Scientists have created a radically new type of graphene speakers

Practically all the existing dynamics work on the same principle: the electric signal generates oscillations of the coil in the field of a permanent magnet, it drives the diffuser, and this, in turn, creates air vibrations and sound waves of the required frequency. But in the future, everything can change, because scientists from the British University of Exeter have created a fundamentally new type of dynamics from graphene, which does not need any mechanical vibration.

The principle of the new dynamics is based on a change in the temperature of graphene, the changes of which lead to the appearance of sound. Previously, graphene has already been used to create speakers, but in the past it was made from diffusers, which led to an increase in the efficiency of the device. From the new dynamics, all the moving parts disappeared, which allowed to reduce its size and increase its effectiveness. The speaker is made in the form factor of a microprocessor the size of a thumbnail. Inside the processor case, in addition to the speaker itself, the amplifier and even the graphic equalizer are hidden.

The thermoacoustic principle of operation allows you to convert the temperature into sound or vice versa – to convert sound vibrations into heat. This effect was first described at the end of the XIX century by the scientist Lord Rayleigh. In the middle of the twentieth century, interest in the interrelation between sound and heat greatly increased, since it was necessary to study the instability in combustion chambers with huge temperature differences. To date, there are thermoacoustic engines and even thermoacoustic refrigerators. But thermoacoustic speakers, and even from graphene, so far no one has created.

Graphene is an excellent conductor, therefore, by passing electrical impulses through it, you can quickly heat up and cool it. The grafen membrane expands and contracts, which affects the ambient air and generates sound waves. How good is the sound obtained in this way? The team of researchers claims that the graphene thermoacoustic speaker allows to get a “rich sound palette”, depending on how and where it is supplied with electricity. Heating and cooling cycles allow you to create multiple audio frequencies at the same time, while mixing them together, amplifying and tuning their sound. Scientists even managed to obtain ultrasound.

The results of research by British scientists were published in the journalScientific Reports.

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Mazda will release an “eco-friendly” ICE with an efficiency of 56 percent

Engineers of the company announced the development of the engine Skyactiv-3, the emissions of which will be a quarter less than other internal combustion engines.

Mazda reports that work on creating the engine is already underway. The Skyactiv-3 efficiency is planned to approach 56 percent – in this case emissions should decrease by a quarter.

It is not yet reported how Mazda specialists plan to achieve such efficiency, but the developers plan to release the first such ICE not earlier than 2019 – it is at this time that the production of the Skyactiv-X engine is scheduled, while Skyactiv-3 will appear much later.

Despite the obvious advantages of the engine, the cars with ICE will still pollute the air more than cars with electric drive. Nevertheless, internal combustion engines will not disappear at once, so Mazda’s efforts to reduce emissions are still commendable, although in some countries even they will not be “clean” enough.

In France, for example, more than 90 percent of electricity is already produced without the release of C0 2 into the atmosphere, and European Union officials are gradually tightening the laws for car manufacturers with internal combustion engines, increasingly preferring electric cars.

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# video | How to create special effects for the film “Shape of water”

If you already had time to get acquainted with the new work of the remarkable director Guillermo Del Toro under the name Shape of Water, you probably will be interested in a video about how the masters from the Mr. X created amazing special effects for this picture. If, for some reason, you have not seen the movie yet, we strongly recommend that you preview it, since the video in this material contains serious plot spoilers.

Guillermo Del Toro has always been a master at creating eerie, but irresistibly beckoning tales. Recall at least the worlds he created for such films as Chronos (1993), Mutants (1997), The Devil’s Ridge (2001), Hellboy (2004) and The Labyrinth of the Faun (2006). The director has always been attracted by gloomy stories in which you can let your fantasy unfold. Del Toro always carries a notebook, where he makes all kinds of notes on his future films and numerous sketches of future characters and monsters. With what, and with the monsters in his films, everything was always just fine. Over the film “The Form of Water” Del Toro has worked since 2011 and considers him the most difficult from the technical point of view of his work throughout his career.

