Astrophysics in technology

Weekender
TECHNOLOGY

AS a prelude to this lecture on the subject of astrophysics and its relevance in technology, I would say it contributes to Papua New Guineans’ enlightenment and wellbeing as well as the whole earth’s citizens.
It is a subject concomitantly known as astronomy and relates to the study of the universe in our sun, the solar system, the planets, the other stars, the distant cosmological entities including the Milky Way galaxy and other galaxies. Not the least are the black holes, dark matter and dark energy leading to revealing the formation of the universe in particular its evolution and its degenerating inclinations as well its dynamics.
Astrophysics further revels the basic nature of the meaning of life, like the composition of the universe, would there be lives existing in other places in the entire universe somewhere as there are so many millions of stars and planets like our own sun which can facilitate life anywhere in the universe. It is a question of asymptotically diminishing an infinite world to finite scales on an Euclidean space. The basic materials found anywhere in the universe is basically similar to what we find on the earth and its atmosphere as studies in Astrophysics reveals. This is the latest finding that sheds light on the ambiguous and curious mind of man on the planet earth which we call our home.
It confers that the scientific studies and information obtained from field of Astrophysics clarifies the mysteries. Such include the associated known and unknown phenomena of the dynamics of the black matter and black holes, very perfect arrangement of particles of matter at an elemental atomic particle level to our huge solar system, the angular momentum like depictions of the milky way galaxy as seen in the electronic angular momenta as well as the huge gravitational bodies of dark matter and blackholes undergoing kinetics in spacetime curvature and exerting the gravitational field effect.
To live happily and healthily on this planet we have to observe our health and basic hygienic practices. This is paramount in all of these scenarios as they say we are “children of the stars”. This wording is relevant in scientific terms as the chemical reaction going on in the interior of our sun in our solar system. It is very similar just like the other stars (suns) that produce their sunlight (electromagnetic radiations) is that two atoms of hydrogen combine chemically to produce a helium nucleus.
Then, three helium atoms combine chemically or involve in chemical reaction produce the nucleus of one carbon atom. That is Hydrogen + Hydrogen Helium, and then Helium + Helium + Helium Carbon. Now, note that all the living things including us are made of carbon atoms in hydrocarbon chains and compounds as our basic building block. So, we have to replenish ourselves everyday by eating vegetables all the time for good health. Being very fat (overeating) and being malnourished (undereating) are bad health statuses.
Saying this lets pause at this juncture so I could pay tribute to firstly my two late parents mum Philomena Kiak Uglo and dad John Uglo Kansuga, brother late John Arumba, the former deputy secretary with Geo-survey Division at Kone, who completed his masters in Geology in Netherlands, brother late Maul Damien, Director Agriculture Department Waigani, who completed his Masters in Public Policy in Agriculture in New Zealand. You are all our small village Oiopongi’s pride in the Yongomugl Sinasina district, Simbu Province. Last but not the least to the late Sir Michael Thomas Somare and His family members for being the first Prime Minister of Papua New Guinea and his stewardship of PNG into independence from then, a very unique humanitarian Australian Prime Minister, late Honourable Whitlam Gough, PM. As a very kind and highly valued Aborigines’ humanitarian champion who had a track record of giving back Aborigines rights did not hold back but did the same to us independence under our Right Honourable Sir Michael T. Somare.
It is a normal biological process that to born is to die at what ever time when our creator calls us to be with Him in Paradise. We thus, so dearly love you and tressure your highest achievements in life as persons who can perform at an exceedingly above average demarcations. Your valuable achievements of the higher performances brings lasting joy to our us living in very close association with our Creator God whose throne is in the Heaven above and Whose footstool is on the earth below where we are dwelling. We thank Him for giving you to us and we will always remember you, in our prayers.

Nuclear fusion power after a chemical reaction. – Picture from www2.lbl.gov

Application of astrophysics and technology
Astrophysics has a lot of industrial, commercial and military applications. For instance, the cosmic wave background radiation is a significant phenomenon siphoned from the celestial bodies to find out about the nature of the body. Most of the high-powered waves cannot be visible in their trajectories in the likes of cosmic wave, gamma rays and X-rays. These rays do not reach the earth because they are filtered by the earth’s atmosphere. Having a telescope with a communication network attached to it in space sends so much detailed and clearer pictures back to the earth whereby our scientists in well-established observatories like NASA (National Aeronautics and Space Administration) of the United States (US) can receive for further analysis and research.
Technology’s contribution on optical information, computer networked instrumentations as well as both theoretical and observational astrophysics are producing very informed and high quality scientific information that is of immense benefit to aspiring scientists and to the scientific information available for scientists, industrialists and commercialist for use to invent, predict and innovate to come up with new innovations and products.
One such information known to man was the identification and examining the presence of neutrinos as detected as a strong energy moving particle of a cosmic radiation detected by the high-powered telescope mounted in space by NASA.

