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  • richardmitnick 9:48 pm on November 28, 2022 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: "Astronomers develop novel way to ‘see’ first stars through fog of early Universe", "REACH": Radio Experiment for the Analysis of Cosmic Hydrogen, "Seeing" through the fog of the early Universe and detect light from the first stars and galaxies., , , , Because of gravity the elements eventually came together and the conditions were right for nuclear fusion which is what formed the first stars., , , Observing the birth of the first stars and galaxies has been a goal of astronomers for decades., The signal that astronomers aim to detect is expected to be approximately one hundred thousand times weaker than other radio signals coming also from the sky., , The University of Cambridge (UK)   

    From The University of Cambridge (UK) Cavendish Laboratory – Department of Physics : “Astronomers develop novel way to ‘see’ first stars through fog of early Universe” 

    From The University of Cambridge (UK) Cavendish Laboratory – Department of Physics

    U Cambridge bloc

    7.21.22 [Just found this.]
    Jacqueline Garget
    External Affairs and Communications team
    The University of Cambridge (UK)
    jg533@cam.ac.uk

    1
    Artist’s impression of stars springing up out of the darkness. Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech.

    A team of astronomers has developed a method that will allow them to ‘see’ through the fog of the early Universe and detect light from the first stars and galaxies.

    The researchers, led by the University of Cambridge, have developed a methodology that will allow them to observe and study the first stars through the clouds of hydrogen that filled the Universe about 378,000 years after the Big Bang.

    Observing the birth of the first stars and galaxies has been a goal of astronomers for decades, as it will help explain how the Universe evolved from the emptiness after the Big Bang to the complex realm of celestial objects we observe today, 13.8 billion years later.

    The Square Kilometre Array (SKA) – a next-generation telescope due to be completed by the end of the decade – will likely be able to make images of the earliest light in the Universe, but for current telescopes the challenge is to detect the cosmological signal of the stars through the thick hydrogen clouds.







    The signal that astronomers aim to detect is expected to be approximately one hundred thousand times weaker than other radio signals coming also from the sky – for example, radio signals originating in our own galaxy.

    Using a radio telescope itself introduces distortions to the signal received, which can completely obscure the cosmological signal of interest. This is considered an extreme observational challenge in modern radio cosmology. Such instrument-related distortions are commonly blamed as the major bottleneck in this type of observation.

    Now the Cambridge-led team has developed a methodology to see through the primordial clouds and other sky noise signals, avoiding the detrimental effect of the distortions introduced by the radio telescope. Their methodology, part of the REACH (Radio Experiment for the Analysis of Cosmic Hydrogen) experiment, will allow astronomers to observe the earliest stars through their interaction with the hydrogen clouds, in the same way we would infer a landscape by looking at shadows in the fog.

    Their method will improve the quality and reliability of observations from radio telescopes looking at this unexplored key time in the development of the Universe. The first observations from REACH are expected later this year.

    The results are reported today in the journal Nature Astronomy [below].

    “At the time when the first stars formed, the Universe was mostly empty and composed mostly of hydrogen and helium,” said Dr Eloy de Lera Acedo from Cambridge’s Cavendish Laboratory, the paper’s lead author.

    He added: “Because of gravity, the elements eventually came together and the conditions were right for nuclear fusion, which is what formed the first stars. But they were surrounded by clouds of so-called neutral hydrogen, which absorb light really well, so it’s hard to detect or observe the light behind the clouds directly.”

    In 2018, another research group (running the ‘Experiment to Detect the Global Epoch of Reionization Signature’ – or EDGES) published a result that hinted at a possible detection of this earliest light, but astronomers have been unable to repeat the result – leading them to believe that the original result may have been due to interference from the telescope being used.

    “The original result would require new physics to explain it, due to the temperature of the hydrogen gas, which should be much cooler than our current understanding of the Universe would allow. Alternatively, an unexplained higher temperature of the background radiation – typically assumed to be the well-known Cosmic Microwave Background – could be the cause” said de Lera Acedo.

    He added: “If we can confirm that the signal found in that earlier experiment really was from the first stars, the implications would be huge.”

    In order to study this period in the Universe’s development, often referred to as the Cosmic Dawn, astronomers study the 21-centimetre line – an electromagnetic radiation signature from hydrogen in the early Universe.

    Dark Energy Camera Enables Astronomers a Glimpse at the Cosmic Dawn. Credit: The National Astronomical Observatory of Japan (国立天文台](JP).

    They look for a radio signal that measures the contrast between the radiation from the hydrogen and the radiation behind the hydrogen fog.

    The methodology developed by de Lera Acedo and his colleagues uses Bayesian statistics to detect a cosmological signal in the presence of interference from the telescope and general noise from the sky, so that the signals can be separated.

    To do this, state-of-the-art techniques and technologies from different fields have been required.

    The researchers used simulations to mimic a real observation using multiple antennas, which improves the reliability of the data – earlier observations have relied on a single antenna.

    “Our method jointly analyses data from multiple antennas and across a wider frequency band than equivalent current instruments. This approach will give us the necessary information for our Bayesian data analysis,” said de Lera Acedo.

    He added: “In essence, we forgot about traditional design strategies and instead focused on designing a telescope suited to the way we plan to analyze the data – something like an inverse design. This could help us measure things from the Cosmic Dawn and into the epoch of reionization, when hydrogen in the Universe was reionized.”

    Epoch of Reionization and first stars. Credit: California Institute of Technology.

    The telescope’s construction is currently being finalized at the Karoo radio reserve in South Africa, a location chosen for its excellent conditions for radio observations of the sky. It is far away from human-made radio frequency interference, for example television and FM radio signals.

    The REACH team of over 30 researchers is multidisciplinary and distributed worldwide, with experts in fields such as theoretical and observational cosmology, antenna design, radio frequency instrumentation, numerical modelling, digital processing, big data and Bayesian statistics. REACH is co-led by the University of Stellenbosch in South Africa.

    Professor de Villiers, co-lead of the project at the University of Stellenbosch in South Africa said: “Although the antenna technology used for this instrument is rather simple, the harsh and remote deployment environment, and the strict tolerances required in the manufacturing, make this a very challenging project to work on.”

    He added: “We are extremely excited to see how well the system will perform, and have full confidence we’ll make that elusive detection.”

    The Big Bang and very early times of the Universe are well understood epochs, thanks to studies of the Cosmic Microwave Background (CMB) radiation.

    Even better understood is the late and widespread evolution of stars and other celestial objects. But the time of formation of the first light in the Cosmos is a fundamental missing piece in the puzzle of the history of the Universe.

    The research was supported by the Kavli Institute for Cosmology in Cambridge (UK), the National Research Foundation (South Africa), the Cambridge-Africa ALBORADA trust (UK) and the Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC), part of UK Research and Innovation (UKRI).

    Science paper:
    Nature Astronomy

    See the full article here .

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

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    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

    Stem Education Coalition

    2

    The Cavendish Laboratory is the Department of Physics at the University of Cambridge, and is part of the School of Physical Sciences. The laboratory was opened in 1874 on the New Museums Site as a laboratory for experimental physics and is named after the British chemist and physicist Henry Cavendish. The laboratory has had a huge influence on research in the disciplines of physics and biology.

    As of 2019, 30 Cavendish researchers have won Nobel Prizes. Notable discoveries to have occurred at the Cavendish Laboratory include the discovery of the electron, neutron, and structure of DNA.

    The Cavendish Laboratory was initially located on the New Museums Site, Free School Lane, in the centre of Cambridge. It is named after British chemist and physicist Henry Cavendish for contributions to science and his relative William Cavendish, 7th Duke of Devonshire, who served as chancellor of the university and donated funds for the construction of the laboratory.

    Professor James Clerk Maxwell, the developer of electromagnetic theory, was a founder of the laboratory and the first Cavendish Professor of Physics. The Duke of Devonshire had given to Maxwell, as head of the laboratory, the manuscripts of Henry Cavendish’s unpublished Electrical Works. The editing and publishing of these was Maxwell’s main scientific work while he was at the laboratory. Cavendish’s work aroused Maxwell’s intense admiration and he decided to call the Laboratory (formerly known as the Devonshire Laboratory) the Cavendish Laboratory and thus to commemorate both the Duke and Henry Cavendish.

    Physics

    Several important early physics discoveries were made here, including the discovery of the electron by J.J. Thomson (1897); the Townsend discharge by John Sealy Townsend and the development of the cloud chamber by C.T.R. Wilson.

    Ernest Rutherford became Director of the Cavendish Laboratory in 1919. Under his leadership the neutron was discovered by James Chadwick in 1932, and in the same year the first experiment to split the nucleus in a fully controlled manner was performed by students working under his direction; John Cockcroft and Ernest Walton.

    Physical chemistry

    Physical Chemistry (originally the department of Colloid Science led by Eric Rideal) had left the old Cavendish site, subsequently locating as the Department of Physical Chemistry (under RG Norrish) in the then new chemistry building with the Department of Chemistry (led by Lord Todd) in Lensfield Road: both chemistry departments merged in the 1980s.

    Nuclear physics

    In World War II the laboratory carried out research for the MAUD Committee, part of the British Tube Alloys project of research into the atomic bomb. Researchers included Nicholas Kemmer, Alan Nunn May, Anthony French, Samuel Curran and the French scientists including Lew Kowarski and Hans von Halban. Several transferred to Canada in 1943; the Montreal Laboratory and some later to the Chalk River Laboratories. The production of plutonium and neptunium by bombarding uranium-238 with neutrons was predicted in 1940 by two teams working independently: Egon Bretscher and Norman Feather at the Cavendish and Edwin M. McMillan and Philip Abelson at Berkeley Radiation Laboratory at The University of California-Berkeley.

    Biology

    The Cavendish Laboratory has had an important influence on biology, mainly through the application of X-ray crystallography to the study of structures of biological molecules. Francis Crick already worked in the Medical Research Council Unit, headed by Max Perutz and housed in the Cavendish Laboratory, when James Watson came from the United States and they made a breakthrough in discovering the structure of DNA. For their work while in the Cavendish Laboratory, they were jointly awarded the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine in 1962, together with Maurice Wilkins of King’s College London (UK), himself a graduate of St. John’s College, Cambridge.

    The discovery was made on 28 February 1953; the first Watson/Crick paper appeared in Nature on 25 April 1953. Sir Lawrence Bragg, the director of the Cavendish Laboratory, where Watson and Crick worked, gave a talk at Guy’s Hospital Medical School in London on Thursday 14 May 1953 which resulted in an article by Ritchie Calder in The News Chronicle of London, on Friday 15 May 1953, entitled Why You Are You. Nearer Secret of Life. The news reached readers of The New York Times the next day; Victor K. McElheny, in researching his biography, Watson and DNA: Making a Scientific Revolution, found a clipping of a six-paragraph New York Times article written from London and dated 16 May 1953 with the headline Form of `Life Unit’ in Cell Is Scanned. The article ran in an early edition and was then pulled to make space for news deemed more important. (The New York Times subsequently ran a longer article on 12 June 1953). The Cambridge University undergraduate newspaper Varsity also ran its own short article on the discovery on Saturday 30 May 1953. Bragg’s original announcement of the discovery at a Solvay Conference on proteins in Belgium on 8 April 1953 went unreported by the British press.

    Sydney Brenner, Jack Dunitz, Dorothy Hodgkin, Leslie Orgel, and Beryl M. Oughton, were some of the first people in April 1953 to see the model of the structure of DNA, constructed by Crick and Watson; at the time they were working at The University of Oxford (UK)’s Chemistry Department. All were impressed by the new DNA model, especially Brenner who subsequently worked with Crick at Cambridge in the Cavendish Laboratory and the new Laboratory of Molecular Biology. According to the late Dr. Beryl Oughton, later Rimmer, they all travelled together in two cars once Dorothy Hodgkin announced to them that they were off to Cambridge to see the model of the structure of DNA. Orgel also later worked with Crick at The Salk Institute for Biological Studies.

    U Cambridge Campus

    The University of Cambridge (UK) [legally The Chancellor, Masters, and Scholars of the University of Cambridge] is a collegiate public research university in Cambridge, England. Founded in 1209 Cambridge is the second-oldest university in the English-speaking world and the world’s fourth-oldest surviving university. It grew out of an association of scholars who left the University of Oxford (UK) after a dispute with townsfolk. The two ancient universities share many common features and are often jointly referred to as “Oxbridge”.

    Cambridge is formed from a variety of institutions which include 31 semi-autonomous constituent colleges and over 150 academic departments, faculties and other institutions organized into six schools. All the colleges are self-governing institutions within the university, each controlling its own membership and with its own internal structure and activities. All students are members of a college. Cambridge does not have a main campus and its colleges and central facilities are scattered throughout the city. Undergraduate teaching at Cambridge is organized around weekly small-group supervisions in the colleges – a feature unique to the Oxbridge system. These are complemented by classes, lectures, seminars, laboratory work and occasionally further supervisions provided by the central university faculties and departments. Postgraduate teaching is provided predominantly centrally.

    Cambridge University Press a department of the university is the oldest university press in the world and currently the second largest university press in the world. Cambridge Assessment also a department of the university is one of the world’s leading examining bodies and provides assessment to over eight million learners globally every year. The university also operates eight cultural and scientific museums, including the Fitzwilliam Museum, as well as a botanic garden. Cambridge’s libraries – of which there are 116 – hold a total of around 16 million books, around nine million of which are in Cambridge University Library, a legal deposit library. The university is home to – but independent of – the Cambridge Union – the world’s oldest debating society. The university is closely linked to the development of the high-tech business cluster known as “Silicon Fe”. It is the central member of Cambridge University Health Partners, an academic health science centre based around the Cambridge Biomedical Campus.

    By both endowment size and consolidated assets Cambridge is the wealthiest university in the United Kingdom. In the fiscal year ending 31 July 2019, the central university – excluding colleges – had a total income of £2.192 billion of which £592.4 million was from research grants and contracts. At the end of the same financial year the central university and colleges together possessed a combined endowment of over £7.1 billion and overall consolidated net assets (excluding “immaterial” historical assets) of over £12.5 billion. It is a member of numerous associations and forms part of the ‘golden triangle’ of English universities.

    Cambridge has educated many notable alumni including eminent mathematicians; scientists; politicians; lawyers; philosophers; writers; actors; monarchs and other heads of state. As of October 2020, 121 Nobel laureates; 11 Fields Medalists; 7 Turing Award winners; and 14 British prime ministers have been affiliated with Cambridge as students; alumni; faculty or research staff. University alumni have won 194 Olympic medals.

    History

    By the late 12th century, the Cambridge area already had a scholarly and ecclesiastical reputation due to monks from the nearby bishopric church of Ely. However, it was an incident at Oxford which is most likely to have led to the establishment of the university: three Oxford scholars were hanged by the town authorities for the death of a woman without consulting the ecclesiastical authorities who would normally take precedence (and pardon the scholars) in such a case; but were at that time in conflict with King John. Fearing more violence from the townsfolk scholars from the University of Oxford started to move away to cities such as Paris; Reading; and Cambridge. Subsequently enough scholars remained in Cambridge to form the nucleus of a new university when it had become safe enough for academia to resume at Oxford. In order to claim precedence, it is common for Cambridge to trace its founding to the 1231 charter from Henry III granting it the right to discipline its own members (ius non-trahi extra) and an exemption from some taxes; Oxford was not granted similar rights until 1248.

    A bull in 1233 from Pope Gregory IX gave graduates from Cambridge the right to teach “everywhere in Christendom”. After Cambridge was described as a studium generale in a letter from Pope Nicholas IV in 1290 and confirmed as such in a bull by Pope John XXII in 1318 it became common for researchers from other European medieval universities to visit Cambridge to study or to give lecture courses.

    Foundation of the colleges

    The colleges at the University of Cambridge were originally an incidental feature of the system. No college is as old as the university itself. The colleges were endowed fellowships of scholars. There were also institutions without endowments called hostels. The hostels were gradually absorbed by the colleges over the centuries; but they have left some traces, such as the name of Garret Hostel Lane.

    Hugh Balsham, Bishop of Ely, founded Peterhouse – Cambridge’s first college in 1284. Many colleges were founded during the 14th and 15th centuries but colleges continued to be established until modern times. There was a gap of 204 years between the founding of Sidney Sussex in 1596 and that of Downing in 1800. The most recently established college is Robinson built in the late 1970s. However, Homerton College only achieved full university college status in March 2010 making it the newest full college (it was previously an “Approved Society” affiliated with the university).

    In medieval times many colleges were founded so that their members would pray for the souls of the founders and were often associated with chapels or abbeys. The colleges’ focus changed in 1536 with the Dissolution of the Monasteries. Henry VIII ordered the university to disband its Faculty of Canon Law and to stop teaching “scholastic philosophy”. In response, colleges changed their curricula away from canon law and towards the classics; the Bible; and mathematics.

