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  • richardmitnick 5:25 pm on September 14, 2021 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: "What Lies Beneath-Volcanic Secrets Revealed – “We’ve Been Misled and Geologically Deceived”, , , , , University of Queensland (AU),   

    From University of Queensland (AU) via SciTechDaily : “What Lies Beneath-Volcanic Secrets Revealed – “We’ve Been Misled and Geologically Deceived” 

    u-queensland-bloc

    From University of Queensland (AU)

    via

    SciTechDaily

    September 14, 2021

    1
    Basaltic lava flow. Credit: The University of Queensland (AU)

    Lava samples have revealed a new truth about the geological make-up of the Earth’s crust and could have implications for volcanic eruption early warning systems, a University of Queensland-led study has found.

    UQ volcanologist Dr. Teresa Ubide said it was previously understood that cooled lava from so-called ‘hot spot’ volcanoes was ‘pristine’ magma from the melting mantle, tens of kilometers under the Earth’s surface.

    “This isn’t quite the case – we’ve been misled, geologically deceived,” Dr. Ubide said.

    “For decades, we have considered hot spot volcanoes to be messengers from the earth’s mantle, offering us a glimpse into what’s happening deep under our feet.

    “But these volcanoes are extremely complex inside and filter a very different melt to the surface than what we’ve been expecting. This is due to the volcano’s intricate plumbing system that forces many minerals in the magma to crystallize.”

    Dr. Ubide said the minerals are being recycled by the rising magma, changing their overall chemistry to ‘appear’ pristine, which is an important new piece of the jigsaw to better understand how ocean island volcanoes work.

    “We have discovered that hot spot volcanoes filter their melts to become highly eruptible at the base of the Earth’s crust, situated several kilometers below the volcano,” she said.

    “The close monitoring of volcanoes can indicate when magma reaches the base of the crust, where this filtering process reaches the ‘tipping point’ that leads to eruption.

    “Our results support the notion that detection of magma at the crust-mantle boundary could indicate an upcoming eruption.

    “This new information takes us one step closer to improving the monitoring of volcanic unrest, which aims to protect lives, infrastructure, and crops.”

    Hot spot volcanoes make up some of the world’s most beautiful landscapes, such as the Canary Islands in the Atlantic and Hawaii in the Pacific.

    The international team of researchers analyzed new rock samples from the island of El Hierro, in Spain’s Canary Islands, just south-west of Morocco. This data was combined with hundreds of published geochemical data from El Hierro, including the underwater eruption in 2011 and 2012. The team then tested the findings on data from ocean island hot spot volcanoes around the world, including Hawaii.

    Dr. Ubide said hot spot volcanoes are also found in Australia.

    “South-east Queenslanders would be very familiar with the Glass House Mountains or the large Tweed shield volcano, which includes Wollumbin (Mount Warning) in New South Wales,” she said.

    “Hot spot volcanoes can pop up ‘anywhere’, as opposed to most other volcanoes that occur due to tectonic plates crashing into each other, like the Ring of Fire volcanoes in Japan or New Zealand, or tectonic plates moving away from each other, creating for example the Atlantic Ocean.

    “South-east Queensland hot spot volcanoes were active millions of years ago. They produced enormous volumes of magma and make excellent laboratories to explore the roots of volcanism.

    “There are even dormant volcanoes in South Australia, that could erupt with little warning, that would benefit from better geological markers for early detection.”

    Science paper:
    Geology

    See the full article here .

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    The University of Queensland (AU) is a public research university located primarily in Brisbane, the capital city of the Australian state of Queensland. Founded in 1909 by the Queensland parliament, UQ is one of the six sandstone universities, an informal designation of the oldest university in each state. The University of Queensland was ranked second nationally by the Australian Research Council in the latest research assessment and equal second in Australia based on the average of four major global university league tables. The University of Queensland is a founding member of edX, Australia’s leading Group of Eight and the international research-intensive Association of Pacific Rim Universities.

    The main St Lucia campus occupies much of the riverside inner suburb of St Lucia, southwest of the Brisbane central business district. Other University of Queensland campuses and facilities are located throughout Queensland, the largest of which are the Gatton campus and the Mayne Medical School. University of Queensland’s overseas establishments include University of Queensland North America office in Washington D.C., and the University of Queensland-Ochsner Clinical School in Louisiana, United States.

    The university offers associate, bachelor, master, doctoral, and higher doctorate degrees through a college, a graduate school, and six faculties. University of Queensland incorporates over one hundred research institutes and centres offering research programs, such as the Institute for Molecular Bioscience, Boeing Research and Technology Australia Centre, the Australian Institute for Bioengineering and Nanotechnology, and the University of Queensland Dow Centre for Sustainable Engineering Innovation. Recent notable research of the university include pioneering the invention of the HPV vaccine that prevents cervical cancer, developing a COVID-19 vaccine that was in human trials, and the development of high-performance superconducting MRI magnets for portable scanning of human limbs.

