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  • richardmitnick 9:59 am on October 31, 2022 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: "Rydberg wave packet", "Scientists Just Discovered an Entirely New Way of Measuring Time", "The quantum fog", , Down at the quantum scale of buzzing electrons however 'then' can't always be anticipated. Worse still 'now' often blurs into a haze of uncertainty., Inducing atoms into Rydberg states is a handy trick for engineers not least when it comes to designing novel components for quantum computers., It was these very 'fingerprints' of time that the physicists behind this latest set of experiments set out to test., , Marking the passage of time in a world of ticking clocks and swinging pendulums is a simple case of counting the seconds between 'then' and 'now'., , , , Science Alert, Technicians could observe a timestamp for events as fleeting as just 1.7 trillionths of a second., Uppsala University [Uppsala Universitet](SE)   

    From Uppsala University [Uppsala Universitet](SE) Via “Science Alert (AU)” : “Scientists Just Discovered an Entirely New Way of Measuring Time” 

    From Uppsala University [Uppsala Universitet](SE)



    “Science Alert (AU)”

    Mike McRae

    (in-future/Getty Images)

    Marking the passage of time in a world of ticking clocks and swinging pendulums is a simple case of counting the seconds between ‘then’ and ‘now’.

    Down at the quantum scale of buzzing electrons, however, ‘then’ can’t always be anticipated. Worse still, ‘now’ often blurs into a haze of uncertainty. A stopwatch simply isn’t going to cut it for some scenarios.

    A potential solution could be found in the very shape of “the quantum fog” itself, according to researchers from Uppsala University in Sweden.

    Their experiments on the wave-like nature of something called a “Rydberg state” have revealed a novel way to measure time that doesn’t require a precise starting point.

    “Rydberg” atoms are the over-inflated balloons of the particle kingdom. Puffed-up with lasers instead of air, these atoms contain electrons in extremely high energy states, orbiting far from the nucleus.

    Of course, not every pump of a laser needs to puff an atom up to cartoonish proportions. In fact, lasers are routinely used to tickle electrons into higher energy states for a variety of uses.

    In some applications, a second laser can be used to monitor the changes in the electron’s position, including the passing of time. These ‘pump-probe’ techniques can be used to measure the speed of certain ultrafast electronics, for instance.

    Inducing atoms into “Rydberg states” is a handy trick for engineers, not least when it comes to designing novel components for quantum computers. Needless to say, physicists have amassed a significant amount of information about the way electrons move about when nudged into a “Rydberg state”.

    Being quantum animals, though, their movements are less like beads sliding about on a tiny abacus, and more like an evening at the roulette table, where every roll and jump of the ball is squeezed into a single game of chance.

    The mathematical rule book behind this wild game of “Rydberg” electron roulette is referred to as a “Rydberg wave packet”.

    Just like actual waves in a pond, having more than one ‘Rydberg wave packet” rippling about in a space creates interference, resulting in unique patterns of ripples. Throw enough “Rydberg wave packets” into the same atomic pond, and those unique patterns will each represent the distinct time it takes for the wave packets to evolve in accordance with one another.

    It was these very ‘fingerprints’ of time that the physicists behind this latest set of experiments set out to test, showing they were consistent and reliable enough to serve as a form of “quantum timestamping”.

    Their research involved measuring the results of laser-excited helium atoms and matching their findings with theoretical predictions to show how their signature results could stand in for a duration of time.

    “If you’re using a counter, you have to define zero. You start counting at some point,” physicist Marta Berholts from the University of Uppsala in Sweden, who led the team, explained to New Scientist.

    “The benefit of this is that you don’t have to start the clock – you just look at the interference structure and say ‘okay, it’s been 4 nanoseconds.'”

    A guide book of evolving Rydberg wave packets could be used in combination with other forms of pump-probe spectroscopy that measure events on a tiny scale, when now and then are less clear, or simply too inconvenient to measure.

    Importantly, none of the fingerprints require a then and now to serve as a starting and stopping point for time. It’d be like measuring an unknown sprinter’s race against a number of competitors running at set speeds.

    By looking for the signature of interfering “Rydberg states” amid a sample of pump-probe atoms, technicians could observe a timestamp for events as fleeting as just 1.7 trillionths of a second.

    Future quantum watch experiments could replace the helium with other atoms, or even use laser pulse of different energies, to broaden the guide book of timestamps to suit a broader range of conditions.

    This research was published in Physical Review Research.

    See the full article here.


    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

    Stem Education Coalition

    Uppsala University [Uppsala Universitet](SE) is a public research university in Uppsala, Sweden. Founded in 1477, it is the oldest university in Sweden and the Nordic countries still in operation.

    The university rose to significance during the rise of Sweden as a great power at the end of the 16th century and was then given a relative financial stability with a large donation from King Gustavus Adolphus in the early 17th century. Uppsala also has an important historical place in Swedish national culture, identity and for the Swedish establishment: in historiography, literature, politics, and music. Many aspects of Swedish academic culture in general, such as the white student cap, originated in Uppsala. It shares some peculiarities, such as the student nation system, with The Lund University [Lunds universitet](SE) and The University of Helsinki [Helsingin yliopisto](FI).

    Uppsala belongs to the Coimbra Group of European universities and to the Guild of European Research-Intensive Universities. It has ranked among the world’s 100 best universities in several international rankings.

    The university has nine faculties distributed over three disciplinary domains: Humanities and Social Sciences, Medicine and Pharmacy, and Science and Technology. As of 2020, it had approximately 52,000 registered students at the undergraduate and postgraduate levels, and 2,200 PhD students.

    Architecturally, Uppsala University has traditionally had a strong presence in Fjärdingen, the neighbourhood around the cathedral on the western side of the River Fyris. Despite some contemporary building developments further away from the centre, Uppsala’s historic centre continues to be dominated by the presence of the university.

    Central administration

    The governing board of the university is the consistory, with representatives of the faculties as well as members representing the students and non-academic employees (three professors and three students), and ten university outsiders appointed by the Swedish government. All these members in the consistory have the right to vote.

    The unions active at the university also have three representatives in the consistory; these members have the right to speak but not any right to vote.

    Since the last reorganization in 1999 the university has a separate body called the academic senate, which is a wider, but mostly advisory group representing teaching staff / researchers and students. The executive head of the university is the rector magnificus, whose deputy is the prorector. There are (also since 1999) three vice rectors, each heading one of the three “disciplinary domains” (Arts and Social Sciences, Medicine and Pharmacy, and Science and Technology) into which the nine faculties are divided. Each faculty has a faculty board and is headed by a dean (dekanus). The position of dean is held part-time by a professor of the faculty.

    Uppsala University is one of the most prominent universities in Sweden and is commonly ranked within the top 100 in the world by several ranking agencies. For example, for over ten years, it has been ranked among the 80 best universities in the world the Academic Ranking of World Universities. Moreover, the QS World University Rankings by Subject for 2021 places Uppsala University in the top 50 in the following subjects: Pharmacy & Pharmacology (37th), Theology, Divinity and Religious studies (42nd), Biological Sciences (47th), Development Studies (48th), Archaeology (48th), Environmental Sciences (49th) and Geography (49th). Additionally, the Times Higher subject rankings for 2021 places Uppsala as the 51st most international university in the world.

    International cooperation

    Uppsala University has signed student exchange agreements with about 400 universities across all parts of the world. It takes part in the Erasmus programme and the Nordplus programme. It also benefits from its membership of the Coimbra Group of universities.

    In May 2010 Uppsala joined the Matariki Network of Universities together with Dartmouth College, Durham University (UK), Queen’s University (CA), University of Otago (NZ), The Eberhard Karl University of Tübingen [Eberhard Karls Universität Tübingen](DE), and University of Western Australia (AU).

  • richardmitnick 8:35 am on September 6, 2022 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: "Study Finds'Forever Chemicals' Spread Among Us by Moving Underground", , , , Science Alert, The Nanjing University of Information Science and Technology   

    From The Nanjing University of Information Science and Technology Via “Science Alert (AU)” : “Study Finds ‘Forever Chemicals’ Spread Among Us by Moving Underground” 

    From The Nanjing University of Information Science and Technology



    “Science Alert (AU)”

    Clare Watson

    (pixelfusion3d/E+/Getty Images)

    Scientists reviewing over a decade’s worth of studies on the fate of notorious pollutants – dubbed ‘forever chemicals’ for the way they persist in waterways, soils, and sea ice – have unearthed where environmental hotspots of contamination lie.
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    The review, led by hydrologist Xueyan Lyu of Nanjing University of Information Science and Technology, focused specifically on the Earth’s crust: the soil it’s made of and the waters that percolate through it.

    Much work has been done to detect ‘forever chemicals’ in contaminated water sources and elucidate the impacts on human health, which arise even at very low levels of exposure, prompting health and environmental authorities to revise their safety guidelines.

    PFASs (per- and polyfluoroalkyls) – synthetic chemicals highly effective as non-stick and waterproofing agents – have been in use since the 1950s. Since the early 2000s, these compounds have been widely detected in global groundwater.

    But grasping where and how much PFAS substances accumulate beneath Earth’s surface is an ongoing challenge – especially when new PFAS are being manufactured to replace phased-out, first-generation compounds.

    Groundwater and subsurface soil layers may be hard to sample and tricky to remediate more so than snaking rivers and waterways, but by no means should the problem be out of sight, out of mind. What goes down underground comes back around.

    Studies have shown how PFAS substances have leached out of landfill, chemical plants and military sites, and into groundwater systems, which supply drinking water to millions of people who tap into aquifers and boreholes.

    As rainwater soaks into soils and seeps into cracks between rocks, the water dissolves and carries with it all sorts of minerals, nutrients and pollutants. The point where water pools in permanently saturated sediments and rocks is called the water table; below this is groundwater that runs ever so slowly through deep earthen layers.

    People can get exposed to PFAS substances in other ways – in food crops, firefighting foams and cosmetics – but water supplies are one of the most pervasive routes.

    Amalgamating studies published over 12 years (2010–2022) on the fate and transport of PFAS in subsurface environments from Sweden to Australia, Lyu and colleagues identified the portion of soil above the water table as a hotspot of PFAS accumulation.

    Their work looked at how the chemical properties of PFAS substances – which vary in length, molecular weight and polarity – and geological factors such as soil and water chemistry interact to influence the transport and retention of these pollutants in various subsurface layers.

    It builds on past analyses by incorporating those newer PFAS chemicals that older studies had not been able to consider.

    Of the PFAS studied, those with long carbon chains were retained in soils, whereas more mobile, shorter PFAS molecules were able to rapidly infiltrate groundwater. Negatively charged PFAS were also most likely to move through soil and contaminate the groundwater.

    Understanding the fate and transport of these synthetic chemicals in subsurface environments is “pivotal to assess PFAS-related risks as well as develop effective remedial strategies for contaminated site cleanup,” Lyu and colleagues write.

    Alarmingly, although perhaps not surprisingly, the review found only just a handful of PFAS chemicals have been studied, even though upwards of 12,000 PFAS substances have been singled out by the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

    So much more work needs to be done to connect the dots between where forever chemicals enter, flow through and accumulate in the environment.

    In particular, the fate of soilborne PFAS chemicals when exposed to thermal processes such as wildfires has thus far “received little attention or been overlooked altogether,” Lyu and colleagues note.

    Remediation of contaminated sites is costly but essential. The stakes are dangerously high, with chemical manufacturers pushing them higher still with each new PFAS substance they make.

    “The rate at which these pollutants are appearing in the environment far exceeds the capacity of governments to assess global and regional risks, let alone control any potential problems,” ecotoxicologist Bethanie Carney Almroth from the University of Gothenburg said earlier this year when warning we’ve already breached the safe planetary limit of synthetic chemicals.

    Encouragingly, scientists have made progress not only in developing methods to filter PFAS substances out of water sources but also in figuring out a simple way to degrade them into a few innocuous by-products.

