Subsea electricity cable from Scotland to Norway planned

first_img This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only. © 2010 PhysOrg.com Mr Salmond said an integrated grid would contribute to the European sustainable energy policy, and that connections from Scotland to Norway and mainland Europe were essential.Mr Salmond announced the signing of the agreement between a subsidiary of Scottish and Southern Energy, SSE Interconnector, and three Scandinavian utilities to study the feasibility of building an interconnector to carry power between Scandinavia and the UK. He said the north-east of Scotland was the ideal location and this makes Scotland “ideally placed” to become the green powerhouse of Europe.The Scandinavian partners to the agreement are Swedish utility company Vattenfall and Norwegian utilities Lyse, E-CO Energi, and Agder Energi. The jointly owned development company will be known as NorthConnect. Independent, not-for-profit group The Scottish European Green Energy Centre has contributed 50,000 Euros towards the search for the best route for the cable.Scotland and Norway both have diverse and complementary ways of producing electricity, and an interconnector would allow them to share the resources and maximize supplies of low-carbon sources of electricity. Norway has flexible hydro-electricity sources, while Scotland has wind power sources, and so Scotland could import electricity on still days and export its excess on windy days.The high voltage, direct current (HVDC) cable between Scotland and Norway would be capable of carrying 1,200 to 2,000 megawatts (MW) of electricity, and could be in place by 2020. Initial estimates are that it would need to be between 550 and 700 km long. NorthConnect will spend the next few years analyzing the economic and technical viability of the project.Head of Vattenfall’s Asset Optimization and Trading department, Harald von Heyden, said NorthConnect would increase competition in regional areas and provide a more secure supply of energy with more stable electricity prices.The UK is already connected to Ireland and France, and a sub-sea cable carrying 1,000 MW between the UK and the Netherlands will open in April this year. Norway has cables to Sweden, Denmark and the Netherlands, and a cable to Germany is under construction. Fears of eagle injury from wind farm Citation: Sub-sea electricity cable from Scotland to Norway planned (2011, February 4) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2011-02-sub-sea-electricity-cable-scotland-norway.html Explore further (PhysOrg.com) — A study into a proposed North Sea interconnector will examine the possibility of a sub-sea electricity cable linking Scotland and Norway, according to an announcement earlier this week in Aberdeen by Scotland’s First Minister, Mr Alex Salmond.last_img read more

Researchers create light from almost nothing

first_img © 2010 PhysOrg.com (PhysOrg.com) — A group of physicists working out of Chalmers University of Technology in Gothenburg, Sweden, have succeeded in proving what was until now, just theory; and that is, that visible photons could be produced from the virtual particles that have been thought to exist in a quantum vacuum. In a paper published on arXiv, the team describes how they used a specially created circuit called a superconducting quantum interference device (SQUID) to modulate a bit of wire length at a roughly five percent of the speed of light, to produce visible “sparks” from the nothingness of a vacuum. Citation: Researchers create light from ‘almost nothing’ (2011, June 6) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2011-06-researchers-create-light-from-almost.html Explore further More information: Observation of the Dynamical Casimir Effect in a Superconducting Circuit, arXiv:1105.4714v1 [quant-ph]AbstractOne of the most surprising predictions of modern quantum theory is that the vacuum of space is not empty. In fact, quantum theory predicts that it teems with virtual particles flitting in and out of existence. While initially a curiosity, it was quickly realized that these vacuum fluctuations had measurable consequences, for instance producing the Lamb shift of atomic spectra and modifying the magnetic moment for the electron. This type of renormalization due to vacuum fluctuations is now central to our understanding of nature. However, these effects provide indirect evidence for the existence of vacuum fluctuations. From early on, it was discussed if it might instead be possible to more directly observe the virtual particles that compose the quantum vacuum. 40 years ago, Moore suggested that a mirror undergoing relativistic motion could convert virtual photons into directly observable real photons. This effect was later named the dynamical Casimir effect (DCE). Using a superconducting circuit, we have observed the DCE for the first time. The circuit consists of a coplanar transmission line with an electrical length that can be changed at a few percent of the speed of light. The length is changed by modulating the inductance of a superconducting quantum interference device (SQUID) at high frequencies (~11 GHz). In addition to observing the creation of real photons, we observe two-mode squeezing of the emitted radiation, which is a signature of the quantum character of the generation process. The experiment shows that the Casimir effect is not just theory; named after Dutch physicist Hendrik B. G. Casimir who along with Dirk Polderfirst first proposed back in the late 1940’s, the idea of a force that existed in a vacuum; a force that should, if manipulated just right between two plates, or mirrors, result in the creation of photons.The thinking goes that in any vacuum, virtual particles come into existence and then disappear on a constant ongoing basis; and they do so in waves. The Casimir effect proposes that if two very tiny mirrors were to be placed very close together; close enough that the distance between them would be smaller than the length of some of the virtual waves, a force would be created as the number of particles outside of the space between the mirrors grows higher than the number that exists between them, causing a pull on the mirrors, dragging them closer together. The force that is created, it has been theorized, could then be used to generate photons.Later researchers proposed that the same effect could be achieved using just one mirror if it were moved back and forth very quickly; and that’s the approach the team took in the experiment. The quick movement of the mirror serves to separate pairs of virtual particles which then provide the energy to convert the virtual particles into real photons, which is what happened in the SQUID, allowing the team to see the photons that were produced.Such research, while theoretically satisfying, doesn’t really offer much in the way of practical applications, at least not at this time; but that’s not to say that new developments that arise as a result of this research couldn’t conceivably lead to something more profound, such as a means of harnessing energy from the vacuum of space to be used to push a vehicle as it travels throughout the universe. This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only. What do Racquel Welch and quantum physics have in common? a) Optical micrograph of the device. Light parts are Al while dark parts are the Si substrate. The output line is labeled “CPW” and the drive line enters from the top. Both lines converge near the SQUID. b) A scanning-electron micrograph of the SQUID. Image credit: arXiv:1105.4714v1last_img read more