    The University of Queensland counts two Nobel laureates (Peter C. Doherty and John Harsanyi), over a hundred Olympians winning numerous gold medals, and 117 Rhodes Scholars among its alumni and former staff. University of Queensland’s alumni also include The University of California-San Francisco (US) Chancellor Sam Hawgood, the first female Governor-General of Australia Dame Quentin Bryce, former President of King’s College London (UK) Ed Byrne, member of United Kingdom’s Prime Minister Council for Science and Technology Max Lu, Oscar and Emmy awards winner Geoffrey Rush, triple Grammy Award winner Tim Munro, the former CEO and Chairman of Dow Chemical, and current Director of DowDuPont Andrew N. Liveris.

    Research

    The University of Queensland has a strong research focus in science, medicine and technology. The university’s research advancement includes pioneering the development of the cervical cancer vaccines, Gardasil and Cervarix, by University of Queensland Professor Ian Frazer. In 2009, the Australian Cancer Research Foundation reported that University of Queensland had taken the lead in numerous areas of cancer research.

    In the Commonwealth Government’s Excellence in Research for Australia 2012 National Report, University of Queensland’s research is rated above world standard in more broad fields than at any other Australian university (in 22 broad fields), and more University of Queensland researchers are working in research fields that ERA has assessed as above world standard than at any other Australian university. University of Queensland research in biomedical and clinical health sciences, technology, engineering, biological sciences, chemical sciences, environmental sciences, and physical sciences was ranked above world standard (rating 5).

    In 2015, University of Queensland is ranked by Nature Index as the research institution with the highest volume of research output in both interdisciplinary journals Nature and Science within the southern hemisphere, with approximately twofold more output than the global average.

    In 2020 Clarivate named 34 UQ professors to its list of Highly Cited Researchers.

    Aside from disciplinary-focused teaching and research within the academic faculties, the university maintains a number of interdisciplinary research institutes and centres at the national, state and university levels. For example, the Asia-Pacific Centre for the Responsibility to Protect, the University of Queensland Seismology Station, Heron Island Research Station and the Institute of Modern Languages.

    With the support from the Queensland Government, the Australian Government and major donor The Atlantic Philanthropies, The University of Queensland dedicates basic, translational and applied research via the following research-focused institutes:

    Institute for Molecular Bioscience – within the Queensland Bioscience Precinct which houses scientists from the CSIRO-Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (AU) and the Community for Open Antimicrobial Drug Discovery

    Translational Research Institute, which houses The University of Queensland’s Diamantina Institute, School of Medicine and the Mater Medical Research Institute
    Australian Institute for Bioengineering and Nanotechnology
    Institute for Social Science Research
    Sustainable Mineral Institute
    Global Change Institute
    Queensland Alliance for Environmental Health Science
    Queensland Alliance for Agriculture and Food Innovation
    Queensland Brain Institute
    Centre for Advanced Imaging
    Boeing Research and Technology Australia Centre
    UQ Dow Centre

    The University of Queensland plays a key role in Brisbane Diamantina Health Partners, Queensland’s first academic health science system. This partnership currently comprises Children’s Health Queensland, Mater Health Services, Metro North Hospital and Health Service, Metro South Health, QIMR Berghofer Medical Research Institute, The Queensland University of Technology (AU), The University of Queensland and the Translational Research Institute.

    International partnerships

    The University of Queensland has a number of agreements in place with many of her international peers, including: Princeton University (US), The University of Pennsylvania (US), The University of California (US), Washington University in St. Louis (US), The University of Toronto (CA), McGill University (CA), The University of British Columbia (CA), Imperial College London (UK), University College London (UK), The University of Edinburgh (SCT), Balsillie School of International Affairs (CA), Sciences Po (FR), Ludwig Maximilians University of Munich [Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München](DE), Technical University of Munich [Technische Universität München] (DE), The University of Zürich [Universität Zürich ](CH), The University of Auckland (NZ), The National University of Singapore [universiti kebangsaan singapura] (SG), Nanyang Technological University [Universiti Teknologi Nanyang](SG),Peking University [北京大学](CN), The University of Hong Kong [香港大學] (HKU) (HK), The University of Tokyo[(東京大] (JP), The National Taiwan University [國立臺灣大學](TW), and The Seoul National University [서울대학교](KR).

