August 2019

Controlling cold molecules

first_img Citation: Controlling cold molecules (2006, August 29) retrieved 18 August 2019 from Krems and his student, T. Tscherbul, have written a theoretical paper explaining how cold molecules could be manipulated by an external electric field in their letter titled “Controlling Electronic Spin Relaxtion of Cold Molecules with Electric Fields.” It was published August 22nd in Physical Review Letters.“Cold molecules,” Krems tells, “have lots of interesting applications.” Some of these applications include use in quantum computing and looking at time-reversal symmetry in nature. When molecules are cooled to temperatures below 1 K, the experimental realization of these long-standing problems becomes more practicable. Krems wants to work with molecules that are cooled to around ½ K or less. However interesting these applications may be though, what Krems is really interested in is how they can be manipulated in chemical processes. And based on these theoretical results, he believes it should be possible to externally control cold molecules in a magnetic trap with electric fields. This means that collisions between molecules could be manipulated, and greater control over molecular dynamics could be asserted, something that would allow chemists to learn more details about chemical reaction mechanisms and test their chemical reaction theories. It is, however, difficult to thermally isolate molecules in a magnetic trap. “This sort of thing has been done with atoms,” says Krems, “but molecules present a different problem.” He explains that atoms are spherical, and that their magnetic spin does not re-orient after collision. Molecules, though, are a different story. “The problem with molecules is that they are not spherical. Their orientation changes. Applying an electric field may suppress spin re-orientation.” He pauses and then continues: “Being able to control molecular dynamics externally would be a great thing for chemistry.”While the applications to chemistry are what excite Krems, he acknowledges that this new technique could also be helpful to physicists. The new technique using external electric fields to control molecular collisions could help with measurements of electric dipole moment of the electron in time-reversal symmetry experiments, where the idea is to find out whether or not symmetry is the proper order in nature. And, with quantum computing the hot topic of the day, this technique could be helpful in creating new ideas for quantum information processing. “Quantum computing with cold trapped molecules is popular right now. In the next six months I expect to see several new schemes.” And Krems and Tscherbul’s work could help with that.While Krems and Tscherbul’s work is theoretical right now, Krems is fairly certain that it is possible to experimentally confirm the theory in the near future. “I’ve been talking with quite a few people,” he says. “There are a lot of experiments going on right now. I hope that this paper will stimulate experimentalists to include strong electric fields for measurements in their experimental apparatuses.”Krems thinks it is possible that the theory could be confirmed in as little as half a year. “But,” he says, “you never know with these experiments. Surprises may be on the way. We are always waiting for surprises.” Krems’ hopes are certainly high. “This is a very new field and it is expanding rapidly. There is a future for cold molecules in chemistry — a very bright future.By Miranda Marquit, Copyright 2006 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 “This is a chemist’s dream,” explains Roman Krems, a professor at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver, Canada. “We’ve been trying for 50 years to develop mechanisms to control molecular collisions externally.”last_img read more

Using superconducting probes to get a picture of what its like inside

first_img Citation: Using superconducting probes to get a picture of what it’s like inside CNTs (2009, November 20) retrieved 18 August 2019 from Mason worked with Travis Dirks and Yung-fu Chen at the University of Illinois, as well as Norman Birge at Michigan State University, to develop a technique to map out changes in conductance through a carbon nanotube quantum dot. “We’re hoping to see what is happening in the interior, rather than what is influenced by the contacts,” Mason explains. “Then we can get at the fundamental electronics of quantum dots, which may be a key to future quantum technologies.” The results of the team’s work can be seen in Applied Physics Letters: “Superconducting tunneling spectroscopy of a carbon nanotube quantum dot.”There are three elements to the technique, according to Mason. “First, there is a carbon nanotube quantum dot, which can act as a model “particle-in-a-box” with quantized energy states. Next, we tunnel to the interior. The non-invasive probe allows us to study the bulk electronics, and also to separately test the effect of voltages across the length of the tube .” The third element is that the tunneling probe is a superconductor. “The superconductor enhances spectroscopic features. But it also shows how this technique is very flexible,” Mason says. “We can try different materials, multiple probes, or magnetic fields, for example.” Some of the spectroscopic features observed with the superconducting probe include signals from cotunneling and unusual scattering processes.Mason points out that elements of this technique have been accomplished before. “However,” she continues, “I think that we are the first to put all the elements together to work as one system, by adding a third terminal and a superconducting probe.” Mason also points out that this set-up works with standard fabrication techniques. “We used lithography, which is common in industry, and easily scalable.”For now, most of the work is focused on fundamental properties of carbon nanotubes. “We are interested in seeing how these nanotube quantum dots work, and tracking what happens in them. We’ve already seen some unexpected features, such as an unusual energy exchange. Using our probe, it is possible to see these features, and explore them in greater depth.”In the future, though, Mason sees the potential for technological applications. These types of quantum dots are being considered for quantum computers and even single electron transistors. There are a number of potential applications for this work, perhaps a decade or so down the road. And the first step is looking into the tube. We want to understand this system so that it might be used in future advanced technologies. Our superconducting tunnel probe will help us do just that.”More information: Dirks, et. al., “Superconducting tunneling spectroscopy of a carbon nanotube quantum dot,” Applied Physics Letters (2009). Available online: .Copyright 2009 All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed in whole or part without the express written permission of 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.center_img ( — “Carbon nanotubes are exciting for fundamental physics, and for potential technological applications,” Nadya Mason tells “However, we are generally limited in the way that we can study them. Many of these limitations have to do with controlling tunneling, or the way electrons move on and off the nanotube.” In order to overcome this limitation, Mason, a scientist at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, participated in an experiment using a superconducting tunnel probe in a carbon nanotube to observe spectroscopic features. Controllable double quantum dots and Klein tunneling in nanotubeslast_img read more


