“Some people think that graphene, a form of carbon, is the material of the future,” Allen Goldman tells PhysOrg.com. “It’s of high scientific interest because of its unusual electronic properties.” Citation: A new type of spin valve that uses graphene (2007, July 9) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2007-07-valve-graphene.html Goldman is a scientist at the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis. Working with Masaya Nishioka, also at the University of Minnesota, Goldman has found new insight into spin transport in graphene. Their findings are published in an article titled “Spin transport through multilayer graphene,” published in Applied Physics Letters.Goldman and Nishioka have created a spin valve, and also observed a magnetic field controlled resistance change of 0.39%. “It’s not a huge effect,” Goldman admits, “but it is a step.” He explains that this is not the first spin valve, but that it is the first that is “reasonably well characterized.” He continues: “This isn’t a huge breakthrough, but it is an incremental step in understanding graphene, and also a step in understanding whether this material has use in spin dependent electronics.”Spin dependent electronics, or “spintronics,” makes use of quantum spin states of electrons. Applications for spintronic devices, and spin valves in particular, are currently limited to mass-storage systems. However, the technology and science is so emergent, that further applications are possible. The spin valve, which is what Goldman and Nishioka’s work describes, makes use of magnetic thin films to control the resistive state of graphene: “We’re talking about a memory device that doesn’t have to be refreshed, and that is not volatile.”Because of its high electron mobility and low atomic number, graphene is of special interest in spintronics, and this is why Goldman and Nishioka chose to work with it. “The process seems really very simple,” says Goldman. He then writes via email to explain the process: “We take a substrate of silicon, which is doped and coated with silicon oxide. Then we place graphene flakes on the surface, and after selecting a suitable flake, fabricate a pair of cobalt electrodes to contact the flake. We can then switch the resistive state of the flake by controlling the relative orientations of the magnetizations of the electrodes.” But there are caveats. “Even though the set up is simple, it can be hard to make these devices,” Goldman says over the phone. “And even though we can make graphene, it is a difficult process, especially to make single-layer graphene, which is why use multilayer graphene.” He emphasizes again that the effect he and Nishioka observed was quite small.The goal, Goldman says, is to be able to master graphene to an extent that it would become possible to produce technologically useful devices. “Right now, we are at a point where we deal with little flakes. We need to work with films that are ordered over macroscopic distances,” he says.Goldman feels that there is potential in graphene. “I don’t really know if it is the material of the future,” he explains, “but this experiment brings us a step closer to understanding it better. If the problems with graphene can be solved, there is a very good chance that it could be very useful.”Copyright 2007 PhysOrg.com. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed in whole or part without the express written permission of PhysOrg.com. This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only.
Explore further The REF will come into effect in 2012 to replace the current system of assessment, the Research Assessment Exercise (RAE). The scheme will allocate the 1.76 billion British pounds (approximately $2.7 billion US) spent annually on university research according to three main elements — outputs, impact, and environment — which are considered to be indicative of excellence in research. The first factor the REF will consider is outputs, which will be reviewed by a panel of experts who take into account factors such as citations to the work. The second is the impact of the work; research that demonstrably benefits the economy, public policy, society, culture or quality of life, will attract the greatest funding. The impact will be assessed by a case study approach. The third factor is environment, which will consider the research department’s ability to support continuous excellent research and disseminate the results. This will look at factors such as the department’s staff, training for postgraduates, research strategies, and public relations.The new system aims to put an end to research the government has criticized in the past, such as “David Beckham studies” and “surf studies”, and to stop the practice of hiring “star” academics to boost results. The scheme is also intended to steer universities towards research that will have economic, social and cultural benefits, since these projects will receive the greatest funding.The director of research at the Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE), David Sweeney, said the new system is designed to ensure public funds are used effectively. The scheme would apply to research in humanities and arts as well as in science, and aims to develop internationally recognized and competitive research that contributes to the nation’s prosperity and wellbeing.Academics have warned the new system will mean an end to speculative research, for which the economic or other benefits are unknown until the research has been done. The University and College Union (UCU) is also concerned the emphasis on citations will distort academic activity and could threaten academic freedom. UCU’s General Secretary Sally Hunt also pointed out that some of the biggest scientific advances have arisen from speculative research. Research should never be measured in purely economic terms, Hunt said.The HEFCE is currently running a pilot exercise to test their proposed method of assessing the impact of research. It is also continuing consultations on the REF until mid December, and invites responses from universities and interested organizations affected by or using the results of research.&2009 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. Citation: UK Research Funding to Reward Economic Benefits (2009, September 25) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2009-09-uk-funding-reward-economic-benefits.html (PhysOrg.com) — The UK government is developing a new scheme, the Research Excellence Framework (REF), to assess university research proposals and allocate public funds for research. The scheme is being developed in collaboration with higher education bodies in Scotland, Wales, England and Northern Ireland, and will make much greater use of quantitative information (bibliometrics) than its predecessor. Madoff scandal’s impact on the life sciences