     
  • richardmitnick 9:33 pm on June 9, 2021 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: "Australian researchers create quantum microscope that can see the impossible", , , University of Queensland (AU)   

    From University of Queensland (AU) : Women in STEM-Catxere Casacio “Australian researchers create quantum microscope that can see the impossible” 

    u-queensland-bloc

    From University of Queensland (AU)

    10 June 2021

    Professor Warwick Bowen
    wbowen@physics.uq.edu.au
    +61 404 618 722

    Dominic Jarvis
    dominic.jarvis@uq.edu.au
    +61 413 334 924

    1
    Artist’s impression of UQ’s new quantum microscope in action.

    In a major scientific leap, University of Queensland researchers have created a quantum microscope that can reveal biological structures that would otherwise be impossible to see.

    This paves the way for applications in biotechnology, and could extend far beyond this into areas ranging from navigation to medical imaging.

    The microscope is powered by the science of quantum entanglement, an effect Einstein described as “spooky interactions at a distance”.

    Professor Warwick Bowen, from UQ’s Quantum Optics Lab and the ARC Centre of Excellence for Engineered Quantum Systems (EQUS), said it was the first entanglement-based sensor with performance beyond the best possible existing technology.

    “This breakthrough will spark all sorts of new technologies – from better navigation systems to better MRI machines, you name it,” Professor Bowen said.

    “Entanglement is thought to lie at the heart of a quantum revolution.

    “We’ve finally demonstrated that sensors that use it can supersede existing, non-quantum technology.

    “This is exciting – it’s the first proof of the paradigm-changing potential of entanglement for sensing.”

    Australia’s Quantum Technologies Roadmap sees quantum sensors spurring a new wave of technological innovation in healthcare, engineering, transport and resources.

    A major success of the team’s quantum microscope was its ability to catapult over a ‘hard barrier’ in traditional light-based microscopy.

    “The best light microscopes use bright lasers that are billions of times brighter than the sun,” Professor Bowen said.

    “Fragile biological systems like a human cell can only survive a short time in them and this is a major roadblock.

    2
    UQ team researchers (counter-clockwise from bottom-left) Catxere Casacio, Warwick Bowen, Lars Madsen and Waleed Muhammad aligning the quantum microscope.

    “The quantum entanglement in our microscope provides 35 per cent improved clarity without destroying the cell, allowing us to see minute biological structures that would otherwise be invisible.

    “The benefits are obvious – from a better understanding of living systems, to improved diagnostic technologies.”

    Professor Bowen said there were potentially boundless opportunities for quantum entanglement in technology.

    “Entanglement is set to revolutionise computing, communication and sensing,” he said.

    “Absolutely secure communication was demonstrated some decades ago as the first demonstration of absolute quantum advantage over conventional technologies.

    “Computing faster than any possible conventional computer was demonstrated by Google two years ago, as the first demonstration of absolute advantage in computing.

    “The last piece in the puzzle was sensing, and we’ve now closed that gap.

    “This opens the door for some wide-ranging technological revolutions.”

    The research was supported by the Air Force Office of Scientific Research (US) and the Australian Research Council-ARC Centre of Excellence (AU). It is published in Nature.

    See the full article here .

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    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

    Stem Education Coalition

    u-queensland-campus

    The University of Queensland (AU) is one of Australia’s leading research and teaching institutions. We strive for excellence through the creation, preservation, transfer and application of knowledge. For more than a century, we have educated and worked with outstanding people to deliver knowledge leadership for a better world.

    UQ ranks in the top 50 as measured by the QS World University Rankings and the Performance Ranking of Scientific Papers for World Universities. The University also ranks 52 in the US News Best Global Universities Rankings, 60 in the Times Higher Education World University Rankings and 55 in the Academic Ranking of World Universities.

     
  • richardmitnick 11:29 am on February 3, 2021 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: "Turbulence trouble", , Collectively referred to as the The Australian Quantum Vortex Team- they comprise another research group at UQ plus a team at Monash University in Melbourne., , , , Solving the last great problem of classical physics., The Great Red Spot – a massive cyclone on Jupiter, Turbulence has always been too complex to accurately analyse or even measure., University of Queensland (AU), We don’t even know if there are unique solutions to the problem of turbulence at all or whether it can be solved.   

    From University of Queensland (AU) via COSMOS (AU): “Turbulence trouble” 

    u-queensland-bloc

    From University of Queensland (AU)

    via

    Cosmos Magazine bloc

    COSMOS (AU)

    3 February 2021
    Lauren Fuge

    Solving the last great problem of classical physics.

