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  • richardmitnick 5:29 pm on November 30, 2022 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: "New theory explains magnetic trends in high-temperature superconductors", , For decades researchers have sought out superconductors that work at room temperature., , , There are some materials that have no electrical resistance whatsoever. These are called superconductors., Unique properties are used in technologies ranging from magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) to levitating trains [Maglev].   

    From The California Institute of Technology: “New theory explains magnetic trends in high-temperature superconductors” 

    Caltech Logo

    From The California Institute of Technology

    11.30.22
    Emily Velasco
    (626) 372‑0067
    evelasco@caltech.edu

    1
    In just about any situation in which electricity is being used, whether it is lighting a bedroom at night, keeping frozen food cold, or powering a car that is taking a commuter to work, some of that electrical energy is lost as heat. This is called resistance. Materials with lower resistance are better at conducting electricity while materials with higher resistance are worse at it.

    Though nearly all conductors exhibit some resistance, there are some materials that have no electrical resistance whatsoever. These are called superconductors, and their unique properties are used in technologies ranging from magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) to levitating trains.

    However, most superconductors only superconduct when they are cold—really cold. Even so-called “high temperature” superconductors need to be cooled with liquid nitrogen to roughly -200 degrees Celsius to work.

    That need for intense cooling adds a big complication to the use of superconductors. For decades, researchers have sought out superconductors that work at room temperature. Currently, at normal atmospheric pressure, the class of high temperature superconductors known as the cuprates—compounds containing both copper and oxygen atoms—come the closest, with the best-performing cuprate able to superconduct at temperatures as “warm” as -140 degrees Celsius.

    Since -140 degrees Celsius is still quite cold, there is a long way to go before cuprates can be called room-temperature superconductors, and further advancement of these superconductors has been hampered by the fact that no one has figured out how cuprate superconductors work.

    2
    Garnet Chan, Bren Professor of Chemistry at Caltech. Credit: Caltech.

    But now, researchers in the group of Garnet Chan, Caltech’s Bren Professor of Chemistry, have developed a theory that explains some of the magnetic properties of cuprate superconductors. Cuprate superconducting materials exhibit a layer effect, where their magnetic and superconducting properties are enhanced as more layers of the constituent copper and oxygen atoms are brought together. In a paper published in the journal Science [below], Chan and his coauthors explain how the magnetic layer effect arises from fluctuations of the electrons between the copper and oxygen atoms and their surrounding atoms.

    “This is a first step toward understanding the governing principles behind the superconducting layer effect, and what controls the superconducting temperature in superconductors more generally,” says Zhihao Cui, chemistry graduate student and first author of the study.

    3
    Zhihao Cui. Credit: Caltech.

    Science paper:
    Science

    See the full article here .

    Comments are invited and will be appreciated, especially if the reader finds any errors which I can correct.


    five-ways-keep-your-child-safe-school-shootings


    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

    Stem Education Coalition

    Caltech campus

    The California Institute of Technology is a private research university in Pasadena, California. The university is known for its strength in science and engineering, and is one among a small group of institutes of technology in the United States which is primarily devoted to the instruction of pure and applied sciences.

    The California Institute of Technology was founded as a preparatory and vocational school by Amos G. Throop in 1891 and began attracting influential scientists such as George Ellery Hale, Arthur Amos Noyes, and Robert Andrews Millikan in the early 20th century. The vocational and preparatory schools were disbanded and spun off in 1910 and the college assumed its present name in 1920. In 1934, The California Institute of Technology was elected to the Association of American Universities, and the antecedents of National Aeronautics and Space Administration ‘s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, which The California Institute of Technology continues to manage and operate, were established between 1936 and 1943 under Theodore von Kármán.

    The California Institute of Technology has six academic divisions with strong emphasis on science and engineering. Its 124-acre (50 ha) primary campus is located approximately 11 mi (18 km) northeast of downtown Los Angeles. First-year students are required to live on campus, and 95% of undergraduates remain in the on-campus House System at The California Institute of Technology. Although The California Institute of Technology has a strong tradition of practical jokes and pranks, student life is governed by an honor code which allows faculty to assign take-home examinations. The The California Institute of Technology Beavers compete in 13 intercollegiate sports in the NCAA Division III’s Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (SCIAC).

    As of October 2020, there are 76 Nobel laureates who have been affiliated with The California Institute of Technology, including 40 alumni and faculty members (41 prizes, with chemist Linus Pauling being the only individual in history to win two unshared prizes). In addition, 4 Fields Medalists and 6 Turing Award winners have been affiliated with The California Institute of Technology. There are 8 Crafoord Laureates and 56 non-emeritus faculty members (as well as many emeritus faculty members) who have been elected to one of the United States National Academies. Four Chief Scientists of the U.S. Air Force and 71 have won the United States National Medal of Science or Technology. Numerous faculty members are associated with the Howard Hughes Medical Institute as well as National Aeronautics and Space Administration. According to a 2015 Pomona College study, The California Institute of Technology ranked number one in the U.S. for the percentage of its graduates who go on to earn a PhD.

    Research

    The California Institute of Technology is classified among “R1: Doctoral Universities – Very High Research Activity”. Caltech was elected to The Association of American Universities in 1934 and remains a research university with “very high” research activity, primarily in STEM fields. The largest federal agencies contributing to research are National Aeronautics and Space Administration; National Science Foundation; Department of Health and Human Services; Department of Defense, and Department of Energy.

    In 2005, The California Institute of Technology had 739,000 square feet (68,700 m^2) dedicated to research: 330,000 square feet (30,700 m^2) to physical sciences, 163,000 square feet (15,100 m^2) to engineering, and 160,000 square feet (14,900 m^2) to biological sciences.

    In addition to managing NASA-JPL/Caltech , The California Institute of Technology also operates the Caltech Palomar Observatory; the Owens Valley Radio Observatory;the Caltech Submillimeter Observatory; the W. M. Keck Observatory at the Mauna Kea Observatory; the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory at Livingston, Louisiana and Hanford, Washington; and Kerckhoff Marine Laboratory in Corona del Mar, California. The Institute launched the Kavli Nanoscience Institute at The California Institute of Technology in 2006; the Keck Institute for Space Studies in 2008; and is also the current home for the Einstein Papers Project. The Spitzer Science Center, part of the Infrared Processing and Analysis Center located on The California Institute of Technology campus, is the data analysis and community support center for NASA’s Spitzer Infrared Space Telescope [no longer in service].

    The California Institute of Technology partnered with University of California at Los Angeles to establish a Joint Center for Translational Medicine (UCLA-Caltech JCTM), which conducts experimental research into clinical applications, including the diagnosis and treatment of diseases such as cancer.

    The California Institute of Technology operates several Total Carbon Column Observing Network stations as part of an international collaborative effort of measuring greenhouse gases globally. One station is on campus.

     
  • richardmitnick 5:01 pm on November 30, 2022 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: "Tiny Swimming Robots Can Restructure Materials on a Microscopic Level", , , , Microrobots, , , Since they’re too small for their own onboard computers microrobots move about by means of an external magnetic force., ,   

    From The School of Engineering and Applied Science At The University of Pennsylvania: “Tiny Swimming Robots Can Restructure Materials on a Microscopic Level” 

    From The School of Engineering and Applied Science

    At

    U Penn bloc

    The University of Pennsylvania

    11.15.22
    Melissa Pappas

    1
    The researchers’ microrobots use “physical intelligence” to exert control over nearby objects. By spinning and disrupting the alignment of the liquid crystal surrounding them, the robots can attract smaller particles to their edges, then precisely deposit them.

    Controlling microscopic processes is inherently challenging. The everyday tools we use to manipulate matter on the macroscale can’t simply be shrunk down to the size of cell, and even if they could, the physical forces they rely on work differently when their targets are measured in nanometers. But while it’s no easy feat, attaining this type of control would pay enormous dividends: whether it’s transporting drugs to tumors for precise therapies, or making functional materials out of the liquid-suspended building blocks known as colloids, Penn Engineers are working to make these processes faster, safer and more reliable.

    One approach for controlling these processes is through the use of microrobots.

    We typically think of robots as computerized machines like those on assembly lines or in warehouses, programmed to move cargo and to build complex structures like automobiles and cellphones. However, programming a machine smaller than a microchip presents another kind of challenge. Too small for computerization, robots on this scale need to be designed in a completely different way — and adhere to completely different sets of physical and chemical laws — than their bigger counterparts.

    Since they’re too small for their own onboard computers microrobots move about by means of an external magnetic force. And to manipulate equally small cargo, they need to take advantage of the different physical and chemical laws that rule the microscale.

    At those sizes, every object is greatly influenced by the molecules surrounding it. Whether they are surrounded by gas, like the ambient atmosphere, or immersed in a liquid, microrobots must be designed to exploit this influence through a concept known as “physical intelligence.”

    By understanding the system, the surrounding media and the particles within it, physically intelligent microrobots can perform diverse tasks.

    Kathleen Stebe, Richer & Elizabeth Goodwin Professor in Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering and Mechanical Engineering and Applied Mechanics, Tianyi Yao, a former Ph.D. student in her lab, Qi Xing Zhang, a current Ph.D. student, and collaborators in the group of Professor Miha Ravnik at the University of Ljubljana are conducting fundamental research that will lay the groundwork for understanding these small-scale interactions in a colloidal fluid of nematic liquid crystals (NLCs), the fluid that makes up each pixel in a liquid crystal display (LCD) screen.

    “Nematic liquid crystals exist as a special phase, a structured fluid that is neither liquid nor solid,” says Stebe. “NLCs consist of elongated molecules that self-align in a configuration that requires the least amount of energy. Think of shaking a pan of rice; the grains all align. When you disturb the nematic alignment by introducing microrobots or colloidal cargo, you get really interesting dynamics that you don’t see in water, for example. It is the physics of NLCs that allow us to investigate these unique interactions.”

    In one study, published in Advanced Functional Materials [below], the research team describes a four-armed, magnetically controlled microrobot that can swim, carry cargo and actively restructure particles in this complex fluid.

    “We started with a complex shape, which produced complex behaviors,” says Stebe. “Here, the microrobot is being controlled by an external magnetic field and is using its physical intelligence to pick up a microparticle as cargo, then it bats it around as it swims to the textured surface. The grooves in the surface material are the perfect size to attract and hold the particle. In fact, it was that surface design that inspired the design of the four-armed microrobot. We took advantage of the physical shape, surface chemistry and special dynamics of the colloid in NLCs to control it.”

    “But, the more we observed these sophisticated functions, the more we didn’t understand,” she adds. “We had to turn back to the fundamentals to actually explain what was going on here.”

    How was this robot able to swim? How was it able to hold and move particles? In another study, published in Science Advances [below], the team answered those questions with a microrobot of a simpler shape.

    “The disk shape allowed us to better understand the microbot’s swimming ability,” says Stebe. “Here we can see that as one side of the disk tilts upwards, there is a topological defect that is created underneath it. The interaction between the topological defect and the disk itself creates an energy gradient that allows for self-propulsion of the disk.”

    The reason for the topological defect which allows for the swimming function of the robot is because of the complex organization of the NLCs, which differs dramatically from disorganized liquids like water.

    “Using physics of nematic liquid crystals,” says Yao, the lead author of both studies, “we can build physically intelligent microrobotic systems. We can make long-range interactions, tune binding strengths and reconfigure the space. While we have proven these interactions on the microscale, the prevailing physics are also effective on very small scales, on the order of 30–50 nanometers.”

    Being able to manipulate processes on this level is groundbreaking, and understanding how robotic systems are able to perform tasks in an indirect way, considering the fluid dynamics and physical interactions of the media as a part of the microrobot’s design, is key.

    Stebe and her team are now able to imagine real-world applications for this technology in the optical device industry as well as many other fields. Smart materials, aware of their environment, may be designed using temperature and light as controls for microrobotic tasks.

    “Together with dedicated colleagues and graduate students, we have been working hard on this technology, and are excited to see years of work come to fruition,” she says. “We are now standing on the edge of real applications and ready to explore.”

    Science papers:
    Advanced Functional Materials
    Science Advances
    See the science papers for instructive material with images.

    See the full article here .

    Comments are invited and will be appreciated, especially if the reader finds any errors which I can correct. Use “Reply”.

    five-ways-keep-your-child-safe-school-shootings

    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

    Stem Education Coalition

    The School of Engineering and Applied Science is an undergraduate and graduate school of The University of Pennsylvania. The School offers programs that emphasize hands-on study of engineering fundamentals (with an offering of approximately 300 courses) while encouraging students to leverage the educational offerings of the broader University. Engineering students can also take advantage of research opportunities through interactions with Penn’s School of Medicine, School of Arts and Sciences and the Wharton School.

    Penn Engineering offers bachelors, masters and Ph.D. degree programs in contemporary fields of engineering study. The nationally ranked bioengineering department offers the School’s most popular undergraduate degree program. The Jerome Fisher Program in Management and Technology, offered in partnership with the Wharton School, allows students to simultaneously earn a Bachelor of Science degree in Economics as well as a Bachelor of Science degree in Engineering. SEAS also offers several masters programs, which include: Executive Master’s in Technology Management, Master of Biotechnology, Master of Computer and Information Technology, Master of Computer and Information Science and a Master of Science in Engineering in Telecommunications and Networking.

    History

    The study of engineering at The University of Pennsylvania can be traced back to 1850 when the University trustees adopted a resolution providing for a professorship of “Chemistry as Applied to the Arts”. In 1852, the study of engineering was further formalized with the establishment of the School of Mines, Arts and Manufactures. The first Professor of Civil and Mining Engineering was appointed in 1852. The first graduate of the school received his Bachelor of Science degree in 1854. Since that time, the school has grown to six departments. In 1973, the school was renamed as the School of Engineering and Applied Science.

    The early growth of the school benefited from the generosity of two Philadelphians: John Henry Towne and Alfred Fitler Moore. Towne, a mechanical engineer and railroad developer, bequeathed the school a gift of $500,000 upon his death in 1875. The main administration building for the school still bears his name. Moore was a successful entrepreneur who made his fortune manufacturing telegraph cable. A 1923 gift from Moore established the Moore School of Electrical Engineering, which is the birthplace of the first electronic general-purpose Turing-complete digital computer, ENIAC, in 1946.

    During the latter half of the 20th century the school continued to break new ground. In 1958, Barbara G. Mandell became the first woman to enroll as an undergraduate in the School of Engineering. In 1965, the university acquired two sites that were formerly used as U.S. Army Nike Missile Base (PH 82L and PH 82R) and created the Valley Forge Research Center. In 1976, the Management and Technology Program was created. In 1990, a Bachelor of Applied Science in Biomedical Science and Bachelor of Applied Science in Environmental Science were first offered, followed by a master’s degree in Biotechnology in 1997.

    The school continues to expand with the addition of the Melvin and Claire Levine Hall for computer science in 2003, Skirkanich Hall for Bioengineering in 2006, and the Krishna P. Singh Center for Nanotechnology in 2013.

    Academics

    Penn’s School of Engineering and Applied Science is organized into six departments:

    Bioengineering
    Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering
    Computer and Information Science
    Electrical and Systems Engineering
    Materials Science and Engineering
    Mechanical Engineering and Applied Mechanics

    The school’s Department of Bioengineering, originally named Biomedical Electronic Engineering, consistently garners a top-ten ranking at both the undergraduate and graduate level from U.S. News & World Report. The department also houses the George H. Stephenson Foundation Educational Laboratory & Bio-MakerSpace (aka Biomakerspace) for training undergraduate through PhD students. It is Philadelphia’s and Penn’s only Bio-MakerSpace and it is open to the Penn community, encouraging a free flow of ideas, creativity, and entrepreneurship between Bioengineering students and students throughout the university.

    Founded in 1893, the Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering is “America’s oldest continuously operating degree-granting program in chemical engineering.”

    The Department of Electrical and Systems Engineering is recognized for its research in electroscience, systems science and network systems and telecommunications.

    Originally established in 1946 as the School of Metallurgical Engineering, the Materials Science and Engineering Department “includes cutting edge programs in nanoscience and nanotechnology, biomaterials, ceramics, polymers, and metals.”