Sprayon liquid glass is about to revolutionize almost everything

first_img Citation: Spray-on liquid glass is about to revolutionize almost everything (2010, February 2) retrieved 18 August 2019 from 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 fissure was induced in order present an image which shows the characteristics of the coating. The image shows the SiO2 coating on a filament of a microfibre. Explore further More information: Nanopool:• Join on Facebook!• Follow on Twitter! ( — Spray-on liquid glass is transparent, non-toxic, and can protect virtually any surface against almost any damage from hazards such as water, UV radiation, dirt, heat, and bacterial infections. The coating is also flexible and breathable, which makes it suitable for use on an enormous array of products. The liquid glass spray (technically termed “SiO2 ultra-thin layering”) consists of almost pure silicon dioxide (silica, the normal compound in glass) extracted from quartz sand. Water or ethanol is added, depending on the type of surface to be coated. There are no additives, and the nano-scale glass coating bonds to the surface because of the quantum forces involved. According to the manufacturers, liquid glass has a long-lasting antibacterial effect because microbes landing on the surface cannot divide or replicate easily.Liquid glass was invented in Turkey and the patent is held by Nanopool, a family-owned German company. Research on the product was carried out at the Saarbrücken Institute for New Materials. Nanopool is already in negotiations in the UK with a number of companies and with the National Health Service, with a view to its widespread adoption.The liquid glass spray produces a water-resistant coating only around 100 nanometers (15-30 molecules) thick. On this nanoscale the glass is highly flexible and breathable. The coating is environmentally harmless and non-toxic, and easy to clean using only water or a simple wipe with a damp cloth. It repels bacteria, water and dirt, and resists heat, UV light and even acids. UK project manager with Nanopool, Neil McClelland, said soon almost every product you purchase will be coated with liquid glass.Food processing companies in Germany have already carried out trials of the spray, and found sterile surfaces that usually needed to be cleaned with strong bleach to keep them sterile needed only a hot water rinse if they were coated with liquid glass. The levels of sterility were higher for the glass-coated surfaces, and the surfaces remained sterile for months.Other organizations, such as a train company and a hotel chain in the UK, and a hamburger chain in Germany, are also testing liquid glass for a wide range of uses. A year-long trial of the spray in a Lancashire hospital also produced “very promising” results for a range of applications including coatings for equipment, medical implants, catheters, sutures and bandages. The war graves association in the UK is investigating using the spray to treat stone monuments and grave stones, since trials have shown the coating protects against weathering and graffiti. Trials in Turkey are testing the product on monuments such as the Ataturk Mausoleum in Ankara.The liquid glass coating is breathable, which means it can be used on plants and seeds. Trials in vineyards have found spraying vines increases their resistance to fungal diseases, while other tests have shown sprayed seeds germinate and grow faster than untreated seeds, and coated wood is not attacked by termites. Other vineyard applications include coating corks with liquid glass to prevent “corking” and contamination of wine. The spray cannot be seen by the naked eye, which means it could also be used to treat clothing and other materials to make them stain-resistant. McClelland said you can “pour a bottle of wine over an expensive silk shirt and it will come right off”.In the home, spray-on glass would eliminate the need for scrubbing and make most cleaning products obsolete. Since it is available in both water-based and alcohol-based solutions, it can be used in the oven, in bathrooms, tiles, sinks, and almost every other surface in the home, and one spray is said to last a year.Liquid glass spray is perhaps the most important nanotechnology product to emerge to date. It will be available in DIY stores in Britain soon, with prices starting at around £5 ($8 US). Other outlets, such as many supermarkets, may be unwilling to stock the products because they make enormous profits from cleaning products that need to be replaced regularly, and liquid glass would make virtually all of them obsolete. © 2010 Nanotechnology Product for Car Windshields Now Available in the USAlast_img read more


PossessedHand Technology group develops device to move your fingers for you

first_img More information: TVs, Cell Phones to Learn ‘Sign Language’ Citation: PossessedHand: Technology group develops device to move your fingers for you (2011, June 24) retrieved 18 August 2019 from ( — In an interesting meshing of robotics and prosthetics development, Japanese researchers from Tokyo University working in conjunction with Sony Corporation, have created an external forearm device capable of causing independent finger and wrist movement. Introduced on the Rekimoto Lab website, the PossessedHand as it’s called can be strapped to the wrist like a blood pressure cuff and fine tuned to the individual wearing it. The PossessedHand sends small doses of electricity to the muscles in the forearm that control movement, and can be “taught” to send preprogrammed signals that replicate the movements of normal wrist and finger movements, such as plucking the strings of a musical instrument. Though the signals sent are too weak to actually cause string plucking, they are apparently strong enough to cause the user to understand which finger is supposed to be moved, thus, the device might be construed to be more of a learning device than an actual guitar accessory.Currently devices that do roughly the same thing are done with electrodes inserted into the skin, or work via gloves worn over the hand, both rather cludgy and perhaps somewhat painful. This new approach in contrast, is said to feel more like a gentle hand massage. Though the original purpose of the PossessedHand seems to be as an aid to help people learn to play musical instruments, something that has inspired a bit of criticism from the musical community due to the fact that nothing is actually learned when using the device; the hand basically becomes an external part of the instrument, while the brain remains passive; it seems clear the device could be used in multiple other ways. For example, it could be used by hearing people to assist in speaking with deaf sign-language users, or to help people type who have never learned how, or perhaps more importantly to help paralyzed people or those suffering from a stroke. Image: Interfaculty Initiative in Information Studies, The University of Tokyo Explore further © 2010 In these instances it’s not always imperative that the user actually learn anything new, just that they are able to communicate when they want to. If the programming of the device could be made to work in real time in other ways, by the user, then its value would greatly increase. For example if a person could speak out loud into a microphone and those words could then be captured and translated to sign-language and transferred directly to their fingers, deaf people would instantly be able to communicate with anyone they meet who is willing to wear the cuff. Interfaculty Initiative in Information Studies, The University of Tokyo Image: Interfaculty Initiative in Information Studies, The University of Tokyo 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


Researches find poopthrowing by chimps is a sign of intelligence

first_img Chimp’s stone throwing at zoo visitors was ‘premeditated’ Hopkins and his team have focused their research on chimpanzees, mainly due they say, to the fact that chimps are our closet living relative and that they are the only other species besides humans that regularly throw things with a clear target in mind. He and his team have been watching chimps in action for several years and comparing their actions with scans of their brains to see if there were any correlations between those chimps that threw a lot, and those that didn’t or whether they’re accuracy held any deeper meaning. Surprisingly, they found that chimps that both threw more and were more likely to hit their targets showed heightened development in the motor cortex, and more connections between it and the Broca’s area, which they say is an important part of speech in humans. The better chimp throwers, in other words, had more highly developed left brain hemispheres, which is also, non-coincidently, where speech processing occurs in people.Such findings led the term to suggest that the ability to throw is, or was, a precursor to speech development in human beings.After making their discovery regarding the parts of the brain that appear to be involved in better throwing in chimps, the team tested the chimps and found that those that could throw better also appeared to be better communicators within their group, giving credence to their idea that speech and throwing are related. Interestingly, they also found that the better throwing chimps didn’t appear to posses any more physical prowess than other chimps, which the researchers suggest means that throwing didn’t develop as a means of hunting, but as a form of communication within groups, i.e. throwing stuff at someone else became a form of self expression, which is clearly evident to anyone who has ever been targeted by a chimp locked up in a zoo. Common chimpanzee in the Leipzig Zoo. Image credit: Thomas Lersch, via Wikipedia. ( — A lot of people who have gone to the zoo have become the targets of feces thrown by apes or monkeys, and left no doubt wondering about the so-called intellectual capacity of a beast that would resort to such foul play. Now however, researchers studying such behavior have come to the conclusion that throwing feces, or any object really, is actually a sign of high ordered behavior. Bill Hopkins of Emory University and his colleagues have been studying the whole process behind throwing and the impact it has on brain development, and have published their results in Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B. 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.center_img Citation: Researches find poop-throwing by chimps is a sign of intelligence (2011, November 30) retrieved 18 August 2019 from More information: The neural and cognitive correlates of aimed throwing in chimpanzees: a magnetic resonance image and behavioural study on a unique form of social tool use, Phil. Trans. R. Soc. B 12 January 2012 vol. 367 no. 1585 37-47, doi: 10.1098/rstb.2011.0195AbstractIt has been hypothesized that neurological adaptations associated with evolutionary selection for throwing may have served as a precursor for the emergence of language and speech in early hominins. Although there are reports of individual differences in aimed throwing in wild and captive apes, to date there has not been a single study that has examined the potential neuroanatomical correlates of this very unique tool-use behaviour in non-human primates. In this study, we examined whether differences in the ratio of white (WM) to grey matter (GM) were evident in the homologue to Broca’s area as well as the motor-hand area of the precentral gyrus (termed the KNOB) in chimpanzees that reliably throw compared with those that do not. We found that the proportion of WM in Broca’s homologue and the KNOB was significantly higher in subjects that reliably throw compared with those that do not. We further found that asymmetries in WM within both brain regions were larger in the hemisphere contralateral to the chimpanzee’s preferred throwing hand. We also found that chimpanzees that reliably throw show significantly better communication abilities than chimpanzees that do not. These results suggest that chimpanzees that have learned to throw have developed greater cortical connectivity between primary motor cortex and the Broca’s area homologue. It is suggested that during hominin evolution, after the split between the lines leading to chimpanzees and humans, there was intense selection on increased motor skills associated with throwing and that this potentially formed the foundation for left hemisphere specialization associated with language and speech found in modern humans. © 2011 Journal information: Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society Blast_img read more


