H2CAR could fuel entire US transportation sector

first_imgA possible configuration of the proposed H2CAR process. Image credit: Rakesh Agrawal, et al. New biofuels process promises to meet all US transportation needs In a recent study, scientists have demonstrated that a hybrid system of hydrogen and carbon can produce a sufficient amount of liquid hydrocarbon fuels to power the entire U.S. transportation sector. Using biomass to produce the carbon, and solar energy to produce hydrogen, the process requires only a fraction of the land area needed by other proposed methods. Citation: H2CAR could fuel entire U.S. transportation sector (2007, April 24) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2007-04-h2car-fuel-entire-sector.html According to Purdue University scientists Rakesh Agrawal, Navneet Singh, Fabio Ribeiro, and Nicholas Delgass, this appealing scenario is well within reach of current or near-future technology. “Enough technology exists to build the main concept of this process today,” Agrawal told PhysOrg.com. “H2CAR could also endure sustainably for thousands of years. [We hope that] this process will lead to the birth of a new economy, a ‘hybrid hydrogen-carbon economy.’”The hybrid hydrogen-carbon (H2CAR) process takes advantage of the energy density of liquid hydrocarbons (currently provided from oil), but it uses a sustainable and environmentally-friendly method. Because the fuel is essentially the same, though, the H2CAR process could conveniently merge into the existing infrastructure and bypass delivery problems associated with other alternative energy carriers.In their paper published in PNAS, Agrawal et al. analyzed and compared different variations of the H2CAR process. They found that an optimal method would use biomass (such as switchgrass or corn) to provide the carbon. The main source of energy driving the process would come from hydrogen. The hydrogen could be generated from solar energy or another carbon-free energy source, such as nuclear or wind power.“Conventional processes treat biomass as a source of carbon atoms as well as a source of energy,” Agrawal explained. “This leads to the formation of a large amount of CO2 during the conversion process. The significance of the H2CAR process, on the other hand, lies in the fact that we are treating carbon in biomass or coal as primarily a source of carbon atoms and not a source of energy. This preserves all the carbon in the biomass and converts it to liquid fuel.”The scientists explain how the gasification and liquid conversion processes work: In a conventional process biomass, O2 and steam are fed together to a gasifier, where they are transformed to gaseous products—primarily CO, CO2 and H2—through a gasification and combustion process. In this gasification gives CO plus H2 and a huge amount of CO2. center_img The next step is to transform the gas to a liquid fuel in a Fischer-Tropsch process, where an additional quantity of CO2 is produced. Usually, this large quantity of CO2 formed is released in the atmosphere and requires large amounts of land for the biomass-to-liquid process. “The H2CAR method has a solution to these problems,” Agrawal explained. “H2 from a carbon-free energy source, along with CO2 from the gas to liquid conversion step, is co-fed to the gasifier. The presence of excess H2 in the gasifier not only suppresses formation of CO2 but also reacts with some of the recycled CO2. The same happens with CO and H2, which are unreacted in a ‘gas to liquid fuel process’ and also recycled. As a result, we don’t lose any carbon atoms as CO2, a greenhouse gas, from the H2CAR.”One concern about the use of biomass to produce fuel is the estimated amount of land area: in conventional methods, biomass would require 25-58% of the total U.S. land area to provide fuel for the country. Based on the current scenario of growth rates and gasifier efficiencies, the scientists estimate the H2CAR process to require about 15% of the land—and with reasonable future projections, just 6%. Significantly, this scenario would avoid the land competition with food growth.This study comes nearly on the heels of the 2005 “Billion Ton Biomass Study,” which estimated that the current amount of recoverable biomass could meet just 30% of the U.S. transportation needs. But because the H2CAR process supplements biomass with hydrogen, the same amount of biomass could provide liquid fuels for nearly 100% of U.S. transportation needs, according to Agrawal et al.’s estimates. “The reason for significant decrease in land area requirement for the H2CAR process as compared to conventional processes is that hydrogen production from solar energy is an order of magnitude more efficient than biomass growth, which typically grows with an average energy efficiency of less than 1%,” Agrawal explained. “This decreases the land area required to produce same quantity of liquid fuel by a factor of nearly one-third.”As the scientists conclude, H2CAR solves many problems simultaneously. “One is that it eliminates the need for CO2 sequestration from the chemical processing system,” Agrawal said. “The second is that it solves the grand challenge associated with hydrogen storage problem by storing the carbon-free hydrogen at a much higher storage density than currently known methods available. The third advantage is it needs nearly one-third biomass and, hence, land area to produce the same quantity of liquid fuel.”As amazing as that sounds, the scientists also suggest that, when combined with other technologies such as plug-in hybrid electric vehicles—which can run short distances on electricity and solar cells—the H2CAR process would provide the greatest value. Liquid fuels would only need to provide for less than half of the total driving distance in the U.S., bringing up the possibility that excess biomass could be used for residential and commercial power. The scientists also point out that, in this scenario, the U.S. could even become an exporter of oil.“The question that remains is of economics and not feasibility,” said Agrawal. “We are currently looking into the economics of the process. Major obstacles are attracting funding for research because gasification routes are generally capital intensive. Other obstacles include decreasing the price of hydrogen available from renewable sources such as solar, etc.” Another of Agrawal’s research areas is on making cost-effective solar cells.Citation: Agrawal, Rakesh, Singh, Navneet R., Ribeiro, Fabio H., and Delgass, W. Nicholas. “Sustainable fuel for the transportation sector.” Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. March 20, 2007, vol. 104, no. 12, 4828-2833.Free access to the article is available at www.pnas.org/cgi/content/full/104/12/4828 .Copyright 2007 PhysOrg.com. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed in whole or part without the express written permission of PhysOrg.com. Explore further This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only.last_img read more