    But health concerns and environmental harms will undoubtedly linger until we identify, trace, remove and dispose of every last ounce of these persistent pollutants.

    The study was published in Reviews of Geophysics.

    See the full article here.


    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

    Stem Education Coalition

    The Nanjing University of Information Science and Technology is an elite Chinese state Double First Class University Plan university approved by the Ministry of Education of China, located in northern part of Nanjing city, China. It is well known for meteorology research and education. In 2021, the university was among the world’s top 500 universities, according to QS World University Rankings, but was dropped out in 2022. Also, in 2021 it was among top 800 universities, according to Times Higher Education World University Rankings, but fell down to the top 1000 universities category in 2022. Nature Index identified it as one of the top 50 universities of China in Earth and Environmental Sciences.

    The Nanjing University of Information Science and Technology was formerly the Meteorology College of Nanjing University, was established in 1960 by The China Meteorological Administration [中国气象局](CN), then changed the name into Nanjing Institute of Meteorology in May, 1963. NUIST is the oldest institution of higher learning of meteorology science in China.

    The administration of Nanjing University of Information Science and Technology was handed over from China Meteorological Administration to Jiangsu province in February, 2000. Its present name of Nanjing University of Information Science and Technology was adopted in May, 2004 with authorization by Jiangsu Government and the Ministry of Education of PRC.

    Nanjing University of Information Science and Technology offers Associate, Bachelor, Master and Doctorate degree programs in areas including Atmospheric Science, Environmental Science, Engineering, management, literature, economics, laws and agriculture. It is a Chinese Ministry of Education Double First Class Discipline University, with Double First Class status in certain disciplines. Before 2004 some students were free of tuition if they agreed to work for China Meteorological Administration when entering the school and they will start to work for CMA by the fourth year of school while possible getting credentials as well.

    At Autumn 2013 more than 200 foreign students from 43 countries were studying at Nanjing University of Information Science and Technology.

    Colleges and departments

    Binjiang College
    College of Adult Education
    College of English Department
    Technical College for Professional Training
    Reading Academy
    School of Business
    Yue Jiang Academy
    Foreign Languages Department
    College of International Education – CIE (for foreign students)
    Department of Atmospheric Science
    Department of Mathematics and Statistics
    Department of Applied Meteorological Science
    Department of Physics and Optoelectronic Engineering
    Department of Computer Science and Technology
    Department of Electronic Engineering
    Department of Law
    Department of Public Administration
    Department of Environmental Science and Engineering
    Department of Economics and Trade
    Department of Spatial Information Science
    Department of Information Management
    Department of Information and Communications Technologies
    Department of Chinese Language and Literature
    Department of Resource, Environment and City-rural Planning

    External Partnership

    The school has the scholarships from Chinese government, Hanban, the Jiangsu province to recruit students. In 2009, the school was founded the “Confucius class” in Bahamas, and it became the fourth Confucius class that Jiangsu Province has found in overseas universities, in 2011, “Confucius class” successfully upgraded to “Confucius Institute”. The school has a “World Meteorological Organization Regional Training Center”, which has trained more than 1,600 meteorological technicians and managers for 134 countries and regions, and successfully hosted the Tenth World Meteorological Organization Conference of Education and Training and the third session of ” quantitative precipitation estimation and forecasting ” international conference . In 2010, the World Meteorological Organization Executive Council session on 62 certificates in recognition of the important contribution of the school to make the international meteorological training. In 2015, the Nanjing University of Information Science and Technology-Reading University (UK) Academy was jointly established, offering courses in pure sciences and social sciences.

  • richardmitnick 7:31 am on August 28, 2022 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: "Webb Has Snapped an Almost Perfect Einstein Ring 12 Billion Light-Years Away", , , , Science Alert, , The galaxy in question is called SPT-S J041839-4751.8.   

    From The NASA/ESA/CSA James Webb Space Telescope Via “Science Alert (AU)” : “Webb Has Snapped an Almost Perfect Einstein Ring 12 Billion Light-Years Away” 

    NASA Webb Header

    National Aeronautics Space Agency/European Space Agency [La Agencia Espacial Europea] [Agence spatiale européenne][Europäische Weltraumorganisation](EU)/ Canadian Space Agency [Agence Spatiale Canadienne](CA) James Webb Infrared Space Telescope annotated, finally launched December 25, 2021, ten years late.

    From The NASA/ESA/CSA James Webb Space Telescope



    “Science Alert (AU)”

    Fiona MacDonald

    Colorized image of a distant Einstein ring. (JWST/MAST; Spaceguy44/Reddit)

    Since the first James Webb Space Telescope images were released in July, our feeds have been flooded with mind-bogglingly gorgeous photos of space – from insanely detailed images of Jupiter to the most distant known star.

    Now, Webb has done it again, this time capturing an almost perfect Einstein ring roughly 12 billion light-years away. And we can’t stop staring.

    You can see the colorized image, which was shared by astronomy grad student Spaceguy44 on Reddit, below.

    An Einstein ring occurs when a distant galaxy has been magnified and wrapped into an almost-perfect ring by a massive galaxy in front of it.

    The galaxy in question is called SPT-S J041839-4751.8 and it’s a whopping 12 billion light-years away.

    Here’s a more distant view of it, also processed by Spaceguy44:

    Galaxy SPT-S J041839-4751.8. (JWST/MAST; Spaceguy44/Reddit)

    According to Spaceguy44, we wouldn’t be able to see this galaxy at all if it wasn’t for the Einstein ring.

    And the presence of Einstein rings, in addition to looking beautiful, allows us to study these otherwise almost impossible to see galaxies.

    This process is known as gravitational lensing, and it’s an effect predicted by Einstein – hence the name.

    The effect only happens when the distant galaxy, the closer magnifying galaxy, and the observer (in this case the Webb space telescope) line up.

    If you want to try it for yourself, Spaceguy44 says that the stem and base of a wine glass create a similar effect. Try doing it with a page of a book and seeing the word zoomed in.

    Although catching sight of Einstein rings is rare, it’s not unheard of. Hubble previously captured images of spectacular Einstein rings.

    This isn’t even the first time Webb has captured the Einstein ring of SPT-S J041839-4751.8.

    The space telescope’s Near Infrared Camera (NIRCam) [below] captured the same region back in August, and Spaceguy44 colorized and released it then, too.

    But the image, below, wasn’t as clear.

    Near-infrared image of the Einstein ring. (JWST/MAST; Spaceguy44/Reddit)

    In the latest image, the data was captured by Webb’s Mid-Infrared Instrument (MIRI) camera [below], and downloaded from the MAST portal.

    The image uses three different filters. Red is the F1000W filter, which captures wavelengths of light at 10µm. Green is the F770W filter, for 7.7µm wavelengths. Blue is the F560W filter which picks up 5.6µm wavelengths.

    The images were then aligned and colorized by Spaceguy44 using astropy, and further processing was done in GIMP.

    See the full article here .


    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

    Stem Education Coalition

    The NASA/ESA/CSA James Webb Space Telescope is a large infrared telescope with a 6.5-meter primary mirror. Webb was finally launched December 25, 2021, ten years late. The James Webb Space Telescope will be the premier observatory of the next decade, serving thousands of astronomers worldwide. It will study every phase in the history of our Universe, ranging from the first luminous glows after the Big Bang, to the formation of solar systems capable of supporting life on planets like Earth, to the evolution of our own Solar System.

    The James Webb Space Telescope is the world’s largest, most powerful, and most complex space science telescope ever built. Webb will solve mysteries in our solar system, look beyond to distant worlds around other stars, and probe the mysterious structures and origins of our universe and our place in it.

    Webb telescope will be the premier observatory of the next decade, serving thousands of astronomers worldwide. It will study every phase in the history of our Universe, ranging from the first luminous glows after the Big Bang, to the formation of solar systems capable of supporting life on planets like Earth, to the evolution of our own Solar System.

    Webb telescope was formerly known as the “Next Generation Space Telescope” (NGST); it was renamed in Sept. 2002 after a former NASA administrator, James Webb.

    Webb is an international collaboration between National Aeronautics and Space Administration, the European Space Agency (ESA), and the Canadian Space Agency (CSA). The NASA Goddard Space Flight Center managed the development effort. The main industrial partner is Northrop Grumman; the Space Telescope Science Institute will operate Webb after launch.

    Several innovative technologies have been developed for Webb. These include a folding, segmented primary mirror, adjusted to shape after launch; ultra-lightweight beryllium optics; detectors able to record extremely weak signals, microshutters that enable programmable object selection for the spectrograph; and a cryocooler for cooling the mid-IR detectors to 7K.

    There are four science instruments on Webb: The Near InfraRed Camera (NIRCam), The Near InfraRed Spectrograph (NIRspec), The Mid-InfraRed Instrument (MIRI), and The Fine Guidance Sensor/ Near InfraRed Imager and Slitless Spectrograph (FGS-NIRISS). Webb’s instruments are designed to work primarily in the infrared range of the electromagnetic spectrum, with some capability in the visible range. It will be sensitive to light from 0.6 to 28 micrometers in wavelength.
    National Aeronautics Space Agency Webb NIRCam.

    The European Space Agency [La Agencia Espacial Europea] [Agence spatiale européenne][Europäische Weltraumorganisation](EU) Webb MIRI schematic.

    Webb Fine Guidance Sensor-Near InfraRed Imager and Slitless Spectrograph FGS/NIRISS.

    Webb has four main science themes: The End of the Dark Ages: First Light and Reionization, The Assembly of Galaxies, The Birth of Stars and Protoplanetary Systems, and Planetary Systems and the Origins of Life.

    Launch was December 25, 2021 on an Ariane 5 rocket. The launch was from Arianespace’s ELA-3 launch complex at European Spaceport located near Kourou, French Guiana. Webb is located at the second Lagrange point, about a million miles from the Earth.

    ESA50 Logo large

    Canadian Space Agency

  • richardmitnick 7:15 am on July 6, 2022 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: "NASA Prize-Winning Experiment Could Be The Future of Artificial Photosynthesis", , , , , , Science Alert   

    From The University of California-Riverside via “Science Alert (AU)” : “NASA Prize-Winning Experiment Could Be The Future of Artificial Photosynthesis” 

    UC Riverside bloc

    From The University of California-Riverside



    “Science Alert (AU)”

    6 JULY 2022

    (Sarayut Thaneerat/Getty Images)

    The process of turning water, carbon dioxide, and sunlight into oxygen and energy helps plants to grow naturally – and it’s a process that scientists are looking to harness and adapt in order to produce food, fuel, and more besides.

    In a new study, scientists outline an experimental artificial photosynthesis technique, which deploys a two-step electrocatalytic process to turn carbon dioxide, water, and electricity generated by solar panels into acetate (the main component of vinegar). This acetate can then be harnessed by plants in order to grow.

    In fact, the system that the researchers have designed here is intended not just to mimic the photosynthesis that happens in nature, but to actually improve on it – in plants, only around 1 percent of the sunlight’s energy is actually turned into plant biomass, whereas here the efficiency can be multiplied by about fourfold.

    An outline of the researchers’ technique. (Hann et al, Nature Food 2022)

    “With our approach we sought to identify a new way of producing food that could break through the limits normally imposed by biological photosynthesis,” says chemical and environmental engineer Robert Jinkerson from the University of California, Riverside.

    The electricity conversion device or electrolyzer developed by the researchers had to be specially optimized in order to act as a growth driver for food-producing organisms, which in part meant boosting the amount of acetate and lowering the amount of salt produced.

    Further experiments by the team demonstrated that acetate-rich electrolyzer output could support a variety of organisms, including green algae, yeast, and mycelium, which produces mushrooms. To give you a comparison, algae production is about four times as energy efficient using this method compared with natural photosynthesis.