    1
    Illustration of Jupiter’s Great Red Spot. Credit: Mark Garlick / Getty Images.

    “When I meet God,” physicist Werner Heisenberg allegedly once said, “I’m going to ask him two questions: why relativity? And why turbulence? I really believe he’ll have an answer for the first.”

    Although the quote is almost certainly fictional, it captures the sheer frustration many physicists feel about turbulence: the complex, chaotic, unpredictable flows in fluids.

    This phenomenon surrounds us: swirling gases in the atmosphere disrupting our flights; the movement of rivers around rocks; the flow of blood through our arteries. We also see it on cosmic scales, explains quantum physicist Warwick Bowen from the University of Queensland (UQ), from gas flowing in galaxy clusters to the Great Red Spot – a massive cyclone on Jupiter.

    “You could fit our planet within this one storm, and it’s existed for many hundreds of years – for the whole time that we’ve been able to observe Jupiter,” Bowen says.

    This long-term stability is typical of turbulent phenomena but is utterly perplexing to physicists like Bowen, who are used to seeing order dissipate into disorder.

    “There’s a natural tendency in physics for structures that are large to break down into smaller structures and eventually disappear,” he says. “But it seems that in the Great Red Spot of Jupiter, that doesn’t happen – these large structures are stable over very long periods of time.”

    2
    University of Queensland researchers standing in front of an ultra-cold refrigerator, cooled to a few thousandths of a degree above absolute zero. The team place nanofabricated devices within the refrigerator that allow laser control of quantum vortex dynamics in superfluid helium. Credit: Nitika Davis.

    And we still don’t know why. Turbulence has always been too complex to accurately analyse or even measure. Even after centuries of study, physicists have no general theoretical description of it – it’s been described as the last great outstanding problem of classical physics.

    According to Bowen, who wrestles with very tiny turbulent systems in his lab in Brisbane, this gaping hole in theory is “kind of crazy”.

    The most commonly used equations to describe fluid flow were first developed by Swiss polymath Leonhard Euler in 1757. But in the intervening 300 years, no one has managed to solve the equations to describe realistic conditions. They rapidly become unstable and intractably tangled, for the same reason it’s difficult to precisely predict the weather: very small changes have enormous effects, so an infinitesimal inaccuracy could throw off predictions of the system’s evolution.

    “We don’t even know if there are unique solutions to the problem of turbulence at all, or whether it can be solved,” Bowen admits.

    That doesn’t mean researchers haven’t tried. It is, after all, one of the Clay Institute’s seven unsolved “Millennium Prize” problems, meaning there’s a cool million dollars waiting for the first scientist to solve these equations.

    But Bowen’s team isn’t so interested in taking a pen-and-paper approach – instead, they use lasers to observe turbulence in an ultra-cold quantum fluid in their lab.

    His lab was one of three Australian teams who produced a suite of landmark papers in Science in 2019, describing the very first experimental demonstration of the microscopic origins of turbulence. Specifically, they showed that vortices can emerge on the quantum scale and then form into more complex and stable systems – verifying a 70-year-old prediction.

    ________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
    Australian Quantum Vortex Team research papers in Science:

    Giant vortex clusters in a two-dimensional quantum fluid
    Evolution of large-scale flow from turbulence in a two-dimensional superfluid
    Coherent vortex dynamics in a strongly-interacting superfluid on a silicon chip
    ________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

    Collectively referred to as the Australian Quantum Vortex Team, they comprise another research group at UQ plus a team at Monash University, in Melbourne. Their work earned them a nomination for the 2020 Eureka Prize – the “Oscars” of Australian science.

    Despite this, Bowen’s lab didn’t actually set out to study turbulence – it found them.

    Part of the UQ Precision Sensing Initiative, the lab focused on using the properties of superfluid helium to build quantum technologies, such as extremely precise inertial sensors and ultrafast quantum computing networks.

    “We have a very, very cold fridge that gets us down to about a fiftieth of a degree away from absolute zero – about twenty millikelvin,” Bowen explains – and in this fridge they keep a box of this bizarre quantum fluid.

    So what exactly is superfluid helium?

    “We don’t 100% understand ourselves,” Bowen admits.

    Here’s the gist: if you cool any material to a low enough temperature, it will become a solid – except for helium. A quirk of quantum mechanics means that materials always have a miniscule amount of “quantum zero-point energy”, even when they’re at absolute zero.

    4
    Illustration of the concept of confining a quantum vortex, motivated by the idea of “a storm in a teacup”. Credit: Dr Christopher Baker.

    “For helium, that energy is enough to melt the solid,” Bowen explains. “In some sense, quantum mechanics is melting the helium and causing it to be a very different type of fluid.”

