Understanding Algae As An Alternative Fuel Source Will The Real Algae X

first_imgEnormous breakthroughs occur ed in narrowing down the nearly 3,000 species of algae to a core 300 species for research and development during the DOE´s funding period of 1978-1995. Important field research was conducted in New Mexico, Utah, California and Hawaii which produced patented technologies. More importantly, scientists were able to move lab experiments to the field and determined that lab results were not borne out in the field. By virtue of the combined efforts of lab scientists and tests in the field new strains of algae were produced which increases the lipid content necessary for oil production and increased the all ready rapid growth of algae. Initially the focus was to use algae to produce hydrogen. In the early 1980s the focus turned to using algae as a substitute for bio-diesel. In 1995, under pressure by budget constraints, nearly all funding was lost for the algae-related ongoing projects. Instead the DOE refocused its small alternative fuel funds in bio-ethanol projects. Even during the height of the program´s boom years of 1985 and 1986 this ahead of it´s time wing of government only received $2.75-million annually. Most years the algae program received less than $2-million. Parenthetically, in the early 1990s funding shrunk to $500,000 or less. It was during this time in which the algae research began to show great dividends for meeting it´s original mission to develop a low cost, high in oil, fast growing algae ideal for alternative fuel sources. A wind-up report was published recently outlining the origin and evolution of the Department of Energy´s algae work. Click to see.Necessity Is The Mother of Invention:When the likes of Boone Pickens a lifetime oil man expresses concerns about supply and demand shortages in fossil fuels and consumers begin feeling the pain at the gas pump and record high heating oil prices, something happens. That something is dusting off the research of the past 50-years and beginning an earnest examination of alternatives to fossil fuels. In recent years, a huge algae project is underway in the State of Texas. The National Algae Foundation is located in Texas. The University of Virginia has launched three-algae to fuel research projects. In the private sector, Ceres, Solazyme, PetroSun and others are in full speed with research and development of algae-to-fuel projects. Japan, Argentina, Australia and Ireland are involved in the research and development of varying types of algae for use as bio-fuel. International oil companies and airlines have joined in the algae band wagon over the past year by allocating resources and funding. In a perfect world, the call of scientists would have avoided what has turned out to be inevitable. Courtesy UC Berkeley The technology will be utilized in the development and creation of various algae species targeted to high yield per acre and high levels of usable alternative oil for heating and fuel. All algae is not equal in terms of creating an alternative to fossil fuels or reliance on foreign oil supplies. Algae X meets the threshold criteria and goes one better. It appears to have no adverse effect on food supply economics and it does not increase green house gas emissions. According to the AXI LLC web site, Professor Cattolico´s technology is the basis for the licensing agreement with the University of Washington and she will will play a major role in AXI. In a press release, Professor Cattolico states: ” Our proprietary methodology for developing specific growth and productivity traits will help in any algai production system improve its output of inexpensive, oil-rich algae as the raw material for the generation of biofuel.” An important note is the current concern of corn-based ethanol impacting the cost of livestock, poultry feed and basic food production. Algae can be grown in the terrain unsuitable for grain, corn or soybeans. In addition, algae production will not impact the cost of feed or food production. Current estimates by experts in the Bio-fuel industry and the Department of Energy report that algae fuel can yield up to 30-times more energy per-acre than land crops such as soybeans. The estimates reported in Bio-fuel Digest show Algae can produce 1,800 to 9,000 gallons of bio-fuel per acre (GPA) compared to Tallow, Chinese at 970-GPA, Palm Oil at 508-GPA, Coconut at 230-GPA and Soybean at a maximum of 98.6-GPA. Algae has the additional benefit of absorbing SOx and NOx two compounds which cause acid rain. The adaptability of the thousands of types of algae to a range of world-wide land/water masses is another major benefit. Standing on The Shoulders of Others:The idea that algae could be used as an alternative fuel source began in the 1950s. President Carter in 1978 initiated the Solar Energy Research Center in Golden Colorado in response to the energy crises of the 1970s. He consolidated all energy related departments into what we know today as the DOE or Department of Energy. A sub-part of the Solar Energy Research Center was founded the National Renewable Energy Laboratory. Studies and research into the uses of plant life as a source of biofuels began in this period. Particularly relevant to the discussion of algae as a biofuel began in the Carter Administration and reached its mecca for funding under the Reagan administration. Explore further The recent creation of AXI, LLC is an alliance between Allied Minds, Inc. a seed investment company and the University of Washington. The alliance came about because of Professor Rose Ann Cattolico PhD, an algae-to-fuel expert. Professor Cattolico has been on the faculty and conducting algae research since 1975. Her research includes, chloroplast genome architecture and gene function in non-chlorophy b containing algae and functional genetic diversity within stramenopile population. Professor Cattolico has discovered a unique patented technology, she calls Algae X.center_img 5 moon landing innovations that changed life on Earth Citation: Understanding Algae As An Alternative Fuel Source: Will The Real Algae X Please Stand Up (2008, September 7) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2008-09-algae-alternative-fuel-source-real.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.last_img read more