    Nearly a century later the university was at the centre of a Protestant schism. Many nobles, intellectuals and even commoners saw the ways of the Church of England as too similar to the Catholic Church and felt that it was used by the Crown to usurp the rightful powers of the counties. East Anglia was the centre of what became the Puritan movement. In Cambridge the movement was particularly strong at Emmanuel; St Catharine’s Hall; Sidney Sussex; and Christ’s College. They produced many “non-conformist” graduates who, greatly influenced by social position or preaching left for New England and especially the Massachusetts Bay Colony during the Great Migration decade of the 1630s. Oliver Cromwell, Parliamentary commander during the English Civil War and head of the English Commonwealth (1649–1660), attended Sidney Sussex.

    Modern period

    After the Cambridge University Act formalized the organizational structure of the university the study of many new subjects was introduced e.g. theology, history and modern languages. Resources necessary for new courses in the arts architecture and archaeology were donated by Viscount Fitzwilliam of Trinity College who also founded the Fitzwilliam Museum. In 1847 Prince Albert was elected Chancellor of the University of Cambridge after a close contest with the Earl of Powis. Albert used his position as Chancellor to campaign successfully for reformed and more modern university curricula, expanding the subjects taught beyond the traditional mathematics and classics to include modern history and the natural sciences. Between 1896 and 1902 Downing College sold part of its land to build the Downing Site with new scientific laboratories for anatomy, genetics, and Earth sciences. During the same period the New Museums Site was erected including the Cavendish Laboratory which has since moved to the West Cambridge Site and other departments for chemistry and medicine.

    The University of Cambridge began to award PhD degrees in the first third of the 20th century. The first Cambridge PhD in mathematics was awarded in 1924.

    In the First World War 13,878 members of the university served and 2,470 were killed. Teaching and the fees it earned came almost to a stop and severe financial difficulties followed. As a consequence, the university first received systematic state support in 1919 and a Royal Commission appointed in 1920 recommended that the university (but not the colleges) should receive an annual grant. Following the Second World War the university saw a rapid expansion of student numbers and available places; this was partly due to the success and popularity gained by many Cambridge scientists.

     
  • richardmitnick 10:57 pm on November 14, 2022 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: "Study of ‘polluted’ white dwarfs finds that stars and planets grow together", A study of some of the oldest stars in the Universe suggests that the building blocks of planets like Jupiter and Saturn begin to form while a young star is growing., A team of astronomers have found that planet formation in our young Solar System started much earlier than previously thought., , , , , , , The University of Cambridge (UK), This potentially solves a major puzzle in astronomy.   

    From The Institute of Astronomy At The University of Cambridge (UK): “Study of ‘polluted’ white dwarfs finds that stars and planets grow together” 

    From The Institute of Astronomy

    At

    U Cambridge bloc

    The University of Cambridge

    11.14.22
    Sarah Collins
    sarah.collins@admin.cam.ac.uk

    1
    Credit: Amanda Smith.

    A team of astronomers have found that planet formation in our young Solar System started much earlier than previously thought, with the building blocks of planets growing at the same time as their parent star.

    A study of some of the oldest stars in the Universe suggests that the building blocks of planets like Jupiter and Saturn begin to form while a young star is growing. It had been thought that planets only form once a star has reached its final size, but new results, published in the journal Nature Astronomy [below], suggest that stars and planets ‘grow up’ together.

    The research, led by the University of Cambridge, changes our understanding of how planetary systems, including our own Solar System, formed, potentially solving a major puzzle in astronomy.

    “We have a pretty good idea of how planets form, but one outstanding question we’ve had is when they form: does planet formation start early, when the parent star is still growing, or millions of years later?” said Dr Amy Bonsor from Cambridge’s Institute of Astronomy, the study’s first author.

    To attempt to answer this question, Bonsor and her colleagues studied the atmospheres of white dwarf stars – the ancient, faint remnants of stars like our Sun – to investigate the building blocks of planet formation. The study also involved researchers from the University of Oxford, the Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität in Munich, the University of Groningen and the Max Planck Institute for Solar System Research, Gottingen.

    “Some white dwarfs are amazing laboratories, because their thin atmospheres are almost like celestial graveyards,” said Bonsor.

    Normally, the interiors of planets are out of reach of telescopes. But a special class of white dwarfs – known as ‘polluted’ systems – have heavy elements such as magnesium, iron, and calcium in their normally clean atmospheres.

    These elements must have come from small bodies like asteroids left over from planet formation, which crashed into the white dwarfs and burned up in their atmospheres. As a result, spectroscopic observations of polluted white dwarfs can probe the interiors of those torn-apart asteroids, giving astronomers direct insight into the conditions in which they formed.

    Planet formation is believed to begin in a protoplanetary disc – made primarily of hydrogen, helium, and tiny particles of ices and dust – orbiting a young star. According to the current leading theory on how planets form, the dust particles stick to each other, eventually forming larger and larger solid bodies. Some of these larger bodies will continue to accrete, becoming planets, and some remain as asteroids, like those that crashed into the white dwarfs in the current study.

    The researchers analysed spectroscopic observations from the atmospheres of 200 polluted white dwarfs from nearby galaxies. According to their analysis, the mixture of elements seen in the atmospheres of these white dwarfs can only be explained if many of the original asteroids had once melted, which caused heavy iron to sink to the core while the lighter elements floated on the surface. This process, known as differentiation, is what caused the Earth to have an iron-rich core.

    “The cause of the melting can only be attributed to very short-lived radioactive elements, which existed in the earliest stages of the planetary system but decay away in just a million years,” said Bonsor. “In other words, if these asteroids were melted by something which only exists for a very brief time at the dawn of the planetary system, then the process of planet formation must kick off very quickly.”

    The study suggests that the early-formation picture is likely to be correct, meaning that Jupiter and Saturn had plenty of time to grow to their current sizes.

    “Our study complements a growing consensus in the field that planet formation got going early, with the first bodies forming concurrently with the star,” said Bonsor. “Analyses of polluted white dwarfs tell us that this radioactive melting process is a potentially ubiquitous mechanism affecting the formation of all extrasolar planets.

    “This is just the beginning – every time we find a new white dwarf, we can gather more evidence and learn more about how planets form. We can trace elements like nickel and chromium and say how big an asteroid must have been when it formed its iron core. It’s amazing that we’re able to probe processes like this in exoplanetary systems.”

    Science paper:
    Nature Astronomy

    See the full article here .

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

    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

    Stem Education Coalition

    The Institute of Astronomy is part of the Faculty of Physics and Chemistry within the School of the Physical Sciences of The University of Cambridge (UK).

    The Institute of Astronomy came into being in 1972 by the amalgamation of three institutions which had developed on the site. These were the Cambridge University Observatory which was established in 1823, the Solar Physics Observatory (1912) and the Institute of Theoretical Astronomy (1967).

    The Institute of Astronomy is a department of the University of Cambridge and is engaged in teaching and research in the fields of theoretical and observational Astronomy. A wide class of theoretical problems are studied, ranging from models of quasars and of the evolution of the universe, through theories of the formation and evolution of galaxies and stars, X-ray sources and black holes.

    Much observational work centres around the use by staff of large telescopes abroad and in space to study quasars, galaxies and the chemical constitution of stars. A programme on the velocities of stars is conducted using the 36-inch telescope in Cambridge. Instrumentation development is also an important area of activity, involving charge coupled devices and detector arrays for rapid recording of very faint light and the design and construction of novel spectrographs.

    The Institute comprises about 88 postdoctoral staff, 45 graduate students and 26 support staff. There are close links with the Cavendish Astrophysics Group (formerly the Mullard Radio Astronomy Observatory) as well as with the Department of Applied Mathematics and Theoretical Physics, all of which are conducting complementary research programmes here in Cambridge.

    U Cambridge Campus

    The University of Cambridge (UK) [legally The Chancellor, Masters, and Scholars of the University of Cambridge] is a collegiate public research university in Cambridge, England. Founded in 1209 Cambridge is the second-oldest university in the English-speaking world and the world’s fourth-oldest surviving university. It grew out of an association of scholars who left the University of Oxford (UK) after a dispute with townsfolk. The two ancient universities share many common features and are often jointly referred to as “Oxbridge”.

    Cambridge is formed from a variety of institutions which include 31 semi-autonomous constituent colleges and over 150 academic departments, faculties and other institutions organized into six schools. All the colleges are self-governing institutions within the university, each controlling its own membership and with its own internal structure and activities. All students are members of a college. Cambridge does not have a main campus and its colleges and central facilities are scattered throughout the city. Undergraduate teaching at Cambridge is organized around weekly small-group supervisions in the colleges – a feature unique to the Oxbridge system. These are complemented by classes, lectures, seminars, laboratory work and occasionally further supervisions provided by the central university faculties and departments. Postgraduate teaching is provided predominantly centrally.

    Cambridge University Press a department of the university is the oldest university press in the world and currently the second largest university press in the world. Cambridge Assessment also a department of the university is one of the world’s leading examining bodies and provides assessment to over eight million learners globally every year. The university also operates eight cultural and scientific museums, including the Fitzwilliam Museum, as well as a botanic garden. Cambridge’s libraries – of which there are 116 – hold a total of around 16 million books, around nine million of which are in Cambridge University Library, a legal deposit library. The university is home to – but independent of – the Cambridge Union – the world’s oldest debating society. The university is closely linked to the development of the high-tech business cluster known as “Silicon Fe”. It is the central member of Cambridge University Health Partners, an academic health science centre based around the Cambridge Biomedical Campus.

    By both endowment size and consolidated assets Cambridge is the wealthiest university in the United Kingdom. In the fiscal year ending 31 July 2019, the central university – excluding colleges – had a total income of £2.192 billion of which £592.4 million was from research grants and contracts. At the end of the same financial year the central university and colleges together possessed a combined endowment of over £7.1 billion and overall consolidated net assets (excluding “immaterial” historical assets) of over £12.5 billion. It is a member of numerous associations and forms part of the ‘golden triangle’ of English universities.

    Cambridge has educated many notable alumni including eminent mathematicians; scientists; politicians; lawyers; philosophers; writers; actors; monarchs and other heads of state. As of October 2020, 121 Nobel laureates; 11 Fields Medalists; 7 Turing Award winners; and 14 British prime ministers have been affiliated with Cambridge as students; alumni; faculty or research staff. University alumni have won 194 Olympic medals.

    History

    By the late 12th century, the Cambridge area already had a scholarly and ecclesiastical reputation due to monks from the nearby bishopric church of Ely. However, it was an incident at Oxford which is most likely to have led to the establishment of the university: three Oxford scholars were hanged by the town authorities for the death of a woman without consulting the ecclesiastical authorities who would normally take precedence (and pardon the scholars) in such a case; but were at that time in conflict with King John. Fearing more violence from the townsfolk scholars from the University of Oxford started to move away to cities such as Paris; Reading; and Cambridge. Subsequently enough scholars remained in Cambridge to form the nucleus of a new university when it had become safe enough for academia to resume at Oxford. In order to claim precedence, it is common for Cambridge to trace its founding to the 1231 charter from Henry III granting it the right to discipline its own members (ius non-trahi extra) and an exemption from some taxes; Oxford was not granted similar rights until 1248.

    A bull in 1233 from Pope Gregory IX gave graduates from Cambridge the right to teach “everywhere in Christendom”. After Cambridge was described as a studium generale in a letter from Pope Nicholas IV in 1290 and confirmed as such in a bull by Pope John XXII in 1318 it became common for researchers from other European medieval universities to visit Cambridge to study or to give lecture courses.

    Foundation of the colleges

    The colleges at the University of Cambridge were originally an incidental feature of the system. No college is as old as the university itself. The colleges were endowed fellowships of scholars. There were also institutions without endowments called hostels. The hostels were gradually absorbed by the colleges over the centuries; but they have left some traces, such as the name of Garret Hostel Lane.

    Hugh Balsham, Bishop of Ely, founded Peterhouse – Cambridge’s first college in 1284. Many colleges were founded during the 14th and 15th centuries but colleges continued to be established until modern times. There was a gap of 204 years between the founding of Sidney Sussex in 1596 and that of Downing in 1800. The most recently established college is Robinson built in the late 1970s. However, Homerton College only achieved full university college status in March 2010 making it the newest full college (it was previously an “Approved Society” affiliated with the university).

    In medieval times many colleges were founded so that their members would pray for the souls of the founders and were often associated with chapels or abbeys. The colleges’ focus changed in 1536 with the Dissolution of the Monasteries. Henry VIII ordered the university to disband its Faculty of Canon Law and to stop teaching “scholastic philosophy”. In response, colleges changed their curricula away from canon law and towards the classics; the Bible; and mathematics.

    Nearly a century later the university was at the centre of a Protestant schism. Many nobles, intellectuals and even commoners saw the ways of the Church of England as too similar to the Catholic Church and felt that it was used by the Crown to usurp the rightful powers of the counties. East Anglia was the centre of what became the Puritan movement. In Cambridge the movement was particularly strong at Emmanuel; St Catharine’s Hall; Sidney Sussex; and Christ’s College. They produced many “non-conformist” graduates who, greatly influenced by social position or preaching left for New England and especially the Massachusetts Bay Colony during the Great Migration decade of the 1630s. Oliver Cromwell, Parliamentary commander during the English Civil War and head of the English Commonwealth (1649–1660), attended Sidney Sussex.

    Modern period

    After the Cambridge University Act formalized the organizational structure of the university the study of many new subjects was introduced e.g. theology, history and modern languages. Resources necessary for new courses in the arts architecture and archaeology were donated by Viscount Fitzwilliam of Trinity College who also founded the Fitzwilliam Museum. In 1847 Prince Albert was elected Chancellor of the University of Cambridge after a close contest with the Earl of Powis. Albert used his position as Chancellor to campaign successfully for reformed and more modern university curricula, expanding the subjects taught beyond the traditional mathematics and classics to include modern history and the natural sciences. Between 1896 and 1902 Downing College sold part of its land to build the Downing Site with new scientific laboratories for anatomy, genetics, and Earth sciences. During the same period the New Museums Site was erected including the Cavendish Laboratory which has since moved to the West Cambridge Site and other departments for chemistry and medicine.

    The University of Cambridge began to award PhD degrees in the first third of the 20th century. The first Cambridge PhD in mathematics was awarded in 1924.

    In the First World War 13,878 members of the university served and 2,470 were killed. Teaching and the fees it earned came almost to a stop and severe financial difficulties followed. As a consequence, the university first received systematic state support in 1919 and a Royal Commission appointed in 1920 recommended that the university (but not the colleges) should receive an annual grant. Following the Second World War the university saw a rapid expansion of student numbers and available places; this was partly due to the success and popularity gained by many Cambridge scientists.

     
  • richardmitnick 3:23 pm on October 21, 2022 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: "Report says offshore carbon storage deployment and research needs to scale up for UK to deliver net zero pledge", By 2100 cumulative storage of between 350-1200 gigatonnes of CO2 is likely to be needed to avoid the worst effects of climate change., , , For the UK to deliver on its net zero carbon emissions pledge it needs to develop new wells capable of storing about 75-175 megatonnes of CO2 every year by 2050., , Research by the International Energy Agency suggest that 7-8 gigatonnes of CO2 will need to be stored globally each year by 2050 to keep warming below 1.5°C., The report highlights the need to understand the storage capacity and properties of different geological formations., The University of Cambridge (UK), There is also a need to for ongoing effective public dialogue to highlight the importance of carbon storage in mitigating climate change., To date there is a global under-deployment of Carbon Capture and Storage.   

    From The University of Cambridge (UK): “Report says offshore carbon storage deployment and research needs to scale up for UK to deliver net zero pledge” 

    U Cambridge bloc

    From The University of Cambridge (UK)

    10.19.22
    Sarah Collins
    sarah.collins@admin.cam.ac.uk

    1
    Rock abstract. Credit: Daniela Paola Alchapar via Unsplash.

    A new report says the UK will need to step up research and deployment of new offshore carbon storage wells if it is to achieve the capacity required to deliver its net zero emissions plans.

    Published by the Royal Society and led by University of Cambridge researchers, Locked away: geological carbon storage explores the latest evidence and technical considerations for permanently storing CO2 by pumping it into deep saline aquifers or depleted oil and gas fields offshore.

    Alongside sustained reductions in carbon emissions, international bodies and the UK’s Committee on Climate Change identified carbon capture and storage (CCS) as a critical technology in most possible routes to achieving net zero.

    However, the levels of CCS deployment globally have been slow and, globally, are ‘well below those anticipated to be needed to limit global warming to 1.5°C, or 2°C’, the report warns.

    “Geological carbon storage will be an essential part of our long-term energy transition, both in storing emissions from hard-to-decarbonise industries, and for longer-term removal of CO2 through direct air capture,” said Professor Andy Woods from Cambridge’s Institute for Energy and Environmental Flows (IEEF), chair of the report’s working group.

    “The UK’s access to potential storage sites in its offshore waters, along with a strong industrial base and regulatory and assurance environment, mean this could be an important industry.

    “But thousands of wells are likely to be needed globally, and each new subsurface reservoir can take years to develop to ensure its suitability.”