    Superfluids have a range of delightfully peculiar properties, including the fact they have no way to dissipate energy flow. If a physicist set up a flow in a tub full of superfluid helium then went away on a year-long sabbatical, it would still be flowing on their return.

    Superfluid helium is also an example of a “matter wave”, another quantum property in which its atoms act more like a wave than a particle, giving rise to the strange flows. It’s this property that Bowen’s lab wants to exploit in quantum technologies.

    But to do so, they must observe, control and understand the turbulent flows within this superfluid – and thus grapple with one of the most stubborn mysteries in physics.

    “Turbulence is a problem for us, really – we don’t want it!” Bowen says, chuckling. “In our particular case we’d like to understand it just so we can remove it.”

    Turns out, superfluid helium is an excellent medium in which to study how turbulent phenomena form and evolve, as evidenced by the lab’s contribution to the landmark demonstrations made in 2019.

    They provided the first experimental proof of a prediction made by Nobel-Prize-winning physical chemist Lars Onsager, who in 1949 proposed that turbulence in 2D systems could be understood by observing it on nanoscales. These systems are made up of miniscule working parts called quantum vortices – the quantum equivalent of a tornado or a vortex in water – and Onsager suggested that over time, vortices rotating in the same direction would cluster to form larger ones, making the system become more stable.

    By studying the interactions between quantum vortices, he predicted we could understand many characteristics of the system as a whole – such as “why you get these large-scale pattern formations like in the Great Red Spot or in cyclones, and it explains why it persists”, Bowen explains.

    Each of the three studies in Science created quantised vortices from a different material and watched as they evolved and stabilised. Bowen’s lab observed this in superfluid helium, using lasers to measure the fluid’s dynamics, while the other two labs used Bose-Einstein condensates, a quantum state that exists at ultra-low temperatures.

    What’s counter-intuitive about these vortices, according to Bowen, is that the fluid is only allowed to take particular speeds.

    “If I stir a pot, then in a classical system that fluid can take any velocity it likes, but in superfluids it can only take very specific velocities,” he explains. “When I stir it, initially nothing happens – it just ignores the fact that I’m stirring. Then if I increase my speed, at some point it steps up to a specific new velocity, and if I keep stirring it steps up again. But you can only have discrete values.

    “It’s a weird behavior. It comes straight out of quantum mechanics and the fact that the atoms are behaving more like a wave than an atom.”

    His team observed small clusters of these wacky vortices in superfluid helium by using lasers to “listen” to the vortices, measuring the ripple effects they have on the superfluid’s surface.

    “The frequency of that ripple changes when the vortex appears, and we use lasers to hear that,” Bowen explains. “We’re not optically imaging it – we’re acoustically imaging.”

    The next goal is to use this technique to see a single quantised vortex – which, remarkably, has never been directly observed, despite the 2016 Nobel Prize in Physics being awarded to a team of physicists who recognised and explained the existence of quantised vortices in 2D films of superfluids.

    Bowen’s team didn’t even observe a single vortex in their 2019 study; they only observed ensembles of vortices, then analysed the data assuming the vortices were quantised in order for the results to make sense.

    “Of course, they must exist,” he says. “If we discovered that there wasn’t such as a thing as quantised vortices, all kinds of physics would have massive problems.”

    To observe a single vortex, Bowen and team will shrink their experiments right down. At the moment, they’re working on scales of hundreds of microns (equivalent to the width of a few human hairs), but they’re aiming for single micron scales (about the size of bacteria).

    Pushing vortices into a tiny space will make them interact more strongly, increasing the frequency shift of their “sound” – that is, the ripples they make in the superfluid.

    “What I’d like to do,” Bowen says, “is to listen to that sound wave with no vortex at a certain frequency, then add a vortex and see it jump to another frequency.”

    5
    Simulation of vortex dynamics. Credit: Dr Matthew Reeves.

    This distinct jump would prove the vortex’s quantised nature, directly verifying the assumption underpinning the 2016 Nobel Prize. Bowen’s lab is in the perfect position to achieve this.

    “At least in terms of superfluid helium, we’re the only lab in the world able to do what we do,” he says. “We are the field.”

    They have the unique capability to combine quantum liquids and silicon-chip technology, by mapping turbulent behaviour onto a thin film of superfluid helium on a chip.

    “Normally if you want to understand turbulence, such as the weather, you go to your computer and code in everything you know about the system and then simulate it,” Bowen says.

    “This is a completely different way of modelling the turbulence you see in nature, because we can actually build physical objects that display it. There’s no code, no model – we just create the turbulence in miniature and then watch what it does.”

    Further experiments with microscopic turbulence will hopefully lead to better models of turbulent phenomena in the world around us.

