Month: August 2019

Month: August 2019

first_imgHoverit explains that sitting in the levitating lounger is “like floating on a cloud.” Credit: Hoverit, Ltd. Citation: Hoverit Unveils MagLev Chair (2008, January 17) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2008-01-hoverit-unveils-maglev-chair.html The company has not released many details about how the magic is done, but they confirm that the chair gives the sensation of floating on air. The product is hand-built, and designed with state-of-the-art CAD software. The base of the chair floats up and down on two guide bars, presumably so that it won´t float away. The base has castor wheels to make the two-piece furniture easy to move.The Lounger not only feels unique, but it looks stylish, as well. The magnetic furniture is made of clear acrylic which allows you to see every component. Although there is no word yet on when it will go on sale (or its price), each lounger comes with a clear anti-scratch mat and a limited edition certificate and serial number.Thanks to the magnetic field it exudes, perhaps the floating chair will also have health benefits, the company suggests. According to its Web site, “Permanent magnets can also help back, muscular problems and headaches, so our furniture not only looks good – it may make you feel good too.”Hoverit will be demonstrating its revolutionary magnetic furniture at the Ideal Home Centenary Show, which takes place March 14 – April 6 in Earls Court London.via: InventorSpot.comMore information:Hoverit.co.uk British company Hoverit, Ltd., has recently introduced “The Lounger,” a chair that defies gravity by hovering a few inches above its base. The Lounger uses permanent magnets in the chair and base to life the chair in the air. 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


Month: August 2019

center_img (PhysOrg.com) — AMD has introduced a new dual-core desktop processors aimed at the value end of the consumer market. The new Athlon X2 7000 series, which is available now, are the company’s first dual core chips based on its Phenom quad design. Explore furtherlast_img


Month: August 2019

first_img As all those who have taken very many chemistry courses know, the Haber-Bosch process involves heating a potassium-doped iron catalyst under high pressure, then mixing it over with hydrogen gas to generate the end product, ammonia.What Holland and his team are trying to do is recreate the same process using a different catalyst. Instead of the regular iron catalysts used in current processes, they would like to use a soluble iron catalyst, which most agree would allow for the process to work under room temperatures. Unfortunately, work by others in trying the same thing has thus far resulted in less than dramatic results, i.e. not enough ammonia was produced.This new research however looks more promising. What the team has done so far is develop a new iron material that will react with nitrogen gas when exposed to potassium which generates a material that has two nitrides which contain a mixed iron nitride core – which will react with hydrogen gas to create a reasonably large amount of ammonia.While this doesn’t exactly solve the puzzle of how to get the H-B process to work at room temperature and at normal pressure (because the iron is consumed, thus it’s not truly catalytic) it is a step in the right direction, and the team is optimistic that because of knowledge gained in their experiments, they will be able to build a complex that is truly catalytic, which will then lead to a real solution to the underlying problem. (PhysOrg.com) — The Haber-Bosch process, known throughout the world as the means by which ammonia is made for use in fertilizer, has been under study for at least as long as the agricultural revolution has been underway. While the current system clearly works, it’s been used to feed the billions of people on the planet for the past several decades; it’s also costly due to the high temperature and pressure involved. If a way could be found to produce the same result at non-elevated temperatures, the production costs would come down dramatically resulting in reduced food prices the world over. No small thing considering we just welcomed the seven billionth person just last week. The good news is that some progress is being made. Patrick Holland and his colleagues at the University of Rochester, and at the Max Planck Institute in Germany, describe in their paper published in Science, how they have been making inroads into using a soluble iron compound to promote the process. Flow diagram for the Haber Bosch process. Image: Wikipedia. Explore further © 2011 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 Citation: Researchers moving closer to a soluble solution to Haber-Bocsh process (2011, November 11) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2011-11-closer-soluble-solution-haber-bocsh.html Journal information: Science More information: N2 Reduction and Hydrogenation to Ammonia by a Molecular Iron-Potassium Complex, Science 11 November 2011: Vol. 334 no. 6057 pp. 780-783. DOI: 10.1126/science.1211906ABSTRACTThe most common catalyst in the Haber-Bosch process for the hydrogenation of dinitrogen (N2) to ammonia (NH3) is an iron surface promoted with potassium cations (K+), but soluble iron complexes have neither reduced the N-N bond of N2 to nitride (N3–) nor produced large amounts of NH3 from N2. We report a molecular iron complex that reacts with N2 and a potassium reductant to give a complex with two nitrides, which are bound to iron and potassium cations. The product has a Fe3N2 core, implying that three iron atoms cooperate to break the N-N triple bond through a six-electron reduction. The nitride complex reacts with acid and with H2 to give substantial yields of N2-derived ammonia. These reactions, although not yet catalytic, give structural and spectroscopic insight into N2 cleavage and N-H bond-forming reactions of iron. New revelations in ammonia synthesislast_img read more


