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  • richardmitnick 9:21 am on May 10, 2021 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: "Earth may have been a water world 3 billion years ago", According to the researchers’ calculations the amount of water that could have gone down into the Earth’s mantle could potentially be as much as all the present-day oceans combined., , , Chemistry, , , Harvard Gazette (US), Harvard University (US), Mantle water storage capacity, The primordial ocean could have flooded more than 70; 80; and even 90 percent of the early continents.   

    From Harvard Gazette (US) : “Earth may have been a water world 3 billion years ago” 

    From Harvard Gazette (US)

    At

    Harvard University (US)

    1
    Calculations show that Earth’s oceans may have been 1 to 2 times bigger than previously thought and the planet may have been completely covered in water. Credit: Alec Brenner/Harvard University.

    Harvard scientists calculate early ocean may have been 1 to 2 times bigger.

    April 30, 2021
    Juan Siliezar

    In 1995, Universal Studios released what was, at the time, the most expensive movie ever made: Waterworld, a film set in the distant future where the planet Earth was almost completely covered in water and its remaining inhabitants could only dream of mythic dry land. Well, take away the future part, the exorbitant budget, the chain-smoking pirates, and the gill-sporting Kevin Costner and the movie may have been onto something.

    According to a new, Harvard-led study, geochemical calculations about the interior of the planet’s water storage capacity suggests Earth’s primordial ocean 3 to 4 billion years ago may have been one to two times larger than it is today, and possibly covered the planet’s entire surface.

    “It depends on the conditions and parameters we look at in the model, such as the height and distribution of the continents, but the primordial ocean could have flooded more than 70, 80, and even 90 percent of the early continents,” said Junjie Dong, a Ph.D. student in Earth and Planetary Sciences at the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, who led the study. “In the extreme scenarios, if we have an ocean that is two times larger than the amount of water we have today, that might have completely flooded the land masses we had on the surface of the early Earth.”

    The research was published in AGU Advances earlier this month. It challenges long-held assumptions that Earth’s ocean volume hasn’t changed too much since the planet’s formation. At its root, the paper delves into understanding the origins of water and the history of how its bodies have evolved.

    “In the geology community, biology community, and even in the astronomy community, they are all interested in the origins of life, and water is one of the most important key elements that has to be considered,” Dong said.

    Researchers weren’t looking for signs of liquid water, but its chemical equivalent, oxygen and hydrogen atoms, which bond to the interior of the planet. They compiled all the data in the scientific literature they could find on minerals that hold these signs and used the figures to calculate how much water there could be in the Earth’s mantle, which makes up the bulk of the planet’s interior. That number is referred to as the planet’s mantle water storage capacity. It changes as the interior of the planet continues to cool.

    The group calculated what that number could be today and how much could have been stored a few billion years ago to see how the number had changed. The capacity back then was significantly less.

    Scientists then compared those numbers to geochemical estimates of how much water is in the mantle today. Analysis found that the actual water content today is likely higher than the maximum water capacity of the mantle a few billion years ago, meaning the water today wouldn’t have been able to fit in the mantle billions of years ago. This suggests the water was someplace else — on the world’s surface. According to the researchers’ calculations the amount of water that could have gone down into the Earth’s mantle could potentially be as much as all the present-day oceans combined.

    “There has been water falling into the Earth’s interior over time, which makes sense because with plate tectonics you have some of the plates on the Earth’s surface that subduct and go down into the interior and bring water down with them,” said Rebecca Fischer, the Clare Boothe Luce Assistant Professor of Earth and Planetary Sciences and the study’s other lead author. “There’s not really anywhere that water could come from besides the oceans on the surface, so that implies that the oceans had to have been larger in the past.”

    The study isn’t the first to suggest Earth could have been a water world, but the researchers believe it to be the first offering quantitative evidence based on the water storage capacity of the mantle.

    The researchers point out some caveats in the study, the main one being that data on the minerals used to determine the amount of water in the planet’s mantle is limited when it comes to its deeper parts, which go down thousands of kilometers.

    In their next project, Dong and Fischer are looking toward Mars. They plan to use a similar model to determine the amount of water that could have been stored in its interior.

    “Evidence seems to point out that the early Mars had a significant amount of water on its surface,” Dong said. “We want to investigate whether that surface water had some relations with the water that could possibly have been stored in its interior.”

    See the full article here .

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

    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

    Stem Education Coalition

    Harvard University campus

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

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

    The Massachusetts colonial legislature, the General Court, authorized Harvard University (US)’s founding. In its early years, Harvard College primarily trained Congregational and Unitarian clergy, although it has never been formally affiliated with any denomination. Its curriculum and student body were gradually secularized during the 18th century, and by the 19th century, Harvard University (US) had emerged as the central cultural establishment among the Boston elite. Following the American Civil War, President Charles William Eliot’s long tenure (1869–1909) transformed the college and affiliated professional schools into a modern research university; Harvard became a founding member of the Association of American Universities in 1900. James B. Conant led the university through the Great Depression and World War II; he liberalized admissions after the war.

    The university is composed of ten academic faculties plus the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study. Arts and Sciences offers study in a wide range of academic disciplines for undergraduates and for graduates, while the other faculties offer only graduate degrees, mostly professional. Harvard has three main campuses: the 209-acre (85 ha) Cambridge campus centered on Harvard Yard; an adjoining campus immediately across the Charles River in the Allston neighborhood of Boston; and the medical campus in Boston’s Longwood Medical Area. Harvard University (US)’s endowment is valued at $41.9 billion, making it the largest of any academic institution. Endowment income helps enable the undergraduate college to admit students regardless of financial need and provide generous financial aid with no loans The Harvard Library is the world’s largest academic library system, comprising 79 individual libraries holding about 20.4 million items.

    Harvard University (US) has more alumni, faculty, and researchers who have won Nobel Prizes (161) and Fields Medals (18) than any other university in the world and more alumni who have been members of the U.S. Congress, MacArthur Fellows, Rhodes Scholars (375), and Marshall Scholars (255) than any other university in the United States. Its alumni also include eight U.S. presidents and 188 living billionaires, the most of any university. Fourteen Turing Award laureates have been Harvard affiliates. Students and alumni have also won 10 Academy Awards, 48 Pulitzer Prizes, and 108 Olympic medals (46 gold), and they have founded many notable companies.

    Colonial

    Harvard University (US) was established in 1636 by vote of the Great and General Court of the Massachusetts Bay Colony. In 1638, it acquired British North America’s first known printing press. In 1639, it was named Harvard College after deceased clergyman John Harvard, an alumnus of the University of Cambridge(UK) who had left the school £779 and his library of some 400 volumes. The charter creating the Harvard Corporation was granted in 1650.

    A 1643 publication gave the school’s purpose as “to advance learning and perpetuate it to posterity, dreading to leave an illiterate ministry to the churches when our present ministers shall lie in the dust.” It trained many Puritan ministers in its early years and offered a classic curriculum based on the English university model—many leaders in the colony had attended the University of Cambridge—but conformed to the tenets of Puritanism. Harvard University (US) has never affiliated with any particular denomination, though many of its earliest graduates went on to become clergymen in Congregational and Unitarian churches.

    Increase Mather served as president from 1681 to 1701. In 1708, John Leverett became the first president who was not also a clergyman, marking a turning of the college away from Puritanism and toward intellectual independence.

    19th century

    In the 19th century, Enlightenment ideas of reason and free will were widespread among Congregational ministers, putting those ministers and their congregations in tension with more traditionalist, Calvinist parties. When Hollis Professor of Divinity David Tappan died in 1803 and President Joseph Willard died a year later, a struggle broke out over their replacements. Henry Ware was elected to the Hollis chair in 1805, and the liberal Samuel Webber was appointed to the presidency two years later, signaling the shift from the dominance of traditional ideas at Harvard to the dominance of liberal, Arminian ideas.

    Charles William Eliot, president 1869–1909, eliminated the favored position of Christianity from the curriculum while opening it to student self-direction. Though Eliot was the crucial figure in the secularization of American higher education, he was motivated not by a desire to secularize education but by Transcendentalist Unitarian convictions influenced by William Ellery Channing and Ralph Waldo Emerson.

    20th century

    In the 20th century, Harvard University (US)’s reputation grew as a burgeoning endowment and prominent professors expanded the university’s scope. Rapid enrollment growth continued as new graduate schools were begun and the undergraduate college expanded. Radcliffe College, established in 1879 as the female counterpart of Harvard College, became one of the most prominent schools for women in the United States. Harvard University (US) became a founding member of the Association of American Universities in 1900.

    The student body in the early decades of the century was predominantly “old-stock, high-status Protestants, especially Episcopalians, Congregationalists, and Presbyterians.” A 1923 proposal by President A. Lawrence Lowell that Jews be limited to 15% of undergraduates was rejected, but Lowell did ban blacks from freshman dormitories.

    President James B. Conant reinvigorated creative scholarship to guarantee Harvard University (US)’s preeminence among research institutions. He saw higher education as a vehicle of opportunity for the talented rather than an entitlement for the wealthy, so Conant devised programs to identify, recruit, and support talented youth. In 1943, he asked the faculty to make a definitive statement about what general education ought to be, at the secondary as well as at the college level. The resulting Report, published in 1945, was one of the most influential manifestos in 20th century American education.

    Between 1945 and 1960, admissions were opened up to bring in a more diverse group of students. No longer drawing mostly from select New England prep schools, the undergraduate college became accessible to striving middle class students from public schools; many more Jews and Catholics were admitted, but few blacks, Hispanics, or Asians. Throughout the rest of the 20th century, Harvard became more diverse.

    Harvard University (US)’s graduate schools began admitting women in small numbers in the late 19th century. During World War II, students at Radcliffe College (which since 1879 had been paying Harvard University (US) professors to repeat their lectures for women) began attending Harvard University (US) classes alongside men. Women were first admitted to the medical school in 1945. Since 1971, Harvard University (US) has controlled essentially all aspects of undergraduate admission, instruction, and housing for Radcliffe women. In 1999, Radcliffe was formally merged into Harvard University (US).

    21st century

    Drew Gilpin Faust, previously the dean of the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study, became Harvard University (US)’s first woman president on July 1, 2007. She was succeeded by Lawrence Bacow on July 1, 2018.

     
  • richardmitnick 3:08 pm on May 9, 2021 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: "In graphene process resistance is useful", , Chemistry, ,   

    From Rice University (US) : “In graphene process resistance is useful” 


    From Rice University (US)

    May 6, 2021

    Jeff Falk
    713-348-6775
    jfalk@rice.edu

    Mike Williams
    713-348-6728
    mikewilliams@rice.edu

    Rice lab uses laser-induced graphene process to create micron-scale patterns in photoresist.

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    Rice University chemists have adapted their laser-induced graphene process to make conductive patterns from standard photoresist material for consumer electronics and other applications. Courtesy of the Tour Group.

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    Rice University graduate student Jacob Beckham shows a sample of photoresist laser-induced graphene, patterned in the shape of an owl. Photo by Aaron Bayles.

    A Rice University laboratory has adapted its laser-induced graphene technique to make high-resolution, micron-scale patterns of the conductive material for consumer electronics and other applications.

    Laser-induced graphene (LIG), introduced in 2014 by Rice chemist James Tour, involves burning away everything that isn’t carbon from polymers or other materials, leaving the carbon atoms to reconfigure themselves into films of characteristic hexagonal graphene.

    The process employs a commercial laser that “writes” graphene patterns into surfaces that to date have included wood, paper and even food.

    The new iteration writes fine patterns of graphene into photoresist polymers, light-sensitive materials used in photolithography and photoengraving. Baking the film increases its carbon content, and subsequent lasing solidifies the robust graphene pattern, after which unlased photoresist is washed away.

    Details of the PR-LIG process appear in the American Chemical Society journal ACS Nano.

    “This process permits the use of graphene wires and devices in a more conventional silicon-like process technology,” Tour said. “It should allow a transition into mainline electronics platforms.”

