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  • richardmitnick 8:23 am on June 16, 2021 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: "Ultra-cool test of Jupiter instrument", Applied Research & Technology, , , , , , ,   

    From European Space Agency [Agence spatiale européenne] [Europäische Weltraumorganisation](EU) : “Ultra-cool test of Jupiter instrument” 

    ESA Space For Europe Banner

    European Space Agency – United Space in Europe (EU)

    From European Space Agency [Agence spatiale européenne] [Europäische Weltraumorganisation](EU)


    An instrument destined for Jupiter orbit undergoes eight days of cryogenic radio-frequency testing using a new test facility at ESA’s ESTEC technical centre in the Netherlands. The Submillimetre Wave Instrument of ESA’s Juice mission will survey the churning atmosphere of Jupiter and the scanty atmospheres of its Galilean moons.

    Ultra-cool test of Jupiter instrument.

    Testing took place in ESA’s custom-built Low-temperature Near-field Terahertz chamber, or Lorentz. The first chamber of its kind, the 2.8-m diameter Lorentz chamber can perform high-frequency radio-frequency testing in realistic space conditions, combining space-quality vacuum with ultra-low temperatures. © ESA – European Space Agency.

    See the full article here .


    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

    Stem Education Coalition

    European Space Agency [Agence spatiale européenne][Europäische Weltraumorganisation](EU), 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 (NL) 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.

    ESA’s space flight programme includes human spaceflight (mainly through participation in the International Space Station program); the launch and operation of uncrewed exploration missions to other planets and the Moon; Earth observation, science and telecommunication; designing launch vehicles; and maintaining a major spaceport, the The Guiana Space Centre [Centre Spatial Guyanais; CSG also called Europe’s Spaceport) at Kourou, French Guiana. The main European launch vehicle Ariane 5 is operated through Arianespace with ESA sharing in the costs of launching and further developing this launch vehicle. The agency is also working with NASA to manufacture the Orion Spacecraft service module that will fly on the Space Launch System.

    The agency’s facilities are distributed among the following centres:

    ESA European Space Research and Technology Centre (ESTEC) (NL)in Noordwijk, Netherlands;
    ESA Centre for Earth Observation [ESRIN] (IT) in Frascati, Italy;
    ESA Mission Control ESA European Space Operations Center [ESOC](DE) is in Darmstadt, Germany;
    ESA -European Astronaut Centre [EAC] trains astronauts for future missions is situated in Cologne, Germany;
    European Centre for Space Applications and Telecommunications (ECSAT) (UK), a research institute created in 2009, is located in Harwell, England;
    ESA – European Space Astronomy Centre [ESAC] (ES) is located in Villanueva de la Cañada, Madrid, Spain.
    European Space Agency Science Programme is a long-term programme of space science and space exploration missions.


    After World War II, many European scientists left Western Europe in order to work with the United States. Although the 1950s boom made it possible for Western European countries to invest in research and specifically in space-related activities, Western European scientists realized solely national projects would not be able to compete with the two main superpowers. In 1958, only months after the Sputnik shock, Edoardo Amaldi (Italy) and Pierre Auger (France), two prominent members of the Western European scientific community, met to discuss the foundation of a common Western European space agency. The meeting was attended by scientific representatives from eight countries, including Harrie Massey (United Kingdom).

    The Western European nations decided to have two agencies: one concerned with developing a launch system, ELDO (European Launch Development Organization), and the other the precursor of the European Space Agency, ESRO (European Space Research Organisation). The latter was established on 20 March 1964 by an agreement signed on 14 June 1962. From 1968 to 1972, ESRO launched seven research satellites.

    ESA in its current form was founded with the ESA Convention in 1975, when ESRO was merged with ELDO. ESA had ten founding member states: Belgium, Denmark, France, West Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, and the United Kingdom. These signed the ESA Convention in 1975 and deposited the instruments of ratification by 1980, when the convention came into force. During this interval the agency functioned in a de facto fashion. ESA launched its first major scientific mission in 1975, Cos-B, a space probe monitoring gamma-ray emissions in the universe, which was first worked on by ESRO.

    ESA50 Logo large

    Later activities

    ESA collaborated with National Aeronautics Space Agency on the International Ultraviolet Explorer (IUE), the world’s first high-orbit telescope, which was launched in 1978 and operated successfully for 18 years.

    A number of successful Earth-orbit projects followed, and in 1986 ESA began Giotto, its first deep-space mission, to study the comets Halley and Grigg–Skjellerup. Hipparcos, a star-mapping mission, was launched in 1989 and in the 1990s SOHO, Ulysses and the Hubble Space Telescope were all jointly carried out with NASA. Later scientific missions in cooperation with NASA include the Cassini–Huygens space probe, to which ESA contributed by building the Titan landing module Huygens.

    As the successor of ELDO, ESA has also constructed rockets for scientific and commercial payloads. Ariane 1, launched in 1979, carried mostly commercial payloads into orbit from 1984 onward. The next two versions of the Ariane rocket were intermediate stages in the development of a more advanced launch system, the Ariane 4, which operated between 1988 and 2003 and established ESA as the world leader in commercial space launches in the 1990s. Although the succeeding Ariane 5 experienced a failure on its first flight, it has since firmly established itself within the heavily competitive commercial space launch market with 82 successful launches until 2018. The successor launch vehicle of Ariane 5, the Ariane 6, is under development and is envisioned to enter service in the 2020s.

    The beginning of the new millennium saw ESA become, along with agencies like National Aeronautics Space Agency(US), Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency, Indian Space Research Organisation, the Canadian Space Agency(CA) and Roscosmos(RU), one of the major participants in scientific space research. Although ESA had relied on co-operation with NASA in previous decades, especially the 1990s, changed circumstances (such as tough legal restrictions on information sharing by the United States military) led to decisions to rely more on itself and on co-operation with Russia. A 2011 press issue thus stated:

    “Russia is ESA’s first partner in its efforts to ensure long-term access to space. There is a framework agreement between ESA and the government of the Russian Federation on cooperation and partnership in the exploration and use of outer space for peaceful purposes, and cooperation is already underway in two different areas of launcher activity that will bring benefits to both partners.”

    Notable ESA programmes include SMART-1, a probe testing cutting-edge space propulsion technology, the Mars Express and Venus Express missions, as well as the development of the Ariane 5 rocket and its role in the ISS partnership. ESA maintains its scientific and research projects mainly for astronomy-space missions such as Corot, launched on 27 December 2006, a milestone in the search for exoplanets.

    On 21 January 2019, ArianeGroup and Arianespace announced a one-year contract with ESA to study and prepare for a mission to mine the Moon for lunar regolith.


    The treaty establishing the European Space Agency reads:

    The purpose of the Agency shall be to provide for and to promote, for exclusively peaceful purposes, cooperation among European States in space research and technology and their space applications, with a view to their being used for scientific purposes and for operational space applications systems…

    ESA is responsible for setting a unified space and related industrial policy, recommending space objectives to the member states, and integrating national programs like satellite development, into the European program as much as possible.

    Jean-Jacques Dordain – ESA’s Director General (2003–2015) – outlined the European Space Agency’s mission in a 2003 interview:

    “Today space activities have pursued the benefit of citizens, and citizens are asking for a better quality of life on Earth. They want greater security and economic wealth, but they also want to pursue their dreams, to increase their knowledge, and they want younger people to be attracted to the pursuit of science and technology. I think that space can do all of this: it can produce a higher quality of life, better security, more economic wealth, and also fulfill our citizens’ dreams and thirst for knowledge, and attract the young generation. This is the reason space exploration is an integral part of overall space activities. It has always been so, and it will be even more important in the future.”


    According to the ESA website, the activities are:

    Observing the Earth
    Human Spaceflight
    Space Science
    Space Engineering & Technology
    Telecommunications & Integrated Applications
    Preparing for the Future
    Space for Climate


    Copernicus Programme
    Cosmic Vision
    Horizon 2000
    Living Planet Programme


    Every member country must contribute to these programmes:

    Technology Development Element Programme
    Science Core Technology Programme
    General Study Programme
    European Component Initiative


    Depending on their individual choices the countries can contribute to the following programmes, listed according to:

    Earth Observation
    Human Spaceflight and Exploration
    Space Situational Awareness


    ESA has formed partnerships with universities. ESA_LAB@ refers to research laboratories at universities. Currently there are ESA_LAB@

    Technische Universität Darmstadt
    École des hautes études commerciales de Paris (HEC Paris)
    Université de recherche Paris Sciences et Lettres
    University of Central Lancashire

    Membership and contribution to ESA

    By 2015, ESA was an intergovernmental organisation of 22 member states. Member states participate to varying degrees in the mandatory (25% of total expenditures in 2008) and optional space programmes (75% of total expenditures in 2008). The 2008 budget amounted to €3.0 billion whilst the 2009 budget amounted to €3.6 billion. The total budget amounted to about €3.7 billion in 2010, €3.99 billion in 2011, €4.02 billion in 2012, €4.28 billion in 2013, €4.10 billion in 2014 and €4.33 billion in 2015. English is the main language within ESA. Additionally, official documents are also provided in German and documents regarding the Spacelab are also provided in Italian. If found appropriate, the agency may conduct its correspondence in any language of a member state.

    Non-full member states
    Since 2016, Slovenia has been an associated member of the ESA.

    Latvia became the second current associated member on 30 June 2020, when the Association Agreement was signed by ESA Director Jan Wörner and the Minister of Education and Science of Latvia, Ilga Šuplinska in Riga. The Saeima ratified it on July 27. Previously associated members were Austria, Norway and Finland, all of which later joined ESA as full members.

    Since 1 January 1979, Canada has had the special status of a Cooperating State within ESA. By virtue of this accord, the Canadian Space Agency takes part in ESA’s deliberative bodies and decision-making and also in ESA’s programmes and activities. Canadian firms can bid for and receive contracts to work on programmes. The accord has a provision ensuring a fair industrial return to Canada. The most recent Cooperation Agreement was signed on 15 December 2010 with a term extending to 2020. For 2014, Canada’s annual assessed contribution to the ESA general budget was €6,059,449 (CAD$8,559,050). For 2017, Canada has increased its annual contribution to €21,600,000 (CAD$30,000,000).


    After the decision of the ESA Council of 21/22 March 2001, the procedure for accession of the European states was detailed as described the document titled The Plan for European Co-operating States (PECS). Nations that want to become a full member of ESA do so in 3 stages. First a Cooperation Agreement is signed between the country and ESA. In this stage, the country has very limited financial responsibilities. If a country wants to co-operate more fully with ESA, it signs a European Cooperating State (ECS) Agreement. The ECS Agreement makes companies based in the country eligible for participation in ESA procurements. The country can also participate in all ESA programmes, except for the Basic Technology Research Programme. While the financial contribution of the country concerned increases, it is still much lower than that of a full member state. The agreement is normally followed by a Plan For European Cooperating State (or PECS Charter). This is a 5-year programme of basic research and development activities aimed at improving the nation’s space industry capacity. At the end of the 5-year period, the country can either begin negotiations to become a full member state or an associated state or sign a new PECS Charter.

    During the Ministerial Meeting in December 2014, ESA ministers approved a resolution calling for discussions to begin with Israel, Australia and South Africa on future association agreements. The ministers noted that “concrete cooperation is at an advanced stage” with these nations and that “prospects for mutual benefits are existing”.

    A separate space exploration strategy resolution calls for further co-operation with the United States, Russia and China on “LEO exploration, including a continuation of ISS cooperation and the development of a robust plan for the coordinated use of space transportation vehicles and systems for exploration purposes, participation in robotic missions for the exploration of the Moon, the robotic exploration of Mars, leading to a broad Mars Sample Return mission in which Europe should be involved as a full partner, and human missions beyond LEO in the longer term.”

    Relationship with the European Union

    The political perspective of the European Union (EU) was to make ESA an agency of the EU by 2014, although this date was not met. The EU member states provide most of ESA’s funding, and they are all either full ESA members or observers.


    At the time ESA was formed, its main goals did not encompass human space flight; rather it considered itself to be primarily a scientific research organisation for uncrewed space exploration in contrast to its American and Soviet counterparts. It is therefore not surprising that the first non-Soviet European in space was not an ESA astronaut on a European space craft; it was Czechoslovak Vladimír Remek who in 1978 became the first non-Soviet or American in space (the first man in space being Yuri Gagarin of the Soviet Union) – on a Soviet Soyuz spacecraft, followed by the Pole Mirosław Hermaszewski and East German Sigmund Jähn in the same year. This Soviet co-operation programme, known as Intercosmos, primarily involved the participation of Eastern bloc countries. In 1982, however, Jean-Loup Chrétien became the first non-Communist Bloc astronaut on a flight to the Soviet Salyut 7 space station.

    Because Chrétien did not officially fly into space as an ESA astronaut, but rather as a member of the French CNES astronaut corps, the German Ulf Merbold is considered the first ESA astronaut to fly into space. He participated in the STS-9 Space Shuttle mission that included the first use of the European-built Spacelab in 1983. STS-9 marked the beginning of an extensive ESA/NASA joint partnership that included dozens of space flights of ESA astronauts in the following years. Some of these missions with Spacelab were fully funded and organizationally and scientifically controlled by ESA (such as two missions by Germany and one by Japan) with European astronauts as full crew members rather than guests on board. Beside paying for Spacelab flights and seats on the shuttles, ESA continued its human space flight co-operation with the Soviet Union and later Russia, including numerous visits to Mir.

    During the latter half of the 1980s, European human space flights changed from being the exception to routine and therefore, in 1990, the European Astronaut Centre in Cologne, Germany was established. It selects and trains prospective astronauts and is responsible for the co-ordination with international partners, especially with regard to the International Space Station. As of 2006, the ESA astronaut corps officially included twelve members, including nationals from most large European countries except the United Kingdom.

    In the summer of 2008, ESA started to recruit new astronauts so that final selection would be due in spring 2009. Almost 10,000 people registered as astronaut candidates before registration ended in June 2008. 8,413 fulfilled the initial application criteria. Of the applicants, 918 were chosen to take part in the first stage of psychological testing, which narrowed down the field to 192. After two-stage psychological tests and medical evaluation in early 2009, as well as formal interviews, six new members of the European Astronaut Corps were selected – five men and one woman.

    Cooperation with other countries and organisations

    ESA has signed co-operation agreements with the following states that currently neither plan to integrate as tightly with ESA institutions as Canada, nor envision future membership of ESA: Argentina, Brazil, China, India (for the Chandrayan mission), Russia and Turkey.