Multijunction solar cell could exceed 50 efficiency goal

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 researchers performed full-device simulations to investigate the solar cell’s potential efficiency. For every layer in the modeling, they considered numerous factors, such as material composition, lattice constant, thickness, dielectric constant, electron affinity, band gap, effective conduction and valence band densities, electron and hole motilities, the doping concentration of shallow acceptors and donors, the thermal velocity of electrons and holes, the alloy density, Auger recombination for electrons and holes, direct band-to-band recombination, and how many photons with a specific wavelength are absorbed and reflected by each layer based on its dielectric properties.Accounting for all these factors, the simulations showed that the 3-junction design could achieve an efficiency of 51.8% under 100-suns illumination, a great improvement over the current best 43.5% efficiency under 418-suns illumination. All three subcells in the new design had a maximum external quantum efficiency of 80% and absorbed light from a wide range of the spectrum.”The multijunction solar cells are tested under different numbers of suns because they are often used in concentrator photovoltaic systems, which allow us to reduce the size or number of cells needed,” Leite explained. “These strategies tolerate the use of more expensive semiconductor materials, which would otherwise be cost-prohibitive. The results can certainly be compared with each other, as long as the illumination sources are well calibrated.”The researchers also built a proof-of-principle solar cell with an equivalent design, which they fabricated on an indium phosphide (InP) substrate. The solar cell was not optimized, so its efficiency was far from the theoretical prediction, but the results nevertheless demonstrated the capability of experimentally realizing the design. The scientists predict that, with further improvements, this equivalent 3-junction solar cell could have a practical efficiency of around 20% under 1-sun illumination. “[The fabricated solar cell] presents a poor current match but demonstrates our capability of growing high quality semiconductor compounds with an extremely low density of defects and stoichiometry very close to what is required for the optimized design,” Leite said. “The bandgap-optimized design is formed by the same class of alloys, and has a great current match. So, upon optimization of anti-reflection coatings and other design parameters, the simulations indicate that one can reach greater than 50% under concentrated sunlight.”In addition to an optimized anti-reflection coating, some of the other improvements may involve adding window and back surface layers to reduce loss and thickening the lower two subcells to absorb long wavelength light more completely.”I am very excited about our initial results concerning a bandgap-optimized design,” Leite said. “In the near future I plan to work on the integration of the optimized design into the single crystal template in order to fabricate a first monolithic (1.93 eV)InAlAs/(1.39 eV) InGaAsP/(0.94 eV)InGaAs solar cell. Simultaneously, we are looking into anti-reflection coating options for the InAlAs top subcell, which will require an oxygen-free material or the combination of an oxide and a sulfide as a protective layer.” More information: Marina S. Leite, et al. “Towards an optimized all lattice-matched InAlAs/InGaAsP/InGaAs multijunction solar cell with efficiency >50%.” Applied Physics Letters 102, 033901 (2013) (—Scientists have designed a new multijunction solar cell that, in simulations, can achieve an efficiency of 51.8%. This high performance exceeds the current goal of 50% efficiency in multijunction solar cell research as well as the current world record of 43.5% for a 3-junction solar cell. Citation: Multijunction solar cell could exceed 50% efficiency goal (2013, February 20) retrieved 18 August 2019 from Copyright 2013 All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed in whole or part without the express written permission of Journal information: Applied Physics Letters New multi-junction solar cell could break efficiency barrier Explore further The new multijunction solar cell design has three subcells that each have different band gaps to absorb different parts of the solar spectrum. The scientists focused on improving the current match and the lattice match among the subcells to achieve the highest simulated efficiency for this type of solar cell to date. Credit: Marina S. Leite, et al. ©2013 American Institute of Physics The work was performed by a collaboration of researchers from the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena; the National Institute of Standards and Technology in Gaithersburg, Maryland; the University of Maryland in College Park; and Boeing-Spectrolab, Inc., in Sylmar, California. The team published a paper on their work in a recent issue of Applied Physics Letters.As the researchers explain, multijunction solar cells are one of the most promising devices for efficiently converting sunlight into electricity. In multijunction solar cells, each junction or subcell absorbs and converts sunlight from a specific region of the spectrum. The subcells can be stacked on top of one another so that sunlight first strikes the highest bandgap subcell, which is tuned to light with the shortest wavelengths or highest energies. The longer wavelengths pass through the first subcell and strike the lower bandgap subcells.This arrangement offers a significant advantage over single-junction solar cells, which have a maximum theoretical efficiency of only 34%. In theory, an “infinite-junction” solar cell has a maximum theoretical efficiency of almost 87%. But to approach this level, multijunction solar cells not only need multiple subcells, but optimal semiconductor materials for the subcells to provide a combination of band gaps that cover as much of the solar spectrum as possible.To improve upon the current best multijunction solar cells, the researchers here focused on improving the current match between the different subcells, along with using a lattice-matched design. Both of these factors have previously limited multijunction solar cell efficiency.”The lattice match corresponds to the matching between the crystal unit cells from the different subcells,” lead author Marina Leite, an energy researcher at the National Institute of Standards and Technology, told “By using subcells that are lattice-matched, we can minimize dislocations and other crystal defects that can significantly affect the performance of the device. A current match is required for two-terminal tandem configurations because in this case a single current passes through all the subcells and the voltages are added; therefore, if one subcell has less photocurrent it will limit the current generated by the entire device. The current match is desired so that each individual subcell works at its own maximum power point of operation.”last_img read more


