Energy in Chemical Reactions

images (29)A chemical reaction happens when two different elements or substances interact to form a new substance with a different chemical composition. Along with every chemical reaction, comes a change in energy, where that energy is either gained or lost. Energy is the capacity of an object to do work or supply heat. Within the chemical bonds of substances there is chemical potential energy. The way atoms are arranged within a substance determines the amount of chemical potential energy a substance has. When a substance undergoes a chemical change, its energy changes. This change in energy can be observed in different ways. Oftentimes, a change in energy also results in a change of heat, with the heat flowing from a warmer object to a cooler one. Sometimes a change of energy, during chemical changes, causes a release of light or sound as well as well. For example the chemicals in fireworks produce light and sound.

A chemical change that gains energy is called an endothermic reaction. An endothermic reaction happens when an object absorbs heat from its surroundings during a chemical reaction. An example of an endothermic reaction would be melting ice. The ice absorbs heat, causing it to liquefy and taking away heat and energy from its surroundings.

There are also chemical reactions that release energy and heat, called exothermic reactions. Heat flows from the object into its surroundings, the opposite of an endothermic reaction. An example of an exothermic reaction is taking two substances, such as water and calcium chloride, and mixing them together, resulting in them releasing heat into the surrounding area.

During chemical reactions, though energy within an object is lost or gained, no new energy is actually created or destroyed. This is the law of conservation of energy. This means that if, during a reaction, an object loses a certain amount of energy or heat, its surroundings’ energy or heat will increase by that amount and vice versa.

It is important to know about energy within chemical reactions, because how energy changes during a chemical change, allows us to learn important things about the reaction that has taken place. A change in heat or energy allows us to know when a chemical change has taken place, whether or not it is endothermic or exothermic, and how much energy has been lost or gained within an object, all important when trying to understand how different chemicals react with one another. Changes in heat are also utilized in daily life. For example, when you burn wood, it releases heat, used to warm or light a space.

Understanding how different reactions release heat can allow us to further utilize energy changes in this way.

My name is Hannah. I am a freshman in high school, at a small school in Los Angeles. This is my final article for my chemistry class. My favorite subject on school is science.


The 5 States of Matter of the World

download (42)There is a misconception that there are only three States of Matter: solid, liquid, and gas. Well I’m trying to break that misconception because there are really five States of Matter and they are solid, liquid, gas, PLASMA, and BOSE-EINSTEIN CONDENSATES (BEC).

The First State of Matter is Solid. In a solid, particles are compiled very tightly together so they can not move around a lot. Most of the time the particles in a solid move only the slightest amounts and they have a very low kinetic energy. The reason the particles move is because the electrons of each atom are in motion, so the atoms have a small vibration, but they are in a fixed position. Solids also have a definite or fixed shape. They do not change shapes when they are put in containers. Also they have a definite volume. The solid particles are so tightly packed together that increasing pressure will not compress the solid to a smaller volume.

The liquid particles of a substance have more kinetic energy that the particles of a solid. The liquid particles are held in an irregular arrangement, but they are very close to each other to they have a definite volume like solids. Just like solids they also can not be compressed. The particles of a liquid have just enough room to flow around, making the liquid to have an indefinite shape. The liquid will change shape to conform to its container. You can see this characteristic easily in water. Also force is spread evenly through the liquid, so when an object is placed in a liquid, the particles are displaced by the object.

Gas particles have a great deal of space between them and have high kinetic energy. The particles of a gas likes to spread out so if it is not confined the gas will spread indefinitely. The gas also likes to expand to its limits. When a gas is put under pressure by reducing the volume of a container, the space between particles is reduced, and the pressure exerted by their collisions increases. This means that when there is less space for the gas particles to move around they will move faster and more pressure will build up in the container. If the volume of the container is held constant, but he temperature of the gas increases, then the pressure will also increase. Gas particles have enough kinetic energy to overcome intermolecular forces that hold solids and liquids together. This means that gases have no definite volume and shape. So the main characteristics of gas is that the particles are very free, they have no definite or fixed volume and shape, and that they are very high-class.

Plasma is not the most common state of matter on Earth. Actually it is a very rare state of matter on Earth as it is only really found under the crust of the Earth, but it maybe the most common state of matter in the universe. Plasma consists of highly charged particles with extremely high kinetic energy. Stars are essentially superheated balls of plasma.