Month: August 2019

first_img Explore further Research questions the educational possibilities of some TV and computer games A position winning for white and one not winning. Image from “Learning Games from Videos Guided by Descriptive Complexity” by Łukasz Kaiser 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: Computer turns into boardgame master of all it surveys (2012, July 10) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2012-07-boardgame-master-surveys.html More information: liafa.jussieu.fr/~kaiser/pub/l … ptive_complexity.pdf “The presented algorithm requires only a few demonstrations and minimal background knowledge, and, having learned the rules, automatically derives position evaluation functions and can play the learned games competitively,” according to the paper. “Our main technique is based on descriptive complexity, i.e., the logical means necessary to define a set of interest. We compute formulas defining allowed moves and final positions in a game in different logics and select the most adequate ones.”He used software that processed video clips to recognize the board, pieces, moves, and outcomes. The system could examine viable moves, draw data from all possible outcomes, and proceed with an optimal calculated move. The video recognition procedure was implemented in C++ and the game learning algorithm in OCaml. Both were integrated with Toss, a game playing program. Toss is an open source project hosted by SourceForge and distributed under the BSD license.He used relational structures that recognize rows, columns and diagonals of a boardgame, and made use of different logic systems —pure first-order, existential and guarded. Additionally, a General Game Playing program enhanced the system’s learning power to play tactically and know legal moves. (General Game Playing is the design of AI programs that can play more than one game successfully. The system is valued by researchers for use beyond gaming to an intelligence support for search and rescue missions.)Kaiser said he chose to use games as a primary learning tool because they are models of real-world interaction scenarios, making the results significant in a broader context. “Systems able to learn from visual observations are of central importance in many fields, especially in autonomous robotics and interactive computer vision,” he said.The tests for Kaiser’s experiment were run on a laptop with 4GB RAM and a2.13GHz Intel L9600 processor. The computer’s performance depends on the complexity of the game. Nonethtless, observers agree that the significance of Kaiser’s efforts is to demonstrate that software can learn the rules of a game with a modest amount of external input. © 2012 Phys.Org (Phys.org) — Igniting interest in computer logic and gaming, a paper titled “Learning Games from Videos Guided by Descriptive Complexity” shows how computer systems can successfully learn how to play boardgames, just by its watching two-minute videos of humans playing and can then proceed to try to beat them at their own game. Łukasz Kaiser, the author of the paper, studies logic and games at Paris Diderot University in France. His research effort was to introduce a system for learning board game rules from brief videos and demonstrate it on several well-known games—such as Connect4,Gomoku, Pawns, and Breakthrough.last_img read more


