City lights make air pollution worse

first_img © 2010 City turns lights out Saturday to conserve Citation: City lights make air pollution worse (2010, December 16) retrieved 18 August 2019 from ( — 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 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.” ( — 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: … nt/ … -interaction/foldme/ Citation: Fold-it computer action set for Canada conference (w/ video) (2012, February 4) retrieved 18 August 2019 from 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 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. ( — 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 furtherlast_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 “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 ( —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 © 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 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 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 (—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] 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