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  • richardmitnick 11:49 am on July 10, 2021 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: "Rare meteorite could hold secrets to life on Earth", , , , It is a stony meteorite rich in water and organic matter which has retained its chemistry from the formation of the solar system., Meteorite is a carbonaceous chondrite., , Organics, Research suggests that the space rock dates back to the beginning of the Solar System 4.5 billion years ago., , The meteorite fell in the UK earlier this year., The Winchcombe meteorite, University of Glasgow [Oilthigh Ghlaschu] (SCT), Volatiles, Winchcombe is a member of the CM (“Mighei-like”) group of carbonaceous chondrites have now been formally approved by the Meteoritical Society.   

    From University of Glasgow [Oilthigh Ghlaschu] (SCT): “Rare meteorite could hold secrets to life on Earth” 

    U Glasgow bloc

    From University of Glasgow [Oilthigh Ghlaschu] (SCT)

    9 July 2021

    Dr Luke Daly
    Lecturer (School of Geographical & Earth Sciences)
    Tel: 01413302000
    Luke.Daly@glasgow.ac.uk

    1
    An image of one of the fragments of the Winchcombe meteorite. CREDIT Trustee of the Natural History Museum-London (UK).

    Scientists are set to uncover the secrets of a rare meteorite and possibly the origins of oceans and life on Earth, thanks to Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC) (UK) funding.

    Research carried out on the meteorite, which fell in the UK earlier this year, suggests that the space rock dates back to the beginning of the Solar System, 4.5 billion years ago.

    The meteorite has now been officially classified, thanks in part to the STFC-funded studies on the sample.

    The Winchcombe meteorite, aptly named after the Gloucestershire town where it landed, is an extremely rare type called a carbonaceous chondrite. It is a stony meteorite rich in water and organic matter which has retained its chemistry from the formation of the solar system. Initial analyses showing Winchcombe to be a member of the CM (“Mighei-like”) group of carbonaceous chondrites have now been formally approved by the Meteoritical Society.

    STFC provided an urgency grant in order to help fund the work of planetary scientists across the UK. The funding has enabled the Natural History Museum to invest in state-of-the-art curation facilities to preserve the meteorite, and also supported time-sensitive mineralogical and organic analyses in specialist laboratories at several leading UK institutions.

    Dr Ashley King, a UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) Future Leaders Fellow in the Department of Earth Sciences at the Natural History Museum, said: “We are grateful for the funding STFC has provided. Winchcombe is the first meteorite fall to be recovered in the UK for 30 years and the first ever carbonaceous chondrite to be recovered in our country. STFC’s funding is aiding us with this unique opportunity to discover the origins of water and life on Earth. Through the funding, we have been able to invest in state-of-the-art equipment that has contributed to our analysis and research into the Winchcombe meteorite.”

    The meteorite was tracked using images and video footage from the UK Fireball Alliance (UKFAll), a collaboration between the UK’s meteor camera networks that includes the UK Fireball Network, which is funded by STFC. Fragments were then quickly located and recovered. Since the discovery, UK scientists have been studying Winchcombe to understand its mineralogy and chemistry to learn about how the Solar System formed.

    Dr Luke Daly from the University of Glasgow and co-lead of the UK Fireball Network, said: “Being able to investigate Winchcombe is a dream come true. Many of us have spent our entire careers studying this type of rare meteorite. We are also involved in JAXA’s Hayabusa2 and NASA’s OSIRIS-REx missions, which aim to return pristine samples of carbonaceous asteroids to the Earth.

    For a carbonaceous chondrite meteorite to fall in the UK, and for it to be recovered so quickly and have a known orbit, is a really special event and a fantastic opportunity for the UK planetary science community.”

    Funding from STFC enabled scientists to quickly begin the search for signs of water and organics in Winchcombe before it could be contaminated by the terrestrial environment.