The State of Matter, Bose-Einstein Condensate, was created in a lab. This State of Matter is not commonly known. This is only state possible in the temperature of absolute zero. This temperature stops the kinetic energy from being transferred and it becomes a “super atom.” This state does not have much data and there is not a lot of known facts of this state.


This entry was posted on February 25, 2016, in Education and tagged .

Butterfly Effect: Reality or Myth

download (40)The Butterfly Effect, simply put, is the phenomenon where a small change in the initial conditions may pile up over time, and in the end, create a massive effect. Just like a small snowball rolled downhill may gather more snow on the way and by the time it reaches the base, it turns huge! This forms the basis of a rather emerging field of science: “Chaos”. It is just what the name suggests – the study of highly complex systems that are sensitive to very slight changes, sometimes, even to the ones they themselves create!

Emergence of a New Science

What else would’ve been a better field for the emergence of Chaos than Meteorology, where even a small change in the wind speed may delay monsoon by days! The Butterfly Effect was discovered for the first time in 1961, in the laboratory of one such MIT Meteorologist, Edward Lorenz. Lorenz was more of a mathematics person than his colleagues. He had never been much interested in pure Meteorology, instead, he wanted to encapture the beauty of weather by mathematical formulas, which would allow Meteorologists like him to predict the weather not just days, but months, even years in advance!

This quest of his led him to setting up a computer in his lab, the Royal McBee. Computers at that time were neither as advanced, nor as common as today. Instead they were huge beasts run by vacuum tubes and outputting the results only through print. Because of this, his lab was indeed a center of attraction for the whole department!

Lorenz believed that weather, just like many other physical phenomenons, could be defined by some set of equations, which when solved, would predict the future weather. And he wasn’t the only person with this belief. Most scientists at that time used to believe that nature is nothing but a set of equations given a physical form. And that if they can obtain those raw equations, they could make anything work according to them! This might seem pretty straight-forward and logical. Unfortunately, it isn’t.

However, Lorenz was successful in modelling a pretty simple weather mechanism in his computer, governed by 12 differential equations. What his computer did was intake the initial conditions for the weather, and based on those equations, it calculated the result and printed it in the form of a string of numbers (which only Lorenz, and few others in the department were able to understand). One day, Lorenz wanted to re-examine a set of results. While doing so, instead of starting the process all the way from the start, he entered the values from halfway between the previous result, expecting it to exactly duplicate the previous results. However, this time he found something strange. The second result remained similar to the previous result for some time, but soon, subtle differences started to appear.It wasn’t long when both the results became completely contrary! At first he thought it was a hardware problem and so he inspected all the vacuum tubes, which were all fine.

Soon, he realized where the problem lied. The Royal McBee stored the values upto 6 decimal places in it’s memory, and that is what it calculated. In the printout however, to save space, the result was rounded off to just 3 decimal places. So the values Lorenz entered the second time were just 3 decimal places, and hence not precise. This caused a small difference which started to pile up and resulted in a huge difference. Lorenz was quite attracted by what he had just observed and so he started working on it. He found that if in such a complex and repeating system, a set of variables are plotted against time, then the points on graph seem to follow somewhat the same path as the last cycle, but with slight difference. And as the number of cycles increased, the difference became large. This graph was named the “Lorenz attractor” and it resembled the wings of a butterfly. The Butterfly Effect was hence discovered! Though, it’s technical name became “Sensitive Dependence on Initial Conditions” (somebody needs to learn how to name).

So Can a Butterfly Really Cause Hurricanes?

The Butterfly Effect is usually referred to by the notation that a butterfly flapping it’s wings somewhere, may cause a hurricane elsewhere. However, this notation might be slightly flawed. A butterfly flapping it’s wings may indeed change the wind speed or direction, even if by a minute amount, however, there is practically nothing a butterfly may do that might pile up to “cause” a hurricane. Now, what’s interesting here is the difference between “cause” and “effect”. A change in the flapping of a butterfly may change wind speed and/or direction, which may pile up over time and cause a change in winds as whole, which might ultimately effect the time or place of a hurricane. The hurricane, however, may not be “caused” by the movements of the butterfly entirely. So finally, a butterfly flapping it’s wings may ‘effect’ the hurricane, but not cause it.