Fake violations of Bell tests reinforce importance of closing loopholes

first_img This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only. “First, we blind the detectors using continuous, moderately bright light,” he said. “Just like human eyes in daylight, detectors are overwhelmed by this background, can no longer see single photons and now behave classically (by a crude analogy, human eyes cannot see stars in the day sky, even though the stars are still there!). Then, we send a short, very bright light pulse of a carefully tuned peak power (which to the single photon detector looks like a supernova, which can be visible by the naked eye in the day sky). This very bright pulse causes sufficient photocurrent to cross the detection threshold only in one of the four polarizer settings. In the other three polarizer settings, the polarizer partially blocks light, the photocurrent stays below the threshold and the detector remains blind. Thus, Eve classically controls exactly which of the four polarizations Alice and Bob register. Then she can fake any correlation she pleases.”Theoretically, Alice and Bob should be able to detect Eve’s interference, but only when all loopholes are closed. The two loopholes the researchers took advantage of here were the locality loophole and the detection loophole. In the locality loophole, measurement choices on both sides may not be independent, while in the detection loophole, nonclassical behavior can be attributed to shared randomness, rather than entanglement, between the two photons.The researchers performed three experiments in which they faked the violation of Bell’s inequalities by taking advantage of one or both of these loopholes. The implication – that all loopholes must be closed in order to ensure accurate results – is not new to physicists. However, the experiments underscore how ignoring these loopholes can directly compromise the security of quantum communication systems. While the researchers explain that implementing a countermeasure against these attacks would not be difficult, it should not be assumed that quantum systems are fully secure until all loopholes are closed.“In any kind of quantum cryptography or secure quantum communication, a determined attacker will employ all tricks possible, in principle, to cheat the honest parties,” Makarov said. “There we show that users cannot blindly trust their quantum devices unless they see that the devices perform the Bell test with all loopholes closed (i.e., both the locality loophole and the detection loophole).“For verifying the laws of Nature, the significance is subtler, it is more philosophical there. On the one hand, we have no reason to believe Nature cooperates against our tests in an evil way. On the other hand, until a loophole-free Bell test has actually been done, the principles of quantum mechanics are, strictly speaking, not proven true.” Quantum eavesdropper steals quantum keys Copyright 2011 PhysOrg.com. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed in whole or part without the express written permission of PhysOrg.com. Explore further (PhysOrg.com) — In quantum mechanics, Bell’s inequalities serve as a test of nonclassical behavior: if something (such as a light source) violates Bell’s inequalities, then it can be considered to involve quantum behavior. Ensuring the nonclassicality of a system is important for applications such as quantum cryptography, in which quantum entangled photons ensure the system’s security while non-entangled photons do not. Now in a new study, scientists have shown that they can violate Bell’s inequalities using classical light by taking advantage of two loopholes common in some experiments. This “fake violation” emphasizes the importance of closing all loopholes in Bell tests, even if the detection devices appear to be operating normally. Citation: Fake violations of Bell tests reinforce importance of closing loopholes (2011, November 8) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2011-11-fake-violations-bell-importance-loopholes.html The researchers, led by Vadim Makarov of the Norwegian University of Science and Technology in Trondheim, Norway, and the University Graduate Center in Kjeller, Norway, along with Christian Kurtsiefer of the National University of Singapore, have published their study in a recent issue of Physical Review Letters.In a typical experimental Bell test, a light source produces a pair of photons, with one photon sent to Alice and one to Bob. Alice and Bob each have a polarizer that they can set to one of four states, and a photon can only enter a polarizer when it’s in the same state. After a photon enters the polarizer, a photon detector amplifies a single electron generated by the photon into a large electric current. When this electric current crosses a certain threshold, it reveals the presence of a photon and its polarization. If the photon pair is classical, it must obey local realism so that the measurement of one photon does not influence the polarization of the other photon. But if the photon pair is entangled, then the measurement of one photon will instantaneously affect the other photon’s polarization. By repeating the experiment, counting the simultaneous detections (coincidences), and comparing the number of coincidences to what is possible in classical theory, Alice and Bob can determine if the detected photon pairs are entangled.Many previous studies have investigated how an eavesdropper, Eve, might be able to compromise the security of Alice and Bob’s communication channel. In the current study, the scientists showed that Eve can send strong, classical light pulses, with a polarization of her choice, into both Alice and Bob’s photon detectors at the same time. This classical light produces photocurrents that are interpreted as photons. Therefore, Alice and Bob are unknowingly measuring classical light pulses, which means that some of the coincidences that they count are not due to quantum entanglement but to Eve’s manipulation. Makarov explained in more detail how this experiment works: More information: Ilja Gerhardt, et al. “Experimentally Faking the Violation of Bell’s Inequalities.” Physical Review Letters 107, 170404 (2011). DOI:10.1103/PhysRevLett.107.170404The study is also available at arXiv:1106.3224v3 [quant-ph] arxiv.org/abs/1106.3224last_img read more