    Scaling up

    The policy briefing considers the latest geoscience evidence and lessons from current and planned CCS projects that could inform policymakers if they pursue geological carbon storage.

    It also looks at the challenges of scaling up CCS, including outstanding research and policy questions relating to transport, storage, monitoring, sustainable business models and incentives.

    The IPCC special report on global warming of 1.5°C and research by the International Energy Agency suggest that 7-8 gigatonnes of CO2 will need to be stored globally each year by 2050 to keep warming below 1.5°C: this represents over 20% of present global annual fossil fuel and industrial emissions (roughly 34 gigatonnes of CO2 per year).

    By 2100, cumulative storage of between 350-1200 gigatonnes of CO2 is likely to be needed to avoid the worst effects of climate change.

    For the UK to deliver on its net zero carbon emissions pledge, it needs to develop new wells – and the associated injection, transport and storage infrastructure – capable of storing about 75-175 megatonnes of CO2 every year by 2050, according to the UK North Sea Transition Authority.

    With CO2 injection rates currently constrained by pressurisation limits, and a 5-7 year timeframe to deploy a new reservoir, the report’s expert working group estimates this will require the equivalent of around one new carbon storage system, capable of injecting 4-5 megatonnes of CO2 per year, being added each year to 2050.

    Sustained investment

    To date, the upfront capital costs, lack of sufficient and predictable incentives to support operating costs, and concerns over the social acceptability in many jurisdictions have contributed to a global under-deployment of CCS.

    The Global CCS Institute’s 2021 survey lists 27 CCS projects as being operational, capturing 36.6 megatonnes of CO2 per year, with a further 62 projects listed as either in construction or advanced development. If successfully deployed, the combined capture potential would be 86.4 megatonnes of CO2 per year.

    A UK target of delivering CCS in four industrial clusters, set under the previous government, aims to capture and store around 20-30 megatonnes of CO2 each year. With Phase 1 sites, in the East Coast Cluster (Teesside plus Humber) and HyNet in the Northwest, targeting delivery in the middle of this decade.

    Scaling up required capacity, the report says, demands an enormous and continued global investment each year to 2050 to build the injection wells, transport networks, monitoring technologies, and a skilled workforce, to install hundreds of new wells each year.

    “We have technology to store and monitor carbon in this way,” said Woods.

    “But as deployment of these technologies rolls out, there will likely be many new challenges, especially since each storage reservoir has its own unique geological structure and setting.

    “So we need to continue to invest in research, and the policy and regulatory frameworks that are required to scale up safely and at pace.”

    In particular, the report highlights the need to understand the storage capacity and properties of different geological formations; the critical pressures which might cause seal rocks to fail and leak; different monitoring strategies for detecting CO2 leaks, new understanding of some of the geochemical processes; and the potential to increase capacity in old wells.

    There is also a need to for ongoing effective public dialogue to highlight the importance of carbon storage in mitigating climate change, and to understand and address the concerns of communities and citizens.

    2
    Locked away–geological carbon storage. Credit: The Royal Society.

    See the full article here .

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

    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

    Stem Education Coalition

    U Cambridge Campus

    The University of Cambridge (UK) [legally The Chancellor, Masters, and Scholars of the University of Cambridge] is a collegiate public research university in Cambridge, England. Founded in 1209 Cambridge is the second-oldest university in the English-speaking world and the world’s fourth-oldest surviving university. It grew out of an association of scholars who left the University of Oxford (UK) after a dispute with townsfolk. The two ancient universities share many common features and are often jointly referred to as “Oxbridge”.

    Cambridge is formed from a variety of institutions which include 31 semi-autonomous constituent colleges and over 150 academic departments, faculties and other institutions organized into six schools. All the colleges are self-governing institutions within the university, each controlling its own membership and with its own internal structure and activities. All students are members of a college. Cambridge does not have a main campus and its colleges and central facilities are scattered throughout the city. Undergraduate teaching at Cambridge is organized around weekly small-group supervisions in the colleges – a feature unique to the Oxbridge system. These are complemented by classes, lectures, seminars, laboratory work and occasionally further supervisions provided by the central university faculties and departments. Postgraduate teaching is provided predominantly centrally.

    Cambridge University Press a department of the university is the oldest university press in the world and currently the second largest university press in the world. Cambridge Assessment also a department of the university is one of the world’s leading examining bodies and provides assessment to over eight million learners globally every year. The university also operates eight cultural and scientific museums, including the Fitzwilliam Museum, as well as a botanic garden. Cambridge’s libraries – of which there are 116 – hold a total of around 16 million books, around nine million of which are in Cambridge University Library, a legal deposit library. The university is home to – but independent of – the Cambridge Union – the world’s oldest debating society. The university is closely linked to the development of the high-tech business cluster known as “Silicon Fe”. It is the central member of Cambridge University Health Partners, an academic health science centre based around the Cambridge Biomedical Campus.

    By both endowment size and consolidated assets Cambridge is the wealthiest university in the United Kingdom. In the fiscal year ending 31 July 2019, the central university – excluding colleges – had a total income of £2.192 billion of which £592.4 million was from research grants and contracts. At the end of the same financial year the central university and colleges together possessed a combined endowment of over £7.1 billion and overall consolidated net assets (excluding “immaterial” historical assets) of over £12.5 billion. It is a member of numerous associations and forms part of the ‘golden triangle’ of English universities.

    Cambridge has educated many notable alumni including eminent mathematicians; scientists; politicians; lawyers; philosophers; writers; actors; monarchs and other heads of state. As of October 2020, 121 Nobel laureates; 11 Fields Medalists; 7 Turing Award winners; and 14 British prime ministers have been affiliated with Cambridge as students; alumni; faculty or research staff. University alumni have won 194 Olympic medals.

    History

    By the late 12th century, the Cambridge area already had a scholarly and ecclesiastical reputation due to monks from the nearby bishopric church of Ely. However, it was an incident at Oxford which is most likely to have led to the establishment of the university: three Oxford scholars were hanged by the town authorities for the death of a woman without consulting the ecclesiastical authorities who would normally take precedence (and pardon the scholars) in such a case; but were at that time in conflict with King John. Fearing more violence from the townsfolk scholars from the University of Oxford started to move away to cities such as Paris; Reading; and Cambridge. Subsequently enough scholars remained in Cambridge to form the nucleus of a new university when it had become safe enough for academia to resume at Oxford. In order to claim precedence, it is common for Cambridge to trace its founding to the 1231 charter from Henry III granting it the right to discipline its own members (ius non-trahi extra) and an exemption from some taxes; Oxford was not granted similar rights until 1248.

    A bull in 1233 from Pope Gregory IX gave graduates from Cambridge the right to teach “everywhere in Christendom”. After Cambridge was described as a studium generale in a letter from Pope Nicholas IV in 1290 and confirmed as such in a bull by Pope John XXII in 1318 it became common for researchers from other European medieval universities to visit Cambridge to study or to give lecture courses.

    Foundation of the colleges

    The colleges at the University of Cambridge were originally an incidental feature of the system. No college is as old as the university itself. The colleges were endowed fellowships of scholars. There were also institutions without endowments called hostels. The hostels were gradually absorbed by the colleges over the centuries; but they have left some traces, such as the name of Garret Hostel Lane.

    Hugh Balsham, Bishop of Ely, founded Peterhouse – Cambridge’s first college in 1284. Many colleges were founded during the 14th and 15th centuries but colleges continued to be established until modern times. There was a gap of 204 years between the founding of Sidney Sussex in 1596 and that of Downing in 1800. The most recently established college is Robinson built in the late 1970s. However, Homerton College only achieved full university college status in March 2010 making it the newest full college (it was previously an “Approved Society” affiliated with the university).

    In medieval times many colleges were founded so that their members would pray for the souls of the founders and were often associated with chapels or abbeys. The colleges’ focus changed in 1536 with the Dissolution of the Monasteries. Henry VIII ordered the university to disband its Faculty of Canon Law and to stop teaching “scholastic philosophy”. In response, colleges changed their curricula away from canon law and towards the classics; the Bible; and mathematics.

    Nearly a century later the university was at the centre of a Protestant schism. Many nobles, intellectuals and even commoners saw the ways of the Church of England as too similar to the Catholic Church and felt that it was used by the Crown to usurp the rightful powers of the counties. East Anglia was the centre of what became the Puritan movement. In Cambridge the movement was particularly strong at Emmanuel; St Catharine’s Hall; Sidney Sussex; and Christ’s College. They produced many “non-conformist” graduates who, greatly influenced by social position or preaching left for New England and especially the Massachusetts Bay Colony during the Great Migration decade of the 1630s. Oliver Cromwell, Parliamentary commander during the English Civil War and head of the English Commonwealth (1649–1660), attended Sidney Sussex.

    Modern period

    After the Cambridge University Act formalized the organizational structure of the university the study of many new subjects was introduced e.g. theology, history and modern languages. Resources necessary for new courses in the arts architecture and archaeology were donated by Viscount Fitzwilliam of Trinity College who also founded the Fitzwilliam Museum. In 1847 Prince Albert was elected Chancellor of the University of Cambridge after a close contest with the Earl of Powis. Albert used his position as Chancellor to campaign successfully for reformed and more modern university curricula, expanding the subjects taught beyond the traditional mathematics and classics to include modern history and the natural sciences. Between 1896 and 1902 Downing College sold part of its land to build the Downing Site with new scientific laboratories for anatomy, genetics, and Earth sciences. During the same period the New Museums Site was erected including the Cavendish Laboratory which has since moved to the West Cambridge Site and other departments for chemistry and medicine.

    The University of Cambridge began to award PhD degrees in the first third of the 20th century. The first Cambridge PhD in mathematics was awarded in 1924.

    In the First World War 13,878 members of the university served and 2,470 were killed. Teaching and the fees it earned came almost to a stop and severe financial difficulties followed. As a consequence, the university first received systematic state support in 1919 and a Royal Commission appointed in 1920 recommended that the university (but not the colleges) should receive an annual grant. Following the Second World War the university saw a rapid expansion of student numbers and available places; this was partly due to the success and popularity gained by many Cambridge scientists.

     
  • richardmitnick 3:53 pm on October 7, 2022 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: "Seasonal change in Antarctic ice sheet movement observed for first time", , The University of Cambridge (UK)   

    From The University of Cambridge (UK): “Seasonal change in Antarctic ice sheet movement observed for first time” 

    U Cambridge bloc

    From The University of Cambridge (UK)

    10.6.22
    Sarah Collins

    1
    Riley Glacier, Palmer Land, Antarctica. Credit: Ian Willis.

    Some estimates of Antarctica’s total contribution to sea-level rise may be over- or underestimated, after researchers detected a previously unknown source of ice loss variability.

    1
    Antarctic ice shelf location_map.

    The researchers, from the University of Cambridge and Austrian engineering company ENVEO, identified distinct, seasonal movements in the flow of land-based ice draining into George VI Ice Shelf – a floating platform of ice roughly the size of Wales – on the Antarctic Peninsula.

    Using imagery from the Copernicus/European Space Agency Sentinel-1 satellites, the researchers found that the glaciers feeding the ice shelf speed up by approximately 15% during the Antarctic summer.

    This is the first time that such seasonal cycles have been detected on land ice flowing into ice shelves in Antarctica. The results are reported in the journal The Cryosphere [below].

    While it is not unusual for ice flow in Arctic and Alpine regions to speed up during summer, scientists had previously assumed that ice in Antarctica was not subject to the same seasonal movements, especially where it flows into large ice shelves and where temperatures are below freezing for most of the year.

    This assumption was also, in part, fueled by a lack of imagery collected over the icy continent in the past. “Unlike the Greenland Ice Sheet, where a high quantity of data has allowed us to understand how the ice moves from season to season and year to year, we haven’t had comparable data coverage to look for such changes over Antarctica until recently,” said Karla Boxall from Cambridge’s Scott Polar Research Institute (SPRI), the study’s first author.

    “Observations of ice-speed change in the Antarctic Peninsula have typically been measured over successive years, so we’ve been missing a lot of the finer detail about how flow varies from month to month throughout the year,” said co-author Dr Frazer Christie, also from SPRI.

    2
    Conchie, Hubert, Saturn, Venus and Uranus glaciers draining into a meltwater-laden George VI Ice Shelf. Credit: Copernicus/European Space Agency/Karla Boxall.

    Prior to the detailed records of ice speed made possible by the Sentinel-1 satellites, scientists wanting to study short-term variations in Antarctic-wide ice flow had to rely on information collected by optical satellites such as NASA’s Landsat 8.

    3
    Ice-flow velocity of Palmer Land, Alexander Island and George VI Ice Shelf, Antarctic Peninsula, derived from Sentinel-1 SAR imagery. Credit: Copernicus/European Space Agency & Antarctic Ice Sheet Climate Change Initiative (AIS_CCI) Programme. Map by Karla Boxall.

    “Optical measurements can only observe the Earth’s surface on cloud-free days during summer months,” said co-author Dr Thomas Nagler, ENVEO’s CEO. “But by using Sentinel-1 radar imagery, we were able to discover seasonal ice-flow change thanks to the ability of these satellites to monitor year-round and in all-weather conditions.”

    Currently, the causes of this seasonal change are uncertain. It could be caused by surface meltwater reaching the base of the ice and acting like a lubricant, as is the case in Arctic and Alpine regions, or it could be due to relatively warm ocean water melting the ice from below, thinning the floating ice and allowing upstream glaciers to move faster.

    “These seasonal cycles could be due to either mechanism, or a mixture of the two,” said Christie. “Detailed ocean and surface measurements will be required to understand fully why this seasonal change is occurring.”

    The results imply that similar seasonal variability may exist at other, more vulnerable sites in Antarctica, such as the Pine Island and Thwaites glaciers in West Antarctica. “If true, these seasonal signatures may be uncaptured in some measurements of Antarctic ice-mass loss, with potentially important implications for global sea-level rise estimates,” said Boxall.

    “It’s the first time this seasonal signal has been found on the Antarctic Ice Sheet, so the questions it raises regarding the possible presence and causes of seasonality elsewhere in Antarctica are really interesting,” said co-author Professor Ian Willis, also from SPRI. “We look forward to taking a closer look at, and shedding light on, these important questions.”

    The research was supported in part by the Natural Environment Research Council (NERC), part of UK Research & Innovation (UKRI), the Prince Albert II of Monaco Foundation and the European Space Agency. Karla Boxall is a PhD student at Newnham College, Cambridge. Frazer Christie is an Associate of Jesus College, Cambridge. Ian Willis is a Fellow of St Catharine’s College, Cambridge.

    Science paper:
    The Cryosphere
    See the science paper for detailed material with images.

    See the full article here .

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

    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

    Stem Education Coalition

    U Cambridge Campus

    The University of Cambridge (UK) [legally The Chancellor, Masters, and Scholars of the University of Cambridge] is a collegiate public research university in Cambridge, England. Founded in 1209 Cambridge is the second-oldest university in the English-speaking world and the world’s fourth-oldest surviving university. It grew out of an association of scholars who left the University of Oxford (UK) after a dispute with townsfolk. The two ancient universities share many common features and are often jointly referred to as “Oxbridge”.

    Cambridge is formed from a variety of institutions which include 31 semi-autonomous constituent colleges and over 150 academic departments, faculties and other institutions organized into six schools. All the colleges are self-governing institutions within the university, each controlling its own membership and with its own internal structure and activities. All students are members of a college. Cambridge does not have a main campus and its colleges and central facilities are scattered throughout the city. Undergraduate teaching at Cambridge is organized around weekly small-group supervisions in the colleges – a feature unique to the Oxbridge system. These are complemented by classes, lectures, seminars, laboratory work and occasionally further supervisions provided by the central university faculties and departments. Postgraduate teaching is provided predominantly centrally.

    Cambridge University Press a department of the university is the oldest university press in the world and currently the second largest university press in the world. Cambridge Assessment also a department of the university is one of the world’s leading examining bodies and provides assessment to over eight million learners globally every year. The university also operates eight cultural and scientific museums, including the Fitzwilliam Museum, as well as a botanic garden. Cambridge’s libraries – of which there are 116 – hold a total of around 16 million books, around nine million of which are in Cambridge University Library, a legal deposit library. The university is home to – but independent of – the Cambridge Union – the world’s oldest debating society. The university is closely linked to the development of the high-tech business cluster known as “Silicon Fe”. It is the central member of Cambridge University Health Partners, an academic health science centre based around the Cambridge Biomedical Campus.

    By both endowment size and consolidated assets Cambridge is the wealthiest university in the United Kingdom. In the fiscal year ending 31 July 2019, the central university – excluding colleges – had a total income of £2.192 billion of which £592.4 million was from research grants and contracts. At the end of the same financial year the central university and colleges together possessed a combined endowment of over £7.1 billion and overall consolidated net assets (excluding “immaterial” historical assets) of over £12.5 billion. It is a member of numerous associations and forms part of the ‘golden triangle’ of English universities.

