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  • richardmitnick 3:36 pm on January 24, 2020 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Applied Research & Technology, , , Microway supercomputer being installed, , The new cluster from Microway affords the university five times the compute performance its researchers enjoyed previously with over 85% more total memory and over four times the aggregate memory band, The UMass Dartmouth cluster reflects a hybrid design to appeal to a wide array of the campus’ workloads.,   

    From insideHPC: “UMass Dartmouth Speeds Research with Hybrid Supercomputer from Microway” 

    From insideHPC

    Today Microway announced that research activities are accelerating at the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth since the installation of a new supercomputing cluster.

    “UMass Dartmouth’s powerful new cluster from Microway affords the university five times the compute performance its researchers enjoyed previously, with over 85% more total memory and over four times the aggregate memory bandwidth. It includes a heterogeneous system architecture featuring a wide array of computational engines.”

    2

    The UMass Dartmouth cluster reflects a hybrid design to appeal to a wide array of the campus’ workloads.

    Over 50 nodes include Intel Xeon Scalable Processors, DDR4 memory, SSDs and Mellanox ConnectX-5 EDR 100Gb InfiniBand. A subset of systems also feature NVIDIA V100 GPU Accelerators for GPU computing applications.

    Equally important are a second subset of POWER9 with 2nd Generation NVLink- based- IBM Power Systems AC922 Compute nodes. These systems are similar to those utilized in the world’s #1 and #2 most powerful Summit and Sierra supercomputers at ORNL and LLNL. The advanced NVIDIA NVLink interfaces built into POWER9 CPU and NVIDIA GPU ensure a broad pipeline between CPU:GPU for data intensive workloads.

    The deployment of the hybrid architecture system was critical to meeting the users’ needs. It also allowed those on the UMass Dartmouth campus to apply to test workloads onto the larger national laboratory systems at ORNL.

    Microway was one of the few vendors able to deliver a unified system with a mix of x86 and POWER9 systems, complete software integration across both kinds of nodes in the cluster, and offer a single point of sale and warranty coverage.

    Microway was selected as the vendor for the new cluster through an open bidding process. “They not only competed well on the price,” says Khanna, “but they were also the only company that could deliver the kind of heterogeneous system we wanted with a mixture of architecture.”

    For more information about the UMass Dartmouth Center for Scientific Computing and Visualization Research please navigate to: http://cscvr1.umassd.edu/

    This new cluster purchase was funded through an Office of Naval Research (ONR) DURIP grant award.

    Serving Users Across a Research Campus

    The deployment has helped continue to serve, attract and retain faculty, undergraduate students, and those seeking advance degrees to the UMass Dartmouth campus. The Center for Scientific Computing and Visualization Research administers the new compute resource.

    With its new cluster, CSCVR is undertaking cutting edge work. Mathematics researchers are developing new numerical algorithms on the new deployment. A primary focus is in astrophysics: with focus on the study of black holes and stars.

    “Our engineering researchers,” says Gaurav Khanna, Co-Director of UMass Dartmouth’s Center for Scientific Computing & Visualization Research, “are very actively focused on computational engineering, and there are people in mechanical engineering who look at fluid and solid object interactions.” This type of research is known as two-phase fluid flow. Practical applications can take the form of modelling windmills and coming up with a better design for the materials on the windmill such as the coatings on the blade, as well as improved designs for the blades themselves.

    This team is also looking at wave energy converters in ocean buoys. “As buoys bob up and down,” Khanna explains, “you can use that motion to generate electricity. You can model that into the computation of that environment and then try to optimize the parameters needed to have the most efficient design for that type of buoy.”

    A final area of interest to this team is ocean weather systems. Here, UMass Dartmouth researchers are building large models to predict regional currents in the ocean, weather patterns, and weather changes.

    2

    A Hybrid Architecture for a Broad Array of Workloads

    The UMass Dartmouth cluster reflects a hybrid design to appeal to a wide array of the campus’ workloads.

    The deployment of the hybrid architecture system was critical to meeting the users’ needs. It also allowed those on the UMass Dartmouth campus to apply to test workloads onto the larger national laboratory systems at ORNL.

    Microway was one of the few vendors able to deliver a unified system with a mix of x86 and POWER9 systems, complete software integration across both kinds of nodes in the cluster, and offer a single point of sale and warranty coverage.

    “Microway was selected as the vendor for the new cluster through an open bidding process. “They not only competed well on the price,” says Khanna, “but they were also the only company that could deliver the kind of heterogeneous system we wanted with a mixture of architecture.”

    See the full article here .

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    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

    Stem Education Coalition

    Founded on December 28, 2006, insideHPC is a blog that distills news and events in the world of HPC and presents them in bite-sized nuggets of helpfulness as a resource for supercomputing professionals. As one reader said, we’re sifting through all the news so you don’t have to!

    If you would like to contact me with suggestions, comments, corrections, errors or new company announcements, please send me an email at rich@insidehpc.com. Or you can send me mail at:

    insideHPC
    2825 NW Upshur
    Suite G
    Portland, OR 97239

    Phone: (503) 877-5048

     
  • richardmitnick 2:19 pm on January 24, 2020 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: "New Cages to Trap Molecules Push Boundaries of Protein Design", Applied Research & Technology, “We are most excited about the fundamental and interdisciplinary aspect of this project which shows the power of simple chemical intuition in addressing a complex biological puzzle” he said., , Can we make larger cages; can we encapsulate bigger cargo; can we actually deliver it into the cells?, , , UC San Diego Division of Biological Sciences- Section of Molecular Biology- with UC San Diego’s Crystallography and Cryo-EM (cryo-electron microscopy) facilities.,   

    From UC San Diego: “New Cages to Trap Molecules Push Boundaries of Protein Design” 

    From UC San Diego

    January 22, 2020
    Melissa Miller


    A rotating view of the protein cage. Iron (red/orange spheres) and zinc (blue) are the metals that bond with proteins (gray) to make up the structure. The yellow sphere shows the central cavity. Video by Rohit Subramanian, Tezcan Lab at UC San Diego.

    1
    Protein design is a popular and rapidly growing field, with scientists engineering novel protein cages—capsule-like nanostructures for purposes such as gene therapy and targeted drug delivery. Many of these structures fashioned in the lab, while perhaps aesthetically pleasing to chemists, have holes too big to trap a target molecule or don’t open on command, limiting their functional scope.

    But new research findings, by UC San Diego Professor of Chemistry and Biochemistry Akif Tezcan, offer a protein architecture with small holes—“pores” in chemistry jargon. The findings, published in Nature, push the boundaries of synthetic protein design past what is considered state-of-the-art.

    “If molecules can freely go back and forth through these holes, you’re not going to be able to store little things on the inside,” explained Tezcan. “Protein cages that people have designed before have the right shape and symmetry, but they’re mostly like Wiffle balls—they don’t necessarily isolate the interior from the exterior.”

