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Some Punchy Black and White Landscape Photos to Oooo and Aaah Over
A Post By: Darlene Hildebrandt
Recently we released our newest dPS ebook The Essential Guide to Black and White Photography.
So I thought it would be fitting if we had a look as some great black and white images. I don’t know what it is but I’m really attracted to a great black and white image. It’s something about the contrast and the style and makes you really focus on the light and composition in the image – there’s no tricks it’s just an image is the simplest form.
So in this set I’ve found some amazing black and white landscape photos for you to enjoy – please let the oooing and aaaahing commence!
Pic 1: — In Motion — by Marek Kijevsky
Pic 2: Dignity by Martin Mattocks
Pic 3: Silver Reflections 2 by Joe V
Pic 4: named by lennon baksh
from-dust-of-stars: Damn, these black and white pics are vividly stunning. Wow - Check out Source link for many more great photos!
20 Vivid Hummingbird Close-ups Reveal Their Incredible Beauty. 8.29.14
When it comes to birds, the terms “strong” or “beautiful” might inspire images of fierce eagles or decadent tropical parrots. But both of these birds will certainly find strong contender in hummingbirds, which possess a unique sort of delicate beauty and a mastery of avian maneuvers like no other. We created this list of 20 stunning hummingbird photos to show you just how beautiful they can be.
Capturing a photo of a hummingbird in flight with clearly focused wings can be very difficult, as some varieties are capable of beating their wings up to 52 times a second. This gives them the ability to hover and fly backwards – something that few other birds can do and that none have mastered the way the hummingbird has.
If you or someone you know has taken a beautiful photo of a hummingbird, share it with us below this post!
Pic 1: Green-Crowned Brilliant. Image credits: Chris Morgan
Pic 2: Violet Sabrewing. Image credits: Larry
Pic 3: Anna’s Hummingbird. Image credits: Good-e-Nuf
Pic4: Rufous Hummingbird. Image credits: Scott Bechtel
from-dust-of-stars: Majestic little birds. Wow. Check out source link above for more pics that are simply gorgeous!
New technique uses fraction of measurements to efficiently find quantum wave functions
Contact: Peter Iglinski, University of Rochester
PUBLIC RELEASE DATE: 28-Aug-2014
The result of every possible measurement on a quantum system is coded in its wave function, which until recently could be found only by taking many different measurements of a system and estimating a wave function that best fit all those measurements. Just two years ago, with the advent of a technique called direct measurement, scientists discovered they could reliably determine a system’s wave function by “weakly” measuring one of its variables (e.g. position) and “strongly” measuring a complementary variable (momentum). Researchers at the University of Rochester have now taken this method one step forward by combining direct measurement with an efficient computational technique.
The new method, called compressive direct measurement, allowed the team to reconstruct a quantum state at 90 percent fidelity (a measure of accuracy) using only a quarter of the measurements required by previous methods.
"We have, for the first time, combined weak measurement and compressive sensing to demonstrate a revolutionary, fast method for measuring a high-dimensional quantum state," said Mohammad Mirhosseini, a graduate student in the Quantum Photonics research group at the University of Rochester and lead author of a paper appearing today in Physical Review Letters.
The research team, which also included graduate students Omar Magaña-Loaiza and Seyed Mohammad Hashemi Rafsanjani, and Professor Robert Boyd, initially tested their method on a 192-dimensional state. Finding success with that large state, they then took on a massive, 19,200-dimensional state. Their efficient technique sped up the process 350-fold and took just 20 percent of the total measurements required by traditional direct measurement to reconstruct the state.
"To reproduce our result using a direct measurement alone would require more than one year of exposure time," said Rafsanjani. "We did the experiment in less than 48 hours."
While recent compressive sensing techniques have been used to measure sets of complementary variables like position and momentum, Mirhosseini explains that their method allows them to measure the full wave function.
Compression is widely used in the classical world of digital media, including recorded music, video, and pictures. The MP3s on your phone, for example, are audio files that have had bits of information squeezed out to make the file smaller at the cost of losing a small amount of audio quality along the way.
In digital cameras, the more pixels you can gather from a scene, the higher the image quality and the larger the file will be. But it turns out that most of those pixels don’t convey essential information that needs to be captured from the scene. Most of them can be reconstructed later. Compressive sensing works by randomly sampling portions from all over the scene, and using those patterns to fill in the missing information.
Similarly for quantum states, it is not necessary to measure every single dimension of a multidimensional state. It takes only a handful of measurements to get a high-quality image of a quantum system.
The method introduced by Mirhosseini et al. has important potential applications in the field of quantum information science. This research field strives to make use of fundamental quantum effects for diverse applications, including secure communication, teleportation of quantum states, and ideally to perform quantum computation. This latter process holds great promise as a method that can, in principle, lead to a drastic speed-up of certain types of computation. All of these applications require the use of complicated quantum states, and the new method described here offers an efficient means to characterize these states.
Research funding was provided by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency’s (DARPA) Information in a Photon (InPho) program, U.S. Defense Threat Reduction Agency (DTRA), National Science Foundation (NSF), El Consejo Nacional de Ciencia y Tecnología (CONACYT) and Canadian Excellence Research Chair (CERC).
AAAS and EurekAlert! are not responsible for the accuracy of news releases posted to EurekAlert! by contributing institutions or for the use of any information through the EurekAlert! system.
universal-abyss: Excellent - a revolutionary way to measure high-dimensional quantum states. The applications that this may ultimately assist are numerous, for example: quantum computing, secure communication, and much faster computational speed. This is an awesome leap.