    Cowpea, tomato, tobacco, rice, canola, and green pea crops were all able to make use of the carbon in the acetate and grow without sunlight, the scientists showed. The process could be used in addition to normal photosynthesis, as well as instead of it.

    Plants growing in complete darkness in an acetate medium. (Marcus Harland-Dunaway/UCR)

    “We found that a wide range of crops could take the acetate we provided and build it into the major molecular building blocks an organism needs to grow and thrive,” says Marcus Harland-Dunaway, a botany and plant scientist from UC Riverside.

    “With some breeding and engineering that we are currently working on we might be able to grow crops with acetate as an extra energy source to boost crop yields.”

    The process outlined here is so impressive that it’s one of the winners of the NASA Deep Space Food Challenge, a showcase of emerging tech that could one day help in growing food in space: imagine being able to grow crops inside underground bunkers on Mars, for instance.

    It’s not just in space where artificial photosynthesis could mark a drastic change in food production. The climate crisis means that extreme temperatures, drought, floods, and other threats to standard agricultural practices are becoming more common.

    While processes like this aren’t an excuse not to tackle climate change, they could help make food production more resilient, and mean crops could be grown in more places – in more urban areas, perhaps.

    “Using artificial photosynthesis approaches to produce food could be a paradigm shift for how we feed people,” says Jinkerson. “By increasing the efficiency of food production, less land is needed, lessening the impact agriculture has on the environment.”

    “And for agriculture in non-traditional environments, like outer space, the increased energy efficiency could help feed more crew members with less inputs.”

    The research has been published in Nature Food.

    See the full article here .


    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

    Stem Education Coalition

    University of California-Riverside Campus

    The University of California-Riverside is a public land-grant research university in Riverside, California. It is one of the 10 campuses of The University of California system. The main campus sits on 1,900 acres (769 ha) in a suburban district of Riverside with a branch campus of 20 acres (8 ha) in Palm Desert. In 1907, the predecessor to The University of California-Riverside was founded as the UC Citrus Experiment Station, Riverside which pioneered research in biological pest control and the use of growth regulators responsible for extending the citrus growing season in California from four to nine months. Some of the world’s most important research collections on citrus diversity and entomology, as well as science fiction and photography, are located at Riverside.

    The University of California-Riverside ‘s undergraduate College of Letters and Science opened in 1954. The Regents of the University of California declared The University of California-Riverside a general campus of the system in 1959, and graduate students were admitted in 1961. To accommodate an enrollment of 21,000 students by 2015, more than $730 million has been invested in new construction projects since 1999. Preliminary accreditation of the The University of California-Riverside School of Medicine was granted in October 2012 and the first class of 50 students was enrolled in August 2013. It is the first new research-based public medical school in 40 years.

    The University of California-Riverside is classified among “R1: Doctoral Universities – Very high research activity.” The 2019 U.S. News & World Report Best Colleges rankings places UC-Riverside tied for 35th among top public universities and ranks 85th nationwide. Over 27 of The University of California-Riverside ‘s academic programs, including the Graduate School of Education and the Bourns College of Engineering, are highly ranked nationally based on peer assessment, student selectivity, financial resources, and other factors. Washington Monthly ranked The University of California-Riverside 2nd in the United States in terms of social mobility, research and community service, while U.S. News ranks The University of California-Riverside as the fifth most ethnically diverse and, by the number of undergraduates receiving Pell Grants (42 percent), the 15th most economically diverse student body in the nation. Over 70% of all The University of California-Riverside students graduate within six years without regard to economic disparity. The University of California-Riverside ‘s extensive outreach and retention programs have contributed to its reputation as a “university of choice” for minority students. In 2005, The University of California-Riverside became the first public university campus in the nation to offer a gender-neutral housing option. The University of California-Riverside’s sports teams are known as the Highlanders and play in the Big West Conference of the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Division I. Their nickname was inspired by the high altitude of the campus, which lies on the foothills of Box Springs Mountain. The University of California-Riverside women’s basketball team won back-to-back Big West championships in 2006 and 2007. In 2007, the men’s baseball team won its first conference championship and advanced to the regionals for the second time since the university moved to Division I in 2001.


    At the turn of the 20th century, Southern California was a major producer of citrus, the region’s primary agricultural export. The industry developed from the country’s first navel orange trees, planted in Riverside in 1873. Lobbied by the citrus industry, the University of California Regents established the UC Citrus Experiment Station (CES) on February 14, 1907, on 23 acres (9 ha) of land on the east slope of Mount Rubidoux in Riverside. The station conducted experiments in fertilization, irrigation and crop improvement. In 1917, the station was moved to a larger site, 475 acres (192 ha) near Box Springs Mountain.

    The 1944 passage of the GI Bill during World War II set in motion a rise in college enrollments that necessitated an expansion of the state university system in California. A local group of citrus growers and civic leaders, including many University of California-Berkeley alumni, lobbied aggressively for a University of California -administered liberal arts college next to the CES. State Senator Nelson S. Dilworth authored Senate Bill 512 (1949) which former Assemblyman Philip L. Boyd and Assemblyman John Babbage (both of Riverside) were instrumental in shepherding through the State Legislature. Governor Earl Warren signed the bill in 1949, allocating $2 million for initial campus construction.

    Gordon S. Watkins, dean of the College of Letters and Science at The University of California-Los Angeles, became the first provost of the new college at Riverside. Initially conceived of as a small college devoted to the liberal arts, he ordered the campus built for a maximum of 1,500 students and recruited many young junior faculty to fill teaching positions. He presided at its opening with 65 faculty and 127 students on February 14, 1954, remarking, “Never have so few been taught by so many.”

    The University of California-Riverside’s enrollment exceeded 1,000 students by the time Clark Kerr became president of the University of California system in 1958. Anticipating a “tidal wave” in enrollment growth required by the baby boom generation, Kerr developed the California Master Plan for Higher Education and the Regents designated Riverside a general university campus in 1959. The University of California-Riverside’s first chancellor, Herman Theodore Spieth, oversaw the beginnings of the school’s transition to a full university and its expansion to a capacity of 5,000 students. The University of California-Riverside’s second chancellor, Ivan Hinderaker led the campus through the era of the free speech movement and kept student protests peaceful in Riverside. According to a 1998 interview with Hinderaker, the city of Riverside received negative press coverage for smog after the mayor asked Governor Ronald Reagan to declare the South Coast Air Basin a disaster area in 1971; subsequent student enrollment declined by up to 25% through 1979. Hinderaker’s development of innovative programs in business administration and biomedical sciences created incentive for enough students to enroll at University of California-Riverside to keep the campus open.

    In the 1990s, The University of California-Riverside experienced a new surge of enrollment applications, now known as “Tidal Wave II”. The Regents targeted The University of California-Riverside for an annual growth rate of 6.3%, the fastest in The University of California system, and anticipated 19,900 students at The University of California-Riverside by 2010. By 1995, African American, American Indian, and Latino student enrollments accounted for 30% of The University of California-Riverside student body, the highest proportion of any University of California campus at the time. The 1997 implementation of Proposition 209—which banned the use of affirmative action by state agencies—reduced the ethnic diversity at the more selective UC campuses but further increased it at The University of California-Riverside.

    With The University of California-Riverside scheduled for dramatic population growth, efforts have been made to increase its popular and academic recognition. The students voted for a fee increase to move The University of California-Riverside athletics into NCAA Division I standing in 1998. In the 1990s, proposals were made to establish a law school, a medical school, and a school of public policy at The University of California-Riverside, with The University of California-Riverside School of Medicine and the School of Public Policy becoming reality in 2012. In June 2006, The University of California-Riverside received its largest gift, 15.5 million from two local couples, in trust towards building its medical school. The Regents formally approved The University of California-Riverside’s medical school proposal in 2006. Upon its completion in 2013, it was the first new medical school built in California in 40 years.


    As a campus of The University of California system, The University of California-Riverside is governed by a Board of Regents and administered by a president University of California-Riverside ‘s academic policies are set by its Academic Senate, a legislative body composed of all UC-Riverside faculty members.

    The University of California-Riverside is organized into three academic colleges, two professional schools, and two graduate schools. The University of California-Riverside’s liberal arts college, the College of Humanities, Arts and Social Sciences, was founded in 1954, and began accepting graduate students in 1960. The College of Natural and Agricultural Sciences, founded in 1960, incorporated the CES as part of the first research-oriented institution at The University of California-Riverside; it eventually also incorporated the natural science departments formerly associated with the liberal arts college to form its present structure in 1974. The University of California-Riverside ‘s newest academic unit, the Bourns College of Engineering, was founded in 1989. Comprising the professional schools are the Graduate School of Education, founded in 1968, and The University of California-Riverside School of Business, founded in 1970. These units collectively provide 81 majors and 52 minors, 48 master’s degree programs, and 42 Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) programs. The University of California-Riverside is the only UC campus to offer undergraduate degrees in creative writing and public policy and one of three UCs (along with The University of California-Berkeley and The University of California-Irvine) to offer an undergraduate degree in business administration. Through its Division of Biomedical Sciences, founded in 1974, The University of California-Riverside offers the Thomas Haider medical degree program in collaboration with The University of California-Los Angeles. The University of California-Riverside ‘s doctoral program in the emerging field of dance theory, founded in 1992, was the first program of its kind in the United States, and The University of California-Riverside ‘s minor in lesbian, gay and bisexual studies, established in 1996, was the first undergraduate program of its kind in the University of California system. A new BA program in bagpipes was inaugurated in 2007.

    Research and economic impact

    The University of California-Riverside operated under a $727 million budget in fiscal year 2014–15. The state government provided $214 million, student fees accounted for $224 million and $100 million came from contracts and grants. Private support and other sources accounted for the remaining $189 million. Overall, monies spent at The University of California-Riverside have an economic impact of nearly $1 billion in California. The University of California-Riverside research expenditure in FY 2018 totaled $167.8 million. Total research expenditures at The University of California-Riverside are significantly concentrated in agricultural science, accounting for 53% of total research expenditures spent by the university in 2002. Top research centers by expenditure, as measured in 2002, include the Agricultural Experiment Station; the Center for Environmental Research and Technology; the Center for Bibliographical Studies; the Air Pollution Research Center; and the Institute of Geophysics and Planetary Physics.

    Throughout The University of California-Riverside ‘s history, researchers have developed more than 40 new citrus varieties and invented new techniques to help the $960 million-a-year California citrus industry fight pests and diseases. In 1927, entomologists at the CES introduced two wasps from Australia as natural enemies of a major citrus pest, the citrophilus mealybug, saving growers in Orange County $1 million in annual losses. This event was pivotal in establishing biological control as a practical means of reducing pest populations. In 1963, plant physiologist Charles Coggins proved that application of gibberellic acid allows fruit to remain on citrus trees for extended periods. The ultimate result of his work, which continued through the 1980s, was the extension of the citrus-growing season in California from four to nine months. In 1980, The University of California-Riverside released the Oroblanco grapefruit, its first patented citrus variety. Since then, the citrus breeding program has released other varieties such as the Melogold grapefruit, the Gold Nugget mandarin (or tangerine), and others that have yet to be given trademark names.

    To assist entrepreneurs in developing new products, The University of California-Riverside is a primary partner in the Riverside Regional Technology Park, which includes the City of Riverside and the County of Riverside. It also administers six reserves of the University of California Natural Reserve System. UC-Riverside recently announced a partnership with China Agricultural University[中国农业大学](CN) to launch a new center in Beijing, which will study ways to respond to the country’s growing environmental issues. University of California-Riverside can also boast the birthplace of two-name reactions in organic chemistry, the Castro-Stephens coupling and the Midland Alpine Borane Reduction.