    Cambridge has educated many notable alumni including eminent mathematicians; scientists; politicians; lawyers; philosophers; writers; actors; monarchs and other heads of state. As of October 2020, 121 Nobel laureates; 11 Fields Medalists; 7 Turing Award winners; and 14 British prime ministers have been affiliated with Cambridge as students; alumni; faculty or research staff. University alumni have won 194 Olympic medals.

    History

    By the late 12th century, the Cambridge area already had a scholarly and ecclesiastical reputation due to monks from the nearby bishopric church of Ely. However, it was an incident at Oxford which is most likely to have led to the establishment of the university: three Oxford scholars were hanged by the town authorities for the death of a woman without consulting the ecclesiastical authorities who would normally take precedence (and pardon the scholars) in such a case; but were at that time in conflict with King John. Fearing more violence from the townsfolk scholars from the University of Oxford started to move away to cities such as Paris; Reading; and Cambridge. Subsequently enough scholars remained in Cambridge to form the nucleus of a new university when it had become safe enough for academia to resume at Oxford. In order to claim precedence, it is common for Cambridge to trace its founding to the 1231 charter from Henry III granting it the right to discipline its own members (ius non-trahi extra) and an exemption from some taxes; Oxford was not granted similar rights until 1248.

    A bull in 1233 from Pope Gregory IX gave graduates from Cambridge the right to teach “everywhere in Christendom”. After Cambridge was described as a studium generale in a letter from Pope Nicholas IV in 1290 and confirmed as such in a bull by Pope John XXII in 1318 it became common for researchers from other European medieval universities to visit Cambridge to study or to give lecture courses.

    Foundation of the colleges

    The colleges at the University of Cambridge were originally an incidental feature of the system. No college is as old as the university itself. The colleges were endowed fellowships of scholars. There were also institutions without endowments called hostels. The hostels were gradually absorbed by the colleges over the centuries; but they have left some traces, such as the name of Garret Hostel Lane.

    Hugh Balsham, Bishop of Ely, founded Peterhouse – Cambridge’s first college in 1284. Many colleges were founded during the 14th and 15th centuries but colleges continued to be established until modern times. There was a gap of 204 years between the founding of Sidney Sussex in 1596 and that of Downing in 1800. The most recently established college is Robinson built in the late 1970s. However, Homerton College only achieved full university college status in March 2010 making it the newest full college (it was previously an “Approved Society” affiliated with the university).

    In medieval times many colleges were founded so that their members would pray for the souls of the founders and were often associated with chapels or abbeys. The colleges’ focus changed in 1536 with the Dissolution of the Monasteries. Henry VIII ordered the university to disband its Faculty of Canon Law and to stop teaching “scholastic philosophy”. In response, colleges changed their curricula away from canon law and towards the classics; the Bible; and mathematics.

    Nearly a century later the university was at the centre of a Protestant schism. Many nobles, intellectuals and even commoners saw the ways of the Church of England as too similar to the Catholic Church and felt that it was used by the Crown to usurp the rightful powers of the counties. East Anglia was the centre of what became the Puritan movement. In Cambridge the movement was particularly strong at Emmanuel; St Catharine’s Hall; Sidney Sussex; and Christ’s College. They produced many “non-conformist” graduates who, greatly influenced by social position or preaching left for New England and especially the Massachusetts Bay Colony during the Great Migration decade of the 1630s. Oliver Cromwell, Parliamentary commander during the English Civil War and head of the English Commonwealth (1649–1660), attended Sidney Sussex.

    Modern period

    After the Cambridge University Act formalized the organizational structure of the university the study of many new subjects was introduced e.g. theology, history and modern languages. Resources necessary for new courses in the arts architecture and archaeology were donated by Viscount Fitzwilliam of Trinity College who also founded the Fitzwilliam Museum. In 1847 Prince Albert was elected Chancellor of the University of Cambridge after a close contest with the Earl of Powis. Albert used his position as Chancellor to campaign successfully for reformed and more modern university curricula, expanding the subjects taught beyond the traditional mathematics and classics to include modern history and the natural sciences. Between 1896 and 1902 Downing College sold part of its land to build the Downing Site with new scientific laboratories for anatomy, genetics, and Earth sciences. During the same period the New Museums Site was erected including the Cavendish Laboratory which has since moved to the West Cambridge Site and other departments for chemistry and medicine.

    The University of Cambridge began to award PhD degrees in the first third of the 20th century. The first Cambridge PhD in mathematics was awarded in 1924.

    In the First World War 13,878 members of the university served and 2,470 were killed. Teaching and the fees it earned came almost to a stop and severe financial difficulties followed. As a consequence, the university first received systematic state support in 1919 and a Royal Commission appointed in 1920 recommended that the university (but not the colleges) should receive an annual grant. Following the Second World War the university saw a rapid expansion of student numbers and available places; this was partly due to the success and popularity gained by many Cambridge scientists.

     
  • richardmitnick 1:32 pm on October 7, 2022 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: "New route to evolution - how DNA from our mitochondria gets into our genomes", , , Each mitochondrion has its own DNA distinct to the rest of the human genome which is comprised of nuclear DNA., , , It is not clear exactly how the mitochondrial DNA inserts itself., Mitochondrial DNA also appears in some cancer DNA suggesting that it acts as a sticking plaster to try and repair damage to our genetic code., Mitochondrial DNA is passed down the maternal line., Scientists have shown that in one in every 4000 births some of the genetic code from our mitochondria – the ‘batteries’ that power our cells – inserts itself into our DNA., The University of Cambridge (UK)   

    From The University of Cambridge (UK): “New route to evolution – how DNA from our mitochondria gets into our genomes” 

    U Cambridge bloc

    From The University of Cambridge (UK)

    10.5.22
    Craig Brierley

    1
    Mitochondria surrounded by cytoplasm. Credit: Dr David Furness.

    Scientists have shown that in one in every 4,000 births, some of the genetic code from our mitochondria – the ‘batteries’ that power our cells – inserts itself into our DNA, revealing a surprising new insight into how humans evolve.

    In a study published today in Nature [below], researchers at the University of Cambridge and Queen Mary University of London show that mitochondrial DNA also appears in some cancer DNA suggesting that it acts as a sticking plaster to try and repair damage to our genetic code.

    Mitochondria are tiny ‘organelles’ that sit within our cells, where they act like batteries, providing energy in the form of the molecule ATP to power the cells. Each mitochondrion has its own DNA – mitochondrial DNA – that is distinct to the rest of the human genome which is comprised of nuclear DNA.

    Mitochondrial DNA is passed down the maternal line – that is, we inherit it from our mothers, not our fathers. However, a study published in PNAS [below] in 2018 from researchers at the Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center in the USA reported evidence that suggested some mitochondrial DNA had been passed down the paternal line.

    To investigate these claims, the Cambridge team looked at the DNA from over 11,000 families recruited to Genomics England’s 100,000 Genomes Project, searching for patterns that looked like paternal inheritance. The Cambridge team found mitochondrial DNA ‘inserts’ in the nuclear DNA of some children that were not present in that of their parents. This meant that the US team had probably reached the wrong conclusions: what they had observed were not paternally-inherited mitochondrial DNA, but rather these inserts.

    Now, extending this work to over 66,000 people, the team showed that the new inserts are actually happening all the time, showing a new way our genome evolves.

    Professor Patrick Chinnery, from the Medical Research Council Mitochondrial Biology Unit and Department of Clinical Neurosciences at the University of Cambridge, explained: “Billions of years ago, a primitive animal cell took in a bacterium that became what we now call mitochondria. These supply energy to the cell to allow it to function normally, while removing oxygen, which is toxic at high levels. Over time, bits of these primitive mitochondria have passed into the cell nucleus, allowing their genomes to talk to each other.

    “This was all thought to have happened a very long time ago, mostly before we had even formed as a species, but what we’ve discovered is that that’s not true. We can see this happening right now, with bits of our mitochondrial genetic code transferring into the nuclear genome in a measurable way.”

    The team estimate that mitochondrial DNA transfers to nuclear DNA in around one in every 4,000 births. If that individual has children of their own, they will pass these inserts on – the team found that most of us carry five of the new inserts, and one in seven of us (14%) carry very recent ones. Once in place, the inserts can occasionally lead to very rare diseases, including a rare genetic form of cancer.

    It is not clear exactly how the mitochondrial DNA inserts itself – whether it does so directly or via an intermediary, such as RNA – but Professor Chinnery says it is likely to occur within the mother’s egg cells.

    When the team looked at sequences taken from 12,500 tumour samples, they found that mitochondrial DNA was even more common in tumour DNA, arising in around one in 1,000 cancers, and in some cases, the mitochondrial DNA inserts actually causes the cancer.

    “Our nuclear genetic code is breaking and being repaired all the time,” said Professor Chinnery. “Mitochondrial DNA appears to act almost like a Band-Aid, a sticking plaster to help the nuclear genetic code repair itself. And sometimes this works, but on rare occasions if might make things worse or even trigger the development of tumours.”

    More than half (58%) of the insertions were in regions of the genome that code for proteins. In the majority of cases, the body recognizes the invading mitochondrial DNA and silences it in a process known as methylation, whereby a molecule attaches itself to the insert and switches it off. A similar process occurs when viruses manage to insert themselves into our DNA. However, this method of silencing is not perfect, as some of the mitochondrial DNA inserts go on to be copied and move around the nucleus itself.

    The team looked for evidence that the reverse might happen – that mitochondrial DNA absorbs parts of our nuclear DNA – but found none. There are likely to be several reasons why this should be the case.

    Firstly, cells only have two copies of nuclear DNA, but thousands of copies of mitochondrial DNA, so the chances of mitochondrial DNA being broken and passing into the nucleus are much greater than the other way around.

    Secondly, the DNA in mitochondria is packaged inside two membranes and there are no holes in the membrane, so it would be difficult for nuclear DNA to get in. By contrast, if mitochondrial DNA manages to get out, holes in the membrane surrounding nuclear DNA would allow it pass through with relative ease.

    Professor Sir Mark Caulfield, Vice Principal for Health at Queen Mary University of London, said: “I am so delighted that the 100,000 Genomes Project has unlocked the dynamic interplay between mitochondrial DNA and our genome in the cell’s nucleus. This defines a new role in DNA repair, but also one that could occasionally trigger rare disease, or even malignancy.”

    The research was mainly funded by the Medical Research Council, Wellcome, and the National Institute for Health Research.

    Science papers:
    Nature
    PNAS 2018
    See the science papers for instructive material.

    See the full article here .

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

    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

    Stem Education Coalition

    U Cambridge Campus

    The University of Cambridge (UK) [legally The Chancellor, Masters, and Scholars of the University of Cambridge] is a collegiate public research university in Cambridge, England. Founded in 1209 Cambridge is the second-oldest university in the English-speaking world and the world’s fourth-oldest surviving university. It grew out of an association of scholars who left the University of Oxford (UK) after a dispute with townsfolk. The two ancient universities share many common features and are often jointly referred to as “Oxbridge”.

    Cambridge is formed from a variety of institutions which include 31 semi-autonomous constituent colleges and over 150 academic departments, faculties and other institutions organized into six schools. All the colleges are self-governing institutions within the university, each controlling its own membership and with its own internal structure and activities. All students are members of a college. Cambridge does not have a main campus and its colleges and central facilities are scattered throughout the city. Undergraduate teaching at Cambridge is organized around weekly small-group supervisions in the colleges – a feature unique to the Oxbridge system. These are complemented by classes, lectures, seminars, laboratory work and occasionally further supervisions provided by the central university faculties and departments. Postgraduate teaching is provided predominantly centrally.

    Cambridge University Press a department of the university is the oldest university press in the world and currently the second largest university press in the world. Cambridge Assessment also a department of the university is one of the world’s leading examining bodies and provides assessment to over eight million learners globally every year. The university also operates eight cultural and scientific museums, including the Fitzwilliam Museum, as well as a botanic garden. Cambridge’s libraries – of which there are 116 – hold a total of around 16 million books, around nine million of which are in Cambridge University Library, a legal deposit library. The university is home to – but independent of – the Cambridge Union – the world’s oldest debating society. The university is closely linked to the development of the high-tech business cluster known as “Silicon Fe”. It is the central member of Cambridge University Health Partners, an academic health science centre based around the Cambridge Biomedical Campus.

    By both endowment size and consolidated assets Cambridge is the wealthiest university in the United Kingdom. In the fiscal year ending 31 July 2019, the central university – excluding colleges – had a total income of £2.192 billion of which £592.4 million was from research grants and contracts. At the end of the same financial year the central university and colleges together possessed a combined endowment of over £7.1 billion and overall consolidated net assets (excluding “immaterial” historical assets) of over £12.5 billion. It is a member of numerous associations and forms part of the ‘golden triangle’ of English universities.

    Cambridge has educated many notable alumni including eminent mathematicians; scientists; politicians; lawyers; philosophers; writers; actors; monarchs and other heads of state. As of October 2020, 121 Nobel laureates; 11 Fields Medalists; 7 Turing Award winners; and 14 British prime ministers have been affiliated with Cambridge as students; alumni; faculty or research staff. University alumni have won 194 Olympic medals.

    History

    By the late 12th century, the Cambridge area already had a scholarly and ecclesiastical reputation due to monks from the nearby bishopric church of Ely. However, it was an incident at Oxford which is most likely to have led to the establishment of the university: three Oxford scholars were hanged by the town authorities for the death of a woman without consulting the ecclesiastical authorities who would normally take precedence (and pardon the scholars) in such a case; but were at that time in conflict with King John. Fearing more violence from the townsfolk scholars from the University of Oxford started to move away to cities such as Paris; Reading; and Cambridge. Subsequently enough scholars remained in Cambridge to form the nucleus of a new university when it had become safe enough for academia to resume at Oxford. In order to claim precedence, it is common for Cambridge to trace its founding to the 1231 charter from Henry III granting it the right to discipline its own members (ius non-trahi extra) and an exemption from some taxes; Oxford was not granted similar rights until 1248.

    A bull in 1233 from Pope Gregory IX gave graduates from Cambridge the right to teach “everywhere in Christendom”. After Cambridge was described as a studium generale in a letter from Pope Nicholas IV in 1290 and confirmed as such in a bull by Pope John XXII in 1318 it became common for researchers from other European medieval universities to visit Cambridge to study or to give lecture courses.

    Foundation of the colleges

    The colleges at the University of Cambridge were originally an incidental feature of the system. No college is as old as the university itself. The colleges were endowed fellowships of scholars. There were also institutions without endowments called hostels. The hostels were gradually absorbed by the colleges over the centuries; but they have left some traces, such as the name of Garret Hostel Lane.

    Hugh Balsham, Bishop of Ely, founded Peterhouse – Cambridge’s first college in 1284. Many colleges were founded during the 14th and 15th centuries but colleges continued to be established until modern times. There was a gap of 204 years between the founding of Sidney Sussex in 1596 and that of Downing in 1800. The most recently established college is Robinson built in the late 1970s. However, Homerton College only achieved full university college status in March 2010 making it the newest full college (it was previously an “Approved Society” affiliated with the university).

    In medieval times many colleges were founded so that their members would pray for the souls of the founders and were often associated with chapels or abbeys. The colleges’ focus changed in 1536 with the Dissolution of the Monasteries. Henry VIII ordered the university to disband its Faculty of Canon Law and to stop teaching “scholastic philosophy”. In response, colleges changed their curricula away from canon law and towards the classics; the Bible; and mathematics.

    Nearly a century later the university was at the centre of a Protestant schism. Many nobles, intellectuals and even commoners saw the ways of the Church of England as too similar to the Catholic Church and felt that it was used by the Crown to usurp the rightful powers of the counties. East Anglia was the centre of what became the Puritan movement. In Cambridge the movement was particularly strong at Emmanuel; St Catharine’s Hall; Sidney Sussex; and Christ’s College. They produced many “non-conformist” graduates who, greatly influenced by social position or preaching left for New England and especially the Massachusetts Bay Colony during the Great Migration decade of the 1630s. Oliver Cromwell, Parliamentary commander during the English Civil War and head of the English Commonwealth (1649–1660), attended Sidney Sussex.

    Modern period

    After the Cambridge University Act formalized the organizational structure of the university the study of many new subjects was introduced e.g. theology, history and modern languages. Resources necessary for new courses in the arts architecture and archaeology were donated by Viscount Fitzwilliam of Trinity College who also founded the Fitzwilliam Museum. In 1847 Prince Albert was elected Chancellor of the University of Cambridge after a close contest with the Earl of Powis. Albert used his position as Chancellor to campaign successfully for reformed and more modern university curricula, expanding the subjects taught beyond the traditional mathematics and classics to include modern history and the natural sciences. Between 1896 and 1902 Downing College sold part of its land to build the Downing Site with new scientific laboratories for anatomy, genetics, and Earth sciences. During the same period the New Museums Site was erected including the Cavendish Laboratory which has since moved to the West Cambridge Site and other departments for chemistry and medicine.

    The University of Cambridge began to award PhD degrees in the first third of the 20th century. The first Cambridge PhD in mathematics was awarded in 1924.