Quark asymmetries hint at physics beyond the Standard Model

first_imgThis is the first plot showing the predicted bottom-quark forward-backward asymmetry (in percentage) plotted against the energy (in GeV units) of the bottom quark-antiquark pair produced in the proton-antiproton collision at the Tevatron. Orange is the prediction of the Standard Model. The other colors correspond to predictions from proposed extensions of the Standard Model that add a new particle called an “axigluon,” which was proposed to explain the anomaly in the observed top-quark forward-backward asymmetry. The different colors correspond to different parameters assumed for the axigluon (the parameters are the mass of the axigluon, MG, and the strength of the interaction of the axigluon with the top quark, g). The blue plot deviates strongly from the orange, so experiments should be able to tell the difference. The other colors do not deviate that much from the orange, so more work or a different method would be needed if the axigluon has parameters like those (but the blue line is for parameters that best explain the top-quark case). Credit: Grinstein and Murphy. ©2013 American Physical Society ( —While scientists have become increasingly convinced that the Standard Model of particle physics is incomplete, it’s still unclear exactly how the Standard Model needs to be extended. Experiments have shown that the Standard Model cannot explain certain top quark observations, but a variety of extensions of the Standard Model have been proposed to explain them, and it’s unclear which extension is correct. In a new paper published in Physical Review Letters, physicists Benjamín Grinstein and Christopher W. Murphy at the University of California, San Diego, have explained how upcoming data on the bottom quark can be used to distinguish between competing new physics explanations of unexpected top quark data. Journal information: Physical Review Letters © 2013 All rights reserved. If new physics is involved, as the physicists expect, then the bottom-quark forward-backward asymmetry might be larger than predicted by the Standard Model, or the asymmetry may even be reversed. “The Standard Model of electroweak and strong interactions predicts a very small bottom-quark forward-backward asymmetry at the Tevatron, of the order of a few percent,” Grinstein said. “What we have shown in our work is that new physics can change this number dramatically. One of the interesting features we discovered is that when the energy of the b-quark and b-antiquark sum to the rest energy of the Z-boson (one of the particles responsible for weak interactions), the asymmetry is enhanced. We furthermore showed that, at this particular energy, the effects of new physics can be greatly amplified. For example, in one popular class of models the sign of the asymmetry is reversed, relative to that predicted by the Standard Model, in the energy region corresponding to the Z-boson’s rest energy.”The plots in the physicists’ paper tell a more detailed story of the possibilities for new physics. The two plots included here show the predicted bottom-quark forward-backward asymmetry (in percentage) plotted against the energy (in GeV units) of the bottom quark-antiquark pair produced in the proton-antiproton collision at the Tevatron. In both plots, the orange line represents the Standard Model prediction, while the other colors correspond to predictions from proposed extensions of the Standard Model. The plots are not continuous, but instead they are bar graphs in which the quark pairs of energies in given “bins” are collected together. The black vertical bars indicate what the CDF experiment at Fermilab predicts as its sensitivity, meaning they will be able to distinguish between colored lines that are separated by more than the size of the black bar. Explore further “There has been much excitement the last couple of years precipitated by reports by the two experimental collaborations working at the Tevatron (at Fermilab, outside Chicago) that a much larger-than-expected top-quark forward-backward asymmetry is seen,” Grinstein told “Several models have been proposed to explain this unexpected result. Our paper suggests a way to distinguish among the various models that have been proposed, since these models give very different bottom-quark forward-backward asymmetries. When a sufficiently precise measurement of the bottom-quark forward-backward asymmetry is performed, we will be able to narrow down significantly the new physics that the Tevatron experiments seem to have uncovered.”But perhaps more importantly, observations of the bottom-quark forward-backward asymmetry in disagreement with expectations from the Standard Model, when put together with the top-quark forward-backward asymmetry, would demonstrate fairly conclusively that there is new physics in the form of new particles and interactions not included in the Standard Model, and would point the way toward its direct experimental confirmation. So, as you can see, this would go to the heart of the question in particle physics.”As the physicists explain, a quark’s forward-backward asymmetry refers to the likelihood that the quark is moving in the forward or backward direction after it is produced in a proton-antiproton collision.”The Tevatron is a large circular particle accelerator in which protons and antiprotons travel in opposite directions,” Murphy said. “The direction of travel of a proton at the point it collides with an antiproton is called the ‘forward’ direction. Often a b-quark and an anti-b-quark are produced as a result of the proton-antiproton collision. There are several ways to define a ‘bottom-quark forward-backward asymmetry,’ but they all are a measure of how more (or less) likely it is for the produced b-quark to be moving preferentially in the forward direction. For example, one may count the number of collisions with a forward-moving b-quark, subtract the number of collisions with a backwards-moving b-quark, and divide this by the total number of collisions that produce b-quarks. It should be noted that the asymmetry is not just a single number because it can be determined for various values of the energies of the produced b-quarks. So in fact the asymmetry is a function of the energy of the b-quarks.” 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: Quark asymmetries hint at physics beyond the Standard Model (2013, August 26) retrieved 18 August 2019 from More information: Benjamín Grinstein and Christopher W. Murphy. “Bottom-Quark Forward-Backward Asymmetry in the Standard Model and Beyond.” PRL 111, 062003 (2013). DOI: 10.1103/PhysRevLett.111.062003 Discovery of rare decay narrows space for new physics This is the second plot showing the predicted bottom-quark forward-backward asymmetry (in percentage) plotted against the energy (in GeV units) of the bottom quark-antiquark pair produced in the proton-antiproton collision at the Tevatron. Again, orange is the prediction of the Standard Model. Now the other colors are for a model of “scalar weak doublets.” The particles in this model are also characterized by two parameters: a mass and an interaction strength. Interestingly, on the bin that includes the Z-boson, the sign of the asymmetry is reversed for the scalar weak doublets model. The effect is large enough that the experiment should easily distinguish the new physics, if present. Credit: Grinstein and Murphy. ©2013 American Physical Societylast_img read more


Study suggests history of Rapa Nui on Easter Island far more complex

first_img For many years, Earth scientists and others have used Easter Island and its inhabitants, the Rapa Nui, as a lesson in what can happen when a parcel of land is overpopulated and thus overused—resources diminish and the people starve to death (or resort to cannibalism as some have suggested). But now, the researchers with this new effort suggest that thinking may be wrong.Scientists believe Polynesians first settled on Easter Island sometime around 1200 AD—over the course of the next several hundred years the settlers became the Rapa Nui, famous for the massive maoi statues that were erected. Over that time period, the people cut down most of the trees on the northern part of the island and a lot of the other vegetation. That led to the loss of nutrient rich topsoil due to erosion and the idea that the people began to starve to death.To better understand what actually occurred both before and after Europeans arrived in the 1700’s, the researchers used a technique known as obsidian hydration dating on artifacts found at various sites on the northern part of the island where the Rapa Nui lived. That allowed them to gain insights into how the land in that area had been used during different time periods. From that they were able to construct a timeline that showed where the people were living over the course of hundreds of years. And that, the researchers report, showed that rather than a population crash due to starvation, there were population shifts that reflected changing weather patterns. Some areas did see population losses before European contact, and some actually saw initial gains afterwards. The population did see a dramatic decline, of course, sometime thereafter as the Rapa Nui people became exposed to European diseases such as smallpox and syphilis and as many were taken and sold into slavery. This means, the team concludes, that there is little evidence of population collapse prior to European contact. (—A team of researchers with members from the U.S., Chile and New Zealand has uncovered evidence that contradicts the conventional view of the demographic collapse of the Rapa Nui people living on Easter Island, both before and after European contact. In their paper published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, the team describes how they conducted obsidian hydration dating of artifacts from the island to trace the history of human activity in the area and what they found in doing so. More information: Variation in Rapa Nui (Easter Island) land use indicates production and population peaks prior to European contact, Christopher M. Stevenson, PNAS, DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1420712112AbstractMany researchers believe that prehistoric Rapa Nui society collapsed because of centuries of unchecked population growth within a fragile environment. Recently, the notion of societal collapse has been questioned with the suggestion that extreme societal and demographic change occurred only after European contact in AD 1722. Establishing the veracity of demographic dynamics has been hindered by the lack of empirical evidence and the inability to establish a precise chronological framework. We use chronometric dates from hydrated obsidian artifacts recovered from habitation sites in regional study areas to evaluate regional land-use within Rapa Nui. The analysis suggests region-specific dynamics including precontact land use decline in some near-coastal and upland areas and postcontact increases and subsequent declines in other coastal locations. These temporal land-use patterns correlate with rainfall variation and soil quality, with poorer environmental locations declining earlier. This analysis confirms that the intensity of land use decreased substantially in some areas of the island before European contact. © 2015 Journal information: Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences Explore furthercenter_img A Rapa Nui Rock Garden, or agricultural field, with Poike volcano in the background. Credit: Christopher M. Stevenson 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: Study suggests history of Rapa Nui on Easter Island far more complex than thought (2015, January 6) retrieved 18 August 2019 from Genomic data support early contact between Easter Island and Americaslast_img read more