Month: August 2019

center_img Tyrannoneustes lythrodectikos, meaning “tyrant swimmer that bites” in Latin, was found in 1919 in a clay pit near the British town of Peterborough (the Oxford Clay Formation) by an amateur bone collector. Since that time it has resided, hidden away in Glasgow’s Hunterian museum. The skeletal remains include a jawbone with serrated teeth that the researchers, from the University of Edinburgh describe as an indication that the creature was a super-predator – one that preys on animals that are as big as it is, or even bigger.The research team, led by Mark Young, says the time period during which the tyrant swimmer lived would have had it swimming in the shallow seas that covered much of Europe and England – along with other large marine predators. At the time, the area consisted of a chain of islands. They believe T. lythrodectikos would have been a very strong swimmer – it had a fluked tail and forelimbs that resembled flippers and was able to open its mouth very wide to allow for biting into large prey. It would have been both a formidable hunter and an elusive target for other larger marine animals. But if caught, would not have been difficult to eat as it lacked the bony armor of other species of the time.The Middle Jurassic period, as has been glamorized by Hollywood, was a time during which many very large animals existed, many of them predatory. Their existence, scientists say, indicates a time when there was a very healthy food chain.The team adds that the species is the oldest known super-predator, and notes that little research had been done on the skeletal remains over the near century since it was brought to the museum. They also report that no stomach contents were found, thus they can’t say for sure what the animal ate. (Phys.org)—Researchers examining a fossil specimen discovered in a museum storage bin have found it to be the remains of a super-predator that lived during the Jurassic Period, around 165 million years ago. They describe the specimen, named Tyrannoneustes lythrodectikos, in their paper published in the Journal of Systematic Palaeontology, as looking like a cross between a modern dolphin and a shark or crocodile. Credit: University of Edinburgh Citation: Fossil remains in museum found to be 165 million year old marine super-predator (2013, January 29) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2013-01-fossil-museum-million-year-marine.htmllast_img read more


Month: August 2019

first_imgA composite image of the Western hemisphere of the Earth. Credit: NASA Three researchers in France have authored “How ocean waves rock the Earth: Two mechanisms explain microseisms with periods 3 to 300 s,” published in Geophysical Research Letters, a journal of the American Geophysical Union (AGU). The paper attempts to explain the source of Earth’s ringing sound. Could it be because of earthquakes? Scientists were aware that earthquakes could cause the Earth to ring, for days or months. That reason did not fit other instances. Even in the absence of earthquakes, seismologists said in the 1990s, the planet constantly vibrates at very low frequencies, which they could make out with seismic instruments. But why? Call it the mystery of the Noise—this continuous vibration draws scientists to search for explanations. Wired.co.uk brought out some interesting points about the low-frequency sound, which though inaudible to human ears can be detected by seismic instruments. There was a range of thoughts about why. “Theories suggested everything from electromagnetic radiation to earthquakes and secret military operations might be to blame. Although the sound is almost certainly too faint for humans to hear, some people claim to be plagued by a ‘tinnitus’-like noise—including many residents of Bristol in the 70s, who said the sound caused headaches and even nosebleeds.”Nanci Bompey in the AGU GeoSpace blog reviewed the theories which the authors of the recent paper examined. One such theory had to do with ocean waves moving in opposite directions. Colliding waves make weak, “microseismic” waves that add up to a generalized ringing. They used models and found that opposing ocean waves could initiate a kind of seismic waves – those that take 13 seconds or less to complete one oscillation. The theory did not hold up when it came to slower oscillating seismic waves.The researchers then examined the theory that suggests the movement of waves over the bottom of the ocean generates slower oscillating, very long waves. “Long ocean waves can extend all the way down to the seafloor. As they make their way back and forth to the open ocean from the coast, these long waves travel over the bumpy ocean bottom. The pressure of the ocean waves on the seafloor generates seismic waves that cause the Earth to oscillate, said Fabrice Ardhuin, a senior research scientist at Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique in Brest, France, and lead author of the new research.” So one can also point to pressure of these long ocean waves on the sea floor.The authors’ conclusion, said Bompey, was that “instead of one theory explaining all of the microseismic activity, both theories are needed – one to explain the shorter seismic waves and another to explain the longer seismic waves responsible for the Earth’s hum.”Ardhuin said that understanding where the seismic signals were coming from could help researchers look for fainter seismic signals. That, he said, could allow them to better detect faint earthquakes far away from seismic stations or nuclear explosions. Explore further Citation: Source of Earth’s ringing? French team views ocean waves (2015, April 20) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2015-04-source-earth-french-team-views.html More information: Ardhuin, F., Gualtieri, L. and Stutzmann, E. (2015), How ocean waves rock the Earth: Two mechanisms explain microseisms with periods 3 to 300 s. Geophys. Res. Lett., 42: 765–772. DOI: 10.1002/2014GL062782AbstractMicroseismic activity, recorded everywhere on Earth, is largely due to ocean waves. Recent progress has clearly identified sources of microseisms in the most energetic band, with periods from 3 to 10 s. In contrast, the generation of longer-period microseisms has been strongly debated. Two mechanisms have been proposed to explain seismic wave generation: a primary mechanism, by which ocean waves propagating over bottom slopes generate seismic waves, and a secondary mechanism which relies on the nonlinear interaction of ocean waves. Here we show that the primary mechanism explains the average power, frequency distribution, and most of the variability in signals recorded by vertical seismometers, for seismic periods ranging from 13 to 300 s. The secondary mechanism only explains seismic motions with periods shorter than 13 s. Our results build on a quantitative numerical model that gives access to time-varying maps of seismic noise sources.last_img read more