    Additionally, ESA has joint projects with the European Union, NASA of the United States and is participating in the International Space Station together with the United States (NASA), Russia and Japan (JAXA).

    European Union
    ESA and EU member states
    ESA-only members
    EU-only members

    ESA is not an agency or body of the European Union (EU), and has non-EU countries (Norway, Switzerland, and the United Kingdom) as members. There are however ties between the two, with various agreements in place and being worked on, to define the legal status of ESA with regard to the EU.

    There are common goals between ESA and the EU. ESA has an EU liaison office in Brussels. On certain projects, the EU and ESA co-operate, such as the upcoming Galileo satellite navigation system. Space policy has since December 2009 been an area for voting in the European Council. Under the European Space Policy of 2007, the EU, ESA and its Member States committed themselves to increasing co-ordination of their activities and programmes and to organising their respective roles relating to space.

    The Lisbon Treaty of 2009 reinforces the case for space in Europe and strengthens the role of ESA as an R&D space agency. Article 189 of the Treaty gives the EU a mandate to elaborate a European space policy and take related measures, and provides that the EU should establish appropriate relations with ESA.

    Former Italian astronaut Umberto Guidoni, during his tenure as a Member of the European Parliament from 2004 to 2009, stressed the importance of the European Union as a driving force for space exploration, “…since other players are coming up such as India and China it is becoming ever more important that Europeans can have an independent access to space. We have to invest more into space research and technology in order to have an industry capable of competing with other international players.”

    The first EU-ESA International Conference on Human Space Exploration took place in Prague on 22 and 23 October 2009. A road map which would lead to a common vision and strategic planning in the area of space exploration was discussed. Ministers from all 29 EU and ESA members as well as members of parliament were in attendance.

    National space organisations of member states:

    The Centre National d’Études Spatiales(FR) (CNES) (National Centre for Space Study) is the French government space agency (administratively, a “public establishment of industrial and commercial character”). Its headquarters are in central Paris. CNES is the main participant on the Ariane project. Indeed, CNES designed and tested all Ariane family rockets (mainly from its centre in Évry near Paris)
    The UK Space Agency is a partnership of the UK government departments which are active in space. Through the UK Space Agency, the partners provide delegates to represent the UK on the various ESA governing bodies. Each partner funds its own programme.
    The Italian Space Agency A.S.I. – Agenzia Spaziale Italiana was founded in 1988 to promote, co-ordinate and conduct space activities in Italy. Operating under the Ministry of the Universities and of Scientific and Technological Research, the agency cooperates with numerous entities active in space technology and with the president of the Council of Ministers. Internationally, the ASI provides Italy’s delegation to the Council of the European Space Agency and to its subordinate bodies.
    The German Aerospace Center (DLR)[Deutsches Zentrum für Luft- und Raumfahrt e. V.] is the national research centre for aviation and space flight of the Federal Republic of Germany and of other member states in the Helmholtz Association. Its extensive research and development projects are included in national and international cooperative programmes. In addition to its research projects, the centre is the assigned space agency of Germany bestowing headquarters of German space flight activities and its associates.
    The Instituto Nacional de Técnica Aeroespacial (INTA)(ES) (National Institute for Aerospace Technique) is a Public Research Organization specialised in aerospace research and technology development in Spain. Among other functions, it serves as a platform for space research and acts as a significant testing facility for the aeronautic and space sector in the country.

    National Aeronautics Space Agency(US)

    ESA has a long history of collaboration with NASA. Since ESA’s astronaut corps was formed, the Space Shuttle has been the primary launch vehicle used by ESA’s astronauts to get into space through partnership programmes with NASA. In the 1980s and 1990s, the Spacelab programme was an ESA-NASA joint research programme that had ESA develop and manufacture orbital labs for the Space Shuttle for several flights on which ESA participate with astronauts in experiments.

    In robotic science mission and exploration missions, NASA has been ESA’s main partner. Cassini–Huygens was a joint NASA-ESA mission, along with the Infrared Space Observatory, INTEGRAL, SOHO, and others.

    Also, the Hubble Space Telescope is a joint project of NASA and ESA.

    Future ESA-NASA joint projects include the James Webb Space Telescope and the proposed Laser Interferometer Space Antenna.

    NASA has committed to provide support to ESA’s proposed MarcoPolo-R mission to return an asteroid sample to Earth for further analysis. NASA and ESA will also likely join together for a Mars Sample Return Mission. In October 2020 the ESA entered into a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with NASA to work together on the Artemis program, which will provide an orbiting lunar gateway and also accomplish the first manned lunar landing in 50 years, whose team will include the first woman on the Moon.

    Astronaut selection announcements are expected within two years of the 2024 scheduled launch date.

    Cooperation with other space agencies

    Since China has started to invest more money into space activities, the Chinese Space Agency(CN) has sought international partnerships. ESA is, beside the Russian Space Agency, one of its most important partners. Two space agencies cooperated in the development of the Double Star Mission. In 2017, ESA sent two astronauts to China for two weeks sea survival training with Chinese astronauts in Yantai, Shandong.

    ESA entered into a major joint venture with Russia in the form of the CSTS, the preparation of French Guiana spaceport for launches of Soyuz-2 rockets and other projects. With India, ESA agreed to send instruments into space aboard the ISRO’s Chandrayaan-1 in 2008. ESA is also co-operating with Japan, the most notable current project in collaboration with JAXA is the BepiColombo mission to Mercury.

    Speaking to reporters at an air show near Moscow in August 2011, ESA head Jean-Jacques Dordain said ESA and Russia’s Roskosmos space agency would “carry out the first flight to Mars together.”

  • richardmitnick 3:56 pm on June 15, 2021 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , Applied Research & Technology, , Alfred Wegener Institute for Polar and Marine Research [Alfred-Wegener-Institut für Polar- und Meeresforschung](DE), "Heat from Below- How the Ocean is Wearing Down the Arctic Sea Ice"   

    From Alfred Wegener Institute for Polar and Marine Research [Alfred-Wegener-Institut für Polar- und Meeresforschung](DE):: “Heat from Below- How the Ocean is Wearing Down the Arctic Sea Ice” 

    From Alfred Wegener Institute for Polar and Marine Research [Alfred-Wegener-Institut für Polar- und Meeresforschung](DE)


    Helmholtz Association of German Research Centres (DE)

    15. June 2021


    Robert Ricker

    Jakob Belter

    Thomas Krumpen
    Press Office

    Folke Mehrtens

    MOSAiC expedition.

    European Space Agency [Agence spatiale européenne][Europäische Weltraumorganisation](EU) Cryosat 2.

    The influx of warmer water masses from the North Atlantic into the European marginal seas of the Arctic Ocean plays a significant role in the marked decrease in sea-ice growth, especially in winter. Sea-ice physicists from the Alfred Wegener Institute, Helmholtz Centre for Polar and Marine Research (AWI), together with researchers from the US and Russia, now present evidence for this in two new studies, which show that heat from the Atlantic has hindered ice growth in the Barents and Kara Seas for years. Furthermore, they demonstrate that the invasion of warm Atlantic water masses further east, at the northern edge of the Laptev Sea, can have such a long-term impact on the increase in ice thickness that the effects are evident a year later, when the ice has drifted towards Greenland via the North Pole and leaves the Arctic through Fram Strait. This study also includes data from the MOSAiC expedition.

    Marine researchers refer to the increasing influx of warm Atlantic water masses into the Arctic Ocean as ‘Atlantification’. To date, this process has mainly been investigated from an oceanographic perspective. In two new studies, AWI sea-ice physicists have, for the first time, estimated the effects of the input of heat on the sea-ice growth in the Arctic. Of note here: in those places where the sea ice completely melts in summer, in the following winter the sea releases especially large amounts of heat into the atmosphere. As a result, the sea freezes so rapidly that it compensates for the summertime ice losses. “Young, thin sea ice conducts heat significantly better than thick ice, and therefore less effectively protects the sea from cooling. At the same time, more water freezes on the bottom of the ice, which is why thin ice grows more quickly than thick ice,” explains AWI sea-ice physicist Dr Robert Ricker.

    The important winter growth no longer takes place as smoothly in all marginal seas, as Ricker and colleagues found using long-term data on the thickness, concentration and drift of Arctic sea ice. “We analysed satellite data from the ESA Climate Change Initiative and found that in the period from 2002 to 2019, less and less sea ice formed, especially in the Barents Sea and Kara Sea,” Ricker reports. In the East Siberian Sea, as well as in the Beaufort and Chukchi Seas, on the other hand, the winter ice production is still high enough to compensate for the losses in summer.

    To determine the cause of these varying regional trends, the researchers simulated the interaction between the ocean, ice, wind, and air temperature for the past four decades using two coupled ice-ocean models. Both simulations led to the same conclusion. “The warm water masses that flow from the North Atlantic into the Arctic Ocean are responsible for slowing or even preventing ice growth in the Barents and Kara Seas. If new ice does form, it’s significantly thinner than before,” says Ricker, adding: “If Atlantification persists to this extent, and the winter temperatures in the Arctic continue to rise, in the long term we will also see changes in the regions of the Arctic Ocean further east. In that case, the ice cover in the Arctic Ocean will decline and become thinner and more fragile than it already is.

    Signs of rising heat at the northern edge of the Laptev Sea

    In the second study, AWI sea-ice physicists report on the first indications that the rising ocean heat is also slowing ice formation in the Laptev Sea, which also includes measurements of the ice floe from the one-year MOSAiC expedition in late summer 2020. In it, the researchers analyse the long-term data from their sea-ice thickness measuring programme in the Arctic, ‘IceBird’, and trace the origins of the unusually thin sea ice that they observed from the research aeroplane in the northern Fram Strait in summer 2016. At that time, the ice was just 100 centimetres thick, making it 30 percent thinner than in the previous year – a difference that the researchers were initially unable to explain. “To solve the puzzle, we first retraced the ice’s drift route with the help of satellite images. It originated in the Laptev Sea,” explains AWI sea-ice physicist Dr Jakob Belter. The experts then examined the weather along the route. However, the atmospheric data for the period 2014 to 2016 didn’t show any abnormalities.

    That meant the answer had to lie in the ocean – and indeed: from January to May 2015, experts from the University of Alaska Fairbanks (US) recorded unusually high temperatures in the waters north of the Laptev Sea. We now know that the heat rose from the depths with Atlantic water masses, and slowed the winter ice growth. “Using the satellite data, we were able to show that the thin ice that we sampled in Fram Strait in July 2016 had previously passed through this unusually warm area off the Russian continental shelf,” says Belter. Furthermore, the ocean heat wave must have been so extreme that its effects on the growth in sea-ice thickness couldn’t be compensated for during its drift across the Arctic Ocean.

    The two new studies highlight the importance of long-term datasets for sea-ice research in the Arctic. “If we are to understand the changes in the Arctic sea ice, long-term observations of ice thickness using satellites and aircraft are vital. Combined with modelling data they provide an overall picture that is sufficiently detailed to allow us to identify the key processes in the changing Arctic,” explains Jakob Belter.

    Original publications:

    The two studies have now been published on the following portals:

    Robert Ricker, Frank Kauker, Axel Schweiger, Stefan Hendricks, Jinlun Zhang, and Stephan Paul (2021): Evidence for an increasing role of ocean heat in Arctic winter sea ice growth. Journal of Climate

    H. Jakob Belter, Thomas Krumpen, Luisa von Albedyll, Tatiana A. Alekseeva, Gerit Birnbaum, Sergei V. Frolov, Stefan Hendricks, Andreas Herber, Igor Polyakov, Ian Raphael, Robert Ricker, Sergei S. Serovetnikov, Melinda Webster, and Christian Haas (2021): Interannual variability in Transpolar Drift summer sea ice thickness and potential impact of Atlantification, The Cryosphere, DOI: https://doi.org/10.5194/tc-15-2575-2021

    See the full article here.


    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

    Stem Education Coalition

    The Helmholtz Association (DE)

    The Helmholtz Association of German Research Centers (DE) was created in 1995 to formalise existing relationships between several globally-renowned independent research centres. The Helmholtz Association distributes core funding from the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) to its, now, 19 autonomous research centers and evaluates their effectiveness against the highest international standards.

  • richardmitnick 2:00 pm on June 15, 2021 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: "Forthcoming revolution will unveil the secrets of matter", Applied Research & Technology, , , European High Performance Computer Joint Undertaking (EU), Exaflop computers, , ,   

    From CNRS-The National Center for Scientific Research [Centre national de la recherche scientifique] (FR) : “Forthcoming revolution will unveil the secrets of matter” 

    From CNRS-The National Center for Scientific Research [Centre national de la recherche scientifique] (FR)

    Martin Koppe

    ©Sikov /Stock.Adobe.com

    Provided adapted software can be developed, exascale computing, a new generation of supercomputers, will offer massive power to model the properties of molecules and materials, while taking into account their fundamental interactions and quantum mechanics. The TREX-Targeting Real Chemical accuracy at the EXascale (EU) project is set to meet the challenge.

    One quintillion operations per second. Exaflop computers – from the prefix -exa or 10^18, and flops, the number of floating-point operations that a computer can perform in one second – will offer this colossal computing power, as long as specifically designed programs and codes are available. An international race is thus underway to produce these impressive machines, and to take full advantage of their capacities. The European Commission is financing ambitious projects that are preparing the way for exascale, which is to say any form of high-performance computing that reaches an exaflop. The Targeting Real chemical precision at the EXascale (TREX)[1] programme focuses on highly precise computing methods in the fields of chemistry and materials physics.

    Compute nodes of the Jean Zay supercomputer, the first French converged supercomputer between intensive calculations and artificial intelligence. After its extension in the summer of 2020, it attained 28 petaflops, or 28 quintillion operations per second, thanks to its 86,344 cores supported by 2,696 GPU accelerators.
    © Cyril FRESILLON / Idris: A Language for Type-Driven Development / CNRS Photothèque.

    Officially inaugurated in October 2020, TREX is part of the broader European High Performance Computing (European High Performance Computer Joint Undertaking (EU)) joint undertaking, whose goal is to ensure Europe is a player alongside the United States and China in exascale computing. “The Japanese have already achieved exascale by lowering computational precision,” enthuses Anthony Scemama, a researcher at the LCPQ-Laboratoire de Chimie et Physique Quantiques (FR),[2] and one of the two CNRS coordinators of TREX. “A great deal of work remains to be done on codes if we want to take full advantage of these future machines.”

    Exascale computing will probably use GPUs as well as traditional processors, or CPUs. These graphics processors were originally developed for video games, but they have enjoyed increasing success in data-intensive computing applications. Here again, their use will entail rewriting programs to fully harness their power for those applications that will need it.