    By tailoring the surface of small protein building blocks with multiple metal-binding sites, Tezcan’s team developed a new protein cage with small pores that trap molecules securely inside.

    “This project is a significant addition to the field because it demonstrates that minimal design can be used to generate modular, stimuli-responsible protein cages that approach the complexity of naturally evolved systems,” said co-author Rohit Subramanian, a graduate student in the Tezcan Lab.

    Additionally, the new structure can be opened via chemical, thermal or redox (transfer of electrons between a set of atoms, molecules or ions with the same chemical formula) reactions. According to Tezcan, the UC San Diego research team was ideally situated to create the new protein cage design with its inorganic chemistry insights—specifically metal coordination chemistry, which made the difference.

    The first author of the paper, titled Constructing Protein Polyhedra via Orthogonal Chemical Interactions, is Eyal Golub, a former postdoctoral scholar in the Tezcan Lab who conceived the project and performed many of the experiments.

    “In evaluating our designs, we discovered that one resulted in the formation of a six-protein cage instead of the 12-protein cage we were expecting,” said Golub. “This result was especially important for the project because it demonstrated an adaptability that permitted different types of cage symmetries using the same design scaffold.”

    Because protein cages have tightly interconnected, polyhedral shapes—like a soccer ball—their construction from simpler building blocks must meet stringent symmetry requirements. Other designers have largely avoided this challenge by using protein building blocks with inherent symmetries, connecting them via relatively strong interactions. These strategies, however, lead to highly porous architectures which cannot open and close like natural protein cages do. Viruses, for example, are examples of protein cages in nature. They contain genetic cargo in their interior and deliver them to host cells they infect. The UC San Diego researchers’ novel strategy allowed them to arrange the building blocks in precise orientations and proper symmetries for building protein cages while also controlling their dynamics via the metal ions.

    The paper also includes detailed visualizations of the protein cage made possible through collaborations with Professor Tim Baker and his group in the UC San Diego Division of Biological Sciences, Section of Molecular Biology, with UC San Diego’s Crystallography and Cryo-EM (cryo-electron microscopy) facilities.

    “We knew that we needed different techniques to understand the structures of our protein cages,” said Tezcan. “At UC San Diego, there’s always someone who has the expertise to help, somebody willing to collaborate and teach us how to do it.”

    As for the next step, Tezcan said there is more development to be done.

    “Can we make larger cages, can we encapsulate bigger cargo, can we actually deliver it into the cells? But we are most excited about the fundamental and interdisciplinary aspect of this project, which shows the power of simple chemical intuition in addressing a complex biological puzzle,” he said.

    This work was supported by the U.S. Department of Energy, Division of Materials Sciences, Office of Basic Energy Sciences (grant no. DE-SC0003844); the National Science Foundation, Division of Materials Research (grant no. DMR-1602537); an EMBO Long-Term Postdoctoral Fellowship (grant no. ALTF 1336-2015); a DFG Research Fellowship (grant no. DFG 393131496) and the National Institute of Health Chemical Biology Interfaces Training Grant UC San Diego (grant no. T32GM112584). The paper’s authors acknowledge the use of the UC San Diego Cryo-EM Facility, which is supported by NIH grants and a gift from the Agouron Institute. Crystallographic data were collected either at Stanford Synchrotron Radiation Lightsource (SSRL) or at the Lawrence Berkeley Natural Laboratory on behalf of the Department of Energy.

    See the full article here .

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    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

    Stem Education Coalition

    The University of California, San Diego (also referred to as UC San Diego or UCSD), is a public research university located in the La Jolla area of San Diego, California, in the United States.[12] The university occupies 2,141 acres (866 ha) near the coast of the Pacific Ocean with the main campus resting on approximately 1,152 acres (466 ha).[13] Established in 1960 near the pre-existing Scripps Institution of Oceanography, UC San Diego is the seventh oldest of the 10 University of California campuses and offers over 200 undergraduate and graduate degree programs, enrolling about 22,700 undergraduate and 6,300 graduate students. UC San Diego is one of America’s Public Ivy universities, which recognizes top public research universities in the United States. UC San Diego was ranked 8th among public universities and 37th among all universities in the United States, and rated the 18th Top World University by U.S. News & World Report ‘s 2015 rankings.

     
  • richardmitnick 10:34 am on January 24, 2020 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: A nano-enabled platform developed at the center to create and deliver tiny aerosolized water nonodroplets containing non-toxic nature-inspired disinfectants wherever desired., Applied Research & Technology, , , Diarrheal diseases are big killers of kids too., Harvard Chan Center for Nanotechnology and Nanotoxicology looks to improve on soap and water., , Infectious diseases are still emerging., , Microorganisms are smarter than we thought and evolving new strains.,   

    From Harvard Gazette: “Disinfecting your hands with ‘magic’” 

    Harvard University


    From Harvard Gazette

    January 23, 2020
    Alvin Powell
    Photos by Kris Snibbe/Harvard Staff Photographer

    1
    Nanostructures can provide an alternative for hand hygiene that is airless and waterless. “… this is like magic. You don’t see; you don’t feel; you don’t smell; but your hands are sanitized,” says Associate Professor of Aerosol Physics Philip Demokritou.

    Harvard Chan Center for Nanotechnology and Nanotoxicology looks to improve on soap and water.

    Nanosafety researchers at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health have developed a new intervention to fight infectious disease by more effectively disinfecting the air around us, our food, our hands, and whatever else harbors the microbes that make us sick. The researchers, from the School’s Center for Nanotechnology and Nanotoxicology, were led by Associate Professor of Aerosol Physics Philip Demokritou, the center’s director, and first author Runze Huang, a postdoctoral fellow there. They used a nano-enabled platform developed at the center to create and deliver tiny, aerosolized water nonodroplets containing non-toxic, nature-inspired disinfectants wherever desired. Demokritou talked to the Gazette about the invention and its application on hand hygiene, which was described recently in the journal ACS Sustainable Chemistry and Engineering.

    Q&A
    Philip Demokritou

    GAZETTE: Give us a quick overview of the problem you’re trying to solve.

    DEMOKRITOU: If you go back to the ’60s and the invention of many antibiotics, we thought that the chapter on infectious diseases would be closed. Of course, 60 years later, we now know that’s not true. Infectious diseases are still emerging. Microorganisms are smarter than we thought and evolving new strains. It’s a constant battle. And when I talk about infectious diseases, I’m mainly talking about airborne and foodborne diseases: For example, flu and tuberculosis are airborne diseases, respiratory diseases, which cause millions of deaths a year. Foodborne diseases also kill 500,000 people annually and cost our economy billions of dollars.

    GAZETTE: Diarrheal diseases are big killers of kids, too.

