Monday, December 24, 2007

Merry Christmas!

Saturday, August 04, 2007

Microwaves, Lasers and Ultrasonics in Surgery

I have often wondered that the progress in different branches of Medical Science has not been enough compared to that in physics, electronics, communications, computer science etc. Perhaps those working in the field of Medicine may have difference of opinion. I have a strong feeling that the technological progress has not been fully applied in the field of medicine. This may be due to the insufficiency of cooperation among technologists and physicians. Generally physicians are busy with their routine work and they do not get enough opportunities and time for interaction with scientists in other branches. In fact, the really talented physicians are overworked and are unable to look into even their own personal problems properly.

Surgery is the strength of Modern Medicine. Technological progress has been applied to improve surgical procedures, but I feel that the application has not been enough. From long time back itself I have nurtured an idea of using ferromagnetic particles to execute the dilation of constricted blood vessels by injecting a bunch of such particles into the blood stream, subjecting the bunch to an oscillating magnetic field (thereby dilating the blood vessel) and recovering the bunch at a suitable collection point. Medical professionals may think of the feasibility of this in collaboration with engineers and technologists.

The use of laser, microwave and ultra sound in the medical field, especially in surgery, has been steadily on the rise, but the momentum is not enough. International cooperation on a large scale by deploying experts in various fields is a very important need of the world today.

"The best and most beautiful things in the world cannot be seen or even touched; they must be felt with the heart."

– Helen Keller

Sunday, April 22, 2007

Atmospheric Noise Reduction in AM Radio Receivers

Compared to FM radio receivers, amplitude modulation (AM) radio receivers are very much susceptible to atmospheric noise interference. This is because of the fact that atmospheric noise is amplitude modulated. Most of the man made electromagnetic interference also is amplitude modulated. The undesirable noise interference in AM radio receivers and the instability along with noise patterns in the picture on a TV receiver connected to an antenna during thunder storms is a common experience. Similar problems encountered because of nearby electrical switching circuits (as for example, automobile ignition systems) also are common.

Even though I have not done any research in this field, I think the modulation envelope of the amplitude modulated noise signal may be more or less the same over a wide range of frequencies. If that is the case, it will be possible to extract this noise signal and phase shift it through the required angle so that it has a phase shift of 180 degrees with the noise signal appearing along with the received useful signal. After amplifying this phase shifted noise signal to the required extent so as to have the same amplitude as that of the noise signal appearing along with the useful signal, they are to be superimposed so that the net noise signal is canceled. The separate noise signal may be received from the lower or upper end of the transmission band. For the medium wave band, the required noise signal can be extracted using a separate tuned circuit at a frequency around 500 kHz or 1600 kHz. The phase shifting and the controlled amplification of the separate noise signal are to be done after demodulation. The superimposition of the signals also is evidently to be done after demodulation.

With modern operational amplifiers the above tasks may be simple.

So, Attention Electronics Engineers!

Friday, February 16, 2007

Role of Probability in Simplifying Elections

I have often wondered why even poor countries spend prohibitively large amount of money for conducting elections. India being the largest democracy in the world, the amount spent on elections is enormous. The election to the House of People (Lok Sabha) which is supposed to be conducted every five years incurs an expenditure of over ten thousand million rupees. In addition, there are the elections to the Legislative Assemblies (of the states) and numerous bodies at the Village, Block and District levels. Often, these democratic bodies do not live through the stipulated term (of five years in the case of Parliament and Legislative Assemblies) and mid term elections become necessary. You can very well imagine how prohibitive the cost of all these elections is.
Apart from the cost factor, how much time and energy is spent on these elections also is a matter of concern.
Probability plays a vital role in all phenomena in nature. Any Physics student knows that the electron in the hydrogen atom is normally found at a distance of almost 0.53×10–10 metre from the nucleus. This is the most probable distance and not the exact distance. [In fact, according to Heisenberg’s uncertainty principle, nothing in nature can be measured with cent per cent accuracy and this uncertainty principle also plays a very important role in the very constitution of matter].
Since probability plays a crucial role in nature, it is logical to apply it in all situations, especially in cases where large numbers are involved. So why not use it in making the election process simple and economical?
Why should all electors vote in an election? If you take the case of a typical Lok Sabha (Parliament) constituency in India, with one million voters, hundred thousand or ten thousand voters picked out at random by a computer will be sufficient to determine the acceptable candidate. You can imagine the significant saving in the cost, time and energy.
If the majority of voters in a constituency support the candidate ‘A’, then the probability for the inclusion of voters supporting ‘A’ in the randomly picked voters’ group (who are thus qualified to vote) is definitely high, especially when the number involved is high. This is a basic principle in probability theory, as many of you might know.
I will call this system of election the reduced voter system. In this system of adult franchise, all those who have attained the stipulated age will be electors as usual, but only the reduced voters (randomly picked out by a computer) will be allowed to vote. There will be no restriction to anybody in the electoral roll in contesting the election as a candidate, but he will be allowed to vote only if he happens to be included among the reduced voters.
In the extreme case, when all voters are ‘equal’ (with nobody ‘more equal’), the system will become a no cost system when a computer picks out the members of parliament and the legislative assembly and may be even the President!