Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Social values, moral, ethics and engineering brain circuitry

Let's explore the relationship between social awareness brain circuitry and brain circuitry responsible for engineering.

Since, in accordance to my theory, moral, ethical (derived), emotional values are hard wired responsive circuitry in brain, ME circuitry, they will respond to any stimulus, event, object, concept thrown at them. Amazingly enough not that emotional or moral response will be present for known things, but, the response will be there for things and concepts never seen before, like new inventions, discoveries etc. Engineering has no axiomatic or logical connections with moral or emotional (ME) circuitry. Connections are made once the engineering solution is presented to the brain. Finding engineering solutions, using axiomatic web of physics laws, send non stop moral and emotional signals to ME circuitry. Yet these signals rarely helps finding the engineering solution for particular task or problem. You have to think in other, engineering, way. However, ignoring moral and emotional response while dealing with engineering problems will make you an social misfit, eccentric, and neurotic possibly.

Monday, June 28, 2010

How an Internal Combustion Engine Works

Combustion Engine Principle

Here is one approach how to describe an internal combustion engine and link the energy conversion theory with the conception of novel ideas that resulted in the engine design as it is today, starting from the crank to turn the shaft to statistical thermodynamics at the molecular level with macroscopic thermodynamics laws inside the cylinder with piston, valves, connection rod. Complex formulae are avoided, but physical principles that led to winning initial and boundary conditions for PDEs are outlined. Note that physical feel and intuition how the engine should work are leading drives for successful design.

Let’s say we have started with the question how to turn the wheel of a car or of a coach.

First thought is to turn it by hand. But, obviously it is not practical. We don’t want to sit in the coach and turn the shaft all the time while we travel. Is there anything else that we can use to turn the shaft around it’s axis and transfer power to the wheels?

What if you imagine a cylinder and a piston, and inside the cylinder a lot of small particles that push the piston up? Then the particles wait until the piston is down, then push again up. Sure, that looks like a nice idea. You can easily connect the piston via some kind of connection rod to the shaft and with one or two gears you can translate vertical motion of the piston to the rotational motion of the shaft. But, the major point is how the particles get energy to push the piston up. Why particles? Why not something else? What are these particles anyway? I will answer these questions in this article.

Let’s start by answering what would be the major invention here. It is a chemical reaction between the fuel molecules and oxygen. Don’t forget, a chemical reaction, called combustion, is only process of breaking bonds between certain atoms and creating new bonds between the same atoms. Bond creation is done by sharing electrons, in most cases. So, here we have only electric forces in game, no others. Atoms are clusters of protons and neutrons held together by nuclear forces, with electrons orbiting around. So, in chemical reactions, the atom core remains intact, only electrons got shared or exchanged between these clusters of protons and neutrons! Hence no nuclear forces are acting in the chemical reactions, only electrical. Hence, chemical reaction can be called an electrical reaction. Note here the significance of bonds breaking and bonds forming. While combustion is usually associated with flames, smoke, etc. that is not the major characteristic important to us. Combustion is like any other chemical reaction, and, moreover, as we have seen, each chemical reaction is actually electrical reaction. Hence, combustion is an electrical reaction, where energy after atoms and electrons reorganization is responsible to move the piston.

During this reorganization of atoms, the stored energy in the bonds got released and newly formed molecules with newly formed bonds accelerate, away from each other, with high speed from the point of initial impact. Note that impact is not the source of the increased speed of the new molecules. It is the bonds formed that supply that energy. This is the most important moment in internal combustion engine theory. These newly formed molecules (usually CO2 and H2O) are the ones that will hit the wall of the piston and push the piston up. Of course the molecules will hit the other sides of the cylinder but that work is lost.

Now, given that you have these particles that accelerate away from each other once the bonds are broken and new bonds are created, and initial molecules are broken and new molecules are created, you want to make these particles to work for you. How would you do that? You will confine them in a closed space, some kind of enclosure, and a metal cylinder will serve that purpose nicely. So, let’s put molecules of oxygen and fuel in a container, a cylinder. Then, we will make one side of the cylinder movable, top lid say. That will be our piston. You can easily attach a connection rod to the piston and use this rod to turn the shaft connected to the wheel. At this point we have fully working internal combustion engine!