Month: August 2019

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. Artist’s impression of the two-qubit logic gate device developed at UNSW. Each electron qubit (red and blue in the image) has a ‘spin’, or magnetic field, indicated by the arrows. Metal electrodes on the surface are used to manipulate the qubits, which interact to create an ‘entangled’ quantum state. Credit: Tony Melov/UNSW © 2015 Phys.org (Phys.org)—It was another good week for physics; the Nobel Prize in physics was awarded to Takaaki Kajita of Japan and Arthur McDonald of Canada for discovering a missing piece in the neutrino mass puzzle. And a team working in Australia announced that a crucial hurdle was overcome in quantum computing—they demonstrated a two-qubit logic gate, and did it in silicon. Also a pair of physicists Hal Haggard and Carlo Rovelli in France asked: What are white holes? They are looking into whether the whole idea might be more then purely theoretical. Citation: Best of Last Week—White holes, elephants and cancer and the impact of dominating parents (2015, October 12) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2015-10-weekwhite-holes-elephants-cancer-impact.htmlcenter_img Explore further Nobel Prize for missing piece in neutrino mass puzzle (Update) In other news, a team of researchers with the University of Illinois partnered with a group in Hungary and together they found that an AI machine achieved an IQ test score of a young child. The machine was ConceptNet, a project at MIT, and the findings represent another leap for computer smarts. Also, a company called Light introduced a multi-aperture computational camera—it is actually 16 cameras in one box taking pictures using ten of the lenses at a time to capture multiple focal lengths. And a trio of researchers with Wayne State University and Pennsylvania State University announced that they had found a way to convert harmful algal blooms into high-performance battery electrodes. Also a team at the University of Southampton in the U.K. found a new way to weigh a star—by using math models, theory, super-fluidity and glitches in pulsars . Also researchers at Arizona State University made worldwide headlines due to a Newsweek article on how elephants provide big clues in the fight against cancer—turns out they have a gene that is 20 times more prevalent than in any other mammal. Also another team of researchers at Harvard University announced that they had massively edited the genome of pigs to turn them into perfect human organ donors.And finally, if you are the offspring of a domineering mom or dad, a team of researchers at the University of Sussex in the U.K. has conducted a study that shows how dominant parents affect kids’ self-worth. And it depends, apparently, on which country you grow up in.last_img read more