    The Rice lab produced lines of LIG about 10 microns wide and hundreds of nanometers thick, comparable to that now achieved by more cumbersome processes that involve lasers attached to scanning electron microscopes, according to the researchers.

    Achieving lines of LIG small enough for circuitry prompted the lab to optimize its process, according to graduate student Jacob Beckham, lead author of the paper.

    “The breakthrough was a careful control of the process parameters,” Beckham said. “Small lines of photoresist absorb laser light depending on their geometry and thickness, so optimizing the laser power and other parameters allowed us to get good conversion at very high resolution.”

    Because the positive photoresist is a liquid before being spun onto a substrate for lasing, it’s a simple matter to dope the raw material with metals or other additives to customize it for applications, Tour said.

    Potential applications include on-chip microsupercapacitors, functional nanocomposites and microfluidic arrays.

    Co-authors are undergraduate John Tianci Li, alumnus Michael Stanford and graduate students Weiyin Chen, Emily McHugh, Paul Advincula, Kevin Wyss and Yieu Chyan of Rice; and alumnus Walker Boldman and Philip Rack, a professor and Leonard G. Penland Chair of Materials Science and Engineering at the University of Tennessee (US), Knoxville. Tour is the T.T. and W.F. Chao Chair in Chemistry as well as a professor of computer science and of materials science and nanoengineering at Rice.

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    A scanning electron microscope image shows a cross-section of laser-induced graphene on silicon. The graphene was created at Rice University by lasing a photoresist polymer to make micron-scale lines that could be useful for electronics and other applications. The scale bar is 5 microns. Courtesy of the Tour Group.

    The Air Force Office of Science Research, the National Science Foundation and the Department of Energy supported the research.

    See the full article here .


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


    Stem Education Coalition

    Rice University (US) [formally William Marsh Rice University] is a private research university in Houston, Texas. It is situated on a 300-acre campus near the Houston Museum District and is adjacent to the Texas Medical Center.

    Opened in 1912 after the murder of its namesake William Marsh Rice, Rice is a research university with an undergraduate focus. Its emphasis on education is demonstrated by a small student body and 6:1 student-faculty ratio. The university has a very high level of research activity. Rice is noted for its applied science programs in the fields of artificial heart research, structural chemical analysis, signal processing, space science, and nanotechnology. Rice has been a member of the Association of American Universities (US) since 1985 and is classified among “R1: Doctoral Universities – Very high research activity”.

    The university is organized into eleven residential colleges and eight schools of academic study, including the Wiess School of Natural Sciences, the George R. Brown School of Engineering, the School of Social Sciences, School of Architecture, Shepherd School of Music and the School of Humanities. Rice’s undergraduate program offers more than fifty majors and two dozen minors, and allows a high level of flexibility in pursuing multiple degree programs. Additional graduate programs are offered through the Jesse H. Jones Graduate School of Business and the Susanne M. Glasscock School of Continuing Studies. Rice students are bound by the strict Honor Code, which is enforced by a student-run Honor Council.

    Rice competes in 14 NCAA Division I varsity sports and is a part of Conference USA, often competing with its cross-town rival the University of Houston. Intramural and club sports are offered in a wide variety of activities such as jiu jitsu, water polo, and crew.

    The university’s alumni include more than two dozen Marshall Scholars and a dozen Rhodes Scholars. Given the university’s close links to NASA, it has produced a significant number of astronauts and space scientists. In business, Rice graduates include CEOs and founders of Fortune 500 companies; in politics, alumni include congressmen, cabinet secretaries, judges, and mayors. Two alumni have won the Nobel Prize.

    Background

    Rice University’s history began with the demise of Massachusetts businessman William Marsh Rice, who had made his fortune in real estate, railroad development and cotton trading in the state of Texas. In 1891, Rice decided to charter a free-tuition educational institute in Houston, bearing his name, to be created upon his death, earmarking most of his estate towards funding the project. Rice’s will specified the institution was to be “a competitive institution of the highest grade” and that only white students would be permitted to attend. On the morning of September 23, 1900, Rice, age 84, was found dead by his valet, Charles F. Jones, and was presumed to have died in his sleep. Shortly thereafter, a large check made out to Rice’s New York City lawyer, signed by the late Rice, aroused the suspicion of a bank teller, due to the misspelling of the recipient’s name. The lawyer, Albert T. Patrick, then announced that Rice had changed his will to leave the bulk of his fortune to Patrick, rather than to the creation of Rice’s educational institute. A subsequent investigation led by the District Attorney of New York resulted in the arrests of Patrick and of Rice’s butler and valet Charles F. Jones, who had been persuaded to administer chloroform to Rice while he slept. Rice’s friend and personal lawyer in Houston, Captain James A. Baker, aided in the discovery of what turned out to be a fake will with a forged signature. Jones was not prosecuted since he cooperated with the district attorney, and testified against Patrick. Patrick was found guilty of conspiring to steal Rice’s fortune and he was convicted of murder in 1901 (he was pardoned in 1912 due to conflicting medical testimony). Baker helped Rice’s estate direct the fortune, worth $4.6 million in 1904 ($131 million today), towards the founding of what was to be called the Rice Institute, later to become Rice University. The board took control of the assets on April 29 of that year.

    In 1907, the Board of Trustees selected the head of the Department of Mathematics and Astronomy at Princeton University, Edgar Odell Lovett, to head the Institute, which was still in the planning stages. He came recommended by Princeton’s president, Woodrow Wilson. In 1908, Lovett accepted the challenge, and was formally inaugurated as the Institute’s first president on October 12, 1912. Lovett undertook extensive research before formalizing plans for the new Institute, including visits to 78 institutions of higher learning across the world on a long tour between 1908 and 1909. Lovett was impressed by such things as the aesthetic beauty of the uniformity of the architecture at the University of Pennsylvania, a theme which was adopted by the Institute, as well as the residential college system at Cambridge University in England, which was added to the Institute several decades later. Lovett called for the establishment of a university “of the highest grade,” “an institution of liberal and technical learning” devoted “quite as much to investigation as to instruction.” [We must] “keep the standards up and the numbers down,” declared Lovett. “The most distinguished teachers must take their part in undergraduate teaching, and their spirit should dominate it all.”

    Establishment and growth

    In 1911, the cornerstone was laid for the Institute’s first building, the Administration Building, now known as Lovett Hall in honor of the founding president. On September 23, 1912, the 12th anniversary of William Marsh Rice’s murder, the William Marsh Rice Institute for the Advancement of Letters, Science, and Art began course work with 59 enrolled students, who were known as the “59 immortals,” and about a dozen faculty. After 18 additional students joined later, Rice’s initial class numbered 77, 48 male and 29 female. Unusual for the time, Rice accepted coeducational admissions from its beginning, but on-campus housing would not become co-ed until 1957.

    Three weeks after opening, a spectacular international academic festival was held, bringing Rice to the attention of the entire academic world.

    Per William Marsh Rice’s will and Rice Institute’s initial charter, the students paid no tuition. Classes were difficult, however, and about half of Rice’s students had failed after the first 1912 term. At its first commencement ceremony, held on June 12, 1916, Rice awarded 35 bachelor’s degrees and one master’s degree. That year, the student body also voted to adopt the Honor System, which still exists today. Rice’s first doctorate was conferred in 1918 on mathematician Hubert Evelyn Bray.

    The Founder’s Memorial Statue, a bronze statue of a seated William Marsh Rice, holding the original plans for the campus, was dedicated in 1930, and installed in the central academic quad, facing Lovett Hall. The statue was crafted by John Angel. In 2020, Rice students petitioned the university to take down the statue due to the founder’s history as slave owner.

    During World War II, Rice Institute was one of 131 colleges and universities nationally that took part in the V-12 Navy College Training Program, which offered students a path to a Navy commission.

    The residential college system proposed by President Lovett was adopted in 1958, with the East Hall residence becoming Baker College, South Hall residence becoming Will Rice College, West Hall becoming Hanszen College, and the temporary Wiess Hall becoming Wiess College.

    In 1959, the Rice Institute Computer went online. 1960 saw Rice Institute formally renamed William Marsh Rice University. Rice acted as a temporary intermediary in the transfer of land between Humble Oil and Refining Company and NASA, for the creation of NASA’s Manned Spacecraft Center (now called Johnson Space Center) in 1962. President John F. Kennedy then made a speech at Rice Stadium reiterating that the United States intended to reach the moon before the end of the decade of the 1960s, and “to become the world’s leading space-faring nation”. The relationship of NASA with Rice University and the city of Houston has remained strong to the present day.

    The original charter of Rice Institute dictated that the university admit and educate, tuition-free, “the white inhabitants of Houston, and the state of Texas”. In 1963, the governing board of Rice University filed a lawsuit to allow the university to modify its charter to admit students of all races and to charge tuition. Ph.D. student Raymond Johnson became the first black Rice student when he was admitted that year. In 1964, Rice officially amended the university charter to desegregate its graduate and undergraduate divisions. The Trustees of Rice University prevailed in a lawsuit to void the racial language in the trust in 1966. Rice began charging tuition for the first time in 1965. In the same year, Rice launched a $33 million ($268 million) development campaign. $43 million ($283 million) was raised by its conclusion in 1970. In 1974, two new schools were founded at Rice, the Jesse H. Jones Graduate School of Management and the Shepherd School of Music. The Brown Foundation Challenge, a fund-raising program designed to encourage annual gifts, was launched in 1976 and ended in 1996 having raised $185 million. The Rice School of Social Sciences was founded in 1979.

    On-campus housing was exclusively for men for the first forty years, until 1957. Jones College was the first women’s residence on the Rice campus, followed by Brown College. According to legend, the women’s colleges were purposefully situated at the opposite end of campus from the existing men’s colleges as a way of preserving campus propriety, which was greatly valued by Edgar Odell Lovett, who did not even allow benches to be installed on campus, fearing that they “might lead to co-fraternization of the sexes”. The path linking the north colleges to the center of campus was given the tongue-in-cheek name of “Virgin’s Walk”. Individual colleges became coeducational between 1973 and 1987, with the single-sex floors of colleges that had them becoming co-ed by 2006. By then, several new residential colleges had been built on campus to handle the university’s growth, including Lovett College, Sid Richardson College, and Martel College.

    Late twentieth and early twenty-first century

    The Economic Summit of Industrialized Nations was held at Rice in 1990. Three years later, in 1993, the James A. Baker III Institute for Public Policy was created. In 1997, the Edythe Bates Old Grand Organ and Recital Hall and the Center for Nanoscale Science and Technology, renamed in 2005 for the late Nobel Prize winner and Rice professor Richard E. Smalley, were dedicated at Rice. In 1999, the Center for Biological and Environmental Nanotechnology was created. The Rice Owls baseball team was ranked #1 in the nation for the first time in that year (1999), holding the top spot for eight weeks.

    In 2003, the Owls won their first national championship in baseball, which was the first for the university in any team sport, beating Southwest Missouri State in the opening game and then the University of Texas and Stanford University twice each en route to the title. In 2008, President David Leebron issued a ten-point plan titled “Vision for the Second Century” outlining plans to increase research funding, strengthen existing programs, and increase collaboration. The plan has brought about another wave of campus constructions, including the erection the newly renamed BioScience Research Collaborative building (intended to foster collaboration with the adjacent Texas Medical Center), a new recreational center and the renovated Autry Court basketball stadium, and the addition of two new residential colleges, Duncan College and McMurtry College.

    Beginning in late 2008, the university considered a merger with Baylor College of Medicine, though the merger was ultimately rejected in 2010. Rice undergraduates are currently guaranteed admission to Baylor College of Medicine upon graduation as part of the Rice/Baylor Medical Scholars program. According to History Professor John Boles’ recent book University Builder: Edgar Odell Lovett and the Founding of the Rice Institute, the first president’s original vision for the university included hopes for future medical and law schools.

    In 2018, the university added an online MBA program, MBA@Rice.