Red Planet’s climate history uncovered in unique Martian meteorite
Date: August 27, 2014
Source: Florida State University
Summary: Was Mars — now a cold, dry place — once a warm, wet planet that sustained life? Research underway may one day answer those questions — and perhaps even help pave the way for future colonization of the Red Planet. By analyzing the chemical clues locked inside an ancient Martian meteorite known as Black Beauty, scientists are revealing the story of Mars’ ancient, and sometimes startling, climate history.
Pic: find a pic
Was Mars — now a cold, dry place — once a warm, wet planet that sustained life? And if so, how long has it been cold and dry?
Research underway at the National High Magnetic Field Laboratory may one day answer those questions — and perhaps even help pave the way for future colonization of the Red Planet. By analyzing the chemical clues locked inside an ancient Martian meteorite known as Black Beauty, Florida State University Professor Munir Humayun and an international research team are revealing the story of Mars’ ancient, and sometimes startling, climate history.
The team’s most recent finding of a dramatic climate change appeared in Nature Geoscience, in the paper “Record of the ancient Martian hydrosphere and atmosphere preserved in zircon from a Martian meteorite.”
The scientists found evidence for the climate shift in minerals called zircons embedded inside the dark, glossy meteorite. Zircons, which are also abundant in the Earth’s crust, form when lava cools. Among their intriguing properties, Humayun says, is that “they stick around forever.”
"When you find a zircon, it’s like finding a watch," Humayun said. "A zircon begins keeping track of time from the moment it’s born."
Last year, Humayun’s team correctly determined that the zircons in its Black Beauty sample were an astonishing 4.4 billion years old. That means, Humayun says, it formed during the Red Planet’s infancy and during a time when the planet might have been able to sustain life.
"First we learned that, about 4.5 billion years ago, water was more abundant on Mars, and now we’ve learned that something dramatically changed that," said Humayun, a professor of geochemistry. "Now we can conclude that the conditions that we see today on Mars, this dry Martian desert, must have persisted for at least the past 1.7 billion years. We know now that Mars has been dry for a very long time."
The secret to Mars’ climate lies in the fact that zircons (ZrSiO4) contain oxygen, an element with three isotopes. Isotopes are atoms of the same element that have the same number of protons but a different number of neutrons — sort of like members of a family who share the same last name but have different first names.
On Mars, oxygen is distributed in the atmosphere (as carbon dioxide, molecular oxygen and ozone), in the hydrosphere (as water) and in rocks. In the thin, dry Martian atmosphere, the sun’s ultraviolet light causes unique shifts in the proportions in which the three isotopes of oxygen occur in the different atmospheric gases.
So when water vapor that has cycled through the Martian atmosphere condenses into the Martian soil, it can interact with and exchange oxygen isotopes with zircons in the soil, effectively writing a climate record into the rocks. A warm, wet Mars requires a dense atmosphere that filters out the ultraviolet light making the unique isotope shifts disappear.
In order to measure the proportions of the oxygen isotopes in the zircons, the team, led by scientist Alexander Nemchin, used a device called an ion microprobe. The instrument is in the NordSIMS facility at the Swedish Museum of Natural History, directed by team member Martin Whitehouse.
Because of these precise measurements, said Humayun, “we now have an isotopic record of how the atmosphere changed, with dates on it.”
The Black Beauty meteorite Humayun’s team is studying was discovered in the Sahara Desert in 2011. It’s also known as NWA 7533, which stands for Northwest Africa, the location where it was found.
In all, more than five pieces of Black Beauty were found by Bedouin tribesmen, who make a living scouring the Sahara for meteorites and fossils that they can sell. The zircons analyzed by Humayun’s team were from Black Beauty samples kept in Paris.
Story Source: The above story is based on materials provided by Florida State University. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.
Journal Reference: A. A. Nemchin, M. Humayun, M. J. Whitehouse, R. H. Hewins, J-P. Lorand, A. Kennedy, M. Grange, B. Zanda, C. Fieni, D. Deldicque. Record of the ancient martian hydrosphere and atmosphere preserved in zircon from a martian meteorite. Nature Geoscience, 2014; DOI: 10.1038/ngeo2231
Cite This Page: MLA APA Chicago: Florida State University. “Red Planet’s climate history uncovered in unique Martian meteorite.” ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 27 August 2014.
universal-abyss: Wondrous and startling findings suggest that, about 4.5 billion years back, “water was more abundant on Mars” and then “something dramatically changed that.” It has been a desert planet for a mere 1.7 billion years or so. The Red planet never ceases to surprise, and only slowly reveals her mysteries.
So, the question is: what caused such a dramatic change in our beautiful Red neighbor? That answer might prove incredibly important to us on Earth, as it may help us avoid a similar fate on our tiny blue planet, that we like to call home.
Quantum physics enables revolutionary imaging method
Date: August 28, 2014
Source: University of Vienna
Summary: Researchers have developed a fundamentally new quantum imaging technique with strikingly counter-intuitive features. For the first time, an image has been obtained without ever detecting the light that was used to illuminate the imaged object, while the light revealing the image never touches the imaged object.