City lights make air pollution worse

first_img © 2010 PhysOrg.com City turns lights out Saturday to conserve Citation: City lights make air pollution worse (2010, December 16) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2010-12-city-air-pollution-worse.html (PhysOrg.com) — A new study by scientists in Los Angeles, California has found that bright city lights makes air pollution worse because the glare of the lights interferes with chemical reactions that clean the air of pollution during the night. This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only.center_img Pollution from motor traffic and factories pours into the air during the day and is broken down at night by the nitrate radical (NO3++), which is a special form of nitrogen oxide that is destroyed by sunlight.Scientists from the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and the University of Colorado’s Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences (CIRES) have now found that the lights of Los Angeles produce enough light to suppress the nitrate radicals, even though their combined light may be 10,000 less bright than sunlight. The study was based on measurements taken from aircraft flying over the city at night.Leader of the research team, Dr. Harald Stark of NOAA’s Chemical Sciences Division, said the preliminary results show the lights of the city slow the night time cleansing of air pollution by up to seven percent, but they also increase the chemicals that produce ozone pollution during the next day by as much as five percent.Dr. Stark said more research is needed to quantify the ozone effect, and this work is important because many cities are close to the recommended limits and even a small effect could be important.The study was carried out in Los Angeles, but the results for other large, brightly lit cities elsewhere would be expected to be similar.The effect could be reduced by using red light, but this is unlikely to be an acceptable solution. A better approach may be to point the lights to the ground, as suggested by campaigns such as the International Dark-Sky Association, which hope to stop the glare of street lights so people can see the stars.The findings of the research were presented on Monday in San Francisco at the Fall meeting of the American Geophysical Union, which runs from 13 to 17 December. Image credit: ORNL Explore furtherlast_img read more

Foldit computer action set for Canada conference w video

first_img © 2011 PhysOrg.com This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only. Describing the project, the authors say that “We present a novel device concept that features double-sided displays which can be folded using predefined hinges. The device concept enables users to dynamically alter both size and shape of the display and also to access the backside using fold gestures.”The video says it all, in terms of what the authors propose as interaction techniques. A tablet with spring-loaded hinges is folded like a book or a pamphlet. The user can make use of a single display screen or a front cover screen, two inside cover screens, or pamphlet-like fold arrangements. The act of folding is clever enough to be thought of as the art of folding, as the user has options either to use it as a single display tablet screen or bend it in the middle like a book for two-display mode and other types of folds.Projection techniques that enable the concept to work involve six overhead infrared cameras and two high-definition digital projectors.Watching the video it also becomes apparent that researchers like Steimle and his team are focused on raising the experience of computing for mobile knowledge workers. They have in mind freeing up the user experience for those who interact with data all the time, in accessing, parking, referring to, writing about, editing, sharing comments on, information. The video shows the tablet folding and offering interaction possibilities for writing and also demonstrates interactions ideal for visual displays and design. Steimle is visiting assistant professor in the Fluid Interfaces Group at the MIT Media Lab. Up to December last year, he headed the Tangible Interaction area at the Telecooperation Lab at the Technical University of Darmstadt, Germany.Steimle has been interested in different types of flexible displays, including rollable and foldable displays. “We believe that in the near future many portable devices will have resizable displays,” he said. “This will allow for devices with a very compact form factor, which can unfold into a large display when needed.“In the coming weeks, the touchscreen display presentation, once revealed at the TEI show, will no doubt be right at home. The theme of this year’s conference is “fold unfold.” (PhysOrg.com) — What nonsense, sitting in front of one, single display screen and struggling with a split-screen view of multiple-sites plus data entry or word processing. Is this the way it has to be for doing papers, writing reports, presenting detailed stats, and collaborating with others? In 2012, the single-screen sit-down is the common user experience, not nonsense, but a concept presentation at an upcoming conference in Canada could change expectations for good. Researcher Jurgen Steimle has devised a two-sided, foldable touchscreen concept that offers a book-like rather than one-screen user experience. Steimle and Mohammadreza Khalilbeigi, Roman Lissermann, and Wolfgang Kleine will present their research titled FoldMe: Interacting with Double-sided Foldable Displays at the Tangible, Embedded and Embodied Interaction (TEI 2012) Conference starting February 19 to February 22 in Kingston, Ontario. More information: ambient.media.mit.edu/people/j … nt/flexdisplays.htmlwww.tk.informatik.tu-darmstadt … -interaction/foldme/ Citation: Fold-it computer action set for Canada conference (w/ video) (2012, February 4) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2012-02-fold-it-action-canada-conference-video.html Explore further Foldable display shows no crease after 100,000 folding cycleslast_img read more

Physics group uses graphene to allow electron microscopy of liquid objects

first_img Journal information: Science © 2012 Phys.Org Up till now, studying so-called wet chemistry objects using an electron microscope has been more than a little tricky. This is because such microscopes require specimens to be held in a vacuum while being dosed with electrons. Unfortunately, liquids tend to vaporize when put into a vacuum, making them pretty hard to study. Up to now, researchers have been forced to use less than optimal substances to hold the materials in place, such as silicon nitride. Unfortunately, because such materials tend to be rather thick, the images created using them haven’t been of very high quality. Citation: Physics group uses graphene to allow electron microscopy of liquid objects (2012, April 6) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2012-04-physics-group-graphene-electron-microscopy.html Explore further Graphene, as most know by now, is a single sheet of carbon atoms, highly touted for its unusual electrical properties, its transparency and of course it’s strength. It’s the second property that got this research team interested. They wondered what would happen if graphene was used to trap a liquid when placed in vacuum and then under an electron microscope. Because it’s just one atom thick, they figured, it should allow for the creation of much higher quality images than they’d managed with other materials.To find out, they created a sealed sandwich made up of two layers of graphene, covering a layer of platinum ions in a liquid solution. They wanted to see if they could actually watch platinum nanocrystals being formed, which would go a long ways towards understanding how the whole process works. They then placed the sandwich into the electron microscope vacuum to see how things progressed.To sum up, it worked quite well. The group reports that they were able to watch the nanocrystals grow with remarkable clarity and don’t see any reason why the same approach wouldn’t work for other wet chemistry samples, which would open up the use of electron microscopy to a whole new area of science, namely, biochemistry.There is the problem of how biological specimens react to being bombarded with electrons, essentially radiation, however. Thus far, no one really knows if the graphene will provide any protection for the material being studied, but this team is anxious to find out. No doubt once they do, another paper will be forthcoming describing those results as well. This shows TEM images of platinum nanocrystal coalescence and their faceting in the growth solution. Credit: KAISTcenter_img More information: High-Resolution EM of Colloidal Nanocrystal Growth Using Graphene Liquid Cells, Science 6 April 2012: Vol. 336 no. 6077 pp. 61-64. DOI: 10.1126/science.1217654ABSTRACTWe introduce a new type of liquid cell for in situ transmission electron microscopy (TEM) based on entrapment of a liquid film between layers of graphene. The graphene liquid cell facilitates atomic-level resolution imaging while sustaining the most realistic liquid conditions achievable under electron-beam radiation. We employ this cell to explore the mechanism of colloidal platinum nanocrystal growth. Direct atomic-resolution imaging allows us to visualize critical steps in the process, including site-selective coalescence, structural reshaping after coalescence, and surface faceting. (Phys.org) — News of new uses for graphene continue to come in with remarkable regularity, and now a team of physicists, as they describe in their paper published in the journal Science, have figured out a way to use it to create a sandwich that can be used to study objects under an electron microscope that are immersed in liquid. Researchers find molybdenite may be better suited for integrated logic circuits than graphene Image(c) Alivisatos, Lee and Zettl research groups, LBNL. This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only.last_img read more