    In June 2019, the university’s president announced plans for a task force on Rice’s “past in relation to slave history and racial injustice”, stating that “Rice has some historical connections to that terrible part of American history and the segregation and racial disparities that resulted directly from it”.

    Campus

    Rice’s campus is a heavily wooded 285-acre (115-hectare) tract of land in the museum district of Houston, located close to the city of West University Place.

    Five streets demarcate the campus: Greenbriar Street, Rice Boulevard, Sunset Boulevard, Main Street, and University Boulevard. For most of its history, all of Rice’s buildings have been contained within this “outer loop”. In recent years, new facilities have been built close to campus, but the bulk of administrative, academic, and residential buildings are still located within the original pentagonal plot of land. The new Collaborative Research Center, all graduate student housing, the Greenbriar building, and the Wiess President’s House are located off-campus.

    Rice prides itself on the amount of green space available on campus; there are only about 50 buildings spread between the main entrance at its easternmost corner, and the parking lots and Rice Stadium at the West end. The Lynn R. Lowrey Arboretum, consisting of more than 4000 trees and shrubs (giving birth to the legend that Rice has a tree for every student), is spread throughout the campus.

    The university’s first president, Edgar Odell Lovett, intended for the campus to have a uniform architecture style to improve its aesthetic appeal. To that end, nearly every building on campus is noticeably Byzantine in style, with sand and pink-colored bricks, large archways and columns being a common theme among many campus buildings. Noteworthy exceptions include the glass-walled Brochstein Pavilion, Lovett College with its Brutalist-style concrete gratings, Moody Center for the Arts with its contemporary design, and the eclectic-Mediterranean Duncan Hall. In September 2011, Travel+Leisure listed Rice’s campus as one of the most beautiful in the United States.

    Lovett Hall, named for Rice’s first president, is the university’s most iconic campus building. Through its Sallyport arch, new students symbolically enter the university during matriculation and depart as graduates at commencement. Duncan Hall, Rice’s computational engineering building, was designed to encourage collaboration between the four different departments situated there. The building’s foyer, drawn from many world cultures, was designed by the architect to symbolically express this collaborative purpose.

    The campus is organized in a number of quadrangles. The Academic Quad, anchored by a statue of founder William Marsh Rice, includes Ralph Adams Cram’s masterpiece, the asymmetrical Lovett Hall, the original administrative building; Fondren Library; Herzstein Hall; the original physics building and home to the largest amphitheater on campus; Sewall Hall for the social sciences and arts; Rayzor Hall for the languages; and Anderson Hall of the Architecture department. The Humanities Building winner of several architectural awards is immediately adjacent to the main quad. Further west lies a quad surrounded by McNair Hall of the Jones Business School; the Baker Institute; and Alice Pratt Brown Hall of the Shepherd School of Music. These two quads are surrounded by the university’s main access road, a one-way loop referred to as the “inner loop”. In the Engineering Quad, a trinity of sculptures by Michael Heizer, collectively entitled 45 Degrees; 90 Degrees; 180 Degrees are flanked by Abercrombie Laboratory; the Cox Building; and the Mechanical Laboratory housing the Electrical; Mechanical; and Earth Science/Civil Engineering departments respectively. Duncan Hall is the latest addition to this quad providing new offices for the Computer Science; Computational and Applied Math; Electrical and Computer Engineering; and Statistics departments.

    Roughly three-quarters of Rice’s undergraduate population lives on campus. Housing is divided among eleven residential colleges which form an integral part of student life at the university The colleges are named for university historical figures and benefactors.While there is wide variation in their appearance; facilities; and dates of founding are an important source of identity for Rice students functioning as dining halls; residence halls; sports teams among other roles. Rice does not have or endorse a Greek system with the residential college system taking its place. Five colleges: McMurtry; Duncan; Martel; Jones; and Brown are located on the north side of campus across from the “South Colleges”; Baker; Will Rice; Lovett, Hanszen; Sid Richardson; and Wiess on the other side of the Academic Quadrangle. Of the eleven colleges Baker is the oldest originally built in 1912 and the twin Duncan and McMurtry colleges are the newest and opened for the first time for the 2009–10 school year. Will Rice; Baker; and Lovett colleges are undergoing renovation to expand their dining facilities as well as the number of rooms available for students.

    The on-campus football facility-Rice Stadium opened in 1950 with a capacity of 70000 seats. After improvements in 2006 the stadium is currently configured to seat 47,000 for football but can readily be reconfigured to its original capacity of 70000, more than the total number of Rice alumni living and deceased. The stadium was the site of Super Bowl VIII and a speech by John F. Kennedy on September 12 1962 in which he challenged the nation to send a man to the moon by the end of the decade. The recently renovated Tudor Fieldhouse formerly known as Autry Court is home to the basketball and volleyball teams. Other stadia include the Rice Track/Soccer Stadium and the Jake Hess Tennis Stadium. A new Rec Center now houses the intramural sports offices and provide an outdoor pool and training and exercise facilities for all Rice students while athletics training will solely be held at Tudor Fieldhouse and the Rice Football Stadium.

    The university and Houston Independent School District jointly established The Rice School-a kindergarten through 8th grade public magnet school in Houston. The school opened in August 1994. Through Cy-Fair ISD Rice University offers a credit course based summer school for grades 8 through 12. They also have skills based classes during the summer in the Rice Summer School.

    Innovation District

    In early 2019 Rice announced the site where the abandoned Sears building in Midtown Houston stood along with its surrounding area would be transformed into the “The Ion” the hub of the 16-acre South Main Innovation District. President of Rice David Leebron stated “We chose the name Ion because it’s from the Greek ienai, which means ‘go’. We see it as embodying the ever-forward motion of discovery, the spark at the center of a truly original idea.”

    Students of Rice and other Houston-area colleges and universities making up the Student Coalition for a Just and Equitable Innovation Corridor are advocating for a Community Benefits Agreement (CBA)-a contractual agreement between a developer and a community coalition. Residents of neighboring Third Ward and other members of the Houston Coalition for Equitable Development Without Displacement (HCEDD) have faced consistent opposition from the City of Houston and Rice Management Company to a CBA as traditionally defined in favor of an agreement between the latter two entities without a community coalition signatory.

    Organization

    Rice University is chartered as a non-profit organization and is governed by a privately appointed board of trustees. The board consists of a maximum of 25 voting members who serve four-year terms. The trustees serve without compensation and a simple majority of trustees must reside in Texas including at least four within the greater Houston area. The board of trustees delegates its power by appointing a president to serve as the chief executive of the university. David W. Leebron was appointed president in 2004 and succeeded Malcolm Gillis who served since 1993. The provost six vice presidents and other university officials report to the president. The president is advised by a University Council composed of the provost, eight members of the Faculty Council, two staff members, one graduate student, and two undergraduate students. The president presides over a Faculty Council which has the authority to alter curricular requirements, establish new degree programs, and approve candidates for degrees.

    The university’s academics are organized into several schools. Schools that have undergraduate and graduate programs include:

    The Rice University School of Architecture
    The George R. Brown School of Engineering
    The School of Humanities
    The Shepherd School of Music
    The Wiess School of Natural Sciences
    The Rice University School of Social Sciences

    Two schools have only graduate programs:

    The Jesse H. Jones Graduate School of Management
    The Susanne M. Glasscock School of Continuing Studies

    Rice’s undergraduate students benefit from a centralized admissions process which admits new students to the university as a whole, rather than a specific school (the schools of Music and Architecture are decentralized). Students are encouraged to select the major path that best suits their desires; a student can later decide that they would rather pursue study in another field or continue their current coursework and add a second or third major. These transitions are designed to be simple at Rice with students not required to decide on a specific major until their sophomore year of study.

    Rice’s academics are organized into six schools which offer courses of study at the graduate and undergraduate level, with two more being primarily focused on graduate education, while offering select opportunities for undergraduate students. Rice offers 360 degrees in over 60 departments. There are 40 undergraduate degree programs, 51 masters programs, and 29 doctoral programs.

    Faculty members of each of the departments elect chairs to represent the department to each School’s dean and the deans report to the Provost who serves as the chief officer for academic affairs.

    Rice Management Company

    The Rice Management Company manages the $6.5 billion Rice University endowment (June 2019) and $957 million debt. The endowment provides 40% of Rice’s operating revenues. Allison Thacker is the President and Chief Investment Officer of the Rice Management Company, having joined the university in 2011.

    Academics

    Rice is a medium-sized highly residential research university. The majority of enrollments are in the full-time four-year undergraduate program emphasizing arts & sciences and professions. There is a high graduate coexistence with the comprehensive graduate program and a very high level of research activity. It is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools as well as the professional accreditation agencies for engineering, management, and architecture.

    Each of Rice’s departments is organized into one of three distribution groups, and students whose major lies within the scope of one group must take at least 3 courses of at least 3 credit hours each of approved distribution classes in each of the other two groups, as well as completing one physical education course as part of the LPAP (Lifetime Physical Activity Program) requirement. All new students must take a Freshman Writing Intensive Seminar (FWIS) class, and for students who do not pass the university’s writing composition examination (administered during the summer before matriculation), FWIS 100, a writing class, becomes an additional requirement.

    The majority of Rice’s undergraduate degree programs grant B.S. or B.A. degrees. Rice has recently begun to offer minors in areas such as business, energy and water sustainability, and global health.

    Student body

    As of fall 2014, men make up 52% of the undergraduate body and 64% of the professional and post-graduate student body. The student body consists of students from all 50 states, including the District of Columbia, two U.S. Territories, and 83 foreign countries. Forty percent of degree-seeking students are from Texas.

    Research centers and resources

    Rice is noted for its applied science programs in the fields of nanotechnology, artificial heart research, structural chemical analysis, signal processing and space science.

    Rice Alliance for Technology and Entrepreneurship – supports entrepreneurs and early-stage technology ventures in Houston and Texas through education, collaboration, and research, ranked No. 1 among university business incubators.
    Baker Institute for Public Policy – a leading nonpartisan public policy think-tank
    BioScience Research Collaborative (BRC) – interdisciplinary, cross-campus, and inter-institutional resource between Rice University and Texas Medical Center
    Boniuk Institute – dedicated to religious tolerance and advancing religious literacy, respect and mutual understanding
    Center for African and African American Studies – fosters conversations on topics such as critical approaches to race and racism, the nature of diasporic histories and identities, and the complexity of Africa’s past, present and future
    Chao Center for Asian Studies – research hub for faculty, students and post-doctoral scholars working in Asian studies
    Center for the Study of Women, Gender, and Sexuality (CSWGS) – interdisciplinary academic programs and research opportunities, including the journal Feminist Economics
    Data to Knowledge Lab (D2K) – campus hub for experiential learning in data science
    Digital Signal Processing (DSP) – center for education and research in the field of digital signal processing
    Ethernest Hackerspace – student-run hackerspace for undergraduate engineering students sponsored by the ECE department and the IEEE student chapter
    Humanities Research Center (HRC) – identifies, encourages, and funds innovative research projects by faculty, visiting scholars, graduate, and undergraduate students in the School of Humanities and beyond
    Institute of Biosciences and Bioengineering (IBB) – facilitates the translation of interdisciplinary research and education in biosciences and bioengineering
    Ken Kennedy Institute for Information Technology – advances applied interdisciplinary research in the areas of computation and information technology
    Kinder Institute for Urban Research – conducts the Houston Area Survey, “the nation’s longest running study of any metropolitan region’s economy, population, life experiences, beliefs and attitudes”
    Laboratory for Nanophotonics (LANP) – a resource for education and research breakthroughs and advances in the broad, multidisciplinary field of nanophotonics
    Moody Center for the Arts – experimental arts space featuring studio classrooms, maker space, audiovisual editing booths, and a gallery and office space for visiting national and international artists
    OpenStax CNX (formerly Connexions) and OpenStax – an open source platform and open access publisher, respectively, of open educational resources
    Oshman Engineering Design Kitchen (OEDK) – space for undergraduate students to design, prototype and deploy solutions to real-world engineering challenges
    Rice Cinema – an independent theater run by the Visual and Dramatic Arts department at Rice which screens documentaries, foreign films, and experimental cinema and hosts film festivals and lectures since 1970
    Rice Center for Engineering Leadership (RCEL) – inspires, educates, and develops ethical leaders in technology who will excel in research, industry, non-engineering career paths, or entrepreneurship
    Religion and Public Life Program (RPLP) – a research, training and outreach program working to advance understandings of the role of religion in public life
    Rice Design Alliance (RDA) – outreach and public programs of the Rice School of Architecture
    Rice Center for Quantum Materials (RCQM) – organization dedicated to research and higher education in areas relating to quantum phenomena
    Rice Neuroengineering Initiative (NEI) – fosters research collaborations in neural engineering topics
    Rice Space Institute (RSI) – fosters programs in all areas of space research
    Smalley-Curl Institute for Nanoscale Science and Technology (SCI) – the nation’s first nanotechnology center
    Welch Institute for Advanced Materials – collaborative research institute to support the foundational research for discoveries in materials science, similar to the model of Salk Institute and Broad Institute
    Woodson Research Center Special Collections & Archives – publisher of print and web-based materials highlighting the department’s primary source collections such as the Houston African American, Asian American, and Jewish History Archives, University Archives, rare books, and hip hop/rap music-related materials from the Swishahouse record label and Houston Folk Music Archive, etc.

