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keithwms
02-10-2009, 10:19 AM
The knowledge will not be lost, Ron. Cheer up ;) There will always be some nutjob (ahem, dedicated scientist) in some remote lab, toiling away, turning over stones that nobody thought of and enjoying that process of discovery. Look at it this way, we have been in the "web information age" for a few decades now and what is known now will be disseminated and preserved. It's not like this knowledge will vanish into thin air, there will always be people like us to appreciate it and push it forward.

(these optimistic words uttered by a young scientist who now realizes that he took a vow of poverty when he went into science in this day and age :rolleyes: )

Photo Engineer
02-10-2009, 10:54 AM
I get what you are saying. It makes me sad. On one hand, it sounds like a lot - 15 educated people working with full lab facilities. On the other hand, it's only 15 people. I know it costs money to pay those people and put them in a lab, but in the big picture, it's not that much. It always frustrates me how short sighted our culture is in terms of funding research.

Tim;

By now, you have an authoritative answer.

PE

Tim Gray
02-10-2009, 10:54 AM
Haha. Yes.

Photo Engineer
02-10-2009, 10:57 AM
Keith;

A round number costing of that is about $25 million in the 15 years. So think it over again. It would take a multi discipline scientist many years of work to accomplish this doing synthetic chemistry, inorganic chemistry, emulsion making and coating to test and retest.

Good luck.

PE

keithwms
02-10-2009, 11:13 AM
That's why I used the term 'nutjob' ;)

Photo Engineer
02-10-2009, 11:33 AM
Keith, Struan;

I wish I could sit you two down with people like Annabel and Paul Gilman and a few other EK theoreticians. It would be a memorable round table discussion. :D I'm sure though that that would never come about. :( I have talked to one of the sensitizing dye chemists and he never wants to discuss synthetic organic chemistry again in his entire life!

Tim;

As you found, you are talking to the wrong person. But then, there is no "right" person. Ever see a chicken have its head cut off?

PE

keithwms
02-10-2009, 12:07 PM
Sit us down then. My place or yours? ;) I can invite people for seminar here, I really can.... with everything paid for...

Photo Engineer
02-10-2009, 12:13 PM
At Kodak there are the Weissberger lectures given at KRL as well. These and the series before Arnold Weissberger died have been ongoing for nearly 100 years AFAIK. I was just kidding though. I could never arrange something like that. You might be able to though.

PE

Chazzy
02-10-2009, 01:06 PM
I hope that the research continues and that we see ongoing refinements of the products that we have and even more new products. But, worst case scenario (this is an intellectual exercise), if we were "stuck" with no further improvements after 2009, would we be in such bad shape? Many people are still not even using the "new" technology of several years ago (the T-Max and Delta films). And there is never any shortage of complaints that what people really want are the old products which have been discontinued. So if nothing new happens in terms of film research and new film products, does it really matter so much?

AgX
02-10-2009, 01:13 PM
Charles,

A good point.

But don't forget that there are not only Apug types using film. Especially industrial customers may have a different perspective.

Photo Engineer
02-10-2009, 01:32 PM
Actually, a number of us used to discuss the decreasing yield of new things / unit dollar in R&D. It was like squeezing blood out of a turnip. You look at the curve and you find that we are on the shoulder of the R&D curve of analog materials and that indicates that the science is quite mature and near the end of its capability to yield new discoveries. Kodak knew this back in the 90s when more $$s were needed per unit invention/patent.

This happens in any scientific field. You reach a point where so much is known that the rest amounts to just cleaing up the details. Analog is a mature field. We know that the limit on practical speed is about 800. Above that and ambient heat and radiation cause products to deteriorate at a rather rapid rate. We have shown in several different approaches that about 25,000 ISO is the maximum speed that is available from analog systems.

There are benchmarks for image stability, support stability and process solution stability.

So, we have reached a plateau. If there is to be another cycle, someone will have to invest heavily as this next stage will be even more costly than any of the previous cycles of R&D. IDK if it is possible. Some say yes, some say no, we have reached the max.

Industrial customers are complaining as well but we do not see them here on APUG AFAIK.

PE

Chazzy
02-10-2009, 01:46 PM
What do the industrial customers want—better aero films? Better microfilms?

