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: Digital Quantum Battery Could Boost Energy Density Tenfold (2009, December 22) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2009-12-digital-quantum-battery-boost-energy.html In their study, Alfred Hubler and Onyeama Osuagwu, both of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, have investigated energy storage capacity in arrays of nano vacuum tubes, which contain little or no gas. When the tubes’ gap size – or the distance between electrodes – is about 10 nanometers wide, electric arcing is suppressed, preventing energy loss. Further, each tube can be addressed individually, making the technology digital and offering the possibility for data storage in conjunction with energy storage. The physicists calculated that the large electric field exhibited under these conditions could lead to an energy density anywhere between two and 10 times greater than that of today’s best battery technologies. The scientists also estimated that the power density (i.e., the charge-discharge rates) could be orders of magnitude greater than that of today’s batteries. In addition, the nature of the charging and discharging avoids the leakage faced by conventional batteries, so that the nano vacuum batteries waste very little energy and have a virtually unlimited lifetime.The scientists say that it may be possible to build a prototype of the battery in the next year. Since the energy density is independent from the materials used, the nano vacuum tubes could be built from inexpensive, non-toxic materials. The nano vacuum tubes could also be fabricated using existing photolithographic techniques, and could be easily combined with integrated circuits.As for the possibility of data storage, the physicists explain that each nano vacuum tube can have two gates, an energy gate and an information gate. Each nano vacuum tube can also be charged and discharged individually, in any arbitrary order. By inserting a MOSFET (metal-oxide-semiconductor field-effect transistor) in the wall of a nano vacuum tube, the state of the tube can be determined without charging or discharging it. “For example, to store the number 22, one would convert it to binary notation 22 = 10110,” the scientists wrote in their paper. “Then use the energy gates to charge the first, third and fourth tube and leave the second and fifth tube uncharged. When the energy gate holds a charge, it induces an electric field in the MOSFET that partially cancels the electric field from the electrodes of the information gate, which modifies the threshold voltage of the MOSFET. During read-out, a voltage slightly above the regular threshold voltages is applied to the information gate, and the MOSFET channel will become conducting or remain insulating, depending on the voltage threshold of the MOSFET, which depends on the charge on the energy gate. The current flow through the MOSFET channel is measured and provides a binary code, reproducing the stored data.”As Hubler explained in a recent article in MIT’s Technology Review, the digital quantum battery concept can be viewed in different ways as a variation of several technologies. “If you look at it from a digital electronics perspective, it’s just a flash drive,” Hubler said. “If you look at it from an electrical engineering perspective, you would say these are miniaturized vacuum tubes like in plasma TVs. If you talk to a physicist, this is a network of capacitors.”Hubler has applied for DARPA funding to develop a prototype of the digital quantum battery, and find out what will actually happen when loading the nano vacuum tubes with large amounts of energy. (PhysOrg.com) — Physicists theorize that quantum phenomena could provide a major boost to batteries, with the potential to increase energy density up to 10 times that of lithium ion batteries. According to a new proposal, billions of nanoscale capacitors could take advantage of quantum effects to overcome electric arcing, an electrical breakdown phenomenon which limits the amount of charge that conventional capacitors can store. High-performance energy storage © 2009 PhysOrg.com Explore further More information: Alfred W. Hubler and Onyeama Osuagwu. “Digital quantum batteries: Energy and information storage in nano vacuum tube arrays.” To be published in Complexity. This figure shows the energy density and the power density of nano vacuum tubes in comparison to other energy storage devices. Credit: H?bler and Osuagwu.