Researchers mulling inflatable airship VAMP for flying the skies of Venus

first_img Researchers find planet-sized space weather explosions at Venus The traditional approach to sending research craft to other planets, such as Mars, is to build something mechanical and then figure out a way to get it to the planet’s surface intact, using a variety of methods (parachute, inflatable protection, etc.). In this new effort, the researchers have come up with a craft that doesn’t land on the surface, but instead simply flies around in the planet’s atmosphere. To make that happen, they have designed an incredibly light (just 992 pounds) inflatable drone that doesn’t require the development of any new technology—that means it could be made relatively inexpensively and could be ready for construction as soon as NASA agrees to pay for it. The team predicts the VAMP could operate for approximately a year before the gas inside is lost. The overall idea is to carry the drone—VAMP—to Venus using a conventional spaceship. Once there, the VAMP would be deployed while still tethered to its mothership so that it could be filled with a gas, such as hydrogen. Once filled, it would be set loose to fly in the atmosphere—the elevation would depend on how much gear it would be carrying. The VAMP would use engines (to turn propellers) that get their power from solar panels and the heat that escapes from a bit of onboard radioactive plutonium-238 as it decays. At night, the VAMP would serve as a glider making good use of its 151 foot wingspan. Because Venus has such high winds, the team has calculated that the VAMP could circle the planet every six days. The craft could be steered by engineers back on Earth via signals relayed through the mothership.The basis for suggesting such a mission to Venus is to better understand the planet’s atmosphere, which many suggest is similar to what Earth’s would be like if it were to succumb to global warming. If the mission proves successful, it would be an almost certainty that other such drones would be sent to Mars, or even the moons of Saturn, offering an entirely new approach to studying our neighbors in the solar system. VAMP released from Venus orbiting spacecraft and inflating exoatmospherically for benign entry. This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only. Explore furthercenter_img (Phys.org) —Researchers at Northrup Grumman and L’Garde are mulling the idea of a Venus Atmospheric Maneuverable Platform (VAMP) inflatable spacecraft—they have published an outline of their idea on NASA’s web site. © 2014 Phys.org Citation: Researchers mulling inflatable airship VAMP for flying the skies of Venus (2014, March 4) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2014-03-mulling-inflatable-airship-vamp-venus.htmllast_img read more

Quantum correlations make you never fail a test again

first_img This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only. The results shed new light on the potential of quantum correlations for quantum technologies, particularly under adverse conditions.”This has a lot of applications,” Adesso said. “For the moment it is a proof-of-principle which shows that discord is a fundamental resource. Basically this shows that discord has a precise meaning linked to quantum coherence of a subsystem in all possible bases. In short, if you require coherence (superposition in a certain preferred basis) for applications such as metrology, sensing, quantum cryptography, etc., then using correlated states with discord guarantees you a success in your protocol even if you do not know the preferred basis.”Currently, Adesso added, the UK is investing 270 million GBP in quantum technologies, including sensing and metrology implementations for commercial applications. The new results here show that quantum discord can provide a cheaper resource than entanglement, making it a key ingredient for reliable quantum technology.In the future, the researchers plan to further explore the properties of quantum discord, as well as potential applications. “In particular we want to extend the setting to optical metrology with squeezed light, which has important applications for gravitational wave detectors,” Adesso said. “I would like to further look into applications for medical imaging and magnetometry as well. “More fundamentally, I am interested in understanding the physical properties of general quantum correlations and characterizing their resilience to noise. The picture we had in this paper was for the estimation of unitary transformations. If the transformations are noisy, discord can be degraded but in some cases it gets enhanced instead. One can then check whether this would result in a noise-empowered precision in estimation. Perhaps this is already exploited in natural phenomena, where coherence is found to flourish in noisy environments and has a functional role for the system’s optimization (e.g., in light harvesting). After all, we clearly showed how coherence is nothing but the daughter of quantum discord.” More information: Davide Girolami, et al. “Quantum discord determines the interferometric power of quantum states.” Physical Review Letters. To be published. Also at arXiv:1309.1472 [quant-ph] To make a precise measurement on the angle of rotation of the quantum state inside the black box, Alice shares quantum correlations with Bob. Quantum discord-type correlations guarantee a non-zero degree of precision in measuring the angle of rotation, even in the worst-case scenario. Credit: Girolami, et al. Explore further “Alice is reviewing for an exam, helped by her friend Bob,” Adesso told Phys.org. “How can she make sure she will be prepared to answer even the hardest question? We solve this problem here: she needs to share quantum correlations with Bob in the first place, of a general type which can manifest even in the absence of entanglement.”Adesso and his coauthors have investigated the quantum version of Alice’s exam problem in a paper accepted for publication in Physical Review Letters. In the quantum scenario, the goal is to measure as precisely as possible the angle at which a quantum state has been rotated after a transformation. A high degree of precision is equivalent to a high exam score. As all good students know, the key to achieving a high exam score lies in preparation. The same is true for achieving a high degree of precision when measuring a quantum state’s angle of rotation. The quantum state must be prepared in a way so that it is sensitive to rotations in all directions, even the most insensitive direction (this is the worst-case scenario, which is equivalent to the most difficult exam question). One way to prepare a quantum state that meets these requirements is, as Adesso explained above, correlating the probe quantum system with another quantum system using quantum discord. In the exam analogy, you might think of a cheating party outside the room which the student under examination is in touch with.”Precisely, we find quantum discord to exactly quantify the minimum guaranteed precision in estimating phase shifts (angles) when the direction is not known a priori,” Adesso said. “That is, it exactly measures the minimum score you would get on the test, which is the score you would get if you happen to get the question you are least prepared for. If the state in the beginning has only classical correlations (zero discord) then you can be unlucky and get the question you are completely unprepared for, and you score zero. If you have any amount of quantum discord, your score can never fall below that.”By demonstrating that quantum discord-type correlations, but not classical correlations, guarantee a non-zero degree of precision in measuring the angle of rotation, the results provide the first example of the usefulness of quantum discord, which is a relatively new form of quantum correlations. The researchers established these results both theoretically and experimentally with nuclear magnetic resonance. Discord strikes the right quantum note Journal information: Physical Review Letters (Phys.org) —In the burgeoning field of quantum metrology, quantum effects are exploited to improve the precision when measuring a variety of parameters, such as phase, frequency, and magnetic fields. A main goal of this research is to develop high-accuracy measurement devices that could benefit many areas of science. In a way, explains physicist Gerardo Adesso at the University of Nottingham in the UK, this goal is similar to preparing to answer the most difficult question on an academic exam. Citation: Quantum correlations make you never fail a test again (2014, May 16) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2014-05-quantum.html © 2014 Phys.orglast_img read more