Giant flare detected on a premain sequence M star

first_img Stellar flares are energetic and impulsive releases of large amounts of energy from a star. They occur when a shift in the star’s magnetic field accelerates electrons to speeds approaching that of light, which results in eruptions producing emission across the entire electromagnetic spectrum.While flares from M stars provide some of the most dramatic stellar events, they are difficult to predict. Spotting such activity on this type of object requires long-duration measurements of many stars, which can be provided, for instance, by wide-field surveys for transiting exoplanets.Recently, a team of astronomers led by James Jackman of University of Warwick, U.K. has analyzed observational data collected by NGTS between November 2015 and August 2016. NGTS is a ground-based transiting exoplanet survey consists of 12 telescopes. The survey is able to detect and resolve flares on both single and blended objects.NGTS allowed Jackman’s team to detect a flare on NGTS J121939.5-355557 (NGTS J1219-3555 for short) on January 31, 2016. Located some 685 light years away from the Earth, J1219-3555 is a young (around 2.2 million years old) star of spectral type M3 about the size of our sun, however slightly more than five times less massive. It has an effective temperature of 3,090 K.”In this work, we have detected a high-energy stellar flare from the 2 Myr old pre-main sequence M star NGTS J121939.5-355557 with NGTS,” the researchers wrote in the paper.According to the study, this flare had an energy of 3.2 undecillion erg and a maximum amplitude of 7.2. The astronomers noted that this energy is greater than all M dwarf flares observed with NASA’s Kepler space telescope and is comparable to that emitted by the highest energy G star superflares. They added that the newly spotted flare is one of the largest energy M star flares ever observed.Furthermore, in the flare peak the researchers found significant multi-mode quasi-periodic pulsations (QPPs). The team underlined the importance of this finding as although such pulsations are commonly observed in solar flares, they remain relatively rare in stellar flare observations.The QPPs in the flare of NGTS J1219-3555 are formed of two statistically significant periods of approximately 320 and 660 seconds, with an oscillation amplitude of 0.1. The astronomers added that these values make the flare described in the paper one of the largest amplitude events to exhibit such pulsations.In concluding remarks, the researchers underlined the importance of wide field, long timescale surveys such as NGTS in the search for high-energy events like the flare in NGTS J1219-3555. Finding and studying these flares could be important for improving our understanding of formation and habitability of Earth-like alien worlds around M-type stars. Zoom in of the flare peak, in which oscillations are clearly seen. A flux spike, lasting only about 20-30 seconds, is seen at the beginning of the oscillations approximately 8 minutes after the night start. A green interpolating line is shown to aid the eye. Credit: Jackman et al., 2018. Using the Next Generation Transit Survey (NGTS), astronomers have identified an energetic flare displaying quasi-periodic pulsations on the pre-main sequence M star NGTS J121939.5-355557. The newly detected flare is one of the most energetic flares seen on an M-type star to date. The finding is reported in a paper published November 5 on Citation: Giant flare detected on a pre-main sequence M star (2018, November 13) retrieved 18 August 2019 from © 2018 Science X Network Explore further More information: James A.G. Jackman et al. Detection of a giant flare displaying quasi-periodic pulsations from a pre-main sequence M star with NGTS. arXiv:1811.02008 [astro-ph.SR]. Powerful flare detected on an M-dwarf star 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


Mines No Safer Despite 1 Billion In Fines Fe

first_img by NPR News Howard Berkes, Robert Benincasa 8.22.19 11:09am An audit of the federal system that fines mining companies for unsafe conditions found no evidence that more than $1 billion in mine safety penalties over 18 years deterred unsafe mining practices.The four-year long audit from the Office of Inspector General of the Labor Department says its analysis of Mine Safety and Health Administration accident and violations data “showed no correlation between penalties paid and the safety of mine operations.”The audit was prompted by a 2014 NPR investigation of thousands of mines and mining companies that did find such a connection. Specifically, NPR found that mines that persistently ignored their penalties had injury rates 50 percent higher than mines that paid their fines. In total, NPR examined the safety records of mines that had failed to pay nearly $70 million in penalties, some with delinquent fines that were decades old.The auditors instead reported data for mining companies, not individual mines, and in a statement to NPR acknowledged taking a different approach with their review.”We focused on mine operators as they are responsible for the safety of miners and are assigned the financial responsibility for penalties,” the OIG’s statement explained.The office did not respond to specific questions NPR submitted and declined a request for an interview.The audit doesn’t say whether the measures of safety and violations applied only after mines or mining companies failed to pay safety fines or while they continued to be delinquent. NPR’s analysis of delinquent fines and safety applied only to mines while they were delinquent.The auditors also measured safety by looking at raw numbers and averages of “serious accidents” and “serious violations,” which is not the primary safety metric used by MSHA. The agency instead typically uses “incident” or injury rate, which takes into account the number of injuries that occur in a mine during the hours worked.This shows that “penalties just aren’t high enough to deter bad behavior,” says Wes Addington, the executive director of the Appalachian Citizens Law Center in Whitesburg, Kentucky.Addington once conducted his own analysis of delinquent mine safety penalties and their impacts on safety.The audit shows that “violations are just a cost of doing business,” Addington adds.He also calls the audit “superficial” and “poorly designed” because it mixes coal mines with what are called metal and nonmetal mines. “Coal mining is one of the most dangerous occupations in the United States,” Addington says. Including other mines in the analysis “skews the data. They don’t have the injuries and violations coal mines have.”The auditors did recommend that MSHA not permit mining companies to operate new mines if they have outstanding penalties at existing operations.”Without holding mine operators accountable for their safety record or delinquency status prior to commencing operations at a new mine, mine operators have less of an incentive to prevent future safety hazards,” the audit says.MSHA says it does not have the legal authority to deny mine operators the ability to open new mines due to unpaid fines.The NPR investigation found that mining companies continued to operate multiple mines, and continued to put thousands of miners at risk, even after persistent failure to pay mine safety fines. In one case, the operators of the Kentucky Darby mine amassed nearly $3 million in safety fines after a deadly accident that killed five miners. That includes $500,000 in fines the owners of the mine failed to pay for safety failures that contributed to the tragedy.In that and many other cases, NPR found that MSHA failed to use some of its authority to force companies to pay and to seek closure of mines that were persistently delinquent.The auditors found that MSHA has used that authority more often since the NPR investigation in 2014, and noted more aggressive focus on delinquent and unsafe mines in both the Trump and Obama administrations.The audit said MSHA deserves credit for collecting the vast majority of mine safety fines – roughly 90 percent in the 18 years reviewed.But the auditors also recommended that MSHA develop ways to measure the effectiveness of penalties. MSHA says that’s difficult because fines are “one of many variables” used to make mines safe.MSHA has recently resisted public disclosure of mining companies that fail to pay penalties. NPR sued MSHA in federal court last year under the Freedom of Information Act after the agency failed to provide its current delinquent mines data. A settlement resulted in the release of that data, which showed that the nation’s top delinquent mine owners are companies owned by West Virginia Governor Jim Justice and his family.In a rare move in May, MSHA and the Justice Department sued the coal companies owned by the Justice family for failure to pay $4.7 million in unpaid mine safety fines.Copyright 2019 NPR. To see more, visit NPR. Mines No Safer Despite $1 Billion In Fines, Federal Audit… Wade Paynelast_img read more