100mpg plugin hybrids popping up in US

first_img A recent article in North Carolina´s The News & Observer has highlighted a Raleigh-based company, Advanced Vehicle Research Center (AVRC), that has four employees and can retrofit a Prius in about four hours for a cost of $10,400. The AVRC is one of eight US companies authorized to install lithium ion batteries manufactured by 23 Systems, a Massachusetts company. AVRC´s converted Priuses can get from anywhere between 60 and 100 mpg, depending on driving habits, which roughly doubles the gas mileage of a standard Prius. Advanced Energy, a Raleigh nonprofit research organization and one of AVRC´s customers, has even exceeded 200 mpg in a test under optimal conditions. The conversion process is relatively uncomplicated. The mechanics remove the spare tire in the trunk, and replace it with a 170-pound lithium ion battery pack, like a much larger version of a cell phone battery. A plug from the back of the bumper can be inserted into a conventional wall outlet, where a full charge lasts about 3.5 hours and costs less than 75 cents. The modified Prius draws from the new battery first, giving the car a range of about 35 miles on all-electric power, making gasoline optional on short commutes. When the battery is depleted, the Prius runs like a standard hybrid, using its gas engine and regenerative braking to charge its nickel metal hydride battery.According to the Plug-In Hybrid Coalition of the Carolinas, there are about 150 plug-in hybrids on US roads today. Most of the AVRC´s customers have been corporations with large fleets, but they recently made their first conversion for an individual. Their clients include Progress Energy, Duke Energy, the city of Raleigh, and North Carolina State University´s Advanced Transportation Energy Center. These organizations are tracking and sending data on the cars to the Idaho National Laboratory, a federal research institute that is studying plug-in hybrids.The plug-in modifications aren´t authorized or endorsed by Toyota, which plans to make its own Prius plug-in commercially available in 2010 in the US. Also in 2010, Chevrolet plans to release the Volt (which runs on the same 23 lithium ion battery used by AVRC), which is expected to be more economical than AVRC´s conversions. The AVRC acknowledges that $10,400 is a hefty price tag for the average driver – AVRC founder and president Richard Dell estimates that it could take 140,000 miles to recover the cost through fuel savings. But the important thing is that they´ve demonstrated that the technology is viable and available right now. “It´s given us more confidence that it´s not a matter of if plug-in vehicles will happen, but when,” said Mike Rowand, Duke Energy´s director of advanced customer technologies.More information: The Advanced Vehicle Research Centervia: The News & Observer The Advanced Vehicle Research Center is converting Toyota Priuses into electric plug-in hybrids for a cost of $10,400. Image credit: The Advanced Vehicle Research Center. Although many people would like to drive more fuel-efficient vehicles, most of us have to wait for the large vehicle manufacturers to mass-produce affordable cars that run on alternative power. In the meantime, a handful of smaller companies have begun taking the energy crisis into their own hands. By retrofitting hybrids like the Toyota Prius with a second battery pack, they´re converting these cars into hybrid plug-ins that can recharge from a wall outlet and drive a short commute on all electric power. Citation: 100-mpg plug-in hybrids popping up in US (2008, September 10) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2008-09-mpg-plug-in-hybrids.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.last_img read more

Inside story Chemical reactivity on the inner surface of singlewalled carbon nanotubes