    In the First World War 13,878 members of the university served and 2,470 were killed. Teaching and the fees it earned came almost to a stop and severe financial difficulties followed. As a consequence, the university first received systematic state support in 1919 and a Royal Commission appointed in 1920 recommended that the university (but not the colleges) should receive an annual grant. Following the Second World War the university saw a rapid expansion of student numbers and available places; this was partly due to the success and popularity gained by many Cambridge scientists.

     
  • richardmitnick 12:12 pm on September 30, 2022 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: "Seawater could have provided phosphorous required for emerging life", , , , , The University of Cambridge (UK)   

    From The Department of Earth Sciences The University of Cambridge (UK): “Seawater could have provided phosphorous required for emerging life” 

    1

    From The Department of Earth Sciences

    at

    U Cambridge bloc

    The University of Cambridge (UK)

    9.27.22
    Erin Martin-Jones
    cmm201@cam.ac.uk

    1
    Artist Concept of an Early Earth. Credit: NASA.

    The problem of how phosphorus became a universal ingredient for life on Earth may have been solved by researchers from the University of Cambridge and the University of Cape Town, who have recreated primordial seawater containing the element in the lab.

    Their results, published in the journal Nature Communications [below], show that seawater might be the missing source of phosphate, meaning that it could have been available on a large enough scale for life without requiring special environmental conditions.

    “This could really change how we think about the environments in which life first originated,” said co-author Professor Nick Tosca from Cambridge’s Department of Earth Sciences.

    The study, which was led by Matthew Brady, a PhD student from Cambridge’s Department of Earth Sciences, shows that early seawater could have held one thousand to ten thousand times more phosphate than previously estimated — as long as the water contained a lot of iron.

    Phosphate is an essential ingredient in creating life’s building blocks — forming a key component of DNA and RNA — but it is one of the least abundant elements in the cosmos in relation to its biological importance. When in its mineral form, phosphate is also relatively inaccessible — it can be hard to dissolve in water so that life can use it.

    Scientists have long suspected that phosphorus became part of biology early on, but they have only recently begun to recognize the role of phosphate in directing the synthesis of molecules required by life on Earth. “Experiments show it makes amazing things happen – chemists can synthesize crucial biomolecules if there is a lot of phosphate in solution,” said Tosca.

    But the exact environment needed to produce phosphate has been a topic of discussion. Some studies have suggested that when iron is abundant then phosphate should actually be even less accessible to life. This is, however, controversial because early Earth would have had an oxygen-poor atmosphere where iron would have been widespread.

    To understand how life came to depend on phosphate, and the sort of environment that this element would have formed in, they carried out geochemical modelling to recreate early conditions on Earth.

    “It’s exciting to see how simple experiments in a bottle can overturn our thinking about the conditions that were present on the early Earth,” said Brady.

    In the lab, they made up seawater with the same chemistry thought to have existed in Earth’s early history. They also ran their experiments in an atmosphere starved of oxygen, just like on ancient Earth.

    The team’s results suggest that seawater itself could have been a major source of this essential element.

    “This doesn’t necessarily mean that life on Earth started in seawater,” said Tosca, “It opens up a lot of possibilities for how seawater could have supplied phosphate to different environments— for instance, lakes, lagoons, or shorelines where sea spray could have carried the phosphate onto land.”

    Previously scientists had come up with a range of ways of generating phosphate, some theories involving special environments such as acidic volcanic springs or alkaline lakes, and rare minerals found only in meteorites.

    “We had a hunch that iron was key to phosphate solubility, but there just wasn’t enough data,” said Tosca. The idea for the team’s experiments came when they looked at waters that bathe sediments deposited in the modern Baltic Sea. “It is unusual because it’s high in both phosphate and iron — we started to wonder what was so different about those particular waters.”

    In their experiments, the researchers added different amounts of iron to a range of synthetic seawater samples and tested how much phosphorous it could hold before crystals formed and minerals separated from the liquid. They then built these data points into a model that could predict how much phosphate ancient seawater could hold.

    The Baltic Sea pore waters provided one set of modern samples they used to test their model. “We could reproduce that unusual water chemistry perfectly,” said Tosca. From there they went on to explore the chemistry of seawater before any biology was around.

    The results also have implications for scientists trying to understand the possibilities for life beyond Earth. “If iron helps put more phosphate in solution, then this could have relevance to early Mars,” said Tosca.

    Evidence for water on ancient Mars is abundant, including old river beds and flood deposits, and we also know that there was a lot of iron at the surface and the atmosphere was at times oxygen-poor, said Tosca.

    Their simulations of surface waters filtering through rocks on the Martian surface suggest that iron-rich water might have supplied phosphates in this environment too.

    “It’s going to be fascinating to see how the community uses our results to explore new, alternative pathways for the evolution of life on our planet and beyond,” said Brady.

    Fig. 1: Solubility of vivianite at 25 oC.
    2
    Optimisation of new and existing solubility data in the aqueous iron phosphate system yields a value of 35.79 +/− 0.09 for the solubility product of vivianite (pKsp; solid line; dashed lines indicate 95% confidence intervals of entire dataset) for vivianite, as well as equilibrium constants for aqueous Fe-phosphate species (Supplementary Tables 1 and 2). This experimentally calibrated model represents, within reported error, all available experimental observations conducted at varying pH, ionic strength and media composition. Error bars indicate an analytical error (two standard deviations from the mean; refs. 20, 84 [in the full science paper]).

    Fig. 2: Stoichiometric dissociation constants of phosphoric acid in seawater media as a function of salinity.
    3
    At 0 permil salinity, calculated stoichiometric dissociation constants are equivalent to the infinite dilution values listed in Supplementary Table 2. Error bars indicate an analytical error (two standard deviations from the mean; refs. 85,86,87 [in the full science paper).

    Science paper:
    Nature Communications

    See the full article here .

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

    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

    Stem Education Coalition

    2

    The Department of Earth Sciences offers world-leading education and carries out innovative and ground-breaking research, using excellent facilities in a dynamic, welcoming and inclusive environment.

    U Cambridge Campus

    The University of Cambridge (UK) [legally The Chancellor, Masters, and Scholars of the University of Cambridge] is a collegiate public research university in Cambridge, England. Founded in 1209 Cambridge is the second-oldest university in the English-speaking world and the world’s fourth-oldest surviving university. It grew out of an association of scholars who left the University of Oxford(UK) after a dispute with townsfolk. The two ancient universities share many common features and are often jointly referred to as “Oxbridge”.

    Cambridge is formed from a variety of institutions which include 31 semi-autonomous constituent colleges and over 150 academic departments, faculties and other institutions organised into six schools. All the colleges are self-governing institutions within the university, each controlling its own membership and with its own internal structure and activities. All students are members of a college. Cambridge does not have a main campus and its colleges and central facilities are scattered throughout the city. Undergraduate teaching at Cambridge is organised around weekly small-group supervisions in the colleges – a feature unique to the Oxbridge system. These are complemented by classes, lectures, seminars, laboratory work and occasionally further supervisions provided by the central university faculties and departments. Postgraduate teaching is provided predominantly centrally.

    Cambridge University Press a department of the university is the oldest university press in the world and currently the second largest university press in the world. Cambridge Assessment also a department of the university is one of the world’s leading examining bodies and provides assessment to over eight million learners globally every year. The university also operates eight cultural and scientific museums, including the Fitzwilliam Museum, as well as a botanic garden. Cambridge’s libraries – of which there are 116 – hold a total of around 16 million books, around nine million of which are in Cambridge University Library, a legal deposit library. The university is home to – but independent of – the Cambridge Union – the world’s oldest debating society. The university is closely linked to the development of the high-tech business cluster known as “Silicon Fe”. It is the central member of Cambridge University Health Partners, an academic health science centre based around the Cambridge Biomedical Campus.

    By both endowment size and consolidated assets Cambridge is the wealthiest university in the United Kingdom. In the fiscal year ending 31 July 2019, the central university – excluding colleges – had a total income of £2.192 billion of which £592.4 million was from research grants and contracts. At the end of the same financial year the central university and colleges together possessed a combined endowment of over £7.1 billion and overall consolidated net assets (excluding “immaterial” historical assets) of over £12.5 billion. It is a member of numerous associations and forms part of the ‘golden triangle’ of English universities.

    Cambridge has educated many notable alumni including eminent mathematicians; scientists; politicians; lawyers; philosophers; writers; actors; monarchs and other heads of state. As of October 2020 121 Nobel laureates; 11 Fields Medalists; 7 Turing Award winners; and 14 British prime ministers have been affiliated with Cambridge as students; alumni; faculty or research staff. University alumni have won 194 Olympic medals.

    History

    By the late 12th century the Cambridge area already had a scholarly and ecclesiastical reputation due to monks from the nearby bishopric church of Ely. However it was an incident at Oxford which is most likely to have led to the establishment of the university: three Oxford scholars were hanged by the town authorities for the death of a woman without consulting the ecclesiastical authorities who would normally take precedence (and pardon the scholars) in such a case; but were at that time in conflict with King John. Fearing more violence from the townsfolk scholars from the University of Oxford started to move away to cities such as Paris; Reading; and Cambridge. Subsequently enough scholars remained in Cambridge to form the nucleus of a new university when it had become safe enough for academia to resume at Oxford. In order to claim precedence it is common for Cambridge to trace its founding to the 1231 charter from Henry III granting it the right to discipline its own members (ius non-trahi extra) and an exemption from some taxes; Oxford was not granted similar rights until 1248.

    A bull in 1233 from Pope Gregory IX gave graduates from Cambridge the right to teach “everywhere in Christendom”. After Cambridge was described as a studium generale in a letter from Pope Nicholas IV in 1290 and confirmed as such in a bull by Pope John XXII in 1318 it became common for researchers from other European medieval universities to visit Cambridge to study or to give lecture courses.

    Foundation of the colleges

    The colleges at the University of Cambridge were originally an incidental feature of the system. No college is as old as the university itself. The colleges were endowed fellowships of scholars. There were also institutions without endowments called hostels. The hostels were gradually absorbed by the colleges over the centuries; but they have left some traces, such as the name of Garret Hostel Lane.

    Hugh Balsham, Bishop of Ely, founded Peterhouse – Cambridge’s first college in 1284. Many colleges were founded during the 14th and 15th centuries but colleges continued to be established until modern times. There was a gap of 204 years between the founding of Sidney Sussex in 1596 and that of Downing in 1800. The most recently established college is Robinson built in the late 1970s. However Homerton College only achieved full university college status in March 2010 making it the newest full college (it was previously an “Approved Society” affiliated with the university).

    In medieval times many colleges were founded so that their members would pray for the souls of the founders and were often associated with chapels or abbeys. The colleges’ focus changed in 1536 with the Dissolution of the Monasteries. Henry VIII ordered the university to disband its Faculty of Canon Law and to stop teaching “scholastic philosophy”. In response, colleges changed their curricula away from canon law and towards the classics; the Bible; and mathematics.

    Nearly a century later the university was at the centre of a Protestant schism. Many nobles, intellectuals and even commoners saw the ways of the Church of England as too similar to the Catholic Church and felt that it was used by the Crown to usurp the rightful powers of the counties. East Anglia was the centre of what became the Puritan movement. In Cambridge the movement was particularly strong at Emmanuel; St Catharine’s Hall; Sidney Sussex; and Christ’s College. They produced many “non-conformist” graduates who, greatly influenced by social position or preaching left for New England and especially the Massachusetts Bay Colony during the Great Migration decade of the 1630s. Oliver Cromwell, Parliamentary commander during the English Civil War and head of the English Commonwealth (1649–1660), attended Sidney Sussex.

    Modern period

    After the Cambridge University Act formalised the organisational structure of the university the study of many new subjects was introduced e.g. theology, history and modern languages. Resources necessary for new courses in the arts architecture and archaeology were donated by Viscount Fitzwilliam of Trinity College who also founded the Fitzwilliam Museum. In 1847 Prince Albert was elected Chancellor of the University of Cambridge after a close contest with the Earl of Powis. Albert used his position as Chancellor to campaign successfully for reformed and more modern university curricula, expanding the subjects taught beyond the traditional mathematics and classics to include modern history and the natural sciences. Between 1896 and 1902 Downing College sold part of its land to build the Downing Site with new scientific laboratories for anatomy, genetics, and Earth sciences. During the same period the New Museums Site was erected including the Cavendish Laboratory which has since moved to the West Cambridge Site and other departments for chemistry and medicine.

    The University of Cambridge began to award PhD degrees in the first third of the 20th century. The first Cambridge PhD in mathematics was awarded in 1924.

    In the First World War 13,878 members of the university served and 2,470 were killed. Teaching and the fees it earned came almost to a stop and severe financial difficulties followed. As a consequence the university first received systematic state support in 1919 and a Royal Commission appointed in 1920 recommended that the university (but not the colleges) should receive an annual grant. Following the Second World War the university saw a rapid expansion of student numbers and available places; this was partly due to the success and popularity gained by many Cambridge scientists.

     
  • richardmitnick 9:50 am on September 17, 2022 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , Most methods for converting CO2 into fuel also produce unwanted [?] by-products such as hydrogen., Researchers have developed an efficient concept to turn carbon dioxide into clean sustainable fuels without any unwanted by-products or waste., Scientists demonstrated a new concept to capture carbon and make something useful from it in an energy-efficient way., The Cambridge-developed proof of concept relies on enzymes isolated from bacteria to power the chemical reactions which convert CO2 into fuel-a process called electrolysis., The team showed how two enzymes can work together-one producing fuel and the other controlling the environment., The University of Cambridge (UK), Using the enzyme-based system the level of fuel production increased by 18 times compared to the current benchmark solution.   

    From The University of Cambridge (UK): “New nature-inspired concepts for turning CO2 into clean fuels” 

    U Cambridge bloc

    From The University of Cambridge (UK)

    2.28.22 [Brought forward 9.16.22]

    1
    Computer-generated image of enzyme. Credit: Esther Edwardes Moore.

    2

    3
    Analysis of Good’s buffer species MES and MOPS. (A) Chemical structure of MES and MOPS zwitterions. (B) Graph demonstrating the theoretical change in ratio of each buffer species MES (blue) and MOPS (orange) with pH (protonated Good’s buffer shown as a dashed line and anion as a solid line).

    Researchers have developed an efficient concept to turn carbon dioxide into clean sustainable fuels without any unwanted by-products or waste.

    The researchers, from the University of Cambridge, have previously shown that biological catalysts, or enzymes, can produce fuels cleanly using renewable energy sources, but at low efficiency.

    Their latest research has improved fuel production efficiency by 18 times in a laboratory setting, demonstrating that polluting carbon emissions can be turned into green fuels efficiently without any wasted energy. The results are reported in two related papers in Nature Chemistry [below] and PNAS [below].

    Most methods for converting CO2 into fuel also produce unwanted [?] by-products such as hydrogen. Scientists can alter the chemical conditions to minimize hydrogen production, but this also reduces the performance for CO2 conversion: so cleaner fuel can be produced, but at the cost of efficiency.

    The Cambridge-developed proof of concept relies on enzymes isolated from bacteria to power the chemical reactions which convert CO2 into fuel-a process called electrolysis. Enzymes are more efficient than other catalysts, such as gold, but they are highly sensitive to their local chemical environment. If the local environment isn’t exactly right, the enzymes fall apart and the chemical reactions are slow.

    The Cambridge researchers, working with a team from the Universidade Nova de Lisboa in Portugal, have developed a method to improve the efficiency of electrolysis by fine-tuning the solution conditions to alter the local environment of the enzymes.

    “Enzymes have evolved over millions of years to be extremely efficient and selective, and they’re great for fuel-production because there aren’t any unwanted by-products,” said Dr Esther Edwardes Moore from Cambridge’s Yusuf Hamied Department of Chemistry, first author of the PNAS paper. “However, enzyme sensitivity throws up a different set of challenges. Our method accounts for this sensitivity, so that the local environment is adjusted to match the enzyme’s ideal working conditions.”

    The researchers used computational methods to design a system to improve the electrolysis of CO2. Using the enzyme-based system the level of fuel production increased by 18 times compared to the current benchmark solution.

    To improve the local environment further, the team showed how two enzymes can work together-one producing fuel and the other controlling the environment. They found that by adding another enzyme, it sped up the reactions, both increasing efficiency and reducing unwanted by-products.

    “We ended up with just the fuel we wanted, with no side-products and only marginal energy losses, producing clean fuels at maximum efficiency,” said Dr Sam Cobb, first author of the Nature Chemistry paper. “By taking our inspiration from biology, it will help us develop better synthetic catalyst systems, which is what we’ll need if we’re going to deploy CO2 electrolysis at a large scale.”

    “Electrolysis has a big part to play in reducing carbon emissions,” said Professor Erwin Reisner, who led the research. “Instead of capturing and storing CO2, which is incredibly energy-intensive, we have demonstrated a new concept to capture carbon and make something useful from it in an energy-efficient way.”