Opposition candidates file nomination in huge numbers in Jhargram

first_imgKolkata: In the newly-formed district Jhargram, which is going for the three-tier Panchayat elections for the first time, the Opposition parties have fielded their candidates in the Gram Panchayat, Panchayat Samity and Zilla Parishad in huge numbers. The turnout of the Opposition candidates who have filed nominations peacefully demolishes the claims of the leaders of the other parties, mainly BJP, that their candidates were prevented from filing their nominations. Also Read – Heavy rain hits traffic, flightsGoing by the numbers, it clearly shows that the Opposition parties had not been prevented from filing nominations or else it would not have been possible for them to field candidates in all the seats.In Jhargram, there are 806 seats in the Gram Panchayat, the lowest in the three-tier Panchayat system. The BJP has fielded 942 candidates while the CPI(M) and Congress have fielded 194 and 26 candidates respectively. The others and Independent have fielded 23 and 190 candidates. The Trinamool Congress has fielded 1,228 candidates. Also Read – Speeding Jaguar crashes into Merc, 2 B’deshi bystanders killedIn the Panchayat Samity, there are around 187 seats. BJP, CPI(M) and Congress have nominated 230,78 and 10 candidates. The Independent and others have fielded 44 and 9 candidates respectively. The Trinamool Congress has nominated 368 candidates in the Panchayat Samity. In the Zilla Parishad, there are 16 seats. The BJP, CPI(M) and Congress have fielded 19, 16 and 8 candidates while the Independent and others have fielded 5 candidates each. The TMC has fielded around 22 candidates. The statistics clearly show that there has been a massive erosion of voters for the CPI(M) and Congress. CPI(M) used to run a parallel administration there when Jhargram was part of West Midnapore district. During the Maoist movement, both education and economy of Jhargram had been badly hit. After coming to power in 2011, Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee visited the area several times to win back the confidence of the people. The statistics show that the BJP is coming up as the second power in Jhargram. However, the collective strength of the Opposition parties is less than the TMC in fielding candidates.last_img read more


Fire breaks out inside plastic factory none injured

first_imgKolkata: A fire broke out inside a plastic factory in Bengal’s North 24-Parganas district on Sunday afternoon. However, no one was injured in the blaze. The fire broke out inside a plastic chair factory in Jagaddal’s Madral area at around 2.30 pm. Some parts of the factory were gutted.Locals spotted smoke billowing out of the factory and reported the matter to the fire brigade. An employee was inside the factory when it caught fire. The locals rescued him immediately after the fire broke out. Also Read – Heavy rain hits traffic, flightsThe incident triggered tension among the locals as the factory is situated in a congested area.After being informed, police reached the spot and cordoned off the entire area.It was difficult for the fire fighters to get inside. The fire spread quickly as inflammable materials were stored in the premises. The locals informed the police that a huge amount of inflammable materials were kept inside the factory which had aggravated the situation further. Also Read – Speeding Jaguar crashes into Merc, 2 B’deshi bystanders killed A total of three fire tenders were pressed into service to control the blaze. The fire was brought under control within one and half hours but some pockets inside the factory were burning till 4.30 pm on Sunday. The cause of the fire and the extent of the damage are yet to be ascertained.According to preliminary investigation, the fire officials suspect that an electrical short circuit might have caused the fire. The fire department officials suspect that the factory had no proper fire fighting system. The police and fire officials are also probing if the factory had fire clearance. According to a senior police of Barrackpore, steps would be taken against the owners if it is found that it had no fire clearance. A detailed probe has been initiated.last_img read more


Classical connection

first_imgThe 22nd Sangeet Martand Ustad Chand Khan Music Festival is all set to take Delhiites on a classical treat. The festival will commence on March 3 – 4 at Kamani auditorium. The Sursagar Society of Delhi Gharana, spearheaded by the head or khalifa of the gharana, Ustad Iqbal Ahmed Khan, is celebrating its platinum jubilee. For more than seven decades now, Sursagar Society of Delhi Gharana has successfully held music festivals not only in Delhi but in other parts of India as well. The Society, which runs from the aptly named Mosiqui Manzil in Darya Ganj, takes particular pains to spread interest in Hindustani music among the youth of the country.  Also Read – ‘Playing Jojo was emotionally exhausting’This festival will feature some of the leading Hindustani classical vocal maestros to represent an opportunity for music lovers of the city to connect with the richly resonant art of music. This festival will also resonate a musical spirit and would definitely draw music connoisseurs from far and wide. Spurred by the success of the previous events, this celebration this year is intended of be greater than previous year. This year’s festival features some of the leading Hindustani classical vocal maestros, the organisation’s general secretary, Iqbal Ahmed Khan, knows how to move with the times. Also Read – Leslie doing new comedy special with NetflixThe festival will be inaugurated by the Mahesh Sharma, Minister of State for Ministry of Culture. Launch of  Safal Swachh Bharat Abhiyaan Anthem composed by Ustad Iqbal Ahmed Khan will also take place at the event. Other eminent performers at the event include Shubha Mudgal, Rajan and Sajan Mishra and Ajoy Chakraborty.The opening day of the festival will see performances by students of Ustad Iqbal Ahmed Khan presenting  Safal Swachh Bharat Abhiyaan, recital by Ustad Iqbal Ahmed Khan and recital by Pandit Rajan and Pandit Sajan Misra.  The next day of the festival will witness performances by young talent Vivek Prajapati, recital by Vidushi Shubha Mudgal, recital by Pandit Ajoy Chakraborty. Since 1986, an important part of Sursagar’s annual festival has been the conferment of the Ustad Chand Khan Lifetime Achievement Award to renowned artists for their outstanding contribution to art and culture. This year’s Lifetime Achievement Award is being conferred on Kathak maestro Pandit Birju Maharaj. Another notable project of the Society is its Amir Khusro Institute of Music, where free musical training is provided. Since the khalifa of the gharana is adept at a number of classical forms, including Ghazal, Thumri, Dadra, and others, the institute offers training in a range of forms.last_img read more