Explore further The biggest advantage of ultracapacitors is that they can fully recharge in less than a minute, unlike lithium-ion batteries which can take several hours. The downside of ultracapacitors is that they currently have a very short range, providing a distance of only a few miles, due to the fact that ultracapacitors can store only about 5% of the energy that lithium-ion batteries can hold. Although their short range makes ultracapacitors impractical for cars, city buses have to stop frequently anyway. By quickly recharging at bus stops, buses could take advantage of ultracapacitors’ other benefits: a bus with ultracapacitors uses 40% less electricity compared to an electric bus with lithium-ion batteries, and requires just one-tenth the energy cost of a typical diesel-fueled bus, which would save about $200,000 during the life of the vehicle. Plus, the buses are environmentally friendly: “Even if you use the dirtiest coal plant on the planet, it generates a third of the carbon dioxide of diesel when used to charge an ultracapacitor,” said Dan Ye of Sinautec.Today’s demonstration will take place at American University in Washington, DC, where an 11-seat minibus powered by ultracapacitors will be shuttling people around campus. At designated charging stations, which double as bus stops, the bus recharges by raising a collector on top of the bus a few feet to touch an overhead electric charging line, which recharges ultracapacitor banks stored under the bus seats. The two companies hope that this is just the beginning for ultracapacitor buses. The company that makes the Shanghai buses, Foton America Bus Co, based in Tennessee, plans to deliver another 60 buses to the Chinese city in early 2010. The new buses will have ultracapacitors manufactured by Shanghai Aowei that supply 10-watt hours per kilogram, compared with the current ultracapacitors that have an energy density of six watt-hours per kilogram. Other US cities, including New York City, Chicago, and some towns in Florida, have also expressed interest in trialing the buses. The companies expect that the ultracapacitors will continue to achieve higher energy densities in the future, which would allow them to hold a charge for longer. This improvement could increase the driving range from a few miles to 20 miles or more, helping to decrease the number of charging stations required on a route and make the technology practical for many more cities and bus routes. More information: Sinautecvia: Technology Review© 2009 PhysOrg.com (PhysOrg.com) — A fleet of 17 buses near Shanghai has been running on ultracapacitors for the past three years, and today that technology is coming to the Washington, DC, for a one-day demonstration. Chinese company Shanghai Aowei Technology Development Company, along with its US partner Sinautec Automobile Technologies, predict that this approach will provide an inexpensive and energy efficient way to power city buses in the near future. Hybrid Bus in the City: A Prototype with a Future Citation: Ultracapacitors Make City Buses Cheaper, Greener (2009, October 21) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2009-10-ultracapacitors-city-buses-cheaper-greener.html Buses with ultracapacitors stop at recharging stations, which double as bus stops, to recharge in less than a minute. Image credit: Sinautec. 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.
More information: © 2010 PhysOrg.com The details of the project were announced at the 2011 Symposium on VLSI Circuits event, which took place at June 15th. Since the system does not require a battery, it has the capability of being used to create an ultra-small sensor node that could be used in a variety of applications and send data to a smart phone that is within a distance of one meter. The system could also be used with any Bluetooth- compatible device in range. This is possible because the system reduces the use of power from several tens of milliwatts to several microwatts, which represents a significant decrease in power. In order to achieve that Renesas created a module that is equipped with an LC resonant circuit. The circuit allows the system to absorb radio waves through LC resonance. The harvesting occurs at a rate of about 10μW from environmental radio waves. The radio waves can then be used to transmit the signal to mobile devices, allowing them to interpret the device as the sensor node sending “0” signals when it is on and “1” signals when the device is not transmitting. While there is little to no information on when the device will be available to the consumer market. Though the company expects that it will be within the next two to three years. via TechOn Explore further Radio Waves: Alternative Power Source Citation: Renesas creates a near-field wireless communication with no battery use (2011, June 16) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2011-06-renesas-near-field-wireless-battery.html (PhysOrg.com) — Renesas Electronics Corp has announced the development of a near-field wireless communication technology that can transmit data to Bluetooth- and wireless LAN-compatible devices without the use of a battery. The system instead makes use of the electricity generated by environmental radio waves. 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.