If you are still not sure whether the Butterfly Effect is real or not, here’s something for you. An Institution rejecting an application for admission is pretty common right? What havoc could it cause? Well interestingly, in 1905, the Vienna Academy of Fine Arts rejected an application twice. This ultimately led to the death of over 60 million people! “How?”, you ask. Well, the applicant was a German fellow named Adolf Hitler.


Smart Science With Unintelligent Conclusions

download (41)My love of science led me to many areas of research, especially when studying medical science in my youth and then bio-anthropology in later years. The concepts are amazing and the way things come together are elements of nature are manipulated, added together, taken away, or transformed into other things is mind-blowing. One has only to look at electricity which starts from nothing more than friction to understand the power behind it.

That power can kill, maim, or turn one’s life around. It is the same power generated from lightning which is caused by friction of water molecules high in the sky. It is a reminder that long before man decided to explore the elements and to work to understand how simple things in nature work there was a more powerful force controlling everything.

It is that power that I want to focus on in this article because it is something I have experienced firsthand. It is not dangerous but it can knock you off your feet. It can’t be seen or felt but it can pin you down to the ground so that you can’t move a muscle. In the scientific world it would be labelled one’s imagination. In my world and with what I know it is the great Creative Power of the Universe.

Nothing happens on this earth or in all of space that is not directed by it. How do I know? Because unlike the scientists there is something in my memory that they can never erase – reincarnation. It is not anything that most scientists will explore or seek to understand, and those who do will use unintelligent means to arrive at their incorrect conclusions.

My own conclusion is that this ‘power’ is something that only those who have a connection to it will understand or feel. My research shows that millions have knowledge of it today but they are silenced by a code of unintelligent outcomes from certain bases that stop them. The bottom line is most will think of them as mad because in the way of societies these things don’t happen.

As a scientist and one who has looked with open eyes into the things happening today let me assure you that they not only happen but they are written down where everyone has access. If only they would look in the right places to find them.


This entry was posted on February 11, 2016, in Education.

11 Lesser Known Facts About Louis Pasteur

download (39)Louis Pasteur, born in 1822, was a French scientist. He went on to become a Chemistry professor and made quite a lot of discoveries. Popularly known as Chemist and Microbiologist, he is known for his tremendous contribution to the field of science. He is known for his work in Vaccination, Pasteurization and Fermentation processes. Here are some interesting facts which throw light on his work as a scientist:

1. Pasteurization

Louis Pasteur came up with one of the most important discoveries of the pasteurization process. He found that when we heat milk, all the germs inside it get killed and this way we can have a safer way to drink and use milk. This process saved people from getting sick.

2. Study Graph of Louis

Louis started with school where he was an average student. But instead he was a gifted artist. He loved to draw and paint. He went on to acquire a doctorate degree and later became a professor of Chemistry and teacher dean faculty at Lille University.

3. “Vaccination”

He was the one who came up with the word of “Vaccination” as we know it today. He worked tremendously to find cure for many of the diseases by providing vaccination for it.

4. Changed Medicine

He came up with vaccines for cholera, small pox, anthrax and rabies and saved many lives. His rabies vaccination in the year 1885 saved a life of a boy who was the first one to get it.

5. Left-Handed and Right-Handed people

In a rather fascinating theory, Louis discovered how people are either left handed or right handed because of the molecules present in each individual, which are twisted in either of that direction. Wow!!

6. He had OCD for germs

Louis was known for his OCD. In order to find out things about diseases, he never shook hands with anybody even with royalty. He was too scared to catch diseases and infections. Guess knowing too much makes you like this!

7. He was Responsible for happiness- Beer and Wine

The fermentation process was introduced and discovered by Louis, he was responsible for making beer. He said that juices can be converted into wines and beer. He truly is responsible for our happiness!

8. Paris Pasteur Institute

In the year 1887, he founded Pasteur Institute in Paris and he remained the director of the institute till his death. Also his mortals’ remains lie in the building and a tomb was built in his memory.

9. Brain Stroke didn’t stop him

In 1868, Louis suffered a really bad brain stroke which made him partly paralyzed. But his dedication and passion kept him going for his research nevertheless.