    The Department of Mechanical Engineering and Applied Mechanics draws its roots from the Department of Mechanical and Electrical Engineering, which was established in 1876.

    Each department houses one or more degree programs. The Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering, Materials Science and Engineering, and Mechanical Engineering and Applied Mechanics departments each house a single degree program.

    Bioengineering houses two programs (both a Bachelor of Science in Engineering degree as well as a Bachelor of Applied Science degree). Electrical and Systems Engineering offers four Bachelor of Science in Engineering programs: Electrical Engineering, Systems Engineering, Computer Engineering, and the Networked & Social Systems Engineering, the latter two of which are co-housed with Computer and Information Science (CIS). The CIS department, like Bioengineering, offers Computer and Information Science programs under both bachelor programs. CIS also houses Digital Media Design, a program jointly operated with PennDesign.

    Research

    Penn’s School of Engineering and Applied Science is a research institution. SEAS research strives to advance science and engineering and to achieve a positive impact on society.

    U Penn campus

    Academic life at University of Pennsylvania is unparalleled, with 100 countries and every U.S. state represented in one of the Ivy League’s most diverse student bodies. Consistently ranked among the top 10 universities in the country, Penn enrolls 10,000 undergraduate students and welcomes an additional 10,000 students to our world-renowned graduate and professional schools.

    Penn’s award-winning educators and scholars encourage students to pursue inquiry and discovery, follow their passions, and address the world’s most challenging problems through an interdisciplinary approach.

    The University of Pennsylvania is a private Ivy League research university in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The university claims a founding date of 1740 and is one of the nine colonial colleges chartered prior to the U.S. Declaration of Independence. Benjamin Franklin, Penn’s founder and first president, advocated an educational program that trained leaders in commerce, government, and public service, similar to a modern liberal arts curriculum.

    Penn has four undergraduate schools as well as twelve graduate and professional schools. Schools enrolling undergraduates include the College of Arts and Sciences; the School of Engineering and Applied Science; the Wharton School; and the School of Nursing. Penn’s “One University Policy” allows students to enroll in classes in any of Penn’s twelve schools. Among its highly ranked graduate and professional schools are a law school whose first professor wrote the first draft of the United States Constitution, the first school of medicine in North America (Perelman School of Medicine, 1765), and the first collegiate business school (Wharton School, 1881).

    Penn is also home to the first “student union” building and organization (Houston Hall, 1896), the first Catholic student club in North America (Newman Center, 1893), the first double-decker college football stadium (Franklin Field, 1924 when second deck was constructed), and Morris Arboretum, the official arboretum of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. The first general-purpose electronic computer (ENIAC) was developed at Penn and formally dedicated in 1946. In 2019, the university had an endowment of $14.65 billion, the sixth-largest endowment of all universities in the United States, as well as a research budget of $1.02 billion. The university’s athletics program, the Quakers, fields varsity teams in 33 sports as a member of the NCAA Division I Ivy League conference.

    As of 2018, distinguished alumni and/or Trustees include three U.S. Supreme Court justices; 32 U.S. senators; 46 U.S. governors; 163 members of the U.S. House of Representatives; eight signers of the Declaration of Independence and seven signers of the U.S. Constitution (four of whom signed both representing two-thirds of the six people who signed both); 24 members of the Continental Congress; 14 foreign heads of state and two presidents of the United States, including Donald Trump. As of October 2019, 36 Nobel laureates; 80 members of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences; 64 billionaires; 29 Rhodes Scholars; 15 Marshall Scholars and 16 Pulitzer Prize winners have been affiliated with the university.

    History

    The University of Pennsylvania considers itself the fourth-oldest institution of higher education in the United States, though this is contested by Princeton University and Columbia University. The university also considers itself as the first university in the United States with both undergraduate and graduate studies.

    In 1740, a group of Philadelphians joined together to erect a great preaching hall for the traveling evangelist George Whitefield, who toured the American colonies delivering open-air sermons. The building was designed and built by Edmund Woolley and was the largest building in the city at the time, drawing thousands of people the first time it was preached in. It was initially planned to serve as a charity school as well, but a lack of funds forced plans for the chapel and school to be suspended. According to Franklin’s autobiography, it was in 1743 when he first had the idea to establish an academy, “thinking the Rev. Richard Peters a fit person to superintend such an institution”. However, Peters declined a casual inquiry from Franklin and nothing further was done for another six years. In the fall of 1749, now more eager to create a school to educate future generations, Benjamin Franklin circulated a pamphlet titled Proposals Relating to the Education of Youth in Pensilvania, his vision for what he called a “Public Academy of Philadelphia”. Unlike the other colonial colleges that existed in 1749—Harvard University, William & Mary, Yale Unversity, and The College of New Jersey—Franklin’s new school would not focus merely on education for the clergy. He advocated an innovative concept of higher education, one which would teach both the ornamental knowledge of the arts and the practical skills necessary for making a living and doing public service. The proposed program of study could have become the nation’s first modern liberal arts curriculum, although it was never implemented because Anglican priest William Smith (1727-1803), who became the first provost, and other trustees strongly preferred the traditional curriculum.

    Franklin assembled a board of trustees from among the leading citizens of Philadelphia, the first such non-sectarian board in America. At the first meeting of the 24 members of the board of trustees on November 13, 1749, the issue of where to locate the school was a prime concern. Although a lot across Sixth Street from the old Pennsylvania State House (later renamed and famously known since 1776 as “Independence Hall”), was offered without cost by James Logan, its owner, the trustees realized that the building erected in 1740, which was still vacant, would be an even better site. The original sponsors of the dormant building still owed considerable construction debts and asked Franklin’s group to assume their debts and, accordingly, their inactive trusts. On February 1, 1750, the new board took over the building and trusts of the old board. On August 13, 1751, the “Academy of Philadelphia”, using the great hall at 4th and Arch Streets, took in its first secondary students. A charity school also was chartered on July 13, 1753 by the intentions of the original “New Building” donors, although it lasted only a few years. On June 16, 1755, the “College of Philadelphia” was chartered, paving the way for the addition of undergraduate instruction. All three schools shared the same board of trustees and were considered to be part of the same institution. The first commencement exercises were held on May 17, 1757.

    The institution of higher learning was known as the College of Philadelphia from 1755 to 1779. In 1779, not trusting then-provost the Reverend William Smith’s “Loyalist” tendencies, the revolutionary State Legislature created a University of the State of Pennsylvania. The result was a schism, with Smith continuing to operate an attenuated version of the College of Philadelphia. In 1791, the legislature issued a new charter, merging the two institutions into a new University of Pennsylvania with twelve men from each institution on the new board of trustees.

    Penn has three claims to being the first university in the United States, according to university archives director Mark Frazier Lloyd: the 1765 founding of the first medical school in America made Penn the first institution to offer both “undergraduate” and professional education; the 1779 charter made it the first American institution of higher learning to take the name of “University”; and existing colleges were established as seminaries (although, as detailed earlier, Penn adopted a traditional seminary curriculum as well).

    After being located in downtown Philadelphia for more than a century, the campus was moved across the Schuylkill River to property purchased from the Blockley Almshouse in West Philadelphia in 1872, where it has since remained in an area now known as University City. Although Penn began operating as an academy or secondary school in 1751 and obtained its collegiate charter in 1755, it initially designated 1750 as its founding date; this is the year that appears on the first iteration of the university seal. Sometime later in its early history, Penn began to consider 1749 as its founding date and this year was referenced for over a century, including at the centennial celebration in 1849. In 1899, the board of trustees voted to adjust the founding date earlier again, this time to 1740, the date of “the creation of the earliest of the many educational trusts the University has taken upon itself”. The board of trustees voted in response to a three-year campaign by Penn’s General Alumni Society to retroactively revise the university’s founding date to appear older than Princeton University, which had been chartered in 1746.

    Research, innovations and discoveries

    Penn is classified as an “R1” doctoral university: “Highest research activity.” Its economic impact on the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania for 2015 amounted to $14.3 billion. Penn’s research expenditures in the 2018 fiscal year were $1.442 billion, the fourth largest in the U.S. In fiscal year 2019 Penn received $582.3 million in funding from the National Institutes of Health.

    In line with its well-known interdisciplinary tradition, Penn’s research centers often span two or more disciplines. In the 2010–2011 academic year alone, five interdisciplinary research centers were created or substantially expanded; these include the Center for Health-care Financing; the Center for Global Women’s Health at the Nursing School; the $13 million Morris Arboretum’s Horticulture Center; the $15 million Jay H. Baker Retailing Center at Wharton; and the $13 million Translational Research Center at Penn Medicine. With these additions, Penn now counts 165 research centers hosting a research community of over 4,300 faculty and over 1,100 postdoctoral fellows, 5,500 academic support staff and graduate student trainees. To further assist the advancement of interdisciplinary research President Amy Gutmann established the “Penn Integrates Knowledge” title awarded to selected Penn professors “whose research and teaching exemplify the integration of knowledge”. These professors hold endowed professorships and joint appointments between Penn’s schools.

    Penn is also among the most prolific producers of doctoral students. With 487 PhDs awarded in 2009, Penn ranks third in the Ivy League, only behind Columbia University and Cornell University (Harvard University did not report data). It also has one of the highest numbers of post-doctoral appointees (933 in number for 2004–2007), ranking third in the Ivy League (behind Harvard and Yale University) and tenth nationally.

    In most disciplines Penn professors’ productivity is among the highest in the nation and first in the fields of epidemiology, business, communication studies, comparative literature, languages, information science, criminal justice and criminology, social sciences and sociology. According to the National Research Council nearly three-quarters of Penn’s 41 assessed programs were placed in ranges including the top 10 rankings in their fields, with more than half of these in ranges including the top five rankings in these fields.

    Penn’s research tradition has historically been complemented by innovations that shaped higher education. In addition to establishing the first medical school; the first university teaching hospital; the first business school; and the first student union Penn was also the cradle of other significant developments. In 1852, Penn Law was the first law school in the nation to publish a law journal still in existence (then called The American Law Register, now the Penn Law Review, one of the most cited law journals in the world). Under the deanship of William Draper Lewis, the law school was also one of the first schools to emphasize legal teaching by full-time professors instead of practitioners, a system that is still followed today. The Wharton School was home to several pioneering developments in business education. It established the first research center in a business school in 1921 and the first center for entrepreneurship center in 1973 and it regularly introduced novel curricula for which BusinessWeek wrote, “Wharton is on the crest of a wave of reinvention and change in management education”.

    Several major scientific discoveries have also taken place at Penn. The university is probably best known as the place where the first general-purpose electronic computer (ENIAC) was born in 1946 at the Moore School of Electrical Engineering.

    ENIAC UPenn

    It was here also where the world’s first spelling and grammar checkers were created, as well as the popular COBOL programming language. Penn can also boast some of the most important discoveries in the field of medicine. The dialysis machine used as an artificial replacement for lost kidney function was conceived and devised out of a pressure cooker by William Inouye while he was still a student at Penn Med; the Rubella and Hepatitis B vaccines were developed at Penn; the discovery of cancer’s link with genes; cognitive therapy; Retin-A (the cream used to treat acne), Resistin; the Philadelphia gene (linked to chronic myelogenous leukemia) and the technology behind PET Scans were all discovered by Penn Med researchers. More recent gene research has led to the discovery of the genes for fragile X syndrome, the most common form of inherited mental retardation; spinal and bulbar muscular atrophy, a disorder marked by progressive muscle wasting; and Charcot–Marie–Tooth disease, a progressive neurodegenerative disease that affects the hands, feet and limbs.

    Conductive polymer was also developed at Penn by Alan J. Heeger, Alan MacDiarmid and Hideki Shirakawa, an invention that earned them the Nobel Prize in Chemistry. On faculty since 1965, Ralph L. Brinster developed the scientific basis for in vitro fertilization and the transgenic mouse at Penn and was awarded the National Medal of Science in 2010. The theory of superconductivity was also partly developed at Penn, by then-faculty member John Robert Schrieffer (along with John Bardeen and Leon Cooper). The university has also contributed major advancements in the fields of economics and management. Among the many discoveries are conjoint analysis, widely used as a predictive tool especially in market research; Simon Kuznets’s method of measuring Gross National Product; the Penn effect (the observation that consumer price levels in richer countries are systematically higher than in poorer ones) and the “Wharton Model” developed by Nobel-laureate Lawrence Klein to measure and forecast economic activity. The idea behind Health Maintenance Organizations also belonged to Penn professor Robert Eilers, who put it into practice during then-President Nixon’s health reform in the 1970s.

    International partnerships

    Students can study abroad for a semester or a year at partner institutions such as the London School of Economics(UK), University of Barcelona [Universitat de Barcelona](ES), Paris Institute of Political Studies [Institut d’études politiques de Paris](FR), University of Queensland(AU), University College London(UK), King’s College London(UK), Hebrew University of Jerusalem(IL) and University of Warwick(UK).

     
  • richardmitnick 4:23 pm on November 30, 2022 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: "Autism-linked gene shapes nerve connections", A gene called Gabrb3, A gene linked to autism spectrum disorders plays a critical role in early brain development and may shape the formation of both normal and atypical nerve connections in the brain., , , , Weill Cornell Medicine   

    From “The Cornell Chronicle”: “Autism-linked gene shapes nerve connections” 

    From “The Cornell Chronicle”

    11.30.22
    Alan Dove Weill | Weill Cornell Medicine

    1
    Brain connectivity is changed upon removal of an autism-associated gene. Neuron is on one side of the brain (labeled in red) and nerve endings are coming from the other side of the brain (labeled in green). Image courtesy of Camilo Ferrer.

    A gene linked to autism spectrum disorders plays a critical role in early brain development and may shape the formation of both normal and atypical nerve connections in the brain, according to a new study by Weill Cornell Medicine investigators.

    Graphical abstract
    1

    The study, published Nov. 28 in Neuron [below], employed a combination of sophisticated genetic experiments in mice and analysis of human brain imaging data to better understand why mutations in a gene called Gabrb3 are linked to a high risk of developing autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and a related condition called Angelman Syndrome. Both conditions involve abnormal behaviors and unusual responses to sensory stimuli, which appear to stem, at least in part, from the formation of atypical connections between neurons in the brain.

    “Neuronal connections in the brain, and developmental synchronization of neuronal networks, are perturbed in individuals with autism spectrum disorders, and there are specific genes that are implicated in the pathogenesis of ASD,” said co-first author Dr. Rachel Babij, a former student in the Weill Cornell/Rockefeller/Sloan Kettering Tri-Institutional MD-PhD program in the laboratory of Natalia De Marco García, an associate professor in the Feil Family Brain and Mind Research Institute at Weill Cornell Medicine. 

    The gene Gabrb3 encodes part of a critical receptor protein found in inhibitory connections in the brain, which tamp down neuronal activity to maintain order in the nervous system, like police officers directing traffic. During development, Gabrb3 also appears to help determine how brain connections form.

    To figure out how Gabrb3 works, Babij and her colleagues tracked cellular signaling inside the brains of both normal animals and those lacking the gene in the early stages of their development. The preclinical experiments, which Babij performed alongside co-first author Camilo Ferrer, a postdoctoral associate in the De Marco García lab, and others, revealed that mice lacking Gabrb3 fail to form the normal network of connections between neurons in a specific brain region involved in sensory processing.

    “It’s not a pervasive problem in which every single neuron will fail to contact, or inappropriately contact, their targets; but it’s actually a subset of cells that are more susceptible to this,” said De Marco García, who is the senior author on the paper.

    In collaboration with Dr. Theodore Schwartz’s lab at Weill Cornell, the authors showed that the net result of Gabrb3 deletion is an increase in functional connections between the two hemispheres of the brain in the genetically modified mice, compared to those with a functional Gabrb3 gene. The genetically modified mice are also hypersensitive to touch. “Basically, what we see is that these neurons are more responsive to sensory stimuli after deletion of this gene,” De Marco García said.

    The team then collaborated with the laboratory of Dr. Conor Liston at Weill Cornell to examine the role of the gene using neuroimaging data from human subjects. The investigators found a correlation between the spatial distribution of the human GABRB3 gene and atypical nerve connectivity in those with ASD. “The lower the expression of GABRB3 in specific brain regions, the more atypical nerve connections these regions were likely to contain,” said De Marco García said.