    “Chemistry researchers already have various computing techniques for producing simulations, such as modelling the interaction of light with a molecule,” Scemama explains. “TREX focuses on cases where the computing methods for a realistic and predictive description of the physical phenomena controlling chemical reactions are too costly.”

    “TREX is an interdisciplinary project that also includes physicists,” stresses CNRS researcher and project coordinator Michele Casula, at the Institute of Mineralogy, Material Physics and Cosmochemistry [Institut de minéralogie, de physique des matériaux et de cosmochimie (FR).[3] “Our two communities need computing methods that are powerful enough to accurately predict the behaviour of matter, which often requires far too much computation time for conventional computers.”
    The TREX team has identified several areas for applications. First of all, and surprising though it may seem, the physicochemical properties of water have not been sufficiently modelled. The best ab initio simulations – those based on fundamental interactions – are wrong by a few degrees when trying to estimate its boiling point.

    Improved water models will enable us to more effectively simulate the behaviour of proteins, which continually evolve in aqueous environments. The applications being developed in connection with the TREX project could have a significant impact on research in biology and pharmacy. For example, nitrogenases, which make essential contributions to life, transform nitrogen gas into ammonia, a form that can be used by organisms. However, the theoretical description of the physicochemical mechanisms used by this enzyme is not accurate enough under current models. Exascale computing should also improve experts’ understanding of highly correlated materials such as superconductors, which are characterised by the substantial interactions between the electrons they are made of.

    “The microscopic understanding of their functioning remains an unresolved issue, one that has nagged scientists ever since the 1980s,” Casula points out. “It is one of the major open problems in condensed matter physics. When mastered, these materials will, among other things, be able to transport electricity with no loss of energy.” 2D materials are also involved, especially those used in solar panels to convert light into power.

    “To model matter using quantum mechanics means relying on equations that become exponentially more complex, such as the Schrödinger equation, whose number of coordinates increases with the system, ” Casula adds. “In order to solve them in simulations, we either have to use quantum computers, or further explore the power of silicon analogue chips with exascale computing, along with suitable algorithms.”

    To achieve this, TREX members are counting on Quantum Monte Carlo (QMC), and developing libraries to integrate it into existing codes. “We are fortunate to have a method that perfectly matches exascale machines,” Scemama exclaims. QMC is particularly effective at digitally calculating observable values – the quantum equivalent of classical physical values – bringing into play quantum interactions between multiple particles.

    Modelling of electron trajectories in an aggregate of water, created by the QMC programme developed at the LCPQ in Toulouse (southwestern France). © Anthony Scemama / Laboratoire de Chimie et Physique Quantiques.

    “The full computation of these observables is too complex,” Casula stresses. “Accurately estimating them using deterministic methods could take more time than the age of the Universe. Simply put, QMC will not solve everything, but instead provides a statistical sampling of results. Exaflop computers could draw millions of samples per second, and thanks to statistical tools such as the central limit theorem, the more of these values we have, the closer we get to the actual result. We can thus obtain an approximation that is accurate enough to help researchers, all within an acceptable amount of time.”

    With regard to the study of matter, an exascale machine can provide a good description of the electron cloud and its interaction with nuclei. That is not the only advantage. “When configured properly, these machines may use thirty times more energy than classical supercomputers, but in return will produce a thousand times more computing power,” Scemama believes. “Researchers could launch very costly calculations, and use the results to build simpler models for future use.”

    The TREX team nevertheless insists that above all else, it creates technical and predictive tools for other researchers, who will then seek to develop concrete applications. Ongoing exchanges have made it possible to share best practices and feedback among processor manufacturers, physicists, chemists, researchers in high-performance computing, and TREX’s two computing centres.


    In addition to the CNRS, the project includes the universities of Versailles Saint-Quentin-en-Yvelines University [Université de Versailles Saint-Quentin-en-Yvelines – UVSQ] (FR); University of Twente [ Universiteit Twente] (NL), University of Vienna [Universität Wien] (AT)(Austria), Lodz University of Technology [Politechnika Łódzka] (PL) (Poland), the International School for Advanced Studies [Scuola Internazionale Superiore di Studi Avanzati] (IT) (Italy), the MPG Institutes (DE)(Germany), the Slovak University of Technology in Bratislava [Slovenská technická univerzita v Bratislave](STU)(SK) (Slovakia), as well as the Cineca (IT) (Italy) and Jülich Supercomputing Centre [Forschungszentrum Jülich ] (DE) (Germany) supercomputing centres, the MEGWARE [Deutsche Megware] Computer HPC Systems & Solutions (DE) and Trust-IT Services | Phidias (FR) companies.
    Laboratoire de chimie et physique quantiques (CNRS / Université Toulouse III – Paul Sabatier.
    CNRS / National Museum of Natural History [Muséum National d’Histoire Naturelle] (MNHN) (FR) / Sorbonne University [Sorbonne Université] (FR).

    See the full article here.


    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

    Stem Education Coalition

    CNRS-The National Center for Scientific Research [Centre national de la recherche scientifique](FR) is the French state research organisation and is the largest fundamental science agency in Europe.

    In 2016, it employed 31,637 staff, including 11,137 tenured researchers, 13,415 engineers and technical staff, and 7,085 contractual workers. It is headquartered in Paris and has administrative offices in Brussels; Beijing; Tokyo; Singapore; Washington D.C.; Bonn; Moscow; Tunis; Johannesburg; Santiago de Chile; Israel; and New Delhi.

    The CNRS was ranked No. 3 in 2015 and No. 4 in 2017 by the Nature Index, which measures the largest contributors to papers published in 82 leading journals.

    The CNRS operates on the basis of research units, which are of two kinds: “proper units” (UPRs) are operated solely by the CNRS, and “joint units” (UMRs – French: Unité mixte de recherche)[9] are run in association with other institutions, such as universities or INSERM. Members of joint research units may be either CNRS researchers or university employees (maîtres de conférences or professeurs). Each research unit has a numeric code attached and is typically headed by a university professor or a CNRS research director. A research unit may be subdivided into research groups (“équipes”). The CNRS also has support units, which may, for instance, supply administrative, computing, library, or engineering services.

    In 2016, the CNRS had 952 joint research units, 32 proper research units, 135 service units, and 36 international units.

    The CNRS is divided into 10 national institutes:

    Institute of Chemistry (INC)
    Institute of Ecology and Environment (INEE)
    Institute of Physics (INP)
    Institute of Nuclear and Particle Physics (IN2P3)
    Institute of Biological Sciences (INSB)
    Institute for Humanities and Social Sciences (INSHS)
    Institute for Computer Sciences (INS2I)
    Institute for Engineering and Systems Sciences (INSIS)
    Institute for Mathematical Sciences (INSMI)
    Institute for Earth Sciences and Astronomy (INSU)

    The National Committee for Scientific Research, which is in charge of the recruitment and evaluation of researchers, is divided into 47 sections (e.g. section 41 is mathematics, section 7 is computer science and control, and so on).Research groups are affiliated with one primary institute and an optional secondary institute; the researchers themselves belong to one section. For administrative purposes, the CNRS is divided into 18 regional divisions (including four for the Paris region).

    Some selected CNRS laboratories

    APC laboratory
    Centre d’Immunologie de Marseille-Luminy
    Centre d’Etude Spatiale des Rayonnements
    Centre européen de calcul atomique et moléculaire
    Centre de Recherche et de Documentation sur l’Océanie
    CINTRA (joint research lab)
    Institut de l’information scientifique et technique
    Institut de recherche en informatique et systèmes aléatoires
    Institut d’astrophysique de Paris
    Institut de biologie moléculaire et cellulaire
    Institut Jean Nicod
    Laboratoire de Phonétique et Phonologie
    Laboratoire d’Informatique, de Robotique et de Microélectronique de Montpellier
    Laboratory for Analysis and Architecture of Systems
    Laboratoire d’Informatique de Paris 6
    Laboratoire d’informatique pour la mécanique et les sciences de l’ingénieur
    Observatoire océanologique de Banyuls-sur-Mer

  • richardmitnick 10:31 am on June 15, 2021 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Applied Research & Technology, , Compact Accelerator System for Performing Astrophysical Research (CASPAR) at SURF., FNAL DUNE LBNF (US) from FNAL to SURF, LBNL LZ Dark Matter Experiment (US) Dark Matter project at SURF, , , Sanford Underground Research Facility (US), , U Washington Lux Dark Matter 2 at SURF, U Washington MAJORANA Neutrinoless Double-beta Decay Experiment (US) at SURF   

    From Symmetry: “The other particle detector” 

    Symmetry Mag

    From Symmetry

    Ali Sundermier

    When studying mysterious subatomic particles, researchers use a different kind of particle detector to prevent run-of-the-mill dust particles from getting in the way.

    If you’ve got physics on your brain, there’s a good chance the word “particle” immediately summons the subatomic realm. Maybe it calls to mind the protons, neutrons, quarks and electrons that make up our bodies and the world around us, or super-high-energy particles like neutrinos that zoom through space at nearly the speed of light.

    But there’s a whole other class of particles. The kind that are kicked up when the wind blows, that collect on your countertops and windowsills, that visibly cloud the air when there’s nearby smoke and pollution. A major obstacle to many particle physics experiments is that these types of particles—gas, dust, soot, smoke—can cause pesky background noise and obscure experimental results. This is why many of the highly sensitive detectors used for these experiments are kept in cleanrooms.

    “A lot of times when you talk about particle detectors in high-energy and nuclear physics, it’s the kind that detects particles like neutrinos,” says Peggy Norris, Education and Outreach Deputy Director at Sanford Underground Research Facility (US), or SURF, in South Dakota, the deepest underground lab in the US.

    Homestake Mining, Lead, South Dakota, USA.

    “But instruments called particle counters, which measure the amount of dust and other particulates in the air, are crucial to maintaining the cleanliness of the air in the cleanrooms where many of these experiments are built or performed.”

    Escaping the dust

    Deep underground, where many experiments are performed at SURF, the surrounding rocks are laced with radioactive elements such as thorium and uranium, which decay and produce radon gas. These radon gas particles can stick to plastic and contaminate materials.

    “The whole reason you go a mile underground is to get away from the cosmic rays and cell phone signals,” says Mark Hanhardt, an experiment support scientist at SURF. “But something else that causes background is dust, and a large amount of dust down there contains some radioactive elements. If you can’t get rid of this dust, then what’s the point of going underground?”

    SURF employs a collection of particle counters to keep track of the levels of these and other particles (such as microscopic flakes of human skin) that might compromise experiments. Although there are a few different types of particle counters, they all pull in surrounding air and use tricks of light, such as scattering or blocking, to count and measure the size of the particles in any given space. When the counts are high enough to endanger the data they’re collecting, the researchers know to take extra cleaning precautions to bring them back down.

    Hanhardt often tests the instruments in his office to make sure they’re running correctly. On a typical day, his office—which he keeps quite tidy—has a particle count of about a million 0.5-micron-sized particles per cubic foot.

    “Step down into the Common Corridor at the Davis Campus, a part of the lab that is kept as clean as possible, and that particle count drops to only a few hundred particles per cubic foot,” Hanhardt says. “Once you enter a cleanroom, that particle count will drop below 10, rarely going above 100.”

    At first, to monitor the particle count Hanhardt and his colleagues would have to physically travel to each counter every three or four months to download its data onto a USB drive. But in July of 2017, Hanhardt worked with an undergraduate summer intern at SURF to hook the instruments up to tiny microcomputers called Raspberry Pis, which enabled them to track the particle count in real time.

    “In the past, we wouldn’t know about spikes in the particle count until after they occurred,” he says. “With the new system, we have alarms built in that alert us when the counts start going up. This makes it easier to pinpoint what’s causing the increase.”

    Counting the invisible

    In addition to tracking the cleanliness of the air, these devices also provide a learning opportunity for young students, giving them the chance to take and analyze real data.

    “Some years ago we hosted a group of seventh-grade girls at Sanford Lab,” Norris says. “I set up a particle counter in an empty room and sent them into the room one at a time so we could see how the particle count changed with each new person.”

    The exercise illustrated why scientists cover themselves head-to-toe when entering a cleanroom. Each person sheds millions of skin particles per day and may also leave behind hair, clothing fibers, cosmetics particles, microbes and dust.

    “[The students] were shocked to learn just how much invisible stuff is in the air,” Norris says. “Eventually we used the data to plot a graph of dust versus number of students.”

    Stephen Gabriel, a physics teacher at a local high school, is involved in a project investigating ventilation at the lab. His students participate by analyzing the data, and he hopes that this will get them interested in STEM fields.

    “Getting involved in real research with real data is what got me hooked on science,” Gabriel says. “But it’s hard to show students what science is really like when you’re tied into a typical high school schedule. My hope is that if I give students first-hand experience doing real research, they’ll be inspired to pursue careers in science.”

    See the full article here .


    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

    Stem Education Coalition

    Symmetry is a joint Fermilab/SLAC publication.

  • richardmitnick 9:22 am on June 15, 2021 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: "One sky many worlds- Annette S. Lee to keynote Neutrino Day 2021", Applied Research & Technology, , , , , Lee is mixed-race Lakota and her communities are Ojibwe and Dakota/Lakota. Her understanding of the stars is deeply rooted in Indigenous knowledge., , , Women in STEM-Annette S. Lee   

    From Sanford Underground Research Facility-SURF:Women in STEM-Annette S. Lee “One sky many worlds- Annette S. Lee to keynote Neutrino Day 2021” 

    SURF-Sanford Underground Research Facility, Lead, South Dakota, USA.

    From Sanford Underground Research Facility-SURF

    Homestake Mining, Lead, South Dakota, USA.

    June 14, 2021
    Erin Lorraine Broberg

    Annette S. Lee will keynote at Sanford Underground Research Facility’s Neutrino Day: Star Chronicles. Lee is an associate professor of astronomy at St. Cloud University. A mixed-race Lakota whose communities are Ojibwe and D/Lakota, Lee is also an artist and founder of the Native Skywatchers initiative. Photo courtesy of Annette S. Lee.

    A group of 800 young stars blaze in a corner of the night sky. Of these hundreds, just six are visible from Earth with the naked eye. Known to the western world as the Pleiades constellation, these six shining lights have spurred ages of storytelling.