Italian scientists detect chemical anomalies in a lowmass globular cluster

first_img This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only. Citation: Italian scientists detect chemical anomalies in a low-mass globular cluster (2016, April 25) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2016-04-italian-scientists-chemical-anomalies-low-mass.html NGC 6362 lies some 25,000 light years away in the constellation Ara. It is about 13.5 billion years old and at an estimated mass of approximately 50,000 solar masses, it is the least massive globular cluster with multiple detected photometric stellar populations that have different chemical abundances.To determine the chemical composition of NGC 6362, the team employed the Fibre Large Array Multi Element Spectrograph (FLAMES) mounted on one of the Unit Telescopes (UT) of the Very Large Telescope (VLT) in Chile. Using FLAMES, the researchers analyzed the spectra of over 200 giant stars and derived chemical abundances of iron and sodium in this cluster. The instrument can obtain, in one shot, high-quality spectra for about 140 stars over a field of view of about 25 arcmin diameter.”In the case of NGC6362, we have analyzed spectra of more than 200 giant stars around the cluster in order to distinguish star members of the cluster according to their kinematics and chemistry, finally finding 160 member stars. This work is part of a larger project aimed at obtaining a complete description of this globular, in terms of photometric properties, chemical composition, kinematics,” Mucciarelli told Phys.org.The study provided the first chemical characterization of NGC 6362. The authors of the paper determined star-to-star variations in the sodium abundance. According to the research, these variations demonstrate that this relatively small cluster shows the same chemical anomalies observed in more massive clusters.”Our study about NGC 6362 demonstrates that this cluster is the least massive globular cluster where chemical anomalies in light elements, like sodium and oxygen, are observed,” Mucciarelli said.The research proves an important constraint that stellar clusters down to 50,000 solar masses are able to create sodium-rich stars. It is important to note that open clusters do not show these chemical anomalies and they have masses at least one of order of magnitude smaller than those of the globular clusters. Thus, thanks to the study, NGC 6362 yields an important piece of evidence toward understanding the minimum mass to properly define a globular cluster.Putting together a number of peculiar properties observed in this cluster, the scientists concluded that these new results comprise a unique case among the galactic globular clusters. They noted that any theory aimed at explaining the formation and evolution of these clusters must account also for the peculiar case of NGC 6362. Moreover, the team emphasized that this collection of stars has still more mysteries waiting to be unveiled.”This interesting object has still several secrets to reveal. We are planning new observations to study the kinematics of NGC6362 in order to provide a complete characterization of its stellar populations under all the aspects, photometry, chemistry, dynamics,” Mucciarelli concluded. Explore further This colorful view of the globular star cluster NGC 6362 was captured by the Wide Field Imager attached to the MPG/ESO 2.2-m telescope at ESO’s La Silla Observatory in Chile. Credit: ESO (Phys.org)—Globular clusters have for a long time been considered as formed of stars with similar initial chemical composition, but recently, increasing evidence has emerged regarding their more complex nature. On Apr. 14, a team of Italian scientists led by Alessio Mucciarelli of the University of Bologna, has published a research paper describing chemical anomalies in the low-mass globular cluster NGC 6362, implying that globular clusters may be not as simple as previously thought. The results are available on the arXiv pre-print server. More information: NGC6362: the least massive globular cluster with chemically distinct multiple populations, arXiv:1604.04151 [astro-ph.SR] arxiv.org/abs/1604.04151 AbstractWe present the first measure of Fe and Na abundances in NGC 6362, a low-mass globular cluster where first and second generation stars are fully spatially mixed. A total of 160 member stars (along the red giant branch and the red horizontal branch) have been observed with the multi-object spectrograph FLAMES at the Very Large Telescope. We find that the cluster has an iron abundance of [Fe/H]=—1.09±0.01 dex, without evidence of intrinsic dispersion. On the other hand, the [Na/Fe] distribution turns out to be intrinsically broad and bimodal. The Na-poor and Na-rich stars populate, respectively, the bluest and the reddest red giant branches detected in the color-magnitude diagrams including the U filter. The red giant branch is composed of a mixture of first and second generation stars in a similar proportion, while almost all the red horizontal branch stars belong to the first cluster generation. Until now, NGC 6362 is the least massive globular cluster where both the photometric and spectroscopic signatures of multiple populations have been detected. Hubble sees an unexpected population of young-looking stars © 2016 Phys.orglast_img read more