While efforts have been made to design inexpensive toilets, Swedish inventor Anders Wilhelmson is taking an even more low-tech approach to the problem. He has designed the “Peepoo,” a biodegradable plastic bag that serves as a single-use toilet for individuals in the developing world. After the bag is used and buried in the ground, urea crystals coating the bag sterilize the solid human waste and break it down into fertilizer for crops. Wilhelmson says that his company, Peepoople, can sell the bags for about 2 or 3 cents.An architect and professor in Stockholm, Wilhelmson was inspired by the current waste disposal methods used in the urban slums in Kenya. People there simply put their human waste in a plastic bag and fling it away. The bags are called “helicopter toilets” or “flyaway toilets.” Wilhelmson’s Peepoo bag is basically an environmentally friendly alternative that costs about the same as the ordinary plastic bags. Plus, the Peepoo is odor-free for 24 hours so that it can temporarily be stored nearby. Wilhelmson has successfully piloted the bag in Kenya and India last year, and plans to mass-produce the bag this summer.Wilhelmson hopes that the Peepoo bag could help the United Nations reach its goal to cut the number of people without access to toilets in half by 2015. As an article in the New York Times notes, other low-cost toilets are also being introduced in the developing world. For example, Singapore-based Rigel Technology recently demonstrated a $30 toilet that separates solid and liquid waste and turns solid waste into compost. A low-cost toilet that uses excrement to produce biogas to be used for cooking is being promoted by Sulabh Internation, an Indian nonprofit. However, Wilhelmson’s simple and inexpensive sanitizing bag may have the advantage of easy implementation, especially for people living in the most poor and rural areas. Citation: ‘Peepoo’ bag offers sanitary human waste disposal for pennies (2010, March 4) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2010-03-peepoo-bag-sanitary-human-disposal.html Opposition to plastic grocery bags grows Explore further © 2010 PhysOrg.com (PhysOrg.com) — About 40 percent of the earth’s population, or 2.6 billion people, do not have access to a toilet, according to United Nations. The unsanitary conditions have resulted in contaminated drinking water that causes diseases, such as diarrhea, which has become one of the leading causes of death in young children. The inside of the single-use Peepoo bag is coated with urea crystals, which sterilize solid waste and break it down into fertilizer. Image credit: Peepoople. More information: www.peepoople.comvia: New York Times 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.
Deep space labIn the new paper, the researchers suggest that the best way to avoid the effects of Earth’s gravity on measurements of G is to perform the experiment in deep space, which refers to space outside our solar system. The scientists propose to launch their apparatus into deep space, likely by “piggybacking” on a major mission. Out there, where the gravity of planets and stars would be negligible, the host spacecraft would release a spherical object that has a 1-cm-wide tunnel through its center. Then (this would likely be the most difficult part), the host spacecraft—which is constantly spinning the whole time—would eject a much smaller oscillating object into the tunnel in the sphere at just the right angle and speed so that the object would move back and forth through the tunnel, without bouncing off the walls. The host apparatus would continually shine femtosecond laser pulses on the object as it oscillates in the tunnel, and the object (a retroreflector) would reflect these pulses back to the host spacecraft. These pulses would provide data on the period of the object’s harmonic motion, which is directly dependent on the value of G. The data would then be sent back to Earth via radio communication for interpretation.If everything goes as expected, the researchers’ simulations showed that this experiment could measure G with an uncertainty of 6.3 x 10-8, which is nearly three orders of magnitude more precise than the current best measurement.Even though the deep-space experiment wouldn’t have to deal with the Earth’s gravity, it would still have to contend with other, smaller non-gravitational accelerations that would also affect the retroreflector’s motion. These influences include solar radiation pressure, solar tidal effects, cosmic rays, and the momentum from the laser pulses. Some of these effects could be dealt with through careful design—for example, the sphere could be shielded from solar radiation pressure by positioning it in the shadow of the host spacecraft. But the researchers explain that any acceleration greater than 10-17 m/s2 must be modeled and accounted for when interpreting the data. Why measure G?The National Science Foundation in the US recently issued a solicitation for new approaches for measuring G (Ideas Lab: Measuring “Big G” Challenge). The NSF webpage says that measuring a more precise value of G will benefit many fields of physics and metrology, such as understanding the Casimir effect, improving the spring constants that are used to calibrate atomic force microscopy cantilevers, and understanding intermolecular forces in DNA. A precise value of G might also be used to test proposed theories that unify gravity with quantum electrodynamics. In the proposed experimental setup, a host spacecraft (right) shines a femtosecond laser pulse onto a retroreflector moving in the tunnel of a sphere (left). The period of the retroreflector’s harmonic motion provides information on the value of G. Credit: Feldman et al. ©2016 IOP Publishing The researchers, Michael Feldman et al., have published a paper on the proposed experiment in a recent issue of Classical and Quantum Gravity. Uncertainty with Big GNewton’s gravitational constant, G, determines the strength of the gravitational force between any two objects anywhere in the universe. Over the past century, a dozen or so Earth-based experiments have used torsion balances, atom interferometers, and other tools to measure the value of G to be approximately 6.67408 x 10-11, with an uncertainty of 4.7 × 10−5.Although