Lake researchers find fishermen a good resource for limnology

first_imgImage: Wikipedia. © 2012 Phys.Org Skill triumphs over fish scarcity and draws experienced anglers back to overfished lakes More information: Contributions of local knowledge to the physical limnology of Lake Como, Italy, PNAS, Published online before print April 9, 2012, doi:10.1073/pnas.1113740109AbstractThis article shows how local knowledge may be valuably integrated into a scientific approach in the study of large and complex hydrological systems where data collection at high resolution is a challenge. This claim is supported through a study of the hydrodynamics of a large lake where qualitative data collected from professional fishers was combined with theory to develop a hypothesis that was then verified by numerical modeling. First the fishermen’s narratives were found to describe with accuracy internal wave motions that were evident in water column temperature records, which revealed their practical knowledge of the lake’s hydrodynamics. Second, local knowledge accounts emphasized the recurrent formation of mesoscale gyres and return flows in certain zones of the lake in stratified conditions, which did not appear in the physical data because of limitations of sampling resolution. We hypothesized that these features developed predominantly because of the interaction of wind-driven internal motions with the lake’s bathymetry, and the Earth’s rotation in the widest areas of the basin. Numerical simulation results corroborated the fishers’ descriptions of the flow paths and supported the hypothesis about their formation. We conclude that the collaboration between scientific and local knowledge groups, although an unusual approach for a physical discipline of the geosciences, is worth exploring in the pursuit of a more comprehensive understanding of complex geophysical systems such as large lakes. Journal information: Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (Phys.org) — By studying lakes and streams, limnologists are able to learn how water systems work which is vital in a world where human population increases cause such resources to become ever more valuable. Thus, any new source of reliable information that can add to the overall understanding of how such a system works can become invaluable over time. It is for this reason that a trio of researchers from the Center for Water Research and Anthropology and Sociology at the University of Western Australia, found themselves enlisting the help of local fishermen when studying Lake Como in the Italian Alps. In so doing, they found, as they describe in their paper published in the Proceedings of National Academy of Sciences, that knowledge fishermen gain both from their ancestors and through experience can be used to expand on scientific studies to provide a much more thorough analysis of a lake’s flow patterns.center_img Explore further After initial analysis, the research team found that approximately thirty fishermen made a living by catching fish using large floating nets in the lake. Of those, they interviewed twenty two. In so doing they discovered that the fishermen had a much deeper understanding of both the underwater topology of the lake and the currents that occur as a result of that topology as well as seasonal temperature variations, than was expected. They learned for example, that the fishermen could describe the bottom of the lake without ever having seen a map of it. They were also able to describe in great detail different kinds of currents at different depths and could pinpoint where eddies occurred and where sometimes the current flowed backwards.The research team then built a model that simulated lake conditions using traditional methods such as monitoring wind speed and temperature variations of the water at various points along with a topological map. The model estimated lake currents at different locations and depths, and as it turned out, very closely matched the mental model the fishermen had built in their heads.In comparing the amount of data that could be collected via traditional methods versus that garnered from speaking with the fishermen, the team discovered that because of their histories and backgrounds, the fishermen were able to provide a much richer and more complex picture of the lake system than they were able to obtain using simple measurements and thus have concluded that future research efforts should include interviews with fishermen whenever possible. Doing so, they say, will likely result in better models. Citation: Lake researchers find fishermen a good resource for limnology (2012, April 10) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2012-04-lake-fishermen-good-resource-limnology.html This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only.last_img read more