    “The interesting question is, how much can you scale it up to become a useful tool to learn about classical turbulence?” Bowen muses. “I think it’s fair to say we don’t know the answer to that question – yet.”

    In the meantime, understanding turbulence will pave the way for Bowen’s lab to create new quantum technologies. They hope to revolutionise inertial sensors, which continually calculate position and velocity to aid in the navigation of aircraft, submarines, ships, spacecraft and even smartphones. Cutting-edge sensors are currently based on lasers – but Bowen reckons that atoms could do the job better, since they interact much more strongly with gravity.

    Replacing light waves with matter waves – such as superfluid helium – could improve the sensitivity of inertial sensors by a factor of ten billion.

    “In practice we’re a long way from achieving that,” Bowen notes. But in principle, their research could lead to much smaller navigation devices with phenomenal sensitivity.

    Their work could also use superfluid flow to solve fundamental challenges in creating a quantum internet, as well as to understand exotic natural phenomena – like the mysterious “chirps” heard from pulsars, which contain a neutron superfluid at their core.

    They could even probe the nature of quantum mechanics itself.

    Currently we don’t know where the interface between the classical and quantum world is, if there’s an interface at all, or whether there’s a unifying theory to tie everything together.

    Theoretically, Bowen’s team could compress their quantum fluid until it starts to mimic the behaviour of a single atom, emitting characteristic frequencies of sound instead of light. By pushing quantum behaviours up to larger and larger scales, we can begin to answer fundamental questions.

    The trickiest thing, Bowen says, is choosing what to do. While there are many clear goals being chased by quantum physicists around the world, his lab possesses a completely different technological platform.

    “We’re in a unique position,” he says. “My feeling is we should be asking different questions to everyone else and doing something new, something really out there.”

    The most exciting thing about being in this field right now, he says, is the unknown.

    “We’ve really pushed the frontiers of what you can measure in superfluid helium and how you can control it, far beyond what has been possible before, and that’s opened up this frontier that we can explore and make genuine and important fundamental discoveries.

    “The challenge is not ‘What should I do?’ but rather ‘Which of the many things I’d like to do should I do first?’”

    See the full article here .


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    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

    Stem Education Coalition

    u-queensland-campus

    The University of Queensland (AU) is one of Australia’s leading research and teaching institutions. We strive for excellence through the creation, preservation, transfer and application of knowledge. For more than a century, we have educated and worked with outstanding people to deliver knowledge leadership for a better world.

    UQ ranks in the top 50 as measured by the QS World University Rankings and the Performance Ranking of Scientific Papers for World Universities. The University also ranks 52 in the US News Best Global Universities Rankings, 60 in the Times Higher Education World University Rankings and 55 in the Academic Ranking of World Universities.

     
  • richardmitnick 10:01 pm on January 18, 2021 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: "Diamonds put the heat on cells", , , , Intracellular thermal conductivity, , Nanodiamonds, , , The thermal conductivity inside cells turned out to be five to six times smaller than that of water., University of Queensland (AU)   

    From University of Queensland (AU) via COSMOS (AU): “Diamonds put the heat on cells” 

    u-queensland-bloc

    From University of Queensland (AU)

    via

    Cosmos Magazine bloc

    COSMOS (AU)

    18 January 2021
    Natalie Parletta

    1
    Credit: CC-01

    Using tiny diamonds, or nanodiamonds, scientists have worked out how to measure heat transfer inside living cells – something they say that until now has proved difficult.

    “A cell’s thermal conductivity – the rate that heat can flow through an object if one side is hot and another is cold – has remained mysterious,” says Taras Plakhotnik from the University of Queensland, co-author of a study published in the journal Science Advances.

    But understanding this is critical to clarify how internal heat is generated and controlled in living cells and organisms, the researchers write.

    Not only were they able to determine thermal properties inside cells and different locations within them with an extraordinary level of accuracy (with a spatial resolution of around 200 nanometres), the key finding was also quite unexpected.

    “The thermal conductivity inside cells turned out to be five to six times smaller than that of water,” Plakhotnik explains.

    He says researchers in recent years have tried to measure temperature in living isolated cells using organic dye molecules of fluorescent proteins: “The results were very puzzling and hard to explain.”

    Some reported hot spots with temperatures up to 10ºC higher than the temperature inside cellular environments, producing a discrepancy with theoretical models – and heated discussions between physicists and biologists.

    “Physicists have pointed out that an ordinary cell does not have enough energy to support such a high temperature in a hot spot,” says Plakhotnik, “and that the highest increase one can reasonably expect is more than 10,000 times smaller, but typically will be about 0.0001 of a degree Celsius.”