    DEMOKRITOU: It’s a big problem, especially in developing countries with fragmented health care systems.

    GAZETTE: What’s wrong with how we sanitize our hands?

    DEMOKRITOU: We hear all the time that you have to wash your hands. It’s a primary measure to reduce infectious diseases. More recently, we’re also using antiseptics. Alcohol is OK, but we are also using other chemicals like triclosan and chlorhexadine. There’s research linking these chemicals to the increase in antimicrobial resistance, among other drawbacks. In addition, some people are sensitive to frequent washes and rubbing with chemicals. That’s where new approaches come into play. So, within the last four or five years, we’ve been trying to develop nanotechnology-based interventions to fight infectious diseases.

    3
    Harvard Chan School’s Associate Professor Philip Demokritou (right) with research associate Nachiket Vaze (center) and postdoc fellow Runze Huang.

    GAZETTE: So the technology involved here — the engineered water nanostructures — is a couple of years old. What’s new is the application?

    DEMOKRITOU: We have the tools to make these engineered nanomaterials and, in this particular case, we can take water and turn it into an engineered water nanoparticle, which carries its deadly payload, primarily nontoxic, nature-inspired antimicrobials, and kills microorganisms on surfaces and in the air.

    It is fairly simple, you need 12 volts DC, and we combine that with electrospray and ionization to turn water into a nanoaerosol, in which these engineered nanostructures are suspended in the air. These water nanoparticles have unique properties because of their small size and also contain reactive oxygen species. These are hydroxyl radicals, peroxides, and are similar to what nature uses in cells to kill pathogens. These nanoparticles, by design, also carry an electric charge, which increases surface energy and reduces evaporation. That means these engineered nanostructures can remain suspended in air for hours. When the charge dissipates, they become water vapor and disappear.

    Very recently, we started using these structures as a carrier, and we can now incorporate nature-inspired antimicrobials into their chemical structure. These are not super toxic to humans. For instance, my grandmother in Greece used to disinfect her surfaces with lemon juice — citric acid. Or, in milk — and also found in tears — is another highly potent antimicrobial called lysozyme. Nisin is another nature-inspired antimicrobial that bacteria release when they’re competing with other bacteria. Nature provides us with a ton of nontoxic antimicrobials that, if we can find a way to deliver them in a targeted, precise manner, can do the job. No need to invent new and potentially toxic chemicals. Let’s go to nature’s pharmacy and shop.

    When we put these nature-inspired antimicrobials into the engineered water nanostructures, their antimicrobial potency increases dramatically. But we do that without using huge quantities of antimicrobials, about 1 percent or 2 percent by volume. Most of the engineered water nanostructure is still water.

    At this point, these engineered structures are carrying antimicrobials and are charged, and we can use the charge to direct them to surfaces by applying a weak electric field. You can also release them into the air — they’re highly mobile — and they can move around and inactivate flu virus, for example.

    GAZETTE: How would this work with food?

    DEMOKRITOU: This nano-enabled platform can be used as an intervention technology for food safety applications as well. When it comes to disinfecting our food, we’re still using archaic approaches developed in the ’50s. For instance, today we put our fresh produce into chlorine-based solutions, which leave residues that can compromise health. It leaves behind byproducts, which are toxic, and you have to find a way to deal with them as well.

    Instead, you can use the water nanoaerosols that contain nanogram levels of an active ingredient — nature-inspired and not toxic — and disinfect our food. Currently, this novel invention is being explored for use — from the farm to the fork — to enhance food safety and quality.

    3
    Source: “Inactivation of Hand Hygiene-Related Pathogens Using Engineered Water Nanostructures,” Runze Huang, Nachiket Vaze, Anand Soorneedi, Matthew D. Moore, Yalong Xue, Dhimiter Bello, Philip Demokritou

    GAZETTE: So when you use it on food, you would essentially spray the nanoparticles onto a head of lettuce, for example?

    DEMOKRITOU: It depends on the application. You can put this technology in your refrigerator, and it will kill microbes on food surfaces and in the air there and improve food safety. It will also increase shelf life, which is linked to spoilage microorganisms. You can also use this technology for air disinfection. The only thing you need is 12-volt DC, which you can power from your computer USB port. Imagine sitting on a train and you generate an invisible shield of these engineered water nanostructures that protects you and minimizes the risk of getting the flu.

    GAZETTE: If you’re on the train with a bunch of sick people?

    DEMOKRITOU: Exactly, or on an airplane, anywhere you have microorganisms. Most planes recirculate the air, and all it takes is one sick guy — he doesn’t have to be sitting next to you — to get sick. Unfortunately, that’s a big problem. The newer airplanes have filtration to remove some of these pathogens. But this is a very versatile technology that you can pretty much take with you.

    GAZETTE: Let’s talk about hand hygiene.

    DEMOKRITOU: We know hand hygiene is very important, but in addition to the drawbacks of washing with water or using chemicals, the air dryers commonly used in the bathroom environment can aerosolize microbes and put them back in the air and even back on your hands. So there is room to utilize these engineered water nanostructures and develop an alternative that is airless and waterless — because it uses picogram levels of water, your hands will never get wet.

    GAZETTE: So you’re washing your hands, using water. But they don’t get wet?

    DEMOKRITOU: Exactly. And it disinfects hands in a matter of 15–20 seconds, as indicated in our recently published study.

    GAZETTE: As far as an application goes, do you see something similar to the hand driers we all use at highway rest stops? Only, when you stick your hands in, it doesn’t blow? Do you feel anything at all?

    DEMOKRITOU: You don’t feel anything. That’s the problem; this is like magic. You don’t see; you don’t feel; you don’t smell; but your hands are sanitized.

    GAZETTE: So how do people know anything’s happened? As humans we want some sort of stimulation.

    DEMOKRITOU: We could put a light and music to entertain people, but nobody can see a 25-nanometer particle. We are excited to see that there is interest from industry to pursue commercialization of this technology for hand hygiene. We may soon have an airless, waterless apparatus that can be used across the board, though not necessarily in the bathroom environment. This can be a battery-operated device, it can be placed around airports and other spots where people don’t have time or access to water to wash their hands.

    See the full article here .

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

    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

    Stem Education Coalition

    Harvard University campus
    Harvard University is the oldest institution of higher education in the United States, established in 1636 by vote of the Great and General Court of the Massachusetts Bay Colony. It was named after the College’s first benefactor, the young minister John Harvard of Charlestown, who upon his death in 1638 left his library and half his estate to the institution. A statue of John Harvard stands today in front of University Hall in Harvard Yard, and is perhaps the University’s best known landmark.

    Harvard University has 12 degree-granting Schools in addition to the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study. The University has grown from nine students with a single master to an enrollment of more than 20,000 degree candidates including undergraduate, graduate, and professional students. There are more than 360,000 living alumni in the U.S. and over 190 other countries.