Month: August 2019

first_img No peak in sight for evolving bacteria Explore further Escherichia coli. Credit: Rocky Mountain Laboratories, NIAID, NIH © 2015 Phys.org One of the foundations of evolution is that organisms change due to challenges they face in their environment, as new challenges arise, those adaptations that best suit the situation are favored, leading to an improvement in fitness. Some prior research has suggested that such adaptations would follow a hyperbolic curve—evidence from this long term effort, suggests that a power-law curve might be more accurate, at least in one such case.The LTEE began in 1988 when a team of researchers at the university, led by Richard Lenski, took a single sample of e. coli, separated it into 12 separate identical flasks held in identical environments and then watched and to see how they might evolve over the years. Periodically, samples have been removed and studied with some being put into deep freeze for later study. Over the past 27 years, the bacteria has produced thousands of new generations—one reached 50,000—offering the researchers a unique opportunity to see evolution in action.In comparing the current generations with the thousands that came before them, the team acknowledged that they fully expected that increases in fitness would level off, and perhaps stop altogether because of the unchanging environment in which they lived—there were no new challenges and all of the samples lived almost exactly the same way. The team did note that there were differences in degrees of sustained fitness among samples in the flasks, but they were minor. They also noticed that while the increases in fitness had slowed over the years, it did not appear to be on a course that would show it stopping at any point. Thus, they suggest it appears to follow more of a power-law curve than anything else. For that reason, the researchers have advised that the experiment continue, allowing future researchers to see if the bacteria will offer any other surprises. Citation: Long term study shows bacteria continue to show sustained fitness in unchanging environment (2015, December 16) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2015-12-term-bacteria-sustained-unchanging-environment.htmlcenter_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. More information: Richard E. Lenski et al. Sustained fitness gains and variability in fitness trajectories in the long-term evolution experiment with , Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences (2015). DOI: 10.1098/rspb.2015.2292AbstractMany populations live in environments subject to frequent biotic and abiotic changes. Nonetheless, it is interesting to ask whether an evolving population’s mean fitness can increase indefinitely, and potentially without any limit, even in a constant environment. A recent study showed that fitness trajectories of Escherichia coli populations over 50 000 generations were better described by a power-law model than by a hyperbolic model. According to the power-law model, the rate of fitness gain declines over time but fitness has no upper limit, whereas the hyperbolic model implies a hard limit. Here, we examine whether the previously estimated power-law model predicts the fitness trajectory for an additional 10 000 generations. To that end, we conducted more than 1100 new competitive fitness assays. Consistent with the previous study, the power-law model fits the new data better than the hyperbolic model. We also analysed the variability in fitness among populations, finding subtle, but significant, heterogeneity in mean fitness. Some, but not all, of this variation reflects differences in mutation rate that evolved over time. Taken together, our results imply that both adaptation and divergence can continue indefinitely—or at least for a long time—even in a constant environment. (Phys.org)—A team of researchers working on Michigan State University’s Long-Term Evolution Experiment (LTEE) has found that even after nearly thirty years living in an unchanging environment, generations of Escherichia coli continue to show improvements in fitness. In their paper published in Proceedings of the Royal Society B, the team describes the nature of their long term experiment and their surprise at the continual evolution of the simple bacteria. Journal information: Proceedings of the Royal Society Blast_img read more



Month: August 2019

first_imgPets are a part of your family, understood. You choose to make them a part of your celebrations, understood. But many do not understand the grave effect which the celebrations might have on them. Since Holi is just round the corner, here are a few tips to keep your pooch all safe and secure whilst the joy is on.Most dog owners feel that as long as they use dry colours on their pets, there’s no harm. But the truth is, the presence of lead, which acts as an accumulative poison, makes these colours a high-risk material for pets. Inhalation of colour powder may cause nasal irritation and possibly respiratory allergy or infection. Pet parents also need to know that most dogs get paranoid when you rub colours on them, since it very often gets into their eyes and nose, making them very uncomfortable. They also tend to lick their body, and the taste of dry colours makes them prone to throwing up. Some breeds are so sensitive that they gets rashes. Also Read – ‘Playing Jojo was emotionally exhausting’According to Dr KG Umesh, Waltham Scientific Communication Manager, South Asia Mars India, ‘We must ensure that during celebrations like these, we keep our dogs safe from the colours. We advice people not to try using kerosene, spirits or any hair oil to clean the colour off their coat. A good light shampoo should suffice. If the dog has been hit in the eye by a water balloon, wash the eye with clean water, and if irritation persists, bring the dog to a vet.’ Also Read – Leslie doing new comedy special with Netflix‘It is extremely important to understand that some breeds of dogs are more susceptible to the accidents than others. Puppies, aged dogs and short hair coat dogs are more predisposed to falling victim to these colours than long hair coat breeds. The reason being that sparsely coated regions of body are commonly affected by colours. The pet owner should keep the pet away from children who tend to throw water balloons at the pet and also avoid taking their dogs at places and at times when they are likely to be the target of such insensitive play,’ he added.Indulging in variety of sweets is also customary during Holi. Care should be taken as these foods are rich in butter, cream and sugar and does not go down well with canines and can give them an upset stomach. Keep your pets happy during Holi and double the celebrations!last_img read more


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