  • richardmitnick 12:27 pm on June 10, 2022 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: "Astronomers Report An Ultra-Rare Cosmic Object Was Just Detected in The Milky Way", An accreting X-ray millisecond pulsar MAXI J1816-195, , , , Science Alert,   

    From “Science Alert (AU)” : “Astronomers Report An Ultra-Rare Cosmic Object Was Just Detected in The Milky Way” 


    From “Science Alert (AU)”

    10 JUNE 2022

    Artist’s impression of a pulsar. (Mark Garlick/Science Photo Library/Getty Images)

    A new member of a category of star so rare we can count the known number of them on our fingers and toes has just been discovered in the Milky Way.

    It’s called MAXI J1816-195, located no greater than 30,000 light-years away. Preliminary observations and investigations suggest that it’s an accreting X-ray millisecond pulsar – of which only 18 others are known, according to a pulsar database compiled by astronomer Alessandro Patruno.

    When numbers are that low, any new object represents an extremely exciting find that can yield important statistical information about how those objects form, evolve, and behave.

    The discovery really is hot off the presses. X-ray light emanating from the object was first detected on 7 June by the Japanese Space Agency’s Monitor of All-sky X-ray Image (MAXI) instrument mounted on the outside of the ISS.

    Monitor of All-sky X-ray Image | JAXA Human Spaceflight Technology Directorate

    In a notice posted to The Astronomer’s Telegram (ATel), a team headed by astrophysicist Hitoshi Negoro of Nihon University in Japan posted that they’d identified a previously uncatalogued X-ray source, located in the galactic plane between the constellations of Sagittarius, Scutum, and Serpens. It was, they said, flaring relatively brightly, but they hadn’t been able to identify it based on the MAXI data.

    It wasn’t long before other astronomers piled on. Using the Neil Gehrels Swift Observatory, a space-based telescope, astrophysicist Jamie Kennea of Pennsylvania State University and colleagues homed in on the location to confirm the detection with an independent instrument, and localize it.

    Swift saw the object in X-rays, but not optical or ultraviolet light, at the location specified by the MAXI observations.

    “This location does not lie at the location of any known catalogued X-ray source, therefore we agree that this is a new transient source MAXI J1816-195,” they wrote in a notice posted to ATel.

    “In addition, archival observations by Swift/XRT of this region taken in 2017 June 22, do not reveal any point source at this location.”

    Curiouser and curiouser

    Next up was the Neutron Star Interior Composition Explorer (NICER), an X-ray NASA instrument also mounted to the ISS, in an investigation led by astrophysicist Peter Bult of NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center.

    And this is where things started to get really interesting. NICER picked up X-ray pulsations at 528.6 Hz – suggesting that the thing is spinning at a rate of 528.6 times per second – in addition to an X-ray thermonuclear burst.

    “This detection,” they wrote, “shows that MAXI J1816-195 is a neutron star and a new accreting millisecond X-ray pulsar.”

    So what does that mean? Well, not all pulsars are built alike. At the very basic level, a pulsar is a type of neutron star, which is the collapsed core of a dead massive star that has gone supernova. These objects are very small and very dense – up to around 2.2 times the mass of the Sun, packed into a sphere just 20 kilometers (12 miles) or so across.

    To be classified as a pulsar, a neutron star has to… pulse. Beams of radiation are launched from its poles; because of the way the star is angled, these beams sweep past Earth like the beams from a lighthouse. Millisecond pulsars are pulsars that spin so fast, they pulse hundreds of times a second.

    Some pulsars are powered purely by rotation, but another type is powered by accretion. The neutron star is in a binary system with another star, their orbit so close that material is siphoned from the companion star and onto the neutron star. This material is channeled along the neutron star’s magnetic field lines to its poles, where it falls down onto the surface, producing hotspots that flare brightly in X-rays.

    In some cases, the accretion process can spin up the pulsar to millisecond rotational speeds. This is the accreting X-ray millisecond pulsar, and it appears that MAXI J1816-195 belongs to this rare category.

    The thermonuclear X-ray burst detected by NICER was likely the result of the unstable thermonuclear burning of material accumulated by the companion star.

    Since the discovery is so new, observations in multiple wavelengths are ongoing. Follow-up has already been conducted using Swift, and the 2m Liverpool Telescope on the Canary Island of La Palma in Spain was employed to look for an optical counterpart, although none was detected.

    Other astronomers are also encouraged to climb aboard the MAXI J1816-195 train.

    Meanwhile, a full pulsar timing analysis is being conducted, and will, Bult and his team said, be circulated as more data becomes available. You can follow along on ATel.

    See the full article here .


    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

    Stem Education Coalition

  • richardmitnick 9:07 am on June 9, 2022 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: "Vast Sonar Map Reveals The Seabed Around Antarctica as Never Seen Before", , , , Science Alert,   

    From The Alfred Wegener Institute for Polar and Marine Research [Alfred-Wegener-Institut für Polar-und Meeresforschung](DE) via “Science Alert (AU)” : “Vast Sonar Map Reveals The Seabed Around Antarctica as Never Seen Before” 


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


    The Helmholtz Association of German Research Centres(DE)



    “Science Alert (AU)”

    9 JUNE 2022

    Detail from new map of Southern Ocean. (Dorschel et al., Scientific Data, 2022)

    Scientists have published a map showing the Southern Ocean floor in unprecedented detail.

    The new images, generated from sonar data that took years to collect, show canyons, ridges, and mountains deep under the water.

    The map was published in the peer-reviewed journal Scientific Data on Tuesday. It is part of the Nippon Foundation General Bathymetric Chart of the Oceans (GEBCO) Seabed 2030 project, which aims to map the entire ocean floor by 2030.

    About 21 percent of the world’s seabeds have been precisely mapped so far, the foundation said.

    A close up of the seabed structures. (Dorschel et al., Scientific Data, 2022)

    “The map is so important as it provides the most accurate knowledge on the shape of the seafloor,” Boris Dorschel lead author of the paper, told Insider in an email.

    Dorschel is a senior scientist at the Alfred Wegener Institute Helmholtz Centre for Polar and Marine Research in Germany and head of the regional center southern ocean of the seabed 2030 Project.

    “It is a visual extension of the terrestrial world we know below the waves. We now can see canyons, channels, and mounts in great detail in many places,” Dorschel said.

    The map was drawn by compiling measurements taken by ships navigating the waters around Antarctica, a practice called bathymetry.

    It provides crucial information that can improve climate change models by giving better information about how the world’s oceans move.

    The shape of the seabed changes the way the ocean water mixes, and hence its temperature, in turn influencing temperatures around the world.

    Better mapping could also help efforts to conserve marine life, per the BBC. Fish and other animals tend to congregate around underwater mountains, so knowing where those are can help people find the right areas to conserve.

    “Personally I cannot stop moving over the map and enjoying the sight,” said Dorschel, the project leader.

    See the full article here.


    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

    Stem Education Coalition

    See the full article here.

    The Alfred Wegener Institute of Polar and Marine Research in Bremerhaven, Germany. Building near the Old Port in the city. Credit: Garitzko 5 August 2007

    The Alfred Wegener Institute – Helmholtz Centre for Polar and Marine Research [Alfred-Wegener-Institut, Helmholtz-Zentrum für Polar-und Meeresforschung](DE) is located in Bremerhaven, Germany, and a member of the Helmholtz Association of German Research Centres. It conducts research in the Arctic, the Antarctic, and the high and mid latitude oceans. Additional research topics are: North Sea research, marine biological monitoring, and technical marine developments. The institute was founded in 1980 and is named after meteorologist, climatologist, and geologist Alfred Wegener.

    The institute has three major departments:

    Climate System Department, which studies oceans, ice and atmosphere as physical and chemical systems.
    Biosciences Department, which studies the biological processes in marine and coastal ecosystems.
    Geoscientific Department, which studies climate development, especially as revealed by sediments.

    The Helmholtz Association (DE)

    The Helmholtz Association of German Research Centers (DE) is the largest scientific organisation in Germany. It is a union of 18 scientific-technical and biological-medical research centers. The official mission of the Association is “solving the grand challenges of science, society and industry”. Scientists at Helmholtz therefore focus research on complex systems which affect human life and the environment. The namesake of the association is the German physiologist and physicist Hermann von Helmholtz.

    The annual budget of the Helmholtz Association amounts to €4.56 billion, of which about 72% is raised from public funds. The remaining 28% of the budget is acquired by the 19 individual Helmholtz Centres in the form of contract funding. The public funds are provided by the federal government (90%) and the rest by the States of Germany (10%).

    The Helmholtz Association was ranked #6 in 2020 by the Nature Index, which measures the largest contributors to papers published in 82 leading journals.

    Members of the Helmholtz Association are:

    Alfred Wegener Institute for Polar and Marine Research (Alfred-Wegener-Institut für Polar- und Meeresforschung, AWI), Bremerhaven
    Helmholtz Center for Information Security, CISPA, Saarbrücken
    German Electron Synchrotron (Deutsches Elektronen-Synchrotron, DESY), Hamburg
    German Cancer Research Center (Deutsches Krebsforschungszentrum, DKFZ), Heidelberg
    German Aerospace Center (Deutsches Zentrum für Luft- und Raumfahrt, DLR), Cologne
    German Center for Neurodegenerative Diseases (Deutsches Zentrum für Neurodegenerative Erkrankungen; DZNE), Bonn
    Forschungszentrum Jülich (FZJ) Jülich Research Center, Jülich
    Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (Karlsruher Institut für Technologie, KIT), (formerly Forschungszentrum Karlsruhe), Karlsruhe
    Helmholtz Center for Infection Research, (Helmholtz-Zentrum für Infektionsforschung, HZI), Braunschweig
    GFZ German Research Center for Geosciences (Helmholtz-Zentrum Potsdam – Deutsches GeoForschungsZentrum GFZ, Potsdam
    Helmholtz-Zentrum Hereon Geesthacht, formerly known as Gesellschaft für Kernenergieverwertung in Schiffbau und Schiffahrt mbH (GKSS)
    Helmholtz München German Research Centre for Environmental Health (HMGU), Neuherberg
    GSI Helmholtz Center for Heavy Ion Research (GSI Helmholtzzentrum für Schwerionenforschung), Darmstadt
    Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin for Materials and Energy (Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin für Materialien und Energie, HZB), Berlin
    Helmholtz Center for Environmental Research (Helmholtz-Zentrum für Umweltforschung, UFZ), Leipzig
    MPG Institute of Plasma Physics (Max-Planck-Institut für Plasmaphysik, IPP), Garching
    Max Delbrück Center for Molecular Medicine in the Helmholtz Association (Max-Delbrück-Centrum für Molekulare Medizin in der Helmholtz-Gemeinschaft, MDC), Berlin-Buch
    Helmholtz-Zentrum Dresden-Rossendorf (HZDR) formerly known as Forschungszentrum Dresden-Rossendorf (FZD) changed 2011 from the Leibniz Association to the Helmholtz Association of German Research Centers, Dresden
    Helmholtz Center for Ocean Research Kiel (GEOMAR) formerly known as Leibniz Institute of Marine Sciences (IFM-GEOMAR)

    Helmholtz Institutes are partnerships between a Helmholtz Center and a university (the institutes are not members of the Helmholtz Association themselves). Examples of Helmholtz Institutes include:

    Helmholtz Institute for RNA-based Infection Research (HIRI), Würzburg, established in 2017

  • richardmitnick 8:44 am on June 9, 2022 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: "Millions of Shipwrecks Lost to The Ocean Are Changing Life in The Deep Sea", , , , Deep sea microbes living on submerged shipwrecks are positioned at the bottom of the underwater food chain., , , , , , Science Alert, Submerged wooden islands are proving a vibrant breeding ground for deep sea microbes., The team behind this latest study suggests that other human-made structures-such as oil rigs-could be having a similar impact on deep sea microbiomes., There are estimated to be around three million shipwrecks sitting on sea beds around the world.   