     
  • richardmitnick 10:05 am on January 24, 2020 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , Applied Research & Technology, , , , , , The team has been able to ramp up the machine to 500 milliamperes (mA) of current and to keep this current stable for more than six hours.,   

    From Brookhaven National Lab: “NSLS-II Achieves Design Beam Current of 500 Milliamperes” 

    From Brookhaven National Lab

    January 22, 2020
    Cara Laasch
    laasch@bnl.gov

    Accelerator division enables new record current during studies.

    1
    The NSLS-II accelerator division proudly gathered to celebrate their recent achievement. The screen above them shows the slow increase of the electron current in the NSLS-II storage ring and its stability.

    The National Synchrotron Light Source II (NSLS-II) [below] at the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Brookhaven National Laboratory is a gigantic x-ray microscope that allows scientists to study the inner structure of all kinds of material and devices in real time under realistic operating conditions. The scientists using the machine are seeking answers to questions including how can we built longer lasting batteries; when life started on our planet; and what kinds of new materials can be used in quantum computers, along with many other questions in a wide variety of research fields.

    The heart of the facility is a particle accelerator that circulates electrons at nearly the speed of light around the roughly half-a-mile-long ring. Steered by special magnets within the ring, the electrons generate ultrabright x-rays that enable scientists to address the broad spectrum of research at NSLS-II.

    Now, the accelerator division at NSLS-II has reached a new milestone for machine performance. During recent accelerator studies, the team has been able to ramp up the machine to 500 milliamperes (mA) of current and to keep this current stable for more than six hours. Similar to a current in a river, the current in an accelerator is a measure of the number of electrons that circulate the ring at any given time. In NSLS-II’s case, a higher electron current opens the pathway to more intense x-rays for all the experiments happening at the facility.

    “Since we turned on the machine for the first time in 2014 with 50mA current, we have progressed steadily upwards in current and now – in just five years – we have reached 500mA,” said Timur Shaftan, NSLS-II accelerator division director. “Along the way, we encountered many significant challenges, and it is thanks to the dedication, knowledge, and expertise of the team that we were able to overcome them all to get here.”

    All good things come in threes?

    On their quest to a higher current, the accelerator division faced three major challenges: an increase in power consumption of the radiofrequency (RF) accelerating cavities, more intense “wakefields,” and the unexpected heating of some accelerator components.

    The purpose of the RF accelerating cavities can be compared to pushing a child on a swing – with the child being the electrons. With the correct timing, large amplitudes can be driven with little effort. The cavities feed more and more energy to the electrons to compensate for the energy the electrons lose as they generate x-rays in their trips around the ring.

    “The cavities use electricity to push the electrons forward, and even though our cavities are very efficient, they still draw a good amount of raw power,” said Jim Rose, RF group leader. “To reach 500 mA, we monitored this increase closely to ensure that we wouldn’t cross our limit for power, which we didn’t. However, there is another challenge we now have to face: The cavities compress the groups of electrons—we call them bunches—that rush through the machine, and by doing so they increase the heating issues that we face. To fully address this in the future, we will install other cavities of a different RF frequency that would lengthen the bunches again.”

    Rose is referring to the issue of “wakefields.” As the electrons speed around the ring, they create so called wakefields—just like when you run your finger through still water and create waves that roll on even though your fingers are long gone. In the same way, the rushing electrons generate a front of electric fields that follow them around the ring.

    “Having more intense wakefields causes two challenges: First, these fields influence the next set of electrons, causing them to lose energy and become unstable, and second, they heat up the vacuum chamber in which the beam travels,” said accelerator physicist Alexei Blednykh. “One of the limiting components in our efforts to reach 500mA was the ceramic vacuum chambers, because they were overheating. We mitigated the effect by installing additional cooling fans. However, to fully solve the issue we will need to replace the existing chambers with new chambers that have a thin titanium coating on the inside.”

    The accelerator division decided to coat all the new vacuum chambers in house using a technique called direct current magnetron sputtering. During the sputtering process, a titanium target is bombarded with ionized gas so that it ejects millions of titanium atoms, which spray onto the surface of the vacuum chamber to create a thin metal film.

    “At first, coating chambers sounds easy enough, but our chambers are long and narrow, which forces you to think differently how you can apply the coating. We had to design a coating system that was capable of handling the geometry of our chambers,” said vacuum group leader Charlie Hetzel. “Once we developed a system that could be used to coat the chambers, we had to develop a method that could accurately measure the thickness and uniformity along the entire length of the chamber.”

    For the vacuum chambers to survive the machine at high current, the coatings had to meet a number of demanding requirements in terms of their adhesion, thickness, and uniformity.

    The third challenge the team needed to overcome was resolving the unexpected heating found between some of the vacuum flanges. Each of the vacuum joints around the half-mile long accelerator contain a delicate RF bridge. Any errors during installation can result in additional heating and risk to the vacuum seal of the machine.

    “We knew from the beginning that increasing the current to 500 mA would be hard on the machine, however, we needed to know exactly where the real hot spots were,” explained accelerator coordination group leader Guimei Wang. “So, we installed more than 1000 temperature sensors around the whole machine, and we ran more than 400 hours of high-current beam studies over the past three years, where we monitored the temperature, vacuum, and many other parameters of the electrons very closely to really understand how our machine is behaving.”

    Based on all these studies and many more hours spend analyzing each single study run, the accelerator team made the necessary decisions as to which what parts needed to be coated or changed and, most importantly, how to run the machine at such a high current safely and reliably.

    Where do we go from here?

    Achieving 500mA during beam studies was an important step to begin to shed light on the physics within the machine at these high currents, as well as to understand the present limits of the accelerator. Equipped with these new insights, the accelerator division now knows that their machine can reach the 500mA current for a short time, but at this point it’s not possible to sustain high current for operations over extended periods with the RF power necessary to deliver it to users. To run the machine at this current, NSLS-II’s accelerator will need additional RF systems both to lengthen the bunches and to secure high reliability of operations, while providing sufficient RF power to the beam to generate x-rays for the growing set of beamlines.

    “Achieving 500 mA for the first time is a major milestone in the life of NSLS-II, showing that we can reach the aggressive design current goals we set for ourselves when we first started thinking about what NSLS-II could be all those years ago. This success is due to a lot of hard work, expertise, and dedication by many, many people at NSLS-II and I would like to thank them all very much,” said NSLS-II Director John Hill. “The next steps are to fully understand how the machine behaves at this current and ultimately deliver it to our users. This will require further upgrades to our accelerator systems—and we are actively working towards those now.”

    NSLS-II is a DOE Office of Science user facility.

    See the full article here .