    The estimate depended on several parameters, particularly intracellular thermal conductivity, which was assumed to be equal to that of water – not an unreasonable assumption, says Plakhotnik, since living cells are full of water.

    To investigate this, the research team coated nanodiamonds measuring about 100 nanometres with a polymer, polydopamine, that absorbs light and generates heat.

    After first testing them in water, oil and the air – all of which have well-known thermal conductivity factors – the non-toxic particles were placed inside the cell (“the cells happily continued their life cycle after that,” says Plakhotnik).

    When inside, the nanodiamonds were illuminated with laser light, which caused them to emit fluorescent light as well as heat. In an environment with high thermal conductivity, the particles didn’t get very hot because heat escaped quickly. But when thermal conductivity was low, they became hotter.

    Because the properties of the emitted light depend on the temperature, the team could calculate the rate of heat diffusion in cells.

    The key finding was so unexpected, says Plakhotnik, that the editor of Science Advances asked them to measure a second line of cells to confirm the results were more general than a single cell line.

    While the smaller than expected thermal conductivity bridges the discrepancy between experimental and theoretical physics, it doesn’t explain it entirely, so the team is working on numerical modelling to shed more light on intracellular heat transfer.

    The discovery could help explain fundamental questions about cellular heat management and the role that heat can play inside cells; it could be used for communication, for example, says Plakhotnik.

    These insights should be considered when cells are heated to treat cancer, he adds. “The cancer cells are killed faster but there is a limit to what healthy cells can tolerate,” he explains, “and the temperature should be carefully controlled.”

    The technique could also be used for basic cell research, such as monitoring biochemical reactions in real time, and for better understanding of metabolic disorders such as obesity.

    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-queensland-campus

    The University of Queensland (AU) is one of Australia’s leading research and teaching institutions. We strive for excellence through the creation, preservation, transfer and application of knowledge. For more than a century, we have educated and worked with outstanding people to deliver knowledge leadership for a better world.

    UQ ranks in the top 50 as measured by the QS World University Rankings and the Performance Ranking of Scientific Papers for World Universities. The University also ranks 52 in the US News Best Global Universities Rankings, 60 in the Times Higher Education World University Rankings and 55 in the Academic Ranking of World Universities.

     
  • richardmitnick 3:06 pm on December 14, 2020 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: "Physicists create time reversed optical waves", , , , University of Queensland (AU)   

    From University of Queensland (AU): “Physicists create time reversed optical waves” 

    u-queensland-bloc

    From University of Queensland (AU)

    10 December 2020

    Media contacts:
    Dr Mickael Mounaix
    m.mounaix@uq.edu.au
    +61 7 336 53529

    Dr Joel Carpenter
    j.carpenter@uq.edu.au
    +61 7 336 51656

    UQ Communications
    Genevieve Worrell
    g.worrell@uq.edu.au,
    +61 408 432 213

    1
    UQ and Nokia Bell Labs’ new time reverser device allows for control of the light’s beam shape for different arrival times.

    Optics researchers from The University of Queensland (UQ) and Nokia Bell Labs in the US have developed a new technique to demonstrate the time reversal of optical waves, which could transform the fields of advanced biomedical imaging and telecommunications.

    Time reversal of waves in physics doesn’t mean travelling back to the future; it describes a special type of wave which can retrace a path backwards through an object, as if watching a movie of the travelling wave, played in reverse.

    UQ’s Dr Mickael Mounaix and Dr Joel Carpenter, together with Dr Nick Fontaine’s team at Nokia Bell Labs, are the first to demonstrate this time reversal of optical waves, using a new device they developed that allows full 3D control of light through an optical fibre.

    “Imagine launching a short pulse of light from a tiny spot through some scattering material, like fog,” Dr Mounaix said.

    “The light starts at a single location in space and at a single point in time but becomes scattered as it travels through the fog and arrives on the other side at many different locations at many different times.

    “We have found a way to precisely measure where all that scattered light arrives and at what times, then create a ‘backwards’ version of that light, and send it back through the fog.

    “This new time reversed light wave will retrace the original scattering process like watching a movie in reverse – finally arriving at the source just as it began: a single position at a single point in time.”

    Dr Carpenter said the backwards version of the light beam, known as the time reversed wave, was a random-looking 3D object, like a little cloud of light.

    “To create that light cloud, you need to take an initial ball of light flying into the system, and then sculpt it into the 3D structure you want,” Dr Carpenter said.

    “That sculpting needs to take place on time scales of trillionths of a second, so that’s too fast to sculpt using any moving parts or electrical signals – think of it like shooting a ball of clay at high speed through a static apparatus with no moving parts, which slices up the ball, diverts the pieces, and then recombines the pieces to produce an output sculpture, all as the clay flies through without ever slowing down.