    Ancient Greeks immortalized the daughters of Atlas in this constellation, each visible star embodying one daughter’s soul. To the Ininew Cree tribes, who gazed at the Pleiades from the other side of the globe, the stars mark Pakone Kisik, the Hole in the Sky, where Star Woman fell through the sky and became the first human on this planet. To the Lakota people, who see the night sky as a mirror of the Black Hills, the constellation is a stellar reflection of Mato Tipila, or Devils Tower.

    When particle physicists look at the night sky, they see arching starlight as proof of the existence of Dark Matter. Some astrophysicists study stars as cosmic cauldrons, creating elements such as carbon, calcium and iron. Other astrophysicists use stars as “standard candles”—mile markers in the vast regions of space.

    “The sky is embedded with stories from all of humanity, throughout all time,” said Annette S. Lee. An astrophysicist, artist, educator and Native sky watcher, Lee views the stars through more lenses than most. As the keynote speaker at Sanford Underground Neutrino Facility’s (SURF) Neutrino Day: Star Chronicles, Lee will describe how we can all better appreciate and share humanity’s collective knowledge of the night sky.

    “It’s not like we’re just outside observers watching this,” Lee said during an interview with Science Friday. “The key thing is we’re a part of it.”

    Lee’s talk, entitled “Two-Eyed Seeing: Paha Sapa, the Black Hills, and the Heart of Everything that is,” will explore Lakota/Dakota Indigenous astronomy and the practice of combining perspectives in order to gain a better understanding of phenomena that surround us. This virtual talk will take place at our Neutrino Day finale on Saturday, July 10, at 4 p.m. MT. As an astronomer, Lee has researched the chemical atmospheres of stars, examined the night sky from Whipple Observatory, studied high-resolution spectra of starlight and digitally imaged galaxies captured by the Hubble Space Telescope.

    Harvard Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics(US) Fred Lawrence Whipple Observatory(US) located near Amado, Arizona on the slopes of Mount Hopkins, Altitude 2,606 m (8,550 ft)

    Lee is mixed-race Lakota and her communities are Ojibwe and Dakota/Lakota. Her understanding of the stars is deeply rooted in Indigenous knowledge.

    “I walk through life with a deeply Indigenous approach,” Lee wrote to the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS).

    As she learns more about the stars through science and Indigenous knowledge systems, Lee has transformed that understanding into art. A professional visual artist of more than 30 years, Lee collaborated with others to paint several sky star maps based on Ojibwe, D/Lakota and Ininew/Cree star knowledge. The maps chart each culture’s constellations, describing their location, seasonal movement, relationship with other astronomical objects and the stories each constellation tells.

    Lee’s astronomical research, Native understanding and art have all culminated in an educational mission. “Public engagement is not an afterthought, it is a necessity for survival, like breathing,” Lee wrote to American Association for the Advancement of Science (US).

    In 2007, Lee launched Native Skywatchers, an initiative that aims to record, map and share Indigenous star knowledge. The program creates culturally responsive curriculum and teaching strategies, anchored in Indigenous knowledge systems. Native Skywatchers draws on the collective expertise of Indigenous knowledge keepers, scientists, artists, educators, youth and community members in an effort to improve education inequalities faced by native youth, cultivate cultural pride and promote community wellness.

    In a swirl of painting, teaching, stargazing and data-taking, Lee’s efforts turn her audiences’ attention to the skies above. Join Lee at SURF’s free, virtual Neutrino Day finale on Saturday, July 10, at 4 p.m. MT. Attendees can join the event through our virtual Neutrino Day town or live on Facebook, Vimeo, YouTube and http://www.neutrinoday.com.

    See the full article here .

    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

    Stem Education Coalition

    About us: The Sanford Underground Research Facility-SURF in Lead, South Dakota, advances our understanding of the universe by providing laboratory space deep underground, where sensitive physics experiments can be shielded from cosmic radiation. Researchers at the Sanford Lab explore some of the most challenging questions facing 21st century physics, such as the origin of matter, the nature of dark matter and the properties of neutrinos. The facility also hosts experiments in other disciplines—including geology, biology and engineering.

    The Sanford Lab is located at the former Homestake gold mine, which was a physics landmark long before being converted into a dedicated science facility. Nuclear chemist Ray Davis earned a share of the Nobel Prize for Physics in 2002 for a solar neutrino experiment he installed 4,850 feet underground in the mine.

    Homestake closed in 2003, but the company donated the property to South Dakota in 2006 for use as an underground laboratory. That same year, philanthropist T. Denny Sanford donated $70 million to the project. The South Dakota Legislature also created the South Dakota Science and Technology Authority to operate the lab. The state Legislature has committed more than $40 million in state funds to the project, and South Dakota also obtained a $10 million Community Development Block Grant to help rehabilitate the facility.

    In 2007, after the National Science Foundation named Homestake as the preferred site for a proposed national Deep Underground Science and Engineering Laboratory (DUSEL), the South Dakota Science and Technology Authority (SDSTA) began reopening the former gold mine.

    In December 2010, the National Science Board decided not to fund further design of DUSEL. However, in 2011 the Department of Energy, through the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, agreed to support ongoing science operations at Sanford Lab, while investigating how to use the underground research facility for other longer-term experiments. The SDSTA, which owns Sanford Lab, continues to operate the facility under that agreement with Berkeley Lab.

    The LBNL LZ Dark Matter Experiment (US) Dark Matter project at SURF, Lead, SD, USA.

    In October 2013, after an initial run of 80 days, LUX was determined to be the most sensitive detector yet to search for dark matter—a mysterious, yet-to-be-detected substance thought to be the most prevalent matter in the universe.

    In the midst of the excitement over first results, the LUX collaboration was already casting its gaze forward. Planning for a next-generation dark matter experiment at Sanford Lab was already under way. Named LUX-ZEPLIN (LZ), the next-generation experiment would increase the sensitivity of LUX 100 times.

    SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory(US) physicist Tom Shutt, a previous co-spokesperson for LUX, said one goal of the experiment was to figure out how to build an even larger detector.

    “LZ will be a thousand times more sensitive than the LUX detector,” Shutt said. “It will just begin to see an irreducible background of neutrinos that may ultimately set the limit to our ability to measure dark matter.”

    We celebrate five years of LUX, and look into the steps being taken toward the much larger and far more sensitive experiment.

    Another major experiment, the Long Baseline Neutrino Experiment (LBNE)—a collaboration with Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory (Fermilab) and Sanford Lab, is in the preliminary design stages. The project got a major boost last year when Congress approved and the president signed an Omnibus Appropriations bill that will fund LBNE operations through FY 2014. Called the “next frontier of particle physics,” LBNE will follow neutrinos as they travel 800 miles through the earth, from FermiLab in Batavia, Ill., to Sanford Lab.

    FNAL DUNE LBNF (US) from FNAL to SURF ,Lead, South Dakota, USA.

    FNAL DUNE LBNF (US) Caverns at Sanford Lab.

    U Washington MAJORANA Neutrinoless Double-beta Decay Experiment (US) at SURF.

    The MAJORANA DEMONSTRATOR will contain 40 kg of germanium; up to 30 kg will be enriched to 86% in 76Ge. The DEMONSTRATOR will be deployed deep underground in an ultra-low-background shielded environment in the Sanford Underground Research Facility (SURF) in Lead, SD. The goal of the DEMONSTRATOR is to determine whether a future 1-tonne experiment can achieve a background goal of one count per tonne-year in a 4-keV region of interest around the 76Ge 0νββ Q-value at 2039 keV. MAJORANA plans to collaborate with Germanium Detector Array (or GERDA) experiment is searching for neutrinoless double beta decay (0νββ) in Ge-76 at the underground Laboratori Nazionali del Gran Sasso (LNGS) for a future tonne-scale 76Ge 0νββ search.

    Compact Accelerator System for Performing Astrophysical Research (CASPAR). Credit: Nick Hubbard..

    Compact Accelerator System for Performing Astrophysical Research (CASPAR). Credit: Nick Hubbard.

    CASPAR is a low-energy particle accelerator that allows researchers to study processes that take place inside collapsing stars.

    The scientists are using space in the Sanford Underground Research Facility (SURF) in Lead, South Dakota, to work on a project called the Compact Accelerator System for Performing Astrophysical Research (CASPAR). CASPAR uses a low-energy particle accelerator that will allow researchers to mimic nuclear fusion reactions in stars. If successful, their findings could help complete our picture of how the elements in our universe are built. “Nuclear astrophysics is about what goes on inside the star, not outside of it,” said Dan Robertson, a Notre Dame assistant research professor of astrophysics working on CASPAR. “It is not observational, but experimental. The idea is to reproduce the stellar environment, to reproduce the reactions within a star.”

  • richardmitnick 9:15 pm on June 14, 2021 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: "VELION focused ion beam scanning electron microscope expands MIT.nano capabilities", Applied Research & Technology, , It was imperative that the VELION be placed in a location optimized for low vibration and low electromagnetic interference., , More than 25 individual projects — ranging from diamond photonics to human-machine symbiosis — have already made use of the VELION over the past six months., , The average beam position drift of less than 5 nanometers per hour over the 16-hour measurement period is a performance not previously achieved on the VELION.   

    From Massachusetts Institute of Technology (US) : “VELION focused ion beam scanning electron microscope expands MIT.nano capabilities” 

    MIT News

    From Massachusetts Institute of Technology (US)

    June 14, 2021

    Raith Application Scientist Yang Yu (left) and MIT postdoc Benoit Desbiolles use the Raith VELION focused ion beam scanning electron microscope at MIT.nano.

    MIT.nano has acquired a Raith VELION focused ion beam scanning electron microscope (FIB-SEM) as a demonstration unit in its characterization facility. The instrument, which arrived on campus last summer, has been installed and qualified in the lower level of Building 12 and is now available for training and use.

    The VELION will augment the MIT.nano fabrication and characterization tool sets and enable next-generation nanofabrication by providing users with the capability to fabricate two- and three-dimensional nanostructures with high resolution over large areas, explains Anna Osherov, assistant director for user services at Characterization.nano. The tool will also facilitate new studies of electrical transport and surface modification with novel three-dimensional geometries.

    The VELION offers capabilities for advanced focused ion beam nanofabrication while also allowing versatile sample preparation, process control, and entry-level e-beam lithography — all in one tool. The unit comprises a top-down mounted multi-ion milling species nanoFIB column perpendicular to a laser interferometer stage with an attached field emission scanning electron microscope column. This unique setup enables high-precision patterning resolution as well as unprecedented process stability, accuracy, and automation.

    The VELION provides a single-step automated substitute for multi-step conventional nanofabrication processing that usually involves e-beam lithography and multiple reactive ion etching steps. Osherov says, “This tool offers researchers using our facilities the potential for a substantial reduction in both overall processing time and human effort.”

    Conventional dual-beam instruments — with a scanning electron microscope plus focused ion beam — typically lack the patterning resolution and stability that is essential for plasmonic devices, metamaterials, nanofluidics, waveguides, Fresnel lenses, nanophotonics, and quantum devices. In contrast, the VELION combines the strength of precise large-area patterning while maintaining high resolution with the focused ion source. This combination enables processing and patterning of materials that are otherwise difficult to explore with conventional lithographic approaches.

    To achieve performance stability, essential for automated nanofabrication, it was imperative that the VELION be placed in a location optimized for low vibration and low electromagnetic interference. According to representatives from Raith, the VELION installed in MIT.nano’s basement imaging suite has demonstrated record performance stability that can be attributed to the combination of the stability-oriented design of the VELION nanofabrication system and exceptional engineering controls of the MIT.nano space. The average beam position drift of less than 5 nanometers per hour over the 16-hour measurement period is a performance not previously achieved on the VELION.

    To enable chemical modification in conjunction with patterning, the VELION is equipped with multiple ion sources for processing, including gold, germanium, and silicon. This provides flexibility in implantation and contact patterning where the Silicon++ ion source achieves beam diameter well below 8 nm and the carbon and platinum gas injection system achieves 50 nm patterning. In combination with sub-A pitch control of the grating and near-zero stitching error, it is possible to both fabricate nanostructures and deposit electrical contacts in one consecutive process in the same system.

    More than 25 individual projects — ranging from diamond photonics to human-machine symbiosis — have already made use of the VELION over the past six months, according to Osherov. The instrument has been made available to the campus as a demonstration unit by Raith, the manufacturer of the VELION and a founding member of the MIT.nano Consortium. The tool is staffed by Raith application scientist Yang Yu who is available to support research activities and join in technical collaboration with MIT researchers.

    For more information about the VELION, other MIT.nano tools and instruments, and how to receive access and training, visit http://www.nanousers.mit.edu.

    See the full article here .

    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

    Stem Education Coalition

    MIT Seal

    USPS “Forever” postage stamps celebrating Innovation at MIT.

    MIT Campus

    Massachusetts Institute of Technology (US) 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 Bates Center, and the Haystack Observatory, as well as affiliated laboratories such as the Broad and Whitehead Institutes.

    Founded in 1861 in response to the increasing industrialization of the United States, MIT 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 MIT. The university also has a strong entrepreneurial culture and MIT alumni have founded or co-founded many notable companies. MIT is a member of the Association of American Universities (AAU).

    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 (US), 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 MIT 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 (US)). In 1866, the proceeds from land sales went toward new buildings in the Back Bay.

    MIT 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, MIT faculty and alumni rebuffed Harvard University (US) 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 MIT 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, MIT 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 (US)in 1934.

    Still, as late as 1949, the Lewis Committee lamented in its report on the state of education at MIT 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.

    MIT’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 MIT’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, MIT 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 MIT 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 MIT 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, MIT 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 MIT’s defense research. In this period MIT’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. MIT ultimately divested itself from the Instrumentation Laboratory and moved all classified research off-campus to the MIT (US) Lincoln Laboratoryfacility 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 MIT 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 MIT over its involvement in SDI (space weaponry) and CBW (chemical and biological warfare) research. More recently, MIT’s research for the military has included work on robots, drones and ‘battle suits’.

    Recent history

    MIT 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 MIT 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.

    MIT 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, MIT 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, MIT 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 MIT faculty adopted an open-access policy to make its scholarship publicly accessible online.

    MIT 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 MIT community with thousands of police officers from the New England region and Canada. On November 25, 2013, MIT 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 MIT 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 (US) was designed and constructed by a team of scientists from California Institute of Technology, MIT, and industrial contractors, and funded by the National Science Foundation (US) .

    MIT/Caltech 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 MIT physicist Rainer Weiss won the Nobel Prize in physics in 2017. Weiss, who is also an MIT graduate, designed the laser interferometric technique, which served as the essential blueprint for the LIGO.