(Phys.org) — One of the big disappointments of the computer age is the distinct lack of robots in our everyday lives. For years we’ve all been teased by the possibilities of robots in SciFi movies and television shows, and still, the only robots in our lives are those little Roomba vacuum cleaners. Soft-bots: Research challenges traditional image of robotics This particular demonstration by the team is meant to convey to those that watch HERB in action that the goal of the Institute is to do research on real-world robotics applications rather than focusing on technology that is used for industrial, military or “cutesy” purposes. Their goal is nothing short of creating a robot that truly can do the things we all really want them to do, such as taking care of the laundry, cooking, washing the dishes, or perhaps most importantly, fetching a cold beer from the fridge for us as we sit back in kingly fashion in our easy chair watching football on the telly. 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. © 2012 Phys.Org Explore further Citation: New robot butler “HERB” can microwave your dinner (w/ Video) (2012, May 3) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2012-05-robot-butler-herb-microwave-dinner.html Now, though, it looks like we might finally be getting somewhere thanks to the efforts of the Carnegie Mellon Robotics Institute – started and run by Siddhartha Srinivasa, all courtesy of a grant from Intel. There, a research team has been hard at work trying to create robots that do stuff that everyday people might consider useful. Their latest creation is the Home Exploring Robot Butler, aka HERB.HERB, has arms and hands (more like claws) and of course a lot of sensors and sits atop a Segway base that allows it to move around. For situational awareness in an unpredictable environment, such as the typical home, HERB has been armed with a spinning laser that provides “him” with a 40,000 points per second data stream. All of that allows the robot to move around in an unknown environment without bumping into things. But HERB has a lot of intelligence built in as well, and that’s how the research team has taught him to retrieve a frozen meal from a counter top, open a microwave oven door, slip in the meal, close the door and then run the microwave to properly heat the meal. Once it’s finished heating, he can retrieve the meal for consumption by its human master. All without a word of encouragement. HERB can also recognize and fetch requested items from a group of other similar objects.
More information: Turtle embryos move to optimal thermal environments within the egg, Published 12 June 2013 doi: 10.1098/rsbl.2013.0337AbstractA recent study demonstrated that the embryos of soft-shelled turtles can reposition themselves within their eggs to exploit locally warm conditions. In this paper, we ask whether turtle embryos actively seek out optimal thermal environments for their development, as do post-hatching individuals. Specifically, (i) do reptile embryos move away from dangerously high temperatures as well as towards warm temperatures? and (ii) is such embryonic movement due to active thermoregulation, or (more simply) to passive embryonic repositioning caused by local heat-induced changes in viscosity of fluids within the egg? Our experiments with an emydid turtle (Chinemys reevesii) show that embryos avoid dangerously high temperatures by moving to cooler regions of the egg. The repositioning of embryos is an active rather than passive process: live embryos move towards a heat source, whereas dead ones do not. Overall, our results suggest that behavioural thermoregulation by turtle embryos is genuinely analogous to the thermoregulatory behaviour exhibited by post-hatching ectotherms. Explore further (Phys.org) —A team of researchers working in China has proven that the three-keeled pond turtle embryo is capable of moving itself towards or away from a heat source in order to warm itself or cool down. In their paper published in the journal Biology Letters, the team describes how they subjected turtle embryos to various heat scenarios while monitoring their movements inside their shells to show that the turtles were directing their own actions while still inside their eggs. © 2013 Phys.org Turtle embryos move to bask in the sun The position of embryonic Chinese pond turtles (C. reevesii) inside eggs, as shown by candling. The arrow indicates the site that we used to score embryonic position within the egg: the point where the neck joins the carapace. Credit: Biology Letters, Published 12 June 2013 doi: 10.1098/rsbl.2013.0337 Turtles, as most are aware, are cold-blooded animals. They regulate their body temperature by moving themselves to warmer or cooler places. In this new study, the researchers found the same ability applies to turtles while still in their shell.Biologists have known since 2011 that at least some turtle embryos move about in their shell in response to external heat sources. Another team in China had discovered this ability and had published a paper describing their results. What that team wasn’t able to say for sure, though, was whether the turtle embryos were moving themselves or if fluids within the shell were causing the movement. In this new effort, the research team sought to find the answer to that question.The team set 125 turtle eggs (in groups of five) in incubators set at 26 °C. Then four of the five groups were subjected to various degrees of heat applied at one end of the eggs. The team also set up bright lights next to the eggs that allowed them to see the silhouettes of the embryos inside as they moved. In all but