    The researchers say that the secret to more efficient CO2 electrolysis lies in the catalysts. There have been big improvements in the development of synthetic catalysts in recent years, but they still fall short of the enzymes used in this work.

    “Once you manage to make better catalysts, many of the problems with CO2 electrolysis just disappear,” said Cobb. “We’re showing the scientific community that once we can produce catalysts of the future, we’ll be able to do away with many of the compromises currently being made, since what we learn from enzymes can be transferred to synthetic catalysts.”

    “Once we designed the concept, the improvement in performance was startling,” said Edwardes Moore. “I was worried we’d spend years trying to understand what was going on at the molecular level, but once we truly appreciated the influence of the local environment, it evolved really quickly.”

    “In future we want to use what we have learned to tackle some challenging problems that the current state-of-the-art catalysts struggle with, such as using CO2 straight from air as these are conditions where the properties of enzymes as ideal catalysts can really shine,” said Cobb.

    Erwin Reisner is a Fellow of St John’s College, Cambridge. Sam Cobb is a Research Fellow of Darwin College, Cambridge. Esther Edwardes Moore completed her PhD with Corpus Christi College, Cambridge. The research was supported in part by the European Research Council, the Leverhulme Trust, and the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council.

    Science papers:
    Nature Chemistry
    PNAS

    See the full article here .

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

    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

    Stem Education Coalition

    U Cambridge Campus

    The University of Cambridge (UK) [legally The Chancellor, Masters, and Scholars of the University of Cambridge] is a collegiate public research university in Cambridge, England. Founded in 1209 Cambridge is the second-oldest university in the English-speaking world and the world’s fourth-oldest surviving university. It grew out of an association of scholars who left the University of Oxford (UK) after a dispute with townsfolk. The two ancient universities share many common features and are often jointly referred to as “Oxbridge”.

    Cambridge is formed from a variety of institutions which include 31 semi-autonomous constituent colleges and over 150 academic departments, faculties and other institutions organized into six schools. All the colleges are self-governing institutions within the university, each controlling its own membership and with its own internal structure and activities. All students are members of a college. Cambridge does not have a main campus and its colleges and central facilities are scattered throughout the city. Undergraduate teaching at Cambridge is organized around weekly small-group supervisions in the colleges – a feature unique to the Oxbridge system. These are complemented by classes, lectures, seminars, laboratory work and occasionally further supervisions provided by the central university faculties and departments. Postgraduate teaching is provided predominantly centrally.

    Cambridge University Press a department of the university is the oldest university press in the world and currently the second largest university press in the world. Cambridge Assessment also a department of the university is one of the world’s leading examining bodies and provides assessment to over eight million learners globally every year. The university also operates eight cultural and scientific museums, including the Fitzwilliam Museum, as well as a botanic garden. Cambridge’s libraries – of which there are 116 – hold a total of around 16 million books, around nine million of which are in Cambridge University Library, a legal deposit library. The university is home to – but independent of – the Cambridge Union – the world’s oldest debating society. The university is closely linked to the development of the high-tech business cluster known as “Silicon Fe”. It is the central member of Cambridge University Health Partners, an academic health science centre based around the Cambridge Biomedical Campus.

    By both endowment size and consolidated assets Cambridge is the wealthiest university in the United Kingdom. In the fiscal year ending 31 July 2019, the central university – excluding colleges – had a total income of £2.192 billion of which £592.4 million was from research grants and contracts. At the end of the same financial year the central university and colleges together possessed a combined endowment of over £7.1 billion and overall consolidated net assets (excluding “immaterial” historical assets) of over £12.5 billion. It is a member of numerous associations and forms part of the ‘golden triangle’ of English universities.

    Cambridge has educated many notable alumni including eminent mathematicians; scientists; politicians; lawyers; philosophers; writers; actors; monarchs and other heads of state. As of October 2020, 121 Nobel laureates; 11 Fields Medalists; 7 Turing Award winners; and 14 British prime ministers have been affiliated with Cambridge as students; alumni; faculty or research staff. University alumni have won 194 Olympic medals.

    History

    By the late 12th century, the Cambridge area already had a scholarly and ecclesiastical reputation due to monks from the nearby bishopric church of Ely. However, it was an incident at Oxford which is most likely to have led to the establishment of the university: three Oxford scholars were hanged by the town authorities for the death of a woman without consulting the ecclesiastical authorities who would normally take precedence (and pardon the scholars) in such a case; but were at that time in conflict with King John. Fearing more violence from the townsfolk scholars from the University of Oxford started to move away to cities such as Paris; Reading; and Cambridge. Subsequently enough scholars remained in Cambridge to form the nucleus of a new university when it had become safe enough for academia to resume at Oxford. In order to claim precedence, it is common for Cambridge to trace its founding to the 1231 charter from Henry III granting it the right to discipline its own members (ius non-trahi extra) and an exemption from some taxes; Oxford was not granted similar rights until 1248.

    A bull in 1233 from Pope Gregory IX gave graduates from Cambridge the right to teach “everywhere in Christendom”. After Cambridge was described as a studium generale in a letter from Pope Nicholas IV in 1290 and confirmed as such in a bull by Pope John XXII in 1318 it became common for researchers from other European medieval universities to visit Cambridge to study or to give lecture courses.

    Foundation of the colleges

    The colleges at the University of Cambridge were originally an incidental feature of the system. No college is as old as the university itself. The colleges were endowed fellowships of scholars. There were also institutions without endowments called hostels. The hostels were gradually absorbed by the colleges over the centuries; but they have left some traces, such as the name of Garret Hostel Lane.

    Hugh Balsham, Bishop of Ely, founded Peterhouse – Cambridge’s first college in 1284. Many colleges were founded during the 14th and 15th centuries but colleges continued to be established until modern times. There was a gap of 204 years between the founding of Sidney Sussex in 1596 and that of Downing in 1800. The most recently established college is Robinson built in the late 1970s. However, Homerton College only achieved full university college status in March 2010 making it the newest full college (it was previously an “Approved Society” affiliated with the university).

    In medieval times many colleges were founded so that their members would pray for the souls of the founders and were often associated with chapels or abbeys. The colleges’ focus changed in 1536 with the Dissolution of the Monasteries. Henry VIII ordered the university to disband its Faculty of Canon Law and to stop teaching “scholastic philosophy”. In response, colleges changed their curricula away from canon law and towards the classics; the Bible; and mathematics.

    Nearly a century later the university was at the centre of a Protestant schism. Many nobles, intellectuals and even commoners saw the ways of the Church of England as too similar to the Catholic Church and felt that it was used by the Crown to usurp the rightful powers of the counties. East Anglia was the centre of what became the Puritan movement. In Cambridge the movement was particularly strong at Emmanuel; St Catharine’s Hall; Sidney Sussex; and Christ’s College. They produced many “non-conformist” graduates who, greatly influenced by social position or preaching left for New England and especially the Massachusetts Bay Colony during the Great Migration decade of the 1630s. Oliver Cromwell, Parliamentary commander during the English Civil War and head of the English Commonwealth (1649–1660), attended Sidney Sussex.

    Modern period

    After the Cambridge University Act formalized the organizational structure of the university the study of many new subjects was introduced e.g. theology, history and modern languages. Resources necessary for new courses in the arts architecture and archaeology were donated by Viscount Fitzwilliam of Trinity College who also founded the Fitzwilliam Museum. In 1847 Prince Albert was elected Chancellor of the University of Cambridge after a close contest with the Earl of Powis. Albert used his position as Chancellor to campaign successfully for reformed and more modern university curricula, expanding the subjects taught beyond the traditional mathematics and classics to include modern history and the natural sciences. Between 1896 and 1902 Downing College sold part of its land to build the Downing Site with new scientific laboratories for anatomy, genetics, and Earth sciences. During the same period the New Museums Site was erected including the Cavendish Laboratory which has since moved to the West Cambridge Site and other departments for chemistry and medicine.

    The University of Cambridge began to award PhD degrees in the first third of the 20th century. The first Cambridge PhD in mathematics was awarded in 1924.

    In the First World War 13,878 members of the university served and 2,470 were killed. Teaching and the fees it earned came almost to a stop and severe financial difficulties followed. As a consequence, the university first received systematic state support in 1919 and a Royal Commission appointed in 1920 recommended that the university (but not the colleges) should receive an annual grant. Following the Second World War the university saw a rapid expansion of student numbers and available places; this was partly due to the success and popularity gained by many Cambridge scientists.

     
  • richardmitnick 12:33 pm on September 15, 2022 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: "New phases of water detected", , , In the "hexatic phase" the water acts as neither a solid nor a liquid but something in between., In the "superionic phase" which occurs at higher pressures the water becomes highly conductive., Nanoconfined water behaves very differently from the water we drink., , , The “superionic phase” at easily accessible conditions is peculiar as this phase is generally found in extreme conditions like the core of Uranus and Neptune., The Cambridge-led team describe how they have used advances in computational approaches to predict the phase diagram of a one-molecule thick layer of water with unprecedented accuracy., The development of highly conductive electrolytes for batteries and water desalination and the frictionless transport of fluids are all reliant on predicting how confined water will behave., The University of Cambridge (UK), This superionic phase could be important for future electrolyte and battery materials as it shows an electrical conductivity 100 to 1000 times higher than current battery materials., Understanding the behaviour of water at the nanoscale is critical to many new technologies., Water in a one-molecule layer acts like neither a liquid nor a solid and it becomes highly conductive at high pressures., Water which is confined into a one-molecule thick layer goes through several phases including a ‘hexatic’ phase and a ‘superionic’ phase., When water is compressed to the nanoscale its properties change dramatically.   

    From The University of Cambridge (UK): “New phases of water detected” 

    U Cambridge bloc

    From The University of Cambridge (UK)

    9.14.22

    Sarah Collins
    sarah.collins@admin.cam.ac.uk

    1
    Water can be liquid, gas or ice, right? Think again.

    Scientists at the University of Cambridge have discovered that water in a one-molecule layer acts like neither a liquid nor a solid, and that it becomes highly conductive at high pressures.

    Much is known about how ‘bulk water’ behaves: it expands when it freezes, and it has a high boiling point. But when water is compressed to the nanoscale its properties change dramatically.

    By developing a new way to predict this unusual behaviour with unprecedented accuracy, the researchers have detected several new phases of water at the molecular level.

    Water trapped between membranes or in tiny nanoscale cavities is common – it can be found in everything from membranes in our bodies to geological formations. But this nanoconfined water behaves very differently from the water we drink.

    Until now, the challenges of experimentally characterizing the phases of water on the nanoscale have prevented a full understanding of its behaviour. But in a paper published in the journal Nature [below], the Cambridge-led team describe how they have used advances in computational approaches to predict the phase diagram of a one-molecule thick layer of water with unprecedented accuracy.

    They used a combination of computational approaches to enable the first-principles level investigation of a single layer of water.

    The researchers found that water which is confined into a one-molecule thick layer goes through several phases including a ‘hexatic’ phase and a ‘superionic’ phase. In the “hexatic phase” the water acts as neither a solid nor a liquid but something in between. In the superionic phase which occurs at higher pressures the water becomes highly conductive, propelling protons quickly through ice in a way resembling the flow of electrons in a conductor.

    Understanding the behaviour of water at the nanoscale is critical to many new technologies. The success of medical treatments can be reliant on how water trapped in small cavities in our bodies will react. The development of highly conductive electrolytes for batteries, water desalination, and the frictionless transport of fluids are all reliant on predicting how confined water will behave.

    “For all of these areas, understanding the behaviour of water is the foundational question,” said Dr Venkat Kapil from Cambridge’s Yusuf Hamied Department of Chemistry, the paper’s first author. “Our approach allows the study of a single layer of water in a graphene-like channel with unprecedented predictive accuracy.”

    The researchers found that the one-molecule thick layer of water within the nanochannel showed rich and diverse phase behaviour. Their approach predicts several phases which include the hexatic phase–an intermediate between a solid and a liquid–and also a superionic phase, in which the water has a high electrical conductivity.

    “The hexatic phase is neither a solid nor a liquid, but an intermediate, which agrees with previous theories about two-dimensional materials,” said Kapil. “Our approach also suggests that this phase can be seen experimentally by confining water in a graphene channel.

    “The existence of the superionic phase at easily accessible conditions is peculiar, as this phase is generally found in extreme conditions like the core of Uranus and Neptune. One way to visualize this phase is that the oxygen atoms form a solid lattice, and protons flow like a liquid through the lattice, like kids running through a maze.”

    The researchers say this superionic phase could be important for future electrolyte and battery materials as it shows an electrical conductivity 100 to 1,000 times higher than current battery materials.

    The results will not only help with understanding how water works at the nanoscale, but also suggest that ‘nanoconfinement’ could be a new route into finding superionic behaviour of other materials.

    Dr Venkat Kapil is a Junior Research Fellow at Churchill College, Cambridge. The research team included Dr Christoph Schran and Professor Angelos Michaelides from the Yusuf Hamied Department of Chemistry ICE group, working with Professor Chris Pickard at the Department of Materials Science & Metallurgy, Dr Andrea Zen from the University of Naples Federico II and Dr Ji Chen from Peking University.

    Science paper:
    Nature

    See the full article here .

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

    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

    Stem Education Coalition

    U Cambridge Campus

    The University of Cambridge (UK) [legally The Chancellor, Masters, and Scholars of the University of Cambridge] is a collegiate public research university in Cambridge, England. Founded in 1209 Cambridge is the second-oldest university in the English-speaking world and the world’s fourth-oldest surviving university. It grew out of an association of scholars who left the University of Oxford (UK) after a dispute with townsfolk. The two ancient universities share many common features and are often jointly referred to as “Oxbridge”.

    Cambridge is formed from a variety of institutions which include 31 semi-autonomous constituent colleges and over 150 academic departments, faculties and other institutions organized into six schools. All the colleges are self-governing institutions within the university, each controlling its own membership and with its own internal structure and activities. All students are members of a college. Cambridge does not have a main campus and its colleges and central facilities are scattered throughout the city. Undergraduate teaching at Cambridge is organized around weekly small-group supervisions in the colleges – a feature unique to the Oxbridge system. These are complemented by classes, lectures, seminars, laboratory work and occasionally further supervisions provided by the central university faculties and departments. Postgraduate teaching is provided predominantly centrally.

    Cambridge University Press a department of the university is the oldest university press in the world and currently the second largest university press in the world. Cambridge Assessment also a department of the university is one of the world’s leading examining bodies and provides assessment to over eight million learners globally every year. The university also operates eight cultural and scientific museums, including the Fitzwilliam Museum, as well as a botanic garden. Cambridge’s libraries – of which there are 116 – hold a total of around 16 million books, around nine million of which are in Cambridge University Library, a legal deposit library. The university is home to – but independent of – the Cambridge Union – the world’s oldest debating society. The university is closely linked to the development of the high-tech business cluster known as “Silicon Fe”. It is the central member of Cambridge University Health Partners, an academic health science centre based around the Cambridge Biomedical Campus.

    By both endowment size and consolidated assets Cambridge is the wealthiest university in the United Kingdom. In the fiscal year ending 31 July 2019, the central university – excluding colleges – had a total income of £2.192 billion of which £592.4 million was from research grants and contracts. At the end of the same financial year the central university and colleges together possessed a combined endowment of over £7.1 billion and overall consolidated net assets (excluding “immaterial” historical assets) of over £12.5 billion. It is a member of numerous associations and forms part of the ‘golden triangle’ of English universities.

    Cambridge has educated many notable alumni including eminent mathematicians; scientists; politicians; lawyers; philosophers; writers; actors; monarchs and other heads of state. As of October 2020, 121 Nobel laureates; 11 Fields Medalists; 7 Turing Award winners; and 14 British prime ministers have been affiliated with Cambridge as students; alumni; faculty or research staff. University alumni have won 194 Olympic medals.

    History

    By the late 12th century, the Cambridge area already had a scholarly and ecclesiastical reputation due to monks from the nearby bishopric church of Ely. However, it was an incident at Oxford which is most likely to have led to the establishment of the university: three Oxford scholars were hanged by the town authorities for the death of a woman without consulting the ecclesiastical authorities who would normally take precedence (and pardon the scholars) in such a case; but were at that time in conflict with King John. Fearing more violence from the townsfolk scholars from the University of Oxford started to move away to cities such as Paris; Reading; and Cambridge. Subsequently enough scholars remained in Cambridge to form the nucleus of a new university when it had become safe enough for academia to resume at Oxford. In order to claim precedence, it is common for Cambridge to trace its founding to the 1231 charter from Henry III granting it the right to discipline its own members (ius non-trahi extra) and an exemption from some taxes; Oxford was not granted similar rights until 1248.

    A bull in 1233 from Pope Gregory IX gave graduates from Cambridge the right to teach “everywhere in Christendom”. After Cambridge was described as a studium generale in a letter from Pope Nicholas IV in 1290 and confirmed as such in a bull by Pope John XXII in 1318 it became common for researchers from other European medieval universities to visit Cambridge to study or to give lecture courses.