    Dr Queenie Chan from Royal Holloway, University of London (UK) added: “The teams preliminary analyses confirm that Winchcombe contains a wide range of organic material! Studying the meteorite only weeks after the fall, before any significant terrestrial contamination, means that we really are peering back in time at the ingredients present at the birth of the solar system, and learning about how they came together to make planets like the Earth.”

    A piece of the Winchcombe meteorite that was recovered during an organised search by the UK planetary science community is now on public display at London’s Natural History Museum.

    Institutions involved include:

    STFC – urgency grant is funding Natural History Museum and other STFC-funded planetary science groups.
    Natural History Museum (Curation and Minerals)
    Imperial College London (UK) (Organics)
    Open University (UK) (Volatiles)
    Royal Holloway University(UK) (Organics)
    University of Glasgow (Minerals and Organics)
    University of Plymouth (UK) (Minerals)

    See the full article here .

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    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

    Stem Education Coalition

    U Glasgow campus

    The University of Glasgow [Oilthigh Ghlaschu] (SCT) is the fourth oldest university in the English-speaking world and one of Scotland’s four ancient universities. It was founded in 1451. Along with the University of Edinburgh (SCT), the University was part of the Scottish Enlightenment during the 18th century. It is currently a member of Universitas 21, the international network of research universities, and the Russell Group (UK).

    In common with universities of the pre-modern era, Glasgow originally educated students primarily from wealthy backgrounds, however it became a pioneerin British higher education in the 19th century by also providing for the needs of students from the growing urban and commercial middle class. Glasgow University served all of these students by preparing them for professions: the law, medicine, civil service, teaching, and the church. It also trained smaller but growing numbers for careers in science and engineering.

    Originally located in the city’s High Street, since 1870 the main University campus has been located at Gilmorehill in the West End of the city. Additionally, a number of university buildings are located elsewhere, such as the University Marine Biological Station Millport on the Island of Cumbrae in the Firth of Clyde and the Crichton Campus in Dumfries.

    Alumni or former staff of the University include philosopher Francis Hutcheson, engineer James Watt, philosopher and economist Adam Smith, physicist Lord Kelvin, surgeon Joseph Lister, 1st Baron Lister, seven Nobel laureates, and two British Prime Ministers.

     
  • richardmitnick 9:27 pm on May 24, 2021 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: "Complex molecules could hold the secret to identifying alien life", A life detection instrument based on this method could be deployed on missions to extra-terrestrial locations to detect biosignatures or even detect the emergence of new forms of life., Assembly Theory, , , Fragmentation tandem mass spectrometry, , The system based on the idea that only living systems can produce complex molecules that could not form randomly in any abundance., This system is the first falsifiable hypothesis for life detection., University of Glasgow [Oilthigh Ghlaschu] (SCT)   

    From University of Glasgow [Oilthigh Ghlaschu] (SCT) via phys.org : “Complex molecules could hold the secret to identifying alien life” 

    U Glasgow bloc

    From University of Glasgow [Oilthigh Ghlaschu] (SCT)

    via

    phys.org

    May 24, 2021

    1
    Fig. 1: Assembly pathways. From: Identifying molecules as biosignatures with assembly theory and mass spectrometry.

    A new system capable of identifying complex molecular signatures could aid in the search for alien life in the universe and could even lead to the creation of new forms of life in the laboratory, scientists say.

    University of Glasgow researchers have developed a new method called Assembly Theory which can be used to quantify how assembled or complex a molecule is in the laboratory using techniques like mass spectrometry. The more complex the object, the more unlikely that it could arise by chance, and the more likely it was made by the process of evolution.

    The Glasgow team, led by Professor Lee Cronin, developed Assembly Theory in partnership with collaborators at National Aeronautics Space Agency (US) and Arizona State University (US). Together, they have shown that the system works with samples from all over the earth and extra-terrestrial samples.

    The system uses mass spectrometry to break the molecule into bits and counts the number of unique parts. The larger the number of unique parts, the larger the assembly number and the team have been able to show that life on earth can only make molecules with high assembly numbers.