    Student life

    Situated on nearly 300 acres (120 ha) in the center of Houston’s Museum District and across the street from the city’s Hermann Park, Rice is a green and leafy refuge; an oasis of learning convenient to the amenities of the nation’s fourth-largest city. Rice’s campus adjoins Hermann Park, the Texas Medical Center, and a neighborhood commercial center called Rice Village. Hermann Park includes the Houston Museum of Natural Science, the Houston Zoo, Miller Outdoor Theatre and an 18-hole municipal golf course. NRG Park, home of NRG Stadium and the Astrodome, is two miles (3 km) south of the campus. Among the dozen or so museums in the Museum District was (until May 14, 2017) the Rice University Art Gallery, open during the school year from 1995 until it closed in 2017. Easy access to downtown’s theater and nightlife district and to Reliant Park is provided by the Houston METRORail system, with a station adjacent to the campus’s main gate. The campus recently joined the Zipcar program with two vehicles to increase the transportation options for students and staff who need but currently don’t utilize a vehicle.

    Residential colleges

    In 1957, Rice University implemented a residential college system, which was proposed by the university’s first president, Edgar Odell Lovett. The system was inspired by existing systems in place at Oxford(UK) and Cambridge(UK) and at several other universities in the United States, most notably Yale University. The existing residences known as East, South, West, and Wiess Halls became Baker, Will Rice, Hanszen, and Wiess Colleges, respectively.

    List of residential colleges:

    Baker College, named in honor of Captain James A. Baker, friend and attorney of William Marsh Rice, and first chair of the Rice Board of Governors.
    Will Rice College, named for William M. Rice, Jr., the nephew of the university’s founder, William Marsh Rice.
    Hanszen College, named for Harry Clay Hanszen, benefactor to the university and chairman of the Rice Board of Governors from 1946 to 1950.
    Wiess College, named for Harry Carothers Wiess (1887–1948), one of the founders and one-time president of Humble Oil, now ExxonMobil.
    Jones College, named for Mary Gibbs Jones, wife of prominent Houston philanthropist Jesse Holman Jones.
    Brown College, named for Margaret Root Brown by her in-laws, George R. Brown.
    Lovett College, named after the university’s first president, Edgar Odell Lovett.
    Sid Richardson College, named for the Sid Richardson Foundation, which was established by Texas oilman, cattleman, and philanthropist Sid W. Richardson.
    Martel College, named for Marian and Speros P. Martel, was built in 2002.
    McMurtry College, named for Rice alumni Burt and Deedee McMurtry, Silicon Valley venture capitalists.
    Duncan College, named for Charles Duncan, Jr., Secretary of Energy.

    Much of the social and academic life as an undergraduate student at Rice is centered around residential colleges. Each residential college has its own cafeteria (serveries) and each residential college has study groups and its own social practices.

    Although each college is composed of a full cross-section of students at Rice, they have over time developed their own traditions and “personalities”. When students matriculate they are randomly assigned to one of the eleven colleges, although “legacy” exceptions are made for students whose siblings or parents have attended Rice. Students generally remain members of the college that they are assigned to for the duration of their undergraduate careers, even if they move off-campus at any point. Students are guaranteed on-campus housing for freshman year and two of the next three years; each college has its own system for determining allocation of the remaining spaces, collectively known as “Room Jacking”. Students develop strong loyalties to their college and maintain friendly rivalry with other colleges, especially during events such as Beer Bike Race and O-Week. Colleges keep their rivalries alive by performing “jacks,” or pranks, on each other, especially during O-Week and Willy Week. During Matriculation, Commencement, and other formal academic ceremonies, the colleges process in the order in which they were established.

    Student-run media

    Rice has a weekly student newspaper (The Rice Thresher), a yearbook (The Campanile), college radio station (KTRU Rice Radio), and now defunct, campus-wide student television station (RTV5). They are based out of the RMC student center. In addition, Rice hosts several student magazines dedicated to a range of different topics; in fact, the spring semester of 2008 saw the birth of two such magazines, a literary sex journal called Open and an undergraduate science research magazine entitled Catalyst.

    The Rice Thresher is published every Wednesday and is ranked by Princeton Review as one of the top campus newspapers nationally for student readership. It is distributed around campus, and at a few other local businesses and has a website. The Thresher has a small, dedicated staff and is known for its coverage of campus news, open submission opinion page, and the satirical Backpage, which has often been the center of controversy. The newspaper has won several awards from the College Media Association, Associated Collegiate Press and Texas Intercollegiate Press Association.

    The Rice Campanile was first published in 1916 celebrating Rice’s first graduating class. It has published continuously since then, publishing two volumes in 1944 since the university had two graduating classes due to World War II. The website was created sometime in the early to mid 2000s. The 2015 won the first place Pinnacle for best yearbook from College Media Association.

    KTRU Rice Radio is the student-run radio station. Though most DJs are Rice students, anyone is allowed to apply. It is known for playing genres and artists of music and sound unavailable on other radio stations in Houston, and often, the US. The station takes requests over the phone or online. In 2000 and 2006, KTRU won Houston Press’ Best Radio Station in Houston. In 2003, Rice alum and active KTRU DJ DL’s hip-hip show won Houston Press‘ Best Hip-hop Radio Show. On August 17, 2010, it was announced that Rice University had been in negotiations to sell the station’s broadcast tower, FM frequency and license to the University of Houston System to become a full-time classical music and fine arts programming station. The new station, KUHA, would be operated as a not-for-profit outlet with listener supporters. The FCC approved the sale and granted the transfer of license to the University of Houston System on April 15, 2011, however, KUHA proved to be an even larger failure and so after four and a half years of operation, The University of Houston System announced that KUHA’s broadcast tower, FM frequency and license were once again up for sale in August 2015. KTRU continued to operate much as it did previously, streaming live on the Internet, via apps, and on HD2 radio using the 90.1 signal. Under student leadership, KTRU explored the possibility of returning to FM radio for a number of years. In spring 2015, KTRU was granted permission by the FCC to begin development of a new broadcast signal via LPFM radio. On October 1, 2015, KTRU made its official return to FM radio on the 96.1 signal. While broadcasting on HD2 radio has been discontinued, KTRU continues to broadcast via internet in addition to its LPFM signal.

    RTV5 is a student-run television network available as channel 5 on campus. RTV5 was created initially as Rice Broadcast Television in 1997; RBT began to broadcast the following year in 1998, and aired its first live show across campus in 1999. It experienced much growth and exposure over the years with successful programs like Drinking with Phil, The Meg & Maggie Show, which was a variety and call-in show, a weekly news show, and extensive live coverage in December 2000 of the shut down of KTRU by the administration. In spring 2001, the Rice undergraduate community voted in the general elections to support RBT as a blanket tax organization, effectively providing a yearly income of $10,000 to purchase new equipment and provide the campus with a variety of new programming. In the spring of 2005, RBT members decided the station needed a new image and a new name: Rice Television 5. One of RTV5’s most popular shows was the 24-hour show, where a camera and couch placed in the RMC stayed on air for 24 hours. One such show is held in fall and another in spring, usually during a weekend allocated for visits by prospective students. RTV5 has a video on demand site at rtv5.rice.edu. The station went off the air in 2014 and changed its name to Rice Video Productions. In 2015 the group’s funding was threatened, but ultimately maintained. In 2016 the small student staff requested to no longer be a blanket-tax organization. In the fall of 2017, the club did not register as a club.

    The Rice Review, also known as R2, is a yearly student-run literary journal at Rice University that publishes prose, poetry, and creative nonfiction written by undergraduate students, as well as interviews. The journal was founded in 2004 by creative writing professor and author Justin Cronin.

    The Rice Standard was an independent, student-run variety magazine modeled after such publications as The New Yorker and Harper’s. Prior to fall 2009, it was regularly published three times a semester with a wide array of content, running from analyses of current events and philosophical pieces to personal essays, short fiction and poetry. In August 2009, The Standard transitioned to a completely online format with the launch of their redesigned website, http://www.ricestandard.org. The first website of its kind on Rice’s campus, The Standard featured blog-style content written by and for Rice students. The Rice Standard had around 20 regular contributors, and the site features new content every day (including holidays). In 2017 no one registered The Rice Standard as a club within the university.

    Open, a magazine dedicated to “literary sex content,” predictably caused a stir on campus with its initial publication in spring 2008. A mixture of essays, editorials, stories and artistic photography brought Open attention both on campus and in the Houston Chronicle. The third and last annual edition of Open was released in spring of 2010.

    Vahalla is the Graduate Student Association on-campus bar under the steps of the chemistry building.

    Athletics

    Rice plays in NCAA Division I athletics and is part of Conference USA. Rice was a member of the Western Athletic Conference before joining Conference USA in 2005. Rice is the second-smallest school, measured by undergraduate enrollment, competing in NCAA Division I FBS football, only ahead of Tulsa.

    The Rice baseball team won the 2003 College World Series, defeating Stanford, giving Rice its only national championship in a team sport. The victory made Rice University the smallest school in 51 years to win a national championship at the highest collegiate level of the sport. The Rice baseball team has played on campus at Reckling Park since the 2000 season. As of 2010, the baseball team has won 14 consecutive conference championships in three different conferences: the final championship of the defunct Southwest Conference, all nine championships while a member of the Western Athletic Conference, and five more championships in its first five years as a member of Conference USA. Additionally, Rice’s baseball team has finished third in both the 2006 and 2007 College World Series tournaments. Rice now has made six trips to Omaha for the CWS. In 2004, Rice became the first school ever to have three players selected in the first eight picks of the MLB draft when Philip Humber, Jeff Niemann, and Wade Townsend were selected third, fourth, and eighth, respectively. In 2007, Joe Savery was selected as the 19th overall pick.

    Rice has been very successful in women’s sports in recent years. In 2004–05, Rice sent its women’s volleyball, soccer, and basketball teams to their respective NCAA tournaments. The women’s swim team has consistently brought at least one member of their team to the NCAA championships since 2013. In 2005–06, the women’s soccer, basketball, and tennis teams advanced, with five individuals competing in track and field. In 2006–07, the Rice women’s basketball team made the NCAA tournament, while again five Rice track and field athletes received individual NCAA berths. In 2008, the women’s volleyball team again made the NCAA tournament. In 2011 the Women’s Swim team won their first conference championship in the history of the university. This was an impressive feat considering they won without having a diving team. The team repeated their C-USA success in 2013 and 2014. In 2017, the women’s basketball team, led by second-year head coach Tina Langley, won the Women’s Basketball Invitational, defeating UNC-Greensboro 74–62 in the championship game at Tudor Fieldhouse. Though not a varsity sport, Rice’s ultimate frisbee women’s team, named Torque, won consecutive Division III national championships in 2014 and 2015.