Microsofts privacybydefault in IE10 sparks opposition

first_img(Phys.org) — The Internet browser headache in having to initiate an opt-out exit from advertisers who keep landing on your pages because they think they have a plausible target has turned a corner. Microsoft has moved to turn the practice upside down, or rather inside out. Users will have to opt-in to invite advertisers in the latest version of Internet Explorer, IE10. Microsoft has made the ‘Do Not Track’ feature, which stops companies from being able to trace a user’s web behavior, the default setting. In doing so, Microsoft has made IE10 the only web browser to present the tracking feature as an opt-in, not an opt-out, proposition. Explore further © 2012 Phys.Org More information: ie.microsoft.com/testdrive/ In announcing the on-default DNT policy for IE10 in Windows 8, Brandon Lynch, the Chief Privacy Officer of the company, said the move was inspired by the FTC’s work in calling on both technology and advertising sectors to come up with a uniform mechanism for online behavioral targeting of ads. Also taking the message forward, the corporate vice president of Internet Explorer, Dean Hachamovitch, said a Windows user experience that is ‘private by default’ arrives at a time when so much user data is collected online.”We think it is progress and that consumers will favor products designed with their privacy in mind over products that are designed primarily to gather their data,” he stated.Not surprisingly, news of consumers to experience private by default in their IE browsers fell like a breath of fresh air for greater-privacy supporters and like a ton of bricks for advertisers. The question being posed is whether or not other browser groups will do the same as Microsoft. The sentiment among those against the move is that the decision comes in an already ailing economy, where the move could deal a blow to advertising networks counting on the efficacy of personalized, targeted ads.Voicing its opposition, the Association of National Advertisers issued a statement that Microsoft, in making that decision, had acted “irresponsibly.” The association referred to Microsoft’s “unilateral decision” to embed ‘Do Not Track’ functionality in version 10 of its IE browser with a default setting in the on versus off position. The Association, which has a membership of 450 companies, raised the argument that the decision “removes choice by preventing consumers from experiencing interest-based advertising and making an informed decision about its benefits, the result of which will be untargeted, irrelevant online advertising.”Microsoft looks forward to other industry leaders making the same kind of move, nonetheless. “We also know from experiences – such as the P3P standard recommended by the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) – that initiatives to advance privacy are much less effective if other industry leaders don’t join in adopting the approach,” said Lynch. DNT is optional; websites don’t need to support it. Wariness about user-behavior tracking, and now the idea of DNT by default, are likely to raise noise around this issue. Rep. Edward Markey (D-Mass.) who co-sponsored the Do Not Track Kids Act of 2011 along with Joe Barton (R-TX), has called the decision “an important first step towards greater privacy protections for consumers,” but he wants to see some next steps too. “It is my hope that Microsoft and other companies will go further in the future, so that Do Not Track also means ‘Do Not Collect’, giving consumers the ability to say no to both targeted advertising and collection of their personal data.”IE10 will be the browser on Windows 8, due for general release later this year.center_img Microsoft unveils new privacy feature for IE This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only. Citation: Microsoft’s privacy-by-default in IE10 sparks opposition (2012, June 4) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2012-06-microsoft-privacy-by-default-ie10-opposition.htmllast_img read more