first_imgSingle-Walled Carbon Nanotube (SWNT). Source: Christian Thielemann More information: Reactions of the inner surface of carbon nanotubes and nanoprotrusion processes imaged at the atomic scale, Nature Chemistry (2011), doi:10.1038/nchem.1115, Published online 14 August 2011Related: Self-assembly of a sulfur-terminated graphene nanoribbon within a single-walled carbon nanotube, Nature Materials 10, 687–692 (2011), doi:10.1038/nmat3082 , Published online 07 August 2011 Carbon nanotube structures changed by ‘attack’ from within, researchers discover (PhysOrg.com) — Historically, the interior surface of single-walled carbon nanotubes (SWNTs) has not been considered to be chemically reactive. Recently, however, researchers at the University of Nottingham School of Chemistry in the UK and the Ulm University Transmission Electron Microscopy Group in Germany demonstrated sidewall (inner surface) chemical reactions when they inserted catalytically active atoms of rhenium metal (Re) into these atomically thin cylinders of carbon. These reactions formed nanometer-sized hollow protrusions in three distinct phases (sidewall deformation and rupture, open nanoprotrusion formation, and stable closed nanoprotrusion) which the researchers imaged at the atomic level – in real time at room temperature – using Aberration-Corrected High-Resolution Transmission Electron Microscopy (AC-HRTEM). Explore further Prof. Andrei N. Khlobystov conceived of the initial idea, proposed the general mechanism and wrote the original manuscript; Thomas W. Chamberlain designed the experiments, synthesized the materials and analyzed the microscopy data; Ute Kaiser contributed to the development of the experimental methodology and discussion of the results; Elena Bichoutskaia, Nicholas A. Besley and Adriano Santana performed the theoretical modeling and explained the details of the reaction mechanisms; and Johannes Biskupek analyzed the images, carried out TEM image simulations, and – with Jannik C. Meyer and Jens Leschner – recorded the AC-HRTEM images and contributed to the initial explanation of the observations.The main experimental challenge the team faced was to devise a method for delivering single atoms of catalytically active metal into very narrow carbon nanotubes with a diameter of 1.5 nm – about 80,000 times smaller than the thickness of human hair. “The presence of such metal atoms within the nanotube is important not just for investigating the chemical reactivity of the inner sidewall, but also for creating new nanostructures from the nanotube,” notes Khlobystov. The second major challenge, he adds, “was to study the delicate molecules, reactive atoms and their chemical transformation inside nanotubes in real-time at the atomic level.” To address these challenges, the team exploited the remarkable affinity of carbon nanotube with fullerenes – carbon nanostructures, which look like nanometer-sized cages and can be considered as structurally related to nanotubes. “The fullerenes are known to be attracted strongly into the nanotube cavity by van der Waals forces. We tagged each fullerene with a single atom of rhenium metal, so that each molecule brings a catalytically active metal atom into the nanotube,” Khlobystov explains. “It appears that such modified fullerenes are excellent vehicles for delivery of metal atoms into nanotubes, as they enter in nanotube spontaneously and irreversibly.”The second challenge, he continues, was solved by the researchers in Ulm, who applied a specially designed electron microscope that utilizes low energy electrons for imaging molecules and atoms. “They have succeeded at imaging the delicate molecules with atomic resolution and, most importantly, at capturing them in action – i.e., in chemical processes within the carbon nanotube in real time.”center_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. Copyright 2011 PhysOrg.com. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed in whole or part without the express written permission of PhysOrg.com. Citation: Inside story: Chemical reactivity on the inner surface of single-walled carbon nanotubes (2011, September 15) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2011-09-story-chemical-reactivity-surface-single-walled.html Kaiser comments that “Our aim is use low voltage TEM – which is now possible after the introduction of hardware aberration correction by Harald Rose, Max Haider and Knut Urban – to study in detail the atom-by-atom level influence of electron-beam interacting with low-Z matter,” which is matter with a low atomic number. “To accomplish this we developed the real-time imaging and data acquisition technology to reveal carbon nanotubes and their interior in high contrast and atomic resolution. “In order to provide a comprehensive description of a possible mechanism for nanoprotrusion formation on carbon nanotube walls,” adds Bichoutskaia, “we used a multi-scale modeling approach that combined accurate quantum chemical methods with semi-empirical molecular dynamics simulations.”Going forward, there are a number of innovations that might be developed and applied to the current experimental design – for example, catalysts other than rhenium, carbon sources other than the fullerene cage wall, nanotubes produced or grown using an alternative method, nanotubes using different fullerene, or variations in the e-beam. “Our next steps include implementing catalysts and more complex molecules into carbon nanotubes,” Kaiser confirms. “We’re also working on varying the e-beam energy and detection efficiency in our Sub-Angström Low-Voltage Electron (SALVE) microscopy project at Ulm University.”Khlobystov points out that there are dozens of different metals in the Periodic Table of elements, and each of them has a distinct set of useful physicochemical properties that could be harnessed at the single-atom level. “Our method of transport and encapsulation of metals into nanotubes is quite universal, as it can be adapted for any of the transition metals, many of which have outstanding chemical, optical and magnetic properties,” he explains. “For example, introduction of photoactive atoms into carbon nanotubes, such as ruthenium or platinum, may enable initiation and control of chemical reactions within nanotubes using pulses of light, which would be more useful than an electron beam for practical applications.”Furthermore, transition metals with well-defined catalytic properties different from those of rhenium, such as palladium, platinum, rhodium, and nickel, could trigger entirely different reactions in nanotubes, leading to different products that are difficult to anticipate at this stage – but Khlobystov is confident that within the next 12 months the team will be able to tell exactly what can be achieved with other types of metals. “Even now,” he stresses, “we know that addition of non-metallic elements other, such as sulfur, into nanotubes can drastically change the course of chemical reactions inside the nanotube.” Recently, the team published a paper showing that when sulfur and carbon are present in nanotube together, we can form unique nanoribbon structures with remarkable properties.”In terms of how their research might impact the design and/or development of electronic, medical, sensor or other nanoscale devices, Khlobystov notes that since carbon nanotubes are ideal containers for molecules and atoms, “With one macroscopic dimension,” being length, “and two nanoscopic dimensions, they can serve as a bridge between the molecular and the macroscopic worlds. Magnetically active molecules embedded in nanotubes, for example, could be integrated in miniature data storage and spintronic devices, and nanotubes could be used as a capsule for delivery of medicinal molecules directly into diseased cells in human body.” Moreover, Khlobystov notes that the electronic properties of the nanotube itself, such as band gap and charge carrier concentrations and mobility, are greatly affected by interactions with the guest molecules inside the nanotube, which forms a basis for sensors and detectors. “Furthermore,” he adds, “development of nanotubes as chemical reactors is a very promising direction, as pathways and rates of chemical reactions confined in nanotubes are drastically affected by the nanotube. Chemical synthesis in nanotubes is a new way of making molecules that will enable us to make new products that are not possible to prepare otherwise. Catalysis by transition metals is essential in this context, and understanding direct reactions of metals with nanotubes is the first step.”Kaiser believes that besides chemists and physicists working on basic research, nanotechnologists devoted to topics such as energy storage, catalysis and medical drug delivery both on hard-, soft- and combined hard-soft matter will benefit from the team’s research. “New technologies in TEM control, efficiency that allows us to detect every scattered electron, and goniometer design that is not disturbed by drift issues during TEM data acquisition will strongly enhance the new applications.” (A goniometer allows a specimen to be rotated to a precise angular position.)Kaiser agrees that carbon nanotube spontaneous self-assembly and interior nanoprotrusion formation, which all may open new avenues for nanoscale molecular synthesis. She also cites the effect of confinement within carbon nanotubes as well as the newly shaped CNT with nanoprotrusions as potentially providing a new mechanism for tuning the electronic properties of graphene nanoribbons. “The spectacular rotational and translational motion of helical nanoribbons within the nanotube, she adds, “as well as the possible regular formation of nanoprotrusions may inspire the exploration and harnessing of new electromechanical effects in nanodevices.”In the short-term, Khlobystov points out, the team is rapidly expanding the range of transition metals inserted into nanotubes to broaden the scope of chemical reactions studied under conditions of extreme confinement and, at the same time, to see whether the nanotube sidewall could be engaged in further, perhaps even more spectacular chemical transformations. “So far, our experiments have been carried out on a small scale, so our process would also need to be scaled up to test and explore real applications of these materials,” he acknowledges.For Kaiser, next steps include imaging more complex structures at the present 80kV aberration-corrected TEM and at 20kV with our new SALVE prototype microscope. “We will explore the electron-beam specimen interaction further and will probably discover further surprises,” she adds.The potential for an in vivo application remains uncertain. “At the moment,” Khlobystov opines, “I can’t really see how our process can be transferred to an in vivo protocol. The conditions required to spark chemical transformations in nanotubes are still very harsh. However, if a living system would possess some sort of super-enzyme that is able to crack carbon-carbon bonds of the nanotube sidewall, in principle, we could adopt our nanoreactors for a biological system.”Kaiser admits that this is rather speculative, noting the additional limitation that in vivo atomic resolution is not obtainable today. “However,” she opines, “with our SALVE initiative a new low-voltage TEM will be finalized in two years through our collaborations with partners CEOS and Carl Zeiss, we will be a step closer to image beam-sensitive biological materials.”Khlobystov emphasizes that these exciting applications rely on a well-defined and reliable interface between the nanotube container and the contained molecules and atoms. “Because a pristine nanotube has an atomically smooth surface, the molecules shuttle randomly from one position to another within the nanotube in almost frictionless motion. Nanoprotrusions formed on nanotubes in our experiments create hollow pockets on the nanotube inner surface, which can effectively trap desired molecules and atoms in a specific location, thus giving a mechanism for controlling their positions and orientations. A greater degree of control over the dynamic behavior of encapsulated molecules is essential,” he concludes, “for successfully harnessing the full potential of their optical, magnetic and chemical properties.”last_img read more