    While cautioning that it is impossible to draw direct parallels between the preclinical and human data, De Marco García suggests that both analyses point to a model of neurologic disorders in which alterations in genes such as GABRB3 could drive specific changes in neuronal connection patterns, which in turn lead to abnormal behaviors. Interactions between different genes, each with slightly different effects, could yield substantially different outcomes.

    Babij concurs. “What makes one person develop schizophrenia while another person develops ASD, when both have some element of inhibitory neuron dysfunction? I think something about the specific subtypes of neurons affected and the mutations impacting them could play into how people develop these different diseases,” she said.

    Many Weill Cornell Medicine physicians and scientists maintain relationships and collaborate with external organizations to foster scientific innovation and provide expert guidance. The institution makes these disclosures public to ensure transparency. For this information, see profiles for Dr. Liston and Dr. Schwartz.

    Science paper:
    Neuron

    See the full article here .

    Comments are invited and will be appreciated, especially if the reader finds any errors which I can correct. Use “Reply”.


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    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.


    Stem Education Coalition

    Once called “the first American university” by educational historian Frederick Rudolph, Cornell University represents a distinctive mix of eminent scholarship and democratic ideals. Adding practical subjects to the classics and admitting qualified students regardless of nationality, race, social circumstance, gender, or religion was quite a departure when Cornell was founded in 1865.

    Today’s Cornell reflects this heritage of egalitarian excellence. It is home to the nation’s first colleges devoted to hotel administration, industrial and labor relations, and veterinary medicine. Both a private university and the land-grant institution of New York State, Cornell University is the most educationally diverse member of the Ivy League.

    On the Ithaca campus alone nearly 20,000 students representing every state and 120 countries choose from among 4,000 courses in 11 undergraduate, graduate, and professional schools. Many undergraduates participate in a wide range of interdisciplinary programs, play meaningful roles in original research, and study in Cornell programs in Washington, New York City, and the world over.

    Cornell University is a private, statutory, Ivy League and land-grant research university in Ithaca, New York. Founded in 1865 by Ezra Cornell and Andrew Dickson White, the university was intended to teach and make contributions in all fields of knowledge—from the classics to the sciences, and from the theoretical to the applied. These ideals, unconventional for the time, are captured in Cornell’s founding principle, a popular 1868 quotation from founder Ezra Cornell: “I would found an institution where any person can find instruction in any study.”

    The university is broadly organized into seven undergraduate colleges and seven graduate divisions at its main Ithaca campus, with each college and division defining its specific admission standards and academic programs in near autonomy. The university also administers two satellite medical campuses, one in New York City and one in Education City, Qatar, and Jacobs Technion-Cornell Institute in New York City, a graduate program that incorporates technology, business, and creative thinking. The program moved from Google’s Chelsea Building in New York City to its permanent campus on Roosevelt Island in September 2017.

    Cornell is one of the few private land grant universities in the United States. Of its seven undergraduate colleges, three are state-supported statutory or contract colleges through the SUNY – The State University of New York system, including its Agricultural and Human Ecology colleges as well as its Industrial Labor Relations school. Of Cornell’s graduate schools, only the veterinary college is state-supported. As a land grant college, Cornell operates a cooperative extension outreach program in every county of New York and receives annual funding from the State of New York for certain educational missions. The Cornell University Ithaca Campus comprises 745 acres, but is much larger when the Cornell Botanic Gardens (more than 4,300 acres) and the numerous university-owned lands in New York City are considered.

    Alumni and affiliates of Cornell have reached many notable and influential positions in politics, media, and science. As of January 2021, 61 Nobel laureates, four Turing Award winners and one Fields Medalist have been affiliated with Cornell. Cornell counts more than 250,000 living alumni, and its former and present faculty and alumni include 34 Marshall Scholars, 33 Rhodes Scholars, 29 Truman Scholars, 7 Gates Scholars, 55 Olympic Medalists, 10 current Fortune 500 CEOs, and 35 billionaire alumni. Since its founding, Cornell has been a co-educational, non-sectarian institution where admission has not been restricted by religion or race. The student body consists of more than 15,000 undergraduate and 9,000 graduate students from all 50 American states and 119 countries.

    History

    Cornell University was founded on April 27, 1865; the New York State (NYS) Senate authorized the university as the state’s land grant institution. Senator Ezra Cornell offered his farm in Ithaca, New York, as a site and $500,000 of his personal fortune as an initial endowment. Fellow senator and educator Andrew Dickson White agreed to be the first president. During the next three years, White oversaw the construction of the first two buildings and traveled to attract students and faculty. The university was inaugurated on October 7, 1868, and 412 men were enrolled the next day.

    Cornell developed as a technologically innovative institution, applying its research to its own campus and to outreach efforts. For example, in 1883 it was one of the first university campuses to use electricity from a water-powered dynamo to light the grounds. Since 1894, Cornell has included colleges that are state funded and fulfill statutory requirements; it has also administered research and extension activities that have been jointly funded by state and federal matching programs.

    Cornell has had active alumni since its earliest classes. It was one of the first universities to include alumni-elected representatives on its Board of Trustees. Cornell was also among the Ivies that had heightened student activism during the 1960s related to cultural issues; civil rights; and opposition to the Vietnam War, with protests and occupations resulting in the resignation of Cornell’s president and the restructuring of university governance. Today the university has more than 4,000 courses. Cornell is also known for the Residential Club Fire of 1967, a fire in the Residential Club building that killed eight students and one professor.

    Since 2000, Cornell has been expanding its international programs. In 2004, the university opened the Weill Cornell Medical College in Qatar. It has partnerships with institutions in India, Singapore, and the People’s Republic of China. Former president Jeffrey S. Lehman described the university, with its high international profile, a “transnational university”. On March 9, 2004, Cornell and Stanford University laid the cornerstone for a new ‘Bridging the Rift Center’ to be built and jointly operated for education on the Israel–Jordan border.

    Research

    Cornell, a research university, is ranked fourth in the world in producing the largest number of graduates who go on to pursue PhDs in engineering or the natural sciences at American institutions, and fifth in the world in producing graduates who pursue PhDs at American institutions in any field. Research is a central element of the university’s mission; in 2009 Cornell spent $671 million on science and engineering research and development, the 16th highest in the United States. Cornell is classified among “R1: Doctoral Universities – Very high research activity”.

    For the 2016–17 fiscal year, the university spent $984.5 million on research. Federal sources constitute the largest source of research funding, with total federal investment of $438.2 million. The agencies contributing the largest share of that investment are The Department of Health and Human Services and the National Science Foundation, accounting for 49.6% and 24.4% of all federal investment, respectively. Cornell was on the top-ten list of U.S. universities receiving the most patents in 2003, and was one of the nation’s top five institutions in forming start-up companies. In 2004–05, Cornell received 200 invention disclosures; filed 203 U.S. patent applications; completed 77 commercial license agreements; and distributed royalties of more than $4.1 million to Cornell units and inventors.

    Since 1962, Cornell has been involved in unmanned missions to Mars. In the 21st century, Cornell had a hand in the Mars Exploration Rover Mission. Cornell’s Steve Squyres, Principal Investigator for the Athena Science Payload, led the selection of the landing zones and requested data collection features for the Spirit and Opportunity rovers. NASA-JPL/Caltech engineers took those requests and designed the rovers to meet them. The rovers, both of which have operated long past their original life expectancies, are responsible for the discoveries that were awarded 2004 Breakthrough of the Year honors by Science. Control of the Mars rovers has shifted between National Aeronautics and Space Administration’s JPL-Caltech and Cornell’s Space Sciences Building.

    Further, Cornell researchers discovered the rings around the planet Uranus, and Cornell built and operated the telescope at Arecibo Observatory located in Arecibo, Puerto Rico until 2011, when they transferred the operations to SRI International, the Universities Space Research Association and the Metropolitan University of Puerto Rico [Universidad Metropolitana de Puerto Rico].

    The Automotive Crash Injury Research Project was begun in 1952. It pioneered the use of crash testing, originally using corpses rather than dummies. The project discovered that improved door locks; energy-absorbing steering wheels; padded dashboards; and seat belts could prevent an extraordinary percentage of injuries.

    In the early 1980s, Cornell deployed the first IBM 3090-400VF and coupled two IBM 3090-600E systems to investigate coarse-grained parallel computing. In 1984, the National Science Foundation began work on establishing five new supercomputer centers, including the Cornell Center for Advanced Computing, to provide high-speed computing resources for research within the United States. As a National Science Foundation center, Cornell deployed the first IBM Scalable Parallel supercomputer.

    In the 1990s, Cornell developed scheduling software and deployed the first supercomputer built by Dell. Most recently, Cornell deployed Red Cloud, one of the first cloud computing services designed specifically for research. Today, the center is a partner on the National Science Foundation XSEDE-Extreme Science Engineering Discovery Environment supercomputing program, providing coordination for XSEDE architecture and design, systems reliability testing, and online training using the Cornell Virtual Workshop learning platform.

    Cornell scientists have researched the fundamental particles of nature for more than 70 years. Cornell physicists, such as Hans Bethe, contributed not only to the foundations of nuclear physics but also participated in the Manhattan Project. In the 1930s, Cornell built the second cyclotron in the United States. In the 1950s, Cornell physicists became the first to study synchrotron radiation.

    During the 1990s, the Cornell Electron Storage Ring, located beneath Alumni Field, was the world’s highest-luminosity electron-positron collider. After building the synchrotron at Cornell, Robert R. Wilson took a leave of absence to become the founding director of DOE’s Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory, which involved designing and building the largest accelerator in the United States.

    Cornell’s accelerator and high-energy physics groups are involved in the design of the proposed ILC-International Linear Collider(JP) and plan to participate in its construction and operation. The International Linear Collider(JP), to be completed in the late 2010s, will complement the CERN Large Hadron Collider(CH) and shed light on questions such as the identity of dark matter and the existence of extra dimensions.

    As part of its research work, Cornell has established several research collaborations with universities around the globe. For example, a partnership with the University of Sussex(UK) (including the Institute of Development Studies at Sussex) allows research and teaching collaboration between the two institutions.

     
  • richardmitnick 4:01 pm on November 30, 2022 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: "Zooming In on an Active Galactic Nucleus Outflow with Webb", , , , ,   

    From Astrobites : “Zooming In on an Active Galactic Nucleus Outflow with Webb” 

    Astrobites bloc

    From Astrobites

    Sarah Bodansky
    11.29.22

    Title: GOALS-Webb: Resolving the Circumnuclear Gas Dynamics in NGC 7469 in the Mid-Infrared
    Authors: Vivian U et al.
    First Author’s Institution: University of California-Irvine
    Status: Published in ApJL

    As supermassive black holes accrete matter, they often like to blow off some steam in the form of outflows. Supermassive black holes are thought to power active galactic nuclei, which are often obscured by dust. Astronomers are interested in how active galactic nucleus outflows impact a galaxy’s interstellar medium and to what extent outflows could trigger or halt star formation in the interstellar medium. Since active galactic nuclei are often dusty, obscuration has made it difficult to study outflows — at least, until JWST came onto the scene.

    Today’s authors inspect NGC 7469, a nearby galaxy uniquely suited for studying the relationship between active galactic nucleus outflows and star formation. NGC 7469 contains a Seyfert nucleus surrounded by a ring with active star formation, and previous observations show evidence of outflows. With new spectroscopy from JWST, the authors take a detailed look at how the gas and dust of NGC 7469 are affected by outflows.

    1
    Active galactic nucleus. U Arizona

    2
    Hubble Space Telescope image of NGC 7469 (upper right) and IC 5283 (lower left). [NASA, ESA, Aaron S. Evans (UVA, NRAO, State University of New York at Stony Brook), Hubble Heritage–ESA/Hubble Collaboration]

    Hunting for Outflows with Spectroscopy

    With mid-infrared integral field spectroscopy from Webbs’s Mid-InfraRed Instrument (MIRI), the authors use several emission lines to study where outflows occur and how they interact with the interstellar medium.

    In Figure 1, a map of the flux for [Fe II], H2, and [Ar II] emission lines reveals that the H2 flux, from molecular gas, is mostly concentrated around the nucleus, while [Fe II] and [Ar II], forbidden lines emitted from ionized gas, are brightest in the ring of NGC 7469.

    3
    Figure 1: Regions of the ring and the nucleus of NGC 7469 are bright in [Fe II] and [Ar II] while H2 is mainly bright in the nucleus. [Adapted from U et al. 2022]

    Additional features emerge in the spectra from nine regions arrayed in a 3×3 grid around the nucleus of NGC 7469 (shown in Figure 2). One such feature is [Mg V]. Producing this line requires a lot of energy, and it’s quite bright. What’s more, in the region to the east of NGC 7469’s center, the [Mg V] peak is noticeably shifted to shorter wavelengths (blueshifted) relative to its central region. This blueshifted emission indicates that matter in this region of the galaxy is moving toward us — in other words, there is an outflow of gas in the eastern region of NGC 7469. The outflow only appears to occur in the eastern region, although the authors note that matter could be moving away from us in the western region, but the redshifted component is too weak to be detected.

    4
    Figure 2: Top left: A grid of the regions where spectra were taken on top of an image of NGC 7469, with the different regions labeled according to their direction relative to the center. Bottom: The spectra from all nine regions, with spectral lines labeled. Top right: The spectra zoomed in around the [Mg V] emission line. The spectrum taken in the region east of the center is shown in turquoise, and its peak is blueshifted relative to the spectrum from the central region. [U et al. 2022]

    How Do Outflows Affect the Interstellar Medium?
    Plot of the brightness ratio of H2 and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon emission as as function of the H2 luminosity density

    Figure 3: The ratio of the brightness of an H2 emission line to the brightness of a PAH emission line at 6.2 microns is plotted as a function of the density of brightness in H2 for nine regions around the center of NGC 7469. [Adapted from U et al. 2022]
    The spectra of NGC 7469 also show lines caused by polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), which are molecules that form part of the galaxy’s dust. Although emission from both PAHs and molecular gas is expected to be strong around star-forming regions, PAHs are ripped apart by active galactic nucleus outflows. The influence of outflows can be traced by taking the ratio of the brightness from H2 emission to the brightness from PAH emission (L(H2)/L(PAH)) — if this ratio is high, then the gas likely has experienced shocks due to an outflow. Figure 3 shows that the regions to the north and west of the center have the highest ratios of L(H2)/L(PAH) while the regions at the corners of the grid have the lowest ratios. Since the corner regions include the star-forming ring of NGC 7469, the emission from PAHs is expected to be high there, while the H2 emission is mostly concentrated in the nucleus. The authors propose that the high L(H2)/L(PAH) ratio in the north and west is the result of shocks in these regions powered by the active galactic nucleus outflow seen through [Mg V].

    With new Webb data, today’s authors took a high-resolution view of the gas and dust around NGC 7469’s nucleus and found that an active galactic nucleus outflow appears to interact with its interstellar medium. As high-resolution spectroscopy from JWST allows astronomers to study active galactic nuclei and their outflows in unprecedented detail, surely more will be discovered about the role of active galactic nuclei in regulating star formation.

    See the full article here .

    Comments are invited and will be appreciated, especially if the reader finds any errors which I can correct.


    five-ways-keep-your-child-safe-school-shootings

    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.


    Stem Education Coalition

    What do we do?

    Astrobites is a daily astrophysical literature journal written by graduate students in astronomy. Our goal is to present one interesting paper per day in a brief format that is accessible to undergraduate students in the physical sciences who are interested in active research.
    Why read Astrobites?

    Reading a technical paper from an unfamiliar subfield is intimidating. It may not be obvious how the techniques used by the researchers really work or what role the new research plays in answering the bigger questions motivating that field, not to mention the obscure jargon! For most people, it takes years for scientific papers to become meaningful.

    Our goal is to solve this problem, one paper at a time. In 5 minutes a day reading Astrobites, you should not only learn about one interesting piece of current work, but also get a peek at the broader picture of research in a new area of astronomy.

