transforms

We had a session on Fourier series and Transforms. In this session we gained insight about Transforms, their requirement, Fourier series, Fourier Transform, Difference between Laplace and Fourier Transform and most importantly, intuitive understanding of Fourier Series and Transform.

First of all we talked about Transforms. Transforms are methodology to change your perception towards the signal. There are number of transforms, each one of them is a method to change your perception about viewing Signals and Systems.

The main reason why Fourier Transforms is useful in almost all fields of Science and Technology is it gives us inner view of signal. It gives us the frequency range of all Sinusoidal waves that on adding up makes a signal. Hence, effectively we have to just study the behavior of system for generalized sinusoidal signals and hence we’ll be able to describe its output for any signals.

We discussed how to get feel about this transform and then slowly approached mathematical analysis. While preparing for the discussion we came across some interesting resources like http://betterexplained.com/articles/an-interactive-guide-to-the-fourier-transform/. This article taught us to be intuitive. While discussing its applications we have come across a recent patent by MIT known as “Eulerian Video Magnification”. We have discussed filters in frequency domain which can be explained as thresholding of frequencies. We concluded the session with understanding of Fourier Transforms in both ways, intuitively and mathematically.

Here is the Link of presentation of our meet.