To hope divine

first_imgThe Indira Gandhi National Centre for the Arts (IGNCA) hosted a theatrical presentation on Ram ki Shakti Pooja based on the 1936 poem authored by Suryakant Tripathi Nirala on 11 Novemeber. The play explored sections of Ramayana in which Lord Ram is assailed by doubts, helplessness, and the fear of losing the war to Ravana. This incorporated three classical dance forms namely, Bharatnatyam, Chau and Kathak. It has been directed by Shri Vyomesh Shukla, a renowned poet, writer, translator from Varanasi.IGNCA presents this play in association with Roopvani. The play was presented to mark the occasion of 70 years of its completion. The story inspires people to not give up during adversities and fight against all odds till the success is achieved. On the one hand, it explores human emotions of fear, low self –esteem, lack of self confidence and on the other, the spirit to fight back and emerge strongly out of all the struggles.last_img read more

WB Ahead of PMs rally farmers appeal for facilities

first_imgMidnapore (West Bengal): Farmers from West Bengal have urged Prime Minister Narendra Modi to provide them with proper facilities and water, ahead of his ‘Krishak Kalyan Rally’ at Midnapur college ground on Monday.Farmers of Midnapur and surroundings said they are unaware of various government facilities, including credit card, farmer’s loan and insurance.”We want water, we are farming paddy, but due to water shortage farming is in troubled stage. Vegetable farming has been affected as I don’t have enough money for farming. We want money and loan, we also want Kisan credit card. We are not that much educated that we will be able to know from where we get facilities. We didn’t get any fund for destroyed crops during rainy season,” said a farmer, named Lakhikanta Kalandi. Also Read – 2 Group D staffers held for ‘assaulting’ minorsOthers also echoed similar sentiments.Farmer Chaya Kalandi said, “We are facing trouble in farming. If we invest in farming we can’t spend money for children’s education. We want some loan. Our vegetable crops have been destroyed by elephants, but we didn’t get any compensation for that.”Another farmer, named Putputi Mahato, he “didn’t get proper price from paddy crops,” adding, “There is no good service of water, if we get water it will help in farming a lot.”On the other hand, Nirmal Ghosh, Krishi Karmadhyaksa, Zilla Parishad said “farmers are living peacefully” in West Bengal.”Farmers are not committing suicide after taking loan. Last year many crops got damaged in many blocks. We distributed Rs 83 crore to 5 lakh. However, there is a problem of irrigation water,” Ghosh said.last_img read more

West Bengal State University holds workshops on Maths Statistics

first_imgKolkata: In a significant stride towards arousing interest among students in pursuing Mathematics and Statistics, the West Bengal State University (WBSU) is holding a series of workshops in one of its affiliated colleges in Lake Town. Students from some leading government and government-sponsored schools in the state, along with their teachers are being invited to take part in such a workshop.The State university has collaborated with the Indian Statistical Institute (ISI) based in Baranagar for holding such workshops in East Calcutta Girl’s College in Lake Town. The entire project is being funded by RC Bose Centre for Cryptology and Security. Also Read – Rain batters Kolkata, cripples normal life”We have been witnessing that subjects like Statistics and Economics are finding a few takers at the graduation level. Our main aim is to encourage students to take up these subjects for higher studies as proper knowledge of these subjects can open up a wide-vista of job opportunities,” Vice-Chancellor of WBSU, Basab Chaudhuri said.Students from Hindu School, Hare School, Sanskrit Collegiate School have already taken part in two previous workshops. The major initiative for holding such workshops have been taken by former ISI director Bimal Roy. Leading experts from ISI and other premier institutes across the state are offering lectures at the workshop. The programme will continue for a period of three years and as many as eight workshops will be held every year. Also Read – Speeding Jaguar crashes into Mercedes car in Kolkata, 2 pedestrians killedPrincipal of East Calcutta Girl’s College Sukla Hazra said: “A number of students studying in classes XI and XII are gripped by a sense of fear associated with Mathematics. The workshops are designed in a way to overcome such fear. Mathematics and Statistics have close links and a proper understanding of Mathematics is essential for Statistics.”It may be mentioned that the workshops’ participatory nature allowing students to take part in the classes have evoked good response from the students. It may be mentioned that WBSU has introduced a course in Human Resource Development from this academic year catering to the demands of women trying to pursue counseling as a career option.WBSU with its 46 affiliated colleges in North 24 Parganas has 30 departments with 1.5 lakh students pursuing various courses in the university. “A majority of our students are first generation learners. In East Calcutta Girl’s College itself, there are 20 percent fast generation learners, while in colleges in Bongaon and Basirhat, the percentage of such learners goes up to nearly 70 percent,” Chaudhuri said.last_img read more

Group learning makes kids active decisionmakers

first_imgParticipating in collaborative group work to learn about important social issues can make children better decision-makers than their peers who learn the same curriculum through teacher-led discussions, says a new study.“Collaborative group work positions students as active decision-makers, whereas direct instruction places them in a passive role, following the reasoning of their teacher,” said study lead author Xin Zhang from University of Illinois in the US. “If children are to become thoughtful decision-makers, they need more time in the school day for collaborative group work that involves active reasoning about significant issues,” Zhang added. The study involving more than 760 fifth-grade students compared the efficacy of collaborative group work with conventional direct instruction at promoting students’ ability to make reasoned decisions.The students studied a six-week curriculum in which they explored whether a community should hire professional hunters to kill a pack of wolves that was causing many residents concern. Students examined various perspectives on the issue, including the potential impact on the ecosystem, the local economy and public policy. The study was published in American Educational Research Journal.last_img read more