     
  • richardmitnick 3:20 pm on November 30, 2022 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: "Four Perspectives on Neutron Stars and Pulsars and Magnetars", , , , ,   

    From AAS NOVA: “Four Perspectives on Neutron Stars and Pulsars and Magnetars” 

    AASNOVA

    From AAS NOVA

    11.30.22
    Kerry Hensley

    1
    Illustration of a neutron star emitting a jet. [ICRAR/University of Amsterdam]

    When a massive star explodes as a supernova, its core collapses into a city-sized sphere of neutrons called a neutron star. These extraordinarily dense stars — just one teaspoon of a neutron star would weigh billions of tons in Earth’s gravity — exhibit some of the most intriguing behavior in the universe: rapid rotation, beams of radio emission, and extremely strong magnetic fields. Today, we’ll introduce four recent research articles that explore different aspects of these stars.

    Bursting, Cooling, and Bursting Again

    1
    Simulated light curves during an X-ray burst, showing the effects of incorporating different physics. A model without neutrino cooling (labeled “No DU” in reference to the neutrino cooling pathway called direct Urca), peaks at a lower luminosity than models incorporating neutrino cooling. [Adapted from Dohi et al. 2022]

    Sometimes, neutron stars reveal themselves by interacting with other stars. When a neutron star gathers gas from a stellar companion, the gas can ignite on the star’s scorching surface, resulting in a sudden burst of X-rays. After this sudden influx of heat, how does the neutron star cool, and how is the cooling reflected in the star’s light curve? While this may seem like a simple question, the answer hinges on our understanding of the conditions within the neutron star’s interior as well as the characteristics of the gas being accreted.

    In a recent publication, a team led by Akira Dohi (Kyushu University[土肥明] (JP)) explored the issue of neutron star cooling with general relativistic stellar evolution models. Specifically, the team investigated the effects of cooling by emitting neutrinos — chargeless, nearly massless particles that scarcely interact with matter — which is expected to speed up the cooling rate.

    The authors found that neutrino cooling increases the time between outbursts but makes them brighter at their peak, though additional physics to be included in future modeling might suppress this effect.

    3
    Simulated pulses showing a change in the phase of the pulse due to the shifting motion of the sparks. [Adapted from Basu et al. 2022]

    Simulating Pulsar Sparks

    Rahul Basu (University of Zielona Góra, Poland) and collaborators reported on simulations of conditions very close to the surface of a neutron star that emits beams of radio emission. Neutron stars that emit beamed radio waves are called pulsars for the way the beams sweep across our field of view, generating what we see as pulses of emission.

    Near a pulsar’s surface, extremely high temperatures and strong magnetic and electric fields combine forces to summon a sea of charged particles that are then accelerated to relativistic speeds.

    Basu and collaborators focused on a phenomenon called sparking, in which charged particles jump the gap between the pulsar’s surface at its poles and its plasma-rich magnetosphere. The team’s modeling demonstrated that a pulsar’s poles are tightly filled with constant sparks, and the arrangement of these sparks slowly shifts over time. By modeling the emission associated with the simulated sparks, the team showed that the shifting motion of the sparks appears to be responsible for the observed periodic variations in the phases and amplitudes of some pulsars’ pulses.

    Pulsars Probing Gravitational Waves

    4
    Example of a pulse observed with the Giant Metrewave Radio Telescope. [Adapted from Sharma et al. 2022]

    By studying large groups of pulsars, astronomers hope to learn about something seemingly unrelated: gravitational waves.

    Pulsars provide a method to detect gravitational waves by way of these stars’ impeccable timekeeping abilities — because a pulsar’s radio beat is so reliable, the slight distortion of space caused by a passing gravitational wave should impact the arrival times of a pulsar’s pulses.

    However, there’s a complication to this technique: spatial and temporal changes in the interstellar medium plasma can also affect when a pulsar’s radio pulses arrive at Earth. In order to compensate for the effect of the interstellar medium, we need to be able to make precise observations of pulsars across a range of radio frequencies. In a recent research article, Shyam Sharma (Tata Institute of Fundamental Research, India) and collaborators tested a pulsar-timing measurement technique using the Giant Metrewave Radio Telescope, which is highly sensitive to low-frequency radio waves. Sharma and coauthors showed that observing using a wide frequency band yields results comparable to typical narrowband observations, indicating that this technique could be used to disentangle the effects of the interstellar medium and more accurately time the pulses of arrays of pulsars, opening a new window onto gravitational waves.

    Magnetic Outbursts

    5
    Temperature maps of the top of a magnetar’s crust (top) and the magnetar’s surface (bottom) after a hotspot is injected. [De Grandis et al. 2022]

    As if neutron stars could get any wilder: some neutron stars, dubbed magnetars, have extremely strong magnetic fields and exhibit frequent X-ray flares. While the cause of these X-ray outbursts is still unknown, some researchers have suggested that they arise from a sudden upwelling of magnetic energy beneath the magnetar’s crust, creating a hot spot that cools gradually over days or months.

    To understand how the injection of heat into a magnetar’s crust might create the spectral features seen during X-ray outbursts, Davide De Grandis (University of Padova, Italy) and coauthors employed a three-dimensional magnetothermal model of hotspot formation and cooling. This model allowed the team to study the effects of asymmetrical hot spots under a magnetar’s crust for the first time. The team was able to confirm that these hot spots can be responsible for outbursts, though we’ll have to wait for future research to fully explore the evolution of the spectral features generated during these events.

    Citations

    “Impacts of the Direct Urca and Superfluidity inside a Neutron Star on Type I X-Ray Bursts and X-Ray Superbursts,” A. Dohi et al 2022 ApJ 937 124.
    https://iopscience.iop.org/article/10.3847/1538-4357/ac8dfe/pdf

    “Two-dimensional Configuration and Temporal Evolution of Spark Discharges in Pulsars,” Rahul Basu et al 2022 ApJ 936 35.
    https://iopscience.iop.org/article/10.3847/1538-4357/ac8479/pdf

    “Wide-band Timing of GMRT-discovered Millisecond Pulsars,” Shyam S. Sharma et al 2022 ApJ 936 86.
    https://iopscience.iop.org/article/10.3847/1538-4357/ac86d8/pdf

    “Three-dimensional Magnetothermal Simulations of Magnetar Outbursts,” Davide De Grandis et al 2022 ApJ 936 99.
    https://iopscience.iop.org/article/10.3847/1538-4357/ac8797/pdf

    See the full article here .

    Comments are invited and will be appreciated, especially if the reader finds any errors which I can correct. Use “Reply”.


    five-ways-keep-your-child-safe-school-shootings

    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.


    Stem Education Coalition

    1

    The mission of the American Astronomical Society is to enhance and share humanity’s scientific understanding of the Universe.

    The Society, through its publications, disseminates and archives the results of astronomical research. The Society also communicates and explains our understanding of the universe to the public.
    The Society facilitates and strengthens the interactions among members through professional meetings and other means. The Society supports member divisions representing specialized research and astronomical interests.
    The Society represents the goals of its community of members to the nation and the world. The Society also works with other scientific and educational societies to promote the advancement of science.
    The Society, through its members, trains, mentors and supports the next generation of astronomers. The Society supports and promotes increased participation of historically underrepresented groups in astronomy.
    The Society assists its members to develop their skills in the fields of education and public outreach at all levels. The Society promotes broad interest in astronomy, which enhances science literacy and leads many to careers in science and engineering.

    Adopted June 7, 2009

    The society was founded in 1899 through the efforts of George Ellery Hale. The constitution of the group was written by Hale, George Comstock, Edward Morley, Simon Newcomb and Edward Charles Pickering. These men, plus four others, were the first Executive Council of the society; Newcomb was the first president. The initial membership was 114. The AAS name of the society was not finally decided until 1915, previously it was the “Astronomical and Astrophysical Society of America”. One proposed name that preceded this interim name was “American Astrophysical Society”.

    The AAS today has over 7,000 members and six divisions – the Division for Planetary Sciences (1968); the Division on Dynamical Astronomy (1969); the High Energy Astrophysics Division (1969); the Solar Physics Division (1969); the Historical Astronomy Division (1980); and the Laboratory Astrophysics Division (2012). The membership includes physicists, mathematicians, geologists, engineers and others whose research interests lie within the broad spectrum of subjects now comprising contemporary astronomy.

    In 2019 three AAS members were selected into the tenth anniversary class of TED Fellows.

    The AAS established the AAS Fellows program in 2019 to “confer recognition upon AAS members for achievement and extraordinary service to the field of astronomy and the American Astronomical Society.” The inaugural class was designated by the AAS Board of Trustees and includes an initial group of 232 Legacy Fellows.

     
  • richardmitnick 2:33 pm on November 30, 2022 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: "NASA Goddard Scientists Create Black Hole Jets with NCCS Discover Supercomputer", , , , ,   

    From The NASA Goddard Space Flight Center: “NASA Goddard Scientists Create Black Hole Jets with NCCS Discover Supercomputer” 

    NASA Goddard Banner

    From The NASA Goddard Space Flight Center


    Creating Black Hole Jets With a NASA Supercomputer.
    New simulations carried out on the NASA Center for Climate Simulation (NCCS) Discover supercomputer show how weaker, low-luminosity jets produced by a galaxy’s monster black hole interact with their galactic environment. Because these jets are more difficult to detect, the simulations help astronomers link these interactions to features they can observe, such as various gas motions and optical and X-ray emissions. Video by NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center.

    Leveraging the NASA Center for Climate Simulation (NCCS), NASA Goddard Space Flight Center scientists ran 100 simulations exploring jets — narrow beams of energetic particles — that emerge at nearly light speed from supermassive black holes. These behemoths sit at the centers of active, star-forming galaxies like our own Milky Way galaxy, and can weigh millions to billions of times the mass of the Sun.

    As jets and winds flow out from these active galactic nuclei (AGN), they “regulate the gas in the center of the galaxy and affect things like the star-formation rate and how the gas mixes with the surrounding galactic environment,” explained study lead Ryan Tanner, a postdoc in NASA Goddard’s X-ray Astrophysics Laboratory.

    “For our simulations, we focused on less-studied, low-luminosity jets and how they determine the evolution of their host galaxies.” Tanner said. He collaborated with X-ray Astrophysics Laboratory astrophysicist Kimberly Weaver on the computational study, which appears in The Astronomical Journal [below].

    Observational evidence for jets and other AGN outflows first came from radio telescopes and later NASA and European Space Agency X-ray telescopes. Over the past 30 to 40 years, astronomers including Weaver have pieced together an explanation of their origin by connecting optical, radio, ultraviolet, and X-ray observations (see the next image below). “High-luminosity jets are easier to find because they create massive structures that can be seen in radio observations,” Tanner explained. “Low-luminosity jets are challenging to study observationally, so the astronomy community does not understand them as well.”

    2
    These images show the diversity of black hole jets. Left: NGC 1068, one of the nearest and brightest galaxies (green and red) with a rapidly growing supermassive black hole, powers a jet (blue) much smaller than the galaxy itself. Image by NASA/CXC/MIT/C.Canizares, D.Evans et al. (X-ray); NASA/STScI (optical); and NSF/NRAO/VLA (radio). Right: The galaxy
    Centaurus A reveals particle jets extending far above and below the galaxy’s disk. Image by ESO/WFI (optical); MPIfR/ESO/APEX/A.Weiss et al. (submillimeter); and NASA/CXC/CfA/R. Kraft et al. (X-ray).

    Enter NASA supercomputer-enabled simulations. For realistic starting conditions, Tanner and Weaver used the total mass of a hypothetical galaxy about the size of the Milky Way. For the gas distribution and other AGN properties, they looked to spiral galaxies such as NGC 1386, NGC 3079, and NGC 4945.

    Tanner modified the Athena astrophysical hydrodynamics code to explore the impacts of the jets and gas on each other across 26,000 light-years of space, about half the radius of the Milky Way. From the full set of 100 simulations, the team selected 19 — which consumed 800,000 core hours on the NCCS Discover supercomputer — for publication.

    “Being able to use NASA supercomputing resources allowed us to explore a much larger parameter space than if we had to use more modest resources,” Tanner said. “This led to uncovering important relationships that we could not discover with a more limited scope.”

    The simulations uncovered two major properties of low-luminosity jets:

    They interact with their host galaxy much more than high-luminosity jets.
    They both affect and are affected by the interstellar medium within the galaxy, leading to a greater variety of shapes than high-luminosity jets.

    “We have demonstrated the method by which the AGN impacts its galaxy and creates the physical features, such as shocks in the interstellar medium, that we have observed for about 30 years,” Weaver said. “These results compare well with optical and X-ray observations. I was surprised at how well theory matches observations and addresses longstanding questions I have had about AGN that I studied as a graduate student, like NGC 1386! And now we can expand to larger samples.”

    Science paper:
    The Astronomical Journal
    See the science paper for instructive material with images and tables.

    See the full article here.

    Comments are invited and will be appreciated, especially if the reader finds any errors which I can correct. Use “Reply”.


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    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.


    Stem Education Coalition


    NASA/Goddard Campus

    NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, MD is home to the nation’s largest organization of combined scientists, engineers and technologists that build spacecraft, instruments and new technology to study the Earth, the sun, our solar system, and the universe.

    Named for American rocketry pioneer Dr. Robert H. Goddard, the center was established in 1959 as NASA’s first space flight complex. Goddard and its several facilities are critical in carrying out NASA’s missions of space exploration and scientific discovery.

    GSFC also operates two spaceflight tracking and data acquisition networks (the NASA Deep Space Network and the Near Earth Network); develops and maintains advanced space and Earth science data information systems, and develops satellite systems for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

    GSFC manages operations for many NASA and international missions including the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope; the Explorers Program; the Discovery Program; the Earth Observing System; INTEGRAL; MAVEN; OSIRIS-REx; the Solar and Heliospheric Observatory ; the Solar Dynamics Observatory; Tracking and Data Relay Satellite System ; Fermi; and Swift. Past missions managed by GSFC include the Rossi X-ray Timing Explorer (RXTE), Compton Gamma Ray Observatory, SMM, COBE, IUE, and ROSAT. Typically, unmanned Earth observation missions and observatories in Earth orbit are managed by GSFC, while unmanned planetary missions are managed by the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) in Pasadena, California.

    Goddard is one of four centers built by NASA since its founding on July 29, 1958. It is NASA’s first, and oldest, space center. Its original charter was to perform five major functions on behalf of NASA: technology development and fabrication; planning; scientific research; technical operations; and project management. The center is organized into several directorates, each charged with one of these key functions.

    Until May 1, 1959, NASA’s presence in Greenbelt, MD was known as the Beltsville Space Center. It was then renamed the Goddard Space Flight Center (GSFC), after Robert H. Goddard. Its first 157 employees transferred from the United States Navy’s Project Vanguard missile program, but continued their work at the Naval Research Laboratory in Washington, D.C., while the center was under construction.

    Goddard Space Flight Center contributed to Project Mercury, America’s first manned space flight program. The Center assumed a lead role for the project in its early days and managed the first 250 employees involved in the effort, who were stationed at Langley Research Center in Hampton, Virginia. However, the size and scope of Project Mercury soon prompted NASA to build a new Manned Spacecraft Center, now the Johnson Space Center, in Houston, Texas. Project Mercury’s personnel and activities were transferred there in 1961.

    The Goddard network tracked many early manned and unmanned spacecraft.

    Goddard Space Flight Center remained involved in the manned space flight program, providing computer support and radar tracking of flights through a worldwide network of ground stations called the Spacecraft Tracking and Data Acquisition Network (STDN). However, the Center focused primarily on designing unmanned satellites and spacecraft for scientific research missions. Goddard pioneered several fields of spacecraft development, including modular spacecraft design, which reduced costs and made it possible to repair satellites in orbit. Goddard’s Solar Max satellite, launched in 1980, was repaired by astronauts on the Space Shuttle Challenger in 1984. The Hubble Space Telescope, launched in 1990, remains in service and continues to grow in capability thanks to its modular design and multiple servicing missions by the Space Shuttle.

    Today, the center remains involved in each of NASA’s key programs. Goddard has developed more instruments for planetary exploration than any other organization, among them scientific instruments sent to every planet in the Solar System. The center’s contribution to the Earth Science Enterprise includes several spacecraft in the Earth Observing System fleet as well as EOSDIS, a science data collection, processing, and distribution system. For the manned space flight program, Goddard develops tools for use by astronauts during extra-vehicular activity, and operates the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter, a spacecraft designed to study the Moon in preparation for future manned exploration.