Pic: A new quantum imaging technique generates images with photons that have never touched to object — in this case a sketch of a cat. This alludes to the famous Schrödinger cat paradox, in which a cat inside a closed box is said to be simultaneously dead and alive as long there is no information outside the box to rule out one option over the other. Similarly, the new imaging technique relies on a lack of information regarding where the photons are created and which path they take. Credit: Copyright: Patricia Enigl, IQOQI
Researchers from the Institute for Quantum Optics and Quantum Information (IQOQI), the Vienna Center for Quantum Science and Technology (VCQ), and the University of Vienna have developed a fundamentally new quantum imaging technique with strikingly counterintuitive features. For the first time, an image has been obtained without ever detecting the light that was used to illuminate the imaged object, while the light revealing the image never touches the imaged object.
In general, to obtain an image of an object one has to illuminate it with a light beam and use a camera to sense the light that is either scattered or transmitted through that object. The type of light used to shine onto the object depends on the properties that one would like to image. Unfortunately, in many practical situations the ideal type of light for the illumination of the object is one for which cameras do not exist.
The experiment published in Nature this week for the first time breaks this seemingly self-evident limitation. The object (e.g. the contour of a cat) is illuminated with light that remains undetected. Moreover, the light that forms an image of the cat on the camera never interacts with it. In order to realise their experiment, the scientists use so-called “entangled” pairs of photons. These pairs of photons — which are like interlinked twins — are created when a laser interacts with a non-linear crystal. In the experiment, the laser illuminates two separate crystals, creating one pair of twin photons (consisting of one infrared photon and a “sister” red photon) in either crystal. The object is placed in between the two crystals. The arrangement is such that if a photon pair is created in the first crystal, only the infrared photon passes through the imaged object. Its path then goes through the second crystal where it fully combines with any infrared photons that would be created there.
With this crucial step, there is now, in principle, no possibility to find out which crystal actually created the photon pair. Moreover, there is now no information in the infrared photon about the object. However, due to the quantum correlations of the entangled pairs the information about the object is now contained in the red photons — although they never touched the object. Bringing together both paths of the red photons (from the first and the second crystal) creates bright and dark patterns, which form the exact image of the object.
Stunningly, all of the infrared photons (the only light that illuminated the object) are discarded; the picture is obtained by only detecting the red photons that never interacted with the object. The camera used in the experiment is even blind to the infrared photons that have interacted with the object. In fact, very low light infrared cameras are essentially unavailable on the commercial market. The researchers are confident that their new imaging concept is very versatile and could even enable imaging in the important mid-infrared region. It could find applications where low light imaging is crucial, in fields such as biological or medical imaging.
Story Source: The above story is based on materials provided by University of Vienna. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.
Journal Reference: Gabriela Barreto Lemos, Victoria Borish, Garrett D. Cole, Sven Ramelow, Radek Lapkiewicz, Anton Zeilinger. Quantum imaging with undetected photons. Nature, 2014; 512 (7515): 409 DOI: 10.1038/nature13586
Cite This Page: MLA APA Chicago: University of Vienna. “Quantum physics enables revolutionary imaging method.” ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 28 August 2014.
universal-abyss: Crikey, so the light never actually touches the object being imaged, yet can create an exact image - this is utterly extraordinary! This takes quantum imaging to a whole new level - and, wow is it cool! This should truly twist and bend your mind at the awesomeness of quantum physics. The potentials it may bring to medical and biological imaging are simply astounding to consider. Just, wow!
New solutions needed to recycle fracking water
Rice University scientists seek long-term answers to stem increase of water use at wells
Editors: David Ruth and Mike Williams
HOUSTON – (Aug. 27, 2014)
Rice University scientists have performed a detailed analysis of water produced by hydraulic fracturing (aka fracking) of three gas reservoirs and suggested environmentally friendly remedies are needed to treat and reuse it.
Chart notes: Rice University researchers performed a detailed analysis of “produced” water from three underground shale gas formations subject to hydraulic fracturing. The chart shows the amounts of total carbon (TC), nonpurgeable organic carbon (NPOC) and total inorganic carbon (TIC) in the samples. Courtesy of the Barron Research Group
More advanced recycling rather than disposal of “produced” water pumped back out of wells could calm fears of accidental spillage and save millions of gallons of fresh water a year, said Rice chemist Andrew Barron. He led the study that appeared this week in the Royal Society of Chemistry journal Environmental Science: Processes and Impacts.
The amount of water used by Texas drillers for fracking may only be 1.5 percent of that used by farming and municipalities, but it still amounts to as much as 5.6 million gallons a year for the Texas portion of the Haynesville formation and 2.8 million gallons for Eagle Ford. That, Barron said, can place a considerable burden on nearby communities.
Barron noted that shale gas wells, the focus of the new study, make most of their water within the first few weeks of production. After that, a few barrels a day are commonly produced.
The project began with chemical analysis of fracking fluids pumped through gas-producing shale formations in Texas, Pennsylvania and New Mexico. Barron and the study’s lead author, Rice alumnus Samuel Maguire-Boyle, found that shale oil and gas-produced water does not contain significant amounts of the polyaromatic hydrocarbons that could pose health hazards; but minute amounts of other chemical compounds led them to believe the industry would be wise to focus its efforts on developing nonchemical treatments for fracking and produced water.
Currently, fracturing fluid pumped into a well bore to loosen gas and oil from shale is either directed toward closed fluid-capture systems when it comes out or is sent back into the ground for storage. But neither strategy is an effective long-term solution, Barron said.
“Ultimately, it will be necessary to clean produced water for reuse in fracking,” he said. “In addition, there is the potential to recover the fraction of hydrocarbon in the produced water.”