Technology in perspective with astrophysics
Use of computer to do computer modelling of black body and black hole for instance had revealed so much important information man had never known to exist especially on its dynamics.
So many areas are collaboratively used to expand on this field. For electromagnetic radiations from bodies in the universe has revealed the metallic and gaseous composition of substances. From radiation emissions and absorptions from atomic particles a substance’s density, the distance as well as its chemical composition can be determined accurately.
Furthermore, the composition of all the stars are determined. It is known in the field of astrophysics that the ray which emitted a yellow spectra which was strange enough is currently identified to be the helium atom. It is the very first noble gas you find on a periodic table of elements which exists as an atomic gas and not as a molecule. The helium atom is the by-product of a ten million (10,000) degree Celsius nuclear fusion reaction of hydrogen atoms. Two hydrogen atoms combined chemically produce a nucleus of a helium atom.
This is the basic nuclear reaction that go on in the interior of all the stars like our sun. We appreciate that this nuclear fusion reaction’s by-product of sunlight photosynthesises green plants on earth to produce carbohydrate for consumption by herbivores and omnivores like ourselves. We know as a simple science that sun is the principal energy supplier for all energy on earth. Without sun, there would not be any life on earth except for those who chemo-synthesise.

Astrophysics space research science mission 3 vertical isometric banners. – Picture from freepik.com

Potential for astrophysics
One most obvious benefit is that your iphone’s camera is a charge coupled device. A charge coupled device is one instrument that captures the radiations from the sun to produce a potential difference on a silicon, an intrinsic semiconductor. Thus, it can emit those available charges in electrons in one direction and electrons in the reverse direction. Those charges’ magnitudes can be used to convert them into digital values. It was developed for Astrophysics and Astronomy and now has a commercial use in the world.
A second most important use is in the education system that provides indebt scientific information that enriches scientific learning around the world. Prior to this contribution, it was thought that the matter in the universe was different to what is found on the planet earth. It all changed when dark lines were discovered on the pictures generated from the radiations from the sunlight. The curiosity and expedition led to the discovery of the brightest rays. These rays were absorbed on the gaseous elements of the atmosphere and formed those black lines. Since then, all those rays and their levels of energies with their wavelengths were discovered. So today basing on this discovery one can correctly ascertain all types of rays whether it is as a lower energy radiation like the radio wave or a higher energy wave like the gamma rays.
A third information is the computer programming language Forth developed for the telescope, the 36-foot Kitt Peak is now used to track packages according to Space and Astronomy news. A high programming language which can translate an assembly language as a source code into an object code can generate superb information in hostile conditions like in highly radioactive areas where the device can communicate as a supervisor with an operator. These developments make the job of man very easy and safe. There are further many more uses in medicine, industry, environment and military as mentioned earlier.
With this I wish all my beloved family members who have gone into their rest in the hope of rising again, we will continue to keep remembering you and keep you in our prayers that one fine glorious morning when the trumpet of the Lord sounds, we shall meet again.
Also, and most importantly, I sincerely thank and wish all past and present expat missionaries who come to work for PNG people’s salvation. Those whom God calls to rest while still in PNG or not, may God remember you again when the final trumpet sounds for Jesus return bring you His faithful ones home to inherit His everlasting happiness in Paradise.
Thank you so much and we shall meet to be with God when we are done on earth. I particularly mention the Catholic Christian Brothers’ great works in PNG as you are so dear in our Christian family. Thank you.
My prayer for you, my late beloved family members and PNG today is in this most famous Hymn “When the trumpet of the Lord shall, sound and time shall be no more. When the morning breaks eternal bright and fair. When the saved of earth will gather over on the other shore. When the Lord has called up yonder I’ll be there.”
Next week: Electrodynamics in technology

  • Michael Uglo is the author of the textbook Science in PNG, Pacific, Asia & Caribbean and a lecturer in Avionics, Auto-Piloting and Aircraft Engineering. Send comments to: michaeluglo4@gmail.com

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