    In 2006, the football team qualified for its first bowl game since 1961, ending the second-longest bowl drought in the country at the time. On December 22, 2006, Rice played in the New Orleans Bowl in New Orleans, Louisiana against the Sun Belt Conference champion, Troy. The Owls lost 41–17. The bowl appearance came after Rice had a 14-game losing streak from 2004–05 and went 1–10 in 2005. The streak followed an internally authorized 2003 McKinsey report that stated football alone was responsible for a $4 million deficit in 2002. Tensions remained high between the athletic department and faculty, as a few professors who chose to voice their opinion were in favor of abandoning the football program. The program success in 2006, the Rice Renaissance, proved to be a revival of the Owl football program, quelling those tensions. David Bailiff took over the program in 2007 and has remained head coach. Jarett Dillard set an NCAA record in 2006 by catching a touchdown pass in 13 consecutive games and took a 15-game overall streak into the 2007 season.

    In 2008, the football team posted a 9-3 regular season, capping off the year with a 38–14 victory over Western Michigan University in the Texas Bowl. The win over Western Michigan marked the Owls’ first bowl win in 45 years.

    Rice Stadium also serves as the performance venue for the university’s Marching Owl Band, or “MOB.” Despite its name, the MOB is a scatter band that focuses on performing humorous skits and routines rather than traditional formation marching.

    Rice Owls men’s basketball won 10 conference titles in the former Southwest Conference (1918, 1935*, 1940, 1942*, 1943*, 1944*, 1945, 1949*, 1954*, 1970; * denotes shared title). Most recently, guard Morris Almond was drafted in the first round of the 2007 NBA Draft by the Utah Jazz. Rice named former Cal Bears head coach Ben Braun as head basketball coach to succeed Willis Wilson, fired after Rice finished the 2007–2008 season with a winless (0-16) conference record and overall record of 3-27.

    Rice’s mascot is Sammy the Owl. In previous decades, the university kept several live owls on campus in front of Lovett College, but this practice has been discontinued, due to public pressure over the welfare of the owls.

    Rice also has a 12-member coed cheerleading squad and a coed dance team, both of which perform at football and basketball games throughout the year.

     
  • richardmitnick 9:22 am on May 5, 2021 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: "A material-keyboard made of graphene", A keyboard for materials, , Chemistry, Graphene with a magic angle, Making a material behave alternately as an insulator or as a superconductor., , Possible applications in quantum technologies, Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zürich [ETH Zürich] [Eidgenössische Technische Hochschule Zürich](CH)   

    From Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zürich [ETH Zürich] [Eidgenössische Technische Hochschule Zürich](CH): “A material-keyboard made of graphene” 

    From Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zürich [ETH Zürich] [Eidgenössische Technische Hochschule Zürich](CH)

    05.05.2021
    Oliver Morsch

    Researchers at ETH Zürich have succeeded in turning specially prepared graphene flakes either into insulators or into superconductors by applying an electric voltage. This technique even works locally, meaning that in the same graphene flake regions with completely different physical properties can be realized side by side.

    1
    The material keyboard realized by the ETH Zürich researchers. By applying electric voltages (“keys”) at different points, the magic-​angle graphene can become locally superconducting (electron pairs) or isolating (barrier on the right). Credit: F. de Vries/ ETH Zürich.

    The production of modern electronic components requires materials with very diverse properties. There are isolators, for instance, which do not conduct electric current, and superconductors which transport it without any losses. To obtain a particular functionality of a component one usually has to join several such materials together. Often that is not easy, in particular when dealing with nanostructures that are in widespread use today. A team of researchers at ETH Zürich led by Klaus Ensslin and Thomas Ihn at the Laboratory for Solid State Physics have now succeeded in making a material behave alternately as an insulator or as a superconductor – or even as both at different locations in the same material – by simply applying an electric voltage. Their results have been published in the scientific journal Nature Nanotechnology. The work was supported by the National Centre of Competence in Research QSIT (Quantum Science and Technology).

    Graphene with a magic angle

    The material Ensslin and his co-​workers use bears the somewhat cumbersome name “Magic Angle Twisted Bilayer Graphene”. In actual fact, this name hides something rather simple and well-​known, namely carbon – albeit in a particular form and with a special twist. The starting point for the material are graphene flakes, which are carbon layers that are only one atom thick. The researchers put two of those layers on top of each other in such a way that their crystal axes are not parallel, but rather make a “magic angle” of exactly 1.06 degrees. “That’s pretty tricky, and we also need to accurately control the temperature of the flakes during production. As a result, it often goes wrong,” explains Peter Rickhaus, who was involved in the experiments as a postdoc.

    In twenty percent of the attempts, however, it works, and the atomic crystal lattices of the graphene flakes then create a so-​called moiré pattern in which the electrons of the material behave differently than in ordinary graphene. Moiré patterns are familiar from television, for instance, where the interplay between a patterned garment and the scanning lines of the television image can lead to interesting optical effects. On top of the magic angle graphene flakes the researchers attach several additional electrodes which they can use to apply an electric voltage to the material. When they then cool everything down to a few hundredths of a degree above absolute zero, something remarkable happens. Depending on the applied voltage, the graphene flakes behave in two completely opposite ways: either as a superconductor or as an insulator. This switchable superconductivity was already demonstrated in 2018 at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (US). Even today only a few groups worldwide are able to produce such samples.

    Insulator and superconductor in the same material

    2
    Electron microscope image of the Josephson junction (false colours). Using the electrodes (bright and dark gold) as piano keys, an insulating layer only 100 nanometres thick can be created between the two superconducting regions. Credit: F. de Vries/ ETH Zürich.

    Ensslin and his colleagues are now going one step further. By applying different voltages to the individual electrodes they turn the magic angle graphene into an insulator in one spot, but a few hundred nanometres to one side it becomes a superconductor.

    “When we saw that, we obviously first tried to realize a Josephson junction”, says Fokko de Vries, who is also a postdoc in Ensslins laboratory. In such junctions two superconductors are separated by a wafer-​thin insulating layer. In this way, current cannot flow directly between the two superconductors but rather has to tunnel quantum mechanically through the insulator. That, in turn, causes the conductivity of the contact to vary as a function of the current in a characteristic fashion, depending on whether direct or alternating current is used.

    Possible applications in quantum technologies

    The ETH researchers managed to produce a Josephson junction inside the graphene flakes twisted by the magic angle by using different voltages applied to the three electrodes, and also to measure its properties. “Now that that’s worked as well, we can try our hands at more complex devices such as SQUIDs”, says de Vries. In SQUIDs (“superconducting quantum interference device”) two Josephson junctions are connected to form a ring. Practical applications of such devices include measurements of tiny magnetic fields, but also modern technologies such as quantum computers. For possible uses in quantum computers, an interesting aspect is that with the help of the electrodes the graphene flakes can be turned not just into insulators and superconductors, but also into magnets or so-​called topological insulators, in which current can only flow in one direction along the edge of the material. This could be exploited to realize different kinds of quantum bits (qubits) in a single device.

    A keyboard for materials

    “So far, however, that’s just speculation”, Ensslin says. Still, he is enthusiastic about the possibilities that arise from the electrical control even now. “With the electrodes, we can practically play the piano on the graphene”. Amongst other things, the physicists hope that this will help them to gain new insights into the detailed mechanisms that bring about superconductivity in magic angle graphene.

    See the full article here .

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

    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

    Stem Education Coalition

    ETH Zurich campus
    Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zürich [ETH Zürich] [Eidgenössische Technische Hochschule Zürich](CH) is a public research university in the city of Zürich, Switzerland. Founded by the Swiss Federal Government in 1854 with the stated mission to educate engineers and scientists, the school focuses exclusively on science, technology, engineering and mathematics. Like its sister institution Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Lausanne [EPFL-École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne](CH), it is part of the Swiss Federal Institutes of Technology Domain (ETH Domain), part of the Swiss Federal Department of Economic Affairs, Education and Research.

    The university is an attractive destination for international students thanks to low tuition fees of 809 CHF per semester, PhD and graduate salaries that are amongst the world’s highest, and a world-class reputation in academia and industry. There are currently 22,200 students from over 120 countries, of which 4,180 are pursuing doctoral degrees. In the 2021 edition of the QS World University Rankings ETH Zürich is ranked 6th in the world and 8th by the Times Higher Education World Rankings 2020. In the 2020 QS World University Rankings by subject it is ranked 4th in the world for engineering and technology (2nd in Europe) and 1st for earth & marine science.

    As of November 2019, 21 Nobel laureates, 2 Fields Medalists, 2 Pritzker Prize winners, and 1 Turing Award winner have been affiliated with the Institute, including Albert Einstein. Other notable alumni include John von Neumann and Santiago Calatrava. It is a founding member of the IDEA League and the International Alliance of Research Universities (IARU) and a member of the CESAER network.

    ETH Zürich was founded on 7 February 1854 by the Swiss Confederation and began giving its first lectures on 16 October 1855 as a polytechnic institute (eidgenössische polytechnische Schule) at various sites throughout the city of Zurich. It was initially composed of six faculties: architecture, civil engineering, mechanical engineering, chemistry, forestry, and an integrated department for the fields of mathematics, natural sciences, literature, and social and political sciences.

    It is locally still known as Polytechnikum, or simply as Poly, derived from the original name eidgenössische polytechnische Schule, which translates to “federal polytechnic school”.

    ETH Zürich is a federal institute (i.e., under direct administration by the Swiss government), whereas the University of Zürich is a cantonal institution. The decision for a new federal university was heavily disputed at the time; the liberals pressed for a “federal university”, while the conservative forces wanted all universities to remain under cantonal control, worried that the liberals would gain more political power than they already had. In the beginning, both universities were co-located in the buildings of the University of Zürich.

    From 1905 to 1908, under the presidency of Jérôme Franel, the course program of ETH Zürich was restructured to that of a real university and ETH Zürich was granted the right to award doctorates. In 1909 the first doctorates were awarded. In 1911, it was given its current name, Eidgenössische Technische Hochschule. In 1924, another reorganization structured the university in 12 departments. However, it now has 16 departments.

    ETH Zürich, EPFL (Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Lausanne) [École polytechnique fédérale de Lausanne](CH), and four associated research institutes form the “ETH Domain” with the aim of collaborating on scientific projects.

    Reputation and ranking

    ETH Zürich is ranked among the top universities in the world. Typically, popular rankings place the institution as the best university in continental Europe and ETH Zürich is consistently ranked among the top 1-5 universities in Europe, and among the top 3-10 best universities of the world.

    Historically, ETH Zürich has achieved its reputation particularly in the fields of chemistry, mathematics and physics. There are 32 Nobel laureates who are associated with ETH Zürich, the most recent of whom is Richard F. Heck, awarded the Nobel Prize in chemistry in 2010. Albert Einstein is perhaps its most famous alumnus.

    In 2018, the QS World University Rankings placed ETH Zürich at 7th overall in the world. In 2015, ETH Zürich was ranked 5th in the world in Engineering, Science and Technology, just behind the Massachusetts Institute of Technology(US), Stanford University(US) and University of Cambridge(UK). In 2015, ETH Zürich also ranked 6th in the world in Natural Sciences, and in 2016 ranked 1st in the world for Earth & Marine Sciences for the second consecutive year.

    In 2016, Times Higher Education WorldUniversity Rankings ranked ETH Zürich 9th overall in the world and 8th in the world in the field of Engineering & Technology, just behind the Massachusetts Institute of Technology(US), Stanford University(US), California Institute of Technology(US), Princeton University(US), University of Cambridge(UK), Imperial College London(UK) and

     
  • richardmitnick 9:48 am on May 4, 2021 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: "Physicists Just Found The Lightest Known Form of Uranium And It Has Unique Behaviors", , Chemistry, , ,   

    From Heavy Ion Research Facility in Lanzhou China at Chinese Academy of Sciences [中国科学院] (CN) via Science Alert (AU) : “Physicists Just Found The Lightest Known Form of Uranium And It Has Unique Behaviors” 

    From Chinese Academy of Sciences [中国科学院] (CN)

    via

    ScienceAlert

    Science Alert (AU)

    4 MAY 2021
    MARA JOHNSON-GROH

    1
    Credit: IncrediVFX/iStock/Getty Images.

    Scientists have discovered a new type of uranium that is the lightest ever known. The discovery could reveal more about a weird alpha particle that gets ejected from certain radioactive elements as they decay.