Taking the soul out of reading

first_imgWhen was the last time you went to a bookstore? Many book lovers today visit the online options because the collections there are vast and the prices competitive. But do you remember the time when buying a book was an experience in itself – was more than a purchase? Those were the days when a bookshop was an El Dorado of ideas, for books are nothing but the ideas of the world, both fiction and non-fiction, and any visit to a bookshop was an adventure. You would get your hands dirty with the dust on the covers of the titles at the back of the shop, or on the highest shelves. You would come into the store with one or some books in mind and spend hours looking at very different volumes that would have caught you eye after you entered. Eventually, there would come the time, that heart-breaking period, when you would have to choose what you would eventually buy and what you would keep back on the shelves for the next time, as you were sure there would be a next time – a time you were terribly sure would not be long in coming. Even the packaging of books, in recent times, had become a simple brown paper bag so that there would be no impediment to your reading the moment you came home and fished out your purchases. Also Read – ‘Playing Jojo was emotionally exhausting’With the online bookstores the tactile pleasures of holding a book in your hand disappeared totally. You would not be staggering to a corner to sort out your selections. Nor would you make a place in a relatively open space to lay out your choices. Instead, you would click on a volume and get to read a blurb and see the front cover and a flattering review which is bound to be positive, a marketing exercise only, and not a real evaluation of what you would peruse. Another drawback of online shopping is that you would have to know what you want when you come to the site. The pleasure of browsing, of tarrying at the shelves, of going from one section to the other, would be denied you. The adventure that going to the bookshop used to mean, would be no more. You were dependent on the site’s notification of “Those who browsed this book also looked at…”, and you would be sure that this was another thinly veiled marketing ploy showing off other titles available at the online store and not really an organic mapping of your personal preferences. If you knew what you wanted and would like to close the deal in minutes flat, then online shopping was just the thing. But it was not the real McCoy. Not by a long chalk. Also Read – Leslie doing new comedy special with NetflixYet, they were, still, bookshops – a little different from the real shops you would have to step into and squeeze past piles of books to enter. Giant bookstore chains are quite another thing altogether. These behemoths were built to cater to the bestseller reading clientele and writing mafia (yes, I am calling it that – the churners out of bestsellers who do not turn a hair about whether their works stand the test of time or even be considered literature in the first place. Isn’t pulp fiction the kind that eventually gets converted quite quickly to pulp?). What is worse is that our India has a desi version of these pulp writers who just cannot be shut up no matter how vitriolic the voices against them are. They manufacture a book a year and also appear on mass media to air asinine views on subjects they have no clue about. In this, they are different from their western counterparts who do not want to ever influence public opinion.Just the other day, I was passing a stationery store in one of the southern station of the Delhi Metro and was horrified to see the title of the only two rows of shelves they had in a corner. These books came under the proudly proclaimed category of “bestsellers” – as if no reader would have the indecency to want anything else. This reminded me of the heartless, characterless chain bookstore juggernauts that are mushrooming across the world and also in India, squashing out the small bookshops which used to stock books of great variety and value. These bookshops offer hundreds and hundreds of ‘non books’, bestselling trash written by ghost writers under the names of celebrities. Love of literature they have no truck with. Much of their space is given over to garish gift items and greeting cards, tasteless, over-expensive stationery and some pens that cost more than a housemaid’s monthly wages in India. Haven’t you bought a bestseller lately?The author is a writer and documentary film-maker who lives both in Delhi and in Calcuttalast_img read more


Three trawlers capsize in Frazerganj 19 fishermen go missing

first_imgKolkata: At least 19 fishermen have gone missing after three trawlers capsized in the sea off Frazerganj Harbour in South 24-Parganas, late on Monday night.Sunderban Superintendent of Police Tathagata Basu said a hovercraft and an airplane have been pressed into service to look for the missing persons.Bijan Maity, the secretary of West Bengal United Fishermen Association, informed that the fishermen who had gone for fishing in the deep sea and went missing, hailed from Kakdwip and Frazerganj. Also Read – Rain batters Kolkata, cripples normal life”Although many trawlers could return to safety, three boats – MV Malleshwar, MV Joykishan and MV Maa Shibani capsized in the sea. 10 fishermen of MV Joykishan and six of MV Malleshwar went missing, while three fishermen who were flung into the sea from different trawlers are also in the missing list,” Maity said.Ten trawlers belonging to the Samity immediately started a rescue operation but failed to trace anybody. The Coast Guard has also started a rescue operation on Tuesday, in coordination with the state Disaster Management department.The fishermen had set sail into the Bay of Bengal around 10 am on Monday. They had claimed that there was no warning of the Weather department on radio.It was around 4 pm when the weather turned rough and huge waves, accompanied with gusty winds, overturned the three trawlers in the sea.The Met office website, however, shows that the fishermen had been advised against venturing into the sea on Monday.last_img read more


Bengalis in Britain may build trade ties with India Buckneil

first_imgKolkata: British Deputy High Commissioner of Kolkata Bruce Buckneil today called for engaging the Bengali diaspora in Britain to build business ties with the state and India. “The human capital link between Bengal and Britain remains very strong,” Buckneil told reporters on the sidelines of a meet to address the potential of West Bengal to drive the country’s ‘Act East Policy’. Bengal has fantastic assets and “I want to engage them more to build those (business) links,” Buckneil said. Also Read – Rain batters Kolkata, cripples normal life In Britain, there is a large Bengali diaspora which is unfortunately dispersed in the country. There are many Bengali doctors and lawyers there too, he said. The meet was organised by British Deputy High Commission and ‘powered’ by The Dialogue, a think tank dedicated to drive policy and governance reforms through public opinion. The British diplomat said there should just not be flow of human capital, but there should also be the flow of ideas and business in different countries. Also Read – Speeding Jaguar crashes into Mercedes car in Kolkata, 2 pedestrians killed He said in terms of destination for British investment in India, West Bengal occupied the fifth largest spot. “Business can’t be forced to come to your place, you have to make it attractive,” he said. Buckneil said that technological change was “devastating all sorts of traditional business models. When asked to elaborate his point, he said “AI (Artificial Intelligence) is coming and it will take away a lot of jobs. Automation has come to manufacturing…..that is the challenge we all will face.” “Technology is not going to stop. We keep creating new technology and we got to work with it, people need to work with it,” he said. Asked to comment on employment situation in Bengal in the new situation, he said “as a diplomat I won’t say much. All I can say to keep creating jobs you have to create right condition for business, you have to be business friendly, you have to keep regulations right.” Buckneil talked about Bengal’s top notch performance in leather products, jewellery and even food. “In food, one of the biggest fast food outlets which makes momo, had started in Kolkata,” he said. West Bengal Minister for Power and Non-conventional Energy Sources, Sobhandev Chattopadhyay said the state “which is surplus in power is ready with infrastructure.” Chattopadhyay referred to Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee’s successful visits to Britain and expressed confidence in opening a lot of business opportunities in the state. He said from thermal power to solar energy and hydel power, Bengal is going ahead of other states in the country.last_img read more


Tips on age management

first_imgAnjali Hooda Sangwan, consultant, Obesity, Metabolic medicine and Clinical Nutrition, New Delhi suggests these fitness mantras to keep the age clock at bay. These good-life rules are a must for every person who is in their mid-30’s and wants to have a fit lifestyle. The thumb rule is to ‘Seek good company, eat right to balance hormones and exercise’.She implies the changing dietary patterns of the body, and how they change with age, reflecting on the need to cut down on gluten and dairy products. According to her, as age advances, the body metabolism has difficulty in processing heavy calories and gluten as they are particularly hard to digest. So one should avoid having foods rich in calorie and gluten and should rather take easily digestible food grains like ragi, jowar and quinoa. Wheat and rice are not recommended as they spike insulin. Excessive sugar increases body insulin levels and is also very hard to metabolize with age. Anjali recommends natural sugar supplements like dates and figs as a better and healthier alternative.  Also Read – ‘Playing Jojo was emotionally exhausting’Along with abstaining from high calories, one must take ample amounts of nutritious nuts, seeds, fruits, vegetables, both plant and animal based proteins to balance the hormonal levels of the body. Not only a balanced diet, but a person needs a long term sustenance plan as body muscles age with a person’s age. Proper training under the supervision of a professional trainer is required to plan out a proper regime. As they say, for a healthy life, the combination of mind, body and soul should work in perfect tandem. One must seek the company of positive people to life their spirits and engage in hobbies like Sudoku to keep the brain healthy. Complimenting the natural diet with supplements is a must as the body needs calcium, Vitamin D and fish oil in the right amount, especially in women where loss in calcium is a common phenomenon with age.With all the routine and regime taken care of, a regular health check is mandatory. One must have regular visits to the doctor and get appropriate cancer screening test like pap smears and mammogram done on time along with keeping regular tabs on blood-pressure.last_img read more