    One of the main challenges of the search for extraterrestrial life has been identifying which chemical signatures are unique to life, leading to several ultimately unproven claims of the discovery of alien life. The metabolic experiments of NASA’s Viking Martian lander, for example, only detected simple molecules whose existence could be explained by natural non-living processes in addition to living processes.

    In a new paper published today in the journal Nature Communications, the team describes a universal approach to life detection.

    Professor Cronin, Regius Professor of Chemistry at the University of Glasgow, said: “Our system is the first falsifiable hypothesis for life detection. It’s based on the idea that only living systems can produce complex molecules that could not form randomly in any abundance. This allows us to sidestep the problem of defining life—instead we focus on the complexity of the chemistry.”

    The theory of molecular assembly can also be used to explain that the larger the number of steps needed to deconstruct a given complex molecule, the more improbable it is that the molecule was created without life.

    This decomposition provides a complexity measure, called the molecular assembly number. Unlike all other complexity approaches, however, it is the first to be experimentally measurable. The team demonstrated was possible to experimentally observe the molecular assembly number of single molecules in the lab by deconstructing them using fragmentation tandem mass spectrometry. Thus, the complexity measure is distinct from all other complexity measures because it is both computable and directly observable.

    A life detection instrument based on this method could be deployed on missions to extra-terrestrial locations to detect biosignatures or even detect the emergence of new forms of artificial life in the lab.

    Professor Cronin added: “This is important because developing an approach that cannot produce false positives is vital to support the first discovery of life beyond Earth, an event that will only happen once in human history.”

    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 Glasgow campus

    The University of Glasgow [Oilthigh Ghlaschu] (SCT) is the fourth oldest university in the English-speaking world and one of Scotland’s four ancient universities. It was founded in 1451. Along with the University of Edinburgh, the University was part of the Scottish Enlightenment during the 18th century. It is currently a member of Universitas 21, the international network of research universities, and the Russell Group.

    In common with universities of the pre-modern era, Glasgow originally educated students primarily from wealthy backgrounds, however it became a pioneer[citation needed] in British higher education in the 19th century by also providing for the needs of students from the growing urban and commercial middle class. Glasgow University served all of these students by preparing them for professions: the law, medicine, civil service, teaching, and the church. It also trained smaller but growing numbers for careers in science and engineering.[4]

    Originally located in the city’s High Street, since 1870 the main University campus has been located at Gilmorehill in the West End of the city.[5] Additionally, a number of university buildings are located elsewhere, such as the University Marine Biological Station Millport on the Island of Cumbrae in the Firth of Clyde and the Crichton Campus in Dumfries.

    Alumni or former staff of the University include philosopher Francis Hutcheson, engineer James Watt, philosopher and economist Adam Smith, physicist Lord Kelvin, surgeon Joseph Lister, 1st Baron Lister, seven Nobel laureates, and two British Prime Ministers.

     
  • richardmitnick 10:20 am on February 9, 2021 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: "Holography ‘quantum leap’ could revolutionise imaging", A new type of quantum holography which uses entangled photons to overcome the limitations of conventional holographic approaches., A way to use quantum-entangled photons to encode information in a hologram., , Classical holography creates two-dimensional renderings of three-dimensional objects with a beam of laser light split into two paths., Holography is familiar to many from its use as security images printed on credit cards and passports., In the new process the beams are never reunited. Instead the process harnesses the unique properties of quantum entanglement., , , University of Glasgow [Oilthigh Ghlaschu] (SCT)   

    From University of Glasgow [Oilthigh Ghlaschu] (SCT): “Holography ‘quantum leap’ could revolutionise imaging” 

    U Glasgow bloc

    From University of Glasgow [Oilthigh Ghlaschu] (SCT)

    04 Feb 2021

    1

    A new type of quantum holography which uses entangled photons to overcome the limitations of conventional holographic approaches could lead to improved medical imaging and speed the advance of quantum information science.