the control group, the team observed that the embryos moved away from the heat source, thus confirming the findings of the team in 2011.To ascertain whether the embryos were moving themselves or were simply being carried by heated fluid, the researchers ran another similar experiment. This time they allowed 41 embryos to develop naturally for ten days, whereupon, they killed half of them using an injected chemical. After applying heat and waiting for a week, they cracked open the eggs and found that only those turtle embryos still alive had moved away from the source. This they claim, proves that the embryos moved themselves intentionally.The researchers noted also that the ability to move inside the egg may also be a means of allowing the embryos to choose their own gender—previous studies have shown that temperatures during incubation can determine whether turtles are born male or female. Journal information: Biology Letters 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 proves turtle embryos move themselves within shells to exploit best temperature conditions (2013, June 12) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2013-06-turtle-embryos-shells-exploit-temperature.html
Explore further © 2014 Phys.org More information: Carbon Storage in Basalt, Science 25 April 2014: Vol. 344 no. 6182 pp. 373-374. DOI: 10.1126/science.1250828AbstractAll the carbon in the atmosphere, living creatures, and dissolved in the oceans is derived from rocks and will eventually end up in rocks, the largest carbon reservoir on Earth. The carbon moves from one reservoir to another in what is called the carbon cycle. Humans have accelerated this cycle by mining and burning fossil fuel since the beginning of the industrial revolution, causing rising atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO2) concentrations that are the main cause of global warming. One option for mitigating high levels of global warming is to capture CO2 and safely store it for thousands of years or longer in subsurface rocks. By accelerating carbonate mineral formation in these rocks, it is possible to rebalance the global carbon cycle, providing a long-term carbon storage solution. However, this approach is both technically challenging and economically expensive. CO2 source at the Hellisheidi power plant. Credit: Sigurdur R. Gislason Regardless of the problems, it appears likely that the cost of storing carbon dioxide in such fashion (or others like it) will likely become relatively smaller as the costs of dealing with rising temperatures and sea levels increases, which hopefully, will cause more such efforts to come about. As the planet continues to warm due to greenhouse gases (mainly CO2) captured in the atmosphere, scientists focus on two main approaches to solving the problem: stopping (or at least slowing) the addition of new gasses into the atmosphere, or devising techniques to remove the gasses already there. In this new effort, the researchers are focused on the latter approach.Most of the press dedicated to global warming to date has been focused on ways to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Sadly, that approach hasn’t had the desired impact. Because of that governments and organizations are increasingly turning to CCS technology. Just this past week the U.N. issued a climate report which highlighted the necessity of putting more effort into removing gasses to slow the massive costs of the expected average rise in global temperatures in the near future. The problem with pulling carbon out of the air is where to put it—pushing it into the ground is both expensive and risky—geologic activity, such as earthquakes could cause fissures allowing the gas to seep back out into the atmosphere. This is where the researchers in Iceland come in—they’ve been dissolving carbon dioxide into water (from a geothermal plant) and pumping the mixture into basalt formations (that came about due to volcanic activity) underground. Over time, the carbon reacts with calcium, magnesium and iron in the basalt and forms carbonate minerals such as limestone. Scientists have known about this process for some time, but until now, didn’t realize it could happen so quickly. The researchers report that approximately 80 percent of the carbon became embedded in the minerals over the span of just one year. The down side is that it takes a lot of water—up to twenty times as much as the carbon dioxide. Another problem could be pulling the carbon dioxide out of the air, and perhaps having to transport it to a sequestration site. There is also the difficulty of finding the right kind of basalt—it has to be porous. Citation: Researchers find carbon reactions with basalt can form carbonate minerals faster than thought (2014, April 25) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2014-04-carbon-reactions-basalt-carbonate-minerals.html Journal information: Science 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. Storing carbon dioxide deep underground in rock form The CarbFix injection site, March 2011. Credit: Sigurdur R. Gislason] (Phys.org) —A pair of researchers, one with the Institute of Earth Sciences at the University of Iceland, the other with University College in London, has found that mixing carbon dioxide with water and pumping it into underground basalt formations in Iceland has resulted in 80 percent of the carbon being sequestered into carbonate materials within one year’s time. In their paper published in the journal Science, Sigurdur Gislason and Eric Oelkers suggest their method of carbon sequestering may prove a feasible approach to carbon capture and storage (CCS).