    The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) is the agency of the United States government that is responsible for the nation’s civilian space program and for aeronautics and aerospace research.

    President Dwight D. Eisenhower established the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) in 1958 with a distinctly civilian (rather than military) orientation encouraging peaceful applications in space science. The National Aeronautics and Space Act was passed on July 29, 1958, disestablishing NASA’s predecessor, the National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics (NACA). The new agency became operational on October 1, 1958.

    Since that time, most U.S. space exploration efforts have been led by NASA, including the Apollo moon-landing missions, the Skylab space station, and later the Space Shuttle. Currently, NASA is supporting the International Space Station and is overseeing the development of the Orion Multi-Purpose Crew Vehicle and Commercial Crew vehicles. The agency is also responsible for the Launch Services Program (LSP) which provides oversight of launch operations and countdown management for unmanned NASA launches. Most recently, NASA announced a new Space Launch System that it said would take the agency’s astronauts farther into space than ever before and lay the cornerstone for future human space exploration efforts by the U.S.

    NASA science is focused on better understanding Earth through the Earth Observing System, advancing heliophysics through the efforts of the Science Mission Directorate’s Heliophysics Research Program, exploring bodies throughout the Solar System with advanced robotic missions such as New Horizons, and researching astrophysics topics, such as the Big Bang, through the Great Observatories [Hubble, Chandra, Spitzer, and associated programs.] NASA shares data with various national and international organizations such as from the [JAXA]Greenhouse Gases Observing Satellite.

     
  • richardmitnick 1:56 pm on November 30, 2022 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: "Astronomers say mysteriously bright flash is a black hole jet pointing straight toward Earth", , , , , , The signal named AT 2022cmc, These observations could illuminate how supermassive black holes feed and grow.,   

    From The Massachusetts Institute of Technology: “Astronomers say mysteriously bright flash is a black hole jet pointing straight toward Earth” 

    From The Massachusetts Institute of Technology

    11.30.22
    Jennifer Chu

    These observations could illuminate how supermassive black holes feed and grow.


    A black hole more than halfway across the Universe spewing out matter at close to the speed of light.

    This extraordinarily bright cosmic explosion was caught by the Zwicky Transient Facility on 11 February 2022. Follow-up observations by several dozen space and ground telescopes gave one the most comprehensive view of the birth of a relativistic jet from a black hole.

    1
    Astronomers identified an extremely bright black hole jet, halfway across the universe, pointing straight toward Earth. Credit: Dheeraj Pasham, Matteo Lucchini, and Margaret Trippe.

    Earlier this year, astronomers were keeping tabs on data from the Zwicky Transient Facility, an all-sky survey based at the Palomar Observatory in California, when they detected an extraordinary flash in a part of the sky where no such light had been observed the night before.

    From a rough calculation, the flash appeared to give off more light than 1,000 trillion suns.

    The team, led by researchers at NASA, Caltech, and elsewhere, posted their discovery to an astronomy newsletter, where the signal drew the attention of astronomers around the world, including scientists at MIT. Over the next few days, multiple telescopes focused in on the signal to gather more data across multiple wavelengths in the X-ray, ultraviolet, optical, and radio bands, to see what could possibly produce such an enormous amount of light.

    Now, the MIT astronomers along with their collaborators have determined a likely source for the signal. In a study appearing today in Nature Astronomy [below], the scientists report that the signal, named AT 2022cmc, likely comes from a relativistic jet of matter streaking out from a supermassive black hole at close to the speed of light. They believe the jet is the product of a black hole that suddenly began devouring a nearby star, releasing a huge amount of energy in the process.

    Astronomers have observed other such “tidal disruption events,” or TDEs, in which a passing star is torn apart by a black hole’s tidal forces. AT 2022cmc is brighter than any TDE discovered to date. The source is also the farthest TDE ever detected, at some 8.5 billion lights years away — more than halfway across the universe.

    How could such a distant event appear so bright in our sky? The team says the black hole’s jet may be pointing directly toward Earth, making the signal appear brighter than if the jet were pointing in any other direction. The effect is “Doppler boosting” and is similar to the amped-up sound of a passing siren.

    AT 2022cmc is the fourth Doppler-boosted TDE ever detected and the first such event that has been observed since 2011. It is also the first TDE discovered using an optical sky survey.

    As more powerful telescopes start up in the coming years, they will reveal more TDEs, which can shed light on how supermassive black holes grow and shape the galaxies around them.

    “We know there is one supermassive black hole per galaxy, and they formed very quickly in the universe’s first million years,” says co-author Matteo Lucchini, a postdoc in MIT’s Kavli Institute for Astrophysics and Space Research. “That tells us they feed very fast, though we don’t know how that feeding process works. So, sources like a TDE can actually be a really good probe for how that process happens.”

    Lucchini’s MIT co-authors include first author and Research Scientist Dheeraj “DJ” Pasham, postdoc Peter Kosec, Assistant Professor Erin Kara, and Principal Research Scientist Ronald Remillard, along with collaborators at universities and institutions around the world.

    Feeding frenzy

    Following AT 2022cmc’s initial discovery, Pasham and Lucchini focused in on the signal using the Neutron star Interior Composition ExploreR (NICER), an X-ray telescope that operates aboard the International Space Station.

    “Things looked pretty normal the first three days,” Pasham recalls. “Then we looked at it with an X-ray telescope, and what we found was, the source was too bright.”

    Typically, such bright flashes in the sky are gamma-ray bursts — extreme jets of X-ray emissions that spew from the collapse of massive stars.

    “This particular event was 100 times more powerful than the most powerful gamma-ray burst afterglow,” Pasham says. “It was something extraordinary.”

    The team then gathered observations from other X-ray, radio, optical, and UV telescopes and tracked the signal’s activity over the next few weeks. The most remarkable property they observed was the signal’s extreme luminosity in the X-ray band. They found that X-ray emissions from AT 2022cmc swung widely by a factor of 500 over a few weeks,

    They suspected that such extreme X-ray activity must be powered by an “extreme accretion episode” — an event that generates a huge churning disk, such as from a tidal disruption event, in which a shredded star creates a whirlpool of debris as it falls into a black hole.

    Indeed, the team found that AT 2022cmc’s X-ray luminosity was comparable to, though brighter than, three previously detected TDEs. These bright events happened to generate jets of matter pointing straight toward Earth. The researchers wondered: If AT 2022cmc’s luminosity is the result of a similar Earth-targeting jet, how fast must the jet be moving to generate such a bright signal? To answer this, Lucchini modeled the signal’s data, assuming the event involved a jet headed straight toward Earth.

    “We found that the jet speed is 99.99 percent the speed of light,” Lucchini says.

    To produce such an intense jet, the black hole must be in an extremely active phase — what Pasham describes as a “hyper-feeding frenzy.”

    “It’s probably swallowing the star at the rate of half the mass of the sun per year,” Pasham estimates. “A lot of this tidal disruption happens early on, and we were able to catch this event right at the beginning, within one week of the black hole starting to feed on the star.”

    “We expect many more of these TDEs in the future,” Lucchini adds. “Then we might be able to say, finally, how exactly black holes launch these extremely powerful jets.”

    Science paper:
    Nature Astronomy

    See the full article here .

    Comments are invited and will be appreciated, especially if the reader finds any errors which I can correct.


    five-ways-keep-your-child-safe-school-shootings
    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

    Stem Education Coalition

    MIT Seal

    USPS “Forever” postage stamps celebrating Innovation at MIT.

    MIT Campus

    The Massachusetts Institute of Technology is a private land-grant research university in Cambridge, Massachusetts. The institute has an urban campus that extends more than a mile (1.6 km) alongside the Charles River. The institute also encompasses a number of major off-campus facilities such as the MIT Lincoln Laboratory , the MIT Bates Research and Engineering Center , and the Haystack Observatory , as well as affiliated laboratories such as the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard and Whitehead Institute.

    Massachusettes Institute of Technology-Haystack Observatory Westford, Massachusetts, USA, Altitude 131 m (430 ft).

    Founded in 1861 in response to the increasing industrialization of the United States, Massachusetts Institute of Technology adopted a European polytechnic university model and stressed laboratory instruction in applied science and engineering. It has since played a key role in the development of many aspects of modern science, engineering, mathematics, and technology, and is widely known for its innovation and academic strength. It is frequently regarded as one of the most prestigious universities in the world.

    As of December 2020, 97 Nobel laureates, 26 Turing Award winners, and 8 Fields Medalists have been affiliated with MIT as alumni, faculty members, or researchers. In addition, 58 National Medal of Science recipients, 29 National Medals of Technology and Innovation recipients, 50 MacArthur Fellows, 80 Marshall Scholars, 3 Mitchell Scholars, 22 Schwarzman Scholars, 41 astronauts, and 16 Chief Scientists of the U.S. Air Force have been affiliated with The Massachusetts Institute of Technology. The university also has a strong entrepreneurial culture and MIT alumni have founded or co-founded many notable companies. Massachusetts Institute of Technology is a member of the Association of American Universities.

    Foundation and vision

    In 1859, a proposal was submitted to the Massachusetts General Court to use newly filled lands in Back Bay, Boston for a “Conservatory of Art and Science”, but the proposal failed. A charter for the incorporation of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, proposed by William Barton Rogers, was signed by John Albion Andrew, the governor of Massachusetts, on April 10, 1861.

    Rogers, a professor from the University of Virginia , wanted to establish an institution to address rapid scientific and technological advances. He did not wish to found a professional school, but a combination with elements of both professional and liberal education, proposing that:

    “The true and only practicable object of a polytechnic school is, as I conceive, the teaching, not of the minute details and manipulations of the arts, which can be done only in the workshop, but the inculcation of those scientific principles which form the basis and explanation of them, and along with this, a full and methodical review of all their leading processes and operations in connection with physical laws.”

    The Rogers Plan reflected the German research university model, emphasizing an independent faculty engaged in research, as well as instruction oriented around seminars and laboratories.

    Early developments

    Two days after The Massachusetts Institute of Technology was chartered, the first battle of the Civil War broke out. After a long delay through the war years, MIT’s first classes were held in the Mercantile Building in Boston in 1865. The new institute was founded as part of the Morrill Land-Grant Colleges Act to fund institutions “to promote the liberal and practical education of the industrial classes” and was a land-grant school. In 1863 under the same act, the Commonwealth of Massachusetts founded the Massachusetts Agricultural College, which developed as the University of Massachusetts Amherst ). In 1866, the proceeds from land sales went toward new buildings in the Back Bay.

    The Massachusetts Institute of Technology was informally called “Boston Tech”. The institute adopted the European polytechnic university model and emphasized laboratory instruction from an early date. Despite chronic financial problems, the institute saw growth in the last two decades of the 19th century under President Francis Amasa Walker. Programs in electrical, chemical, marine, and sanitary engineering were introduced, new buildings were built, and the size of the student body increased to more than one thousand.

    The curriculum drifted to a vocational emphasis, with less focus on theoretical science. The fledgling school still suffered from chronic financial shortages which diverted the attention of the MIT leadership. During these “Boston Tech” years, Massachusetts Institute of Technology faculty and alumni rebuffed Harvard University president (and former MIT faculty) Charles W. Eliot’s repeated attempts to merge MIT with Harvard College’s Lawrence Scientific School. There would be at least six attempts to absorb MIT into Harvard. In its cramped Back Bay location, MIT could not afford to expand its overcrowded facilities, driving a desperate search for a new campus and funding. Eventually, the MIT Corporation approved a formal agreement to merge with Harvard, over the vehement objections of MIT faculty, students, and alumni. However, a 1917 decision by the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court effectively put an end to the merger scheme.

    In 1916, The Massachusetts Institute of Technology administration and the MIT charter crossed the Charles River on the ceremonial barge Bucentaur built for the occasion, to signify MIT’s move to a spacious new campus largely consisting of filled land on a one-mile-long (1.6 km) tract along the Cambridge side of the Charles River. The neoclassical “New Technology” campus was designed by William W. Bosworth and had been funded largely by anonymous donations from a mysterious “Mr. Smith”, starting in 1912. In January 1920, the donor was revealed to be the industrialist George Eastman of Rochester, New York, who had invented methods of film production and processing, and founded Eastman Kodak. Between 1912 and 1920, Eastman donated $20 million ($236.6 million in 2015 dollars) in cash and Kodak stock to MIT.

    Curricular reforms

    In the 1930s, President Karl Taylor Compton and Vice-President (effectively Provost) Vannevar Bush emphasized the importance of pure sciences like physics and chemistry and reduced the vocational practice required in shops and drafting studios. The Compton reforms “renewed confidence in the ability of the Institute to develop leadership in science as well as in engineering”. Unlike Ivy League schools, Massachusetts Institute of Technology catered more to middle-class families, and depended more on tuition than on endowments or grants for its funding. The school was elected to the Association of American Universities in 1934.

    Still, as late as 1949, the Lewis Committee lamented in its report on the state of education at The Massachusetts Institute of Technology that “the Institute is widely conceived as basically a vocational school”, a “partly unjustified” perception the committee sought to change. The report comprehensively reviewed the undergraduate curriculum, recommended offering a broader education, and warned against letting engineering and government-sponsored research detract from the sciences and humanities. The School of Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences and the MIT Sloan School of Management were formed in 1950 to compete with the powerful Schools of Science and Engineering. Previously marginalized faculties in the areas of economics, management, political science, and linguistics emerged into cohesive and assertive departments by attracting respected professors and launching competitive graduate programs. The School of Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences continued to develop under the successive terms of the more humanistically oriented presidents Howard W. Johnson and Jerome Wiesner between 1966 and 1980.

    The Massachusetts Institute of Technology‘s involvement in military science surged during World War II. In 1941, Vannevar Bush was appointed head of the federal Office of Scientific Research and Development and directed funding to only a select group of universities, including MIT. Engineers and scientists from across the country gathered at Massachusetts Institute of Technology ‘s Radiation Laboratory, established in 1940 to assist the British military in developing microwave radar. The work done there significantly affected both the war and subsequent research in the area. Other defense projects included gyroscope-based and other complex control systems for gunsight, bombsight, and inertial navigation under Charles Stark Draper’s Instrumentation Laboratory; the development of a digital computer for flight simulations under Project Whirlwind; and high-speed and high-altitude photography under Harold Edgerton. By the end of the war, The Massachusetts Institute of Technology became the nation’s largest wartime R&D contractor (attracting some criticism of Bush), employing nearly 4000 in the Radiation Laboratory alone and receiving in excess of $100 million ($1.2 billion in 2015 dollars) before 1946. Work on defense projects continued even after then. Post-war government-sponsored research at MIT included SAGE and guidance systems for ballistic missiles and Project Apollo.

    These activities affected The Massachusetts Institute of Technology profoundly. A 1949 report noted the lack of “any great slackening in the pace of life at the Institute” to match the return to peacetime, remembering the “academic tranquility of the prewar years”, though acknowledging the significant contributions of military research to the increased emphasis on graduate education and rapid growth of personnel and facilities. The faculty doubled and the graduate student body quintupled during the terms of Karl Taylor Compton, president of The Massachusetts Institute of Technology between 1930 and 1948; James Rhyne Killian, president from 1948 to 1957; and Julius Adams Stratton, chancellor from 1952 to 1957, whose institution-building strategies shaped the expanding university. By the 1950s, The Massachusetts Institute of Technology no longer simply benefited the industries with which it had worked for three decades, and it had developed closer working relationships with new patrons, philanthropic foundations and the federal government.