    Dr Fontaine said there was no device that could fully control and shape a light beam in 3D before the team developed this technique.

    “It’s very important to control light delivery as accurately as possible for many applications, ranging from imaging to trapping objects with light, to creating very intense laser beams,” Dr Fontaine said.

    Using the new device, researchers will be able to conduct experiments that were previously impossible, putting theoretical concepts in many fields to the test.

    This research was published in Nature Communications.


    Time reversed optical waves.

    See the full article here .

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    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

    Stem Education Coalition

    u-queensland-campus

    The University of Queensland (AU) is one of Australia’s leading research and teaching institutions. We strive for excellence through the creation, preservation, transfer and application of knowledge. For more than a century, we have educated and worked with outstanding people to deliver knowledge leadership for a better world.

    UQ ranks in the top 50 as measured by the QS World University Rankings and the Performance Ranking of Scientific Papers for World Universities. The University also ranks 52 in the US News Best Global Universities Rankings, 60 in the Times Higher Education World University Rankings and 55 in the Academic Ranking of World Universities.

     
  • richardmitnick 1:44 pm on December 3, 2016 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , Giant manta rays, , University of Queensland (AU)   

    From University of Queensland: “Giant rays shown to be predators of the deep” 

    u-queensland-bloc

    University of Queensland

    30 November 2016

    Ms Katherine Burgess, k.burgess@uq.edu.au, +61 452 447 667
    Professor Anthony Richardson, ajr@maths.uq.edu.au, +61 (0)467 771 869.

    1
    Giant mantas can grow up to seven metres across, weighing up to 1350kg, but the average size is four to five metres. Photo: Andrea Marshall

    Research revealing that giant manta rays are deep-sea predators is likely to be critical to efforts to protect the species.

    Giant manta rays had been known to feed on zooplankton near the ocean surface, but a new joint study by The University of Queensland and the Marine Megafauna Foundation has discovered they are also deep-ocean predators.

    UQ School of Biomedical Sciences PhD student Katherine Burgess said the giant manta ray was one of the marine world’s iconic animals, but little was known about its feeding habits.

    “The previous knowledge of giant manta ray diet was based on observations of feeding activity on surface water zooplankton at well-known aggregation sites,” Ms Burgess said.

    “Giant mantas are found in tropical and temperate waters worldwide. They can grow up to seven metres across, weighing up to 1350kg, although their average size is four to five metres.

    Ms Burgess said the study began in 2010 and focused on Isla de la Plata, off the Ecuador mainland, that seasonally hosted the world’s largest aggregation of giant manta rays.

    The giant manta ray is listed as vulnerable on the International Union for Conservation of Nature’s Red List of Endangered Species because its population has decreased drastically over the past 20 years due to overfishing.

    Ms Burgess said researchers normally looked at stomach contents to determine an animal’s diet, but such a potentially distressing or lethal procedure was not appropriate with a vulnerable species.

    “We studied the giant manta rays’ diet using biochemical tests, such as stable isotope analysis, which works on the ‘you are what you eat’ paradigm,” she said.

    “These tests can determine what animals have been eating by examining a piece of tissue from a muscle biopsy from a free-swimming animal.”

    Ms Burgess said the study suggested the majority of the giant manta rays’ diet was from deep sources rather than surface zooplankton.

    Professor Anthony Richardson, a scientist with UQ’s School of Mathematics and Physics and CSIRO’s Oceans and Atmosphere division, said the research found an average 27 per cent of the giant manta rays’ diets came from surface zooplankton and 73 per cent was from “mesopelagic” sources including fish from 200m to 1000m below the ocean surface.

    “The deep ocean is the next frontier for open ocean fisheries, and we are only just realising the potential reliance on this zone by threatened marine megafauna,” Professor Richardson said.

    The research, published in the Royal Society Open Science journal, was a collaboration between The University of Queensland, the Marine Megafauna Foundation and Proyecto Mantas Ecuador.

    See the full article here .

    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

    STEM Icon

    Stem Education Coalition

    u-queensland-campus

    The University of Queensland (UQ) is one of Australia’s leading research and teaching institutions. We strive for excellence through the creation, preservation, transfer and application of knowledge. For more than a century, we have educated and worked with outstanding people to deliver knowledge leadership for a better world.

    UQ ranks in the top 50 as measured by the QS World University Rankings and the Performance Ranking of Scientific Papers for World Universities. The University also ranks 52 in the US News Best Global Universities Rankings, 60 in the Times Higher Education World University Rankings and 55 in the Academic Ranking of World Universities.

     
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