MOOC2Degree program to offer credit for free online college courses

first_imgCredit: MOOC2Degree In recent years, Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) have become a popular means for colleges to earn income and for students to learn what they hope will be valuable skills. They’re called massive because they are not capped by numbers – class sizes can vary from just a few students to thousands, which translates to far less one-to-one interaction with instructors, or each other. For that reason, very few MOOCs count towards a degree. That might be about to change, however, as more schools become involved with programs such as MOOC2Degree. The concept is simple, set up online courses that any student anywhere can take online, and then give those participants credit towards a degree if they subsequently enroll as an actual student after successfully completing the course. Academic Partnerships told reporters via phone interview that trial runs of the program have seen 72 to 84 percent of students that complete courses successfully enroll as regular students.The program seeks to offer incentives to both universities and students. Schools can bump up their enrollment with students that have proven they can succeed, boosting their bottom line, while prospective students can test the waters, so to speak, to see if they might be likely to succeed in a degree program, without risking any money. Academic Partnerships said that thus far, most participating schools are lining up courses as part of development programs, which would lead to degrees such as a Master’s in Education or a Bachelor’s in Nursing, though one, the University of Cincinnati is planning to start with a course that can be applied to a degree in engineering or business. They add that many other schools have also expressed interest in joining the program.Universities across the country have been looking for ways to increase revenue as funds given to them by state governments have fallen due to budget constraints. Meanwhile, as people have found themselves laid off during the recession, many have turned to institutions of higher learning to help them find a job. Programs such as MOOC2Degree might just be the answer for both. This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only. Explore further (Phys.org)—A novel way to entice prospective students to enroll in a university degree program has been announced by a company called Academic Partnerships – let participants take a limited number of online courses that count as real credits, for free. The program is a partnership between nine accredited universities in the United States, and a company that assists universities in creating online course content. More information: www.mooc2degree.com/MOOC2Degre … s_Release_012313.pdf College credit for online courses gains momentum Citation: MOOC2Degree program to offer credit for free online college courses (2013, January 25) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2013-01-mooc2degree-credit-free-online-college.html © 2013 Phys.orglast_img read more

Researchers claim evidence suggests cichlid fish evolved long after Gondwana rifted apart

first_img Cichlid fish are plentiful in several parts of the world today: South America, Africa, India and Madagascar, all of which are believed to have once belonged to one giant continent known as Gondwana. For this reason, scientists have theorized that the fish evolved before the continent was torn asunder with various parts drifting to where they are today. Cichlid fish, they reason, live where they do today because they went along for the ride. This new research suggests that such earlier theories are incorrect—instead, it appears the fish evolved after the rifting and somehow made their way across the ocean.The researchers came to this conclusion by building a database with pertinent information regarding known cichlid fish fossils and then comparing that data with rock samples that have been identified as belonging to the Gondwana continent and that had other fish fossils embedded in them. The comparison suggested it was unlikely that other, older cichlid fish fossils existed prior to 45 million years ago, but had simply never been found. They followed that study up by conducting an analysis of gene mutations in 89 cichlid fish samples. Their results indicated that the fish species likely evolved sometime between 65 and 57 million years ago, long after the Gondwana continent was pulled apart. They suggest that the fish likely found its way across the oceans to settle on other continents, either by hitching a ride on some floating piece of debris or by following strong currents. They note that there are some types of cichlid fish that can tolerate salt water. There is also still a remote possibility that cichlid fish did exist prior to the breakup of Gondwana (leaving behind fossils) but they looked so different (due to evolutionary changes afterwards) that scientists don’t realize they are the same fish. This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only. © 2013 Phys.org The bumblebee cichlid, Pseudotropheus crabro. Credit: Nicolas Couthouis / Wikipedia. Female fish abandoned by males to raise offspring on their own More information: Molecular and fossil evidence place the origin of cichlid fishes long after Gondwanan rifting, To be published online here: rspb.royalsocietypublishing.or … .1098/rspb.2013.1733center_img (Phys.org) —Researchers from Oxford University in the U.K. have found evidence that suggests that cichlid fish evolved after the ancient Gondwana continent drifted apart, rather than before, as some have suggested. In their paper published in the journal Proceedings of the Royal Society B, the team describes how they compared found cichlid fossils with rocks known to have been a part of the Gondwana and also conducted DNA analysis to confirm that cichlid fish likely evolved approximately 65 to 57 million years ago—long after the continent came apart approximately 135 million years ago. Explore further Journal information: Proceedings of the Royal Society B Citation: Researchers claim evidence suggests cichlid fish evolved long after Gondwana rifted apart (2013, September 18) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2013-09-evidence-cichlid-fish-evolved-gondwana.htmllast_img read more