    In late 1960s and early 1970s, student and faculty activists protested against the Vietnam War and The Massachusetts Institute of Technology ‘s defense research. In this period Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s various departments were researching helicopters, smart bombs and counterinsurgency techniques for the war in Vietnam as well as guidance systems for nuclear missiles. The Union of Concerned Scientists was founded on March 4, 1969 during a meeting of faculty members and students seeking to shift the emphasis on military research toward environmental and social problems. The Massachusetts Institute of Technology ultimately divested itself from the Instrumentation Laboratory and moved all classified research off-campus to the MIT Lincoln Laboratory facility in 1973 in response to the protests. The student body, faculty, and administration remained comparatively unpolarized during what was a tumultuous time for many other universities. Johnson was seen to be highly successful in leading his institution to “greater strength and unity” after these times of turmoil. However, six Massachusetts Institute of Technology students were sentenced to prison terms at this time and some former student leaders, such as Michael Albert and George Katsiaficas, are still indignant about MIT’s role in military research and its suppression of these protests. (Richard Leacock’s film, November Actions, records some of these tumultuous events.)

    In the 1980s, there was more controversy at The Massachusetts Institute of Technology over its involvement in SDI (space weaponry) and CBW (chemical and biological warfare) research. More recently, The Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s research for the military has included work on robots, drones and ‘battle suits’.

    Recent history

    The Massachusetts Institute of Technology has kept pace with and helped to advance the digital age. In addition to developing the predecessors to modern computing and networking technologies, students, staff, and faculty members at Project MAC, the Artificial Intelligence Laboratory, and the Tech Model Railroad Club wrote some of the earliest interactive computer video games like Spacewar! and created much of modern hacker slang and culture. Several major computer-related organizations have originated at MIT since the 1980s: Richard Stallman’s GNU Project and the subsequent Free Software Foundation were founded in the mid-1980s at the AI Lab; the MIT Media Lab was founded in 1985 by Nicholas Negroponte and Jerome Wiesner to promote research into novel uses of computer technology; the World Wide Web Consortium standards organization was founded at the Laboratory for Computer Science in 1994 by Tim Berners-Lee; the MIT OpenCourseWare project has made course materials for over 2,000 Massachusetts Institute of Technology classes available online free of charge since 2002; and the One Laptop per Child initiative to expand computer education and connectivity to children worldwide was launched in 2005.

    The Massachusetts Institute of Technology was named a sea-grant college in 1976 to support its programs in oceanography and marine sciences and was named a space-grant college in 1989 to support its aeronautics and astronautics programs. Despite diminishing government financial support over the past quarter century, MIT launched several successful development campaigns to significantly expand the campus: new dormitories and athletics buildings on west campus; the Tang Center for Management Education; several buildings in the northeast corner of campus supporting research into biology, brain and cognitive sciences, genomics, biotechnology, and cancer research; and a number of new “backlot” buildings on Vassar Street including the Stata Center. Construction on campus in the 2000s included expansions of the Media Lab, the Sloan School’s eastern campus, and graduate residences in the northwest. In 2006, President Hockfield launched the MIT Energy Research Council to investigate the interdisciplinary challenges posed by increasing global energy consumption.

    In 2001, inspired by the open source and open access movements, The Massachusetts Institute of Technology launched “OpenCourseWare” to make the lecture notes, problem sets, syllabi, exams, and lectures from the great majority of its courses available online for no charge, though without any formal accreditation for coursework completed. While the cost of supporting and hosting the project is high, OCW expanded in 2005 to include other universities as a part of the OpenCourseWare Consortium, which currently includes more than 250 academic institutions with content available in at least six languages. In 2011, The Massachusetts Institute of Technology announced it would offer formal certification (but not credits or degrees) to online participants completing coursework in its “MITx” program, for a modest fee. The “edX” online platform supporting MITx was initially developed in partnership with Harvard and its analogous “Harvardx” initiative. The courseware platform is open source, and other universities have already joined and added their own course content. In March 2009 the Massachusetts Institute of Technology faculty adopted an open-access policy to make its scholarship publicly accessible online.

    The Massachusetts Institute of Technology has its own police force. Three days after the Boston Marathon bombing of April 2013, MIT Police patrol officer Sean Collier was fatally shot by the suspects Dzhokhar and Tamerlan Tsarnaev, setting off a violent manhunt that shut down the campus and much of the Boston metropolitan area for a day. One week later, Collier’s memorial service was attended by more than 10,000 people, in a ceremony hosted by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology community with thousands of police officers from the New England region and Canada. On November 25, 2013, The Massachusetts Institute of Technology announced the creation of the Collier Medal, to be awarded annually to “an individual or group that embodies the character and qualities that Officer Collier exhibited as a member of The Massachusetts Institute of Technology community and in all aspects of his life”. The announcement further stated that “Future recipients of the award will include those whose contributions exceed the boundaries of their profession, those who have contributed to building bridges across the community, and those who consistently and selflessly perform acts of kindness”.

    In September 2017, the school announced the creation of an artificial intelligence research lab called the MIT-IBM Watson AI Lab. IBM will spend $240 million over the next decade, and the lab will be staffed by MIT and IBM scientists. In October 2018 MIT announced that it would open a new Schwarzman College of Computing dedicated to the study of artificial intelligence, named after lead donor and The Blackstone Group CEO Stephen Schwarzman. The focus of the new college is to study not just AI, but interdisciplinary AI education, and how AI can be used in fields as diverse as history and biology. The cost of buildings and new faculty for the new college is expected to be $1 billion upon completion.

    The Caltech/MIT Advanced aLIGO was designed and constructed by a team of scientists from California Institute of Technology , Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and industrial contractors, and funded by the National Science Foundation .

    Caltech /MIT Advanced aLigo

    It was designed to open the field of gravitational-wave astronomy through the detection of gravitational waves predicted by general relativity. Gravitational waves were detected for the first time by the LIGO detector in 2015. For contributions to the LIGO detector and the observation of gravitational waves, two Caltech physicists, Kip Thorne and Barry Barish, and Massachusetts Institute of Technology physicist Rainer Weiss won the Nobel Prize in physics in 2017. Weiss, who is also a Massachusetts Institute of Technology graduate, designed the laser interferometric technique, which served as the essential blueprint for the LIGO.

    The mission of The Massachusetts Institute of Technology is to advance knowledge and educate students in science, technology, and other areas of scholarship that will best serve the nation and the world in the twenty-first century. We seek to develop in each member of The Massachusetts Institute of Technology community the ability and passion to work wisely, creatively, and effectively for the betterment of humankind.

     
  • richardmitnick 1:21 pm on November 30, 2022 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: "Gene Mutation Leading to Autism Found to Overstimulate Brain Cells", A mutation – R451C in the gene Neurologin-3 known to cause autism in humans, , , Researchers employed CRISPR technology to alter the human stem cells’ genetic material to create a line of cells containing the mutation they wanted to study., , Rutgers-led study highlights potential of new techniques to study mental disorders., The findings suggest that the NLGN3 R451C mutation dramatically impacts excitatory synaptic transmission in human neurons triggering changes in network properties related to disorders.   

    From Rutgers University: “Gene Mutation Leading to Autism Found to Overstimulate Brain Cells” 

    Rutgers smaller
    Our Great Seal.

    From Rutgers University

    11.21.22
    By Kitta MacPherson

    Media Contact
    Patti Zielinski
    patti.zielinski@rutgers.edu

    1
    2018 Billion Photos/Shutterstock. No use without permission. [Used under “Fair Use” for academic teaching purposes.]

    Rutgers-led study highlights potential of new techniques to study mental disorders.

    Scientists looking to understand the fundamental brain mechanisms of autism spectrum disorder have found that a gene mutation known to be associated with the disorder causes an overstimulation of brain cells far greater than that seen in neuronal cells without the mutation.

    The Rutgers-led study, spanning seven years, employed some of the most advanced approaches available in the scientific toolbox, including growing human brain cells from stem cells and transplanting them into mouse brains.

    The work illustrates the potential of a new approach to studying brain disorders, scientists said.

    Describing the study in the journal, Molecular Psychiatry [below], researchers reported a mutation – R451C in the gene Neurologin-3, known to cause autism in humans – was found to provoke a higher level of communication among a network of transplanted human brain cells in mouse brains. This overexcitation, quantified in experiments by the scientists, manifests itself as a burst of electrical activity more than double the level seen in brain cells without the mutation.

    “We were surprised to find an enhancement, not a deficit,” said Zhiping Pang, an associate professor in the Department of Neuroscience and Cell Biology in the Child Health Institute of New Jersey at Rutgers Robert Wood Johnson Medical School and the senior author on the study. “This gain-of-function in those specific cells, revealed by our study, causes an imbalance among the brain’s neuronal network, disrupting the normal information flow.”

    The interconnected mesh of cells that constitutes the human brain contains specialized “excitatory” cells that stimulate electrical activity, balanced by “inhibitory” brain cells that curtail electrical pulses, Pang said. The scientists found the oversized burst of electrical activity caused by the mutation threw the mouse brains out of kilter.

    Autism spectrum disorder is a developmental disability caused by differences in the brain. About 1 in 44 children have been identified with the disorder, according to estimates from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

    Studies suggest autism could be a result of disruptions in normal brain growth very early in development, according to the National Institutes of Health’s National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke. These disruptions may be the result of mutations in genes that control brain development and regulate how brain cells communicate with each other, according to the NIH.

    “So much of the underlying mechanisms in autism are unknown, which hinders the development of effective therapeutics,” Pang said. “Using human neurons generated from human stem cells as a model system, we wanted to understand how and why a specific mutation causes autism in humans.”

    Researchers employed CRISPR technology to alter the human stem cells’ genetic material to create a line of cells containing the mutation they wanted to study, and then derived human neuron cells carrying this mutation. CRISPR, an acronym for clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats, is a unique gene-editing technology.

    In the study, the human neuron cells that were generated, half with the mutation, half without, were then implanted in the brains of mice. From there, researchers measured and compared the electrical activity of specific neurons employing electrophysiology, a branch of physiology that studies the electrical properties of biological cells. Voltage changes or electrical current can be quantified on a variety of scales, depending on the dimensions of the object of study.

    “Our findings suggest that the NLGN3 R451C mutation dramatically impacts excitatory synaptic transmission in human neurons, thereby triggering changes in overall network properties that may be related to mental disorders,” Pang said. “We view this as very important information for the field.”

    Pang said he expects many of the techniques developed to conduct this experiment to be used in future scientific investigations into the basis of other brain disorders, such as schizophrenia.

    “This study highlights the potential of using human neurons as a model system to study mental disorders and develop novel therapeutics,” he said.

    Other Rutgers scientists involved in the study include Le Wang, a postdoctoral associate in Pang’s lab, and Vincent Mirabella, who is earning doctoral and medical degrees as part of the MD-PhD student at Robert Wood Johnson Medical School; Davide Comoletti, an assistant professor, Matteo Bernabucci, a postdoctoral fellow, Xiao Su, a doctoral student, and Ishnoor Singh, a graduate student, all of the Rutgers Child Health Institute of New Jersey; Ronald Hart, a professor, Peng Jiang and Kelvin Kwan, assistant professors, and Ranjie Xu and Azadeh Jadali, postdoctoral fellows, all of the Department of Cell Biology and Neuroscience, Rutgers School of Arts and Sciences.

    Thomas C. Südhof, a 2013 Nobel laureate and professor in the Department of Molecular and Cellular Physiology at Stanford University, contributed to the study, as did scientists at Central South University in Changsha, China; SUNY Upstate Medical Center in Syracuse, N.Y.; University of Massachusetts in Amherst, Mass.; Shaanxi Normal University in Shaanxi, China; and Victoria University in Wellington, New Zealand.

    Science paper:
    Molecular Psychiatry

    See the full article here .

    Comments are invited and will be appreciated, especially if the reader finds any errors which I can correct. Use “Reply”.


    five-ways-keep-your-child-safe-school-shootings

    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

    Stem Education Coalition

    rutgers-campus

    Rutgers-The State University of New Jersey, is a leading national research university and the state’s preeminent, comprehensive public institution of higher education. Rutgers is dedicated to teaching that meets the highest standards of excellence; to conducting research that breaks new ground; and to providing services, solutions, and clinical care that help individuals and the local, national, and global communities where they live.

    Founded in 1766, Rutgers teaches across the full educational spectrum: preschool to precollege; undergraduate to graduate; postdoctoral fellowships to residencies; and continuing education for professional and personal advancement.

    Rutgers University is a public land-grant research university based in New Brunswick, New Jersey. Chartered in 1766, Rutgers was originally called Queen’s College, and today it is the eighth-oldest college in the United States, the second-oldest in New Jersey (after Princeton University), and one of the nine U.S. colonial colleges that were chartered before the American War of Independence. In 1825, Queen’s College was renamed Rutgers College in honor of Colonel Henry Rutgers, whose substantial gift to the school had stabilized its finances during a period of uncertainty. For most of its existence, Rutgers was a private liberal arts college but it has evolved into a coeducational public research university after being designated The State University of New Jersey by the New Jersey Legislature via laws enacted in 1945 and 1956.

    Rutgers today has three distinct campuses, located in New Brunswick (including grounds in adjacent Piscataway), Newark, and Camden. The university has additional facilities elsewhere in the state, including oceanographic research facilities at the New Jersey shore. Rutgers is also a land-grant university, a sea-grant university, and the largest university in the state. Instruction is offered by 9,000 faculty members in 175 academic departments to over 45,000 undergraduate students and more than 20,000 graduate and professional students. The university is accredited by the Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools and is a member of the Big Ten Academic Alliance, the Association of American Universities and the Universities Research Association. Over the years, Rutgers has been considered a Public Ivy.

    Research

    Rutgers is home to the Rutgers University Center for Cognitive Science, also known as RUCCS. This research center hosts researchers in psychology, linguistics, computer science, philosophy, electrical engineering, and anthropology.

    It was at Rutgers that Selman Waksman (1888–1973) discovered several antibiotics, including actinomycin, clavacin, streptothricin, grisein, neomycin, fradicin, candicidin, candidin, and others. Waksman, along with graduate student Albert Schatz (1920–2005), discovered streptomycin—a versatile antibiotic that was to be the first applied to cure tuberculosis. For this discovery, Waksman received the Nobel Prize for Medicine in 1952.

    Rutgers developed water-soluble sustained release polymers, tetraploids, robotic hands, artificial bovine insemination, and the ceramic tiles for the heat shield on the Space Shuttle. In health related field, Rutgers has the Environmental & Occupational Health Science Institute (EOHSI).

    Rutgers is also home to the RCSB Protein Data bank, “…an information portal to Biological Macromolecular Structures’ cohosted with the San Diego Supercomputer Center. This database is the authoritative research tool for bioinformaticists using protein primary, secondary and tertiary structures worldwide….”

    Rutgers is home to the Rutgers Cooperative Research & Extension office, which is run by the Agricultural and Experiment Station with the support of local government. The institution provides research & education to the local farming and agro industrial community in 19 of the 21 counties of the state and educational outreach programs offered through the New Jersey Agricultural Experiment Station Office of Continuing Professional Education.

    Rutgers University Cell and DNA Repository (RUCDR) is the largest university based repository in the world and has received awards worth more than $57.8 million from the National Institutes of Health. One will fund genetic studies of mental disorders and the other will support investigations into the causes of digestive, liver and kidney diseases, and diabetes. RUCDR activities will enable gene discovery leading to diagnoses, treatments and, eventually, cures for these diseases. RUCDR assists researchers throughout the world by providing the highest quality biomaterials, technical consultation, and logistical support.

    Rutgers–Camden is home to the nation’s PhD granting Department of Childhood Studies. This department, in conjunction with the Center for Children and Childhood Studies, also on the Camden campus, conducts interdisciplinary research which combines methodologies and research practices of sociology, psychology, literature, anthropology and other disciplines into the study of childhoods internationally.

    Rutgers is home to several National Science Foundation IGERT fellowships that support interdisciplinary scientific research at the graduate-level. Highly selective fellowships are available in the following areas: Perceptual Science, Stem Cell Science and Engineering, Nanotechnology for Clean Energy, Renewable and Sustainable Fuels Solutions, and Nanopharmaceutical Engineering.

    Rutgers also maintains the Office of Research Alliances that focuses on working with companies to increase engagement with the university’s faculty members, staff and extensive resources on the four campuses.

    As a ’67 graduate of University College, second in my class, I am proud to be a member of

    Alpha Sigma Lamda, National Honor Society of non-tradional students.