    From “Science Alert(AU)” : “Millions of Shipwrecks Lost to The Ocean Are Changing Life in The Deep Sea” 


    From “Science Alert(AU)”

    9 JUNE 2022

    (Rick Ayrton/iStock/Getty Images Plus)

    There are estimated to be around three million shipwrecks sitting on sea beds around the world, many of them made from wood – and these submerged wooden islands are proving a vibrant breeding ground for deep sea microbes, a new study reveals.

    Scientists say these human-made structures are having an important impact on the delicate ecosystems down at the bottom of the oceans, to an extent that hasn’t really been appreciated before.

    Deep sea microbes living on submerged shipwrecks are positioned at the bottom of the underwater food chain, so changes to them could have a knock-on effect on other marine life – and, ultimately, everything living on the land as well.

    “Microbial communities are important to be aware of and understand because they provide early and clear evidence of how human activities change life in the ocean,” says molecular microbial ecologist Leila Hamdan from the University of Southern Mississippi.

    Hamdan and fellow researchers picked two 19th century shipwreck sites in the Gulf Mexico for their study. They placed pine and oak blocks around the sites, from right next to the shipwrecks to up to 200 meters (656 feet) away, and left the wood there for four months.

    The wooden blocks were then recovered and measured for bacteria, archaea, and fungi. Microbial diversity varied depending on proximity to the wreck sites, peaking around 125 meters (410 feet) away. The type of wood made a difference as well, with oak more favorable to microbial biodiversity than pine.

    Natural hard habitats – trees that have fallen into rivers and the oceans – are already well known for influencing the biodiversity of the water they tumble into. What this study shows is that shipwrecks abandoned by humans affect microbial life under the sea too.

    “These biofilms are ultimately what enable hard habitats to transform into islands of biodiversity,” says Hamdan.

    Overall, across the two sites, the presence of the shipwrecks increased microbial richness in the surrounding water, and altered the composition and dispersal patterns of the biofilms holding microbes, the researchers found.

    As expected, additional factors influencing microbial life were water depth and the closeness to other nutrient sources, such as the Mississippi River delta.

    While further research is needed to investigate the phenomenon at a broader range of sites, these initial findings are enough to show that shipwrecks are an important consideration in underwater biodiversity.

    The team behind this latest study suggests that other human-made structures-such as oil rigs-could be having a similar impact on deep sea microbiomes, and again further research is justified in attempting to find out specifics.

    “While we are aware human impacts on the seabed are increasing through the multiple economic uses, scientific discovery is not keeping pace with how this shapes the biology and chemistry of natural under sea landscapes,” says Hamdan.

    “We hope this work will begin a dialogue that leads to research on how built habitats are already changing the deep sea.”

    The research has been published in Frontiers in Marine Science.

    See the full article here .


    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

    Stem Education Coalition

  • richardmitnick 12:40 pm on May 29, 2022 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: "Dinosaurs' Last Ancient Breaths May Finally Answer a Long-Standing Mystery", Animals that are warm-blooded need a higher metabolism to fuel themselves., , , Calculating the metabolic rates of dinosaurs using their fossils., Comparing the amounts of breathing waste found in the bones across still-living species to work out a scale of waste to metabolic rate to calculate the metabolism of extinct animals., Early dinosaur researchers initially assumed these animals were cold-blooded like the modern reptiles they seemed to resemble – their closest reptilian relatives that exist today being crocodilians., Ectothermic (cold-blooded) versus endothermis (warm-blooded), From metabolic clues in eggshells to the warm-blooded trait of being able to withstand frigid polar conditions there are growing signs that dinosaurs may have been warm-blooded animals., Having a high metabolic rate has generally been suggested as one of the key advantages when it comes to surviving mass extinctions., It is important for us to understand how the past can inform biodiversity conservation in the present and inform our future actions in the face of climate change., It is proposed that the current Anthropocene epoch dating from significant human impact on Earth's geology and ecosystems is the sixth mass extinction period., Metabolism is how effectively we convert the oxygen that we breathe into chemical energy that fuels our body., Molecular Paleobiology, , Science Alert, Scientists have found a new way to tell whether dinosaurs were hot- or cold-blooded.,   

    From Yale University via Science Alert : “Dinosaurs’ Last Ancient Breaths May Finally Answer a Long-Standing Mystery” 

    From Yale University



    Science Alert

    29 MAY 2022

    Illustration of Plesiosaurus, Stegosaurus, Diplodocus, Allosaurus, and modern hummingbird. (J. Wiemann)

    Scientists have found a new way to tell whether dinosaurs were hot- or cold-blooded.

    This question has long eluded paleontologists, leading to many heated debates where they even accused each other of acting more like politicians than scientists.

    Early dinosaur researchers initially assumed these animals were slow, lumbering, and cold-blooded like the modern reptiles they seemed to resemble – their closest reptilian relatives that exist today being crocodilians.

    More recently, however, there have been hints that this is not the case.

    From metabolic clues in eggshells to the warm-blooded trait of being able to withstand frigid polar conditions, there are growing signs that dinosaurs may have been warm-blooded animals.

    Some of them are, after all, direct ancestors of the hot-running birds that have the highest metabolism known today.

    Others argued that maybe dinosaurs were neither ectotherms (cold-blooded) nor endotherms (warm-blooded) and that there could be a third option. Mesotherms, like today’s turtles, do burn internal energy to regulate their body temperature like endotherms, but not to the same level and consistency as mammals and birds do.

    A new method developed by Yale University molecular paleobiologist Jasmina Wiemann now allows researchers to calculate the metabolic rates of dinosaurs using their fossils.

    “Metabolism is how effectively we convert the oxygen that we breathe into chemical energy that fuels our body,” explains Wiemann. That conversion process makes side products that interact with our bodies’ proteins, sugars, and lipids to form chemically stable waste. Animals that are warm-blooded need a higher metabolism to fuel themselves.

    It’s hard to rely on previous attempts to get metabolic indicators from the knowledge of what temperatures trace minerals in the bones form at because we don’t yet understand how the fossilization process alters these minerals. But the stability of the breathing waste product allows it to be fossilized reliably.

    Using the femurs of 55 different animals, including dinosaurs, pterosaurs, plesiosaurs, modern birds, mammals, and lizards, the researchers hunted for signs of this telltale molecular waste.

    By comparing the amounts of breathing waste found in the bones across these different still-living species, Wiemann and colleagues were able to work out a scale of waste to metabolic rate. Then, they used this to calculate the metabolism of the extinct animals.

    “This is really exciting for us as paleontologists – the question of whether dinosaurs were warm- or cold-blooded is one of the oldest questions in paleontology, and now we think we have a consensus, that most dinosaurs were warm-blooded,” says Wiemann.

    Some, like the lizard-hipped saurischians – which include Triceratops and Stegosaurus – had metabolic rates similar to the cold-blooded reptiles we know today. But many of the other groups ran hot.

    Even pterosaurs were warm-blooded, suggesting that endothermy was present in their ornithodiran ancestors before pterosaurs split from their dinosaur relatives. It seems birds’ high endothermy is a very ancient trait.

    These results rule out the hypothesis that birds and mammals possibly survived the late cretaceous mass extinction event due to their warm-blooded nature. Many of their contemporary dinosaurs who were wiped out also shared this trait.

    “Having a high metabolic rate has generally been suggested as one of the key advantages when it comes to surviving mass extinctions and successfully radiating afterwards,” says Wiemann.

    “We are living in the sixth mass extinction, so it is important for us to understand how modern and extinct animals physiologically responded to previous climate change and environmental perturbations, so that the past can inform biodiversity conservation in the present and inform our future actions.”

    The research was published in Nature.

    See the full article here .


    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

    Stem Education Coalition

    Yale University is a private Ivy League research university in New Haven, Connecticut. Founded in 1701 as the Collegiate School, it is the third-oldest institution of higher education in the United States and one of the nine Colonial Colleges chartered before the American Revolution. The Collegiate School was renamed Yale College in 1718 to honor the school’s largest private benefactor for the first century of its existence, Elihu Yale. Yale University is consistently ranked as one of the top universities and is considered one of the most prestigious in the nation.

    Chartered by Connecticut Colony, the Collegiate School was established in 1701 by clergy to educate Congregational ministers before moving to New Haven in 1716. Originally restricted to theology and sacred languages, the curriculum began to incorporate humanities and sciences by the time of the American Revolution. In the 19th century, the college expanded into graduate and professional instruction, awarding the first PhD in the United States in 1861 and organizing as a university in 1887. Yale’s faculty and student populations grew after 1890 with rapid expansion of the physical campus and scientific research.

    Yale is organized into fourteen constituent schools: the original undergraduate college, the Yale Graduate School of Arts and Sciences and twelve professional schools. While the university is governed by the Yale Corporation, each school’s faculty oversees its curriculum and degree programs. In addition to a central campus in downtown New Haven, the university owns athletic facilities in western New Haven, a campus in West Haven, Connecticut, and forests and nature preserves throughout New England. As of June 2020, the university’s endowment was valued at $31.1 billion, the second largest of any educational institution. The Yale University Library, serving all constituent schools, holds more than 15 million volumes and is the third-largest academic library in the United States. Students compete in intercollegiate sports as the Yale Bulldogs in the NCAA Division I – Ivy League.

    As of October 2020, 65 Nobel laureates, five Fields Medalists, four Abel Prize laureates, and three Turing award winners have been affiliated with Yale University. In addition, Yale has graduated many notable alumni, including five U.S. Presidents, 19 U.S. Supreme Court Justices, 31 living billionaires, and many heads of state. Hundreds of members of Congress and many U.S. diplomats, 78 MacArthur Fellows, 252 Rhodes Scholars, 123 Marshall Scholars, and nine Mitchell Scholars have been affiliated with the university.


    Yale is a member of the Association of American Universities (AAU) and is classified among “R1: Doctoral Universities – Very high research activity”. According to the National Science Foundation , Yale spent $990 million on research and development in 2018, ranking it 15th in the nation.

    Yale’s faculty include 61 members of the National Academy of Sciences , 7 members of the National Academy of Engineering and 49 members of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences . The college is, after normalization for institution size, the tenth-largest baccalaureate source of doctoral degree recipients in the United States, and the largest such source within the Ivy League.

    Yale’s English and Comparative Literature departments were part of the New Criticism movement. Of the New Critics, Robert Penn Warren, W.K. Wimsatt, and Cleanth Brooks were all Yale faculty. Later, the Yale Comparative literature department became a center of American deconstruction. Jacques Derrida, the father of deconstruction, taught at the Department of Comparative Literature from the late seventies to mid-1980s. Several other Yale faculty members were also associated with deconstruction, forming the so-called “Yale School”. These included Paul de Man who taught in the Departments of Comparative Literature and French, J. Hillis Miller, Geoffrey Hartman (both taught in the Departments of English and Comparative Literature), and Harold Bloom (English), whose theoretical position was always somewhat specific, and who ultimately took a very different path from the rest of this group. Yale’s history department has also originated important intellectual trends. Historians C. Vann Woodward and David Brion Davis are credited with beginning in the 1960s and 1970s an important stream of southern historians; likewise, David Montgomery, a labor historian, advised many of the current generation of labor historians in the country. Yale’s Music School and Department fostered the growth of Music Theory in the latter half of the 20th century. The Journal of Music Theory was founded there in 1957; Allen Forte and David Lewin were influential teachers and scholars.

    In addition to eminent faculty members, Yale research relies heavily on the presence of roughly 1200 Postdocs from various national and international origin working in the multiple laboratories in the sciences, social sciences, humanities, and professional schools of the university. The university progressively recognized this working force with the recent creation of the Office for Postdoctoral Affairs and the Yale Postdoctoral Association.