Chemists make thermoset polymer using amine and triketone that is recyclable

first_imgThe researchers then tested their technique in conditions with other materials in the resultant polymer, such as fiberglass or flame retardants. They report that such additives did not prevent the recovery of the monomers or contaminate the new thermosets that were made from them. They also note that much more testing of their technique is required to make sure the thermosets are safe to use and that they do not create other environmental problems. Unlike conventional plastics, the monomers of PDK plastic could be recovered and freed from any compounded additives simply by dunking the material in a highly acidic solution. Credit: Peter Christensen et al./Berkeley Lab More information: Peter R. Christensen et al. Closed-loop recycling of plastics enabled by dynamic covalent diketoenamine bonds, Nature Chemistry (2019). DOI: 10.1038/s41557-019-0249-2Press release A team of researchers at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory has devised a way to make a type of recyclable thermoset plastic. In their paper published in the journal Nature Chemistry, the group describes combining two particular types of monomers to form a common type of polymer that can be recycled using an acid. Coralie Jehanno and Haritz Sardon with the University of the Basque Country UPV/EHU have published a News and Views piece outlining the work by the team in California in the same journal issue. © 2019 Science X Network Citation: Chemists make thermoset polymer using amine and triketone that is recyclable (2019, April 29) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2019-04-chemists-thermoset-polymer-amine-triketone.html Reversible, dynamic covalent diketoenamine bonds. Diketoenamine bonds form spontaneously from triketones and both aromatic and aliphatic amines. Under strongly acidic conditions in water, the diketoenamine bond hydrolyses to the triketone and an ammonium salt. Credit: Nature Chemistry (2019). DOI: 10.1038/s41557-019-0249-2center_img A new class of recyclable thermoset plastics Explore further Plastics have become an environmental problem. Companies make them and use them in a wide variety of applications. Other businesses and consumers make use of the plastics and then discard them. But because they do not degrade very rapidly, they are building up in landfills and the ocean. One particular polymer, known as a thermoset, is particularly troublesome because it is widely used and does not recycle easily. In this new effort, the researchers report a way to make a type of thermoset that can be broken down into its component parts using an acid and then recycled.To come up with the right ingredients, the researchers looked for monomers they could use in a closed-loop cycle (in which the monomer building blocks are recovered) as part of recycling. They finally landed on the monomers amine and triketone. The researchers found they could use them to make a thermoset polymer simply by grinding the two together. Further work showed that if the polymer was soaked in a strong acid for 12 hours, the diketoenamine bonding network would release its bonds, separating the monomers. Next, they found the monomers could be separated and collected using an operationally simple procedure and then reused to make new thermosets that were nearly identical in nature to the original they had made. This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only. Journal information: Nature Chemistrylast_img read more

Soon govt to recruit 8565 policemen

first_imgKolkata: Bengal government has decided to recruit 8,000 policemen apart from 565 Sub-Inspectors soon.The Cabinet has given its approval for the recruitment. The Cabinet meeting was held on Monday. It is learnt that the decision to recruit that many policemen was taken up to ensure better policing in the state.As the number of police stations has gone up in the past seven years, the state government has undertaken measures to increase manpower as well. Also Read – Rain batters Kolkata, cripples normal lifeThe new police stations were set up to reduce area of jurisdiction of a specific police station. Now, the step to add another 8,000 policemen and 565 sub-inspectors to the existing strength has been taken up for better policing.It may be recalled that the state government had earlier decided to recruit 3,000 men to raise a new battalion of Rapid Action Force (RAF).The need of raising additional unit was felt as the Centre often shows reluctance in providing central forces to control law and order situation as and when needed in the state. At the same time, the state government has taken steps to ensure security and safety of tourists. Also Read – Speeding Jaguar crashes into Mercedes car in Kolkata, 2 pedestrians killedAs a measure for ensuring security of tourists visiting Digha and Mandarmoni, the state government had created 267 posts for eight coastal police stations a fewmonths ago.After recruitment, more stress can be given on how to improve security arrangements for tourists visiting the areas.Besides creating posts and recruiting police, the state government has also created posts in the past seven years that have resulted in employment generation.Recently, the state government decided to recruit 3,673 people in different posts in departments, including Higher Education department, Personnel and Administrative Reforms, e-governance and Tribal Development department.last_img read more