Fracking fluid is 90 percent water, Barron said. Eight to nine percent of the fluid contains sand or ceramic proppant particles that wedge themselves into tiny fractures in the rock, holding open paths for gas and oil to escape to the production well.
The remaining 1 or 2 percent, however, may contain salts, friction reducers, scale inhibitors, biocides, gelling agents, gel breakers and organic and inorganic acids. The organic molecules either occur naturally or are a residue from the added components.
The researchers found most of the salt, organic and other minerals that appear in produced water from shale gas reservoirs originate in the connate waters trapped in the dense rock over geologic time scales. These should be of little concern, they wrote
But they also found that produced water contained potentially toxic chlorocarbons and organobromides, probably formed from interactions between high levels of bacteria in the water and salts or chemical treatments used in fracking fluids.
Barron said industry sometimes uses chlorine dioxide or hypochlorite treatments to recycle produced water for reuse, but these treatments can actually enhance bacteria’s ability to convert naturally occurring hydrocarbons to chlorocarbons and organobromides. The researchers suggested this transition could happen either downhole or in storage ponds where produced water is treated.
“We believe the industry needs to investigate alternative, nonchemical treatments to avoid the formation of compounds that don’t occur in nature,” Barron said.
Primarily, he said, the researchers want their analysis to anticipate future problems as industry develops processes to remove organic compounds from water bound for reuse.
Barron said the new paper should be of particular interest to international producers who are preparing to ramp up gas-recovery efforts in the United Kingdom, which recently announced plans to expand drilling, and other European countries.
“As the U.K. and other European countries are looking to start hydraulic fracturing, it is important that they adopt best practices at the start, as opposed to evolving over time, as it has occurred here in the United States,” he said.
The Robert A. Welch Foundation and the Welsh Government Sêr Cymru Program funded the research. Barron is Rice’s Charles W. Duncan Jr.–Welch Professor of Chemistry and a professor of materials science and nanoengineering.
Read the abstract at http://pubs.rsc.org/en/content/articlelanding/2014/em/c4em00376d#!divAbstract
Follow Rice News and Media Relations via Twitter @RiceUNews
Related Materials: Barron Research Group: http://barron.rice.edu/Barron.html
Rice University researchers performed a detailed analysis of “produced” water from three underground shale gas formations subject to hydraulic fracturing. The chart shows the amounts of total carbon (TC), nonpurgeable organic carbon (NPOC) and total inorganic carbon (TIC) in the samples. (Credit: Barron Research Group/Rice University)
Rice University chemist Andrew Barron led an analysis of water produced by hydraulic fracturing of three gas reservoirs and suggested environmentally friendly remedies are needed to treat and reuse it. (Credit: Jeff Fitlow/Rice University)
Located on a 300-acre forested campus in Houston, Rice University is consistently ranked among the nation’s top 20 universities by U.S. News & World Report. Rice has highly respected schools of Architecture, Business, Continuing Studies, Engineering, Humanities, Music, Natural Sciences and Social Sciences and is home to the Baker Institute for Public Policy. With 3,920 undergraduates and 2,567 graduate students, Rice’s undergraduate student-to-faculty ratio is just over 6-to-1. Its residential college system builds close-knit communities and lifelong friendships, just one reason why Rice is highly ranked for best quality of life by the Princeton Review and for best value among private universities by Kiplinger’s Personal Finance. To read “What they’re saying about Rice,” go here.
from-dust-of-stars: More on Fracking and potential to reuse the water from the Fracking process. This is a huge deal for the environment.
Detecting neutrinos, physicists look into the heart of the sun
Date: August 27, 2014
Source: University of Massachusetts at Amherst
Summary: Using one of the most sensitive neutrino detectors on the planet, physicists have directly detected neutrinos created by the ‘keystone’ proton-proton fusion process going on at the sun’s core for the first time.
Pic: Scientists report for the first time they have directly detected neutrinos created by the “keystone” proton-proton (pp) fusion process going on at the sun’s core. Credit: NASA/SDO
Using one of the most sensitive neutrino detectors on the planet, an international team of physicists including Andrea Pocar, Laura Cadonati and doctoral student Keith Otis at the University of Massachusetts Amherst report in the current issue of Nature that for the first time they have directly detected neutrinos created by the “keystone” proton-proton (pp) fusion process going on at the sun’s core.
The pp reaction is the first step of a reaction sequence responsible for about 99 percent of the Sun’s power, Pocar explains. Solar neutrinos are produced in nuclear processes and radioactive decays of different elements during fusion reactions at the Sun’s core. These particles stream out of the star at nearly the speed of light, as many as 420 billion hitting every square inch of the Earth’s surface per second.
Because they only interact through the nuclear weak force, they pass through matter virtually unaffected, which makes them very difficult to detect and distinguish from trace nuclear decays of ordinary materials, he adds.
The UMass Amherst physicist, one principal investigator on a team of more than 100 scientists, says, “With these latest neutrino data, we are directly looking at the originator of the sun’s biggest energy producing process, or chain of reactions, going on in its extremely hot, dense core. While the light we see from the Sun in our daily life reaches us in about eight minutes, it takes tens of thousands of years for energy radiating from the sun’s center to be emitted as light.”
“By comparing the two different types of solar energy radiated, as neutrinos and as surface light, we obtain experimental information about the Sun’s thermodynamic equilibrium over about a 100,000-year timescale,” Pocar adds. “If the eyes are the mirror of the soul, with these neutrinos, we are looking not just at its face, but directly into its core. We have glimpsed the sun’s soul.”