    The newfound uranium, called uranium-214, is an isotope, or a variant of the element, with 30 more neutrons than protons, one fewer neutron than the next-lightest known uranium isotope.

    2
    Credit: APS/Carin Cain

    Because neutrons have mass, uranium-214 is much lighter than more common uranium isotopes, including uranium-235, which is used in nuclear reactors and has 51 extra neutrons.

    This newfound isotope isn’t just lighter than others, but it also showed unique behaviors during its decay. As such, the new findings will help scientists better understand a radioactive decay process known as alpha decay, in which an atomic nucleus loses a group of two protons and two neutrons – collectively called an alpha particle.

    Though scientists know that alpha decay results in the ejection of this alpha particle, after a century of study, they still don’t know the exact details of how the alpha particle is formed before it gets ejected.

    The researchers created the new uranium isotope at the Heavy Ion Research Facility in Lanzhou, China. There, they shone a beam of argon at a target made of tungsten inside a machine called a gas-filled recoil separator – in this case the Spectrometer for Heavy Atoms and Nuclear Structure, or SHANS. By shining a laser at the tungsten, the researchers effectively added protons and neutrons to the material to create uranium.

    The new uranium-214 isotope had a half-life of just half a millisecond, meaning that’s the amount of time it takes for half of the radioactive sample to decay. The most common isotope of uranium – called uranium-238 – has a half-life of about 4.5 billion years, which is about the age of Earth.

    By carefully watching how the isotopes decayed, the scientists were able to study the strong nuclear force – one of the four fundamental forces that hold matter together – acting on the alpha particle parts – the neutrons and protons – on the surface of the uranium.

    They found that the proton and neutron in each alpha particle interacted much more strongly than in isotopes and other elements with similar numbers of protons and neutrons that have been previously studied.

    This is likely due to the specific number of neutrons inside the nucleus of uranium-214, the researchers said. The new isotope has 122 neutrons, nearing the “magic neutron number” of 126, which is especially stable due to the configuration of the neutrons in complete sets, or shells.

    With this configuration, it is easier for scientists to calculate the strong force interaction between the protons and neutrons. That makes these isotopes particularly interesting to scientists, since studying these interactions can reveal features related to nuclear structure and decay process, said study lead author Zhiyuan Zhang, physicist at the Chinese Academy of Sciences [中国科学院](CN).

    The scientists suspect that this proton-neutron interaction could be even stronger heavier radioactive elements such as isotopes of plutonium and neptunium. These elements have a few more protons, and the configuration of their orbits suggests they could have even stronger interactions than the uranium isotopes.

    The scientists would like to study other elemental isotopes near the magic neutron number; however, since such elements have even shorter half-lives, even more sensitive detectors and more powerful beams will be needed.

    The new findings were published April 14 in the journal Physical Review Letters.

    See the full article here .

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

    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

    Stem Education Coalition

    The Chinese Academy of Sciences [中国科学院] (CN) is the linchpin of China’s drive to explore and harness high technology and the natural sciences for the benefit of China and the world. Comprising a comprehensive research and development network, a merit-based learned society and a system of higher education, CAS brings together scientists and engineers from China and around the world to address both theoretical and applied problems using world-class scientific and management approaches.

    Since its founding, CAS has fulfilled multiple roles — as a national team and a locomotive driving national technological innovation, a pioneer in supporting nationwide S&T development, a think tank delivering S&T advice and a community for training young S&T talent.

    Now, as it responds to a nationwide call to put innovation at the heart of China’s development, CAS has further defined its development strategy by emphasizing greater reliance on democratic management, openness and talent in the promotion of innovative research. With the adoption of its Innovation 2020 programme in 2011, the academy has committed to delivering breakthrough science and technology, higher caliber talent and superior scientific advice. As part of the programme, CAS has also requested that each of its institutes define its “strategic niche” — based on an overall analysis of the scientific progress and trends in their own fields both in China and abroad — in order to deploy resources more efficiently and innovate more collectively.

    As it builds on its proud record, CAS aims for a bright future as one of the world’s top S&T research and development organizations.

     
  • richardmitnick 2:24 pm on April 26, 2021 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: "Complex organic molecules detected in the starless core Lynds 1521E", , , , Chemistry, , , ,   

    From University of Arizona via phys.org : “Complex organic molecules detected in the starless core Lynds 1521E” 

    From University of Arizona

    via

    phys.org

    1
    L1521E: A map of the average line-of-sight dust temperature (color scale) and column density (contours) determined from SED fitting of Herschel Space Observatory. Credit: Scibelli et al., 2021.

    Using the ARO 12-m telescope, astronomers have investigated a young starless core known as Lynds 1521E (or L1521E). The study resulted in the detection of complex organic molecules in this object. The finding is detailed in a paper April 15 in MNRAS.

    Starless cores are dense, cold regions within interstellar molecular clouds. They represent the earliest observable stage of low-mass star formation. Observations show that even in such cold environments, complex organic molecules can be present. Finding these molecules in starless cores could help us better understand the processes of stellar formation and evolution.

    L1521E is a dynamically and chemically young starless core in the Taurus Molecular Cloud, one of the two known in this cloud. It has a modest central density of around 200,000−300,000 cm−3 and it is assumed that it can only have existed at its present density for less than 100,000 years, which makes it one of the youngest starless cores so far detected and an excellent object to study how complex organic molecules form.

    So a group of astronomers led by Samantha Scibelli of the University of Arizona searched for complex organic molecules in L1521E using the 12-meter telescope of the Arizona Radio Observatory (ARO), with promising results.

    “Molecular line observations were made with the ARO 12m telescope during three separate seasons, two years apart, using two different backend receivers. The first observing shifts between January 12, 2017 and April 27, 2017 with 10 tunings between 84 and 102 GHz (3.6 − 2.9mm),” the researchers explained.

    The observations detected dimethyl ether (CH3OCH3), methyl formate (HCOOCH3), and vinyl cyanide (CH2CHCN). Additionally, the study identified eight transitions of acetaldehyde (CH3CHO) and seven transitions of vinyl cyanide.

    The study confirmed that the estimated chemical age of L1521E is indeed young, as complex organic molecules first peak at about 60,000 years. This is consistent with the carbon monoxide (CO) depletion age of this starless core.

    The astronomers note that the detected abundances of complex organic molecules for L1521E are in general underestimated. This suggests that a desorption mechanism is missing, or the current description of the already considered mechanisms should be revised by further studies.

    All in all, the results obtained by the team seem to suggest that complex organic molecules observed in cold gas formed not only in gas-phase reactions, but also on surfaces of interstellar grains. The new findings could also have implications for future studies of starless cores.

    The detection of a rich COM [complex organic molecules] chemistry in young cold core L1521E presents an interesting challenge for future modeling efforts, requiring some type of unified approach combining cosmic-ray chemistry, reactive desorption and non-diffusive surface reactions,” the astronomers concluded.

    See the full article here .


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

    Stem Education Coalition

    As of 2019, the University of Arizona enrolled 45,918 students in 19 separate colleges/schools, including the UArizona College of Medicine in Tucson and Phoenix and the James E. Rogers College of Law, and is affiliated with two academic medical centers (Banner – University Medical Center Tucson and Banner – University Medical Center Phoenix). UArizona is one of three universities governed by the Arizona Board of Regents. The university is part of the Association of American Universities and is the only member from Arizona, and also part of the Universities Research Association(US). The university is classified among “R1: Doctoral Universities – Very High Research Activity”.

    Known as the Arizona Wildcats (often shortened to “Cats”), the UArizona’s intercollegiate athletic teams are members of the Pac-12 Conference of the NCAA. UArizona athletes have won national titles in several sports, most notably men’s basketball, baseball, and softball. The official colors of the university and its athletic teams are cardinal red and navy blue.

    After the passage of the Morrill Land-Grant Act of 1862, the push for a university in Arizona grew. The Arizona Territory’s “Thieving Thirteenth” Legislature approved the UArizona in 1885 and selected the city of Tucson to receive the appropriation to build the university. Tucson hoped to receive the appropriation for the territory’s mental hospital, which carried a $100,000 allocation instead of the $25,000 allotted to the territory’s only university (Arizona State University(US) was also chartered in 1885, but it was created as Arizona’s normal school, and not a university). Flooding on the Salt River delayed Tucson’s legislators, and by they time they reached Prescott, back-room deals allocating the most desirable territorial institutions had been made. Tucson was largely disappointed with receiving what was viewed as an inferior prize.

    With no parties willing to provide land for the new institution, the citizens of Tucson prepared to return the money to the Territorial Legislature until two gamblers and a saloon keeper decided to donate the land to build the school. Construction of Old Main, the first building on campus, began on October 27, 1887, and classes met for the first time in 1891 with 32 students in Old Main, which is still in use today. Because there were no high schools in Arizona Territory, the university maintained separate preparatory classes for the first 23 years of operation.

    Research

    UArizona is classified among “R1: Doctoral Universities – Very high research activity”. UArizona is the fourth most awarded public university by National Aeronautics and Space Administration(US) for research. UArizona was awarded over $325 million for its Lunar and Planetary Laboratory (LPL) to lead NASA’s 2007–08 mission to Mars to explore the Martian Arctic, and $800 million for its OSIRIS-REx mission, the first in U.S. history to sample an asteroid.

    The LPL’s work in the Cassini spacecraft orbit around Saturn is larger than any other university globally. The UArizona laboratory designed and operated the atmospheric radiation investigations and imaging on the probe. UArizona operates the HiRISE camera, a part of the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter. While using the HiRISE camera in 2011, UArizona alumnus Lujendra Ojha and his team discovered proof of liquid water on the surface of Mars—a discovery confirmed by NASA in 2015. UArizona receives more NASA grants annually than the next nine top NASA/JPL-Caltech(US)-funded universities combined. As of March 2016, the UArizona’s Lunar and Planetary Laboratory is actively involved in ten spacecraft missions: Cassini VIMS; Grail; the HiRISE camera orbiting Mars; the Juno mission orbiting Jupiter; Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO); Maven, which will explore Mars’ upper atmosphere and interactions with the sun; Solar Probe Plus, a historic mission into the Sun’s atmosphere for the first time; Rosetta’s VIRTIS; WISE; and OSIRIS-REx, the first U.S. sample-return mission to a near-earth asteroid, which launched on September 8, 2016.

    UArizona students have been selected as Truman, Rhodes, Goldwater, and Fulbright Scholars. According to The Chronicle of Higher Education, UArizona is among the top 25 producers of Fulbright awards in the U.S.

    UArizona is a member of the Association of Universities for Research in Astronomy(US), a consortium of institutions pursuing research in astronomy. The association operates observatories and telescopes, notably Kitt Peak National Observatory(US) just outside Tucson. Led by Roger Angel, researchers in the Steward Observatory Mirror Lab at UArizona are working in concert to build the world’s most advanced telescope. Known as the Giant Magellan Telescope(CL), it will produce images 10 times sharper than those from the Earth-orbiting Hubble Telescope.

    Giant Magellan Telescope, 21 meters, to be at the NOIRLab(US) National Optical Astronomy Observatory(US) Carnegie Institution for Science’s(US) Las Campanas Observatory(CL), some 115 km (71 mi) north-northeast of La Serena, Chile, over 2,500 m (8,200 ft) high.