     
  • richardmitnick 12:50 pm on November 30, 2022 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: "Most distant detection of a black hole swallowing a star", , , , , , The event named AT2022cmc   

    From The European Southern Observatory [La Observatorio Europeo Austral] [Observatoire européen austral] [Europäische Südsternwarte](EU)(CL) : “Most distant detection of a black hole swallowing a star” 

    From The European Southern Observatory [La Observatorio Europeo Austral] [Observatoire européen austral] [Europäische Südsternwarte](EU)(CL)

    11.30.22
    Contacts

    Igor Andreoni
    Joint Space-Science Institute, University of Maryland, NASA Goddard Space Flight Center
    Greenbelt, MD, USA
    Tel: +1 (626) 487-7545
    andreoni@umd.edu

    Daniel Perley
    Astrophysics Research Institute, Liverpool John Moores University
    Liverpool, UK
    Tel: +44 (0)745 6339330
    d.a.perley@ljmu.ac.uk

    Nial Tanvir
    Department of Physics and Astronomy, University of Leicester
    Leicester, nrt3@leicester.ac.uk

    Giorgos Leloudas
    DTU Space, National Space Institute, Technical University of Denmark
    Lyngby, Denmark
    giorgos@space.dtu.dk

    Juan Carlos Muñoz Mateos
    ESO Media Officer
    Garching bei München, Germany
    Tel: +49 89 3200 6176
    press@eso.org

    1
    Earlier this year, the European Southern Observatory’s Very Large Telescope (ESO’s VLT) was alerted after an unusual source of visible light had been detected by a survey telescope. The VLT, together with other telescopes, was swiftly repositioned towards the source: a supermassive black hole in a distant galaxy that had devoured a star, expelling the leftovers in a jet. The VLT determined it to be the furthest example of such an event to have ever been observed. Because the jet is pointing almost towards us, this is also the first time it has been discovered with visible light, providing a new way of detecting these extreme events.

    Stars that wander too close to a black hole are ripped apart by the incredible tidal forces of the black hole in what is known as a tidal disruption event (TDE). Approximately 1% of these cause jets of plasma and radiation to be ejected from the poles of the rotating black hole. In 1971, the black hole pioneer John Wheeler[1] introduced the concept of jetted-TDEs as “a tube of toothpaste gripped tight about its middle,” causing the system to “squirt matter out of both ends.” 

    “We have only seen a handful of these jetted-TDEs and they remain very exotic and poorly understood events,” says Nial Tanvir from the University of Leicester in the UK, who led the observations to determine the object’s distance with the VLT. Astronomers are thus constantly hunting for these extreme events to understand how the jets are actually created and why such a small fraction of TDEs produce them. 

    As part of this quest many telescopes, including the Zwicky Transient Facility (ZTF) in the US, repeatedly survey the sky for signs of short-lived, often extreme, events that could then be studied in much greater detail by telescopes such as ESO’s VLT in Chile.

    Zwicky Transient Facility (ZTF) instrument installed on the 1.2m diameter Samuel Oschin Telescope at Palomar Observatory in California. Credit: Caltech Optical Observatories.

    “We developed an open-source data pipeline to store and mine important information from the ZTF survey and alert us about atypical events in real time,” explains Igor Andreoni, an astronomer at the University of Maryland in the US who co-led the paper published today in Nature together with Michael Coughlin from the University of Minnesota.  

    In February of this year the ZTF detected a new source of visible light. The event, named AT2022cmc, was reminiscent of a gamma ray burst — the most powerful source of light in the Universe. The prospect of witnessing this rare phenomenon prompted astronomers to trigger several telescopes from across the globe to observe the mystery source in more detail. This included ESO’s VLT, which quickly observed this new event with the X-shooter instrument.

    The VLT data placed the source at an unprecedented distance for these events: the light produced from AT2022cmc began its journey when the universe was about one third of its current age. 

    A wide variety of light, from high energy gamma rays to radio waves, was collected by 21 telescopes around the world. The team compared these data with different kinds of known events, from collapsing stars to kilonovae. But the only scenario that matched the data was a rare jetted-TDE pointing towards us. Giorgos Leloudas, an astronomer at DTU Space in Denmark and co-author of this study, explains that “because the relativistic jet is pointing at us, it makes the event much brighter than it would otherwise appear, and visible over a broader span of the electromagnetic spectrum.”

    The VLT distance measurement found AT2022cmc to be the most distant TDE to have ever been discovered, but this is not the only record-breaking aspect of this object. “Until now, the small number of jetted-TDEs that are known were initially detected using high energy gamma-ray and X-ray telescopes, but this was the first discovery of one during an optical survey,” says Daniel Perley, an astronomer at Liverpool John Moores University in the UK and co-author of the study. This demonstrates a new way of detecting jetted-TDEs, allowing further study of these rare events and probing of the extreme environments surrounding black holes.

    Notes

    [1] John Archibald Wheeler is also often credited with coining the term ‘black hole’ in a 1967 speech to NASA.

    More information

    This research was presented in a paper to appear in Nature [below].

    The team is composed of Igor Andreoni (Joint Space-Science Institute, University of Maryland, USA [JSI/UMD]; Department of Astronomy, University of Maryland, USA [UMD]; Astrophysics Science Division, NASA Goddard Space Flight Center [NASA/GSFC], USA), Michael W. Coughlin (School of Physics and Astronomy, University of Minnesota, USA), Daniel A. Perley (Astrophysics Research Institute, Liverpool John Moores University, UK), Yuhan Yao (Division of Physics, Mathematics and Astronomy, California Institute of Technology, USA [Caltech]), Wenbin Lu (Department of Astrophysical Sciences, Princeton University, USA), S. Bradley Cenko (JSI/UMD; NASA/GSFC), Harsh Kumar (Indian Institute of Technology Bombay, India [IIT/Bombay]), Shreya Anand (Caltech), Anna Y. Q. Ho (Department of Astronomy, University of California, Berkeley, USA [UCB]; Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, USA [LBNL]; Miller Institute for Basic Research in Science, USA), Mansi M. Kasliwal (Caltech), Antonio de Ugarte Postigo (Université Côte d’Azur, Observatoire de la Côte d’Azur, France), Ana Sagués-Carracedo (The Oskar Klein Centre, Stockholm University, Sweden [OKC]), Steve Schulze (OKC), D. Alexander Kann (Instituto de Astrofisica de Andalucia, Glorieta de la Astronomia, Spain [IAA-CSIC]), S. R. Kulkarni (Caltech), Jesper Sollerman (OKC), Nial Tanvir (Department of Physics and Astronomy, University of Leicester, UK), Armin Rest (Space Telescope Science Institute, Baltimore, USA [STScI]; Department of Physics and Astronomy, The Johns Hopkins University, USA), Luca Izzo (DARK, Niels Bohr Institute, University of Copenhagen, Denmark), Jean J. Somalwar (Caltech), David L. Kaplan (Center for Gravitation, Cosmology and Astrophysics, Department of Physics, University of Wisconsin–Milwaukee, USA), Tomás Ahumada (UMD), G. C. Anupama (Indian Institute of Astrophysics, Bangalore, India [IIA]), Katie Auchettl (School of Physics, University of Melbourne, Australia; ARC Centre of Excellence for All Sky Astrophysics in 3 Dimensions; Department of Astronomy and Astrophysics, University of California, Santa Cruz, USA), Sudhanshu Barway (IIA), Eric C. Bellm (DIRAC Institute, University of Washington, USA), Varun Bhalerao (IIT/Bombay), Joshua S. Bloom (LBNL; UCB), Michael Bremer (Institut de Radioastronomie Millimetrique, France [IRAM]), Mattia Bulla (OKC), Eric Burns (Department of Physics & Astronomy, Louisiana State University, USA), Sergio Campana (INAF-Osservatorio Astronomico di Brera, Italy), Poonam Chandra (National Centre for Radio Astrophysics, Tata Institute of Fundamental Research, Pune University, India), Panos Charalampopoulos (DTU Space, National Space Institute, Technical University of Denmark, Denmark [DTU]), Jeff Cooke (Australian Research Council Centre of Excellence for Gravitational Wave Discovery, Swinburne University of Technology, Hawthorn, Australia [OzGrav]; Centre for Astrophysics and Supercomputing, Swinburne University of Technology, Australia [CAS]), Valerio D’Elia (Space Science Data Center – Agenzia Spaziale Italiana, Italy), Kaustav Kashyap Das (Caltech), Dougal Dobie (OzGrav; CAS), Jose Feliciano Agüí Fernández (IAA-CSIC), James Freeburn (OzGrav; CAS), Cristoffer Fremling (Caltech), Suvi Gezari (STScI), Matthew Graham (Caltech), Erica Hammerstein (UMD), Viraj R. Karambelkar (Caltech), Charles D. Kilpatrick (Center for Interdisciplinary Exploration and Research in Astrophysics, Northwestern University, USA), Erik C. Kool (OKC), Melanie Krips (IRAM), Russ R. Laher (IPAC, California Institute of Technology, USA [IPAC]), Giorgos Leloudas (DTU), Andrew Levan (Department of Astrophysics, Radboud University, The Netherlands), Michael J. Lundquist (W. M. Keck Observatory, USA), Ashish A. Mahabal (Caltech; Center for Data Driven Discovery, California Institute of Technology, USA), Michael S. Medford (UCB; LBNL), M. Coleman Miller (JSI/UMD; UMD), Anais Möller (OzGrav; CAS), Kunal Mooley (Caltech), A. J. Nayana (Indian Institute of Astrophysics, India), Guy Nir (UCB), Peter T. H. Pang (Nikhef, The Netherlands; Institute for Gravitational and Subatomic Physics, Utrecht University, The Netherlands), Emmy Paraskeva (IAASARS, National Observatory of Athens, Greece; Department of Astrophysics, Astronomy & Mechanics, University of Athens, Greece; Nordic Optical Telescope, Spain; Department of Physics and Astronomy, Aarhus University, Denmark), Richard A. Perley (National Radio Astronomy Observatory, USA), Glen Petitpas (Center for Astrophysics | Harvard & Smithsonian, Cambridge, USA), Miika Pursiainen (DTU), Vikram Ravi (Caltech), Ryan Ridden-Harper (School of Physical and Chemical Sciences — Te Kura Matu, University of Canterbury, New Zealand), Reed Riddle (Caltech Optical Observatories, California Institute of Technology, USA), Mickael Rigault (Université de Lyon, France), Antonio C. Rodriguez (Caltech), Ben Rusholme (IPAC), Yashvi Sharma (Caltech), I. A. Smith (Institute for Astronomy, University of Hawaii, USA), Robert D. Stein (Caltech), Christina Thöne (Astronomical Institute of the Czech Academy of Sciences, Czech Republic), Aaron Tohuvavohu (Department of Astronomy and Astrophysics, University of Toronto, Canada), Frank Valdes (National Optical Astronomy Observatory, USA), Jan van Roestel (Caltech), Susanna D. Vergani (GEPI, Observatoire de Paris, PSL Research University, France; Institut d’Astrophysique de Paris, France), Qinan Wang (STScI), Jielai Zhang (OzGrav; CAS).

    Science paper:
    Nature
    See the science paper for instructive material with images.

    See the full article here .

    Comments are invited and will be appreciated, especially if the reader finds any errors which I can correct. Use “Reply”


    five-ways-keep-your-child-safe-school-shootings

    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

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    Visit ESO (EU) in Social Media-

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    ESO Bloc Icon

    The European Southern Observatory [La Observatorio Europeo Austral] [Observatoire européen austral][Europäische Südsternwarte] (EU)(CL) is the foremost intergovernmental astronomy organization in Europe and the world’s most productive ground-based astronomical observatory by far. today ESO is supported by 16 Member States (Austria, Belgium, the Czech Republic, Denmark, France, Finland, Germany, Ireland, Italy, the Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and the United Kingdom), along with the host state of Chile and with Australia as a Strategic Partner. ESO carries out an ambitious program focused on the design, construction and operation of powerful ground-based observing facilities enabling astronomers to make important scientific discoveries. ESO also plays a leading role in promoting and organizing cooperation in astronomical research. ESO operates three unique world-class observing sites in Chile: Cerro La Silla, Cerro Paranaland Chajnantor. At Paranal, ESO operates the Very Large Telescope, the world’s most advanced visible-light astronomical observatory and two survey telescopes. VISTA works in the infrared and is the world’s largest survey telescope and the VLT Survey Telescope is the largest telescope designed to exclusively survey the skies in visible light. ESO is a major partner in ALMA, the largest astronomical project in existence. And on Cerro Armazones, close to Paranal, ESO is building the 39-metre European Extremely Large Telescope, the E-ELT, which will become “the world’s biggest eye on the sky”.

    The European Southern Observatory (ESO) enables scientists worldwide to discover the secrets of the Universe for the benefit of all. We design, build and operate world-class observatories on the ground — which astronomers use to tackle exciting questions and spread the fascination of astronomy — and promote international collaboration in astronomy. Established as an intergovernmental organization in 1962, ESO’s headquarters and its visitor centre and planetarium, the ESO Supernova, are located close to Munich in Germany, while the Chilean Atacama Desert, a marvellous place with unique conditions to observe the sky, hosts our telescopes. At Paranal ESO will host and operate the Čerenkov Telescope Array South, the world’s largest and most sensitive gamma-ray observatory.


    Cerro La Silla HELIOS (HARPS Experiment for Light Integrated Over the Sun).

    3.6m telescope & HARPS at Cerro LaSilla, 600 km north of Santiago de Chile at an altitude of 2400 metres.

    MPG Institute for Astronomy [MPG-Institut für Astronomie](DE) European Southern Observatory(EU)(CL) 2.2 meter telescope at Cerro La Silla, 600 km north of Santiago de Chile at an altitude of 2400 metres.

    European Southern Observatory (EU)(CL) Cerro La Silla Observatory 600 km north of Santiago de Chile at an altitude of 2400 metres.

    European Southern Observatory(EU)(CL) , Very Large Telescope at Cerro Paranal in the Atacama Desert •ANTU (UT1; The Sun ) •KUEYEN (UT2; The Moon ) •MELIPAL (UT3; The Southern Cross ), and •YEPUN (UT4; Venus – as evening star). Elevation 2,635 m (8,645 ft) from above Credit J.L. Dauvergne & G. Hüdepohl atacama photo.


    European Southern Observatory(EU) (CL) VLTI Interferometer image, Cerro Paranal, with an elevation of 2,635 metres (8,645 ft) above sea level, •ANTU (UT1; The Sun ), •KUEYEN (UT2; The Moon ), •MELIPAL (UT3; The Southern Cross ), and •YEPUN (UT4; Venus – as evening star).

    ESO VLT Survey telescope.

    ESO Very Large Telescope 4 lasers on Yepun (CL).

    Glistening against the awesome backdrop of the night sky above ESO’s Paranal Observatory, four laser beams project out into the darkness from Unit Telescope 4 UT4 of the VLT, a major asset of the Adaptive Optics system.

    ESO New Technology Telescope at Cerro La Silla, at an altitude of 2400 metres.

    Part of ESO’s Paranal Observatory the VLT Survey Telescope (VISTA) observes the brilliantly clear skies above the Atacama Desert of Chile. It is the largest survey telescope in the world in visible light, with an elevation of 2,635 metres (8,645 ft) above sea level.

    European Southern Observatory (EU)(CL)National Radio Astronomy ObservatoryNational Astronomical Observatory of Japan(JP) ALMA Array in Chile in the Atacama at Chajnantor plateau, at 5,000 metres.

    European Southern Observatory(EU) (CL) ELT 39 meter telescope to be on top of Cerro Armazones in the Atacama Desert of northern Chile. located at the summit of the mountain at an altitude of 3,060 metres (10,040 ft).

    European Southern Observatory(EU)/MPG Institute for Radio Astronomy [MPG Institut für Radioastronomie](DE) ESO’s Atacama Pathfinder Experiment(CL) high on the Chajnantor plateau in Chile’s Atacama region, at an altitude of over 4,800 m (15,700 ft).

    The Leiden Observatory [Sterrewacht Leiden](NL) MASCARA instrument cabinet at Cerro La Silla, located in the southern Atacama Desert 600 kilometres (370 mi) north of Santiago de Chile at an altitude of 2,400 metres (7,900 ft).