    A team of physicists from the University of Glasgow are the first in the world to find a way to use quantum-entangled photons to encode information in a hologram. The process behind their breakthrough is outlined in a paper published today (Thursday 4 February) in the journal Nature Physics.

    Holography is familiar to many from its use as security images printed on credit cards and passports, but it has many other practical applications, including data storage, medical imaging and defence.

    Classical holography creates two-dimensional renderings of three-dimensional objects with a beam of laser light split into two paths. The path of one beam, known as the object beam, illuminates the holograph’s subject, with the reflected light collected by a camera or special holographic film. The path of the second beam, known as the reference beam, is bounced from a mirror directly onto the collection surface without touching the subject.

    The holograph is created by measuring the differences in the light’s phase where the two beams meet. The phase is the amount that the waves of the subject and object beams mingle and interfere with each other, a process enabled by a property of light known as ‘coherence’.

    The Glasgow team’s new quantum holography process also uses a beam of laser light split into two paths, but, unlike in classical holography, the beams are never reunited. Instead, the process harnesses the unique properties of quantum entanglement – a process Einstein famously called ‘spooky action at a distance’ – to gather the coherence information required to construct a holograph even though the beams are forever parted.

    Their process begins in the lab by shining a blue laser through a special nonlinear crystal which splits the beam into two, creating entangled photons in the process. Entangled photons are intrinsically linked – when an agent acts on one photon, it’s partner is also affected, no matter how far apart they are. The photons in the team’s process are entangled in both in their direction of travel but also in their polarisation.

    The two streams of entangled photons are then sent along different paths. One photon stream – the equivalent of the object beam in classical holography – is used to probe the thickness and polarisation response of a target object by measuring the deceleration of the photons as they pass through it. The waveform of the light shifts to different degrees it passes through the object, changing the phase of the light.

    Meanwhile, its entangled partner hits a spatial light modulator, the equivalent of the reference beam. Spatial light modulators are optical devices which can fractionally slow the speed of light which passes through them. Once the photons pass through the modulator, they have a different phase compared to their entangled partners which have probed the target object.

    In standard holography, the two paths would then be superimposed on each other, and the degree of phase interference between them would be used to generate a hologram on the camera. In the most striking aspect of the team’s quantum version of holography, the photons never overlap with each other after passing through their respective targets.

    Instead, because the photons are entangled as a single ‘non-local’ particle, the phase shifts experienced by each photon individually are simultaneously shared by both.

    The interference phenomenon occurs remotely, and a hologram is obtained by measuring correlations between the entangled photon positions using separate megapixel digital cameras. A high-quality phase image of the object is finally retrieved by combining four holograms measured for four different global phase shifts implemented by the spatial light modulator on one of the two photons.

    2
    In the team’s experiment, phase patterns were reconstructed from artificial objects like the letters ‘UofG’ programmed on a liquid crystal display, but also from real objects such as a transparent tape, silicon oil droplets positioned on a microscope slide and a bird feather.

    Dr Hugo Defienne, of the University of Glasgow’s School of Physics and Astronomy, is the paper’s lead author. Dr Defienne said: “Classical holography does very clever things with the direction, colour and polarisation of light, but it has limitations, such as interference from unwanted light sources and strong sensitivity to mechanical instabilities.

    “The process we’ve developed frees us from those limitations of classical coherence and ushers holography into the quantum realm. Using entangled photons offers new ways to create sharper, more richly detailed holograms, which open up new possibilities for practical applications of the technique.

    “One of those applications could be in medical imaging, where holography is already used in microscopy to scrutinise details of delicate samples which are often near-transparent. Our process allows the creation of higher-resolution, lower-noise images, which could help reveal finer details of cells and help us learn more about how biology functions at the cellular level.”

    The University of Glasgow’s Professor Daniele Faccio leads the group which made the breakthrough and is a co-author of the paper.

    Prof Faccio said: “Part of what’s really exciting about this is that we’ve found a way to integrate megapixel digital cameras into the detection system.