“As far as we know, neutrinos are the only way we have of looking into the Sun’s interior. These pp neutrinos, emitted when two protons fuse forming a deuteron, are particularly hard to study. This is because they are low energy, in the range where natural radioactivity is very abundant and masks the signal from their interaction.”
The Borexino instrument, located deep beneath Italy’s Apennine Mountains, detects neutrinos as they interact with the electrons of an ultra-pure organic liquid scintillator at the center of a large sphere surrounded by 1,000 tons of water. Its great depth and many onion-like protective layers maintain the core as the most radiation-free medium on the planet.
Indeed, it is the only detector on Earth capable of observing the entire spectrum of solar neutrino simultaneously. Neutrinos come in three types, or “flavors.” Those from the Sun’s core are of the “electron” flavor, and as they travel away from their birthplace, they oscillate or change between two other flavors, “muon” to “tau.” With this and previous solar neutrino measurements, the Borexino experiment has strongly confirmed this behavior of the elusive particles, Pocar says.
One of the crucial challenges in using Borexino is the need to control and precisely quantify all background radiation. Pocar says the organic scintillator at Borexino’s center is filled with a benzene-like liquid derived from “really, really old, millions-of-years-old petroleum,” among the oldest they could find on Earth.
“We needed this because we want all the Carbon-14 to have decayed, or as much of it as possible, because carbon-14 beta decays cover the neutrino signals we want to detect. We know there is only three atoms of C14 for each billion, billion atoms in the scintillator, which shows how ridiculously clean it is.”
A related problem the physicists discuss in their new paper is that when two C14 atoms in the scintillator decay simultaneously, an event they call a “pileup,” its signature is similar to that of a pp solar neutrino interaction. In a great advance for the analysis, Pocar says, “Keith Otis figured out a way to solve the problem of statistically identifying and subtracting these pileup events from the data, which basically makes this new pp neutrino analysis process possible.”
Though detecting pp neutrinos was not part of the original National Science Foundation-sponsored Borexino experiment, “it’s a little bit of a coup that we could do it,” the astrophysicist says. “We pushed the detector sensitivity to a limit that has never been achieved before.”
Story Source: The above story is based on materials provided by University of Massachusetts at Amherst. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.
Journal Reference: G. Bellini, J. Benziger, D. Bick, G. Bonfini, D. Bravo, B. Caccianiga, L. Cadonati, F. Calaprice, A. Caminata, P. Cavalcante, A. Chavarria, A. Chepurnov, D. D’Angelo, S. Davini, A. Derbin, A. Empl, A. Etenko, K. Fomenko, D. Franco, F. Gabriele, C. Galbiati, S. Gazzana, C. Ghiano, M. Giammarchi, M. Göger-Neff, A. Goretti, M. Gromov, C. Hagner, E. Hungerford, Aldo Ianni, Andrea Ianni, V. Kobychev, D. Korablev, G. Korga, D. Kryn, M. Laubenstein, B. Lehnert, T. Lewke, E. Litvinovich, F. Lombardi, P. Lombardi, L. Ludhova, G. Lukyanchenko, I. Machulin, S. Manecki, W. Maneschg, S. Marcocci, Q. Meindl, E. Meroni, M. Meyer, L. Miramonti, M. Misiaszek, M. Montuschi, P. Mosteiro, V. Muratova, L. Oberauer, M. Obolensky, F. Ortica, K. Otis, M. Pallavicini, L. Papp, L. Perasso, A. Pocar, G. Ranucci, A. Razeto, A. Re, A. Romani, N. Rossi, R. Saldanha, C. Salvo, S. Schönert, H. Simgen, M. Skorokhvatov, O. Smirnov, A. Sotnikov, S. Sukhotin, Y. Suvorov, R. Tartaglia, G. Testera, D. Vignaud, R. B. Vogelaar, F. von Feilitzsch, H. Wang, J. Winter, M. Wojcik, A. Wright, M. Wurm, O. Zaimidoroga, S. Zavatarelli, K. Zuber, G. Zuzel. Neutrinos from the primary proton–proton fusion process in the Sun. Nature, 2014; 512 (7515): 383 DOI: 10.1038/nature13702
Cite This Page: MLA APA Chicago: University of Massachusetts at Amherst. “Detecting neutrinos, physicists look into the heart of the sun.” ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 27 August 2014.
from-dust-of-stars: Oh, to see into the very heart of our Star, our Sun - to “directly detected neutrinos created” by the pp fusion process at the core of our Sun.. Freaking wow. Just, wow!
Early growth of giant galaxy, just 3 billion years after the Big Bang, revealed
Date: August 27, 2014
Source: Space Telescope Science Institute (STScI)
Summary: The birth of massive galaxies, according to galaxy formation theories, begins with the buildup of a dense, compact core that is ablaze with the glow of millions of newly formed stars. Evidence of this early construction phase, however, has eluded astronomers — until now. Astronomers identified a dense galactic core, dubbed “Sparky,” using a combination of data from several space telescopes. Hubble photographed the emerging galaxy as it looked 11 billion years ago, just 3 billion years after the birth of our universe in the big bang.
