Set the controls for the heart of the Sun

This is my last article on the Sun theme. I learned a lot doing the researches and I’m happy with the final result, 6 posts (including this one) with interesting new “stuff” to share! I would like some feedback so comments are more than welcomed!

Set the controls for the heart of the Sun

As I was researching this week theme I revisited one TED talk that made me gain confidence and It’s one of the reasons why I’m here today sharing what I everyday learn. This TED talk was made by Taylor Wilson (the second most young person to develop a nuclear fusion reactor).

Nuclear fusion is the process in which two or more atomic nuclei collide at a very high-speed, they merge together and form a heavier nucleus (with more energy) this happens because when they join into one single entity they lose mass that turns in energy. [1] [2]

In the core of the Sun, nuclear fusions take place hence releasing energy in enormous proportions making photons that once on the outside of the sun are mostly in the range of infrared/visible light/ultraviolet. [3]

I continued looking for this amazing teenagers for making this post and one news stroke me, a british boy had surpass this deed. Jamie Edwards became the youngest teenager to build a nuclear fusion reactor with 13 yo he beaten the achievement of 14 yo Taylor. [4]

At the end of that report there’s an announcement of an exhibit at the Imperial College London labeled “Set the controls for the heart of the Sun”, what clearly refers to the nuclear fusion happening at the Sun’s core. [5]

A little more about nuclear fusion… Nuclear fusion is still in research time, but it might one day get to another degree, the degree of supplying abundant and clean energy for all the planet. What is good for this source of energy is that it is much safer than the nuclear power plant energy created (nuclear fission) because it produces no high-level radioactive waste so It will not have the risk of disaster like the one in Chernobyl. [6]

A step to the future: A US$50 bilion project (building costs in July 2014) initiated in 2007 by 6 entities together (China, United States, Japan, European Union, India and South Korea) called ITER aims to create the first fusion power plant. [7]

Good News: Nowadays an experiment made in US changed the idea held that it took more energy for igniting fuel than the energy produced. (February 2014) [8]

Pink Floyd and the Sun

Pink Floyd, for those who never heard of them, are an English rock band formed in London in 1965. Well I could talk more about them but I guess that music, more than words, expresses their path and singularity. [9] “Set the controls for the heart of the Sun” is a track from their second album A Saucerful of Secrets released in 1968 it deploys a psychedelic rock music, paced and full of spiritual force.

I strongly recommend you to listen this track…

In this manner I say “au revoir” and get ready for the next week theme…


References and further reading.

[1] – Nuclear fusion – Wiki

[2] – (audiovisual reference) Nuclear fusion – elearning

[3] – The Sun’s Structure and Nuclear Fusion – earthguide & see  “References and further reading” on this post

[4] – British schoolboy,13, becomes youngest to build nuclear fusion reactor – the telegraph

[5] – Set the controls for the heart of the Sun – CIFS’ Royal Society Summer Science Exhibit 2014

[6] – Chernobyl disaster – Wiki

[7]  – ITER & (audiovisual reference) ITER – in five minutes

[8] – Big leap for fusion: more energy produced that spent igniting fuel – arstechnica

[9] – Pink Floyd – Wiki & Pink Floyd Official Site

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Sun exposure can make you live longer!

We are used to be warned about sun exposure, we know all of its risks and we know that we shouldn’t look at the sun [1] neither stay too long because of sunburn [2] and skin cancer [3]. But what about its benefits?

Usually we don’t see a lot of information on this concern, but nowadays this topic is starting to have more visibility. As the ancient greek proverb states, “virtus in media stat “(virtue stands in the middle). This is what in fact happens with sun exposure.

The benefits include the reduction of hypertension and cardiovascular disease. As a side note, cardiovascular disease is the number one cause of death, accounting 30% of deaths worldwide. [4] Dr. Richard Weller studies have successfully showed that UVA (Ultraviolet radiation A) activates NO(Nitric Oxide) that is stored in the skin which dilates blood vessels hence making an important change in hypertension and cardiovascular disease. [5]

The following video might facilitate the comprehension of this difficult subject.

 

Other benefit now caused by other component UVB (Ultraviolet radiation B) is that it seems to protect from MS (Multiple Sclerosis) according to recent studies there is a strong evidence for this. [6] This happens due to the Vitamin D that is created on our body by UVB. [7]

The last benefit I will present is about SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder). This is a mood change that occurs in summer or winter. As in other animals winter brings an extremely hard survival environment and so animals tend to diminish activity. This is probably what also happens in humans setting a cosy atmosphere for humans sleep and feeling depressive. So revealing this is really a fact sun exposure is able to trigger a good mood. [8]

Conclusion, in spite of the fact that sunlight seems to attack you that is not actually the true there’s this “other side of the coin” which matters for your life span.

This is a lengthier post that I will make all possibles to not repeat. This gave me a lot of work (selection of information and selection of fonts) so I hope you like it. Give some feedback and see you next time! Quality before quantity!


References and further reading.

[1] – Snow blindness – Wiki

[2] – Sunburn – Wiki

[3] – UV and Skin Cancer – American Cancer Society

[4] – Sun, Vitamin D, and cardiovascular disease – US National Library of Medicine

[5] – Sunlight Might Be Good for Your Blood Pressure: Study – HealthDay

[6] – Childhood sun exposure influences risk of multiple sclerosis in monozygotic twins – Neurology.org

[7] – What Causes MS? – National Multiple Sclerosis Society

[8] – Seasonal Affective Disorder -Wiki

 

How the sun sees you!

We are used to see in only one kind of electromagnetic waves, the visible light waves.[1]

What about ultraviolet waves, how do they make you look?

Sun has three different kinds of light that get into earth: infrared, ultraviolet and visible.[2] What we can only see is just the visible light. So have you ever thought about see in ultraviolet? How would you look?

Here is how the answer looks like…


References and further reading.

[1] – Introduction to the electromagnetic spectrum – Nasa

[2] – Sunlight – Wikipedia