    “Many big discoveries in optical quantum physics in recent years have been made using simple, single-pixel sensors. They have the advantage of being small, quick and affordable, but their disadvantage is that they capture only very limited data about the state of the entangled photons involved in the process. It would take an extraordinary amount of time to capture the level of detail we can collect in a single image.

    “The CCD sensors that we’re using give us an unprecedented amount of resolution to play with – up to 10,000 pixels per image of each entangled photon. That means we can measure the quality of their entanglement and the quantity of the photons in the beams with remarkable accuracy.

    “The quantum computers and quantum communications networks of the future will require at least that level of detail about the entangled particles they will use. It puts us one step closer to enabling real step-change in those fast-developing fields. It’s a really exciting breakthrough and we’re keen to build on this success with further refinements.”

    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 Glasgow campus

    The University of Glasgow [Oilthigh Ghlaschu] (SCT) is the fourth oldest university in the English-speaking world and one of Scotland’s four ancient universities. It was founded in 1451. Along with the University of Edinburgh, the University was part of the Scottish Enlightenment during the 18th century. It is currently a member of Universitas 21, the international network of research universities, and the Russell Group.

    In common with universities of the pre-modern era, Glasgow originally educated students primarily from wealthy backgrounds, however it became a pioneer[citation needed] in British higher education in the 19th century by also providing for the needs of students from the growing urban and commercial middle class. Glasgow University served all of these students by preparing them for professions: the law, medicine, civil service, teaching, and the church. It also trained smaller but growing numbers for careers in science and engineering.[4]

    Originally located in the city’s High Street, since 1870 the main University campus has been located at Gilmorehill in the West End of the city.[5] Additionally, a number of university buildings are located elsewhere, such as the University Marine Biological Station Millport on the Island of Cumbrae in the Firth of Clyde and the Crichton Campus in Dumfries.

    Alumni or former staff of the University include philosopher Francis Hutcheson, engineer James Watt, philosopher and economist Adam Smith, physicist Lord Kelvin, surgeon Joseph Lister, 1st Baron Lister, seven Nobel laureates, and two British Prime Ministers.

     
  • richardmitnick 12:43 pm on January 30, 2021 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: "UofG supports major quantum technology effort to solve universe’s mysteries", , , , Quantum-enhanced Interferometry for New Physics project, University of Glasgow [Oilthigh Ghlaschu] (SCT)   

    From University of Glasgow [Oilthigh Ghlaschu] (SCT): “UofG supports major quantum technology effort to solve universe’s mysteries” 

    U Glasgow bloc

    From University of Glasgow [Oilthigh Ghlaschu] (SCT)

    13 Jan 2021 [ Just now in social media.]

    The Quantum-enhanced Interferometry for New Physics project, led by Cardiff University, is one of seven UKRI-funded projects which aim to transform our understanding of the universe.

    1
    “We propose to create a world-leading program to search for new physics using quantum-enhanced interferometers. The program includes three table-top experiments to search for (i) axion-like particles, (ii) quantization of space-time, (iii) semiclassical gravity, and (iv) to enhance the sensitivity of the Any-Light- Particle-Search (ALPS) detector using quantum technologies. Below we discuss the motivation for each of the proposed research activities.”

    Searching for axion-like particles
    Quantization of space-time
    Semiclassical gravity
    Support to ALPS

    The projects will share in a £31m investment to demonstrate how quantum technologies could solve some of the greatest mysteries in fundamental physics.

    The ambitious goal of the £4M Quantum-enhanced Interferometry for New Physics is to apply recent advances in optical interferometry and quantum technologies to fundamental questions on the nature of dark matter and the origins of the universe.

    The consortium brings together the Universities of Birmingham, Cardiff, Glasgow, Strathclyde, and Warwick in the UK with MIT, Caltech, NIST, and Fermilab in the US and DESY and AEI Hannover in Germany.