Navy challenges Delhi HC order in Apex Court

first_imgThe Indian Navy on Monday filed a Special Leave Petition in the Supreme Court challenging a recent order of the Delhi High Court asking it to grant permanent commission to 17 women officers who had retired after their Short Service Commission ended in 2006.The petition was filed hours after Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar said that the Navy would challenge the order.The Delhi High Court had on September 4 allowed a batch of petitions seeking permanent commission for them in the force, saying “sexist bias and service bias” would not be allowed to block progress of women. The court, while granting their plea, said the “women are here to stay” and since they “work shoulder-to-shoulder” with their male counterparts, it would “frown upon any endeavour to restrain the progress of women”. Parrikar said that in 2008, the Navy had opened its doors in Short Service Commission for granting permanent commission to women along with men.He said that permanent commission for SSC was not an option for men also prior to 2008. “There is no gender bias. In 2008, the Navy granted SSC to be changed to permanent commission to women in three streams – education, law and naval constructions.last_img read more

Bdeshi national held with ammunition at airport

first_imgKolkata: A Bangladeshi national was arrested by Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose International (NSCBI) Airport police station on Monday for allegedly carrying 36 rounds of ammunition inside his luggage. During the baggage scanning, it got identified and he was immediately detained by Central Industrial Security Force (CISF). Later, he was handed over to the police.According to the police, on Monday at around 6:30 am, Md Golam Haider, a resident of Sirajgunj, went through necessary scanning at the airport. While scanning his luggage, metal items that looks like bullets were identified. Also Read – Rain batters Kolkata, cripples normal lifeImmediately, CISF personnel took Haider, along with the luggage, to a separate room where the bag was opened.It was found there were 36 rounds of .32 bore bullets inside it. Following the process, he was questioned about the bullets found inside his luggage.As per Haider, he has a licenced revolver in Bangladesh for which he was carrying those bullets.He also stated his arms licence number but failed to produce any document to corroborate his version. As he did not declare these bullets before the check-in process, he was handed over to the police. Also Read – Speeding Jaguar crashes into Mercedes car in Kolkata, 2 pedestrians killedMeanwhile, police is trying to figure as to how he passed his luggage checking procedure in Dhaka before boarding the flight to India?At around 2:45 pm, the duty manager, security of Air India, submitted a written complaint to the NSCBI airport police station following which Haider was arrested.Sources informed that Haider came to Kolkata on September 5 for the treatment of his wife along with an attendant.His wife and her attendant were given no objection to board the flight on medical grounds. They flew to Dhaka leaving Haider here. Haider has been booked under section 25 (1)(A) of Arms Act for possessing illegal ammunition and was arrested.He will be produced before the Additional Chief Judicial Magistrate, Barrackpore, on Tuesday.The police have informed the Bangladesh High Commission accordingly regarding Haider’s arrest. The Intelligence Branch (IB) and Detective Department (DD) of Kolkata Police has been informed through an all concern message about the incident.last_img read more

Country will witness a revolution in 2019 Lok Sabha polls Mamata

first_imgKOLKATA: Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee told newsmen in Frankfurt on Monday that the country will witness a “revolution” in 2019 Lok Sabha elections in which the BJP will be voted out of power by the people of India.”No to BJP and Yes to country” is the need of the hour, she said.While talking to newsmen, she said the arrogance and ego of the leaders have reached a saturation point and the common people have been neglected beyond limit. “The arrogance and ego of the leaders have reached new low and the steps taken by them have hit the pocket of the common people.” Also Read – Rain batters Kolkata, cripples normal lifeIt may be mentioned that Banerjee has taken the initiative to set up a Federal Front comprising the anti-BJP forces. When asked whether she will be the Prime Minister in 2019 while taking part in an interactive session which was organised by a vernacular television channel in Kolkata last week, she said now, the sole purpose is to get rid of BJP. “We will have to vote them out first and then the Prime Minister will be decided.” Banerjee had been highlighting the failure of the anti-people BJP government in meetings, rallies, and street corners and in these gatherings her slogan has been “Oust BJP from the Centre.” Also Read – Speeding Jaguar crashes into Mercedes car in Kolkata, 2 pedestrians killedBanerjee along with state Finance minister Amit Mitra and Chief Secretary Malay De are putting up at Villa Kennedy Hotel. A business delegation is also accompanying her.Banerjee will meet businessmen and representatives of various chambers of commerce on Tuesday. A delegation from Germany had visited Kolkata in January to take part in the Bengal Global Business Summit (BGBS). They had invited Banerjee and Tuesday’s main focus will be the possibility of German investment in the MSME sector which is now the thrust area of the state government.Banerjee took a stroll on the bank of River Rhine on Monday morning where she came across a musician on the road and played the tune We Shall Overcome on an electric organ.She will go to Italy and hold talks with the businessmen after her trip to Germany.last_img read more