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    BNL Campus

    Brookhaven campus

    BNL Center for Functional Nanomaterials

    BNL NSLS-II


    BNL NSLS II

    BNL RHIC Campus

    BNL/RHIC Star Detector

    BNL Phenix Detector

    One of ten national laboratories overseen and primarily funded by the Office of Science of the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), Brookhaven National Laboratory conducts research in the physical, biomedical, and environmental sciences, as well as in energy technologies and national security. Brookhaven Lab also builds and operates major scientific facilities available to university, industry and government researchers. The Laboratory’s almost 3,000 scientists, engineers, and support staff are joined each year by more than 5,000 visiting researchers from around the world. Brookhaven is operated and managed for DOE’s Office of Science by Brookhaven Science Associates, a limited-liability company founded by Stony Brook University, the largest academic user of Laboratory facilities, and Battelle, a nonprofit, applied science and technology organization.

     
  • richardmitnick 9:15 am on January 24, 2020 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: "Second space data highway satellite set to beam", Applied Research & Technology, , ,   

    From European Space Agency – United space in Europe: “Second space data highway satellite set to beam” 

    ESA Space For Europe Banner

    From European Space Agency – United space in Europe

    United space in Europe

    1
    EDRS-C

    The second satellite in the European Data Relay System has reached its intended orbit and completed its in-orbit tests.

    Dubbed the “SpaceDataHighway” by its commercial operator Airbus, EDRS uses innovative laser technology to enable Earth-observation satellites to deliver their information to users on the ground in near real-time, accelerating responses to emergency situations and spurring the development of new services and products.

    EDRS-C is the second satellite in the system and was launched on 6 August.

    After being delivered into its initial orbit by an Ariane 5 launcher, EDRS-C made its way to its final geostationary orbit 36,000 kilometres above Earth through five liquid apogee engine burns and a few relocation manoeuvres.

    It has been thoroughly tested to ensure that all its components are operating as expected.

    Control of the satellite has now been handed over to Airbus. In the coming months, the performance of its laser communication terminal will be fine-tuned as part of the nominal test sequence. To do so, several links are scheduled with the Copernicus programme’s four Sentinel Earth observation satellites.

    Commercial service is expected to begin in the spring.

    The satellite also hosts a commercial payload operated by British satellite operator Avanti that is about to start delivering communications services.

    EDRS is a public–private partnership between ESA and Airbus as part of ESA’s efforts to federate industry around large-scale programmes, stimulating technology developments to achieve economic benefits.

    The first satellite in the EDRS network, EDRS-A, was launched in January 2016.

    Since then it has transmitted 1.7 petabytes of data, equivalent to binge watching almost 20 000 ultra high definition 4k films 24 hours a day for nearly four-and-a-half years.

    The data was transmitted via 30 000 optical inter-satellite links established with the Copernicus programme’s four Sentinel Earth observation satellites.

    ESA Sentinels (Copernicus)

    See the full article here .


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

    Stem Education Coalition

    The European Space Agency (ESA), established in 1975, is an intergovernmental organization dedicated to the exploration of space, currently with 19 member states. Headquartered in Paris, ESA has a staff of more than 2,000. ESA’s space flight program includes human spaceflight, mainly through the participation in the International Space Station program, the launch and operations of unmanned exploration missions to other planets and the Moon, Earth observation, science, telecommunication as well as maintaining a major spaceport, the Guiana Space Centre at Kourou, French Guiana, and designing launch vehicles. ESA science missions are based at ESTEC in Noordwijk, Netherlands, Earth Observation missions at ESRIN in Frascati, Italy, ESA Mission Control (ESOC) is in Darmstadt, Germany, the European Astronaut Centre (EAC) that trains astronauts for future missions is situated in Cologne, Germany, and the European Space Astronomy Centre is located in Villanueva de la Cañada, Spain.

    ESA50 Logo large

     
  • richardmitnick 8:52 am on January 24, 2020 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: "Can I mix those chemicals? There’s an app for that!", Applied Research & Technology, ,   

    From UC Riverside: “Can I mix those chemicals? There’s an app for that!” 

    UC Riverside bloc

    From UC Riverside

    January 23, 2020
    Holly Ober

    1

    New technology can find the safest way to store and dispose of reactive chemicals.

    Improperly mixed chemicals cause a shocking number of fires, explosions, and injuries in laboratories, businesses, and homes each year.

    A new open source computer program called ChemStor developed by engineers at the University of California, Riverside, can prevent these dangerous situations by telling users if it is unsafe to mix certain chemicals.

    2
    A visual representation showing how graph coloring register allocation works. (Jason Ott/UCR)

    The Centers for Disease Control estimates 4,500 injuries a year are caused by the mixture of incompatible pool cleaning chemicals, half of which occur in homes. Even in laboratories and factories where workers are trained in safe storage protocols, mix-ups and accidents happen, often after chemicals are inadvertently combined in a waste container.

    The UC Riverside engineers’ work is published in the Journal of Chemical Information and Modeling. Their program adapts a computer science strategy to allocate resources for efficient processor use, known as graph coloring register allocation. In this system, resources are colored and organized according to a rule that states adjacent data points, or nodes, sharing an edge cannot also share a color.

    “We color a graph such that no two nodes that share an edge have the same color,” said first author Jason Ott, a doctoral student in computer science who led the research.

    “The idea comes from maps,” explained co-author William Grover, an assistant professor of bioengineering in the Marlan and Rosemary Bourns College of Engineering with a background in chemistry. “In a map of the U.S., for example, no two adjacent states share a color, which makes them easy to tell apart.”

    ChemStor draws from an Environmental Protection Agency library of 9,800 chemicals, organized into reactivity groups. It then builds a chemical interaction graph based on the reactivity groups and computes the smallest number of colors that will color the graph such that no two chemicals that can interact also share the same color.

    ChemStor next assigns all the chemicals of each color to a storage or waste container after confirming there is enough space. Chemicals with the same color can be stored together without a dangerous reaction, while chemicals with different colors cannot.

    If two or more chemicals can be combined in the same cabinet or added to a waste container without forming possibly dangerous combinations of chemicals, ChemStor determines the configuration is safe. ChemStor also indicates if no safe storage or disposal configuration can be found.

    Grover, who experienced a destructive lab fire caused by incompatible chemicals during his days as an undergraduate, said he takes the threat very seriously.

    “I’m responsible for the safety of the people in my lab, and ChemStor would be like a safety net under our already strict storage protocols,” Grover said.

    ChemStor’s functionality is currently limited to a command line interface only, where the user manually enters the type of chemicals and amount of storage space into a computer.

    Updates are forthcoming to make ChemStor more user-friendly, including a smartphone app utilizing the camera to gather information about chemicals and storage options, as well as an integration with digital voice assistants, some of which have already begun to be developed specifically for chemists, making ChemStor a natural addition.

    “Any system can communicate with ChemStor as long as the input is fashioned in a way that ChemStor expects,” Ott said. The code is available here.