Japanese Team Tokai wins the 3021 km 2011 Veolia World Solar Challenge

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. Through a smoldering brush fire, past wind-shearing road trains, across the Australian continent, the University of Michigan’s Quantum was the first American car to finish the World Solar Challenge. The Solar Car team placed third overall in the international competition. This is the second victory in a row for Team Tokai; they took home the prize the last time the race was run two years ago. Initially the race was held every three years, but in 1999, it was decided that two years would be better. Over the history of the race, fourteen races have been conducted and Japanese teams have won six, including this year. Teams from the Netherlands have also had some success, wining four. A team from the United States won the first race, but has not been able to repeat that success since.This year the race was particularly emotional for the Japanese team as they dedicated their race to the reconstruction efforts still going on in the wake of the earthquake and tsunami that struck the country last March. © 2011 PhysOrg.com Interview with driver/pilot of Tokai Challenger 2 of Tokai University of Japan at Victoria Square in Adelaide, Australia on Oct. 20, 2011. And while the race has been running since last Sunday (October 16), the contestants were obviously only able to run at night. The actual driving time for the winning car was 32 hours and 45 minutes. Over the course of the race, the cars were stopped at seven checkpoints to allow the teams to see how things were going with the driver and the car, to check weather, etc. Each team was only allowed to perform very routine maintenance such as clearing debris that had accumulated and inflating tires. More information: www.worldsolarchallenge.org/ Team Tokai’s car, sponsored by Panasonic, is basically a tricycle with a high-end carbon frame which is covered with HIT solar panels supplied by Panasonic. Inside, in addition to the driver, is an electric motor and 8650-type high-capacity lithium-ion rechargeable batteries. At its fastest, the car can travel 160 km/h, though for the race it averaged 91.54 kilometers per hour. Explore further Citation: Japanese Team Tokai wins the 3,021 km 2011 Veolia World Solar Challenge (2011, October 21) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2011-10-japanese-team-tokai-km-veolia.html Japanese solar car leads race Down Under Coming in second, just 30 minutes behind the winners, was Nuon Solar, the Team from the Netherlands. The team from the University of Michigan came in third.The race, which was started in 1987 as a means of promoting solar-powered technology had 37 entrants this year, and put drivers through a variety of challenges including wild animals, high temperatures, road trains (trucks with multiple trailers), high winds and a bushfire that put a stop to the race at one point. Team Philippines ran into a very serious problem on Wednesday when its battery exploded after overheating. The battery was replaced and the team forged ahead, showing just how much fortitude the contestants must possess. Image credit: World Solar Challenge (PhysOrg.com) — The Japanese Tokai University Solar Car Team has won the Veolia World Solar Challenge, a 3,021 kilometer race between tiny cars relying on mostly solar power. Running between Darwin, a remote town in one of the most northern parts of Australia, and the city of Adelaide in the very south, the race bisects the continent and takes the drivers and their teams through some very hostile territory. Image credit: World Solar Challengelast_img read more

Startup Playi using friendly robots to teach kids computer programming

first_img(Phys.org) —Startup Play-i has created a crowd-sourcing campaign to gather funds for building and selling its pair of robots called Bo and Yana—both are part of an overall toy design to teach children as young as five years old, to program a computer. The idea, the team says, is to get children interested in programming by making it a part of storytelling. Citation: Startup “Play-i” using friendly robots to teach kids computer programming (2013, October 29) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2013-10-startup-play-i-friendly-robots-kids.html More information: www.play-i.com/ The two robots look and behave differently. Yana has three wheels and can roll around, it can also play its little xylophone if programmed to do so. Yana, which the creative team behind the robots calls the storyteller, is able to make different recognizable sounds on demand.The team behind Play-i is a collection of people who used to work for big tech companies such as Google, Apple and Frog Design. They started their company with the idea that children are capable of learning sophisticated concepts if they are presented in the right way. Bo and Yana are programmed using kid-friendly icons on a smartphone or tablet (since the operating system is iOS, that means iPhone and iPad, at least for now). To get either of the robots to do something, children develop a story around what it is they want done, then use the icons to develop the story, which results in the robots carrying out actions that follow what they’ve described. One example would be having Bo retrieve a flower from another robot, or a person, then carry it to someone else for presentation. Yana on the other hand can be taught to emit a sound like a helicopter if someone touches it. The concept is simple, by breaking down something that seems complex into something that is actually small parts of a story, children can develop more complex programs.The Play-i team is also looking to the future with their robots—code that is created from the icons is displayed on the tablet screen so that the child can see what they have wrought—as they grow older they can progress to writing code directly, giving them even more control over their toys.The crowd-funding campaign has a goal of collecting $250,000, if that number is reached, Play-i says the robots will be available for purchase by this summer, likely priced at $199 and $69 for Bo and Yana respectively. Explore furthercenter_img © 2013 Phys.org Dash Robotics crowdfunding ‘origami’ runner you can assemble at home 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

