A physicist at Oak Ridge National Laboratory will discuss sensors and detection technologies, such as those used in smoke alarms, at a Friends of ORNL meeting on Tuesday.
The talk by Bruce Warmack of the ORNL Measurement Science and Systems Engineering Division is titled “Making machines sense our world.”
The meeting is open to the public, and it starts at 11 a.m. Tuesday at the University of Tennessee Resource Center at 1201 Oak Ridge Turnpike.
“We live in a digital world, but at the point where the digital meets the real world—the analog world—is the sensor,” a press release said. “Until recent times, the only sensor in common use was the thermometer. Now sensors are ubiquitous for connecting us with digital appliances such as cell phones and tablets. Smoke alarms, burglar alarms, and environmental controls are quietly on duty for our safety and comfort. What are all these sensors that we own and how do they operate? Where will sensors be found in the future?”
Warmack has a doctorate from the University of Tennessee, and he has worked at ORNL in a variety of research areas since the 1970s, the press release said. During the past decade, he has been developing detection technologies ranging from micro-machined sensors to chemical sensors for homeland security.
His current interest is in promoting practical, near-term technologies for improving home smoke alarms to ensure occupants are quickly alerted to dangerous hazards without being annoyed by false alarms like burned toast. He and his teammates at ORNL have developed the Smart Smoke Alarm that uses ordinary sensors found in a conventional smoke alarm but is educated to know when to sound the alarm, the release said.
The meeting location in Oak Ridge is the UT Resource Center, the white-colored building at 1201 Oak Ridge Turnpike (State Highway 95) between Taco Bell and Applebee’s at the intersection of the Turnpike and Rutgers Ave (at Traffic Light #7).