    See the full article here .

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

    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

    Stem Education Coalition

    UC Riverside Campus

    The University of California, Riverside is one of 10 universities within the prestigious University of California system, and the only UC located in Inland Southern California.

    Widely recognized as one of the most ethnically diverse research universities in the nation, UCR’s current enrollment is more than 21,000 students, with a goal of 25,000 students by 2020. The campus is in the midst of a tremendous growth spurt with new and remodeled facilities coming on-line on a regular basis.

    We are located approximately 50 miles east of downtown Los Angeles. UCR is also within easy driving distance of dozens of major cultural and recreational sites, as well as desert, mountain and coastal destinations.

     
  • richardmitnick 5:54 pm on January 23, 2020 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: "A megalibrary of nanoparticles", Applied Research & Technology, , , , , Schaak Laboratory   

    From Pennsylvania State University: “A megalibrary of nanoparticles” 

    Penn State Bloc

    From Pennsylvania State University

    January 23, 2020
    Sam Sholtis

    1
    A simple, modular chemical approach could produce over 65,000 different types of complex nanorods. Electron microscope images are shown for 32 of these nanorods, which form with various combinations of materials. Each color represents a different material. Image: Schaak Laboratory, Penn State

    Using straightforward chemistry and a mix-and-match, modular strategy, researchers have developed a simple approach that could produce over 65,000 different types of complex nanoparticles, each containing up to six different materials and eight segments, with interfaces that could be exploited in electrical or optical applications. These rod-shaped nanoparticles are about 55 nanometers long and 20 nanometers wide — by comparison a human hair is about 100,000 nanometers thick — and many are considered to be among the most complex ever made.

    A paper describing the research, by a team of Penn State chemists, appears Jan. 24 in the journal Science.

    “There is a lot of interest in the world of nanoscience in making nanoparticles that combine several different materials — semiconductors, catalysts, magnets, electronic materials,” said Raymond E. Schaak, DuPont Professor of Materials Chemistry at Penn State and the leader of the research team. “You can think about having different semiconductors linked together to control how electrons move through a material, or arranging materials in different ways to modify their optical, catalytic, or magnetic properties. We can use computers and chemical knowledge to predict a lot of this, but the bottleneck has been in actually making the particles, especially at a large-enough scale so that you can actually use them.”

    The team starts with simple nanorods composed of copper and sulfur. They then sequentially replace some of the copper with other metals using a process called “cation exchange.” By altering the reaction conditions, they can control where in the nanorod the copper is replaced — at one end of the rod, at both ends simultaneously, or in the middle. They can then repeat the process with other metals, which can also be placed at precise locations within the nanorods. By performing up to seven sequential reactions with several different metals, they can create a veritable rainbow of particles — over 65,000 different combinations of metal sulfide materials are possible.

    “The real beauty of our method is its simplicity,” said Benjamin C. Steimle, a graduate student at Penn State and the first author of the paper. “It used to take months or years to make even one type of nanoparticle that contains several different materials. Two years ago we were really excited that we could make 47 different metal sulfide nanoparticles using an earlier version of this approach. Now that we’ve made some significant new advances and learned more about these systems, we can go way beyond what anyone has been able to do before. We are now able to produce nanoparticles with previously unimaginable complexity simply by controlling temperature and concentration, all using standard laboratory glassware and principles covered in an Introductory Chemistry course.”

    “The other really exciting aspect of this work is that it is rational and scalable,” said Schaak. “Because we understand how everything works, we can identify a highly complex nanoparticle, plan out a way to make it, and then go into the laboratory and actually make it quite easily. And, these particles can be made in quantities that are useful. In principle, we can now make what we want and as much as we want. There are still limitations, of course — we can’t wait until we are able to do this with even more types of materials — but even with what we have now, it changes how we think about what is possible to make.”

    In addition to Schaak and Steimle, the research team at Penn State included Julie L. Fenton. The research was funded by the U.S. National Science Foundation.

    See the full article here .

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

    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

    Stem Education Coalition

    Penn State Campus

    About Penn State

    WHAT WE DO BEST

    We teach students that the real measure of success is what you do to improve the lives of others, and they learn to be hard-working leaders with a global perspective. We conduct research to improve lives. We add millions to the economy through projects in our state and beyond. We help communities by sharing our faculty expertise and research.

    Penn State lives close by no matter where you are. Our campuses are located from one side of Pennsylvania to the other. Through Penn State World Campus, students can take courses and work toward degrees online from anywhere on the globe that has Internet service.

    We support students in many ways, including advising and counseling services for school and life; diversity and inclusion services; social media sites; safety services; and emergency assistance.

    Our network of more than a half-million alumni is accessible to students when they want advice and to learn about job networking and mentor opportunities as well as what to expect in the future. Through our alumni, Penn State lives all over the world.

    The best part of Penn State is our people. Our students, faculty, staff, alumni, and friends in communities near our campuses and across the globe are dedicated to education and fostering a diverse and inclusive environment.

     
  • richardmitnick 7:04 am on January 23, 2020 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Applied Research & Technology, Aquaculture, , , Ocean Resources, Ocean Twilight Zone, ,   

    From Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution: “Report reveals ‘unseen’ human benefits from ocean twilight zone” 

    From Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution

    January 22, 2020
    Media Relations Office
    media@whoi.edu
    (508) 289-3340

    1

    Did you know that there’s a natural carbon sink—even bigger than the Amazon rainforest—that helps regulate Earth’s climate by sucking up to six billion tons of carbon from the air each year?

    A new report from researchers at Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) reveals for the first time the unseen—and somewhat surprising—benefits that people receive from the ocean’s twilight zone. Also known as the “mesopelagic,” this is the ocean layer just beyond the sunlit surface.

    The ocean twilight zone is a mysterious place filled with alien-looking creatures. The nightly, massive migration of animals from the zone to the surface waters to find food helps to cycle carbon through the ocean’s depths, down into the deep ocean and even to the seabed, where it can remain sequestered indefinitely.

    “We knew that the ocean’s twilight zone played an important role in climate, but we are uncertain about how much carbon it is sequestering, or trapping, annually,” says Porter Hoagland, a WHOI marine policy analyst and lead author of the report. “This massive migration of tiny creatures is happening all over the world, helping to remove an enormous amount of carbon from the atmosphere.”

    Exactly how much carbon is difficult to pinpoint because the ocean twilight zone is challenging to get to and is understudied. The WHOI Ocean Twilight Zone project, which launched in April 2018, is focused on changing that with the development of new technologies.

    It’s estimated that two to six billion metric tons of carbon are sequestered through the ocean’s twilight zone annually. By comparison, the world’s largest rain forest sucks in only about 544 million metric tons of carbon a year—five percent of the world’s annual 10 billion metric tons of carbon emissions.