What happens when all molecules are reorganized, i.e. when there are no molecules to push the piston up, or, in popular language, when all fuel is burnt, in one "cycle"? You have to somehow empty the container cylinder from the combustion products, i.e. molecules of CO2 and water, H2O, that did their role in pushing the piston up. Once the container is empty, you can add new mixture of fuel and oxygen, ignite it and get new molecules to push your cylinder up again. How is this emptying and filling done? Well, you can manually open the lid, i.e. remove the piston from the container, empty the content, then fill the container with the new amount of mixture of fuel and oxygen. But, again, that’s not practical and even might not let the engine work continuously. What’s the solution? The solution is to create two openings in the cylinder, and two valves to open and close each opening. They will be referred to as intake opening and exhaust opening. These valves can easily be connected to the camshafts, intake camshaft and exhaust camshaft. Both camshaft can be again easily connected to the main crankshaft which is powered with our accelerating molecules from the cylinder. So, once the intake and exhaust camshafts are synchronized, they will do the required tasks, namely allowing fuel and oxygen to enter combustion chamber, and, after burning, let them out. When we need a new amount of mixture of fuel and oxygen in the cylinder, intake camshaft will open intake valve and the mixture will go in. When the burning process is finished, the exhaust shaft will open the exhaust valve and the piston will push the combustion products out of the cylinder, through the exhaust opening. Again, we have used the energy from accelerating molecules which are the result of the combustion (combustion is, in it’s essence, an electrical reaction between the fuel and oxygen molecules) to turn the main crankshaft, and, by attaching convenient configuration of gears to the main crankshaft, we control opening and closing of the intake and exhaust valves. At this point we have, essentially, designed the 2 tact motor, internal combustion engine. Here is the illustration of the real internal combustion engine with its essential parts:

Elements of an Internal Combustion Engine

Here is a real world illustration of the inside of an automobile engine:

And, let’s repeat again how it works.
1. Vacuum will suck in the mixture of fuel and oxygen.
2. Spark will ignite and initiate the electrical reaction, also called chemical reaction, between the molecules of fuel and oxygen. The accelerating molecules will push the piston down and do the work.
3. Once the combustion is completed, the flywheel will push the piston up and empty the combustion chamber, i.e. our cylinder, from the products of combustion.
4. Flywheel will close the exhaust valve, pull the piston down, and open the intake valve. Vacuum will suck in the new mixture of fuel and oxygen and the process will start again.

But, the major thing is that the energy to push the piston to do the work, to rotate the crankshaft, is obtained from the bonds breaking and bonds forming between the molecules of fuel and oxygen, during the combustion process. During these bonds breaking and formation, molecules of CO2 and H2O get accelerated and push the piston thus transferring energy to shaft. It is these accelerated molecules that moves the crankshaft, and hence, car.

As a side note, although we talk here about energy and work, they are the same physical concept. Moreover, although we talk about giving energy, transferring energy over distance, etc. energy is not an object. Energy is a calculated value, obtained by measuring mass, time, distance, keep that in mind. The motion is what we are after.

[ car engine, chemistry, combustion engine, fuel, Internal Combustion Engine, physics, Thermodynamics ]

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Fundamental Forces, Physics

From Wikipedia: In physics, fundamental interactions (sometimes called fundamental forces) are the ways that the simplest particles in the universe interact with one another. An interaction is fundamental when it cannot be described in terms of other interactions.
My comment. Well, that's not what I have heard in my secondary school or at the University, at least not frequently enough.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Scientific thought

Science appears to be the wining way of thought.

Friday, April 16, 2010

Where the Graphs Come From

Where the Graphs Come From

Curve, as a word for graph, in math, is misleading, as a label for count pairs, on many levels. First, it is because it refers to a visual impression, since many of mathematical functions represented have the form of curvy line, of the concept. What it fails to capture and signify is that the “curve” represents pairs of numbers, i.e. pairs of counts. Function, in mathematics, is a set of pairs. It represents counts you have paired for this or that reason. Function is not a formula. Formula is only a rule. Functions is more of a map, or the most precisely, it is a set of paired numbers.

Then, how we ended up with the “curve” word? Some genius came up with the idea to consider counts of length, i.e. magnitude of length, number that is obtained by measuring length, length of line. The count obtained by measuring the length of a line will be the same as the count obtained say, by counting cars, measuring mass, temperature, stating the price of goods, or speed, or how many trains go through the station during the day, or any other counts that you can think of. Thus, showing the line on the graph, and knowing that the next step is measuring its length of that line, and matching that count (obtained from length) with the count of another object will give you the representation of the quantity you are interested in, as depicted in Fig 1.