    The mission of MIT 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 MIT community the ability and passion to work wisely, creatively, and effectively for the betterment of humankind.

  • richardmitnick 8:41 pm on June 14, 2021 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: "Dark matter is slowing the spin of the Milky Way’s galactic bar", Applied Research & Technology, , , , , , Dark Matter Backround, , ,   

    From University College London (UK) and From University of Oxford (UK): “Dark matter is slowing the spin of the Milky Way’s galactic bar” 

    UCL bloc

    From University College London (UK)


    U Oxford bloc

    From University of Oxford (UK)

    14 June 2021

    Mark Greaves
    +44 (0)7990 675947

    The spin of the Milky Way’s galactic bar, which is made up of billions of clustered stars, has slowed by about a quarter since its formation, according to a new study by University College London (UK) and University of Oxford (UK) researchers.

    For 30 years, astrophysicists have predicted such a slowdown, but this is the first time it has been measured.

    The researchers say it gives a new type of insight into the nature of Dark Matter, which acts like a counterweight slowing the spin.

    In the study, published in the MNRAS, researchers analysed Gaia space telescope observations of a large group of stars, the Hercules stream, which are in resonance with the bar – that is, they revolve around the galaxy at the same rate as the bar’s spin.

    These stars are gravitationally trapped by the spinning bar. The same phenomenon occurs with Jupiter’s Trojan and Greek asteroids, which orbit Jupiter’s Lagrange points (ahead and behind Jupiter). If the bar’s spin slows down, these stars would be expected to move further out in the galaxy, keeping their orbital period matched to that of the bar’s spin.

    The researchers found that the stars in the stream carry a chemical fingerprint – they are richer in heavier elements (called metals in astronomy), proving that they have travelled away from the galactic centre, where stars and star-forming gas are about 10 times as rich in metals compared to the outer galaxy.

    Using this data, the team inferred that the bar – made up of billions of stars and trillions of solar masses – had slowed down its spin by at least 24% since it first formed.

    Co-author Dr Ralph Schoenrich (UCL Physics & Astronomy) said: “Astrophysicists have long suspected that the spinning bar at the centre of our galaxy is slowing down, but we have found the first evidence of this happening.

    “The counterweight slowing this spin must be dark matter. Until now, we have only been able to infer dark matter by mapping the gravitational potential of galaxies and subtracting the contribution from visible matter.

    “Our research provides a new type of measurement of dark matter – not of its gravitational energy, but of its inertial mass (the dynamical response), which slows the bar’s spin.”

    Co-author and PhD student Rimpei Chiba, of the University of Oxford, said: “Our finding offers a fascinating perspective for constraining the nature of dark matter, as different models will change this inertial pull on the galactic bar.

    “Our finding also poses a major problem for alternative gravity theories – as they lack dark matter in the halo, they predict no, or significantly too little slowing of the bar.”

    The Milky Way, like other galaxies, is thought to be embedded in a ‘halo’ of dark matter that extends well beyond its visible edge.

    Dark matter is invisible and its nature is unknown, but its existence is inferred from galaxies behaving as if they were shrouded in significantly more mass than we can see. There is thought to be about five times as much dark matter in the Universe as ordinary, visible matter.

    Alternative gravity theories such as modified Newtonian dynamics reject the idea of dark matter, instead seeking to explain discrepancies by tweaking Einstein’s theory of general relativity.

    The Milky Way is a barred spiral galaxy, with a thick bar of stars in the middle and spiral arms extending through the disc outside the bar. The bar rotates in the same direction as the galaxy.

    The research received support from the Royal Society, the Takenaka Scholarship Foundation, and the Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC).


    Dark Matter Background
    Fritz Zwicky discovered Dark Matter in the 1930s when observing the movement of the Coma Cluster., Vera Rubin a Woman in STEM denied the Nobel, some 30 years later, did most of the work on Dark Matter.

    Fritz Zwicky from http:// palomarskies.blogspot.com.

    Coma cluster via NASA/ESA Hubble.

    In modern times, it was astronomer Fritz Zwicky, in the 1930s, who made the first observations of what we now call dark matter. His 1933 observations of the Coma Cluster of galaxies seemed to indicated it has a mass 500 times more than that previously calculated by Edwin Hubble. Furthermore, this extra mass seemed to be completely invisible. Although Zwicky’s observations were initially met with much skepticism, they were later confirmed by other groups of astronomers.
    Thirty years later, astronomer Vera Rubin provided a huge piece of evidence for the existence of dark matter. She discovered that the centers of galaxies rotate at the same speed as their extremities, whereas, of course, they should rotate faster. Think of a vinyl LP on a record deck: its center rotates faster than its edge. That’s what logic dictates we should see in galaxies too. But we do not. The only way to explain this is if the whole galaxy is only the center of some much larger structure, as if it is only the label on the LP so to speak, causing the galaxy to have a consistent rotation speed from center to edge.
    Vera Rubin, following Zwicky, postulated that the missing structure in galaxies is dark matter. Her ideas were met with much resistance from the astronomical community, but her observations have been confirmed and are seen today as pivotal proof of the existence of dark matter.

    Astronomer Vera Rubin at the Lowell Observatory in 1965, worked on Dark Matter (The Carnegie Institution for Science).

    Vera Rubin measuring spectra, worked on Dark Matter (Emilio Segre Visual Archives AIP SPL).

    Vera Rubin, with Department of Terrestrial Magnetism (DTM) image tube spectrograph attached to the Kitt Peak 84-inch telescope, 1970

    Dark Matter Research

    Inside the ADMX experiment hall at the University of Washington Credit Mark Stone U. of Washington. Axion Dark Matter Experiment


    See the full article here .


    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

    Stem Education Coalition

    U Oxford campus

    University of Oxford is a collegiate research university in Oxford, England. There is evidence of teaching as early as 1096, making it the oldest university in the English-speaking world and the world’s second-oldest university in continuous operation. It grew rapidly from 1167 when Henry II banned English students from attending the University of Paris [Université de Paris](FR). After disputes between students and Oxford townsfolk in 1209, some academics fled north-east to Cambridge where they established what became the University of Cambridge (UK). The two English ancient universities share many common features and are jointly referred to as Oxbridge.

    The university is made up of thirty-nine semi-autonomous constituent colleges, six permanent private halls, and a range of academic departments which are organised into four divisions. All the colleges are self-governing institutions within the university, each controlling its own membership and with its own internal structure and activities. All students are members of a college. It does not have a main campus, and its buildings and facilities are scattered throughout the city centre. Undergraduate teaching at Oxford consists of lectures, small-group tutorials at the colleges and halls, seminars, laboratory work and occasionally further tutorials provided by the central university faculties and departments. Postgraduate teaching is provided predominantly centrally.

    Oxford operates the world’s oldest university museum, as well as the largest university press in the world and the largest academic library system nationwide. In the fiscal year ending 31 July 2019, the university had a total income of £2.45 billion, of which £624.8 million was from research grants and contracts.

    Oxford has educated a wide range of notable alumni, including 28 prime ministers of the United Kingdom and many heads of state and government around the world. As of October 2020, 72 Nobel Prize laureates, 3 Fields Medalists, and 6 Turing Award winners have studied, worked, or held visiting fellowships at the University of Oxford, while its alumni have won 160 Olympic medals. Oxford is the home of numerous scholarships, including the Rhodes Scholarship, one of the oldest international graduate scholarship programmes.

    To be a member of the university, all students, and most academic staff, must also be a member of a college or hall. There are thirty-nine colleges of the University of Oxford (including Reuben College, planned to admit students in 2021) and six permanent private halls (PPHs), each controlling its membership and with its own internal structure and activities. Not all colleges offer all courses, but they generally cover a broad range of subjects.

    The colleges are:

    All-Souls College
    Balliol College
    Brasenose College
    Christ Church College
    Corpus-Christi College
    Exeter College
    Green-Templeton College
    Harris-Manchester College
    Hertford College
    Jesus College
    Keble College
    Kellogg College
    Linacre College
    Lincoln College
    Magdalen College
    Mansfield College
    Merton College
    New College
    Nuffield College
    Oriel College
    Pembroke College
    Queens College
    Reuben College
    St-Anne’s College
    St-Antony’s College
    St-Catherines College
    St-Cross College
    St-Edmund-Hall College
    St-Hilda’s College
    St-Hughs College
    St-John’s College
    St-Peters College
    Somerville College
    Trinity College
    University College

    UCL campus

    Established in 1826, as London University by founders inspired by the radical ideas of Jeremy Bentham, University College London (UK) was the first university institution to be established in London, and the first in England to be entirely secular and to admit students regardless of their religion. University College London (UK) also makes contested claims to being the third-oldest university in England and the first to admit women. In 1836, University College London (UK) became one of the two founding colleges of the University of London, which was granted a royal charter in the same year. It has grown through mergers, including with the Institute of Ophthalmology (in 1995); the Institute of Neurology (in 1997); the Royal Free Hospital Medical School (in 1998); the Eastman Dental Institute (in 1999); the School of Slavonic and East European Studies (in 1999); the School of Pharmacy (in 2012) and the Institute of Education (in 2014).

    University College London (UK) has its main campus in the Bloomsbury area of central London, with a number of institutes and teaching hospitals elsewhere in central London and satellite campuses in Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park in Stratford, east London and in Doha, Qatar. University College London (UK) is organised into 11 constituent faculties, within which there are over 100 departments, institutes and research centres. University College London (UK) operates several museums and collections in a wide range of fields, including the Petrie Museum of Egyptian Archaeology and the Grant Museum of Zoology and Comparative Anatomy, and administers the annual Orwell Prize in political writing. In 2019/20, UCL had around 43,840 students and 16,400 staff (including around 7,100 academic staff and 840 professors) and had a total income of £1.54 billion, of which £468 million was from research grants and contracts.

    University College London (UK) is a member of numerous academic organisations, including the Russell Group(UK) and the League of European Research Universities, and is part of UCL Partners, the world’s largest academic health science centre, and is considered part of the “golden triangle” of elite, research-intensive universities in England.

    University College London (UK) has many notable alumni, including the respective “Fathers of the Nation” of India; Kenya and Mauritius; the founders of Ghana; modern Japan; Nigeria; the inventor of the telephone; and one of the co-discoverers of the structure of DNA. UCL academics discovered five of the naturally occurring noble gases; discovered hormones; invented the vacuum tube; and made several foundational advances in modern statistics. As of 2020, 34 Nobel Prize winners and 3 Fields medalists have been affiliated with UCL as alumni, faculty or researchers.


    University College London (UK) was founded on 11 February 1826 under the name London University, as an alternative to the Anglican universities of the University of Oxford(UK) and University of Cambridge(UK). London University’s first Warden was Leonard Horner, who was the first scientist to head a British university.

    Despite the commonly held belief that the philosopher Jeremy Bentham was the founder of University College London (UK), his direct involvement was limited to the purchase of share No. 633, at a cost of £100 paid in nine installments between December 1826 and January 1830. In 1828 he did nominate a friend to sit on the council, and in 1827 attempted to have his disciple John Bowring appointed as the first professor of English or History, but on both occasions his candidates were unsuccessful. This suggests that while his ideas may have been influential, he himself was less so. However, Bentham is today commonly regarded as the “spiritual father” of University College London (UK), as his radical ideas on education and society were the inspiration to the institution’s founders, particularly the Scotsmen James Mill (1773–1836) and Henry Brougham (1778–1868).

    In 1827, the Chair of Political Economy at London University was created, with John Ramsay McCulloch as the first incumbent, establishing one of the first departments of economics in England. In 1828 the university became the first in England to offer English as a subject and the teaching of Classics and medicine began. In 1830, London University founded the London University School, which would later become University College School. In 1833, the university appointed Alexander Maconochie, Secretary to the Royal Geographical Society, as the first professor of geography in the British Isles. In 1834, University College Hospital (originally North London Hospital) opened as a teaching hospital for the university’s medical school.

    1836 to 1900 – University College, London

    In 1836, London University was incorporated by royal charter under the name University College, London. On the same day, the University of London was created by royal charter as a degree-awarding examining board for students from affiliated schools and colleges, with University College and King’s College, London being named in the charter as the first two affiliates.[23]

    The Slade School of Fine Art was founded as part of University College in 1871, following a bequest from Felix Slade.

    In 1878, the University College London (UK) gained a supplemental charter making it the first British university to be allowed to award degrees to women. The same year University College London (UK) admitted women to the faculties of Arts and Law and of Science, although women remained barred from the faculties of Engineering and of Medicine (with the exception of courses on public health and hygiene). While University College London (UK) claims to have been the first university in England to admit women on equal terms to men, from 1878, the University of Bristol(UK) also makes this claim, having admitted women from its foundation (as a college) in 1876. Armstrong College, a predecessor institution of Newcastle University (UK), also allowed women to enter from its foundation in 1871, although none actually enrolled until 1881. Women were finally admitted to medical studies during the First World War in 1917, although limitations were placed on their numbers after the war ended.

    In 1898, Sir William Ramsay discovered the elements krypton; neon; and xenon whilst professor of chemistry at University College London (UK).

    1900 to 1976 – University of London, University College

    In 1900, the University College London (UK) was reconstituted as a federal university with new statutes drawn up under the University of London Act 1898. UCL, along with a number of other colleges in London, became a school of the University of London. While most of the constituent institutions retained their autonomy, University College London (UK) was merged into the University in 1907 under the University College London (Transfer) Act 1905 and lost its legal independence. Its formal name became University College London (UK), University College, although for most informal and external purposes the name “University College, London” (or the initialism UCL) was still used.

    1900 also saw the decision to appoint a salaried head of the college. The first incumbent was Carey Foster, who served as Principal (as the post was originally titled) from 1900 to 1904. He was succeeded by Gregory Foster (no relation), and in 1906 the title was changed to Provost to avoid confusion with the Principal of the University of London. Gregory Foster remained in post until 1929. In 1906, the Cruciform Building was opened as the new home for University College Hospital.

    As it acknowledged and apologized for in 2021, University College London (UK) played “a fundamental role in the development, propagation and legitimisation of eugenics” during the first half of the 20th century. Among the prominent eugenicists who taught at University College London (UK) were Francis Galton, who coined the term “eugenics”, and Karl Pearson, and eugenics conferences were held at UCL until 2017.

    University College London (UK) sustained considerable bomb damage during the Second World War, including the complete destruction of the Great Hall and the Carey Foster Physics Laboratory. Fires gutted the library and destroyed much of the main building, including the dome. The departments were dispersed across the country to Aberystwyth; Bangor; Gwynedd; University of Cambridge (UK) ; University of Oxford (UK); Rothamsted near Harpenden; Hertfordshire; and Sheffield, with the administration at Stanstead Bury near Ware, Hertfordshire. The first UCL student magazine, Pi, was published for the first time on 21 February 1946. The Institute of Jewish Studies relocated to UCL in 1959.