    2
    NYT A transparent hatchetfish, retrieved by researchers from the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, which is seeking to understand better the creatures that occupy the sea from 600 to 3,300 feet deep.Credit Paul Caiger/Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution

    3
    A variety of myctophids, or lantern fish. The twilight zone contains about 250 different species of myctophids.Credit Paul Caiger/Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution

    4
    The photophores of a transparent hatchetfish. Credit Paul Caiger/Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution

    5
    Silver hatchetfish. Credit Paul Caiger/Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution

    6
    Glass squid Credit Paul Caiger/Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution

    7
    Common fangtooth Credit Paul Caiger/Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution


    Value Beyond View: The Ocean Twilight Zone

    ______________________________________________________
    From NYT
    Daily journeys between the ocean’s layers


    ______________________________________________________

    Using a range of prices for carbon, reflecting future damages expected as a consequence of a changing climate, this “regulating” service has an estimated value of $300 to $900 billion annually, Hoagland notes. Without the ocean’s ability to sequester carbon, atmospheric carbon dioxide levels could be as much as 200 parts per million higher than they are today (about 415 ppm), which would result in a temperature increase of about six degrees Celsius or 10.8 degrees Fahrenheit.

    In addition to its role in the carbon cycle, the twilight zone likely harbors more fish biomass than the rest of the ocean combined, and it is home to the most abundant vertebrate species on the planet— the bristlemouth. While twilight zone fish are unlikely to ever end up on peoples’ dinner plates because of their small size and strange appearance, they do provide meals for larger, economically important fish, like tuna and swordfish, and for other top predators, including sharks, whales, seals, penguins, and seabirds.

    The twilight zone’s biological abundance makes it an attractive target for commercial fishing operations. Ocean twilight zone animals could be harvested to produce fish meal to support the rapidly growing aquaculture industry and to provide fish oils for nutraceutical markets. Because the twilight zone is situated largely in unregulated international waters, there is concern that its potential resources could be subject to unsustainable exploitation.

    The research team hopes that the report will be useful for decision makers, such as the United Nations delegates who will meet this spring in New York to continue developing a new international agreement governing the conservation and sustainable management of marine life on the high seas, in areas beyond the coastal waters managed by individual member States.

    “We need to think carefully about what we stand to gain or lose from future actions that could affect the animals of the twilight zone and their valuable ecosystem services,” says Hoagland. “Increasing scientific understanding is essential if we are going to move toward a goal of the sustainable use of the resources.”

    See the full article here .

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

    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

    Stem Education Coalition

    Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute

    Vision & Mission

    The ocean is a defining feature of our planet and crucial to life on Earth, yet it remains one of the planet’s last unexplored frontiers. For this reason, WHOI scientists and engineers are committed to understanding all facets of the ocean as well as its complex connections with Earth’s atmosphere, land, ice, seafloor, and life—including humanity. This is essential not only to advance knowledge about our planet, but also to ensure society’s long-term welfare and to help guide human stewardship of the environment. WHOI researchers are also dedicated to training future generations of ocean science leaders, to providing unbiased information that informs public policy and decision-making, and to expanding public awareness about the importance of the global ocean and its resources.
    Mission Statement

    The Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution is dedicated to advancing knowledge of the ocean and its connection with the Earth system through a sustained commitment to excellence in science, engineering, and education, and to the application of this knowledge to problems facing society.

     
  • richardmitnick 1:46 pm on January 22, 2020 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: "Beyond the tunnel", (LES)-large-eddy simulation, , , Applied Research & Technology, , How turbulence affects aircraft during flight, , Stanford-led team turns to Argonne’s Mira to fine-tune a computational route around aircraft wind-tunnel testing.,   

    From ASCR Discovery: “Beyond the tunnel” 

    From ASCR Discovery

    Stanford-led team turns to Argonne’s Mira to fine-tune a computational route around aircraft wind-tunnel testing.

    MIRA IBM Blue Gene Q supercomputer at the Argonne Leadership Computing Facility

    1
    The white lines represent simulated air-flow on a wing surface, including an eddy (the circular pattern at the tip). Engineers can use supercomputing, in particular large-eddy simulation (LES), to study how turbulence affects flight. LES techniques applied to commercial aircraft promise a cost-effective alternative to wind-tunnel testing. Image courtesy of Stanford University and Cascade Technologies.

    For aircraft designers, modeling and wind-tunnel testing one iteration after another consumes time and may inadequately recreate the conditions planes encounter during free flight – especially take-off and landing. “Prototyping that aircraft every time you change something in the design would be infeasible and expensive,” says Parviz Moin, a Stanford University professor of mechanical engineering.

    Over the past five years, researchers have explored the use of high-fidelity numerical simulations to predict unsteady airflow and forces such as lift and drag on commercial aircraft, particularly under challenging operating conditions such as takeoff and landing.

    Moin has led much of this research as founding director of the Center for Turbulence Research at Stanford. With help from the Department of Energy’s Innovative and Novel Computational Impact on Theory and Experiment (INCITE) grants, he and colleagues at Stanford and nearby Cascade Technologies in Palo Alto, California, have used supercomputing to see whether large-eddy simulation (LES) of commercial aircraft is both cost effective and sufficiently accurate to help designers. They’ve used 240 million core-hours on Mira, the Blue Gene/Q at the Argonne Leadership Computing Facility, a DOE user facility at Argonne National Laboratories, to conduct these simulations. The early results are “very encouraging,” Moin says.

    Specifically, Moin and colleagues – including INCITE co-investigators George Park of the University of Pennsylvania and Cascade Technologies’ Sanjeeb Bose, a DOE Computational Science Graduate Fellowship (DOE CSGF) alumnus – study how turbulence affects aircraft during flight. Flow of air about a plane in flight is always turbulent, wherein patches of swirling fluid – eddies – move seemingly at random.

    Because it happens on multiple scales, engineers and physicists find aircraft turbulence difficult to describe mathematically. The Navier-Stokes equations are known to govern all flows of engineering interest, Moin explains, including those involving gases and liquids and flows inside or outside a given object. Eddies can be several meters long in the atmosphere but only microns big in the aircraft surface’s vicinity. This means computationally solving the Navier-Stokes equations to describe all the fluid-motion scales would be prohibitively expensive and computationally taxing. For years, engineers have used Reynolds-averaged Navier-Stokes (RANS) equations to predict averaged quantities of engineering interest such as lift and drag forces. RANS equations, however, contain certain modeling assumptions that are not based on first principles, which can result in inaccurate predictions of complex flows.

    LES, on the other hand, offers a compromise, Moin says, between capturing the spectrum of eddy motions or ignoring them all. With LES, researchers can compute the effect of energy-containing eddies on an aircraft while modeling small-scale motions. Although LES predictions are more accurate than RANS approaches, the computational cost of LES has so far been a barrier to widespread use. But supercomputers and recent algorithm advances have rendered LES computations and specialized variations of them more feasible recently, Moin says.