Merging different fashion trends

first_imgFashion changes with time and the different perspectives are explored through clothes when one uses their creative streak. Those fashion aficionados, who love to adorn beautiful creations, can see the latest collection of ace designer Chandrani Siingh Fllora that was unveiled at the Amazon India Fashion Week 2016 in the national Capital recently. Keeping the aesthetic of Kolkata alive, Chandrani’s latest collection ‘Mrityunjay’ inspired by Lord Shiva’s avatar uses his symbols like the Trishul, conch shell and cannabis leaves in the form of ingenious prints and sparkling embroidery techniques.  Also Read – ‘Playing Jojo was emotionally exhausting’Her colour palate includes white, rust, grey, indigo and bottle green that adds flavour to this line. Interestingly, this is the first time used hand woven fabrics and has experimented with delightful stripes and ombre dyeing techniques. Her collection questions the notion of formal, casual and seamlessly blends the same in stride. She has incorporated casual and sportswear detailing in formal clothing, highlighting the hybrid lifestyles we live in. Also Read – Leslie doing new comedy special with Netflix“Best wishes to Chandrani Siingh Fllora for her show and we applaud the effort made by Mr Sethi in giving a platform to the creative minds through FDCI,” said Debashis Dutta, Managing Director, Boroline.Sunil Sethi, president, FDCI said, “We are proud to associate with the iconic brand Boroline which has its roots in the city of Kolkata. It will be interesting to see how Chandrani Siingh Fllora, our designer from Kolkata reinterprets the age-old symbols of Lord Shiva in a modern milieu through inventive thinking and modern silhouettes.”  Fashion Design Council of India (FDCI) had announced Boroline as the official sponsor for AIFW 2016. Boroline presented Chandrani Siingh Fllora to showcase an ingenious collection at AIFW 2016.last_img read more

Narendrapurs Durga Puja to pay tribute to Pancham Da

first_imgKolkata: Devaloke Decasa, a well-known housing complex near Narendrapur will base its theme on legendary RD Burman.This is for the first time when music lovers in the city will pay their heartfelt respect to the genius by making his life and work as the main theme of Durga puja.It may be mentioned that Bhowanipore Sarbojanin Durgatsav Samity will have Kishore Kumar as its Durga Puja theme.Kaushik Ghosh of Kauushik Events has conceived the idea. Kaushik said: “Being an R D Burman fan, I planned it. The pandal decoration will be made by his film posters, film titles, pictures and some of the musical instruments he had used.” Also Read – Rain batters Kolkata, cripples normal lifeAs the organisation is all set to celebrate it’s fifth year of Durga Puja, it made me think of Pancham da as it stands for the fifth note that is Paa, said Kaushik. RD Burman along with his parents, SD Burman and Meera used to stay on South End Park. RD, a typical Kolkata boy, had studied here and had great respect for the city and its musicians till his untimely death.He had composed some of the immortal Puja numbers. He sang — “Mone pore Ruby Roy kobitae tomake” which was an instant back in those Puja days. He composed songs like Moyena bolo tumi Krishna radhe, kine de reshmi churi, chokhe chokhe kotha bolo, sabdhye bela tumi ami boshe achi dujone, which were sung by Asha Bhosle and all these songs became super duper Puja hit.last_img read more

Maternal smoking poses neuropsychiatric threats

first_imgWomen who smoke during pregnancy may increase the risk of children developing neuropsychiatric disorders associated with behavioural problems, warn researchers.“Our study not only shows an important role for maternal prenatal smoking in risk for both simple and complex chronic tic disorders in children, but it also suggests that smoking may be exerting some of its effects through subtle changes in brain development that might occur as a result of foetal exposure to nicotine,” said Dorothy Grice, Professor at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, New York, US.  Also Read – Add new books to your shelfFurther, heavy smoking when pregnant has been associated with a two to three-fold increased risk of several behavioural manifestations in children, including neuropsychiatric difficulties such as chronic tic disorders and attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). Maternal smoking can also lead to lower birth weight and premature delivery in children, which may, in turn, become a risk factor for subsequent behavioural problems in the child. Furthermore, parental smoking is associated with lower socio-economic status and higher rates of alcohol and substance use, and these factors are also linked to behavioural changes in children.The findings were published in the Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry.last_img read more

Section 409 to crack whip on those taking cut money

first_imgKolkata: Elected public representatives and government officials in Bengal who accept ‘cut money’ from beneficiaries of welfare schemes, will now be charged under a tough law that provides for life imprisonment in the event of conviction, CMO sources said Tuesday.Errant public representatives and government functionaries will be charged under section 409 of the IPC, which relates to criminal breach of trust by a public servant, or by banker, merchant or agent, officials in the Chief Minister’s office said on condition of anonymity. Also Read – Rs 13,000 crore investment to provide 2 lakh jobs: MamataA person convicted under the law is liable to be punished with imprisonment for life, or with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to ten years, besides fine. The decision was taken by the Chief Minister herself, the officials said. “Once the complaints are lodged, the civil administration can inquire as these are mainly related to schemes run by Panchayats or civic bodies. In case of any anomaly, the police will lodge formal complaints and initiate action against the accused,” ADG (law and order) Gyanwant Singh said. Also Read – Lightning kills 8, injures 16 in stateMeanwhile, in a bid to ensure that the various people-friendly schemes of the government reach people in a better way, Nabanna has instructed the District Magistrates across the state to give hearing to the problems faced by people. As per sources in the state secretariat, complaints or grievances can be informed directly to the DM on a specific day in a week. Complaints can also be lodged with the Block Development Officers (BDO). The DM and the BDO can take action against errant officials, if the complaint is proved true. The hearing sessions are expected to start from the month of July in all the districts. The decision on the part of Nabanna comes in the wake of complaints of some state officers accepting favours in terms of cash (referred to as cut money) from beneficiaries of state government schemes. The state Assembly on Tuesday also witnessed furor by the Opposition over the cut money issue. The members of Congress and Left Front staged a walkout from the House, demanding an enquiry commission and release of white paper on cut-money. In response, state Parliamentary Affairs minister Partha Chatterjee lashed out at the Opposition for disrupting the proceedings of the Assembly without any pertinent cause. “They don’t have any issue. The Chief Minister had made a statement and they are trying to bring out a wrong meaning of the same. They only do this to grab media attention. The ruling party in the state is strong and it is committed to work for the service of people of the state,” Chatterjee reiterated. He alleged that during the erstwhile Left Front government, there were demands from Trinamool Congress (the then Opposition) for probe in the issues of land scam and others, but everything had fallen on deaf ears. Leader of the Opposition in the state Assembly Abdul Mannan demanded an enquiry commission to properly investigate the whole issue and a white paper of the same. Meanwhile, Left Front MLA Sujan Chakraborty demanded that there should be a place either at Nabanna or at the Chief Minister’s residential office, where people can lodge their complaints related to cut money. It may be mentioned that the Chief Minister has already constituted a monitoring cell of government welfare schemes with Colonel Diptangshu Chowdhury as its advisor, which will visit the districts to directly talk to the beneficiaries, listening to their feedback and complaints. It has already started its work and addressed various issues of the people.last_img read more