    Foundation of the colleges

    The colleges at the University of Cambridge were originally an incidental feature of the system. No college is as old as the university itself. The colleges were endowed fellowships of scholars. There were also institutions without endowments called hostels. The hostels were gradually absorbed by the colleges over the centuries; but they have left some traces, such as the name of Garret Hostel Lane.

    Hugh Balsham, Bishop of Ely, founded Peterhouse – Cambridge’s first college in 1284. Many colleges were founded during the 14th and 15th centuries but colleges continued to be established until modern times. There was a gap of 204 years between the founding of Sidney Sussex in 1596 and that of Downing in 1800. The most recently established college is Robinson built in the late 1970s. However, Homerton College only achieved full university college status in March 2010 making it the newest full college (it was previously an “Approved Society” affiliated with the university).

    In medieval times many colleges were founded so that their members would pray for the souls of the founders and were often associated with chapels or abbeys. The colleges’ focus changed in 1536 with the Dissolution of the Monasteries. Henry VIII ordered the university to disband its Faculty of Canon Law and to stop teaching “scholastic philosophy”. In response, colleges changed their curricula away from canon law and towards the classics; the Bible; and mathematics.

    Nearly a century later the university was at the centre of a Protestant schism. Many nobles, intellectuals and even commoners saw the ways of the Church of England as too similar to the Catholic Church and felt that it was used by the Crown to usurp the rightful powers of the counties. East Anglia was the centre of what became the Puritan movement. In Cambridge the movement was particularly strong at Emmanuel; St Catharine’s Hall; Sidney Sussex; and Christ’s College. They produced many “non-conformist” graduates who, greatly influenced by social position or preaching left for New England and especially the Massachusetts Bay Colony during the Great Migration decade of the 1630s. Oliver Cromwell, Parliamentary commander during the English Civil War and head of the English Commonwealth (1649–1660), attended Sidney Sussex.

    Modern period

    After the Cambridge University Act formalized the organizational structure of the university the study of many new subjects was introduced e.g. theology, history and modern languages. Resources necessary for new courses in the arts architecture and archaeology were donated by Viscount Fitzwilliam of Trinity College who also founded the Fitzwilliam Museum. In 1847 Prince Albert was elected Chancellor of the University of Cambridge after a close contest with the Earl of Powis. Albert used his position as Chancellor to campaign successfully for reformed and more modern university curricula, expanding the subjects taught beyond the traditional mathematics and classics to include modern history and the natural sciences. Between 1896 and 1902 Downing College sold part of its land to build the Downing Site with new scientific laboratories for anatomy, genetics, and Earth sciences. During the same period the New Museums Site was erected including the Cavendish Laboratory which has since moved to the West Cambridge Site and other departments for chemistry and medicine.

    The University of Cambridge began to award PhD degrees in the first third of the 20th century. The first Cambridge PhD in mathematics was awarded in 1924.

    In the First World War 13,878 members of the university served and 2,470 were killed. Teaching and the fees it earned came almost to a stop and severe financial difficulties followed. As a consequence, the university first received systematic state support in 1919 and a Royal Commission appointed in 1920 recommended that the university (but not the colleges) should receive an annual grant. Following the Second World War the university saw a rapid expansion of student numbers and available places; this was partly due to the success and popularity gained by many Cambridge scientists.

     
  • richardmitnick 8:08 am on August 26, 2022 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: "Experts say risk of volcano catastrophe ‘a roll of the dice'", , , , The University of Cambridge (UK),   

    From The University of Cambridge (UK): “Experts say risk of volcano catastrophe ‘a roll of the dice'” 

    U Cambridge bloc

    From The University of Cambridge (UK)

    8.17.22
    Fred Lewsey
    fred.lewsey@admin.cam.ac.uk

    1
    While funding is pumped into preventing low-probability scenarios such as asteroid collision, the far more likely threat of a large volcanic eruption is close to ignored – despite much that could be done to reduce the risks, say researchers.

    1
    The 2021 eruption of Iceland’s Fagradalsfjall volcano. Credit: Jeroen Van Nieuwenhove.

    The world is “woefully underprepared” for a massive volcanic eruption and the likely repercussions on global supply chains, climate and food, according to experts from the University of Cambridge’s Centre for the Study of Existential Risk (CSER).

    In an article published in the journal Nature [below], they say there is a “broad misconception” that risks of major eruptions are low, and describe current lack of governmental investment in monitoring and responding to potential volcano disasters as “reckless”.

    However, the researchers argue that steps can be taken to protect against volcanic devastation – from improved surveillance to increased public education and magma manipulation – and the resources needed to do so are long overdue.

    “Data gathered from ice cores on the frequency of eruptions over deep time suggests there is a one-in-six chance of a magnitude seven explosion in the next one hundred years. That’s a roll of the dice,” said article co-author and CSER researcher Dr Lara Mani, an expert in global risk.

    “Such gigantic eruptions have caused abrupt climate change and collapse of civilisations in the distant past.”

    Mani compares the risk of a giant eruption to that of a 1km-wide asteroid crashing into Earth. Such events would have similar climatic consequences, but the likelihood of a volcanic catastrophe is hundreds of times higher than the combined chances of an asteroid or comet collision.

    “Hundreds of millions of dollars are pumped into asteroid threats every year, yet there is a severe lack of global financing and coordination for volcano preparedness,” Mani said. “This urgently needs to change. We are completely underestimating the risk to our societies that volcanoes pose.”

    An eruption in Tonga in January was the largest ever instrumentally recorded. The researchers argue that if it had gone on longer, released more ash and gas, or occurred in an area full of critical infrastructure – such as the Mediterranean – then global shock waves could have been devastating.

    “The Tonga eruption was the volcanic equivalent of an asteroid just missing the Earth, and needs to be treated as a wake-up call,” said Mani.

    The CSER experts cite recent research detecting the regularity of major eruptions by analysing traces of sulphur spikes in ancient ice samples. An eruption ten to a hundred times larger than the Tonga blast occurs once every 625 years – twice as often as had been previously thought.

    “The last magnitude seven eruption was in 1815 in Indonesia,” said co-author Dr Mike Cassidy, a volcano expert and visiting CSER researcher, now based at the University of Birmingham.

    “An estimated 100,000 people died locally, and global temperatures dropped by a degree on average, causing mass crop failures that led to famine, violent uprisings and epidemics in what was known as the year without summer,” he said.

    “We now live in a world with eight times the population and over forty times the level of trade. Our complex global networks could make us even more vulnerable to the shocks of a major eruption.”

    Financial losses from a large magnitude eruption would be in the multi-trillions, and on a comparable scale to the pandemic, say the experts.

    Mani and Cassidy outline steps they say need to be taken to help forecast and manage the possibility of a planet-altering eruption, and help mitigate damage from smaller, more frequent eruptions.

    These include a more accurate pinpointing of risks. We only know locations of a handful of the 97 eruptions classed as large magnitude on the “Volcano Explosivity Index” over the last 60,000 years. This means there could be dozens of dangerous volcanoes dotted the world over with the potential for extreme destruction, about which humanity has no clue.

    “We may not know about even relatively recent eruptions due to a lack of research into marine and lake cores, particularly in neglected regions such as Southeast Asia,” said Cassidy. “Volcanoes can lie dormant for a long time, but still be capable of sudden and extraordinary destruction.”

    Monitoring must be improved, say the CSER experts. Only 27% of eruptions since 1950 have had a seismometer anywhere near them, and only a third of that data again has been fed into the global database for “volcanic unrest”.

    “Volcanologists have been calling for a dedicated volcano-monitoring satellite for over twenty years,” said Mani. “Sometimes we have to rely on the generosity of private satellite companies for rapid imagery.”

    The experts also call for increased research into volcano “geoengineering”. This includes the need to study means of countering aerosols released by a massive eruption, which could lead to a “volcanic winter”. They also say that work to investigate manipulating pockets of magma beneath active volcanoes should be undertaken.

    Added Mani: “Directly affecting volcanic behaviour may seem inconceivable, but so did the deflection of asteroids until the formation of the NASA Planetary Defense Coordination Office in 2016. The risks of a massive eruption that devastates global society is significant. The current underinvestment in responding to this risk is simply reckless.”

    Science paper:
    Nature

    See the full article here .

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

    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

    Stem Education Coalition

    U Cambridge Campus

    The University of Cambridge (UK) [legally The Chancellor, Masters, and Scholars of the University of Cambridge] is a collegiate public research university in Cambridge, England. Founded in 1209 Cambridge is the second-oldest university in the English-speaking world and the world’s fourth-oldest surviving university. It grew out of an association of scholars who left the University of Oxford (UK) after a dispute with townsfolk. The two ancient universities share many common features and are often jointly referred to as “Oxbridge”.

    Cambridge is formed from a variety of institutions which include 31 semi-autonomous constituent colleges and over 150 academic departments, faculties and other institutions organized into six schools. All the colleges are self-governing institutions within the university, each controlling its own membership and with its own internal structure and activities. All students are members of a college. Cambridge does not have a main campus and its colleges and central facilities are scattered throughout the city. Undergraduate teaching at Cambridge is organized around weekly small-group supervisions in the colleges – a feature unique to the Oxbridge system. These are complemented by classes, lectures, seminars, laboratory work and occasionally further supervisions provided by the central university faculties and departments. Postgraduate teaching is provided predominantly centrally.

    Cambridge University Press a department of the university is the oldest university press in the world and currently the second largest university press in the world. Cambridge Assessment also a department of the university is one of the world’s leading examining bodies and provides assessment to over eight million learners globally every year. The university also operates eight cultural and scientific museums, including the Fitzwilliam Museum, as well as a botanic garden. Cambridge’s libraries – of which there are 116 – hold a total of around 16 million books, around nine million of which are in Cambridge University Library, a legal deposit library. The university is home to – but independent of – the Cambridge Union – the world’s oldest debating society. The university is closely linked to the development of the high-tech business cluster known as “Silicon Fe”. It is the central member of Cambridge University Health Partners, an academic health science centre based around the Cambridge Biomedical Campus.

    By both endowment size and consolidated assets Cambridge is the wealthiest university in the United Kingdom. In the fiscal year ending 31 July 2019, the central university – excluding colleges – had a total income of £2.192 billion of which £592.4 million was from research grants and contracts. At the end of the same financial year the central university and colleges together possessed a combined endowment of over £7.1 billion and overall consolidated net assets (excluding “immaterial” historical assets) of over £12.5 billion. It is a member of numerous associations and forms part of the ‘golden triangle’ of English universities.

    Cambridge has educated many notable alumni including eminent mathematicians; scientists; politicians; lawyers; philosophers; writers; actors; monarchs and other heads of state. As of October 2020, 121 Nobel laureates; 11 Fields Medalists; 7 Turing Award winners; and 14 British prime ministers have been affiliated with Cambridge as students; alumni; faculty or research staff. University alumni have won 194 Olympic medals.

    History

    By the late 12th century, the Cambridge area already had a scholarly and ecclesiastical reputation due to monks from the nearby bishopric church of Ely. However, it was an incident at Oxford which is most likely to have led to the establishment of the university: three Oxford scholars were hanged by the town authorities for the death of a woman without consulting the ecclesiastical authorities who would normally take precedence (and pardon the scholars) in such a case; but were at that time in conflict with King John. Fearing more violence from the townsfolk scholars from the University of Oxford started to move away to cities such as Paris; Reading; and Cambridge. Subsequently enough scholars remained in Cambridge to form the nucleus of a new university when it had become safe enough for academia to resume at Oxford. In order to claim precedence, it is common for Cambridge to trace its founding to the 1231 charter from Henry III granting it the right to discipline its own members (ius non-trahi extra) and an exemption from some taxes; Oxford was not granted similar rights until 1248.

    A bull in 1233 from Pope Gregory IX gave graduates from Cambridge the right to teach “everywhere in Christendom”. After Cambridge was described as a studium generale in a letter from Pope Nicholas IV in 1290 and confirmed as such in a bull by Pope John XXII in 1318 it became common for researchers from other European medieval universities to visit Cambridge to study or to give lecture courses.

    Foundation of the colleges

    The colleges at the University of Cambridge were originally an incidental feature of the system. No college is as old as the university itself. The colleges were endowed fellowships of scholars. There were also institutions without endowments called hostels. The hostels were gradually absorbed by the colleges over the centuries; but they have left some traces, such as the name of Garret Hostel Lane.

    Hugh Balsham, Bishop of Ely, founded Peterhouse – Cambridge’s first college in 1284. Many colleges were founded during the 14th and 15th centuries but colleges continued to be established until modern times. There was a gap of 204 years between the founding of Sidney Sussex in 1596 and that of Downing in 1800. The most recently established college is Robinson built in the late 1970s. However, Homerton College only achieved full university college status in March 2010 making it the newest full college (it was previously an “Approved Society” affiliated with the university).

    In medieval times many colleges were founded so that their members would pray for the souls of the founders and were often associated with chapels or abbeys. The colleges’ focus changed in 1536 with the Dissolution of the Monasteries. Henry VIII ordered the university to disband its Faculty of Canon Law and to stop teaching “scholastic philosophy”. In response, colleges changed their curricula away from canon law and towards the classics; the Bible; and mathematics.

    Nearly a century later the university was at the centre of a Protestant schism. Many nobles, intellectuals and even commoners saw the ways of the Church of England as too similar to the Catholic Church and felt that it was used by the Crown to usurp the rightful powers of the counties. East Anglia was the centre of what became the Puritan movement. In Cambridge the movement was particularly strong at Emmanuel; St Catharine’s Hall; Sidney Sussex; and Christ’s College. They produced many “non-conformist” graduates who, greatly influenced by social position or preaching left for New England and especially the Massachusetts Bay Colony during the Great Migration decade of the 1630s. Oliver Cromwell, Parliamentary commander during the English Civil War and head of the English Commonwealth (1649–1660), attended Sidney Sussex.

    Modern period

    After the Cambridge University Act formalized the organizational structure of the university the study of many new subjects was introduced e.g. theology, history and modern languages. Resources necessary for new courses in the arts architecture and archaeology were donated by Viscount Fitzwilliam of Trinity College who also founded the Fitzwilliam Museum. In 1847 Prince Albert was elected Chancellor of the University of Cambridge after a close contest with the Earl of Powis. Albert used his position as Chancellor to campaign successfully for reformed and more modern university curricula, expanding the subjects taught beyond the traditional mathematics and classics to include modern history and the natural sciences. Between 1896 and 1902 Downing College sold part of its land to build the Downing Site with new scientific laboratories for anatomy, genetics, and Earth sciences. During the same period the New Museums Site was erected including the Cavendish Laboratory which has since moved to the West Cambridge Site and other departments for chemistry and medicine.

    The University of Cambridge began to award PhD degrees in the first third of the 20th century. The first Cambridge PhD in mathematics was awarded in 1924.

    In the First World War 13,878 members of the university served and 2,470 were killed. Teaching and the fees it earned came almost to a stop and severe financial difficulties followed. As a consequence, the university first received systematic state support in 1919 and a Royal Commission appointed in 1920 recommended that the university (but not the colleges) should receive an annual grant. Following the Second World War the university saw a rapid expansion of student numbers and available places; this was partly due to the success and popularity gained by many Cambridge scientists.

     
  • richardmitnick 8:50 pm on August 19, 2022 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: "What are the effects of drought?", , , , , From pollinators to profits - food to fires - here's what Cambridge experts say about the impacts of water scarcity – and what it signals about our changing climate., The University of Cambridge (UK)   

    From The University of Cambridge (UK): “What are the effects of drought?” 

    U Cambridge bloc

    From The University of Cambridge (UK)

    8.16.22
    Louise Walsh

    1
    Land dry and cracked in a drought. https://www.worldatlas.com

    From pollinators to profits – food to fires – here’s what Cambridge experts say about the impacts of water scarcity – and what it signals about our changing climate.

    After successive heatwaves and the driest summer in 50 years, the Environment Agency confirmed on 12 August that eight of 14 areas across England are now in drought conditions.
    Essential water supplies are safe, but water companies have stepped up actions to manage the impacts of the drought. Substantial rain is needed to avoid water restrictions being tightened further.
    What does the drought mean for the UK and elsewhere? Is this the future? Where do we go from here? Six Cambridge experts give their views.

    “Have you noticed there aren’t many insects around this year?”
    Dr Lynn Dicks, Department of Zoology

    Zoologist Dr Lynn Dicks is worried that our insect fauna will be unable to change fast enough to avoid serious declines in some species in the coming decades.

    “Have you noticed there aren’t many insects around this year? Where are the moths flying to light at night? On the other hand, it could be an excellent year for some species. Long-tailed blue butterflies from the Mediterranean have been arriving in decent numbers in the south – a wonderful sight for British butterfly enthusiasts.

    Insects are extremely sensitive to weather conditions. So would you be, if you were only a centimetre long or less. Drought and extreme heatwaves are likely to be dangerous for some insects.

    Bees can easily overheat, especially bumblebees, which are large, black and relatively cold-adapted. Many bee species have critical temperature thresholds not far above 44°C – hotter than this and they collapse if they can’t escape the heat. We’re not there yet, in the UK, but parts of France reached 45° in 2019.