    Eddies get smaller and smaller as they approach a wall – or a surface like an aircraft wing – and capturing these movements has historically been computationally challenging. To avoid these issues, Moin and his colleagues instead model the small-scale near-wall turbulence using a technique they call wall-modeled LES. In wall-modeled LES, the near-wall-eddy effect on the large-scale motions away from the wall are accounted for by a simpler system model.

    Moin and his colleagues have used two commercial aircraft models to validate their large-eddy simulation results: NASA’s Common Research Model and the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency’s (JAXA’s) Standard Model. They’ve studied each at about a dozen operating conditions to see how the simulations agreed with physical measurements in wind tunnels.

    These early results show that the large-eddy simulations are capable of predicting quantities of engineering interest resulting from turbulent flow around an aircraft. This proof of concept, Moin says, is the first step. “We can compute these flows without tuning model parameters and predict experimental results. Once we have confidence as we compute many cases, then we can start looking into manipulating the flow using passive or active flow-control strategies.” The speed and accuracy of the computations, Moin notes, have been surprising. Researchers commonly thought the calculations could not have been realized until 2030, he says.

    Ultimately, these simulations will help engineers to make protrusions or other modifications of airplane wing surfaces to increase lift during take-off conditions or to design more efficient engines.

    Moin is eager to see more engineers use large eddy simulations and supercomputing to study the effect of turbulence on commercial aircraft and other applications.

    “The future of aviation is bright and needs more development,” he says. “I think with time – and hopefully it won’t take too long – aerospace engineers will start to see the advantage of these high-fidelity computations in engineering analysis and design.”

    See the full article here.


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

    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

    Stem Education Coalition

    ASCRDiscovery is a publication of The U.S. Department of Energy

     
  • richardmitnick 1:09 pm on January 22, 2020 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: "Brewing a better espresso with a shot of maths", Applied Research & Technology, ,   

    From University of Portsmouth: “Brewing a better espresso with a shot of maths” 

    From From University of Portsmouth

    22 January 2020

    Read how Dr Jamie Foster’s number-crunching has uncovered the secret to espresso perfection.

    1
    Dr Jamie Foster

    Mathematicians, physicists and materials experts might not spring to mind as the first people to consult about whether you are brewing your coffee right.

    But a team of such researchers including Dr Jamie Foster, a mathematician at the University of Portsmouth’s School of Mathematics and Physics, are challenging common espresso wisdom.

    They have found, that fewer coffee beans, ground more coarsely, are the key to a drink that is cheaper to make, more consistent from shot to shot, and just as strong.

    The study is published in the journal Matter.

    Dr Foster and colleagues set out wanting to understand why sometimes two shots of espresso, made in seemingly the same way, can sometimes taste rather different.

    2
    Researchers have found that fewer coffee beans, ground more coarsely, are the key to a drink that is cheaper to make, more consistent from shot to shot, and just as strong.

    They began by creating a new mathematical theory to describe extraction from a single grain, many millions of which comprise a coffee ‘bed’ which you would find in the basket of an espresso machine.

    Dr Foster said: “In order to solve the equations on a realistic coffee bed you would need an army of super computers, so we needed to find a way of simplifying the equations.

    “The hard mathematical work was in making these simplifications systematically, in such a way that none of the important detail was lost.

    “The conventional wisdom is that if you want a stronger cup of coffee, you should grind your coffee finer. This makes sense because the finer the grounds mean that more surface area of coffee bean is exposed to water, which should mean a stronger coffee.”

    When the researchers began to look at this in detail, it turned out to be not so simple. They found coffee was more reliable from cup to cup when using fewer beans ground coarsely.

    “When beans were ground finely, the particles were so small that in some regions of the bed they clogged up the space where the water should be flowing,” Dr Foster said.

    “These clogged sections of the bed are wasted because the water cannot flow through them and access that tasty coffee that you want in your cup. If we grind a bit coarser, we can access the whole bed and have a more efficient extraction.

    “It’s also cheaper, because when the grind setting is changed, we can use fewer beans and be kinder to the environment.

    “Once we found a way to make shots efficiently, we realised that as well as making coffee shots that stayed reliably the same, we were using less coffee.”

    The new recipes have been trialled in a small US coffee shop over a period of one year and they have reported saving thousands of dollars. Estimates indicates that scaling this up to encompass the whole US coffee market could save over $US1.1bn dollar per year.

    Previous studies have looked at drip filter coffee. This is the first time mathematicians have used theoretical modelling to study the science of the perfect espresso – a more complicated process due to the additional pressure.

    See the full article here .

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

    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

    Stem Education Coalition

    The University of Portsmouth is a public university in the city of Portsmouth, Hampshire, England. The history of the university dates back to 1908, when the Park building opened as a Municipal college and public library. It was previously known as Portsmouth Polytechnic until 1992, when it was granted university status through the Further and Higher Education Act 1992. It is ranked among the Top 100 universities under 50 in the world.

    We’re a New Breed of University
    We’re proud to be a breath of fresh air in the academic world – a place where everyone gets the support they need to achieve their best.
    We’re always discovering. Through the work we do, we engage with our community and world beyond our hometown. We don’t fit the mould, we break it.
    We educate and transform the lives of our students and the people around us. We recruit students for their promise and potential and for where they want to go.
    We stand out, not just in the UK but in the world, in innovation and research, with excellence in areas from cosmology and forensics to cyber security, epigenetics and brain tumour research.
    Just as the world keeps moving, so do we. We’re closely involved with our local community and we take our ideas out into the global marketplace. We partner with business, industry and government to help improve, navigate and set the course for a better future.
    Since the first day we opened our doors, our story has been about looking forward. We’re interested in the future, and here to help you shape it.

    The university offers a range of disciplines, from Pharmacy, International relations and politics, to Mechanical Engineering, Paleontology, Criminology, Criminal Justice, among others. The Guardian University Guide 2018 ranked its Sports Science number one in England, while Criminology, English, Social Work, Graphic Design and Fashion and Textiles courses are all in the top 10 across all universities in the UK. Furthermore, 89% of its research conducted in Physics, and 90% of its research in Allied Health Professions (e.g. Dentistry, Nursing and Pharmacy) have been rated as world-leading or internationally excellent in the most recent Research Excellence Framework (REF2014).

    The University is a member of the University Alliance and The Channel Islands Universities Consortium. Alumni include Tim Peake, Grayson Perry, Simon Armitage and Ben Fogle.

    Portsmouth was named the UK’s most affordable city for students in the Natwest Student Living Index 2016. On Friday 4 May 2018, the University of Portsmouth was revealed as the main shirt sponsor of Portsmouth F.C. for the 2018–19, 2019–20 and 2020–21 seasons.

     
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