The basis of the plot “Forms of water” was the love between the dumb employee of the top secret government laboratory and the mysterious amphibian man who is being held prisoner. The director himself believes that it is water that is an amazing substance that can fill any form. In the film, this feeling fills the main characters, hence the name. If you’ve already seen the movie, you’ll probably be surprised at how much work the artists and animators have done. And now it’s not just about the magnificent monster, which once again played a talented actor Doug Jones. In many scenes, special effects are simply invisible, but they create the right atmosphere and set the tone for the story.

Guillermo Del Toro paid part of the special effects from his own pocket, as the budget could not cover all expenses. Initially, the film was planned to be shot in black and white, but as soon as the producers saw what a great picture the director had planned, they allocated additional funds for making the film color. The film has already won two gold globes (for the best soundtrack and the best director), and also made a success at the Venice Film Festival, where the audience applauded standing for several minutes.

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American startup is working on the creation of a holopall of Star Trek

Developers from the California start-up Light Field Labby the end of 2018 are planning to release the first working prototype of a believable hologram hovering in the air, which can be seen without special sets. To continue working on the project, the company has already attracted seven million dollars of investment.

Based on its display engineers from Light Field Lab took the idea of ​​a holographic deck from Star Trek. According to the idea of ​​the scriptwriters of the series, the walls of the holopalub consist of special displays capable of producing a very realistic three-dimensional picture, turning an empty room into various locations, recreated by an on-board computer. According to the developers, by 2020 the company plans to finalize the technology and with its help to arrange holographic presentations.

The first test models of displays will be quite small, their area will be 15 x 10 centimeters, but next year it is planned to bring their dimensions to half a meter. From such modules it will be possible to make large coverings up to 30 meters wide. Each display will be able to issue a resolution of 16K and be able to project realistic holograms on its own.

Despite the impressive characteristics and capabilities described by the developers, details of how the technology will be implemented, experts of Light Field Lab have not yet disclosed

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At the airport “Domodedovo” introduce a system of face recognition

S7 Airlines plans to introduce a face recognition system at Moscow’s Domodedovo airport based on VisionLabs technologies. If you immediately thought about total surveillance or increased security – you were mistaken. In this case, the face recognition system will only be another pleasant option for business class passengers. It will recognize and personalize passengers in order to provide them with targeted information.

The Russian company VisionLabs is engaged in research and development in the field of computer vision and machine learning. All technologies and algorithms used in the company’s products are created solely by its forces, without the involvement of Western partners or the acquisition of others’ developments. One such software is LUNA PLATFORM, a flexible data management system for verifying and identifying individuals. Most likely, it will be used in this project.

The cameras will be installed at the entrance to the business halls of the airport, after which the system will recognize the faces of passengers and remind them in a timely manner of such important information as, for example, the approaching landing on their flight. Representatives of S7 Airlines immediately clarified that all personal data will be entered into the airport base only with the permission of passengers. Collect the same data is planned using a mobile application and taking photos while scanning the boarding pass at the entrance to the business zone.

The first testing of such a recognition system was carried out at the end of last year. The cameras were installed at the entrance to the S7 Airlines office, and in a short time of tests about 50,000 photographs were taken to the system. The accuracy of recognition at the same time was an impressive 90%. What other services can be provided to passengers through the face recognition system – time will tell. But something tells us that without personalized advertising here, too, will not do. In the US, testing of such recognition systems began as early as last year.

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Created by the power of thought, the exoskeleton of the hand

Swiss engineers from the Federal Polytechnic School of Lausanne created a working prototype of the exoskeleton of the hand that can be controlled by the power of thought. The developers were able to do without implanting the electrodes under the skin, placing them on a special rubber helmet.

Impulses of the brain are transmitted from the helmet to the metal “tendons”, which are fixed on the wrists and fingers of the wearer with the help of Velcro fasteners, thereby causing the patient’s hand to move.

The exoskeleton itself is easy to use, installed in a few minutes, and still has the function of controlling the movement of the eyes, which was provided for completely immobilized people. It has already been tested for survivors of stroke and spinal injury patients, now the developers want to improve its work in such a way that it helps people fulfill their daily tasks.

In the course of research conducted by developers in the process of testing the exoskeleton, it turned out that when the thought is controlled by the apparatus of one hand, the brain regions responsible for the movement of the second arm are activated in the patient. Scientists plan to use this feature to improve development management and to complicate its design.

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