    The Mullard Space Science Laboratory(UK) was established in 1967. In 1973, UCL became the first international node to the precursor of the internet, the ARPANET.

    Although University College London (UK) was among the first universities to admit women on the same terms as men, in 1878, the college’s senior common room, the Housman Room, remained men-only until 1969. After two unsuccessful attempts, a motion was passed that ended segregation by sex at University College London (UK). This was achieved by Brian Woledge (Fielden Professor of French at University College London (UK) from 1939 to 1971) and David Colquhoun, at that time a young lecturer in pharmacology.

    1976 to 2005 – University College London (UK)

    In 1976, a new charter restored University College London (UK) ‘s legal independence, although still without the power to award its own degrees. Under this charter the college became formally known as University College London (UK). This name abandoned the comma used in its earlier name of “University College, London”.

    In 1986, University College London (UK) merged with the Institute of Archaeology. In 1988, University College London (UK) merged with the Institute of Laryngology & Otology; the Institute of Orthopaedics; the Institute of Urology & Nephrology; and Middlesex Hospital Medical School.

    In 1993, a reorganisation of the University of London (UK) meant that University College London (UK) and other colleges gained direct access to government funding and the right to confer University of London degrees themselves. This led to University College London (UK) being regarded as a de facto university in its own right.

    In 1994, the University College London (UK) Hospitals NHS Trust was established. University College London (UK) merged with the College of Speech Sciences and the Institute of Ophthalmology in 1995; the Institute of Child Health and the School of Podiatry in 1996; and the Institute of Neurology in 1997. In 1998, UCL merged with the Royal Free Hospital Medical School to create the Royal Free and University College Medical School (renamed the University College London (UK) Medical School in October 2008). In 1999, UCL merged with the School of Slavonic and East European Studies and the Eastman Dental Institute.

    The University College London (UK) Jill Dando Institute of Crime Science, the first university department in the world devoted specifically to reducing crime, was founded in 2001.

    Proposals for a merger between University College London (UK) and Imperial College London(UK) were announced in 2002. The proposal provoked strong opposition from University College London (UK) teaching staff and students and the AUT union, which criticised “the indecent haste and lack of consultation”, leading to its abandonment by University College London (UK) provost Sir Derek Roberts. The blogs that helped to stop the merger are preserved, though some of the links are now broken: see David Colquhoun’s blog and the Save University College London (UK) blog, which was run by David Conway, a postgraduate student in the department of Hebrew and Jewish studies.

    The London Centre for Nanotechnology was established in 2003 as a joint venture between University College London (UK) and Imperial College London (UK). They were later joined by King’s College London(UK) in 2018.

    Since 2003, when University College London (UK) professor David Latchman became master of the neighbouring Birkbeck, he has forged closer relations between these two University of London colleges, and personally maintains departments at both. Joint research centres include the UCL/Birkbeck Institute for Earth and Planetary Sciences; the University College London (UK) /Birkbeck/IoE Centre for Educational Neuroscience; the University College London (UK) /Birkbeck Institute of Structural and Molecular Biology; and the Birkbeck- University College London (UK) Centre for Neuroimaging.

    2005 to 2010

    In 2005, University College London (UK) was finally granted its own taught and research degree awarding powers and all University College London (UK) students registered from 2007/08 qualified with University College London (UK) degrees. Also in 2005, University College London (UK) adopted a new corporate branding under which the name University College London (UK) was replaced by the initialism UCL in all external communications. In the same year, a major new £422 million building was opened for University College Hospital on Euston Road, the University College London (UK) Ear Institute was established and a new building for the University College London (UK) School of Slavonic and East European Studies was opened.

    In 2007, the University College London (UK) Cancer Institute was opened in the newly constructed Paul O’Gorman Building. In August 2008, University College London (UK) formed UCL Partners, an academic health science centre, with Great Ormond Street Hospital for Children NHS Trust; Moorfields Eye Hospital NHS Foundation Trust; Royal Free London NHS Foundation Trust; and University College London Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust. In 2008, University College London (UK) established the University College London (UK) School of Energy & Resources in Adelaide, Australia, the first campus of a British university in the country. The School was based in the historic Torrens Building in Victoria Square and its creation followed negotiations between University College London (UK) Vice Provost Michael Worton and South Australian Premier Mike Rann.

    In 2009, the Yale UCL Collaborative was established between University College London (UK); UCL Partners; Yale University(US); Yale School of Medicine; and Yale – New Haven Hospital. It is the largest collaboration in the history of either university, and its scope has subsequently been extended to the humanities and social sciences.

    2010 to 2015

    In June 2011, the mining company BHP Billiton agreed to donate AU$10 million to University College London (UK) to fund the establishment of two energy institutes – the Energy Policy Institute; based in Adelaide, and the Institute for Sustainable Resources, based in London.

    In November 2011, University College London (UK) announced plans for a £500 million investment in its main Bloomsbury campus over 10 years, as well as the establishment of a new 23-acre campus next to the Olympic Park in Stratford in the East End of London. It revised its plans of expansion in East London and in December 2014 announced to build a campus (UCL East) covering 11 acres and provide up to 125,000m^2 of space on Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park. UCL East will be part of plans to transform the Olympic Park into a cultural and innovation hub, where University College London (UK) will open its first school of design, a centre of experimental engineering and a museum of the future, along with a living space for students.

    The School of Pharmacy, University of London merged with University College London (UK) on 1 January 2012, becoming the University College London (UK) School of Pharmacy within the Faculty of Life Sciences. In May 2012, University College London (UK), Imperial College London and the semiconductor company Intel announced the establishment of the Intel Collaborative Research Institute for Sustainable Connected Cities, a London-based institute for research into the future of cities.

    In August 2012, University College London (UK) received criticism for advertising an unpaid research position; it subsequently withdrew the advert.

    University College London (UK) and the Institute of Education formed a strategic alliance in October 2012, including co-operation in teaching, research and the development of the London schools system. In February 2014, the two institutions announced their intention to merge, and the merger was completed in December 2014.

    In September 2013, a new Department of Science, Technology, Engineering and Public Policy (STEaPP) was established within the Faculty of Engineering, one of several initiatives within the university to increase and reflect upon the links between research and public sector decision-making.

    In October 2013, it was announced that the Translation Studies Unit of Imperial College London would move to University College London (UK), becoming part of the University College London (UK) School of European Languages, Culture and Society. In December 2013, it was announced that University College London (UK) and the academic publishing company Elsevier would collaborate to establish the UCL Big Data Institute. In January 2015, it was announced that University College London (UK) had been selected by the UK government as one of the five founding members of the Alan Turing Institute(UK) (together with the universities of Cambridge, University of Edinburgh(SCL), Oxford and University of Warwick(UK)), an institute to be established at the British Library to promote the development and use of advanced mathematics, computer science, algorithms and big data.

    2015 to 2020

    In August 2015, the Department of Management Science and Innovation was renamed as the School of Management and plans were announced to greatly expand University College London (UK) ‘s activities in the area of business-related teaching and research. The school moved from the Bloomsbury campus to One Canada Square in Canary Wharf in 2016.

    University College London (UK) established the Institute of Advanced Studies (IAS) in 2015 to promote interdisciplinary research in humanities and social sciences. The prestigious annual Orwell Prize for political writing moved to the IAS in 2016.

    In June 2016 it was reported in Times Higher Education that as a result of administrative errors hundreds of students who studied at the UCL Eastman Dental Institute between 2005–06 and 2013–14 had been given the wrong marks, leading to an unknown number of students being attributed with the wrong qualifications and, in some cases, being failed when they should have passed their degrees. A report by University College London (UK) ‘s Academic Committee Review Panel noted that, according to the institute’s own review findings, senior members of University College London (UK) staff had been aware of issues affecting students’ results but had not taken action to address them. The Review Panel concluded that there had been an apparent lack of ownership of these matters amongst the institute’s senior staff.

    In December 2016 it was announced that University College London (UK) would be the hub institution for a new £250 million national dementia research institute, to be funded with £150 million from the Medical Research Council and £50 million each from Alzheimer’s Research UK and the Alzheimer’s Society.

    In May 2017 it was reported that staff morale was at “an all time low”, with 68% of members of the academic board who responded to a survey disagreeing with the statement ” University College London (UK) is well managed” and 86% with “the teaching facilities are adequate for the number of students”. Michael Arthur, the Provost and President, linked the results to the “major change programme” at University College London (UK). He admitted that facilities were under pressure following growth over the past decade, but said that the issues were being addressed through the development of UCL East and rental of other additional space.

    In October 2017 University College London (UK) ‘s council voted to apply for university status while remaining part of the University of London. University College London (UK) ‘s application to become a university was subject to Parliament passing a bill to amend the statutes of the University of London, which received royal assent on 20 December 2018.

    The University College London (UK) Adelaide satellite campus closed in December 2017, with academic staff and student transferring to the University of South Australia(AU). As of 2019 UniSA and University College London (UK) are offering a joint masters qualification in Science in Data Science (international).

    In 2018, University College London (UK) opened UCL at Here East, at the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, offering courses jointly between the Bartlett Faculty of the Built Environment and the Faculty of Engineering Sciences. The campus offers a variety of undergraduate and postgraduate master’s degrees, with the first undergraduate students, on a new Engineering and Architectural Design MEng, starting in September 2018. It was announced in August 2018 that a £215 million contract for construction of the largest building in the UCL East development, Marshgate 1, had been awarded to Mace, with building to begin in 2019 and be completed by 2022.

    In 2017 University College London (UK) disciplined an IT administrator who was also the University and College Union (UCU) branch secretary for refusing to take down an unmoderated staff mailing list. An employment tribunal subsequently ruled that he was engaged in union activities and thus this disciplinary action was unlawful. As of June 2019 University College London (UK) is appealing this ruling and the UCU congress has declared this to be a “dispute of national significance”.

    2020 to present

    In 2021 University College London (UK) formed a strategic partnership with Facebook AI Research (FAIR), including the creation of a new PhD programme.


    University College London (UK) has made cross-disciplinary research a priority and orientates its research around four “Grand Challenges”, Global Health, Sustainable Cities, Intercultural Interaction and Human Wellbeing.

    In 2014/15, University College London (UK) had a total research income of £427.5 million, the third-highest of any British university (after the University of Oxford and Imperial College London). Key sources of research income in that year were BIS research councils (£148.3 million); UK-based charities (£106.5 million); UK central government; local/health authorities and hospitals (£61.5 million); EU government bodies (£45.5 million); and UK industry, commerce and public corporations (£16.2 million). In 2015/16, University College London (UK) was awarded a total of £85.8 million in grants by UK research councils, the second-largest amount of any British university (after the University of Oxford), having achieved a 28% success rate. For the period to June 2015, University College London (UK) was the fifth-largest recipient of Horizon 2020 EU research funding and the largest recipient of any university, with €49.93 million of grants received. University College London (UK) also had the fifth-largest number of projects funded of any organisation, with 94.

    According to a ranking of universities produced by SCImago Research Group University College London (UK) is ranked 12th in the world (and 1st in Europe) in terms of total research output. According to data released in July 2008 by ISI Web of Knowledge, University College London (UK) is the 13th most-cited university in the world (and most-cited in Europe). The analysis covered citations from 1 January 1998 to 30 April 2008, during which 46,166 UCL research papers attracted 803,566 citations. The report covered citations in 21 subject areas and the results revealed some of University College London (UK) ‘s key strengths, including: Clinical Medicine (1st outside North America); Immunology (2nd in Europe); Neuroscience & Behaviour (1st outside North America and 2nd in the world); Pharmacology & Toxicology (1st outside North America and 4th in the world); Psychiatry & Psychology (2nd outside North America); and Social Sciences, General (1st outside North America).

    University College London (UK) submitted a total of 2,566 staff across 36 units of assessment to the 2014 Research Excellence Framework (REF) assessment, in each case the highest number of any UK university (compared with 1,793 UCL staff submitted to the 2008 Research Assessment Exercise (RAE 2008)). In the REF results 43% of University College London (UK) ‘s submitted research was classified as 4* (world-leading); 39% as 3* (internationally excellent); 15% as 2* (recognised internationally) and 2% as 1* (recognised nationally), giving an overall GPA of 3.22 (RAE 2008: 4* – 27%, 3* – 39%, 2* – 27% and 1* – 6%). In rankings produced by Times Higher Education based upon the REF results, University College London (UK) was ranked 1st overall for “research power” and joint 8th for GPA (compared to 4th and 7th respectively in equivalent rankings for the RAE 2008).

  • richardmitnick 4:49 pm on June 14, 2021 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: "Deploying a Submarine Seismic Observatory in the 'Furious Fifties'", Applied Research & Technology, Detailed bathymetry would be crucial for selecting instrument deployment sites on the rugged seafloor of the MRC., , , , , , Macquarie Island is proximal to both modern plate boundary (west) and two fracture zones (east)., Macquarie Ridge Complex (MRC), Macquarie Triple Junction, New multibeam bathymetry/backscatter; subbottom profiler; gravity; and magnetics data will advance understanding of the neotectonics of the MRC., , Results from this instrument deployment will also offer insights into physical mechanisms that generate large submarine earthquakes; crustal deformation; and tectonic strain partitioning., Rising to 410 meters above sea level Macquarie Island is the only place on Earth where a section of oceanic crust and mantle rock known as an ophiolite is exposed above the ocean basin., Scientifically the most exciting payoff of this project may be that it could help us add missing pieces to one of the biggest puzzles in plate tectonics: how subduction begins., , The Furious Fifties: "Below 40 degrees south there is no law and below 50 degrees south there is no God", The highly detailed bathymetric maps we produced revealed extraordinarily steep and hazardous terrain., The Macquarie archipelago-a string of tiny islands-islets and rocks only hints at the MRC below.,   

    From Eos: “Deploying a Submarine Seismic Observatory in the ‘Furious Fifties'” 

    From AGU
    Eos news bloc

    From Eos


    Hrvoje Tkalčić

    Caroline Eakin
    Millard F. Coffin
    Nicholas Rawlinson
    Joann Stock

    The R/V Investigator lies offshore near Macquarie Island, midway between New Zealand’s South Island and Antarctica, during a 2020 expedition to deploy an array of underwater seismometers in this unusual earthquake zone. Credit: Scott McCartney.