    The researchers will build four table-top experiments to search for dark matter in the galactic halo, improve the 100m scale ALPS light-shining-through-the-wall experiment at DESY with novel single photon detectors, search for quantisation of space-time, and test models of semiclassical gravity.

    These experiments will allow the team to explore new parameter spaces of photon – dark matter interaction, and seek answers to the long-standing question at the heart of modern science: how can gravity be united with the other fundamental forces?

    The project is linked to two UK National Quantum Hubs, including the University of Glasgow-led QuantIC hub. It will apply state-of-the-art technologies, including optical cavities, quantum states of light, superconducting single-photon detectors, and extreme-performance optical coatings, to a broad class of fundamental physics problems.

    Professor Robert Hadfield, Professor of Photonics at the James Watt School of Engineering, is leading the University of Glasgow’s and QuantIC’s contribution to the project.

    Professor Hadfield said: “I am excited to contribute my know-how in single-photon detection to the challenge of dark matter detection. I am delighted to be part of this major research effort with expert colleagues from across the UK and our international partners.”

    The projects are supported through the Quantum Technologies for Fundamental Physics programme, delivered by the Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC) and the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) as part of UKRI’s Strategic Priorities Fund. The programme is part of the National Quantum Technologies Programme, a 10 year initiative launched in 2014, with an overall investment of £1bn from public and private sectors.

    Professor Mark Thomson, Executive Chair of the Science and Technology Facilities Council, said: “STFC is proud to support these projects that utilise cutting-edge quantum technologies for novel and exciting research into fundamental physics.
    “Major scientific discoveries often arise from the application of new technologies and techniques. With the application of emerging quantum technologies, I believe we have an opportunity to change the way we search for answers to some of the biggest mysteries of the universe. These include exploring what dark matter is made of, finding the absolute mass of neutrinos and establishing how quantum mechanics fits with Einstein’s theory of relativity.

    “I believe strongly that this exciting new research programme will enable the UK to take the lead in a new way of exploring profound questions in fundamental physics.”

    Professor Dame Lynn Gladden, Executive Chair of the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council and UKRI sponsor for Quantum Technologies, said: “The National Quantum Technologies Programme has successfully accelerated the first wave of quantum technologies to a maturity where they can be used to make advances in both fundamental science and industrial applications.

    “The investments UKRI is making through the Quantum Technologies for Fundamental Physics programme allows us to bring together the expertise of EPSRC and STFC to apply the latest advances in quantum science and technology to explore, and answer, long-standing research questions in fundamental physics. This is a hugely exciting programme and we look forward to delivering these projects and funding further work in this area as well as exploring opportunities for exploiting quantum technologies with other UKRI partners.”

    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 Glasgow campus

    The University of Glasgow [Oilthigh Ghlaschu](SCT) is the fourth oldest university in the English-speaking world and one of Scotland’s four ancient universities. It was founded in 1451. Along with the University of Edinburgh, the University was part of the Scottish Enlightenment during the 18th century. It is currently a member of Universitas 21, the international network of research universities, and the Russell Group.

    In common with universities of the pre-modern era, Glasgow originally educated students primarily from wealthy backgrounds, however it became a pioneer[citation needed] in British higher education in the 19th century by also providing for the needs of students from the growing urban and commercial middle class. Glasgow University served all of these students by preparing them for professions: the law, medicine, civil service, teaching, and the church. It also trained smaller but growing numbers for careers in science and engineering.[4]

    Originally located in the city’s High Street, since 1870 the main University campus has been located at Gilmorehill in the West End of the city.[5] Additionally, a number of university buildings are located elsewhere, such as the University Marine Biological Station Millport on the Island of Cumbrae in the Firth of Clyde and the Crichton Campus in Dumfries.

    Alumni or former staff of the University include philosopher Francis Hutcheson, engineer James Watt, philosopher and economist Adam Smith, physicist Lord Kelvin, surgeon Joseph Lister, 1st Baron Lister, seven Nobel laureates, and two British Prime Ministers.

     
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