Exams Ultimate pressure cooker

first_imgWith exams around the corner, the pressure starts mounting and we begin to feel the heat with each passing day. Though some believe that a bit of stress around exam time can give positive results, what’s better than a clear, aware and a de-stressed mind that not only helps you to think rationally but also lets you strive towards your goals more mindfully.Even science suggests that when we are stressed, our brains release high levels of cortisol which more or less eclipses our way of thinking and distorts our rational thoughts. Also Read – Add new books to your shelfIn order to avoid unwanted hurdles such as stress and anxiety, one should practice mental discipline as it is all that is needed to compete and succeed. So, here are a few giveaways to help you cope up with the exam pressure and chalk up the best results Get organised and prioritise time Buckle up and carve out a daily routine which is easy to stick to. This includes a slew of things ranging from making a timetable that fits your schedule for every day, the subjects you have to study and not to forget the workload – the hotbed of stress. Outlining the dates of each exam –if there is more than one- will give you the idea that how many topics need to be covered each day so there are no jaw-droppers waiting to unfurl. Also Read – Over 2 hours screen time daily will make your kids impulsiveBasking in breaks Don’t be too hard on yourself. Relax for a while or so in between the intense schedules which entail the exam time. One should take regular intervals (for instance 15-20 minute breaks) during your revision days. To ginger up things you can hang out with friends, watch a movie, attend a gig or just do what you enjoy doing the most, as it will make you feel rejuvenated, will peel off the worries, soul-sagging feelings, and is likely to give you more motivation to work harder. Don’t compare but do share While discussing topics and revising with other classmates is really healthy, sweating over what topics others have done can possibly sow the seed of under-performance in you. Perhaps you may be ticking but chances are that listening to others might put you in a dilemma that you aren’t really progressing and that will in turn only pave way for more distress. So, listening to others is good but not always. And if one is brimming with stress so much that his/her daily life is being affected, then one shall try breaking it to someone who will pay heed to your concerns and offer suitable advice to manage it. Hell in a cell? Well, this might sting a little but if you can bear to part ways with your cell phone (no, not talking about tucking it away in some corner) it can work wonders for you. It’s hard to believe the fact that overuse of mobile phones cannot only push stress levels in a person but can also have a negative impact on mental health. Needless to say, we all know how time flies while scrolling up and down the news feed on Facebook. In short, it will be best to act smart with the smartphone.last_img read more

Drug narcotics seizure worth Rs 12 crore in 5 days worries cops

first_imgKolkata: Kolkata Police has seized drug and narcotics worth Rs 12 crore in past five days, which made the police lose sleep over the newly emerged market for narcotics racketeers where students are the targeted customers.During the past few months Special Task Force (STF) of Kolkata Police arrested several drug and narcotics racketeers and came to know that maximum number of their customers are students from various educational institutions across the city. During the probe, investigators came to know that drug and narcotics elements are entering India through Myanmar border. It has been the corridor for such illegal trade since a long time to deliver the drugs and other narcotics elements to Bangladesh. Even after trouble cropped up in North East, narcotics racketeers are still using the same area to smuggle in the drugs but changed the corridor to deliver those to Bangladesh using Kolkata and a few other Bangladesh adjacent districts of Bengal. As a result a market for such illegal trade has emerged in Kolkata during last few years. According to police sources, earlier only rave parties and night clubs were the place where usually drugs and narcotics were used to be sold. After police came to know about such activities, several raids were conducted in late night parties and several persons were apprehended with drugs and narcotics elements. Since then such activities were controlled and supply of drugs and narcotics elements gone down a lot. According to police sources, during the past few months, STF personnel have arrested several narcotics racketeers with huge quantity of such elements and came to know that they are targeting students of educational institutions in the city. During a detailed probe police found that Amphetamines commonly known as ‘Yaba’ in tablet form is the most popular narcotic element among the youths as it is quite cheaper than the other narcotic elements. However, police are trying to create awareness and suggesting authorities of educational institutions across the city to arrange councelling sessions for their students in order to save the students from the clutches of drugs and narcotics elements. “We are concern about the illegal trade. Vigilance has been stepped up to prevent such trade,” said a senior Kolkata Police official.last_img read more