    Notable alumni

    Over its history, Yale has produced many distinguished alumni in a variety of fields, ranging from the public to private sector. According to 2020 data, around 71% of undergraduates join the workforce, while the next largest majority of 16.6% go on to attend graduate or professional schools. Yale graduates have been recipients of 252 Rhodes Scholarships, 123 Marshall Scholarships, 67 Truman Scholarships, 21 Churchill Scholarships, and 9 Mitchell Scholarships. The university is also the second largest producer of Fulbright Scholars, with a total of 1,199 in its history and has produced 89 MacArthur Fellows. The U.S. Department of State Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs ranked Yale fifth among research institutions producing the most 2020–2021 Fulbright Scholars. Additionally, 31 living billionaires are Yale alumni.

    At Yale, one of the most popular undergraduate majors among Juniors and Seniors is political science, with many students going on to serve careers in government and politics. Former presidents who attended Yale for undergrad include William Howard Taft, George H. W. Bush, and George W. Bush while former presidents Gerald Ford and Bill Clinton attended Yale Law School. Former vice-president and influential antebellum era politician John C. Calhoun also graduated from Yale. Former world leaders include Italian prime minister Mario Monti, Turkish prime minister Tansu Çiller, Mexican president Ernesto Zedillo, German president Karl Carstens, Philippine president José Paciano Laurel, Latvian president Valdis Zatlers, Taiwanese premier Jiang Yi-huah, and Malawian president Peter Mutharika, among others. Prominent royals who graduated are Crown Princess Victoria of Sweden, and Olympia Bonaparte, Princess Napoléon.

    Yale alumni have had considerable presence in U.S. government in all three branches. On the U.S. Supreme Court, 19 justices have been Yale alumni, including current Associate Justices Sonia Sotomayor, Samuel Alito, Clarence Thomas, and Brett Kavanaugh. Numerous Yale alumni have been U.S. Senators, including current Senators Michael Bennet, Richard Blumenthal, Cory Booker, Sherrod Brown, Chris Coons, Amy Klobuchar, Ben Sasse, and Sheldon Whitehouse. Current and former cabinet members include Secretaries of State John Kerry, Hillary Clinton, Cyrus Vance, and Dean Acheson; U.S. Secretaries of the Treasury Oliver Wolcott, Robert Rubin, Nicholas F. Brady, Steven Mnuchin, and Janet Yellen; U.S. Attorneys General Nicholas Katzenbach, John Ashcroft, and Edward H. Levi; and many others. Peace Corps founder and American diplomat Sargent Shriver and public official and urban planner Robert Moses are Yale alumni.

    Yale has produced numerous award-winning authors and influential writers, like Nobel Prize in Literature laureate Sinclair Lewis and Pulitzer Prize winners Stephen Vincent Benét, Thornton Wilder, Doug Wright, and David McCullough. Academy Award winning actors, actresses, and directors include Jodie Foster, Paul Newman, Meryl Streep, Elia Kazan, George Roy Hill, Lupita Nyong’o, Oliver Stone, and Frances McDormand. Alumni from Yale have also made notable contributions to both music and the arts. Leading American composer from the 20th century Charles Ives, Broadway composer Cole Porter, Grammy award winner David Lang, and award-winning jazz pianist and composer Vijay Iyer all hail from Yale. Hugo Boss Prize winner Matthew Barney, famed American sculptor Richard Serra, President Barack Obama presidential portrait painter Kehinde Wiley, MacArthur Fellow and contemporary artist Sarah Sze, Pulitzer Prize winning cartoonist Garry Trudeau, and National Medal of Arts photorealist painter Chuck Close all graduated from Yale. Additional alumni include architect and Presidential Medal of Freedom winner Maya Lin, Pritzker Prize winner Norman Foster, and Gateway Arch designer Eero Saarinen. Journalists and pundits include Dick Cavett, Chris Cuomo, Anderson Cooper, William F. Buckley, Jr., and Fareed Zakaria.

    In business, Yale has had numerous alumni and former students go on to become founders of influential business, like William Boeing (Boeing, United Airlines), Briton Hadden and Henry Luce (Time Magazine), Stephen A. Schwarzman (Blackstone Group), Frederick W. Smith (FedEx), Juan Trippe (Pan Am), Harold Stanley (Morgan Stanley), Bing Gordon (Electronic Arts), and Ben Silbermann (Pinterest). Other business people from Yale include former chairman and CEO of Sears Holdings Edward Lampert, former Time Warner president Jeffrey Bewkes, former PepsiCo chairperson and CEO Indra Nooyi, sports agent Donald Dell, and investor/philanthropist Sir John Templeton,

    Yale alumni distinguished in academia include literary critic and historian Henry Louis Gates, economists Irving Fischer, Mahbub ul Haq, and Nobel Prize laureate Paul Krugman; Nobel Prize in Physics laureates Ernest Lawrence and Murray Gell-Mann; Fields Medalist John G. Thompson; Human Genome Project leader and National Institutes of Health director Francis S. Collins; brain surgery pioneer Harvey Cushing; pioneering computer scientist Grace Hopper; influential mathematician and chemist Josiah Willard Gibbs; National Women’s Hall of Fame inductee and biochemist Florence B. Seibert; Turing Award recipient Ron Rivest; inventors Samuel F.B. Morse and Eli Whitney; Nobel Prize in Chemistry laureate John B. Goodenough; lexicographer Noah Webster; and theologians Jonathan Edwards and Reinhold Niebuhr.

    In the sporting arena, Yale alumni include baseball players Ron Darling and Craig Breslow and baseball executives Theo Epstein and George Weiss; football players Calvin Hill, Gary Fenick, Amos Alonzo Stagg, and “the Father of American Football” Walter Camp; ice hockey players Chris Higgins and Olympian Helen Resor; Olympic figure skaters Sarah Hughes and Nathan Chen; nine-time U.S. Squash men’s champion Julian Illingworth; Olympic swimmer Don Schollander; Olympic rowers Josh West and Rusty Wailes; Olympic sailor Stuart McNay; Olympic runner Frank Shorter; and others.

  • richardmitnick 11:40 am on May 29, 2022 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: "A New Quantum Technique Could Change How We Study The Universe", , , , , , , , , , , , , , Science Alert, , Stimulated Raman Adiabatic Passage (STIRAP),   

    From Macquarie University (AU) and The National University of Singapore [新加坡国立大学](SG) via Science Alert : “A New Quantum Technique Could Change How We Study The Universe” “ 

    From Macquarie University (AU)


    The National University of Singapore [新加坡国立大学](SG)



    Science Alert

    29 MAY 2022

    (sakkmesterke/iStock/Getty Images)

    There’s a revolution underway in astronomy. In fact, you might say there are several. In the past ten years, exoplanet studies have advanced considerably, gravitational wave astronomy has emerged as a new field, and the first images of supermassive black holes (SMBHs) have been captured.

    A related field, interferometry, has also advanced incredibly thanks to highly-sensitive instruments and the ability to share and combine data from observatories worldwide. In particular, the science of very-long baseline interferometry (VLBI) is opening entirely new realms of possibility.

    According to a recent study by researchers from Australia and Singapore, a new quantum technique could enhance optical VLBI. It’s known as Stimulated Raman Adiabatic Passage (STIRAP), which allows quantum information to be transferred without losses.

    When imprinted into a quantum error correction code, this technique could allow for VLBI observations into previously inaccessible wavelengths. Once integrated with next-generation instruments, this technique could allow for more detailed studies of black holes, exoplanets, the Solar System, and the surfaces of distant stars.

    The research was led by Zixin Huang, a postdoctoral research fellow with the Centre for Engineered Quantum Systems (EQuS) at Macquarie University in Sydney, Australia. She was joined by Gavin Brennan, a professor of theoretical physics with the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering and the Centre of Quantum Technologies at the National University of Singapore (NUS), and Yingkai Ouyang, a senior research fellow with the Centre of Quantum Technologies at NUS.

    Animated sequence of the VLTI images of stars around the Milky Way’s central black hole. Credit: The European Southern Observatory [La Observatorio Europeo Austral] [Observatoire européen austral][Europaiche Sûdsternwarte] (EU)(CL).

    To put it plainly, the interferometry technique consists of combining light from various telescopes to create images of an object that would otherwise be too difficult to resolve.

    Very-long baseline interferometry refers to a specific technique used in radio astronomy where signals from an astronomical radio source (black holes, quasars, pulsars, star-forming nebulae, etc.) are combined to create detailed images of their structure and activity.

    In recent years, VLBI has yielded the most detailed images of the stars that orbit Sagitarrius A* (Sgr A*), the SMBH at the center of our galaxy. It also allowed astronomers with the Event Horizon Telescope (EHT) Collaboration to capture the first image of a black hole (M87*)[above] and Sgr A*[above] itself!

    Event Horizon Telescope Array

    EHT map.
    The locations of the radio dishes that will be part of the Event Horizon Telescope array. Image credit: Event Horizon Telescope sites, via University of Arizona at https://www.as.arizona.edu/event-horizon-telescope.

    About the Event Horizon Telescope (EHT)

    The EHT consortium consists of 13 stakeholder institutes; The Academia Sinica Institute of Astronomy & Astrophysics [中央研究院天文及天文物理研究所](TW) , The University of Arizona, The University of Chicago, The East Asian Observatory, Goethe University Frankfurt [Goethe-Universität](DE), Institut de Radioastronomie Millimétrique, Large Millimeter Telescope, The MPG Institute for Radio Astronomy[MPG Institut für Radioastronomie](DE), MIT Haystack Observatory, The National Astronomical Observatory of Japan[[国立天文台](JP), The Perimeter Institute for Theoretical Physics (CA), Radboud University [Radboud Universiteit](NL) and The Center for Astrophysics | Harvard & Smithsonian.

    But as they indicated in their study, classical interferometry is still hindered by several physical limitations, including information loss, noise, and the fact that the light obtained is generally quantum in nature (where photons are entangled). By addressing these limitations, VLBI could be used for much finer astronomical surveys.

    Said Dr. Huang to Universe Today via email: “Current state-of-the-art large baseline imaging systems operate in the microwave band of the electromagnetic spectrum. To realize optical interferometry, you need all parts of the interferometer to be stable to within a fraction of a wavelength of light, so the light can interfere.

    This is very hard to do over large distances: sources of noise can come from the instrument itself, thermal expansion and contraction, vibration and etc.; and on top of that, there are losses associated with the optical elements.

    “The idea of this line of research is to allow us to move into the optical frequencies from microwaves; these techniques equally apply to infrared. We can already do large-baseline interferometry in the microwave. However, this task becomes very difficult in optical frequencies, because even the fastest electronics cannot directly measure the oscillations of the electric field at these frequencies.”

    The key to overcoming these limitations, says Dr. Huang and her colleagues, is to employ quantum communication techniques like Stimulated Raman Adiabatic Passage. STIRAP consists of using two coherent light pulses to transfer optical information between two applicable quantum states.

    When applied to VLBI, said Huang, it will allow for efficient and selective population transfers between quantum states without suffering from the usual issues of noise or loss.

    As they describe in their paper [above], the process they envision would involve coherently coupling the starlight into “dark” atomic states that do not radiate.

    The next step, said Huang, is to couple the light with quantum error correction (QEC), a technique used in quantum computing to protect quantum information from errors due to decoherence and other “quantum noise.”

    But as Huang indicates, this same technique could allow for more detailed and accurate interferometry:

    “To mimic a large optical interferometer, the light must be collected and processed coherently, and we propose to use quantum error correction to mitigate errors due to loss and noise in this process.

    “Quantum error correction is a rapidly developing area mainly focused on enabling scalable quantum computing in the presence of errors. In combination with pre-distributed entanglement, we can perform the operations that extract the information we need from starlight while suppressing noise.”

    To test their theory, the team considered a scenario where two facilities (Alice and Bob) separated by long distances collect astronomical light.

    Each share pre-distributed entanglement and contain “quantum memories” into which the light is captured, and each prepare its own set of quantum data (qubits) into some QEC code. The received quantum states are then imprinted onto a shared QEC code by a decoder, which protects the data from subsequent noisy operations.