this may sound precise, it is not very precise at all compared to many other physical constants, which have uncertainties that are many orders of magnitude smaller than this. In recent years, the large variations in the measured values of G have caused scientists to question if G is truly constant at all. (Currently, the overwhelming consensus is that G is constant, and that the variations are due to large systematic measurement errors.)”G is currently the least well known of all the fundamental physical constants, which is embarrassing,” Feldman told Phys.org. “A more precise number, and the possibility that G could vary with time, location, or the type of matter involved, could link to improvements in Einstein’s general relativity, including quantum gravity.”One of the main reasons that G is so difficult to measure accurately is that experiments must account for the influence of Earth’s gravity, g (sometimes called “little g” in contrast to “big G”). Little g is the acceleration due to gravity specifically on Earth, where it has a constant value of approximately 9.8 m/s2. Elsewhere in the universe, this value changes, since it depends on the Earth’s mass and the distance between the Earth and another object. However, the value of big G does not depend on these factors, and so it remains the same everywhere in the universe. Explore further More information: Michael R. Feldman et al. “Deep space experiment to measure G.” Classical and Quantum Gravity. DOI: 10.1088/0264-9381/33/12/125013 Also at arXiv:1605.02126 [gr-qc] Why do measurements of the gravitational constant vary so much? © 2016 Phys.org 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)—Scientists have proposed an experiment that could measure the value of Newton’s gravitational constant, G, from deep space instead of an Earth-based laboratory. The researchers predict that the deep space experiment could estimate G with an improvement in precision of nearly three orders of magnitude, since it would avoid the influence of Earth’s gravity. Citation: Deep space experiment could measure the gravitational constant with nearly 1,000 times improvement in accuracy (Update) (2016, May 17) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2016-05-deep-space-gravitational-constant-accuracy.html
The study found that the impact of such unique personal experiences is so deep that even identical twins don’t agree.“Of course, some aspects of attractiveness are pretty universal and may even be coded into our genes. For example, people tend to prefer faces that are symmetric,” researchers Laura Germine from Harvard University and Jeremy Wilmer of Wellesley College said.“Beyond such limited shared preferences, however, people really do have different ‘types’,” they added. Also Read – ‘Playing Jojo was emotionally exhausting’It’s not about the school you went to, how much money your parents made, or who lived next door.That pretty face you see apparently has a lot more to do with those experiences that are truly unique to you – faces you have seen in the media, the unique social interactions you have every day of your life, perhaps even the face of your first boyfriend or girlfriend.They said that an individual’s aesthetic preferences for faces agree about 50
Darjeeling: A two-day-long meeting in Kolkata between the management and operating trade unions of Darjeeling tea gardens agreed on 15 percent bonus for the financial year 2017-18. The bonus will be disbursed in all hill tea gardens by October 10.Though bonus for Dooars and Terai tea gardens was fixed at 19.50% earlier, the management of the Hill tea gardens had categorically stated that bonus would be disbursed at the rate of 8.33% as per the Bonus Act of 1965. Also Read – Rain batters Kolkata, cripples normal lifeThe management claimed that the Hill tea gardens had incurred huge losses last year owing to the political strife and the 104-day-long bandh. They had also stated that there would be no negotiation meetings.However, with the unions mounting pressure, the Darjeeling Tea Association had called for a meeting in Kolkata on October 3. With the management insisting on 8.33% and the unions demanding 20%, the meeting spilled over to October 4.Finally, at around 11 pm on October 4, an agreement was signed between the Darjeeling Tea Association, Indian Tea Association and the operating trade unions, agreeing on a 15% bonus.Some trade unions including CITU, Himalayan Plantation Workers Union affiliated to GNLF and the trade union affiliated to JAP staged a walkout without signing the agreement.All the 87 tea gardens will receive 15% bonus, which will be disbursed before the Puja break, by October 10. If the salary of an employee exceeds Rs 12,750 per month, the bonus will be calculated on Rs 12,750.
The findings showed that these symptoms significantly improved after an eight-week programme of yoga and aquatic exercise.MS is a chronic progressive auto-immune disease in which the immune system attacks the nervous tissue, potentially resulting in movement disorders. Other typical symptoms of MS include physical and mental fatigue as well as faintness, depression and paresthesia such as pins and needles, itchiness and numbness.“Exercise training programmes should be considered in the future as possible complements to standard MS treatments,” the researchers wrote in a paper published in the journal Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise. Also Read – ‘Playing Jojo was emotionally exhausting’ The team analysed 54 women with MS with an average age of 34 and were assigned to one of three groups: yoga, aquatic exercise or no exercise. All patients continued with their existing treatment, including any medication taken to regulate the immune system.The results revealed that in comparison to the control group, fatigue, depression and paresthesia were significantly reduced in patients who took part in a three-times weekly training programme. In the non-exercising group, the likelihood of moderate to severe depression was 35-fold higher than in the groups who had done yoga or aquatic exercise. Researchers from the Kermanshah University of Medical Sciences in Iran, the Psychiatric University Clinics and the University of Basel in Switzerland conducted the study.