Pic: This illustration reveals the celestial fireworks deep inside the crowded core of a developing galaxy, as seen from a hypothetical planetary system. The sky is ablaze with the glow from nebulae, fledgling star clusters, and stars exploding as supernovae. The rapidly forming core may eventually become the heart of a mammoth galaxy similar to one of the giant elliptical galaxies seen today. Credit: NASA, ESA, and Z. Levay and G. Bacon (STScI)
Astronomers have for the first time gotten a glimpse of the earliest stages of massive galaxy construction. The building site, dubbed “Sparky,” is a developing galaxy containing a dense core that is blazing with the light of millions of newborn stars which are forming at a ferocious rate. The discovery was made possible through combining observations from NASA’s Hubble and Spitzer space telescopes, the European Space Agency’s Herschel Space Observatory, and the W.M. Keck Observatory in Hawaii.
Because the infant galaxy is so far away, it is seen as it appeared 11 billion years ago, just 3 billion years after the birth of the universe in the big bang. Astronomers think the compact galaxy will continue to grow, possibly becoming a giant elliptical galaxy, a gas-deficient assemblage of ancient stars theorized to develop from the inside out, with a compact core marking its beginnings.
“We really hadn’t seen a formation process that could create things that are this dense,” explained Erica Nelson of Yale University in New Haven, Connecticut, lead author of the science paper announcing the results. “We suspect that this core-formation process is a phenomenon unique to the early universe because the early universe, as a whole, was more compact.
Today, the universe is so diffuse that it cannot create such objects anymore.”
The research team’s paper appears in the August 27 issue of the journal Nature.
Although only a fraction of the size of the Milky Way, the tiny powerhouse galaxy already contains about twice as many stars as our galaxy, all crammed into a region only 6,000 light-years across. The Milky Way is about 100,000 light-years across. The barely visible galaxy may be representative of a much larger population of similar objects that are obscured by dust.
“They’re very extreme environments,” Nelson said. “It’s like a medieval cauldron forging stars. There’s a lot of turbulence, and it’s bubbling. If you were in there, the night sky would be bright with young stars, and there would be a lot of dust, gas, and remnants of exploding stars. To actually see this happening is fascinating.”
Alongside determining the galaxy’s size from the Hubble images, the team dug into archival far-infrared images from the Spitzer and Herschel telescopes. The analysis allowed them to see how fast the young galaxy is churning out stars. Sparky is producing roughly 300 stars per year. By comparison, the Milky Way produces roughly 10 stars per year.
Astronomers believe that this frenzied star formation occurred because the galactic center is forming deep inside a gravitational well of dark matter, an invisible form of matter that makes up the scaffolding upon which galaxies formed in the early universe. A torrent of gas is flowing into this well at the galaxy’s core, sparking waves of star birth.
The sheer amount of gas and dust within an extreme star-forming region like this may explain why these compact galaxies have eluded astronomers until now. Bursts of star formation create dust, which builds up within the forming galaxy and can block some starlight. Sparky was only barely visible, and it required the infrared capabilities of Hubble’s Wide Field Camera 3, Spitzer, and Herschel to reveal the developing galaxy.
The observations indicate that the galaxy had been furiously making stars for more than a billion years (at the time the light we now observe began its long journey). But the galaxy didn’t keep up this frenetic pace for very long, the researchers suggested. Eventually, the galaxy probably stopped forming stars in the packed core. Smaller galaxies then might have merged with the growing galaxy, making it expand outward in size over the next 10 billion years, possibly becoming similar to one of the mammoth, sedate elliptical galaxies seen today.
“I think our discovery settles the question of whether this mode of building galaxies actually happened or not,” said team member Pieter van Dokkum of Yale University. “The question now is, how often did this occur? We suspect there are other galaxies like this that are even fainter in near-infrared wavelengths. We think they’ll be brighter at longer wavelengths, and so it will really be up to future infrared telescopes such as NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope to find more of these objects.”
Story Source: The above story is based on materials provided by Space Telescope Science Institute (STScI). Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.
Journal Reference: Erica Nelson, Pieter van Dokkum, Marijn Franx, Gabriel Brammer, Ivelina Momcheva, Natascha Förster Schreiber, Elisabete da Cunha, Linda Tacconi, Rachel Bezanson, Allison Kirkpatrick, Joel Leja, Hans-Walter Rix, Rosalind Skelton, Arjen van der Wel, Katherine Whitaker, Stijn Wuyts. A massive galaxy in its core formation phase three billion years after the Big Bang. Nature, 2014; DOI: 10.1038/nature13616
Cite This Page: MLA APA Chicago: Space Telescope Science Institute (STScI). “Early growth of giant galaxy, just 3 billion years after the Big Bang, revealed.” ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 27 August 2014.
universal-abyss: Wow, just 3 billion years after the Big Bang, a giant galaxy was producing an incredible amount of stars, around 300, per year. This is so exciting to our understanding of Galaxies, galaxy formation theories, and our infant universe. Just wow!
What lit up the universe?
Date: August 27, 2014
Source: University College London
Summary: New research shows we will soon uncover the origin of the ultraviolet light that bathes the cosmos, helping scientists understand how galaxies were built. The study by cosmologists shows how forthcoming astronomical surveys will reveal what lit up the cosmos.
Pic: A computer model shows one scenario for how light is spread through the early universe on vast scales (more than 50 million light years across). Astronomers will soon know whether or not these kinds of computer models give an accurate portrayal of light in the real cosmos. Credit: Andrew Pontzen/Fabio Governato
New research from UCL shows we will soon uncover the origin of the ultraviolet light that bathes the cosmos, helping scientists understand how galaxies were built.
The study published today in The Astrophysical Journal Letters by UCL cosmologists Dr Andrew Pontzen and Dr Hiranya Peiris (both UCL Physics & Astronomy), together with collaborators at Princeton and Barcelona Universities, shows how forthcoming astronomical surveys will reveal what lit up the cosmos.