    On 23 May 1989, a violent earthquake rumbled through the remote underwater environs near Macquarie Island, violently shaking the Australian research station on the island and causing noticeable tremors as far away as Tasmania and the South Island of New Zealand. The seismic waves it generated rippled through and around the planet, circling the surface several times before dying away.

    Seismographs everywhere in the world captured the motion of these waves, and geoscientists immediately analyzed the recorded waveforms. The magnitude 8.2 strike-slip earthquake had rocked the Macquarie Ridge Complex (MRC), a sinuous underwater mountain chain extending southwest from the southern tip of New Zealand’s South Island.

    The evolution of the Macquarie Triple Junction has been well studied dating back to 33.3 Mya and has been reconstructed in at 20.1 Mya and 10.9 Mya. The green line shows the migration distance between intervals.

    The earthquake’s great magnitude—it was the largest intraoceanic event of the 20th century—and its slip mechanism baffled the global seismological community: Strike-slip events of such magnitude typically occur only within thick continental crust, not thin oceanic crust.

    Fast forward a few decades: For 2 weeks in late September and early October 2020, nine of us sat in small, individual rooms in a Hobart, Tasmania, hotel quarantining amid the COVID-19 pandemic and ruminating about our long-anticipated research voyage to the MRC. It was hard to imagine a more challenging place than the MRC—in terms of extreme topographic relief, heavy seas, high winds, and strong currents—to deploy ocean bottom seismometers (OBSs).

    The deployment (top left, top right, and bottom left) and retrieval (bottom right) of ocean bottom seismometers are shown in this sequence. During deployment, the instrument is craned overboard and released into the water, where it descends to the seafloor. During retrieval, the instrument receives an acoustic command from the ship, detaches from its anchor, and slowly ascends (at roughly 1 meter per second) to the surface. The orange flag makes the seismometer easy to spot from the ship, and it is hooked and lifted onto the deck. Credit: Raffaele Bonadio, Janneke de Laat, and the SEA-SEIS team/DIAS

    But the promise of unexplored territory and the possibility of witnessing the early stages of a major tectonic process had us determined to carry out our expedition.

    Where Plates Collide

    Why is this location in the Southern Ocean, halfway between Tasmania and Antarctica, so special? The Macquarie archipelago-a string of tiny islands-islets and rocks only hints at the MRC below, which constitutes the boundary between the Australian and Pacific plates.

    Bathymetry of Macquarie Ridge Complex near Macquarie Island (MI) (Bernardel and Symonds, 2001), showing modern-day transform plate boundary (white dashed line). Fracture zones that formed at Macquarie paleospreading center (white lines) become asymptotic approaching plate boundary; spreading fabric is orthogonal (red lines). Macquarie Island is proximal to both modern plate boundary (west) and two fracture zones (east). (Data are from 1994 Rig Seismic, 1996 Maurice Ewing, and 2000 LAtalante swath mapping [rougher areas]; shipboard data gaps are filled with satellitederived predicted bathymetry [smoother areas; Smith and Sandwell, 1997].

    Rising to 410 meters above sea level Macquarie Island is the only place on Earth where a section of oceanic crust and mantle rock known as an ophiolite is exposed above the ocean basin in which it originally formed. The island, listed as a United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization World Heritage site primarily because of its unique geology, is home to colonies of seabirds, penguins, and elephant and fur seals.

    Yet beneath the island’s natural beauty lies the source of the most powerful submarine earthquakes in the world not associated with ongoing subduction, which raises questions of scientific and societal importance. Are we witnessing a new subduction zone forming at the MRC? Could future large earthquakes cause tsunamis and threaten coastal populations of nearby Australia and New Zealand as well as others around the Indian and Pacific Oceans?

    Getting Underway at Last

    As we set out from Hobart on our expedition, the science that awaited us helped overcome the doubts and thoughts of obstacles in our way. The work had to be done. Aside from the fundamental scientific questions and concerns for human safety that motivated the trip, it had taken a lot of effort to reach this place. After numerous grant applications, petitions, and copious paperwork, the Marine National Facility (MNF) had granted us ship time on Australia’s premier research vessel, R/V Investigator, and seven different organizations were backing us with financial and other support.

    COVID-19 slowed us down, delaying the voyage by 6 months, so we were eager to embark on the 94-meter-long, 10-story-tall Investigator. The nine scientists, students, and technicians from Australian National University’s (AU) Research School of Earth Sciences were about to forget their long days in quarantine and join the voyage’s chief scientist and a student from the University of Tasmania’s (AU) Institute for Marine and Antarctic Studies (IMAS).

    Together, the 11 of us formed the science party of this voyage, a team severely reduced in number by pandemic protocols that prohibited double berthing and kept all non-Australia-based scientists, students, and technicians, as well as two Australian artists, at home. The 30 other people on board with the science team were part of the regular seagoing MNF support team and the ship’s crew.

    The expedition was going to be anything but smooth sailing, a fact we gathered from the expression on the captain’s face and the serious demeanor of the more experienced sailors gathered on Investigator’s deck on the morning of 8 October.

    The Furious Fifties

    An old sailor’s adage states Below 40 degrees south there is no law and below 50 degrees south there is no God.

    Spending a rough first night at sea amid the “Roaring Forties,” many of us contemplated how our days would look when we reached the “Furious Fifties.” The long-feared seas at these latitudes were named centuries ago, during the Age of Sail, when the first long-distance shipping routes were established. In fact, these winds shaped those routes.

    Hot air that rises high into the troposphere at the equator sinks back toward Earth’s surface at about 30°S and 30°N latitude (forming Hadley cells) and then continues traveling poleward along the surface (Ferrel cells). The air traveling between 30° and 60° latitude gradually bends into westerly winds (flowing west to east) because of Earth’s rotation. These westerly winds are mighty in the Southern Hemisphere because, unlike in the Northern Hemisphere, no large continental masses block their passage around the globe.

    These unfettered westerlies help develop the largest oceanic current on the planet, the Antarctic Circumpolar Current (ACC), which circulates clockwise around Antarctica. The ACC transports a flow of roughly 141 million cubic meters of water per second at average velocities of about 1 meter per second, and it encompasses the entire water column from sea surface to seafloor.

    Our destination on this expedition, where the OBSs were to be painstakingly and, we hoped, precisely deployed to the seafloor over about 25,000 square kilometers, would put us right in the thick of the ACC.

    Mapping the World’s Steepest Mountain Range

    Much as high-resolution maps are required to ensure the safe deployment of landers on the Moon, Mars, and elsewhere in the solar system, detailed bathymetry would be crucial for selecting instrument deployment sites on the rugged seafloor of the MRC. Because the seafloor in this part of the world had not been mapped at high resolution, we devoted considerable time to “mowing the lawn” with multibeam sonar and subbottom profiling before deploying each of our 29 carefully prepared OBSs—some also equipped with hydrophones—to the abyss.

    Mapping was most efficient parallel to the north-northeast–south-southwest oriented MRC, so we experienced constant winds and waves from westerly vectors that struck Investigator on its beam. The ship rolled continuously, but thanks to its modern autostabilizing system, which transfers ballast water in giant tanks deep in the bilge to counteract wave action, we were mostly safe from extreme rolls.

    Nevertheless, for nearly the entire voyage, everything had to be lashed down securely. Unsecured chairs—some of them occupied—often slid across entire rooms, offices, labs, and lounges. In the mess, it was rare that we could walk a straight path between the buffet and the tables while carrying our daily bowl of soup. Solid sleep was impossible, and the occasional extreme rolls hurtled some sailors out of their bunks onto the floor.

    The seismologists among us were impatient to deploy our first OBS to the seafloor, but they quickly realized that mapping the seafloor was a crucial phase of the deployment. From lower-resolution bathymetry acquired in the 1990s, we knew that the MRC sloped steeply from Macquarie Island to depths of about 5,500 meters on its eastern flank.

    Locations of ocean bottom seismometers are indicated on this new multibeam bathymetry map from voyage IN2020-V06. Dashed red lines indicate the Tasmanian Macquarie Island Nature Reserve–Marine Area (3-nautical-mile zone), and solid pink lines indicate the Commonwealth of Australia’s Macquarie Island Marine Park. Pale blue-gray coloration along the central MRC indicates areas not mapped. The inset shows the large map area outlined in red. MBES = multibeam echo sounding.

    We planned to search for rare sediment patches on the underwater slopes to ensure that the OBSs had a smooth, relatively flat surface on which to land. This approach differs from deploying seismometers on land, where one usually looks for solid bedrock to which instruments can be secured. We would rely on the new, near-real-time seafloor maps in selecting OBS deployment sites that were ideally not far from the locations we initially mapped out.

    However, the highly detailed bathymetric maps we produced revealed extraordinarily steep and hazardous terrain. The MRC is nearly 6,000 meters tall but only about 40 kilometers wide—the steepest underwater topography of that vertical scale on Earth. Indeed, if the MRC were on land, it would be the most extreme terrestrial mountain range on Earth, rising like a giant wall. For comparison, Earth’s steepest mountain above sea level is Denali in the Alaska Range, which stands 5,500 meters tall from base to peak and is 150 kilometers wide, almost 4 times wider than the MRC near Macquarie Island.

    A Carefully Configured Array

    Seismologists can work with single instruments or with configurations of multiple devices (or elements) called arrays. Each array element can be used individually, but the elements can also act together to detect and amplify weak signals. Informed by our previous deployments of instrumentation on land, we designed the MRC array to take advantage of the known benefits of certain array configurations.

    The northern part of the array is classically X shaped, which will allow us to produce depth profiles of the layered subsurface structure beneath each instrument across the ridge using state-of-the-art seismological techniques. The southern segment of the array has a spiral-arm shape, an arrangement that enables efficient amplification of weak and noisy signals, which we knew would be an issue given the high noise level of the ocean.

    Our array’s unique location and carefully designed shape will supplement the current volumetric sampling of Earth’s interior by existing seismic stations, which is patchy given that stations are concentrated mostly on land. It will also enable multidisciplinary research on several fronts.

    For example, in the field of neotectonics, the study of geologically recent events, detailed bathymetry and backscatter maps of the MRC are critical to marine geophysicists looking to untangle tectonic, structural, and geohazard puzzles of this little explored terrain. The most significant puzzle concerns the origin of two large underwater earthquakes that occurred nearby in 1989 and 2004. Why did they occur in intraplate regions, tens or hundreds of kilometers away from the ridge? Do they indicate deformation due to a young plate boundary within the greater Australia plate? The ability of future earthquakes and potential submarine mass wasting to generate tsunamis poses other questions: Would these hazards present threats to Australia, New Zealand, and other countries? Data from the MRC observatory will help address these important questions.

    The continuous recordings from our OBSs will also illuminate phenomena occurring deep below the MRC as well as in the ocean above it. The spiral-arm array will act like a giant telescope aimed at Earth’s center, adding to the currently sparse seismic coverage of the lowermost mantle and core. It will also add to our understanding of many “blue Earth” phenomena, from ambient marine noise and oceanic storms to glacial dynamics and whale migration.

    Dealing with Difficulties

    The weather was often merciless during our instrument deployments. We faced gale-strength winds and commensurate waves that forced us to heave to or shelter in the lee of Macquarie Island for roughly 40% of our time in the study area. (Heaving to is a ship’s primary heavy weather defense strategy at sea; it involves steaming slowly ahead directly into wind and waves.)

    Macquarie Island presents a natural wall to the westerly winds and accompanying heavy seas, a relief for both voyagers and wildlife. Sheltering along the eastern side of the island, some of the crew spotted multiple species of whales, seals, and penguins.

    As we proceeded, observations from our new seafloor maps necessitated that we modify our planned configuration of the spiral arms and other parts of the MRC array. We translated and rotated the array toward the east side of the ridge, where the maps revealed more favorable sites for deployment.

    However, many sites still presented relatively small target areas in the form of small terraces less than a kilometer across. Aiming for these targets was a logistical feat, considering the water depths exceeding 5,500 meters, our position amid the strongest ocean current on Earth, and unpredictable effects of eddies and jets produced as the ACC collides head-on with the MRC.

    To place the OBSs accurately, we first attempted to slowly lower instruments on a wire before releasing them 50–100 meters above the seafloor. However, technical challenges with release mechanisms soon forced us to abandon this method, and we eventually deployed most instruments by letting them free-fall from the sea surface off the side of the ship. This approach presented its own logistical challenge, as we had accurate measurements of the currents in only the upper few hundred meters of the water column.

    In the end, despite prevailing winds of 30–40 knots, gusts exceeding 60 knots, and current-driven drifts in all directions of 100–4,900 meters, we found sufficient windows of opportunity to successfully deploy 27 of 29 OBSs at depths from 520 to 5,517 meters. Although we ran out of time to complete mapping the shallow crest of the MRC north, west, and south of Macquarie Island, we departed the study area on 30 October 2020 with high hopes.

    Earlier this year, we obtained additional support to install five seismographs on Macquarie Island itself that will complement the OBS array. Having both an onshore and offshore arrangement of instruments operating simultaneously is the best way of achieving our scientific goals. The land seismographs tend to record clearer signals, whereas the OBSs provide the spatial coverage necessary to image structure on a broader scale and more accurately locate earthquakes.

    Bringing the Data Home

    The OBSs are equipped with acoustic release mechanisms and buoyancy to enable their return to the surface in November 2021, when we’re scheduled to retrieve them and their year’s worth of data and to complete our mapping of the MRC crest from New Zealand’s R/V Tangaroa. In the meantime, the incommunicado OBSs will listen to and record ground motion from local, regional, and distant earthquakes and other phenomena.

    With the data in hand starting late this year, we’ll throw every seismological and marine geophysical method we can at this place. The recordings will be used to image crustal, mantle, and core structure beneath Macquarie Island and the MRC and will enable better understanding of seismic wave propagation through these layers.

    Closer to the seafloor, new multibeam bathymetry/backscatter; subbottom profiler; gravity; and magnetics data will advance understanding of the neotectonics of the MRC. These data will offer vastly improved views of seafloor habitats, thus contributing to better environmental protection and biodiversity conservation in the Tasmanian Macquarie Island Nature Reserve–Marine Area that surrounds Macquarie Island and the Commonwealth of Australia’s Macquarie Island Marine Park east of Macquarie Island and the MRC.