10. “Legion of Honor”

For all the great work, Louis did, he was honored with esteemed French order of “Legion of Honor”. The Grand Croix tittle was given to him, which recognized all his contribution to the world of science.

11. He found true reasons for diseases

Initially people believed that diseases get generated spontaneously but Pasteur and his germ theory gave logical answers to it. He discovered and proved that microorganisms are true causing agent of diseases. Thanks to him, we know the cause of our problems.

The Growth of Performance Based Funding for Research


Corporations have demonstrated a clear preference for either funding short-term applied research projects, or stepping away from research entirely and simply buying-up competitors who bring new products or treatments to the market. The billionaire owners (or majority shareholders) of those corporations have the financial freedom to fund their own research centers, and some do that by endowing such centers at major research institutions. For the rest of the academic institutions, however, research funding is often limited to smaller grant-funded projects, alumni endowments, or a portion of the national research budgets of federal agencies. How those agencies calculate the size of those respective portions has been coming under increasing scrutiny.


As governments around the world continue to struggle with lower tax revenues and the consequences of profligate spending in their respective pasts, the amount of government funding awarded to scholarly research has come under increasing scrutiny. Justification of funding for ongoing research projects has been easier to achieve provided those projects are remaining on budget and on target, but with each new project, funds have to be justified against alternative potential expenditures, which leads us to the problem of metrics and the consistent measurement of research output.


In Europe the metrics being developed for Performance Based Research Funding Systems (PRFS) are still very much under debate. Norway, for example, implemented its’ system back in 2002, developing an assessment matrix using four key indicators – two output and two input:

• Output
o Publications as indicated by citations (30%)
o Ph.D. graduates from the institution (30%)

• Input
o External funding from the Norwegian Research Council (20%)
o External Funding from the European Union (20%)

In ongoing discussions with faculty, the publications indicator has been refined even further, drawing distinctions between books, articles, research papers, conference papers, and contributions to anthologies.

The most obvious complaint about the matrix is that it clearly favors larger established institutions with senior faculty at the top of their fields. Smaller or newer institutions with younger staff and less prestigious rankings see themselves as being punished with a perceived grandfathering of the top tier institutions that already have high scores on all the ranking indicators.


Evaluation matrices are rarely if ever rescinded once they have been put in place. They may get modified over time, but once research becomes performance based, irrespective of the perceived equitability of the process (or lack thereof), it’s unlikely that it will be replaced. In the US, budget cuts as a result of sequestrations and direct challenges to research efficacy in the proposed High Quality Research Act have already put researchers on notice that an era of performance based assessment is upon us. It remains to be seen if we will be able to incorporate the lessons learned by our European contemporaries.


Clay Is Actually Mud

images (27)The remains of a stone, thrown off a mountain, grinded smaller and smaller and smaller. Granulated, pulverised, powdered into dust until it settles as silt into the quiet arms of a river. For centuries people have been extracting it. We dig it up to wash and knead it and then…

Some 15000 years ago people discovered that fire could transfer clay into stone. And we are still doing that. We started out with bowls that could contain our food and the first figurines. Female figurines of course, for women give birth, give life.

Those first sculptures were hand formed, made without a wheel or a mold, everything was shaped by hand. When you visit an archaeological museum you may sometimes see those bowls, dating back several thousands of years, still containing the fingerprints of the maker. A man or woman just like you, with hands and fingers. Perhaps cursing because things didn’t work out the way he or she wanted or being proud and happy with the result of all this kneading and pushing and firing. It was garnished with twigs and strings and pinches and nudges in the clay. Balance and order the device of decoration, just like today.

It takes several years before you are able to impose your will upon clay. It is a time consuming process to really get to know the material. To learn when to shape, when to let it dry. Dry a little bit so you can continue later. Then go on shaping, sustaining, more drying, polishing until it is exactly what you want it to be.

Then you fire it. Modern clay ovens are computer operated. You put your work in the oven and adjust a program. Mine usually takes about 18 hours. I start with a little drying (90 degrees) to remove all the water to prevent the work from exploding because the water starts to boil. Then be careful with the quartz inversion at 573 degrees. This is when the clay changes from hard silt into a stone like substance. If this process goes too fast it will go wrong. 900 degrees is just right to change and strengthen the clay but some clays can be fired up to 1300 degrees. Porosity and hardness will be determined by the temperature and type of clay you use.