"Which produces more light? A country’s biggest cities or its many tiny towns?" asked Dr Pontzen, lead author of the study. "Cities are brighter, but towns are far more numerous. Understanding the balance would tell you something about the organisation of the country. We’re posing a similar question about the universe: does ultraviolet light come from numerous but faint galaxies, or from a smaller number of quasars?"
Quasars are the brightest objects in the Universe; their intense light is generated by gas as it falls towards a black hole. Galaxies can contain millions or billions of stars, but are still dim by comparison. Understanding whether the numerous small galaxies outshine the rare, bright quasars will provide insight into the way the universe built up today’s populations of stars and planets. It will also help scientists properly calibrate their measurements of dark energy, the agent thought to be accelerating the universe’s expansion and determining its far future.
The new method proposed by the team builds on a technique already used by astronomers in which quasars act as beacons to understand space. The intense light from quasars makes them easy to spot even at extreme distances, up to 95% of the way across the observable universe. The team think that studying how this light interacts with hydrogen gas on its journey to Earth will reveal the main sources of illumination in the universe, even if those sources are not themselves quasars.
Two types of hydrogen gas are found in the universe — a plain, neutral form and a second charged form which results from bombardment by UV light. These two forms can be distinguished by studying a particular wavelength of light called ‘Lyman-alpha’ which is only absorbed by the neutral type of hydrogen. Scientists can see where in the universe this ‘Lyman-alpha’ light has been absorbed to map the neutral hydrogen.
Since the quasars being studied are billions of light years away, they act as a time capsule: looking at the light shows us what the universe looked like in the distant past. The resulting map will reveal where neutral hydrogen was located billions of years ago as the universe was vigorously building its galaxies.
An even distribution of neutral hydrogen gas would suggest numerous galaxies as the source of most light, whereas a much less uniform pattern, showing a patchwork of charged and neutral hydrogen gas, would indicate that rare quasars were the primary origin of light.
Current samples of quasars aren’t quite big enough for a robust analysis of the differences between the two scenarios; however, a number of surveys currently being planned should help scientists find the answer.
Chief among these is the DESI (Dark Energy Spectroscopic Instrument) survey which will include detailed measurements of about a million distant quasars. Although these measurements are designed to reveal how the expansion of the universe is accelerating due to dark energy, the new research shows that results from DESI will also determine whether the intervening gas is uniformly illuminated. In turn, the measurement of patchiness will reveal whether light in our universe is generated by ‘a few cities’ (quasars) or by ‘many small towns’ (galaxies).
Co-author Dr Hiranya Peiris, said: “It’s amazing how little is known about the objects that bathed the universe in ultraviolet radiation while galaxies assembled into their present form. This technique gives us a novel handle on the intergalactic environment during this critical time in the universe’s history.”
Dr Pontzen, said: “It’s good news all round. DESI is going to give us invaluable information about what was going on in early galaxies, objects that are so faint and distant we would never see them individually. And once that’s understood in the data, the team can take account of it and still get accurate measurements of how the universe is expanding, telling us about dark energy. It illustrates how these big, ambitious projects are going to deliver astonishingly rich maps to explore. We’re now working to understand what other unexpected bonuses might be pulled out from the data.”
Story Source: The above story is based on materials provided by University College London. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.
Journal Reference: Andrew Pontzen, Simeon Bird, Hiranya Peiris, Licia Verde. CONSTRAINTS ON IONIZING PHOTON PRODUCTION FROM THE LARGE-SCALE Lyα FOREST. The Astrophysical Journal, 2014; 792 (2): L34 DOI: 10.1088/2041-8205/792/2/L34
Cite This Page: MLA APA Chicago: University College London. “What lit up the universe?.” ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 27 August 2014.
universal-abyss: Exciting that DESI might help us better understand and get a more accurate measurement of the expansion of the universe and more about dark matter. Very cool.
Atomically seamless, thinnest-possible semiconductor junctions crafted by scientists
Date: August 26, 2014
Source: University of Washington
Summary: Two single-layer semiconductor materials can be connected in an atomically seamless fashion known as a heterojunction, researchers say. This result could be the basis for next-generation flexible and transparent computing, better light-emitting diodes, or LEDs, and solar technologies.
Pic: As seen under an optical microscope, the heterostructures have a triangular shape. The two different monolayer semiconductors can be recognized through their different colors. Credit: U of Washington
Scientists have developed what they believe is the thinnest-possible semiconductor, a new class of nanoscale materials made in sheets only three atoms thick.
The University of Washington researchers have demonstrated that two of these single-layer semiconductor materials can be connected in an atomically seamless fashion known as a heterojunction. This result could be the basis for next-generation flexible and transparent computing, better light-emitting diodes, or LEDs, and solar technologies.
“Heterojunctions are fundamental elements of electronic and photonic devices,” said senior author Xiaodong Xu, a UW assistant professor of materials science and engineering and of physics. “Our experimental demonstration of such junctions between two-dimensional materials should enable new kinds of transistors, LEDs, nanolasers, and solar cells to be developed for highly integrated electronic and optical circuits within a single atomic plane.”
The research was published online this week in Nature Materials.
The researchers discovered that two flat semiconductor materials can be connected edge-to-edge with crystalline perfection. They worked with two single-layer, or monolayer, materials — molybdenum diselenide and tungsten diselenide — that have very similar structures, which was key to creating the composite two-dimensional semiconductor.