Baker Mayfield is a Mazda not a Maserati

first_imgBaker Mayfield is a Mazda, not a MaseratiBaker Mayfield made his third preseason appearance last night for the Browns and Colin still isn’t seeing what he wants to see out of a number one pick in Baker. He has said on numerous occasions that Mayfield will won’t be a bust, but he’s not what Colin wants in a #1 pick from a size and physical tool standpoint.Mayfield will be good, but ‘good’ shouldn’t be the standard for a number one pick. He thinks Baker is more of a Mazda than a Maserati. The Maserati is Sam Darnold. Tom Brady deserves NBA star treatmentAfter being banished from the sidelines and team plane a year ago, reports say Tom Brady’s personal training guru Alex Guerrero has full access to the team and facilities in 2018. It appears that Brady used his leverage within the organization again to get what he wants, and many think he also pressured Robert Kraft into trading Jimmy G. Brady having this much leverage in an NFL organization is shocking because it’s so rare, but it’s no more than superstars in the NBA wield. With his track record, he deserves it. Also:Colin’s 5 Most Headscratching Things in SportsGuests:Doug Pederson – Philadelphia Eagles Super Bowl winning Head Coach; Tim Couch – Browns Analyst and former #1 overall pick; Lance Zeurlein – NFL Draft Analyst; Rob Parker – FS1 Analyst.last_img read more

Why Isnt McVay Getting Crushed Like Belichick For Not Playing Gurley

first_imgWhy isn’t McVay getting crushed like Belichick for not playing Gurley?Last year Bill Belichick was unrelentingly criticized by the media following the Patriots Super bowl loss to the Eagles for benching cornerback Malcolm Butler, but Sean Mcvay has mostly gotten a free pass after sitting MVP candidate running back Todd Gurley for most of Super Bowl LIII.Gurley was reportedly healthy and there haven’t been any good reasons provided by the Rams for his lack of playing time. Either he was healthy and didn’t play, or the Raams lied about his injury status, but no one seems interested in getting the bottom of it. Colin thinks this shows the media bias against the Patriots and the double standard that exists in the media. Guests:Peter King – NBC Sports Senior NFL Writer; Rob Parker – NFL Analyst; Eric Dickerson – FS1 NFL Analyst and Hall of Fame running Back; Tony Gonzalez – FS1 NFL Analyst and newly elected Hall of Fame Tight End Also:– Lakers shouldn’t bid against themselves for Anthony Davis– Brady vs. Jordan– Rockets CAN win a title with Hardenlast_img read more

The Intranet Grows Up

first_imgJune 20, 2007 5 min read Free Workshop | August 28: Get Better Engagement and Build Trust With Customers Now It wasn’t too long ago that intranets–internal company websites–were considered the redheaded stepchild of a business’s technology efforts. Once reserved for HR policies and company documents, intranets took a back seat to the company’s website as an underdeveloped–and rarely used–tool for employees.But many are turning their attention back to their intranet and discovering cool new ways to engage employees. Whether it’s MySpace-style profiles or video sharing, intranets have expanded from a corporate bulletin board to a social networking tool.Intranets in ActionInteractive promotion company ePrize, based in Pleasant Ridge, Michigan, expanded its intranet nearly 18 months ago to include more employee-centric features, including an area called the “Water Cooler” where employees can sell personal items, such as extra concert tickets and homes, and post announcements, such as needing a sub for the company’s softball team. Employees can also log into the system each morning to order from a daily lunch menu. The $4 lunches are automatically deducted from their paycheck and delivered that afternoon.Another new feature ePrize employees enjoy is the ability to create personal profile pages that include contact info, languages spoken, birthdays and wedding anniversaries.”The intranet is the way we stay connected and network within our company,” says Alesya Opelt, senior marketing director. “It isn’t a place reserved for boring HR guidelines and document sharing. We use our intranet as a place to interact, build and document our culture, and to get to know each other beyond just an e-mail address.”Developing intranets that allow employees to interact using the same tools they’re used to outside the workplace is a new trend many businesses are exploring successfully. Lois Paul & Partners, a public relations company headquartered in Woburn, Massachusetts, recently expanded its intranet from the usual company announcements, info and links to resources, by creating an “LP&P Underground” blog. The blog serves as an outlet for employees to talk about topics that interest them outside of work, such as the latest in pop culture, TV shows, music and other random topics.”It’s a nice way to take a break from the busy day to talk about something fun,” says Kristin Cronin, senior account representative. “It’s also a good way to get to know fellow employees a little bit better.”Cronin adds that the blog has been a great way for newer employees to engage with employees that have been with the company longer, and despite business owners’ fears, it hasn’t cut into productivity. “People here work hard and know when they have a few minutes to browse the latest blog posts and when they don’t,” she says. “Blog entries can be a quick thing that the multi-tasking Gen Yers, and even the Gen Xers, can handle with little interruption to work.”The AppealThis attempt to reach twentysomething employees is the crux of the new “social” intranet movement. As more and more Generation Y employees enter the workplace, employers have to find new and different ways to get employees involved.”What’s happening is people are gathering in intranet chat rooms to have events people used to have in a conference room,” says Richard Laermer, author of Punk Marketing and CEO of RLM PR, which helped its client Comcast be recognized as one of 2007’s “10 Best Intranets” by the Nielson Norman Group. “It’s a fun way to participate without having to go to a sock hop or company picnic, which is hard for people these days, who work more than they ever did,” Laermer adds.He encourages business owners to let employees share industry-related stories and video on the intranet. He refers to this as “edutainment”–the ability to blend educational material about the company and its field.”The last thing employees want to see on the company intranet is the company handbook,” he says. “Have a good time with it–put up videos and hold online chat sessions instead of meetings. Employers who set up intranets need to remember, it’s not supposed to be a brochure; it’s supposed to be ‘intra’-active.”Dr. Gerry McCartney, CIO of Purdue University, agrees. While other CIOs are trying to discourage viewing video online, he decided that if that’s how people want to communicate, then that’s the medium he should use. His video blog, Vignettes, engages his staff more than any e-mail or newsletter ever could, he says.McCartney sees the increasing use of Web 2.0 technologies as the future of the intranet. He predicts that as we move toward communicating more on mobile devices, businesses will begin delivering communication to employees via text messaging and providing access to the intranet through employees’ cell phones.Whatever stage your intranet is in, it’s time to pull it out of the past and start treating it as the valuable tool it is. Whether you’re connecting employees to important information or connecting them to each other, the intranet has become a powerful new way to internally strengthen your business.center_img Enroll Now for Free This hands-on workshop will give you the tools to authentically connect with an increasingly skeptical online audience.last_img read more