We use clay products all the time. To eat and drink from, to pee in, for cooking and washing, to look at, to isolate, as a heatproof material. Even to live in and under! Clay is an intriguing material…


This entry was posted on January 25, 2016, in Education.

Virtual Reality As Explanation For The “Observer Effect”

download (38)In physics, especially quantum physics, there exists the idea that the consciousness of an observer creates or at least influences external realities. Because physics is an established experimental science, one has to sit up and pay attention to the claims that this “Observer Effect” is in fact an established reality in its own right. Unfortunately, there are no known theoretical mechanisms than can account for this. But if this “Observer Effect” is so then it is strong evidence that we exist as virtual reality beings in a computer simulated landscape.


In both physics and in relatively New Age philosophy, there exists the idea (established in physics – waffled about in philosophy) that the consciousness of an observer creates or at least influences external realities. Because physics is an established experimental science, one has to sit up and pay attention to the claims that this “Observer Effect” is in fact an established reality in its own right. The two main experiments that support this “Observer Effect” are the Double-Slit Experiment where waves remain waves unless observed in which case waves turn into particles, and in the Quantum Zeno Effect where observations can inhibit the decay of radioactive particles, apparently the only known thing that can accomplish this physical sleight-of-hand. Unfortunately, there are no known theoretical mechanisms than can account for this. Yet, despite this, the “Observer Effect” rules the roost, or at least in quantum physics / mechanics it does.


Hogwash! I say there is no “Observer Effect”; physicists say there is an “Observer Effect” and have the experimental runs on the board to prove it. If this is so it is strong evidence that we exist as virtual reality beings in a computer simulated landscape – that’s the Simulation Hypothesis.


Premise: There are no paradoxes, contradictions or inconsistencies ‘out there’ in Mother Nature’s realm. Nature might be puzzling but she isn’t either malicious nor a joker. Mother Nature tells Her story like it is with all of Her cards face up on the table.

Premise: All paradoxes, contradictions or inconsistencies arise within the mind. If one observes paradoxes, contradictions or inconsistencies ‘out there’ in Mother Nature’s realm then they are ultimately a product of intelligence and not of nature.

Premise: There are many paradoxes, contradictions and inconsistencies observed in Mother Nature’s realm.

Therefore: The game is afoot and intelligence is in operation.


Premise: Modern physics acknowledges that there is an “Observer Effect”.

Premise: The “Observer Effect” has been established as a fact by actual experiments including the Double-Slit Experiment and the Quantum Zeno Effect.

Therefore: Observers observing something alters the state of affairs of that something.


Premise: Observation cannot create reality. The idea that reality does not exist if you’re not looking is screwy*. If an observer cannot change reality in the Macro World then an observer cannot alter reality in the Micro World, or even in the realm that straddles the Macro and the Micro.

Premise: There’s experimental evidence that observation determines reality, especially within the Micro (Quantum) World.

Therefore: Somewhere is screwy somewhere.


Premise: If we could create our own reality via observation – mind over matter – our own reality would be wonderful – the best of all possible worlds!

Premise: Our own reality isn’t the best of all possible worlds.

Therefore: We can’t create our own version of reality just by observation.


Premise: An observer is passive and sends no signals or information that prods whatever it is that is being observed.

Premise: Signals or information travel from what is being observed to the observer.

Therefore: The observer is what is being prodded by what’s being observed, not the other way around.


Premise: What’s past is past and what’s happened in the past cannot be changed.

Premise: Any observation (via any of the five senses) is an observation (perception, awareness, etc.) of something that is now in the past tense (because any signal has to travel at a finite speed) and therefore cannot be altered.

Therefore: Any observer observing something cannot now alter the state of affairs of that something.


Premise: How people perceive reality has no effect on the reality itself perceived.

Premise: That one’s perception of reality somehow has an effect on that reality itself is as logical a fallacy in logic as you are ever likely to get.

Premise: Human consciousness can only have a direct effect on the surrounding environment if you invoke magic or some sort of similar supernatural or paranormal power.

Premise: Some things cannot be fixed no matter how much you might will it to be otherwise.

Therefore: You cannot bend reality to your will, or on a whim.


Premise: Any observer observing something cannot now alter the state of affairs of that something.

Premise: Observers observing something alters the state of affairs of that something.