Best of Last Week – First 3D magnetic logic gate water tractor

first_img(Phys.org) —It was a busy week for applied physics as Researchers build first 3D magnetic logic gate—they used programmable 3D nano-sized magnets to build the gate–it could lead to circuit chips with increased density. And speaking of circuit chips; Tiny chip mimics brain, delivers supercomputer speed. A collaborative effort has led to the development of a “neurosynaptic” chip, its makers claim, and it works by using processes that mimic the human brain. Because the chip, named TrueNorth uses a neural design it is able to process data on par with a supercomputer, opening the door for such uses as driverless vehicles that don’t have to rely on communications with a more powerful remote computer to get around. In related news, neuroscientists are zeroing in on The fastest neurons in the brain, aka “fast-spiking parvalbumin-positive interneurons.” Perhaps their findings will lead to an even faster neurosynaptic chip. Scientists create purple-winged butterflies in six generations Magnetic force microscope images of the 3D magnetic logic gates, each containing three input magnets and one output magnet. Numbers show the magnetization states of the output magnet for all input configurations. Credit: Eichwald, et al. ©2014 IOP Explore further Citation: Best of Last Week – First 3D magnetic logic gate, water tractor beam and charging phones wirelessly (2014, August 11) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2014-08-week-3d-magnetic-logic-gate.htmlcenter_img © 2014 Phys.org Also, Physicists create water tractor beam—a team at The Australian National University found they could use wave generation to move objects sitting on the surface of a liquid. That could come in handy for managing ships in tight quarters, or perhaps to help move floating drones. Also, smartphone users can start holding their breath: Charging with ultrasound: uBeam has functional prototype—it’s a wireless charging platform that uses ultrasound to send electricity to devices through the air to charge portable electronics. They hope to have a product ready sometime in the next two years.In biology news, Scientists create purple-winged butterflies in six generations using nothing but selective breeding. All they had to do was measure the ultraviolet reflectivity of moth wings and breed those with the color closest to purple, a process the researchers believe could be replicated when designing devices that trap light, tune color or steer light beam. Also, Flores bones show features of Down syndrome, not a new ‘hobbit’ human. And finally, if you’re wondering if you’re perhaps a little too into yourself, you can find out, as a team of researchers has discovered that Just one simple question can identify narcissistic people. Turns out, all they had to do was ask them, which suggests, you could do the same. 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

New polymer able to store energy at higher temperatures

first_img New paper describes first-ever synthesis of hyperbranched polymers More information: Flexible high-temperature dielectric materials from polymer nanocomposites, Nature 523, 576–579 (30 July 2015) DOI: 10.1038/nature14647AbstractDielectric materials, which store energy electrostatically, are ubiquitous in advanced electronics and electric power systems. Compared to their ceramic counterparts, polymer dielectrics have higher breakdown strengths and greater reliability, are scalable, lightweight and can be shaped into intricate configurations, and are therefore an ideal choice for many power electronics, power conditioning, and pulsed power applications. However, polymer dielectrics are limited to relatively low working temperatures, and thus fail to meet the rising demand for electricity under the extreme conditions present in applications such as hybrid and electric vehicles, aerospace power electronics, and underground oil and gas exploration. Here we describe crosslinked polymer nanocomposites that contain boron nitride nanosheets, the dielectric properties of which are stable over a broad temperature and frequency range. The nanocomposites have outstanding high-voltage capacitive energy storage capabilities at record temperatures (a Weibull breakdown strength of 403 megavolts per metre and a discharged energy density of 1.8 joules per cubic centimetre at 250 degrees Celsius). Their electrical conduction is several orders of magnitude lower than that of existing polymers and their high operating temperatures are attributed to greatly improved thermal conductivity, owing to the presence of the boron nitride nanosheets, which improve heat dissipation compared to pristine polymers (which are inherently susceptible to thermal runaway). Moreover, the polymer nanocomposites are lightweight, photopatternable and mechanically flexible, and have been demonstrated to preserve excellent dielectric and capacitive performance after intensive bending cycles. These findings enable broader applications of organic materials in high-temperature electronics and energy storage devices. (Phys.org)—A team of researchers at the Pennsylvania State University has created a new polymer that is able to store energy at higher temperatures than conventional polymers without breaking down. In their paper published in the journal Nature, the team describes how they created the polymer and why they believe it could be useful in many products. Harry Ploehn with the University of South Carolina offers a brief history of polymers created for use in electronics, in a News & Views piece in the same journal issue, and describes the work done by the team on this new effort—he also offers an opinion on the prospects for the newly development polymer. © 2015 Phys.org Journal information: Nature Flexible polymer nanocomposite thin films for high-temperature high-voltage capacitive energy storage. Credit: Q. Li Explore further Bending tests of polymer nanocomposites. Credit: Q. Li One drawback of the new polymer is that because it requires an extra step, its production costs would be higher than for conventional dielectric polymer capacitors, and there are also still questions about how easy it would be to prevent defects and whether it will stand up to long term wear and tear. If it proves to be resilient and a way can be found to drive down costs, it is likely, Ploehn believes, that the new polymer will have a bright future in applications ranging from hybrid cars to aerospace systems. 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. As Ploehn notes, dielectric capacitors are used in wide variety of applications that require holding onto a charge and then offering a short burst of power when needed. In many applications dielectrics are made of polymers (because they are light, relatively easy to make and because defects can be easily controlled), but there are still some areas where they cannot be used because they cannot function correctly under temperature extremes—that prevents their use inside car engines, for example. In this new effort, the researchers have taken a new approach to creating a polymer that allows for use in extremely hot applications.The new polymer was created by the team by adding nanometer-scale sheets of boron nitride to a conventional polymer, which testing showed increased its energy density by 400 percent (which means capacitors made using it could be smaller and thus lighter). And testing also showed the newly improved polymer was able to remain stable at temperatures as high as 300°C, and was able to withstand rigorous bending. Citation: New polymer able to store energy at higher temperatures (2015, July 30) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2015-07-polymer-energy-higher-temperatures.htmllast_img read more

Choose your own chocolate

first_imgThis festive season give in to your most sinful desire, as carnival chocolates brings one of the best gifting indulgences in town. Ideator Imoon Mathur launched the enterprise in 2007 and since then have managed to rope in big names.’The chocolates are available in different shapes, sizes, flavours and packing. Butterscotch and almond are among the favourites this season. And just in case you can’t make up your mind – assorted chocolates are your best pick,’ said Imoon. Also Read – ‘Playing Jojo was emotionally exhausting’A major highlight of the enterprise is its one on one interaction for personalisation of your gifts.’Choose from the right chocolate we have in stock to assist us in creating your own unique recipe, unlike any other chocolate in the world. You can even select your desired flavor and filler content for your personal batch. You will suggest us to make your chocolate. We will make your gift and pack it in wood boxes personalised with your logo and an insert explaining the uniqueness of this gift,’ he explained.So if you are on a look out for the best this season head to Carnival Chocolates. More information available on www.carnivalchocolates1.webs.com. read more