Collaborators from the electron microscopy center at the University of Warwick in England found that all the atoms in both materials formed a single honeycomb lattice structure, without any distortions or discontinuities. This provides the strongest possible link between two single-layer materials, necessary for flexible devices. Within the same family of materials it is feasible that researchers could bond other pairs together in the same way.
The researchers created the junctions in a small furnace at the UW. First, they inserted a powder mixture of the two materials into a chamber heated to 900 degrees Celsius (1,652 F). Hydrogen gas was then passed through the chamber and the evaporated atoms from one of the materials were carried toward a cooler region of the tube and deposited as single-layer crystals in the shape of triangles.
After a while, evaporated atoms from the second material then attached to the edges of the triangle to create a seamless semiconducting heterojunction.
“This is a scalable technique,” said Sanfeng Wu, a UW doctoral student in physics and one of the lead authors. “Because the materials have different properties, they evaporate and separate at different times automatically. The second material forms around the first triangle that just previously formed. That’s why these lattices are so beautifully connected.”
With a larger furnace, it would be possible to mass-produce sheets of these semiconductor heterostructures, the researchers said. On a small scale, it takes about five minutes to grow the crystals, with up to two hours of heating and cooling time.
“We are very excited about the new science and engineering opportunities provided by these novel structures,” said senior author David Cobden, a UW professor of physics. “In the future, combinations of two-dimensional materials may be integrated together in this way to form all kinds of interesting electronic structures such as in-plane quantum wells and quantum wires, superlattices, fully functioning transistors, and even complete electronic circuits.”
The researchers have already demonstrated that the junction interacts with light much more strongly than the rest of the monolayer, which is encouraging for optoelectric and photonic applications like solar cells.
Story Source: The above story is based on materials provided by University of Washington. The original article was written by Michelle Ma. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.
Journal Reference: Chunming Huang, Sanfeng Wu, Ana M. Sanchez, Jonathan J. P. Peters, Richard Beanland, Jason S. Ross, Pasqual Rivera, Wang Yao, David H. Cobden, Xiaodong Xu. Lateral heterojunctions within monolayer MoSe2–WSe2 semiconductors. Nature Materials, 2014; DOI: 10.1038/nmat4064
Cite This Page: MLA APA Chicago: University of Washington. “Atomically seamless, thinnest-possible semiconductor junctions crafted by scientists.” ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 26 August 2014. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/08/140826205338.htm>.
from-dust-of-stars: Damn, this is so utterly exciting for the technological potentials, which might be that next-generation step for computing and other technologies. Cool.
Self-deceived individuals deceive others better
Date: August 27, 2014
Source: University of Exeter
Summary: Over-confident people can fool others into believing they are more talented than they actually are, a study has found. These ‘self-deceived’ individuals could be more likely to get promotions and reach influential positions in banks and other organizations. And these people are more likely to overestimate other people’s abilities and take greater risks, possibly creating problems for their organizations.
Over confident people can fool others into believing they are more talented than they actually are, a study has found.
These ‘self-deceived’ individuals could be more likely to get promotions and reach influential positions in banks and other organizations. And these people are more likely to overestimate other people’s abilities and take greater risks, possibly creating problems for their organizations.
The study by researchers from Newcastle University and the University of Exeter, has also found that those who are under confident in their own abilities are viewed as less able by their colleagues.
The findings, which will be published in the journal PLOS ONE, are the first time a link has been found between a person’s view of their own ability and how others see their abilities, and could partially explain financial collapses and other disasters.
As part of the research the team asked 72 students to rate their own ability and the ability of their peers after the first day of their course. Of those, 32 students (about 45%) were under confident in their ability as compared to their final mark, 29 students (40%) were overconfident and 11 students (15%) were accurate in their assessments of their own ability.
There was a positive correlation between the grades students predicted for themselves and the grades others predicted for them. In other words, students who predicted higher grades for themselves were predicted to have higher grades by others, irrespective of their actual final score. The same applied to those who were under confident.
The task was repeated after six weeks of the course when the students knew each other better and the findings remained the same. Those who were over confident were over rated by others.
Study author Dr Vivek Nityananda, research associate at Newcastle University explains: “These findings suggest that people don’t always reward the most accomplished individual but rather the most self-deceived.
“We think this supports an evolutionary theory of self-deception. It can be beneficial to have others believe you are better than you are and the best way to do this is to deceive yourself — which might be what we have evolved to do.
“This can cause problems as over confident people may also be more likely to take risks. So if too many people overrate themselves and deceive others about their abilities within organizations then this could lead to disastrous consequences such as airplane crashes or financial collapses.”
Joint lead author, Dr Shakti Lamba, of The University of Exeter added: “If over confident people are more likely to be risk prone then by promoting them we may be creating institutions, such as banks and armies, that are more vulnerable to risk.”
Story Source: The above story is based on materials provided by University of Exeter. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.
Journal Reference: Shakti Lamba, Vivek Nityananda. Self-Deceived Individuals Are Better at Deceiving Others. PLoS ONE, 2014; 9 (8): e104562 DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0104562
Cite This Page: MLA APA Chicago: University of Exeter. “Self-deceived individuals deceive others better.” ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 27 August 2014.
from-dust-of-stars: Self-deception that leads to over-confidence may create more risks that could lead to disasterous results. Fascinating read!
from-dust-of-stars: Damn it Kristen, why do you have to be so damned adorable?!