    Water is a crucial resource for insects. Honey bees and wasps use it to actively cool down their colonies during hot spells.

    Thousands of species of insect rely on nectar in flowers as their main source of energy, so if drought affects the amount of available nectar, this could have serious impacts.

    Our recent work has shown that it can. Dr Coline Jaworski, of Cambridge’s Agroecology group, used an artificial drought experiment in southern France to look closely at responses of three plant species – thyme, rosemary and rock rose. One of the species, thyme, had a dramatic (75%) reduction in the amount of nectar sugar under drought conditions. The other two did not, perhaps because they have deeper roots.

    At the moment, research on the impacts of heat waves and drought on insects is way behind the pace of global climate change. We know almost nothing about how nectar resources might change across the main important forage plant species in the UK, for example.

    If hot dry summers like 2022 are going to become a regular feature, our insect fauna will need to rapidly change, with cold adapted species moving north and a new, more Mediterranean community moving in. This is already happening, but it seems unlikely to happen fast enough to avoid serious declines in some species in the coming decades.”

    “The forecast for this heatwave is showing exceptional fire severity across large parts of England”
    Dr Alison Ming, Department of Applied Mathematics and Theoretical Physics

    Expert on atmospheric dynamics Dr Alison Ming says the way to stop extreme weather events becoming more frequent is to cut carbon dioxide emissions and reach Net Zero.

    “Climate change is happening here and now. Human influence has warmed the globe at a rate that is unprecedented over the last 2000 years. This warming has a range of impacts on all parts of the climate system. The latest Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change Sixth Assessment Report tells us that heatwaves have become more frequent and more intense across most land regions since the 1950s. Some recent hot extremes would have been virtually impossible without anthropogenic emissions of carbon dioxide.

    The warming has also increased the chance of compound extreme events happening. We have been seeing more concurrent heatwaves and droughts all over the globe. In the UK, we recently broke yet another temperature record this year and we are now seeing widespread drought conditions. In fact, all of the UK’s ten warmest years on record have occurred since 2002 and a drought has just officially been declared in the UK.

    Wildfires are also becoming more common. The Met Office fire severity index, which runs on a scale of 1 to 5, assesses how severe a fire could become if started. The forecast for this heatwave is showing exceptional fire severity (index of 5) across large parts of England.”
    Weather and climate models allow us to better understand the climate threat in the different regions of the globe but the only way to stop these extreme events becoming more frequent is to cut carbon dioxide emissions and reach Net Zero.

    “A changing landscape at the Botanic Garden is inevitable”
    Professor Beverley Glover, Director of Cambridge University Botanic Garden

    Professor Beverley Glover, Director of Cambridge University Botanic Garden, describes how the horticulturists are giving their vitally important plants the best chances of surviving – now and in the future.

    Practically, we are aiming to water overnight as much as possible, to minimise the amount of water lost through evaporation. Although we normally try to adopt best watering practices, we have recently resorted to watering during the day, using water from our borehole, to ensure that we can give our collection the best possible chance of surviving. We try to ensure that plants and plantings have a good dowsing, rather than applying little and often, which is far less effective.  

    Strategically, the hot weather trends mean we are looking closely at our species selection criteria. Due to the nature of a living collection, a changing landscape at the Botanic Garden is inevitable. Our goal is to steward all the plants in our collection and ensure plants of high conservation and research value are practically prioritised.
    The Garden’s plant collection supports leading scientific research towards meeting many of the world’s greatest challenges such as food security and climate change.

    “Protecting our 40-acre living plant collection is vital during the excessive temperatures we’re currently experiencing. Our collection contains 8,000 species from around the world, ranging from high altitude alpines to tropical plants, so it is a constant challenge to ensure that we can grow and maintain them in our Garden and Glasshouses.

    Due to our local conditions of low rainfall, well-drained soils and mild winters, some plants in our collection – such as lavender, cistus and phlomis, for example – are thriving in the hot weather, along with plants growing in our Dry Garden.

    However, at the other end of the scale, species preferring wetter conditions are struggling and it’s important we prioritize these when it comes to our watering policy. These will take preference over, for example, our lawns and more natural habitats, which we are allowing to brown off, as they will bounce back with cooler, wetter weather later in the year.

    Looking ahead, we aim to make informed decisions on plant acquisitions, which will involve understanding how our climate is projected to change, observing how plants in our current collection are responding to extreme weather events, and building resilience into our collection by acquiring plants that are best suited to our climate now and in the future. This will also mean collaboration with and input from other botanic gardens, the scientific community, the local community, and our horticulture and curation staff.  

    Through accurate record keeping and adaptive horticultural approaches, our aim is to effectively curate change that safeguards the world’s plant diversity and drives the pursuit of excellence in all areas of research and teaching which aims to meet the current global challenges.”

    “Climate extremes are major challenges facing food security in the UK, in addition to rising costs of energy and fertilizers”
    Professor Howard Griffiths, Department of Plant Sciences

    Professor Howard Griffiths, co-chair of Cambridge’s Global Food Security Interdisciplinary Research Centre, tells us how drought has brought an added burden to the challenges already facing farmers in the UK.

    “The country is divided: satellite images reveal the current drought as a browning of the UK, with only the more westerly extremities remaining green. Yet trees in hedgerows, parks and gardens seem mostly green, and so there are both immediate and long term implications for such serious water deficits on carbon sequestration, crop production and water supplies.

    Mature trees routinely require 200–400 litres of water every day to maintain water status, and so shallow rooted species such as beech and some shrubs may be in danger of reaching the wilting point each day. As in 1976, the impact of the drought on tree mortality may occur later, over the next year or so. In the summer drought of 2003, most of continental Europe’s forests turned from carbon sinks to carbon sources, thereby negating our reliance on forests for global carbon sequestration.
    The early season drought will have affected many of our crops. Those that can overwinter will have reached maturity earlier and have now been harvested, albeit at potentially reduced yields.

    Other horticultural crops are requiring extensive irrigation, at a cost to both diminishing water supplies during licensed abstraction from rivers, and in competition with those water companies also reliant on surface waters for sustaining our daily water use.

    Overall, the climate extremes associated with climate change have led in recent years to two successive autumns in which it was too wet to sow many of our overwintering crops, whilst more extensive summer droughts further constrain the growing seasons. Climate extremes are major challenges facing food security in the UK, in addition to rising costs of energy and fertilizers.”

    “Freight can’t navigate, meaning critical supplies such as coal and oil can’t be shipped, further exacerbating the energy crisis”
    Dr Matthew Agarwala,
    Bennett Institute for Public Policy

    Dr Matthew Agarwala, an environmental economist at the Bennett Institute for Public Policy, explains that trade will be among the impacts of the drought, resulting in longer term effects on the economy.

    There’s additional pressure on the NHS as extreme heat exacerbates existing conditions and creates its own: heat exhaustion and heat stroke. Labour productivity across the board suffers – especially for outdoor work, but the data shows impacts even for indoor workers.

    Finally, there are international effects. Low water levels in Norway threaten electricity exports (that we depend on) as the government prioritises domestic consumers. The water levels in the Rhine are so low that freight can’t navigate, meaning critical supplies such as coal and oil can’t be shipped, further exacerbating the energy crisis.
    If droughts hit simultaneously around the key crop growing regions (which is currently the case) it becomes harder and more expensive to import food to replace dead crops from the UK.

    Normally, some of this could be alleviated through trade, but the fact that droughts and heatwaves are hitting simultaneously across our key trading partners means there’s little reprieve.

    In the medium to long term, there’s much we could do to adapt: changing work patterns, infrastructure, and building design. But these take time and tremendous capital investment alongside pervasive social and behavioural change.

    But it’s not just heatwaves and droughts. Climate change brings intense swings in weather. The 2010-2012 drought in England and Wales was immediately followed by record breaking rainfall (wettest April for 230 years) and significant flooding, costing up to £600 million. Whilst one in four days in 2012 were officially in drought, with 20 million people facing hosepipe bans, one in five days in 2012 saw flood conditions, with over 7,000 homes and properties affected.

    We can adapt to a hotter, drier climate. We can adapt to a wetter climate. It is hard to adapt to both.”

    “Fighting climate change will help economic growth”
    Dr Kamiar Mohaddes
    Cambridge Judge Business School

    Dr Kamiar Mohaddes, from the Cambridge Judge Business School, says that virtually all countries will suffer economically if the current trajectory of carbon emissions is maintained.

    “The UK recently had its hottest day on record. Train tracks buckled, airport runways and roads melted, and thousands were stranded because it was out of the norm. Such events take an economic toll, and will only become more frequent and severe without policies to address the threats of climate change.

    Without mitigation and adaptation policies, many countries are likely to experience sustained temperature increases relative to historical norms and suffer major income losses as a result. This holds for both rich and poor countries as well as hot and cold regions.

    We are often told that climate change will only have negative economic effects in “poor” and developing countries, but that advanced economies such as the UK and the United States will not be affected by climate change (mainly because our economies have adapted to climate change and are resilient).

    The idea that rich, temperate nations are economically immune to climate change, or could even double and triple their wealth as a result, is implausible.

    Note that these are conservative estimates. For instance, if you allow temperature shocks to increase over time (in line with the temperature increases), the income losses for the world economy would almost double and be more than 13% by year 2100 and under RCP 8.5.

    Economies will adapt to changing climates, but our modelling work shows adaptation alone will not be enough. Further measures are needed and the evidence suggests that adaptation efforts should be complemented with mitigation policies to minimise the adverse effects of climate change.

    For instance, green innovation can deliver economic growth that is equal to – or greater than – the impact of non-green innovation. ‘Greenovating’ can bring huge opportunities in terms of economic growth and productivity, and ultimately for businesses.

    But prospects for achieving Paris targets and a Net Zero world hinge on governments: actively encouraging green innovation, facilitating regulations, and increasing investments. This will drive real economic growth, create opportunities for businesses and reduce carbon emissions for generations to come.”

    See the full article here .

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

    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

    Stem Education Coalition

    U Cambridge Campus

    The University of Cambridge (UK) [legally The Chancellor, Masters, and Scholars of the University of Cambridge] is a collegiate public research university in Cambridge, England. Founded in 1209 Cambridge is the second-oldest university in the English-speaking world and the world’s fourth-oldest surviving university. It grew out of an association of scholars who left the University of Oxford(UK) after a dispute with townsfolk. The two ancient universities share many common features and are often jointly referred to as “Oxbridge”.

    Cambridge is formed from a variety of institutions which include 31 semi-autonomous constituent colleges and over 150 academic departments, faculties and other institutions organized into six schools. All the colleges are self-governing institutions within the university, each controlling its own membership and with its own internal structure and activities. All students are members of a college. Cambridge does not have a main campus and its colleges and central facilities are scattered throughout the city. Undergraduate teaching at Cambridge is organized around weekly small-group supervisions in the colleges – a feature unique to the Oxbridge system. These are complemented by classes, lectures, seminars, laboratory work and occasionally further supervisions provided by the central university faculties and departments. Postgraduate teaching is provided predominantly centrally.

    Cambridge University Press a department of the university is the oldest university press in the world and currently the second largest university press in the world. Cambridge Assessment also a department of the university is one of the world’s leading examining bodies and provides assessment to over eight million learners globally every year. The university also operates eight cultural and scientific museums, including the Fitzwilliam Museum, as well as a botanic garden. Cambridge’s libraries – of which there are 116 – hold a total of around 16 million books, around nine million of which are in Cambridge University Library, a legal deposit library. The university is home to – but independent of – the Cambridge Union – the world’s oldest debating society. The university is closely linked to the development of the high-tech business cluster known as “Silicon Fe”. It is the central member of Cambridge University Health Partners, an academic health science centre based around the Cambridge Biomedical Campus.

    By both endowment size and consolidated assets Cambridge is the wealthiest university in the United Kingdom. In the fiscal year ending 31 July 2019, the central university – excluding colleges – had a total income of £2.192 billion of which £592.4 million was from research grants and contracts. At the end of the same financial year the central university and colleges together possessed a combined endowment of over £7.1 billion and overall consolidated net assets (excluding “immaterial” historical assets) of over £12.5 billion. It is a member of numerous associations and forms part of the ‘golden triangle’ of English universities.

    Cambridge has educated many notable alumni including eminent mathematicians; scientists; politicians; lawyers; philosophers; writers; actors; monarchs and other heads of state. As of October 2020 121 Nobel laureates; 11 Fields Medalists; 7 Turing Award winners; and 14 British prime ministers have been affiliated with Cambridge as students; alumni; faculty or research staff. University alumni have won 194 Olympic medals.

    History

    By the late 12th century the Cambridge area already had a scholarly and ecclesiastical reputation due to monks from the nearby bishopric church of Ely. However it was an incident at Oxford which is most likely to have led to the establishment of the university: three Oxford scholars were hanged by the town authorities for the death of a woman without consulting the ecclesiastical authorities who would normally take precedence (and pardon the scholars) in such a case; but were at that time in conflict with King John. Fearing more violence from the townsfolk scholars from the University of Oxford started to move away to cities such as Paris; Reading; and Cambridge. Subsequently enough scholars remained in Cambridge to form the nucleus of a new university when it had become safe enough for academia to resume at Oxford. In order to claim precedence it is common for Cambridge to trace its founding to the 1231 charter from Henry III granting it the right to discipline its own members (ius non-trahi extra) and an exemption from some taxes; Oxford was not granted similar rights until 1248.

    A bull in 1233 from Pope Gregory IX gave graduates from Cambridge the right to teach “everywhere in Christendom”. After Cambridge was described as a studium generale in a letter from Pope Nicholas IV in 1290 and confirmed as such in a bull by Pope John XXII in 1318 it became common for researchers from other European medieval universities to visit Cambridge to study or to give lecture courses.

    Foundation of the colleges

    The colleges at the University of Cambridge were originally an incidental feature of the system. No college is as old as the university itself. The colleges were endowed fellowships of scholars. There were also institutions without endowments called hostels. The hostels were gradually absorbed by the colleges over the centuries; but they have left some traces, such as the name of Garret Hostel Lane.

    Hugh Balsham, Bishop of Ely, founded Peterhouse – Cambridge’s first college in 1284. Many colleges were founded during the 14th and 15th centuries but colleges continued to be established until modern times. There was a gap of 204 years between the founding of Sidney Sussex in 1596 and that of Downing in 1800. The most recently established college is Robinson built in the late 1970s. However Homerton College only achieved full university college status in March 2010 making it the newest full college (it was previously an “Approved Society” affiliated with the university).

    In medieval times many colleges were founded so that their members would pray for the souls of the founders and were often associated with chapels or abbeys. The colleges’ focus changed in 1536 with the Dissolution of the Monasteries. Henry VIII ordered the university to disband its Faculty of Canon Law and to stop teaching “scholastic philosophy”. In response, colleges changed their curricula away from canon law and towards the classics; the Bible; and mathematics.

    Nearly a century later the university was at the centre of a Protestant schism. Many nobles, intellectuals and even commoners saw the ways of the Church of England as too similar to the Catholic Church and felt that it was used by the Crown to usurp the rightful powers of the counties. East Anglia was the centre of what became the Puritan movement. In Cambridge the movement was particularly strong at Emmanuel; St Catharine’s Hall; Sidney Sussex; and Christ’s College. They produced many “non-conformist” graduates who, greatly influenced by social position or preaching left for New England and especially the Massachusetts Bay Colony during the Great Migration decade of the 1630s. Oliver Cromwell, Parliamentary commander during the English Civil War and head of the English Commonwealth (1649–1660), attended Sidney Sussex.

    Modern period

    After the Cambridge University Act formalized the organizational structure of the university the study of many new subjects was introduced e.g. theology, history and modern languages. Resources necessary for new courses in the arts architecture and archaeology were donated by Viscount Fitzwilliam of Trinity College who also founded the Fitzwilliam Museum. In 1847 Prince Albert was elected Chancellor of the University of Cambridge after a close contest with the Earl of Powis. Albert used his position as Chancellor to campaign successfully for reformed and more modern university curricula, expanding the subjects taught beyond the traditional mathematics and classics to include modern history and the natural sciences. Between 1896 and 1902 Downing College sold part of its land to build the Downing Site with new scientific laboratories for anatomy, genetics, and Earth sciences. During the same period the New Museums Site was erected including the Cavendish Laboratory which has since moved to the West Cambridge Site and other departments for chemistry and medicine.

    The University of Cambridge began to award PhD degrees in the first third of the 20th century. The first Cambridge PhD in mathematics was awarded in 1924.

    In the First World War 13,878 members of the university served and 2,470 were killed. Teaching and the fees it earned came almost to a stop and severe financial difficulties followed. As a consequence the university first received systematic state support in 1919 and a Royal Commission appointed in 1920 recommended that the university (but not the colleges) should receive an annual grant. Following the Second World War the university saw a rapid expansion of student numbers and available places; this was partly due to the success and popularity gained by many Cambridge scientists.

     
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