Where love goes to Bollywood

first_imgMeet another author from the Mills&Boon India chapter. Mahi Jay, hard-core romanticist at heart, took her time to leave a regular, comfy profession behind. She picked up the pen and took love to Bollywood. Jay speaks to Millennium Post about writing, life and romanceTell us a little about yourself.?I am an independent share market trader married to the man of my dreams. Despite being total opposites in most ways, somehow those very differences seem to work beautifully for us.  Growing up, my world was filled with books. I used to make up my own endings and situations if those on the pages of the books did not work for me. But it didn’t occur to me until much later that I could actually create my own stories. One such story filled my mind and I just had to get it down. Which was when I saw an advertisement calling for aspiring authors for Harlequin. It seemed like an omen. I abandoned the story that I was working on and gave the contest a go and  luckily for me my short story worked. Also Read – ‘Playing Jojo was emotionally exhausting’How acquainted were you with the romance genre as a teenager? My first M&B was at 14 and I’d picked it up by accident. But after that there was no looking back. I devoured romance novels and their happy endings always gave me a high. For a while they were all I read. Until I discovered other genres and switched. But even now, my go to happy fix is a romance novel.Why choose a theme like a bollywood hero falling in love with a PR girl?In India everyone grows up on movies… So if i’m going to write a romance then I thought, why not about a bollywood hero? Someone larger than life. But it also gave me a chance to explore who he was as a person. His feelings, his foibles and his vulnerabilities. Normally it is the hero who rushes to rescue the damsel in distress but I created a strong independent heroine.     Which Bollywood heroes did you have a crush on that might have spilled over into the book??I was curious to see what kind of person a bollywood hero would be behind the screen persona. That curiosity served as my inspiration. Beyond that I didn’t model my hero against anyone in particular. My hero’s past shaped who he was and I went with that.last_img read more

A year in retrospect

first_imgA year passes by in a flurry, leaving memories of time and moments embedded indelibely on our minds. To celebrate the best of contemporary art in the last one year, TAD Arts presents its annual Art Show  A Celebration of art through 2012 & 2013. Conceptualized and organized by Niten Mehta, Director, TAD Arts, this group show will be on display from July 26 to July 31 at Visual Arts Gallery, India Habitat Center and will showcase some of the best contemporary art works of present times. Also Read – ‘Playing Jojo was emotionally exhausting”This is our annual art show where we handpick the best works/artists from our shows done in last one year and display them. This year too we have an excellent selection of masterpieces from renowned contemporary artists from all over India. These works represent the best in the contemporary art in India today,’ says Niten Mehta, from TAD Arts.In this exhibition, Suchit Sahni revisits his early learning years, where he was introduced to the view-finder. Superbly fascinated with the view-finder, he spent days and months looking through it at everything – visually replicating his visions as paintings. Also Read – Leslie doing new comedy special with NetflixWhen one looks at his recent artworks, one clearly marks out the frame that encompasses the painting itself. Though the frame forms a part of the painting, he has very playfully and stylishly revisited a memory close to his heart with such ease.Rajiv Puri’s love for the woods and nature herself has been beautifully captured in his oeuvres d’art that are resplendent with a visual story, where each chapter transports us to a world of mysticism that forests have, where each frame bathes in lush green landscapes and a myriad other shades of nature’s bounty.  Known for his distinct portrayal of human form, artist Kamar Alam’s works revolves around spirituality and how it resides within every human being. With Silent Submission, the artist’s belief in humanity takes the foreground and has shaped in the form of his art works. Considering a triumph over biases that surrounds him, Kamar imparts the message of peace and through his works, he depicts his impartial and equal approach along with respect for all faiths.TAD Arts is a platform that showcases paintings, sculptures, arts & crafts, high-end interactive design, exhibition space design and art works of contemporary as well as ethnic nature. Some of the artists whose works will be on display in this exhibition are Kamar Alam, Suchit Sahni, Rajiv Puri, Anjana Mehra, Farhad Hussain, Hindol Brahmbhatt, Binoy Verghese, Kazi Nasir amongst others. Head over to the gallery and experience this contemporary collection adorning the walls.last_img read more

Flow in the magic

first_imgThe show titled Flow is a revolutionary form of theatre that combines the art of dance with storytelling. Organised by Zorian Cross Productions and Art in Motio, the production will showcase over six forms of dance (including ballet, lyrical contemporary, modern and  theatre jazz) with six different genres of music (including Broadway, 80’s pop, classical, and EDM), in six different stories showcased within the span of an hour and a half.Directed by Zorian Cross, Flow consists of a team of three choreographers and thirteen dancers to create an epic show the city has ever seen. Also Read – ‘Playing Jojo was emotionally exhausting’Cross is a multi-award–winning actor and playwright.  In just five years of theatrical experience, he has played major roles in plays by authors ranging from Shakespeare to Dario Fo, as well as his own original work. His first original play, The Coming Out, not only became a local sensation at the 2011 Short+Sweet theatre festival in Delhi, but also won him the Best New Talent award for acting and writing. The play went on to be performed in five different cities across the world, winning five awards in Bangalore and one in Sydney. He plans to revolutionise the Delhi theatre scene through his company – Zorian Cross Productions with the aim of promoting original work and discovering and nurturing fresh talent. The company’s debut production, Game Night, became the biggest theatrical sensation of the year, garnering over eight sold out shows.  When: 25 October Where: Kamani Auditorium, Mandi House, Timing: 7 pmlast_img read more

