August 2019

Controlling cold molecules

first_img Citation: Controlling cold molecules (2006, August 29) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2006-08-cold-molecules.html 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 PhysOrg.com, “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 PhysOrg.com This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only.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

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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 https://phys.org/news/2010-02-spray-on-liquid-glass-revolutionize.html 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: www.nanopool.eu/couk/index.htm• Join PhysOrg.com on Facebook!• Follow PhysOrg.com on Twitter! (PhysOrg.com) — 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 PhysOrg.com Nanotechnology Product for Car Windshields Now Available in the USAlast_img read more

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PossessedHand Technology group develops device to move your fingers for you

first_img More information: lab.rekimoto.org/projects/possessedhand/ 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 https://phys.org/news/2011-06-possessedhand-technology-group-device-fingers.html (PhysOrg.com) — 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 PhysOrg.com 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

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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. (PhysOrg.com) — 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 https://phys.org/news/2011-11-poop-throwing-chimps-intelligence.html 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 PhysOrg.com Journal information: Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society Blast_img read more

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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. (Phys.org)—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 Phys.org 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 https://phys.org/news/2015-01-history-rapa-nui-easter-island.html Genomic data support early contact between Easter Island and Americaslast_img read more

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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 arXiv.org. Citation: Giant flare detected on a pre-main sequence M star (2018, November 13) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2018-11-giant-flare-pre-main-sequence-star.html © 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]. arxiv.org/abs/1811.02008 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