    The telescope is set to be completed in 2021. GMT will ultimately cost $1 billion. Researchers from at least nine institutions are working to secure the funding for the project. The telescope will include seven 18-ton mirrors capable of providing clear images of volcanoes and riverbeds on Mars and mountains on the moon at a rate 40 times faster than the world’s current large telescopes. The mirrors of the Giant Magellan Telescope will be built at UArizona and transported to a permanent mountaintop site in the Chilean Andes where the telescope will be constructed.

    Reaching Mars in March 2006, the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter contained the HiRISE camera, with Principal Investigator Alfred McEwen as the lead on the project. This National Aeronautics and Space Administration(US) mission to Mars carrying the UArizona-designed camera is capturing the highest-resolution images of the planet ever seen. The journey of the orbiter was 300 million miles. In August 2007, the UArizona, under the charge of Scientist Peter Smith, led the Phoenix Mars Mission, the first mission completely controlled by a university. Reaching the planet’s surface in May 2008, the mission’s purpose was to improve knowledge of the Martian Arctic. The Arizona Radio Observatory(US), a part of UArizona Department of Astronomy Steward Observatory(US), operates the Submillimeter Telescope on Mount Graham.

    The National Science Foundation(US) funded the iPlant Collaborative in 2008 with a $50 million grant. In 2013, iPlant Collaborative received a $50 million renewal grant. Rebranded in late 2015 as “CyVerse”, the collaborative cloud-based data management platform is moving beyond life sciences to provide cloud-computing access across all scientific disciplines.
    In June 2011, the university announced it would assume full ownership of the Biosphere 2 scientific research facility in Oracle, Arizona, north of Tucson, effective July 1. Biosphere 2 was constructed by private developers (funded mainly by Texas businessman and philanthropist Ed Bass) with its first closed system experiment commencing in 1991. The university had been the official management partner of the facility for research purposes since 2007.

    U Arizona mirror lab-Where else in the world can you find an astronomical observatory mirror lab under a football stadium?

    University of Arizona’s Biosphere 2, located in the Sonoran desert. An entire ecosystem under a glass dome? Visit our campus, just once, and you’ll quickly understand why the UA is a university unlike any other.

     
  • richardmitnick 11:53 am on April 26, 2021 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: "Synthesis of large-area 2D material: Atomic layer pushes surface steps away", , Chemistry, , , , The team uses borazine gas and an iridium substrate., University of Duisburg-Essen [Universität Duisburg-Essen] (DE)   

    From University of Duisburg-Essen [Universität Duisburg-Essen] (DE) via phys.org : “Synthesis of large-area 2D material: Atomic layer pushes surface steps away” 

    From University of Duisburg-Essen [Universität Duisburg-Essen] (DE)

    via

    phys.org

    April 26, 2021

    1
    Studying the kinetics of borophene formation in low energy electron microscopy shows that surface steps are bunched during the borophene formation, resulting in elongated and extended borophene domains with exceptional structural order. Credit: ACS Nano.

    The team led by UDE’s Prof. Michael Horn-von Hoegen aims at producing the thinnest possible layer of boron, so-called borophene, since it promises properties that could enable the construction of two-dimensional transistors. The molecular beam epitaxy used for this purpose until now results in domains that are far too small. For more precise investigations and for use in technology, however, larger areas are needed.

    With their newly developed method of segregation-enhanced epitaxy, the team uses borazine gas and an iridium substrate. The essential components of borazine are boron and nitrogen atoms that are arranged in a hexagonal honeycomb structure. By heating the iridium sample in a borazine-containing environment, the boron molecules attach themselves to the surface, followed by the evaporation of the nitrogen. Above 1100°C, the boron moves into the iridium, because at such high temperatures the iridium can absorb additional boron atoms like a sponge—up to a quarter of its own volume. When the system has cooled down, borophene—the single-atom layer of boron—precipitates on the surface of the iridium crystal. In the process, it does not grow beyond surface steps of the underlying crystal but pushes them away in all directions to form areas as large as possible.

    Next Step: Detachment

    Experts from the Interdisciplinary Center for Analytics on the Nanoscale (ICAN), led by Professor Frank-J. Meyer zu Heringdorf, were able to prove beyond doubt that the areas are exclusively composed of boron atoms and that the nitrogen has disappeared from the sample.

    In a next step, the researchers want to investigate how the borophene can be detached from the iridium substrate.

    Science paper:
    Segregation-Enhanced Epitaxy of Borophene on Ir(111) by Thermal Decomposition of Borazine
    ACS Nano

    See the full article here.

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

    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

    Stem Education Coalition

    The University of Duisburg-Essen [Universität Duisburg-Essen] is a public research university in Duisburg and Essen, North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany and a member of the newly founded University Alliance Metropolis Ruhr. It was founded in 1654 and re-established on 1 January 2003, as a merger of the Gerhard Mercator University of Duisburg and the University of Essen.

    With its 12 departments and around 40,000 students, the University of Duisburg-Essen is among the 10 largest German universities. Since 2014, research income has risen by 150 percent. Natural science and engineering are ranked within the top 10 in Germany, and the humanities are formed in the top 20 to 30. Especially, the physics field is ranked in the top 1 in Germany. The University is ranked as one of the 200 best universities in the world.

    Main faculties

    The University of Duisburg-Essen today has twelve faculties, listed below:

    Faculty of Art and Design
    Faculty of Biology and Geography
    Faculty of Business Administration and Economics
    Mercator School of Management – Faculty of Business Administration
    Faculty of Chemistry
    Faculty of Engineering
    Department of Building sciences
    Department of Electrical engineering and Information technology
    Department of Computer sciences and Applied Cognitive Sciences
    Department of Mechanical and Process engineering
    Department of Transport Systems and Logistics
    Faculty of Humanities
    Faculty of Mathematics
    Faculty of Medicine and University Hospital Essen
    Faculty of Social sciences
    Institute for Political Sciences
    NRW School of Governance
    Institute for Educational sciences
    Institute for Development and Peace (INEF – Institut für Entwicklung und Frieden)
    Institute for Sociology
    Faculty of Physics

    Central scientific institutes

    Centre for Nanointegration Duisburg-Essen (CeNIDE) (German)
    German-French Institute for Automation and Robotics (IAR)
    Erwin L. Hahn Institute for Magnetic Resonance Imaging
    Essen College of Gender Studies (EKfG)
    Institute for Experimental Mathematics (IEM)
    Institute for Advanced Study in the Humanities
    Institute of East Asian Studies (IN-EAST)
    Institute for Labor/ Labour and Qualification (IAQ)
    Interdisciplinary center for analytics on the nanoscale (ICAN)[13]
    Centre for Logistics and Transport (ZLV)
    Centre for Medical Biotechnology (ZMB)
    Centre for Water and Environmental Research (ZMU)
    Centre for empirical research in education (ZeB)

    The NRW School of Governance

    The NRW School of Governance is a central institution within the Institute for Political science and was founded in 2006 under the direction of Karl-Rudolf Korte.[14]

    It aims, through research and teaching, to promote the scientifically sound understanding of political processes (in North Rhine-Westphalia).

    It does so by educating and training students in three main programs:

    Masters program: “Political management, Public policy and Public administration”
    Part-time masters program: “Public Policy”
    Doctoral School: Scholarship and Excellence Programs at the Department of Political Science

    and also through the use of various other education modules.
    Associated institutes

    paluno, The Ruhr Institute for Software Technology
    German Textile Research Centre North-west (DTNW)
    Development Centre for Ship Technology and Transport Systems (DST)
    Asia-Pacific Economic Research Institute (FIP)
    Institute of Energy and Environmental Technology (IUTA)
    Institute for Labor/ Labour and Qualification (IAQ)
    Institute of Mobile and Satellite Communication Technology (IMST)
    Institute for Prevention and Health Promotion (IPG)
    Institute of Science and Ethics (IWE)
    IWW Water Centre (IWW)
    Rhine-Ruhr Institute for Social Research and Political Consulting (RISP)
    Salomon Ludwig Steinheim Institute for German-Jewish History (StI)
    Centre for Fuel Cell Technology (ZBT)

     
  • richardmitnick 9:39 pm on April 22, 2021 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: "‘Like a metronome’- stalagmite growth found to be surprisingly constant", , Chemistry, , ,   

    From University of New South Wales (AU) : “‘Like a metronome’- stalagmite growth found to be surprisingly constant” 

    U NSW bloc

    From University of New South Wales (AU)

    23 Apr 2021
    Lachlan Gilbert

    To look inside a stalagmite is to look back in time tens of thousands of years to see how the Earth’s climate patterns have shaped the world we live in today.

    1
    Stalagmites on average have grown one metre over the last 11,000 years. These two are in Yonderup Cave, Yanchep, Western Australia. Photo: Andy Baker/UNSW.

    Like tree rings, cave stalagmites are a portal to a prehistoric Earth, and now scientists from UNSW Sydney have found they are consistently reliable as time trackers the world over.

    In a global investigation into the growth properties of stalagmites distributed across the world, the scientists found that while growth fluctuations due to climate events are evident in the shorter period, stalagmite growth over the longer periods – tens of thousands of years – are surprisingly linear.

    “Our new global analysis shows that we can consider stalagmite growth as being like a metronome and very constant over hundreds and thousands of years,” says Professor Andy Baker, UNSW School of Biological, Earth and Environmental Sciences.

    “Sometimes extreme weather events can disturb this metronome for a few years, making the growth a bit faster or slower, and we can use that to explore climate variations.

    “But in general, stalagmite growth is predictable and it is this unique property that makes them so valuable to researchers – you can tell the time in the past by using the very regular growth rings that are widely present across the globe.”

    Stalagmites, which grow from cave floors as water drips from stalactites at the cave ceiling, are the result of chemicals carried by the water in solution that turns to solid form in the cave. They are built by layers of calcite crystals, which may be perfectly stacked one on top of the other if nothing disturbs the growth.

    “But in reality, there are many disturbances in caves,” says Prof. Baker.

    “Tiny particles from the soil above and trace elements of chemicals can disturb the stacking to create pores between growing crystals or even slightly change their shape in the morphology – or fabric – of the growing crystals.”

    Steady growth

    Scientists have used stalagmites as gauges of different parts of the planet’s conditions over millennia for some time, but whether all stalagmites grew the same way in caves of different climatic conditions remained unknown – until now.

    2
    An X‐ray fluorescence map of a cross section of a stalagmite from the Cook Islands. Each dark blue band marks the onset of the wet season. Image: Andrea Borsato, Silvia Frisia/Australian Synchrotron, Victoria

    “Before this analysis, we did not have evidence that stalagmites are only found in regions with seasonal precipitation, nor was it obvious that the stalagmite growth rate is relatively unchanging over time and that this is a ubiquitous property,” Prof. Baker says.

    “What we have learned is that for an environmental signal to be preserved in stalagmite laminae thickness variations, a large perturbation to weather patterns is required – such as prolonged wet or dry years associated El Niño or La Niña.

    “But in regions where there is a seasonality of precipitation, the long-term constant growth rate of laminated stalagmites provides an unparalleled capacity for precise chronology building.”

    The researchers found that between different locations around the world, warmer climates tended towards more stalagmite growth over time, while colder climates saw growth slowed.

    But the research showed that the majority of stalagmite samples, irrespective of location, followed a linear growth over the timescale of tens of thousands of years.

    “The ‘global average stalagmite’ increased in height by about one metre over the last 11,000 years,” Prof. Baker says.

    Snapshot of the past

    Analysing the way the laminae are organised can help scientists read environmental conditions and weather events of the distant past. In seasonal climates, these changes in the fabric can occur at regular intervals, producing layers they call ‘annually laminated stalagmites’. But when extreme weather events occur, as happens with the El Niño/La Niña Southern Oscillation phenomenon involving mega-droughts, bushfires and flooding events, variations of thicknesses of stalagmite laminae can provide vital clues.

    “We can use other chemical evidence in stalagmites to obtain records of past environmental change, and know exactly when this happened,” says Prof. Baker.