Fig 1. Matching the counts.

Each point on the curve represents a pair of lengths, namely x and y. This is the most important property of the curve, that its points represent the pairs of lengths. The shape of curve is not there, in most of the cases, to be considered aesthetically. The curve shape tells you the relation between the paired lengths, and that’s the most important information you can get by visually inspecting the curve of the graph in mathematics.

Fig 2. Another view of matching the counts and using a graph for respresentation.

So, the major conclusions follow. Function in math is a defined pair of counts. Functions is not a formula. The other good word for function is mapping, map, between two or more numbers. Pairing numbers is another better word for function. Curve in math graph is a visual representation of paired lengths. Lengths of the curve, line are equivalent to the numbers, counts obtained from other sources, for instance, by measurements, agreements, counting, picking the number.

More links on math:
[ count, functions, graphs, math, mathematics, number, physics ]

    Thursday, April 8, 2010

    Mapping between intercellular communication and brain interpretation of the signals

    The trick in biochemistry and in cellular biochemistry is to understand where our understanding stands. We know about receptors embedded in the cell membrane and we know about inter-cellular communication via ion concentration changing and channel, gate opening closing. But, what we don't know is how the INTERPRETATION is done in the brain. The interpretation is present, we know it, and we can eventually make a MAP between the receptor(-signal-ion concentration-channel dynamics) and interpretation in brain, but we don't know how the interpretation in brain is realized. That's the state of molecular biology and cellular biochemistry now. Still, even this approach allows to design drugs and understand mechanisms in brain and of signals.

    Wednesday, April 7, 2010

    Hockey, Physics, Axioms and Where Innovations Come From

    Physics has strict laws. But, hockey, also, has strict rules, yet many different games can be developed within those rules. Same thing in Physics. You are free to choose, arbitrary, by your feeling, by your human experience, the initial conditions for your Physics problem. Or, invention. That's completely arbitrary, can be called art, skills, talent, intuition, genius. Like, how high you want to put ball before you leave it to the gravitational forces. That initial height IS NOT dictated by laws of Physics. It is determined by you. But, once you leave the ball, the Physics law takes over, and their strictness has to be followed and be aware of. Hence, the creativity in Engineering is in determining the initial conditions. They are up to you. Then, and only then you use laws of Physics to obtain the next result. For instance, Physics Laws, or even Laws of Electromagnetics, will not tell you, nor will prevent you, to determine the shape, amplitude of voltages for your generators. If sinusoidal voltages suit you, chose them. If other voltage shape suits you, chose that shape. And only then, you use the laws of electrical circuits to find the system states, voltages, currents, energy within the circuit. Creativity in Engineering is in choosing correct, useful, desired initial conditions.

    Similar thing is in hockey. The rules of hockey will not tell you how to win. The same way language grammar will not and can not tell you how to write a winning novel or screenplay. The rules of hockey are hockey axioms, and you use them to create instances of the game, within the rules framework. Each game is a set of theorem obtained from the initial hockey axioms, and proved by the way of arbitrary not interfering with the game.

    In Physics, differential equations can not tell you how to construct a new machine or make an invention. Why? Because differential and integral equations are waiting for YOU to tell them their initial and boundary conditions, i.e. STARTING CONDITIONS, they are waiting for you to tell them what and when to calculate, in the form of integrand, integral limits, initial and boundary conditions.

    Three phase circuits - a comment

    Conservation of Energy Law in an electric circuit, say 3PH, does not limit you what kind of voltages you are going to apply or produce at the generator points. And this particular freedom, in choosing the shape of voltages, is the root of creativity and inventions in 3PH circuits. Any voltage can be there. We choose, almost axiomatically, a priori, that there will be sinusoidal, periodic voltages.

    Pic 1. Three phase systems with generators and loads.

    As in any axiomatic system, there is a World #1 and the World #2. The World # 1 determines the reason, motivation why we have the voltages we have. The World #2 accepts those voltages as given, as axioms, as starting assumptions, premises. Finding the reason what voltage shapes we will have usually has nothing to do with the World #2. For instance, we need 3PH voltages to create rotational magnetic field, which in turn, we need to rotate the shaft, which, in turn, we need to move a car. Moving a car is the World # 1, while chosen voltages are the World # 2.

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