The findings showed that people were more likely to act on an opinion — what psychologists call an attitude. If it is labelled as moral they were more resistant to attempts to change their mind on that subject.“The perception that an attitude we hold is based on morality is enough to strengthen it,” said lead author Andrew Luttrell, doctoral student at The Ohio State University, in the US.“For many people, morality implies a universality, an ultimate truth. It is a conviction that is not easily changed.” Luttrell said. Also Read – ‘Playing Jojo was emotionally exhausting’Also, it was easy to lead people into thinking their views were based on moral principles, by using the ‘moral’ label.“Morality can act as a trigger – you can attach the label to nearly any belief and instantly make that belief stronger,” said one of the researchers Richard Petty, professor at Ohio State. Further, appeals to morality can be very effective to groups and political candidates trying to appeal to their supporters.“People may be more willing to vote for a candidate or give money to an advocacy group if they believe it is a matter of morality,” Luttrell noted adding, “they’re also less likely to be swayed by the opposition.” Also Read – Leslie doing new comedy special with NetflixFor the study, published in the Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, the team included 183 college students who read an essay favouring the adoption of a senior comprehensive exam policy at their university. They were asked to provide their thoughts in response to the essay, expressing views based on morality, tradition or equality.Participants were then asked to rate how willing they would be to sign a petition in favour of the exam policy and to put their names on a list of students who favour the exam policy and which way they would vote on the issue.The results showed that the attitudes of students who were told that their views on the exam policy were based on morality were more likely to predict their behaviour than the attitudes of students who were told their views were based on equality or tradition.
Darjeeling: A court in Jalpaiguri on Monday remanded the two accused in the Dhupguri rape case to two-day police custody.The police also recovered the iron rod that was used to torture the victim from the crime spot. Anuj Sharma, ADG Law and Order said on Sunday that the police have been asked to present the charge-sheet within three days. “Ratnu Munda, who is her neighbour and who is known to her, has committed the crime due to personal grudge. Both the victim & the accused are tribal. The victim is under treatment at a hospital & stable. Another person, who was present there but was not a part of the assault, has been arrested. District police has been directed to submit the charge-sheet in 3 days,” Sharma said. On Saturday night, a woman in her thirties was raped at Dhupguri in Jalpaiguri and an iron rod inserted in her private parts. Two persons namely Ratnu Munda and Parimal Rai were arrested by the police on Sunday. The two were produced before a Jalpaiguri Court on Monday. Police prayed for two-day remand which was granted by the Acting Chief Judicial Magistrate. “In the two-day remand, we will interrogate the two accused and the crime scene will also be reconstructed. We are trying to present the charge-sheet within three days so that custodial trial can commence. Investigation is proceeding in the right direction. We have already interrogated the duo. Munda, who is a neighbour of the victim, had committed the crime in presence of Parimal. We are trying to find out the actual motive behind the crime,” stated Amitabha Maity, Superintendent of Police, Jalpaiguri. Meanwhile, a team of doctors operated on the victim at Jalpaiguri Hospital. Though the surgery has been dubbed successful, the victim is still bleeding internally. Her husband and one-year-old child remained at the hospital premises throughout the night. It is reported that her child is also sick and a local NGO is looking after the child. The incident had taken place in Niranjanpat area of Magurmari Gram Panchayat. According to the victim’s narration, when she was alone at her house, the two had asked her to accompany them to settle an old land dispute. The duo then took her to the banks of Gilandi River. Munda then tortured her in presence of Parimal. When she lost her senses, the duo fled. In the wee hours of Sunday morning, the victim managed to arrive at the house of a rickshaw puller. A local NGO had taken the victim, who was in a critical state, to Dhupguri Hospital. She was referred to Jalpaiguri Hospital. An FIR was lodged and the police recorded her statement following which the arrests were been made. Her husband said there was a land dispute between his family and Munda’s family. Police claim that Munda is a history sheeter and was convicted earlier in a rape case.