Therefore: So, we have a paradox, contradiction or inconsistency in that something cannot both be and not be. Therefore, to repeat myself, something is screwy somewhere!


That’s enough Premises and Therefores for now at least. I think you get the gist of the state of affairs – I hope.

The first central issue here is how can a passive observer effect or prod what is being observed, especially in the micro realm of quantum or particle physics? What are the ‘bullets’ coming off or emanating from the observer and how are these ‘bullets’ different from the rest of Mother Nature’s ‘bullets’ that are also present and accounted for but which seem to have no effect? Or, as some suggest, is an observation actually an irreducible violent process?

The second central issue is that if observers are random and observational behaviour is random why are experimental results consistent?

The third central issue here is how can a particle or a wave KNOW or be AWARE that it is being observed?

The “Observer Effect” seems highly selective (1): You get the “Observer Effect” in the Double-Slit Experiment that turns waves into particles regardless of the ‘bullets’ used. Waves are never observed to turn into particles in the natural realm of Mother Nature. So we have different rules for quasi-identical situations, in this case observers and wave / particle behaviour.

The “Observer Effect” seems highly selective (2): It exists within the Quantum Zeno Effect but not otherwise. Now you may well argue that people observe radioactive stuff all of the time, from medical technicians to particle physicists, from miners to manufacturers of munitions, and there is no change in rates of decay. And this is so. So we have different rules for quasi-identical situations, in this case observers and unstable (radioactive) nuclei.

So it would appear that just being an observer isn’t quite enough. You’ve got to be an observer WITH INTENT. Your intention, your goal / objective is to alter that rate of decay (and save Schrodinger’s Cat). This again implies that somehow or other consciousness plays a key role in determining reality. Now I don’t like that idea but I am forced to confront and consider that possibility, a possibility that many millions already accept as a given. That is, you can have mind-over-matter. The Placebo Effect is the best known example. You may have also heard of the phrase “the power of positive thinking”.


Human Consciousness: It’s very easy just to say consciousness and/or observation has a direct bearing on reality as long as you don’t have to actually explain how and what the actual mechanism is. You can consciously observe a lead bar from now until you kick-the-bucket and it won’t ever change into a bar of gold despite the fact that ultimately the lead bar is just composed of micro realm particles.

So does consciousness explain the “Observer Effect” and thus the Quantum Zeno Effect and the wave-particle duality inherent in the Double-Slit Experiment? Probably not. First there’s the issue with mechanical devices as ‘observers’ doing the actual observations to which the property of consciousness is not usually attributed. Secondly, there’s no known mechanism by which an immaterial mind can have an effect on a material object (which is not to say it can’t happen as the Placebo Effect adequately demonstrates). Finally, each human observer is a different human observer with a different consciousness and collectively all have differing mind-sets. The consciousness of no two (or more) people is the same yet the experimental results of the QZE and the DSE are uniform and consistent.

God Done It: Of course theists say that the “Observer Effect” is just the ever omni-presence of God. It’s our supernatural God doing all of the observing all of the time of the whole Universe. The whole Universe maintains its existence in a non-superposition-of-state because of the existence of God who maintains the status-quo (i.e. – one Universe present and accounted for). And God works in mysterious ways! However, what can be asserted without evidence can be rejected without evidence.

Special Effects! If there is no “Observer Effect” (passive observation cannot influence what’s being observed) then the Double-Slit Experiment (wave-particle duality) and the Quantum Zeno Effect (observation can alter radioactive decay) cannot be possible. Yet, both have been experimentally verified. One resolution (i.e. – my resolution) is to propose that all of this is just some sophisticated special effect, the result of computer software programming. This implies that we ‘exist’ as virtual reality in a simulated universe.

*The Moon exists even if no one is looking at it. The Moon continues to exist, undisturbed, even when nobody is watching it. The Universe existed even before the concept of observers was thought of in Mother Nature’s philosophy. The Universe can create an observer but an observer cannot create the Universe. This is NOT a chicken – egg scenario. If quantum theory is unable to explain this basic fact, it means that it is, quite simply, an incomplete theory.