Probiotics daily Watch out for impaired memory

first_imgDaily dose of probiotics – live bacteria and yeasts – well known to be good for the digestive system, may however, be less effective when taken alongside a balanced diet and may impair certain aspects of memory, suggests a research.”If you’re eating poorly, then probiotics might be helpful. But if you’re already eating healthy, they may not be that beneficial,” said Margaret Morris, Professor at University of New South Wales in Australia.For the study, published in the journal ‘Molecular Psychiatry’, the team examined the impact of a commonly used probiotics on the gut health and cognitive function of rats, which were fed either a healthy diet or a “cafeteria diet” high in saturated fat and sugar. Also Read – Add new books to your shelfThe results showed that in fat rats with “grossly dysregulated” gut health, being fed on junk food, probiotics positively changed the bacterial make-up in their digestive tract and benefited brain function, preventing spatial memory loss.But for rats on a healthy diet, the probiotics had little impact on microbial diversity and actually impaired recognition memory.”We were surprised to find that after feeding a healthy diet to the rats, the probiotics actually resulted in some memory impairment with regards to object recognition,” Morris said.Although the study is looking at rats, people need to exercise caution while taking probiotics.”It’s very hard for us to say that they are definitively good or bad. Probiotics may offer a great opportunity to improve health so long as they are replacing the correct bacteria – the challenge is accurately determining which beneficial microbes are absent,” Morris added.last_img read more


Give Rs 15L to each Indian then think of 7th Pay Commission

first_imgKolkata: Rubbishing BJP national president Amit Shah’s statements at a party rally in Malda which stated that if voted to power in Bengal, the saffron party would implement the recommendations of the 7th Pay Commission, Mayor Firhad Hakim added that before it is implemented, Rs 15 lakh should be deposited in the bank accounts of every India first as promised by the party before the 2014 elections.”BJP survives on lies and lies only,” he said while talking to newsmen on Tuesday afternoon. He added: “BJP president has urged people to vote for the party to get 23 plus seats in the Lok Sabha elections and this shows that he is living in a fool’s paradise as the party will not be able to get two seats which it had secured in the earlier polls. The BJP will get zero seats, he stated. Commenting on Shah’s statement that there is “Syndicate Raj” in Bengal, Hakim said: “There is no such thing here but those who run syndicates in Amit Shah’s state had contributed to set up BJP’s party office in Delhi.” Also Read – Speeding Jaguar crashes into Mercedes car in Kolkata, 2 pedestrians killedOn Shah’s allegation that Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee has deprived lakhs of people by not accepting the Ayushman Bharat scheme, Hakim added: “We are not going to allow political advertisements for a Central project.” Partha Chatterjee, Trinamool’s secretary general, said: “The way Shah spoke at the rally shows that he is not aware of the heritage and culture of India. The BJP has become politically bankrupt and there is erosion in their mass base as well. The leaders have understood that their end is not very far. People of Bengal will protest against their political vendetta,” he said. Also Read – Bose & Gandhi: More similar than apart, says Sugata BoseComing down heavily on the BJP, Trinamool Congress spokesperson Derek O’ Brien said: “After listening to the BJP president’s speech in Malda, it’s obvious that they are very nervous. They know their days are numbered. They are politically-scared. Their speeches are low on facts and poor in taste.” He further added: “They (BJP) don’t understand the ethos of India. They don’t understand the ethos of Bengal. They are heading towards one big zero (in Bengal in the general election),” he said. “Some are saying they are desperate, some are saying they have gone mad… or is it a combination of both?” the TMC leader asked. Earlier in the day, Amit Shah addressed rally in Malda where he urged people to vote for the BJP to get 23 plus seats in the Lok Sabha polls. He said the votes will be conducted by the Central forces and the Trinamool Congress will not be able to carry out any violence. He maintained that under Mamata Banerjee’s rule, development has been stalled.last_img read more


International theatre festival to dazzle Delhiites

first_img20th Bharat Rang Mahotsav (BRM), the largest theatre festival in Asia, organised by the National School of Drama (NSD), is all set to bring its bouquet of plays, interactive sessions, and other cultural events to cheer up the winter afternoons of theatre enthusiasts in the city.The international theatre festival will commence in New Delhi on February 1, 2019, and culminate on February 21, bringing a diverse range of productions comprising 111 shows and allied events such as ‘Director’s Meet’, ‘Living Legend’, and ‘Master Class’. Also Read – Add new books to your shelfThe inaugural ceremony will be held at Kamani auditorium on February 1, followed by the performance of ‘Karanth Ke Rang’, directed by Amod Bhatt. The 50-minute long performance is a medley of songs composed by late B V Karanth, a stalwart of Kannada and Hindi theatres. The festival, which enters its 20th edition this year, is celebrating the 150th birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi. Four plays will be staged on the life, philosophy, and principles of the ‘Father of the Nation’. The festival will host 69 Indian and 15 foreign plays across India, selected after screening. Additionally, nine folk productions, five plays by NSD diploma students, one production from the Sikkim center of NSD, three plays by the NSD Repertory as well as five invitee plays by eminent theatre practitioners will captivate the theatergoers across India. Also Read – Over 2 hours screen time daily will make your kids impulsiveThe 21-day long festival this year will include plays in Hindi, English, and other regional languages. International productions from countries such as Bangladesh, Poland, Russia, Sri Lanka, the Czech Republic, Italy, Nepal, Romania, and Singapore as well as non-verbal, folk, and multi-lingual performances will enthrall the audience during the theatrical spectacle. The performances in New Delhi will be held at Bahumukh and Chahumukh (7:30 PM), Open Lawn (6:00 PM), and Abhimanch (8:30 PM) at the NSD’s Bahawalpur House campus as well as nearby Sri Ram Centre (4:00 PM), LTG (5:30 PM), and Kamani (7:00 PM) auditoriums. Apart from the spellbinding performances and interaction with eminent personalities from the world of theatre, the festival will also have two international and two national seminars on theatre. Besides, the NSD campus will be abuzz with street plays, ambiance shows, and ‘Theatre Bazar’, a motley of stalls offering a range of products and culinary delights. The youth forum shows will comprise performances by dramatic societies of nearly 50 colleges in Delhi while ambiance performances will bring folk dance and other traditional performing art forms. “The art of theatre is the oldest and the strongest medium that conveys human emotions in a manner that defies temporal boundaries. We are delighted to usher in the Bharat Rang Mahotsav to its 20th year and have made all efforts to bring a selection of quality plays, choosing the best out of 960 submissions. There are 9 folk performances being presented in Delhi as well as invitee plays and productions in regional languages. We have tried to accommodate as many young theatre enthusiasts as we can since the institution aims to foster the growth of young talents through the platform of BRM,” said Suresh Sharma, Director In-charge, National School of Drama (NSD). “Theatre is a celebrated art form across the world and I am happy that this festival gives us a chance to witness many of the plays which have received critical acclaim globally. BRM aims at bringing together people and hence, we have spread the festival across the country so that theatre reaches more and more people. BRM has been a very successful festival attracting a lot of audiences, including first-timers and we hope a similar run this year too,” says Dr Arjun Deo Charan, Acting Chairman, NSD Society.last_img read more