Young Scientists

Doing experimental science in Africa : how to ? - 14. François Piuzzi: Use computer parts to build scientific instruments

A computer hard disk can be transformed into a centrifuge. Unless you have an unused drone engine instead.

"I will talk now about hijacking technologies.

You can hijack a computer hard disk and turn it into a centrifuge. The cost is very low.

You have here another centrifuge that is based on a drone engine. We've been using drones for a few years. And now we take the engines and use them in centrifuges.

There are many things you can do. All you have to do is be creative and willing.

The third example is a clock generator. The clock generator is what gives the frequency reference on all computer motherboards. It can be used in photoacoustics, to make gas analyses: SO2, NO2, all volcanic gases.

In the fourth example, still in hijacking, see the smartphone. It's an application called Phyphox. It's free, a German university developed it, and it allows you to turn your smartphone into scientific instruments, because you can turn on all the sensors, actuators that are in your smartphone. There are many things you can do. It's very funny, and your children will have fun.

Then there is a new organization called the Open Source Glucose Meter, for free open source glucose sensors.

I think that in order to have a better situation in Africa, we need to organize a lot of training in the fields I mentioned, we need to do a lot of it!

These methods allow you to do things cheaply but you need to have training. The money we spent before to buy equipment must be put into training. It helps to make people independent.

Then we should advertise these systems and have a place where we can put all the developments.

We also started with Physics Without Borders and APSA to hold a competition on experimental sciences. There is an article that has been published on this subject in European Physics News.

Then it would also be necessary to have initiatives in many countries and so it is also up to you to take over all this.

I would like to mention lastly a competition that is being developed in Ethiopia this year.

And there I put "Turn your limits into motivation", because there are also many people working on adapting equipment for the disabled. As in Africa there are many disabled people, I think that everyone could also try to work on cheap equipment for disability."

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