Torch Height Control Through Arc Voltage Sensing for Plasma Cutting

images (26)The role of a torch height control system for mechanized cutting systems is often understated. A good THC (Torch Height Control) is absolutely critical to get good cut quality. It is a known fact that by far the best possible control method is by sensing the cutting voltage. The cutting voltage is directly proportional to the height between the torch and the workpiece; higher the distance, higher the voltage and vice-versa. So one can easily take the cutting voltage as a control parameter and use the same for controlling the stand-off distance. This method of control is frequently referred to as AVC (arc voltage sensing). Sensing the arc voltage is not devoid of challenges. The torch is subjected to a high frequency pilot arc, which creates plasma. This HF can easily traverse back to the sensitive voltage measuring circuitry and damage/cause malfunctioning of the system. It is absolutely essential to isolate the measuring circuitry from the plasma HF and yet be able to measure the voltage accurately. Highly sensitive arc voltage control circuitry can detect voltage variations less than 0.5V. Accurate measurements as well as isolation can be achieved through use of Hall sensors.

Piercing through thick metals has an adverse effect on the life of the torch consumables. Hence, piercing needs to be carefully controlled in order to maximize the life of consumables. A proper piercing sequence is explained below with schematics:

I) When a command is received from the CNC to start cutting, the torch height controller moves the torch down to touch the workpiece, to ascertain zero level. The plate can be sensed through multiple mechanisms, most commonly used is ohmic sensing / motor torque sensing / a combination of both. Once the plate has been sensed, the torch now moves upwards.

ii) The torch continues to move upwards to a programmed piercing height. On reaching this height, the plasma arc strikes and the plate begins to get pierced While piercing takes place, a lot of molten metal (depending on the thickness of the plate being pierced) jumps out of the plate and forms a pool. The torch needs to be protected from this molten metal,so the torch continues to move upward to a programmed “molten pool jump” height.

iii) The torch now moves downwards to the programmed cutting height. The THC unit now gives a signal to the CNC to start movement

iv) The torch now continues to move at the same cutting height. Arc voltage is constantly fed back to the control unit, which maintains a constant arc voltage through an appropriate PID control loop.

The above discourse amply demonstrates the role of a good THC for a good cut with plasma.


It’s Only Regular Matter

download (37)Dark matter, in a nutshell, is a theoretical force envisioned by scientists that would explain the behavior of galaxies that seem to be spinning fast enough for some of their stars to fly out of their orbits but do not. For galaxies to remain intact they would have to have a greater gravitational pull than their visible mass suggests. Scientists therefore theorized, as far back as the 1930s, that there must be some invisible matter — dark matter — that’s holding galaxies together.

The problem is that as hard as we try to detect dark matter we cannot. And despite other theories to explain galaxies’ behavior, their rapid spin remains a mystery.

I’d like to propose a new theory that might shed some light on all this. A study done several years ago showed that the universe’s energy is decreasing. What if gravity, too, has been getting weaker? Not necessarily in lockstep or conjunction with the universe’s energy, or, perhaps there is a connection. Regardless, a diminishing gravity scenario — where gravity has been steadily declining since the beginning of time — would explain what appears to be dark matter.


When we look into the sky we see objects as they were many years ago. The additional gravity needed to hold a galaxy together actually was there at that time in the past. So when we calculate its gravitation pull based on today’s gravitational strength we come up short and assume there must be some kind of dark, invisible matter.

What’s more, a diminishing gravity theory also explains another puzzle that presents itself with the dark matter theory. Different celestial objects seem to have a vastly disproportionate amount of dark matter. Pretty difficult to explain.

With the diminishing gravity theory, however, even this problem disappears. Different celestial objects have different gravitational pulls because they formed at different times in the past and, therefore, actually had different gravitational strengths.

Furthermore, there’s an additional factor that would give heavenly objects greater gravitational pull than their sizes would suggest. Under a greater gravitational pull these objects would have coalesced with greater force and into more compact objects, giving them even greater gravitational pull than the same size objects compacted under weaker gravity. In this more compact form, these objects may very well exert greater gravity even today than other objects of the same size. This diminishing gravity theory is explained in more detail in “The V-Bang: How the Universe Began.”

What this boils down to is that older celestial objects will generally have greater gravity and therefore appear to have more dark matter. The relationship between distance from earth and age, however, is not as straightforward as current theory holds. This is also explained in detail in “The V-Bang.”


This entry was posted on January 4, 2016, in Education.