    ESO Next Generation Transit Survey telescopes, an array of twelve robotic 20-centimetre telescopes at Cerro Paranal, 2,635 metres (8,645 ft) above sea level.


    ESO Speculoos telescopes four 1 meter robotic telescopes at ESO Paranal Observatory 2635 metres 8645 ft above sea level.

    TAROT telescope at Cerro LaSilla, 2,635 metres (8,645 ft) above sea level.

    European Southern Observatory (EU) ExTrA telescopes at Cerro LaSilla at an altitude of 2400 metres.

    A novel gamma ray telescope under construction on Mount Hopkins, Arizona. A large project known as the Čerenkov Telescope Array composed of hundreds of similar telescopes to be situated in the Canary Islands and Chile at, ESO Cerro Paranal site The telescope on Mount Hopkins will be fitted with a prototype high-speed camera, assembled at the University of Wisconsin–Madison and capable of taking pictures at a billion frames per second. Credit: Vladimir Vassiliev.

    European Space Agency [La Agencia Espacial Europea] [Agence spatiale européenne][Europäische Weltraumorganization](EU), The new Test-Bed Telescope 2 is housed inside the shiny white dome shown in this picture, at ESO’s Cerro LaSilla Facility in Chile. The telescope has now started operations and will assist its northern-hemisphere twin in protecting us from potentially hazardous, near-Earth objects. The domes of ESO’s 0.5 m and the Danish 0.5 m telescopes are visible in the background of this image.Part of the world-wide effort to scan and identify near-Earth objects, the European Space Agency’s Test-Bed Telescope 2 (TBT2), a technology demonstrator hosted at ESO’s La Silla Observatory, has now started operating. Working alongside its northern-hemisphere partner telescope, TBT2 will keep a close eye on the sky for asteroids that could pose a risk to Earth, testing hardware and software for a future telescope network.

    European Space Agency [La Agencia Espacial Europea][Agence spatiale européenne][Europäische Weltraumorganization](EU) ‘s The open dome of The black telescope structure of the European Space Agency Test-Bed Telescope 2 peers out of its open dome in front of the rolling desert landscape. The telescope is located at ESO’s Cerro La Silla Observatory, which sits at a 2400 metre altitude in the Chilean Atacama Desert.

     
  • richardmitnick 12:43 pm on November 30, 2022 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: "Scientists construct novel quantum testbed one atom at a time", , , , , , , , , This work represents a step toward exploiting topological phenomena for quantum computing., , With atomic precision scientists built a testbed to manipulate electrons in entirely new ways with potential applications in quantum computing.   

    From The DOE’s Argonne National Laboratory: “Scientists construct novel quantum testbed one atom at a time” 

    Argonne Lab

    From The DOE’s Argonne National Laboratory

    11.28.22
    Savannah Mitchem

    With atomic precision scientists built a testbed to manipulate electrons in entirely new ways with potential applications in quantum computing.

    1
    Left, atomic structure of actual graphene nanoribbon. Middle, CO molecules mapped onto a copper surface to produce graphene structure. Right, scanning tunneling microscope image of the resulting artificial graphene nanoribbon. (Image by Argonne National Laboratory.)

    Electrons are tiny objects that can carry electricity and information across materials and between devices. They are often visualized as discrete spheres, either moving through a circuit or connected to an atom. While this classical model works well for many scenarios, quantum mechanics paints a radically different picture of the nature of electrons involving waves, clouds and a lot of math.

    As scientists gain more understanding of quantum mechanics, they are looking beyond our current methods to engineer materials with unique electronic properties that allow them to store and manipulate information in entirely new ways.

    Scientists at the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Argonne National Laboratory have created a novel testbed to explore the behavior of electrons in a special class of materials called topological insulators, which could see applications in quantum computing.

    Topology — a field of mathematics regarding the nature of shapes — provides unique insight into the physics of materials. Electrons on the surface of topological insulators can exist in states that allow them to flow with almost no resistance. These states can also protect the system from external noise, or influence, a major challenge for emerging quantum information technologies.

    Scientists are exploring the power of quantum mechanical phenomena like these topological states to store and communicate information with greater speed, security and energy efficiency.

    “We were able to control the appearance of topological states in our testbed,” said Argonne theoretical physicist Pierre Darancet, a lead author on the paper. ​“Our work represents a step toward exploiting topological phenomena for quantum computing.”

    I can’t believe it’s not graphene! 

    Super strong and a superior conductor of electrons, the material graphene is a one-atom-thick sheet of carbon atoms with many possible applications. In previous work, graphene nanoribbons — small strips of graphene — were shown to exhibit promising topological states. Inspired by this, the Argonne team constructed an artificial graphene testbed with atomic precision in hopes to further explore those topological effects.

    “Making artificial graphene nanoribbons gave us more precise control over the system compared to synthesizing actual nanoribbons, which can be messy,” said Darancet. ​“It was a theorist’s dream to have experimentalists building atomic Legos atom by atom, and it allowed for greater manipulation and exploration of the topology.”

    3
    Scientists used this scanning tunneling microscope at Argonne’s Center for Nanoscale Materials to create and characterize artificial graphene nanoribbons. (Image by Argonne National Laboratory.)

    The team constructed artificial graphene nanoribbons by placing individual carbon monoxide (CO) molecules very precisely onto a copper surface using a scanning tunneling microscope (STM) at Argonne’s Center for Nanoscale Materials, a DOE Office of Science user facility.

    Scientists generally use microscopes to gather information about materials. In this study, they used the STM to both create and investigate the material. They also developed computer algorithms to automate construction, allowing them to operate the STM remotely. ​“I would wake up, have my coffee and then start playing with a microscope that was 30 miles away,” said Dan Trainer, who led the STM portion of the work as a postdoctoral appointee at Argonne.

    Using the pristine tip of the microscope, Trainer and team positioned the CO molecules, one by one, onto the copper surface in a way that confined their electrons to emulate the honeycomb structure exhibited by carbon atoms alone in a real graphene nanoribbon.

    The resulting artificial nanoribbon indeed displayed the same electronic and topological properties researchers predicted would appear in the real thing.

    Achieving topological states 

    In current electronic technologies, information is represented with ones and zeros that correspond to the presence or absence of electrons flowing in a circuit. When a material exists in a topological state as demonstrated in this study, the electrons on its surface are better described as a sort of quantum mechanical hive mind, displaying wave patterns across the material.

    One can think of electrons on metal surfaces as waves in a pond, where the water organizes itself as a series of vibrations ricocheting on the lake boundaries, rather than a mere soup of unrelated H2O molecules. Topological states are rogue waves emerging from the complex interactions between the individual electrons on the surface.

    A primary challenge in this experiment was to find the optimal spacing of the CO molecules required to lock the system’s electrons into something electronically equivalent to graphene. When the scientists achieved this precise configuration in their testbed, topological waves appeared on the copper surface. As with the aurora borealis at the North Pole, when conditions were just right, the ordinary system of particles became a spectacular electromagnetic display.

    “It’s incredibly rare for an experimental system to match theoretical predictions so perfectly,” said Trainer. ​“It was really stunning.”

    The results of the study were published in an article ​in ACS Nano.

    This work was supported by the DOE Office of Science. Other authors include Brandon Fisher, Nathan Guisinger, Saw-Wai Hla, Connie Pfeiffer and Srilok Srinivasan from Argonne, as well as Yuan Zhang from Old Dominion University. 

    See the full article here .

    Comments are invited and will be appreciated, especially if the reader finds any errors which I can correct. Use “Reply”.

    five-ways-keep-your-child-safe-school-shootings

    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

    Stem Education Coalition

    The DOE’s Argonne National Laboratory seeks solutions to pressing national problems in science and technology. The nation’s first national laboratory, Argonne conducts leading-edge basic and applied scientific research in virtually every scientific discipline. Argonne researchers work closely with researchers from hundreds of companies, universities, and federal, state and municipal agencies to help them solve their is a science and engineering research national laboratory operated by UChicago Argonne LLC for the United States Department of Energy. The facility is located in Lemont, Illinois, outside of Chicago, and is the largest national laboratory by size and scope in the Midwest.

    Argonne had its beginnings in the Metallurgical Laboratory of the University of Chicago, formed in part to carry out Enrico Fermi’s work on nuclear reactors for the Manhattan Project during World War II. After the war, it was designated as the first national laboratory in the United States on July 1, 1946. In the post-war era the lab focused primarily on non-weapon related nuclear physics, designing and building the first power-producing nuclear reactors, helping design the reactors used by the United States’ nuclear navy, and a wide variety of similar projects. In 1994, the lab’s nuclear mission ended, and today it maintains a broad portfolio in basic science research, energy storage and renewable energy, environmental sustainability, supercomputing, and national security.

    UChicago Argonne, LLC, the operator of the laboratory, “brings together the expertise of the University of Chicago (the sole member of the LLC) with Jacobs Engineering Group Inc.” Argonne is a part of the expanding Illinois Technology and Research Corridor. Argonne formerly ran a smaller facility called Argonne National Laboratory-West (or simply Argonne-West) in Idaho next to the Idaho National Engineering and Environmental Laboratory. In 2005, the two Idaho-based laboratories merged to become the DOE’s Idaho National Laboratory.

    What would become Argonne began in 1942 as the Metallurgical Laboratory at the University of Chicago, which had become part of the Manhattan Project. The Met Lab built Chicago Pile-1, the world’s first nuclear reactor, under the stands of the University of Chicago sports stadium. Considered unsafe, in 1943, CP-1 was reconstructed as CP-2, in what is today known as Red Gate Woods but was then the Argonne Forest of the Cook County Forest Preserve District near Palos Hills. The lab was named after the surrounding forest, which in turn was named after the Forest of Argonne in France where U.S. troops fought in World War I. Fermi’s pile was originally going to be constructed in the Argonne forest, and construction plans were set in motion, but a labor dispute brought the project to a halt. Since speed was paramount, the project was moved to the squash court under Stagg Field, the football stadium on the campus of the University of Chicago. Fermi told them that he was sure of his calculations, which said that it would not lead to a runaway reaction, which would have contaminated the city.

    Other activities were added to Argonne over the next five years. On July 1, 1946, the “Metallurgical Laboratory” was formally re-chartered as Argonne National Laboratory for “cooperative research in nucleonics.” At the request of the U.S. Atomic Energy Commission, it began developing nuclear reactors for the nation’s peaceful nuclear energy program. In the late 1940s and early 1950s, the laboratory moved to a larger location in unincorporated DuPage County, Illinois and established a remote location in Idaho, called “Argonne-West,” to conduct further nuclear research.

    In quick succession, the laboratory designed and built Chicago Pile 3 (1944), the world’s first heavy-water moderated reactor, and the Experimental Breeder Reactor I (Chicago Pile 4), built-in Idaho, which lit a string of four light bulbs with the world’s first nuclear-generated electricity in 1951. A complete list of the reactors designed and, in most cases, built and operated by Argonne can be viewed in the, Reactors Designed by Argonne page. The knowledge gained from the Argonne experiments conducted with these reactors 1) formed the foundation for the designs of most of the commercial reactors currently used throughout the world for electric power generation and 2) inform the current evolving designs of liquid-metal reactors for future commercial power stations.

    Conducting classified research, the laboratory was heavily secured; all employees and visitors needed badges to pass a checkpoint, many of the buildings were classified, and the laboratory itself was fenced and guarded. Such alluring secrecy drew visitors both authorized—including King Leopold III of Belgium and Queen Frederica of Greece—and unauthorized. Shortly past 1 a.m. on February 6, 1951, Argonne guards discovered reporter Paul Harvey near the 10-foot (3.0 m) perimeter fence, his coat tangled in the barbed wire. Searching his car, guards found a previously prepared four-page broadcast detailing the saga of his unauthorized entrance into a classified “hot zone”. He was brought before a federal grand jury on charges of conspiracy to obtain information on national security and transmit it to the public, but was not indicted.

    Not all nuclear technology went into developing reactors, however. While designing a scanner for reactor fuel elements in 1957, Argonne physicist William Nelson Beck put his own arm inside the scanner and obtained one of the first ultrasound images of the human body. Remote manipulators designed to handle radioactive materials laid the groundwork for more complex machines used to clean up contaminated areas, sealed laboratories or caves. In 1964, the “Janus” reactor opened to study the effects of neutron radiation on biological life, providing research for guidelines on safe exposure levels for workers at power plants, laboratories and hospitals. Scientists at Argonne pioneered a technique to analyze the moon’s surface using alpha radiation, which launched aboard the Surveyor 5 in 1967 and later analyzed lunar samples from the Apollo 11 mission.

    In addition to nuclear work, the laboratory maintained a strong presence in the basic research of physics and chemistry. In 1955, Argonne chemists co-discovered the elements einsteinium and fermium, elements 99 and 100 in the periodic table. In 1962, laboratory chemists produced the first compound of the inert noble gas xenon, opening up a new field of chemical bonding research. In 1963, they discovered the hydrated electron.

    High-energy physics made a leap forward when Argonne was chosen as the site of the 12.5 GeV Zero Gradient Synchrotron, a proton accelerator that opened in 1963. A bubble chamber allowed scientists to track the motions of subatomic particles as they zipped through the chamber; in 1970, they observed the neutrino in a hydrogen bubble chamber for the first time.

    Meanwhile, the laboratory was also helping to design the reactor for the world’s first nuclear-powered submarine, the U.S.S. Nautilus, which steamed for more than 513,550 nautical miles (951,090 km). The next nuclear reactor model was Experimental Boiling Water Reactor, the forerunner of many modern nuclear plants, and Experimental Breeder Reactor II (EBR-II), which was sodium-cooled, and included a fuel recycling facility. EBR-II was later modified to test other reactor designs, including a fast-neutron reactor and, in 1982, the Integral Fast Reactor concept—a revolutionary design that reprocessed its own fuel, reduced its atomic waste and withstood safety tests of the same failures that triggered the Chernobyl and Three Mile Island disasters. In 1994, however, the U.S. Congress terminated funding for the bulk of Argonne’s nuclear programs.

    Argonne moved to specialize in other areas, while capitalizing on its experience in physics, chemical sciences and metallurgy. In 1987, the laboratory was the first to successfully demonstrate a pioneering technique called plasma wakefield acceleration, which accelerates particles in much shorter distances than conventional accelerators. It also cultivated a strong battery research program.

    Following a major push by then-director Alan Schriesheim, the laboratory was chosen as the site of the Advanced Photon Source, a major X-ray facility which was completed in 1995 and produced the brightest X-rays in the world at the time of its construction.

    On 19 March 2019, it was reported in the Chicago Tribune that the laboratory was constructing the world’s most powerful supercomputer. Costing $500 million it will have the processing power of 1 quintillion flops. Applications will include the analysis of stars and improvements in the power grid.

    With employees from more than 60 nations, Argonne is managed by UChicago Argonne, LLC for the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Science. For more visit http://www.anl.gov.

    About the Advanced Photon Source

    The U. S. Department of Energy Office of Science’s Advanced Photon Source (APS) at Argonne National Laboratory is one of the world’s most productive X-ray light source facilities. The APS provides high-brightness X-ray beams to a diverse community of researchers in materials science, chemistry, condensed matter physics, the life and environmental sciences, and applied research. These X-rays are ideally suited for explorations of materials and biological structures; elemental distribution; chemical, magnetic, electronic states; and a wide range of technologically important engineering systems from batteries to fuel injector sprays, all of which are the foundations of our nation’s economic, technological, and physical well-being. Each year, more than 5,000 researchers use the APS to produce over 2,000 publications detailing impactful discoveries, and solve more vital biological protein structures than users of any other X-ray light source research facility. APS scientists and engineers innovate technology that is at the heart of advancing accelerator and light-source operations. This includes the insertion devices that produce extreme-brightness X-rays prized by researchers, lenses that focus the X-rays down to a few nanometers, instrumentation that maximizes the way the X-rays interact with samples being studied, and software that gathers and manages the massive quantity of data resulting from discovery research at the APS.

    With employees from more than 60 nations, Argonne is managed by UChicago Argonne, LLC for the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Science. For more visit http://www.anl.gov.

    Argonne is managed by UChicago Argonne, LLC for the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Science

    Argonne Lab Campus

     
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