    Results from this instrument deployment will also offer insights into physical mechanisms that generate large submarine earthquakes; crustal deformation; and tectonic strain partitioning at convergent and obliquely convergent plate boundaries. We will compare observed seismic waveforms with those predicted from numerical simulations to construct a more accurate image of the subsurface structure. If we discover, for example, that local smaller- or medium-sized earthquakes recorded during the experiment have significant dip-slip components (i.e., displacement is mostly vertical), it’s possible that future large earthquakes could have similar mechanisms, which increases the risk that they might generate tsunamis. This knowledge should provide more accurate assessments of earthquake and tsunami potential in the region, which we hope will benefit at-risk communities along Pacific and Indian Ocean coastlines.

    Scientifically the most exciting payoff of this project may be that it could help us add missing pieces to one of the biggest puzzles in plate tectonics: how subduction begins. Researchers have grappled with this question for decades, probing active and extinct subduction zones around the world for hints, though the picture remains murky.

    Some of the strongest evidence of early-stage, or incipient, subduction comes from the Puysegur Ridge and Trench at the northern end of the MRC, where the distribution of small earthquakes at depths less than 50 kilometers and the presence of a possible subduction-related volcano (Solander Island) suggest that the Australian plate is descending beneath the Pacific plate. Incipient subduction has also been proposed near the Hjort Ridge and Trench at the southern end of the MRC. Lower angles of oblique plate convergence and a lack of trenches characterize the MRC between Puysegur and Hjort, so it is unclear whether incipient subduction is occurring along the entire MRC.

    Testing this hypothesis is impossible because of a lack of adequate earthquake data. The current study, involving a large array of stations capable of detecting even extremely small seismic events, is crucial in helping to answer this fundamental question.


    We thank the Australian Research Council-ARC Centre of Excellence (AU), which awarded us a Discovery Project grant (DP2001018540). We have additional support from ANSIR Research Facilities for Earth Sounding and the Natural Environment Research Council (UK)(grant NE/T000082/1) and in-kind support from Australian National University, the University of Cambridge (UK), the University of Tasmania (AU), and the California Institute of Technology (US). Geoscience Australia; the Australian Antarctic Division of the Department of Agriculture, Water and the Environment; and the Tasmania Parks and Wildlife Service provided logistical support to install five seismographs on Macquarie Island commencing in April 2021. Unprocessed seismological data from this work will be accessible through the ANSIR/AuScope data management system AusPass 2 years after the planned late 2021 completion of the experimental component. Marine acoustics, gravity, and magnetics data, both raw and processed, will be deposited and stored in publicly accessible databases, including those of CSIRO MNF, the IMAS data portal, Geoscience Australia, and the NOAA National Centers for Environmental Information.

    See the full article here .


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  • richardmitnick 2:01 pm on June 14, 2021 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: "A Keen Eye Behind the Microscope", Applied Research & Technology, , , , Dongsheng Li’s careful crystal formation work unfolds at the nanoscale with powerful equipment., Her group made many discoveries on particle-mediated growth—especially oriented attachment processes—and solid-state phase transformation., In situ transmission electron microscopy, Li devoted a five-year research grant to using high-powered microscopes to examine the formation of branched nanocrystals less than one-thousandth the width of a human hair., , Women in STEM-Dongsheng Li   

    From DOE’s Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (US) : Women in STEM-Dongsheng Li “A Keen Eye Behind the Microscope” 

    From DOE’s Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (US)

    June 14, 2021
    Allan Brettman

    Dongsheng Li’s careful crystal formation work unfolds at the nanoscale with powerful equipment.

    The experiment was not going well, as experiments often do.

    One researcher’s stomach tied in knots.

    Another researcher, materials scientist Dongsheng Li, reacted calmly.

    Li thought of options and alternate approaches to troubleshoot the experiment, unraveling at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL). She thought critically, and headed to another building to try different preparation steps.

    Was the experiment back on track lickety-split? No. But it found its course over time. Li made sure of it. She displayed the skill, experience, perseverance, and mental agility that have characterized her work since arriving in 2013 at PNNL as a staff scientist.

    By May 2015, she received an Early Career Research Program Award from the Department of Energy (US) in the highly competitive program. Li devoted the five-year research grant to using high-powered microscopes to examine the formation of branched nanocrystals less than one-thousandth the width of a human hair. Using in situ transmission electron microscopy and atomic force microscopy, her group made many discoveries on particle-mediated growth—especially oriented attachment processes—and solid-state phase transformation.

    Li’s research has been published in Science [only one link, below] regarding two major breakthroughs stemming from the Early Career Award research. In March 2020, she was appointed as a team leader in PNNL’s Physical Sciences Division.

    Microscopy tools to the rescue

    “She has been able to very effectively use microscopy tools to get atomistic information from material systems that provide insights into the mechanisms that lead to a material’s formation,” said Jim De Yoreo, PNNL chief scientist for materials science, who helped recruit Li to the lab. “Her key strength as a researcher is really knowing her methodology and how to utilize it to answer key questions about the synthesis of a material.”

    Growing up in Jilin Province in northeast China, Li’s gravitation toward science came early. There was little time for sports or music, though today she’s a hiker and swimmer, and occasionally plays piano.

    “I was good at math and chemistry and physics when I was in high school,” Li said. “Because of that, I chose to go for this science direction instead of, I don’t know, politics or music or a totally different direction. Science just kind of made sense to me naturally.”

    Li enrolled at Jilin University [国际教育学院] (CN), a state-supported research university whose chemistry program is among the world’s best, according to U.S. News & World Report’s Best Global Universities. Li earned a bachelor’s degree in applied chemistry and a master’s in inorganic chemistry, supported by “Scholarships for Excellent Students” along the way.

    Destined for research. But where?

    She knew early on in her collegiate career that she’d pursue a PhD. And then? “Something in the scientific field,” she said. “Maybe as a professor, a faculty position. And I knew I wanted to come to the United States, to get my PhD here.”

    She enrolled at Pennsylvania State University (US). As she had moved toward chemistry as an undergrad, the same process of following what made sense naturally led her to materials science at Penn State. “Chemistry and materials science are all connected,” she said.

    While working as a postdoc fellow at the University of California-Riverside (US), Li’s postdoc advisor, Professor David Kasailus, introduced her to De Yoreo at a conference. Li said she wanted to work on De Yoreo’s research team at DOE’s Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. When De Yoreo went to work at PNNL, Li followed to continue materials research work.

    “She played an important role at Lawrence Berkeley as well as our early research at PNNL, providing expertise in nanoparticle synthesis and electron microscopy for understanding the science of materials synthesis,” De Yoreo said. “Overall, she takes collaboration seriously. She values working together through timely discussions about the research and following through on the details.”

    Electron microscopy reveals nanocrystals self-assembling into pentagonal polygons. Dongsheng Li led a research team that revealed the secret to why nanoparticles sometimes self-assemble into this five-sided shape, which has special properties and is useful in medical research, electronics, and other applications. (Photo: AAAS)

    Li’s materials science research at LBNL and PNNL has been published in Science regarding two major breakthroughs: Understanding the process of oriented attachment in an iron oxyhydroxide system and describing why and how five-fold twin nanoparticles form [Science].

    In the latter breakthrough, Li and her colleagues used a combination of high-resolution transmission electron microscopy combined with molecular dynamics simulation techniques to probe why the structures form as they do. Nanomaterials with this structure have already been shown to have useful properties, such as light responsiveness. They are deployed in medical research for precisely tagging cancerous tumors for imaging and tracking, and in electronics, where they are valued for their mechanical strength.

    “Natural and synthetic nanoparticles composed of five-fold twinned crystal domains have unique properties,” said Li, who led the research team. “But the formation mechanism of these five-fold twinned nanoparticles has been poorly understood. For the first time, we directly observed five-fold twin formation in real time and determined the mechanism by which they form. Understanding that mechanism is the fundamental knowledge materials scientists need to design new five-fold twinned nanoparticles with optimized properties for desired applications.”

    A new home for powerful equipment

    The Energy Sciences Center is scheduled to open in fall 2021 on PNNL’s main campus in Richland, Wash. (Rendering: Pacific Northwest National Laboratory.)

    “At the center, I will continue to study oriented attachments,” Li said. “What factors control oriented attachments? And how can oriented attachments control crystal structures—not only at a nanoscale but also at the atomic scale?”

    Li said the ESC will eventually be the home of a new transmission electron microscope (TEM), a device that uses a particle beam of electrons to visualize specimens and generate a highly magnified image. TEMs can magnify objects up to 2 million times.

    “It really has some nice capabilities,” Li said, “especially its research laboratories and flexible-use open spaces.”

    De Yoreo also saw how the ESC will help Li as well as other researchers working in basic energy sciences and electron microscopy.

    “It’s designed to have quiet space. That’s essential for high-quality electron microscopy work,” De Yoreo said. “And it will have the ancillary equipment a researcher needs, such as focused ion beams for preparing samples. The atomic force microscopy suite will be in there, which is complementary work that Dongsheng does. Right now, the equipment essential to her work is located in three separate buildings on the PNNL campus. Bringing all of those capabilities together into one high-quality space will advance her research.”

    At the core of bricks, mortar, quiet suites, and advanced equipment, though, is the researcher. PNNL materials scientist Elias Nakouzi knows that, having observed Li in action during a perilous point in that experiment that was not going well.

    “When I first joined PNNL as a postdoc, Dongsheng was the first person to show me, by her example, what it means to be a scientist at a national laboratory,” Nakouzi said. “The way she tried different approaches to troubleshoot the experiment caught my attention. We all have experiments that occasionally do not go too well. When that happens to me, I remember how Dongsheng successfully handled the situation.”

    See the full article here .


    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

    Stem Education Coalition

    DOE’s Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) (US) is one of the United States Department of Energy National Laboratories, managed by the Department of Energy’s Office of Science. The main campus of the laboratory is in Richland, Washington.

    PNNL scientists conduct basic and applied research and development to strengthen U.S. scientific foundations for fundamental research and innovation; prevent and counter acts of terrorism through applied research in information analysis, cyber security, and the nonproliferation of weapons of mass destruction; increase the U.S. energy capacity and reduce dependence on imported oil; and reduce the effects of human activity on the environment. PNNL has been operated by Battelle Memorial Institute since 1965.

  • richardmitnick 10:26 am on June 14, 2021 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: "Michigan Tech Joins PSERC", Applied Research & Technology, Membership in PSERC will enable Michigan Tech to apply for seed grants together with other PSERC universities., Michigan Technical University (US), Power Systems Engineering Research Center (PSERC), PSERC grants can fund undergraduate and graduate student research.   

    From Michigan Technical University (US) : “Michigan Tech Joins PSERC” 

    Michigan Tech bloc

    From Michigan Technical University (US)

    June 8, 2021
    Kimberly Geiger

    Michigan Tech’s Great Lakes Research Center. Credit: Granger Construction.

    Michigan Technological University has joined the Power Systems Engineering Research Center (PSERC) — a collaboration of university and industry members.

    “We are very pleased to be members of PSERC, where our researchers can combine efforts with other members to creatively address key challenges in creating a modern electric energy infrastructure,” stated Janet Callahan, dean of Michigan Tech’s College of Engineering. “Michigan Tech will be the 13th university in the partnership, and will bring three new industry partners into PSERC,” she added.

    Those partners are DTE, Consumers Energy and Hubbell. The full list of member universities is available on the PSERC website.

    “The overall goal of joining PSERC is to catalyze transdisciplinary research by teaming up with other institutions and relevant industry partners for national grant competition,” said Chee-Wooi Ten, associate professor of electrical and computer engineering at Michigan Tech. Ten will serve as Michigan Tech’s PSERC site director.

    Started as a National Science Foundation (US) Industry-University Cooperative Research Center (IUCRC), PSERC began in 1996 and was first led by Cornell University (US) professor Robert J. Thomas, and then Vijay Vittal of Arizona State University (US). Today PSERC is directed by Kory W. Hedman, professor of electrical and computer engineering at Arizona State University.

    PSERC member expertise includes power systems, applied mathematics, complex systems, computing, control theory, power electronics, operations research, nonlinear systems, economics, industrial organization and public policy.

    Michigan Tech brings much to the research collaborative, said Callahan, particularly in key areas of power systems engineering, social sciences and, most importantly, computing involved heavily in data science and cybersecurity. Cross-disciplinary interaction will be encouraged and expected, for example, with the University’s Department of Applied Computing where Ten holds an affiliated faculty position and where Hubbell is a member of the departmental industrial advisory board.

    Membership in PSERC will enable Michigan Tech to apply for seed grants together with other PSERC universities. Ten envisions Michigan Tech faculty members submitting seed grant proposals annually. “PSERC membership will enable Michigan Tech to go beyond its traditional research boundaries,” he said. “Historically, power area research at Michigan Tech focuses on the metering of electrical loads met by generation. We’ll see more opportunities that involve the intersection of new cross-disciplinary areas.”

    PSERC grants can also fund graduate student research, noted Callahan. “Any faculty member at Michigan Tech can submit proposals, but this is especially good news for assistant professors and other new faculty members seeking to establish a research program,” she said. “This aligns with our institutional Tech Forward initiatives and University vision to grow to 10,000 students, especially our graduate student population.”

    Members of PSERC typically meet in person three times per year with the PSERC Industrial Advisory Board (IAB). This meeting provides a regular opportunity to build new and productive partnerships among faculty and students from other PSERC universities as well as with industrial partners.

    “These meetings are unparalleled, a regular opportunity to meet and mingle with energy researchers from other PSERC institutions. We’ll be able to brainstorm and discuss possible collaborations,” said Ten. “I am also very pleased to work with Kory Hedman, the new director of PSERC.”

    “While we are now part of the PSERC ecosystem that allows us to submit proposals, the work has only just begun,” Ten concluded. “I am looking forward to working with our PSERC members and creating value with Michigan Tech’s research strengths.”

    See the full article here .


    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

    Stem Education Coalition

    Michigan Tech Campus

    Michigan Technological University is a leading public research university developing new technologies and preparing students to create the future for a prosperous and sustainable world. Michigan Tech offers more than 130 undergraduate and graduate degree programs in engineering; forest resources; computing; technology; business; economics; natural, physical and environmental sciences; arts; humanities; and social sciences.

    The College of Sciences and Arts (CSA) fills one of the most important roles on the Michigan Tech campus. We play a part in the education of every student who comes through our doors. We take pride in offering essential foundational courses in the natural sciences and mathematics, as well as the social sciences and humanities—courses that underpin every major on campus. With twelve departments, 28 majors, 30-or-so specializations, and more than 50 minors, CSA has carefully developed programs to suit many interests and skill sets. From sound design and audio technology to actuarial science, applied cognitive science and human factors to rhetoric and technical communication, the college offers many unique programs.

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