With Navratras finally over, it is the time to gorge. So this food marathon organised by a south Delhi mall along with a food-based website couldn’t have happened at a better time. In all, there will be eight teams comprising three foodies each who will compete with each other in challenges that revolve around food. Food Sprint, as the festival is being called, will have some fun foodie games to whip up your appetite. There will be an ‘eating obstacle race’ which will give you a chance to win goodies and sweet hampers from food joints and restaurants. So foodies of the Capital, it is time to unite. Team up and get gorging! DETAILAt: Select Citywalk, SaketWhen: 26 October
The Excellentia Equitation Center, New Delhi presented the sixth edition of The Equestrian Series, from December 12-14, sponsored by the Ashok Piramal Group. The series is a unique extravaganza of the Olympic sport of Equestrian (show-jumping and dressage), bringing together riders from all spheres and age groups. In addition, it offered the finest display of a lifestyle sport with the perfect environment created by the combination of the horse, the rider and a true and healthy competition spirit. Also Read – ‘Playing Jojo was emotionally exhausting’Teams from top civilian riding establishments went up against the top riders from army units such as The Presidents Bodyguard, the 61st Cavalry, which are two of the only horse mounted military regiments in the world, as well as teams from various paramilitary establishments. The event was not only the best in the sport present, but also newer and younger participants with events for children from all age groups. The Excellentia Horse Show offered the perfect ambience for a lovely day out on the field with a sport as royal and unique, associated with horses. The event had more than 200 entries with over 100 horses taking part with two days of action packed equestrian competition. Also Read – Leslie doing new comedy special with NetflixExcellentia Equitation Centre is a professional riding school, providing the finest training in horseback riding, the sport of Equestrian (comprising of Show-Jumping, Dressage and Eventing) as well as Polo. Situated in an area of 5 acres in Vasant Kunj, rite in the centre of the city, it clearly is the most centrally located and easily accessible riding establishment in the capital. Set up with the background of professional riders who have been competing at the national and international level for many years.
Kolkata: Two days after a Jatra artiste died due to a snake bite while performing in Hasnabad in North 24-Parganas, the Basirhat police on Thursday arrested the exorcist, Doyal Biswas, who had allegedly handed over the snake to the victim.Kalidashi Mondal, the victim was declared brought dead in a hospital when she was taken there four hours after the incident. She was performing a Jatrapala with a venomous snake. The hospital authorities said the patient’s life could have been saved, had she been brought to the hospital earlier. Also Read – Heavy rain hits traffic, flights’Manasa Mangal’ was being enacted by the victim and her troops in Barunghat area of Hasnabad on Tuesday evening. The Jatrapala was organised at the house of one Manoranjan Das on the occasion of Manasa Puja. Biswas allegedly handed over the snake to the victim as it was decided that the performance would be done with a snake. The Jatarpala organisers thought it was venom less.Police are interrogating Biswas to know why he handed over a poisonous snake to the victim or why he did not allow the patient to be shifted to the hospital. It was learnt that during the interrogation, he failed to provide any satisfactory answer as to why he brought two snakes all the way from Haroa. The accused, however, claimed that the Jatra astistes asked for a snake for making the performance more lively. But the investigators are yet to find out the reason why he brought a poisonous one. According to police, when the woman collapsed on the stage, the exorcist insisted on doing the treatment himself and did not allow anybody to take her to a nearby hospital. He continued his tricks on the woman for four hours. When the locals and her fellow colleagues finally took her to the hospital, the doctors pronounced her brought dead.Police are investigating the role of the victim’s colleagues and why they did not send her to the hospital immediately after she was bitten.