    In the “encoder” stage, the signal is captured into the quantum memories via the STIRAP technique, which allows the incoming light to be coherently coupled into a non-radiative state of an atom.

    The ability to capture light from astronomical sources that account for quantum states (and eliminates quantum noise and information loss) would be a game-changer for interferometry. Moreover, these improvements would have significant implications for other fields of astronomy that are also being revolutionized today.

    “By moving into optical frequencies, such a quantum imaging network will improve imaging resolution by three to five orders of magnitude,” said Huang.

    “It would be powerful enough to image small planets around nearby stars, details of solar systems, kinematics of stellar surfaces, accretion disks, and potentially details around the event horizons of black holes – none of which currently planned projects can resolve.”

    In the near future, the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) will use its advanced suite of infrared imaging instruments to characterize exoplanet atmospheres like never before. The same is true of ground-based observatories like the Extremely Large Telescope (ELT), Giant Magellan Telescope (GMT), and Thirty Meter Telescope (TMT).

    Between their large primary mirrors, adaptive optics, coronagraphs, and spectrometers, these observatories will enable direct imaging studies of exoplanets, yielding valuable information about their surfaces and atmospheres.

    By taking advantage of new quantum techniques and integrating them with VLBI, observatories will have another way to capture images of some of the most inaccessible and hard-to-see objects in our Universe.

    See the full article here .


    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

    Stem Education Coalition

    The National University of Singapore (NUS) is the national research university of Singapore. Founded in 1905 as the Straits Settlements and Federated Malay States Government Medical School, NUS is the oldest higher education institution in Singapore. According to a number of surveys, it is consistently ranked within the top 20 universities in the world and is considered to be the best university in the Asia-Pacific by the QS ranking. NUS is a comprehensive research university, offering a wide range of disciplines, including the sciences, medicine and dentistry, design and environment, law, arts and social sciences, engineering, business, computing and music at both the undergraduate and postgraduate levels.

    NUS’s main campus is located in the southwestern part of Singapore, adjacent to Kent Ridge, accommodating an area of 150 ha (0.58 sq mi); the Duke-NUS Medical School, a postgraduate medical school jointly established with Duke University, is located at the Outram campus; its Bukit Timah campus houses the Faculty of Law and Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy; the Yale-NUS College, a liberal arts college established in collaboration with Yale University (US), is located at University Town (commonly known as UTown). NUS has one Nobel laureate, Konstantin Novoselov, as a professor among its faculty.


    Among the major research focuses at NUS are biomedical and life sciences, physical sciences, engineering, nanoscience and nanotechnology, materials science and engineering, infocommunication and infotechnology, humanities and social sciences, and defence-related research.

    One of several niche research areas of strategic importance to Singapore being undertaken at NUS is bioengineering. Initiatives in this area include bioimaging, tissue engineering and tissue modulation. Another new field which holds much promise is nanoscience and nanotechnology. Apart from higher-performance but lower-maintenance materials for manufacturing, defence, transportation, space and environmental applications, this field also heralds the development of accelerated biotechnical applications in medicine, health care and agriculture.

    Research institutes and centres

    Currently, NUS hosts 21 university-level research institutes and centres (RICs) in various fields such as research on Asia, risk management, logistics, engineering sciences, mathematical sciences, biomedical and life sciences, nanotechnology to marine studies. Besides that, NUS also hosts three Research Centres of Excellence, namely, the Cancer Science Institute of Singapore, Centre for Quantum Technologies and Mechanobiology Institute, Singapore – a partner in Singapore’s fifth Research Centre of Excellence. Besides university-level RICs, NUS also has close affiliation with many national research centres and institutes. A special mention is required for The Logistics Institute – Asia Pacific, which is a collaborative effort between NUS and the Georgia Institute of Technology (US) for research and education programmes in logistics. NUS announced its most recent research institute, the Next Age Institute, a partnership with Washington University in St. Louis (US), in February 2015.

    Macquarie University campus

    Established in 1964, Macquarie University (AU)began as a bold experiment in higher education. Built to break from traditions: to be distinctive, progressive, and to be transformational. Today our pioneering history continues to be a source of inspiration as we celebrate our place among the best and brightest minds.

    Recognised internationally, Macquarie University is consistently ranked in the top two per cent of universities in the world* and within the top 10 in Australia*.

    Our research is leading the way in ground-breaking discoveries. Our academics are at the forefront of innovation and, as accomplished researchers, we are embracing the opportunity to tackle the big issues of our time.

    Led by the Vice-Chancellor, Professor S Bruce Dowton, Macquarie is home to five faculties. The fifth and newest – Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences – was formed in 2014. We are also home to some of Australia’s most exceptional facilities – hubs of innovation that unite our students, researchers, academics and partners to achieve extraordinary things.

    Discover our story.

  • richardmitnick 11:25 am on May 28, 2022 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: "Study Says Supermassive Black Holes May Come From Comparatively Humble Beginnings", , , , , , , Science Alert,   

    From University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill via Science Alert : “Study Says Supermassive Black Holes May Come From Comparatively Humble Beginnings” 

    From The University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill



    Science Alert

    28 MAY 2022

    We all know that a humongous black hole exists at the center of our galaxy. It’s called Sagittarius A* (Sgr A* for short) and it has the mass of 4 million suns. We got to see a radio image of it a few weeks back, showing its accretion disk.

    So, we know it’s there. Astronomers can chart its actions as it gobbles up matter occasionally and they can see how it affects nearby stars.

    What astronomers are still trying to understand is how Sgr A* formed.

    The answer looks like it involves smaller black holes, especially ones from so-called dwarf galaxies. According to a paper published this past week in The Astrophysical Journal by astronomers at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, there’s a whole treasury of them out there.

    These things are sitting inside many dwarfs and may provide a missing link to the growth of supermassive black holes in larger galaxies.

    Massive (and Supermassive) Black Holes and their Lairs

    So, let’s dig into this a bit more, starting with supermassive black holes.

    They lurk in the hearts of many, many galaxies. These monsters have millions or billions of solar masses. How did they get to be so big?

    The answer involves a topic that we see across astronomy and planetary science: hierarchical models. That’s a fancy way of saying that big things are created from smaller things.

    For example, planets get started as dust grains that stick together to make rocks that slam together to make asteroids that collide to create planetesimals that glom onto each other to make planets.

    Galaxy formation has its own hierarchical model, too. What creates one of those stellar cities? Galaxies like the Milky Way started out as a collection of gas in the early Universe.

    That gas formed stars, which evolved, died, and spread their materials out to help create new generations of stars (and their planets).

    In many senses, dwarf galaxies are more like the primordial galaxies than they are the evolved spirals and ellipticals.

    Okay, so we simplified things here to give a look at a complex topic that takes up entire textbooks. And, that’s even before we get to galaxy mergers.

    Growing a Big Galaxy from Little Ones

    Let’s look at the Milky Way’s past more closely. It has an extensive merger history, going back billions of years. It started as an infant (maybe it was a dwarf) some 14 billion years ago. Other little ones merged with it.

    Eventually, we got the home galaxy we all know and love today. (And let’s not forget that it will, in fact, merge with the Andromeda Galaxy in a few billion years.)

    Andromeda Galaxy (Messier 31). Credit: Adam Evans.

    So, those little guys that merged to make the current Milky Way; chances are good some were dwarfs. They’re the little cousins of the big spirals and ellipticals. A typical one has maybe a thousand to a billion stars and sports an irregular shape.

    Their stars are what astronomers call “metal-poor” (meaning they’re mostly hydrogen and helium). And, these weird little galaxies swarm around some larger ones like fireflies. Sometimes they even get caught and swallowed up.

    The Milky Way has about 20 or so of them orbiting around it. One – the Sagittarius Dwarf – is getting interacting and getting cannibalized as you read this. It’s made the trip through our galaxy numerous times.

    It seems that dwarf galaxies like this one could have what’s called “growing black holes” as part of their structures. How do we know this? Astronomers found ways to survey the nearby Universe to look for candidate dwarf galaxies with such growing black holes.

    Finding Black Holes in All the Small Places

    The North Carolina team actually found a number of such dwarfs. It all began when they posed the question: where do supermassive black holes come from?

    The answer seems to be they grow by collisions with other black holes. That makes sense in a hierarchical model way.

    Small stellar-mass black holes could collide, particularly in crowded environments (like a dwarf galaxy or a thickly settled cluster). Eventually, they form more-massive ones.

    Such “growing black holes” are seen in big, bright galaxies, but what about the dwarfs? Could they have them? If they do, how abundant are they in such small galaxies? And, could they be key to understanding the growth of supermassive black holes?

    To get answers to all those questions, a team led by UNC-Chapel Hill faculty members Sheila Kannappan and Mugdha Polimera got to work.

    They analyzed galaxy data from several surveys to hunt for evidence of growing black holes. The team looked for bright emissions like those you’d see indicating star formation or around black hole accretion disks.

    Their data came from the Sloan Digital Sky Survey, plus the REsolved Spectroscopy of a Local VolumE (RESOLVE) and Environmental COntext Catalog (ECO).

    Apache Point Observatory
    SDSS Telescope at Apache Point Observatory, near Sunspot NM, USA, Altitude 2,788 meters (9,147 ft).

    Apache Point Observatory near Sunspot, New Mexico Altitude 2,788 meters (9,147 ft).

    They found evidence of growing black holes in a significant percentage of dwarf galaxies. These galaxies sometimes get “tossed out” of surveys of brighter, bigger galaxies because their emissions aren’t (or weren’t) well-understood.

    It turns out, they are a treasure trove for black hole research.

    Bright Emissions Reveal Black Holes

    The clue was in the strong emissions the regions around those black holes give off.

    Kannappan compared this black hole discovery to a familiar source of light here in some places on Earth.

    “Just like fireflies, we see black holes only when they’re lit up – when they’re growing – and the lit-up ones give us a clue to how many we can’t see,” she said.

    Essentially, Kannapan and the team are talking about dwarf galaxies with active black holes at their hearts (in other words, active galactic nuclei).

    Of course, there are other reasons why a dwarf galaxy could have strong emissions. For example, the dwarfs could have massive spurts of star formation going on. That activity causes bright spectral emissions, too.

    “We all got nervous,” Polimera said. “The first question to my mind was: Have we missed a way in which extreme star formation alone could explain these galaxies?”

    Polimera spent years researching any alternative explanations for these dwarf galaxy AGNs. After excluding all the other possibilities, growing black holes fit the data the best.
    Implications for Growing Black Hole Monsters

    The discovery of growing black holes in dwarf galaxies brings us back to the Milky Way and its central black hole.

    Based on the implications of the North Carolina research, Sgr A* very likely grew as our galaxy did. Not only did its past mergers mingle stars, but each dwarf could also have brought along its own growing black hole.

    They had to go somewhere, right? So, why wouldn’t they gravitate (excuse the pun) to each other to add to the greatness of Sgr A*?

    “The black holes we’ve found are the basic building blocks of supermassive black holes like the one in our own Milky Way,” Kannappan said. “There’s so much we want to learn about them.”

    See the full article here .


    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

    Stem Education Coalition

    The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill is a public research university in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. The flagship of the University of North Carolina system, it is considered a Public Ivy, or a public institution which offers an academic experience similar to that of an Ivy League university. After being chartered in 1789, the university first began enrolling students in 1795, making it one of the oldest public universities in the United States. Among the claimants, the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill is the only one to have held classes and graduated students as a public university in the eighteenth century.

    The first public institution of higher education in North Carolina, the school opened its doors to students on February 12, 1795. North Carolina became coeducational under the leadership of President Kemp Plummer Battle in 1877 and began the process of desegregation under Chancellor Robert Burton House when African-American graduate students were admitted in 1951. In 1952, North Carolina opened its own hospital, University of North Carolina Health Care, for research and treatment, and has since specialized in cancer care through University of North Carolina’s Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center which is one of only 51 national NCI designated comprehensive centers.