Will fund projects via longterm debt not fare hikes or tax payer

first_img“Loan is way forward (infrastructure) development. Countries like US, China and Europe have taken loans for development of their infrastructure,” Prabhu said in an interview to Lok Sabha TV.Asked whether the government is going in for privatisation of railways in future, he explained: “We are taking debt for development of railways infrastructure, that means we are not doing privatisation. Besides there will be no burden of development on passenger fare as well as tax payers money.” Also Read – I-T issues 17-point checklist to trace unaccounted DeMO cashPrabhu expressed confidence that institutions like LIC (in India),pension funds and sovereign funds can provide debt and they will not insist on early repayment of loan. “The LIC, pension fund and sovereign wealth funds don’t insist on repayment of loans in short term, rather they want us to pay in over 30 years,” he added.On hitting the ground running, he quoted a famous saying, “Rome was not built in a day. There are few things which would be done this year like 3000 unmanned crossings will be removed and work will start immediately to improve cleanliness, safety, security and surveillance.” The Minister hinted that some initiative like train-sets, redesigning of coaches, doubling and tripling of rail lines, may take longer than expected to be implemented. On running of bullet trains in India, he said, “Our thrust would be on basic facilities first like sanitation, time bound arrival of trains which is going to be implemented in the stipulated time period. Those would be focus areas.” Also Read – Lanka launches ambitious tourism programme to woo Indian touristsOn private participation in railways, Prabhu said that there would be a system to regulate private sector players willing to invest in station development projects. On decentralisation of power to improve efficiency of railways, he said,”This will happen for the first time that more responsibility will be given to officers. It is not on Railway Minister or Railway Board which will do everything.” Earlier, in his Budget speech, Prabhu said: “We will monetise our assets rather than sell them”.  On Special Purpose Vehicles (SPV), he said, “We have created new SPVs with the oil ministry, coal ministry… those will deliver. Rather than one entity, there will be multiple entities delivering.”last_img read more

ATM fraud case Probe reveals cloning of cards used to take place

first_imgKolkata: In a major revelation in connection with the ATM fraud case, the city police has come to know that the cloning of debit cards used to take place in a neighbouring country. The cloning of cards was done using details stolen from debit cards in Kolkata.The police have come to know about the information after the arrest of Adre Liviu and Cornel Constantine from Indore on Thursday.It has come to light that members of the Romanian gang used to install skimming machines in ATM counters in Kolkata. They used to remove the skimming machine after it had read details of some cards swiped at the ATM counter for any transaction. Also Read – Rain batters Kolkata, cripples normal lifeThey extracted the stored data from the skimming machines and sent the same to their counterparts in theneighbouring country to prepare the clone cards. It took them around two to two and a half months to prepare a clone card.The cards were then sent to members of the Romanian gang in Delhi and using the same, cash was withdrawn from different ATMs in Delhi.Preliminary investigation has revealed that Adre was the main person in charge of installing the skimming machines at ATM counters. Both Adre and Cornel were close associates of another Romanian national Nana, who was arrested from the Indo-Nepal border on Wednesday by Customs. Also Read – Speeding Jaguar crashes into Mercedes car in Kolkata, 2 pedestrians killedHe was later handed over to Kolkata Police. The police had come to know about Adre and Cornel from Nana.The duo had realised that they would also get arrested after Nana was caught. So they were also trying to flee from the country. The car in which they were travelling was fitted with a GPS system and it enabled the police to track them with the help of Indore Police.Preliminary investigation has revealed that Nana and the duo had connection with their counterparts in the neighbouring country. A shop has also been identified in the neighbouring country, where the cloning of cards used to take place. A team comprising members of the Special Investigation Team (SIT) are in constant touch with the security agency in the neighbouring country and may visit the place to further probe the case.The arrested persons have been brought to Kolkata on Friday and they were produced before the Bankshall Court. The police suspect that there could be more people involved in the crime and officers in the SIT are trying to ascertain the same.last_img read more

Season of gold

first_imgMMTC’s flagship event ‘Festival of Gold’ has returned this festive season to dazzle the city with handpicked collections of hallmarked gold and certified stone-studded jewellery, silver and gold medallions in 999 purity, and the latest range of Sanchi silverware in 92.5 per cent purity. The event was inaugurated by dignitaries from the Dept of Commerce, Ministry of Commerce & Industry and by the senior management of MMTC on the evening of October 27, and will continue until November 10 (excluding November 5 and 6)at Hotel Ashok, Chanakyapuri as well as MMTC’s sales outlets across the city.   Also Read – ‘Playing Jojo was emotionally exhausting’MMTC, the only government of India enterprise in the jewellery sector, has been holding its annual exhibition-cum-sale of hallmarked jewellery, the ‘Festival of Gold,’ since 1994. However, due to restrictions imposed on gold imports by the government of India over the last few years to check the fiscal deficit, availability of the precious metal had been sparse for the domestic industry and the popular event had to be put on hold for two years. With the recent relaxation in these conditions, the company has brought back the much-awaited exhibition-cum-sale on a grandiose level with collections from different states of India, medallions in various denominations and competitively-priced Sanchi silverware items.  Also Read – Leslie doing new comedy special with NetflixThis year’s edition has been attracting customers in droves since day one, and has registered record footfall with sales touching the 16 crores mark in the first week of the event. On every customer’s wish list here is the temple style jewellery from the southern states, handcrafted gold jewellery from West Bengal, and MMTC’s special bridal range of jewellery. There is in fact something for everyone here, whether one is looking for something traditional or contemporary, plain or studded, heavy or light, for gifting or to add glitter of gold at the event, noted cinestar Neha Dhupia, who visited the Festival on the evening of November 3 and expressed her delight at being able to visit the one-of-its-kind event.  Dhupia, who has been a part of MMTC’s gold event in the past also, took a leisurely round of the many counters at the exhibition and interacted with the MMTC management as well as the guests and the media.MMTC has been assigned the prestigious responsibility of marketing the India Gold Coin by the government of India, being regarded as the sovereign and national coin of India. The India Gold Coin is being minted in denominations of 5 gm and 10 gm and bears the Ashok Chakra. Once launched, the India gold coin will be made available at various outlets of MMTC alongwith the ‘Festival of Gold.’last_img read more