    “For example, at UNSW we are reconstructing fire histories from cave stalagmites for the first time. Working in Western Australia, and using stalagmites that have these continuous laminae and regular growth, we can identify how often fires have occurred in the past from the traces left behind from the soluble part of bushfire ash that gets transported to the stalagmite by drip water.”

    The researchers say that they still have limited understanding on how crystals grow within each lamina, so future studies could investigate the internal structure of the laminae and the crystal growth mechanisms involved.

    The analysis was published in the April issue of Reviews of Geophysics journal.

    See the full article here .


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

    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

    Stem Education Coalition

    U NSW Campus

    Welcome to UNSW Australia (AU) (The University of New South Wales), one of Australia’s leading research and teaching universities. At UNSW, we take pride in the broad range and high quality of our teaching programs. Our teaching gains strength and currency from our research activities, strong industry links and our international nature; UNSW has a strong regional and global engagement.

    In developing new ideas and promoting lasting knowledge we are creating an academic environment where outstanding students and scholars from around the world can be inspired to excel in their programs of study and research. Partnerships with both local and global communities allow UNSW to share knowledge, debate and research outcomes. UNSW’s public events include concert performances, open days and public forums on issues such as the environment, healthcare and global politics. We encourage you to explore the UNSW website so you can find out more about what we do.

     
  • richardmitnick 9:16 pm on April 20, 2021 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: "Looking at the stars or falling by the wayside? How astronomy is failing female scientists", , , , , , Chemistry, , , ,   

    From phys.org : “Looking at the stars or falling by the wayside? How astronomy and all of the Physical Sciences are failing female scientists” 

    From phys.org

    April 20, 2021
    Lisa Kewley

    1
    Women astronomers get disproportionately less telescope time than their male colleagues. Credit: Wikimedia Commons, CC BY-SA.

    “It will take until at least 2080 before women make up just one-third of Australia’s professional astronomers, unless there is a significant boost to how we nurture female researchers’ careers.

    Over the past decade, astronomy has been rightly recognized as leading the push towards gender equity in the sciences. But my new modeling, published today in Nature Astronomy, shows it is not working fast enough.

    The Australian Academy of Science’s decadal plan for astronomy in Australia proposes women should comprise one-third of the senior workforce by 2025.

    It’s a worthy, if modest, target. However, with new data from the academy’s Science in Australia Gender Equity (SAGE) program, I have modeled the effects of current hiring rates and practices and arrived at a depressing, if perhaps not surprising, conclusion. Without a change to the current mechanisms, it will take at least 60 years to reach that 30% level.

    However, the modeling also suggests that the introduction of ambitious, affirmative hiring programs aimed at recruiting and retaining talented women astronomers could see the target reached in just over a decade—and then growing to 50% in a quarter of a century.

    How did we get here?

    Before looking at how that might be done, it’s worth examining how the gender imbalance in physics arose in the first place. To put it bluntly: how did we get to a situation in which 40% of astronomy Ph.D.s are awarded to women, yet they occupy fewer than 20% of senior positions?

    On a broad level, the answer is simple: my analysis shows women depart astronomy at two to three times the rate of men. In Australia, from postdoc status to assistant professor level, 62% of women leave the field, compared with just 17% of men. Between assistant professor and full professor level, 47% of women leave; the male departure rate is about half that. Women’s departure rates are similar in US astronomy “The Leaky Pipeline for Postdocs: A study of the time between receiving a PhD and securing a faculty job for male and female astronomers”.

    The next question is: why?

    Many women leave out of sheer disillusionment. Women in physics and astronomy say their careers progress more slowly than those of male colleagues, and that the culture is not welcoming.

    They receive fewer career resources and opportunities. Randomized double blind trials and broad research studies in astronomy and across the sciences show implicit bias in astronomy, which means more men are published, cited, invited to speak at conferences, and given telescope time.

    It’s hard to build a solid research-based body of work when one’s access to tools and recognition is disproportionately limited.

    The loyalty problem

    There is another factor that sometimes contributes to the loss of women astronomers: loyalty. In situations where a woman’s male partner is offered a new job in another town or city, the woman more frequently gives up her work to facilitate the move.

    Encouraging universities or research institutes to help partners find suitable work nearby is thus one of the strategies I (and others) have suggested to help recruit women astrophysicists.

    But the bigger task at hand requires institutions to identify, tackle and overcome inherent bias—a legacy of a conservative academic tradition that, research shows, is weighted towards men.

    A key mechanism to achieve this was introduced in 2014 by the Astronomical Society of Australia. It devised a voluntary rating and assessment system known as the Pleiades Awards, which rewards institutions for taking concrete actions to advance the careers of women and close the gender gap.

    Initiatives include longer-term postdoctoral positions with part-time options, support for returning to astronomy research after career breaks, increasing the fraction of permanent positions relative to fixed-term contracts, offering women-only permanent positions, recruitment of women directly to professorial levels, and mentoring of women for promotion to the highest levels.

    Most if not all Australian organizations that employ astronomers have signed up to the Pleiades Awards, and are showing genuine commitment to change.

    So why is progress still so slow?

    Seven years on, we would expect to have seen an increase in women recruited to, and retained in, senior positions.

    And we are, but the effect is far from uniform. My own organization, the ARC Center of Excellence in All-Sky Astrophysics in 3 Dimensions (ASTRO 3D), is on track for a 50:50 women-to-men ratio working at senior levels by the end of this year.

    The University of Sydney School of Physics – Faculty of Science (AU) has made nine senior appointments over the past three years, seven of them women.

    But these examples are outliers. At many institutions, inequitable hiring ratios and high departure rates persist despite a large pool of women astronomers at postdoc levels and the positive encouragement of the Pleiades Awards.

    Using these results and my new workforce models, I have shown current targets of 33% or 50% of women at all levels is unattainable if the status quo remains.

    How to move forward

    I propose a raft of affirmative measures to increase the presence of women at all senior levels in Australian astronomy—and keep them there.

    These include creating multiple women-only roles, creating prestigious senior positions for women, and hiring into multiple positions for men and women to avoid perceptions of tokenism. Improved workplace flexibility is crucial to allowing female researchers to develop their careers while balancing other responsibilities.

    Australia is far from unique when it comes to dealing with gender disparities in astronomy. Broadly similar situations persist in China, the United States and Europe. An April 2019 paper [Nature Astronomy] outlined similar discrimination experienced by women astronomers in Europe.

    Australia, however, is well placed to play a leading role in correcting the imbalance. With the right action, it wouldn’t take long to make our approach to gender equity as world-leading as our research.”

    See the full article here .

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

    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

    Stem Education Coalition

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  • richardmitnick 9:14 pm on April 16, 2021 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: "Study sheds light on stellar origin of iron nuclide", , , Chemistry, , , , Radioactive nuclide 60Fe plays an essential role in nuclear astrophysical studies., The characteristic gamma lines associated with the decay of 60Fe have been detected by space gamma-ray detectors., The stellar beta-decay rate of 59Fe is among the greatest uncertainties in nuclear data inputs.   

    From Chinese Academy of Sciences [中国科学院](CN) via phys.org : “Study sheds light on stellar origin of iron nuclide” 

    From Chinese Academy of Sciences [中国科学院](CN)

    via

    phys.org

    April 16, 2021

    1
    60Fe nucleosynthesis in massive stars. Credit: LI Yutian.

    Researchers from the Institute of Modern Physics (IMP) of the Chinese Academy of Sciences and their collaborators have recently made great progress in the study of the stellar beta-decay rate of 59Fe, which constitutes an important step towards understanding 60Fe nucleosynthesis in massive stars. The results were published in Physical Review Letters on April 12.

    Radioactive nuclide 60Fe plays an essential role in nuclear astrophysical studies. It is synthesized in massive stars by successive neutron captures on a stable nucleus of 58Fe and, during the late stages of stellar evolution, ejected into space via a core-collapse supernova.

    The characteristic gamma lines associated with the decay of 60Fe have been detected by space gamma-ray detectors. By comparing the 60Fe gamma-ray flux to that from 26Al, which shares a similar origin as 60Fe, researchers should be able to obtain important information on nucleosynthesis and stellar models. However, the observed gamma-ray flux ratio 26Al/60Fe does not match theoretical predictions due to uncertainties in both stellar models and nuclear data inputs.

    The stellar beta-decay rate of 59Fe is among the greatest uncertainties in nuclear data inputs. During the nucleosynthesis of 60Fe in massive stars, 59Fe can either capture a neutron to produce 60Fe or beta decay to 59Co. Therefore, the stellar beta-decay rate of 59Fe is critical to the yield of 60Fe.

    2
    60Fe yield in 18 solar mass star. Blue lines (LMP) are calculations based on previous decay rate, red lines (present work) are those based on the new measurement. Credit: Physical Review Letters.

    Although the decay rate of 59Fe has been accurately measured in laboratories, its decay rate may be significantly enhanced in stellar environments due to contributions from its excited states. However, direct measurement of the beta-decay rate from excited states is very challenging since one has to create a high-temperature environment as in stars to keep the 59Fe nuclei in their excited states.

    To address this problem, researchers at IMP proposed a new method for measuring the stellar beta-decay rate of 59Fe. “The nuclear charge-exchange reaction is an indirect measurement alternative, which provides key nuclear structure information that can determine those decay rates.” said Gao Bingshui, a researcher at IMP.

    The researchers carried out their experiment at the Coupled Cyclotron Facility at Michigan State University (US). In the experiment, a secondary triton beam produced by the cyclotrons was used to bombard a 59Co target. Then the reaction products, 3He particles and gamma rays, were detected by the S800 spectrometer and GRETINA gamma-ray detection array.

    GRETINA gamma-ray detector

    Using this information, the beta-decay rates from the 59Fe excited states were determined. This measurement thus eliminated one of the major nuclear uncertainties in predicting the yield of 60Fe.

    By comparing stellar model calculations using the new decay rate data with previous calculations, the researchers found that, for an 18 solar mass star, the yield of 60Fe is 40% less when using the new data. The result points to a reduced tension in the discrepancy in 26Al/60Fe ratios between theoretical predictions and observations.

    “It is an important step towards understanding 60Fe nucleosynthesis in massive stars and it will provide a more solid basis for future astrophysical simulations,” said Li Kuoang, the collaborator of Gao.

    See the full article here .

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

    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

    Stem Education Coalition

    The Chinese Academy of Sciences [中国科学院](CN) is the national academy for the natural sciences of the People’s Republic of China [中华人民共和国Zhōnghuá rénmín gònghéguó]. It has historical origins in the Academia Sinica during the Republican era and was formerly also known by that name. Collectively known as the “Two Academies (两院)” along with the Chinese Academy of Engineering, it functions as the national scientific think tank and academic governing body, providing advisory and appraisal services on issues stemming from the national economy, social development, and science and technology progress. It is headquartered in Xicheng District, Beijing with branch institutes all over mainland China. It has also created hundreds of commercial enterprises, Lenovo being one of the most famous.

    It is the world’s largest research organisation, comprising around 60,000 researchers working in 114 institutes, and has been consistently ranked among the top research organisations around the world.

    The Chinese Academy of Sciences has been consistently ranked the No. 1 research institute in the world by Nature Index since the list’s inception in 2016 by Nature Research.

    Since its founding, CAS has fulfilled multiple roles — as a national team and a locomotive driving national technological innovation, a pioneer in supporting nationwide S&T development, a think tank delivering S&T advice and a community for training young S&T talent.

    Now, as it responds to a nationwide call to put innovation at the heart of China’s development, CAS has further defined its development strategy by emphasizing greater reliance on democratic management, openness and talent in the promotion of innovative research. With the adoption of its “Innovation 2020” programme in 2011, the academy has committed to delivering breakthrough science and technology, higher caliber talent and superior scientific advice. As part of the programme, CAS has also requested that each of its institutes define its “strategic niche” — based on an overall analysis of the scientific progress and trends in their own fields both in China and abroad — in order to deploy resources more efficiently and innovate more collectively.

    As it builds on its proud record, CAS aims for a bright future as one of the world’s top S&T research and development organizations.

     
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