    The university offers degrees in over 70 courses of study and is administratively divided into 13 separate professional schools and a primary unit, the College of Arts & Sciences. Five of the schools have been named: the University of North Carolina Kenan–Flagler Business School, the University of North Carolina Hussman School of Journalism and Media, the University of North Carolina Gillings School of Global Public Health, the University of North Carolina Eshelman School of Pharmacy, and the University of North Carolina Adams School of Dentistry. All undergraduates receive a liberal arts education and have the option to pursue a major within the professional schools of the university or within the College of Arts and Sciences from the time they obtain junior status. It is classified among “R1: Doctoral Universities – Very high research activity”, and is a member of The Association of American Universities.According to the National Science Foundation, UNC spent $1.14 billion on research and development in 2018, ranking 12th in the nation.

    The University of North Carolina’s faculty and alumni include 9 Nobel Prize laureates, 23 Pulitzer Prize winners, and 51 Rhodes Scholars. Additional notable alumni include a U.S. President, a U.S. Vice President, 38 Governors of U.S. States, 98 members of the United States Congress, and nine Cabinet members as well as CEOs of Fortune 500 companies, Olympians and professional athletes.

    The campus covers 729 acres (3 km^2) of Chapel Hill’s downtown area, encompassing the Morehead Planetarium and the many stores and shops located on Franklin Street. Students can participate in over 550 officially recognized student organizations. The student-run newspaper The Daily Tar Heel has won national awards for collegiate media, while the student radio station WXYC provided the world’s first internet radio broadcast. University of North Carolina Chapel Hill is one of the charter members of the Atlantic Coast Conference, which was founded on June 14, 1953. Competing athletically as the Tar Heels, UNC has achieved great success in sports, most notably in men’s basketball, women’s soccer, and women’s field hockey.

    Chartered by the North Carolina General Assembly on December 11, 1789, the university’s cornerstone was laid on October 12, 1793, near the ruins of a chapel, chosen because of its central location within the state. The first public university chartered under the US Constitution, The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill is one of three universities that claims to be the oldest public university in the United States and the only such institution to confer degrees in the eighteenth century as a public institution.

    During the Civil War, North Carolina Governor David Lowry Swain persuaded Confederate President Jefferson Davis to exempt some students from the draft, so the university was one of the few in the Confederacy that managed to stay open. However, Chapel Hill suffered the loss of more of its population during the war than any village in the South, and when student numbers did not recover, the university was forced to close during Reconstruction from December 1, 1870, until September 6, 1875. Following the reopening, enrollment was slow to increase and university administrators offered free tuition for the sons of teachers and ministers, as well as loans for those who could not afford attendance.

    Following the Civil War, the university began to modernize its programs and onboard faculty with prestigious degrees. The creation of a new gymnasium, funding for a new Chemistry laboratory, and organization of the Graduate Department were accomplishments touted by University of North Carolina president Francis Venable at the 1905 “University Day” celebration.

    Despite initial skepticism from university President Frank Porter Graham, on March 27, 1931, legislation was passed to group the University of North Carolina with the State College of Agriculture and Engineering and Woman’s College of the University of North Carolina to form the Consolidated University of North Carolina. In 1963, the consolidated university was made fully coeducational, although most women still attended Woman’s College for their first two years, transferring to Chapel Hill as juniors, since freshmen were required to live on campus and there was only one women’s residence hall. As a result, Woman’s College was renamed the “University of North Carolina at Greensboro”, and the University of North Carolina became the “University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.” In 1955, The University of North Carolina officially desegregated its undergraduate divisions.

    During World War II, the University of North Carolina 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.

    During the 1960s, the campus was the location of significant political protest. Prior to the passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, protests about local racial segregation which began quietly in Franklin Street restaurants led to mass demonstrations and disturbance. The climate of civil unrest prompted the 1963 Speaker Ban Law prohibiting speeches by communists on state campuses in North Carolina. The law was immediately criticized by university Chancellor William Brantley Aycock and university President William Friday, but was not reviewed by the North Carolina General Assembly until 1965. Small amendments to allow “infrequent” visits failed to placate the student body, especially when the university’s board of trustees overruled new Chancellor Paul Frederick Sharp’s decision to allow speaking invitations to Marxist speaker Herbert Aptheker and civil liberties activist Frank Wilkinson; however, the two speakers came to Chapel Hill anyway. Wilkinson spoke off campus, while more than 1,500 students viewed Aptheker’s speech across a low campus wall at the edge of campus, christened “Dan Moore’s Wall” by The Daily Tar Heel for Governor Dan K. Moore. A group of the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill students, led by Student Body President Paul Dickson, filed a lawsuit in U.S. federal court, and on February 20, 1968, the Speaker Ban Law was struck down. In 1969, campus food workers of Lenoir Hall went on strike protesting perceived racial injustices that impacted their employment, garnering the support of student groups and members of the University and Chapel Hill community.

    From the late 1990s and onward, the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill expanded rapidly with a 15% increase in total student population to more than 28,000 by 2007. This is accompanied by the construction of new facilities, funded in part by the “Carolina First” fundraising campaign and an endowment that increased fourfold to more than $2 billion within ten years. Professor Oliver Smithies was awarded the Nobel Prize in Medicine in 2007 for his work in genetics. Additionally, Professor Aziz Sancar was awarded the Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 2015 for his work in understanding the molecular repair mechanisms of DNA.

    In 2011, the first of several investigations found fraud and academic dishonesty at the university related to its athletic program. Following a lesser scandal that began in 2010 involving academic fraud and improper benefits with the university’s football program, two hundred questionable classes offered by the university’s African and Afro-American Studies department (commonly known as AFAM) came to light. As a result, the university was placed on probation by its accrediting agency in 2015. It was removed from probation in 2016.

    That same year, the public universities in North Carolina had to share a budget cut of $414 million, of which the Chapel Hill campus lost more than $100 million in 2011. This followed state budget cuts that trimmed university spending by $231 million since 2007; Provost Bruce Carney said more than 130 faculty members have left the University of North Carolina since 2009, with poor staff retention. The Board of Trustees for the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill recommended a 15.6 percent increase in tuition, a historically large increase. The budget cuts in 2011 greatly affected the university and set this increased tuition plan in motion and the University of North Carolina students protested. On February 10, 2012, the University of North Carolina Board of Governors approved tuition and fee increases of 8.8 percent for in-state undergraduates across all 16 campuses.

    In June 2018, the Department of Education found that the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill had violated Title IX in handling reports of sexual assault, five years after four students and an administrator filed complaints. The university was also featured in The Hunting Ground, a 2015 documentary about sexual assault on college campuses. Annie E. Clark and Andrea Pino, two students featured in the film, helped to establish the survivor advocacy organization End Rape on Campus.

    In August 2018, the university came to national attention after the toppling of Silent Sam, a Confederate monument which had been erected on campus in 1913 by the United Daughters of the Confederacy. The statue had been dogged by controversy at various points since the 1960s, with critics claiming that the monument invokes memories of racism and slavery. Many critics cited the explicitly racist views espoused in the dedication speech that local industrialist and the University of North Carolina Trustee Julian Carr gave at the statue’s unveiling on June 2, 1913, and the approval with which they had been met by the crowd at the dedication. Shortly before the beginning of the 2018–2019 school year, the Silent Sam was toppled by protestors and damaged, and has been absent from campus ever since. In July 2020, the University’s Carr Hall, which was named after Julian Carr, was renamed the “Student Affairs Building.” Carr had supported white supremacy and also the Ku Klux Klan.

    After reopening its campus in August 2020, the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill reported 135 new COVID-19 cases and four infection clusters within a week of having started in-person classes for the Fall 2020 semester. On 10 August, faculty and staff from several of the University of North Carolina’s constituent institutions filed a complaint against its board of governors, asking the system to default to online-only instruction for the fall. On 17 August, the University of North Carolina’s management announced that the university would be moving all undergraduate classes online from 19 August, becoming the first university to send students home after having reopened.

    Notable leaders of the university include the 26th Governor of North Carolina, David Lowry Swain (president 1835–1868); and Edwin Anderson Alderman (1896–1900), who was also president of Tulane University and the University of Virginia. On December 13, 2019 the University of North Carolina System Board of Governors unanimously voted to name Kevin Guskiewicz the university’s 12th chancellor.

    the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill offers 71 bachelor’s, 107 master’s and 74 doctoral degree programs. The university enrolls more than 28,000 students from all 100 North Carolina counties, the other 49 states, and 47 other countries. It is the third largest university in North Carolina, just behind North Carolina State University and the University of North Carolina at Charlotte in enrollment. State law requires that the percentage of students from North Carolina in each freshman class meet or exceed 82%. The student body consists of 17,981 undergraduate students and 10,935 graduate and professional students (as of Fall 2009). Racial and ethnic minorities comprise 30.8% of the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill’s undergraduate population as of 2010 and applications from international students have more than doubled in the last five years (from 702 in 2004 to 1,629 in 2009). Eighty-nine percent of enrolling first year students in 2009 reported a GPA of 4.0 or higher on a weighted 4.0 scale. The University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill students are strong competitors for national and international scholarships. The most popular majors at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill are biology, business administration, psychology, media and journalism, and political science. The University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill also offers 300 study abroad programs in 70 countries.

    At the undergraduate level, all students must fulfill a number of general education requirements as part of the Making Connections curriculum, which was introduced in 2006. English, social science, history, foreign language, mathematics, and natural science courses are required of all students, ensuring that they receive a broad liberal arts education. The university also offers a wide range of first year seminars for incoming freshmen. After their second year, students move on to the College of Arts and Sciences, or choose an undergraduate professional school program within the schools of medicine, nursing, business, education, pharmacy, information and library science, public health, or media and journalism. Undergraduates are held to an eight-semester limit of study.

    For 2021, U.S. News & World Report ranks For 2021, U.S. News & World Report ranks UNC-Chapel Hill 5th among the public universities and tied for 28th nationally among both public and private universities in the United States. The Wall Street Journal ranked The University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill 3rd best public university behind The University of Michigan and The University of California-Los Angeles.

    The university was named a Public Ivy by Richard Moll in his 1985 book The Public Ivies: A Guide to America’s Best Public Undergraduate Colleges and Universities, and in later guides by Howard and Matthew Greene. Many of The University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill’s professional schools have achieved high rankings in publications such as Forbes magazine, as well as annual U.S. News & World Report surveys. In 2020, US News & World Report ranked the School of Medicine #1 in primary care and #23 in research. In 2016, U.S. News & World Report ranked UNC-Chapel Hill business school’s MBA program as the 16th best in the nation. In the 2019 edition, U.S. News & World Report ranked the UNC Gillings School of Global Public Health as the second best school of public health in the United States (behind Johns Hopkins and tied with Harvard). The UNC Eshelman School of Pharmacy was ranked #1 among pharmacy schools in the United States in 2020 by U.S. News & World Report. In 2005, Business Week ranked The University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill business school’s Executive MBA program as the 5th best in the United States. The University of North Carolina also offers an online MBA program, MBA@UNC, that is ranked #1 in the country in 2019 for Best Online MBA Programs (tied with the Kelley School of Business at Indiana University). Other highly ranked schools include journalism and mass communication, law, library and information science, medicine, dentistry, and city and regional planning. Nationally, The University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill is in the top ten public universities for research. Internationally, the 2016 QS World University Rankings ranked North Carolina 78th in the world (in 2010 Times Higher Education World University Rankings and QS World University Rankings parted ways to produce separate rankings). The University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill 5th among the public universities and tied for 28th nationally among both public and private universities in the United States. The Wall Street Journal ranked UNC-Chapel Hill 3rd best public university behind The University of Michigan and The University of California-Los Angeles.

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