Anarkali Aarawali is my most challenging role

first_imgSwara Bhaskar, who has made her presence felt in the industry with Tanu Weds Manu and Raanjhanaa, is all set to push the boundaries again with Anarkali Aarawali.Swara plays a singer crooning double meaning songs in the journalist-turned-filmmaker Avinash Das’s movie.“Anarkali Aarawali is a challenging role because I play a singer who sings double meaning lewd songs and is very unapologetic about her sexuality. She considers herself an artist and her work an art. She is a foul mouthed and crass woman with fiery spirit. Also Read – A fresh blend of fame“But, she is still vulnerable in a volatile and violent world that sees women like her as mere objects. We also have to be as real as we can to the story and the context without becoming gimmicky or sleazy,” Swara said in an interview. The Prem Ratan Dhan Payo actor says not crossing the thin line between being sensual and sleazy was a tough task.“A script like this is a challenge because it’s the story of an orchestra singer from Bihar from the town called Aarah which very known for politics and crime.”“It is the story of Anarkali, who’s the small star of Aarah who sings double-meaning and lewd sort of songs in villages weddings or celebrations and how a certain incident happens with her and then her journey henceforth. It’s a brilliant script and a very challenging role.” Swara travelled to Aara to meet the local singers of the region and went through various diction workshops.last_img read more

Abstract Odyssey

first_imgArt is expressed through a variety of medium and Sudip Roy’s works are best expressed through water-colours. Using unique strokes and colours, he solely focuses on innovation in his series of artworks. His experience is clearly reflected in his art which depict his emotions that do not linger on in his mind after its completion.Roy showcased his latest collection of works in an exhibition titled — ‘Odyssey’ — at the Visual Art Gallery, in India Habitat Centre on Wednesday. The exhibition was inaugurated by Ustad Amjad Ali Khan. “I am very happy that Sudip Roy has come up with such beautiful paintings. I am a great admirer of his work; he’s doing very well and he deserves all the appreciation for that. Thank god I am born in the world of sound and I wish him all the best and I hope that our relation of music and colour goes deeper with time. I would love to see more of his works in future,” said the sarod maestro while inaugurating the exhibition. Also Read – ‘Playing Jojo was emotionally exhausting’Uma Nair, art curator echoed similar thoughts and said: “Sudip Roy is an artist who is known for his realist works. He is known for his Charulata series and is a great water-colour artist. But this is another journey. It is a journey in abstraction. A lot of artists think that abstract painting is about colours but actually, it is more about the experience. These paintings show extreme emotions. I think it is great to be able to keep reinventing yourself.” Also Read – Leslie doing new comedy special with NetflixHe uses a unique combination of colours while expressing his emotions. However, the essence plays a part momentarily as it comes with a flow. Nair agrees and says: “The choice of colours is something which is instinctive and intuitive for Sudip. It comes naturally with a flow and nothing is deliberate.” The guests who graced the event were Subhalakshmi, Sushma Bahl, Manu Dosaj, Pooja Bahri, Anuradha Raman, Diana, Poonam Sethi and others.last_img read more

Two class 5 students drown in pond

first_imgHowrah(WB): Two class 5 students drowned in a pond in West Bengal’s Howrah district Tuesday, police said. The two students drowned in a pond in Domjur area of the district while taking a bath, they said.last_img

Social worker Meher Engineer passes away at 75

first_imgKolkata: Noted social worker Meher Engineer died in the city on Wednesday. Engineer, who was a scientist, passed away at the age of 75.He was associated with the Singur Nandigram movement and visited places to organise the people to protest against the red terror unleashed by the CPIM. He was an active member of the forum of the intellectuals and cultural activists that came up after the Singur and Nandigram incidents. He was a presidium member. He was associated with many NGOs associated with slum development and empowerment of women.last_img read more

Schools to open on June 10 as govt clips summer vacation

first_imgKolkata: The state Education department on Thursday shortened the duration of summer holidays in state schools and announced that classes in both primary and secondary schools will commence from June 10.A notification in this regard was brought out by the department after state Education minister Partha Chatterjee posted on his Facebook page earlier in the day that schools will open from June 10. The earlier notification of the department had declared summer holidays till June 30. It may be mentioned that Chatterjee had held a meeting with the West Bengal Board of Secondary Education and other concerned officials on Tuesday and had said that the decision to have summer holidays in schools till June 30 was being reviewed. He had said that he would also speak with the weather office and Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, before bringing out any fresh notification in this regard. There have been requests from students, a section of teachers as well as guardians to reconsider the decision of closure of schools till June 30. It was May 3 when the Education department had issued a notification declaring that all government, government-sponsored and non-government aided schools in the state will remain closed on May 3 and May 4 due to the predicted severe cyclonic storm Fani. It had further stated that all these schools will also remain closed from May 6 to May 20 until commencement of summer vacation, due to the prevailing heat wave. It had added that schools will remain closed till June 30 due to anticipated extreme weather conditions.last_img read more

Political rivalry alleged over death of infant at Ashoknagar

first_imgKolkata: A two-month-old baby died after she was hit on her chest while getting fed by her mother on Monday at Ashoknagar in North 24-Parganas. According to sources, Sikha Ganguly, a housewife at Keosa village in Ashoknagar, used to support Trinamool. Her husband Rabi Ganguly lives outside Bengal. It has been alleged that her in-laws, who are BJP supporters, used to put pressure on her to support the saffron party. Her elder brother in-law Sushanta Ganguly is a local BJP leader, who allegedly tried to force her to fight in the last Panchayat elections for BJP. Also Read – Rs 13,000 crore investment to provide 2 lakh jobs: Mamata According to Sikha’s allegations, she was being tortured almost regularly as she refused to support BJP. On Saturday afternoon, when she was breastfeeding her two-month-old daughter, her in-laws allegedly attacked her. While Sikha was being beaten up, the baby accidentally fell from her hands and was grievously injured. Immediately, the infant was rushed to Habra Hospital where the attending doctor declared the baby brought dead. Despite Sikha’s allegation, local BJP leadership denied the political angle and called the incident a family dispute. After the death of the infant, a case has been lodged and Sushanta has been arrested. According to police, no political angle has been found yet. “It is suspected that there might have been some dispute within the family. If any other angle is there, it will be revealed during further probe,” said a senior official of Barasat Police District.last_img read more