Ray Rogers
02-10-2009, 01:59 PM
Actually,
Ron is right, but I know there are some very interesting things that are still going to come out of fundamental photographic research, and within our lifetime!

Kirk Keyes
02-10-2009, 01:59 PM
What do the industrial customers wantóbetter aero films? Better microfilms?

Larger digital sensors...

Photo Engineer
02-10-2009, 02:02 PM
Actually,
Ron is right, but I know there are some very interesting things that are still going to come out of fundamental photographic research, and within our lifetime!

Yes, Tani told us of some of his plans. But they are really takeoffs of what is known when you get down to it. The Fuji thermal imaging is just a rehash of Grants work from 40 years ago it seems to me, with a few modern twists and the Fuji materials use some polymers that we looked at years ago but discarded due to the coating problems.

Kodak may drop back to some of these themselves.

PE

Struan Gray
02-11-2009, 05:01 AM
I wish I could sit you two down with people like Annabel and Paul Gilman and a few other EK theoreticians.

That would be a meeting worth travelling to.

It's *almost* tempting enough to make me stop buying lenses and put the money towards an airfare :-)



It would be a memorable round table discussion. :D I'm sure though that that would never come about. :( I have talked to one of the sensitizing dye chemists and he never wants to discuss synthetic organic chemistry again in his entire life!

I feel that way about organic chemistry too.

I suspect the pessimism is largely justified when it comes to film, certainly when it comes to optimising emulsions and the associated production engineering for large-scale manufacturing. But the basic science is still relevant. It's been a while since I dabbled directly in solar cells, but they are one of the single biggest (hyped :-) applications of semiconductor nanotechnology and many of the basic questions asked about how emulsions work are directly relevant. This is even more so as there is a strong desire to get away from crystalline materials and to include more polymers, either as substrates or as the conductive electrodes.

AgX recently tipped me off about a recent Nature Nano paper (doi:10.1038/nnano.2008.206 (http://www.nature.com/doifinder/10.1038/nnano.2008.206)) that got a lot of press and which actually inverted the problem, using crystalline semiconductor nanocrystals as 'sensitisers' for a conductive polymer matrix. The theories and experimental tools applicable to some aspects of emulsion science can be directly applied to this sort of topic.

My own interest in emulsions will have to remain polite and theoretical until the kids are a bit more grown and I have time and inclination to put a lab into the cellar. But as I am sure Keith knows, nanoscience is in a wild flurry state at the moment, with a mad fuzz of ideas and possible applications been generated every time someone makes a new material or particle. I have several times had the pleasure of drawing analogies between what my nanomanufacturing colleagues are newly excited about, and what Lippmann or Herschel were making and studying over a hundred years ago.

Ray Rogers
02-11-2009, 07:11 AM
...applications of semiconductor nanotechnology and many of the basic questions asked about how emulsions work are directly relevant.

I agree.

There are new aplications on the way as well.
Perhaps even silver halide based digital imaging.
Some of these new uses/products will come from outside of the industry.
Many will indeed have their roots in traditional photographic science.

keithwms
02-11-2009, 08:53 AM
Struan, I really wouldn't mind setting up a little workshop on the topic, I could probably round up funds for a few speakers and make it a Friday + weekend affair to allow for a few talks and then some informal discussions and/or lab work and/or shooting.

Assuming that I can get the relevant speakers, would there be interest? I'll just say, those who can give a physics-based lecture (think of a traditional physics seminar) could be formally invited by my department and have all expenses paid. Others would be left to their own devices, but nevertheless, if it's a convergence of the right people, it could be a rewarding little technical workshop. Actually, when we still had Jack around, there was a workshop like this, back in the 90s. It could be a memorial workshop of sorts, as a way to generate a cohesive theme.

I need names of folks who could be formally invited.... and preferably could give a talk without everybody having to sign an NDA, although that is possible... please help with names and emails if you can!

wildbillbugman
02-11-2009, 07:08 PM
Keith,
I could not speak. By no means am I remotly qualified.But I would love to sit and listen!
Bill

Tim Gray
02-11-2009, 07:28 PM
Yes I'm not qualified. (want to hear about plasma physics?) But I might make the drive down...