Solar Storms May Have Hindered SOS During Historic “Red Tent” Expedition

IEEE Spectrum  July 20, 2020 On 25 May 1928, the airship “Dirigible Italia” after overflying the North Pole, shipwrecked on the ice pack about 400 km northeast of Svalbard Islands. Survivors were unsuccessful in sending SOS messages using a portable high frequency (HF) radio transmitter. Only after 9 days of repeated radio‐distress transmissions, a Russian radio amateur about 1,900 km away was able to receive the messages. An international team of researchers (Italy, UK) conducted a retrospective analysis of the ionospheric and geomagnetic conditions of that epoch to explain the HF radio communications problems encountered by the survivors. They concluded […]

U.S. and Japan Seeking to Break China’s Grip on Rare Earths Production

IEEE Spectrum  July 23, 2020 Over time China has monopolized the rare earth elements (RREs) production with government partnerships and lax production regulations. China restricts REE exports when aggrieved. The Japanese were quick to respond to the threat of blocked exports by encouraging recycling and diversification of REE supplies. The state and private sector collaborated to and importing more rare earth from Asian countries. They discovered rich supplies of REEs in deep sea mud within Japan’s exclusive economic zone in the Pacific Ocean. In 2016 the U.S. and Australia agreed to work together on securing REE resources and to support […]

Top 10 Science and Technology Inventions for the Week of July 17, 2020

01. Artificial ‘neurotransistor’ created 02. UBCO researchers create liquid-repelling substance that works on all surfaces 03. Underused part of the electromagnetic spectrum gets optics boost from metamaterial 04. Tiny bubbles make a quantum leap 05. Using magnetic worms to engineer nanoscale communication systems 06. Recognising fake images using frequency analysis 07. New materials for extra thin computer chips 08. New organic material unlocks faster and more flexible electronic devices 09. ‘Blinking’ nanocrystals may convert CO2 into fuels 10. Seventy-Five Years After Trinity And others… Agriculture – a climate villain? Maybe not!Corralling Groups of PhotonsLiquid crystals create easy-to-read, color-changing sensorsA new […]

Agriculture – a climate villain? Maybe not!

Science Daily  July 7, 2020 The UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) agriculture has affirmed that one of the main sources of greenhouse gases. According to the researchers in Sweden agriculture produces a significant amount of negative greenhouse gases, and it is important to reduce this in a sustainable manner. Carbon dioxide is caught by crops that, in turn, produce oxygen and at the same time binds carbon in roots and shoots. One part of this C transforms into soil organic C. But the main part transforms into harvested crops, that is, cereals like wheat and other carbohydrate products […]

Artificial ‘neurotransistor’ created

Science Daily  July 14, 2020 An international team of researchers (Germany, India, South Korea, USA – UC Berkeley) simulated the properties of neurons using the principles of biosensors and modified a classical field-effect transistor to create an artificial neurotransistor. They applied solgel to a conventional silicon wafer with circuits. When solgel hardens and becomes a porous ceramic the ions move between the holes. As they are heavier than electrons and slower to return to their position after excitation, hysteresis causes the storage effect. The plasticity of the neurotransistor, which is similar to that of the human brain, enables them to […]

‘Blinking’ nanocrystals may convert CO2 into fuels

Nanowerk  July 16, 2020 Using polymer‐derived mesoporous carbon (PDMC) as a template, an international team of researchers (USA- State University of New Jersey, China, Czech Republic) has synthesized mesoporous titanium dioxide comprised of small, crystalline, vacancy‐rich anatase nanoparticles that show unique optical, thermal, and electronic properties. When exposed to a slow electron beam, the nanoparticles exhibit a charge/discharge behavior, lighting up and fading away for an average period of 15 s. They show a 50 nm red‐shift in their UV/Vis absorption and long‐lived charge carriers at room temperature in the dark, even long after UV irradiation. As photocatalysts they show […]

Corralling Groups of Photons

APS Synopsys  July 14, 2020 An international team of researchers (Germany, Spain, Denmark) propose a device to create flocks of photons by sorting a coherent pulse of light into bunches of strongly correlated photons. The device consists of an optical waveguide that is strongly coupled to a row of two-level quantum systems. A laser pulse is shone down the waveguide. Photons within the pulse are strongly connected to each other such that the arrival of one portends the quick arrival of the next. The atoms absorb pulse photons, entering an excited state. If photons connected to the absorbed ones interact […]

Liquid crystals create easy-to-read, color-changing sensors

Nanowerk  July 11, 2020 Inspired by the ability of chameleons to change color by using temperature to direct the skin tissue that contains nanocrystals reflecting light, to expand or contract, an international team of researchers (USA – University of Chicago, University of South Carolina, University of North Texas, Cornell University, Argonne National Laboratory, Mexico, Turkey, Colombia) has developed a way to stretch and strain liquid crystals to generate different colors. They dispersed chiral droplets in polymer films and deformed it by inducing uniaxial or biaxial stretching. Their measurements are interpreted by resorting to simulations of the corresponding systems, thereby providing […]

New materials for extra thin computer chips

EurekAlert  July 13, 2020 To realize the full potential of nanoelectronic devices based on 2D materials they have to be placed on the appropriate substrate, and an insulator layer is also needed on top of it, an insulator that is extremely thin and of extremely good quality. An international team of researchers (Austria, Russia, China, USA – UT Austin, Germany, Italy) has achieved excellent results with special crystals containing fluorine atoms. A transistor prototype with a calcium fluoride insulator has provided convincing data, and other materials are still being analysed. The new electrically conductive 2D materials can be combined with […]

New organic material unlocks faster and more flexible electronic devices

Science Daily  July 15, 2020 Long-range and fast transport of coherent excitons is important for the development of high-speed excitonic circuits and quantum computing applications. By precisely stacking carbon and hydrogen molecules one over the other researchers in Australia have designed an organic semiconductor. The material is just one carbon atom thick which gives it the flexibility to be bent into any shape. The material is biodegradable or easily recyclable, thus avoiding the tonnes of e-waste generated by current generation electronic devices…read more. Open Access TECHNICAL ARTICLE