Artistic vision

first_img‘Naayika’, an art exhibition was inaugurated by Kala Drishti on the occasion of the Women’s Day in collaboration with the Airport Authority of India to highlight the contribution of Indian women to society through visual art like painting, sculpture, installation and photographs.The five-day event includes art exhibition, art competition, cultural programme and workshop lecture on art. The closing ceremony is on March 12 when the prominent and upcoming Indian women artists, social workers and winners of the art competition will be felicitated in the presence of a prominent guests and VIPs. Also Read – ‘Playing Jojo was emotionally exhausting’“Being a woman myself, I think women of India take a lot of load on them. We sacrifice and compromise so much for our families, but not too often women get that credit. So we are exhibiting the artworks of upcoming and promising artists who do not get the right atmosphere for promoting their art. We have given awards to Renuka for her sculpture, Sangeeta Singh and Nivedita Pandey and a special prize to Neelam Mansharamani, who has a special child. The aim is to provide the tools and platform for the artists to help them come up. There is much more liberal to visual art around the world, but India is still lagging behind in Art, since our education system has become lopsided.” Saluting the woman of today, the ‘nari shakti’ and ‘naayika’ of today’s India the event was coordinated mostly with women.Kala Drishti is an artist run trust for the promotion of Visual Art. They have conducted a number of art exhibitions where the works of the upcoming Indian artists have been showcased. Also, workshops, on art highlighting the various aspect of art, symposiums and conferences to attract special groups in the corporate world and other professionals to take interest in visual art, have been conducted.last_img read more

Fruitful women should take fruitful diet

first_imgPregnant women cannot afford reckless eating because babies they incubate depend on them for their nutrition, health and growth. Doctors advice them to observe utmost caution in choices of foods they eat. According to experts, for pregnant women dry or juicy food elements need to constitute major chunk of their dietary picks. They must shun unhealthy foods irrespective of seasons. They must have utmost control on their cravings. Unhealthy foods taken by pregnant women may even predispose babies for later life style diseases. Also Read – Add new books to your shelfMaintaining a healthy diet regimen is always essential whether it is summer or winter especially when it comes to pregnant women. They must follow dos and don’ts despite their cravings otherwise. Unhealthy or wrong diet can cause health issues like gastric problems, malnutrition, weakness, stomach upsets, cold and cough etc. From conception till the time of delivery, women must pay attention towards their diet and make healthy choices. Healthy foods are central to right development of the foetus. Also Read – Over 2 hours screen time daily will make your kids impulsiveDr Archana Dhawan Bajaj, Gynaecologist and Obstetrician, Nurture IVF Centre, advises, “During winters, pregnant women need to increase in-take of dry fruits as they contain more essential nutrients like folate, potassium and iron. Prunes, dates, almonds and walnuts are some of the dry fruits which pregnant women is advised to include in their diets. Intake of winter fruits like oranges, kinnow, as they contain high vitamin and fibre content are also advised. Avoid intake of too much fried food, too much sweets and ghee”.   Tanu Arora, Head of Department, Clinical Nutrition and Dietetics, Aakash Healthcare advises, “Mother has to nurture the fetus health of the newborn. Additional energy is required to support the fetus, development of placenta and maternal tissues and to meet the needs for increased BMR. Good sources of energy are cereal and fats. Healthy and balanced diet is recommended for a good pregnancy outcome which is based on balanced diet. Choose food from all the sections to make it balanced, such as:-1. Grains – Bread, pasta, oatmeal, cereal and tortillas.2. Fruits – Fruits can be fresh, canned, frozen or dried. Juice that is 100% fruit juice also counts.3. Vegetables – Vegetables can be raw or cooked, frozen, canned, dried or 100% vegetable juice.4. Protein foods – Protein foods include meat, poultry, seafood, beans and peas, eggs, processed soy products, nuts and seeds.5. Dairy – Milk and products made from milk, such as cheese, yogurt, and ice cream.”According to fertility experts, pregnant women should avoid some foods and beverages that include alcohol and high-mercury fish, soft cheeses, cold deli meats and unpasteurized foods and intake of caffeine. Most importantly junk foods should be avoided as high amounts of fats and sugars during pregnancy may predispose offspring to diabetes. Drinking adequate amount of water should always be on priority list of pregnant women.last_img read more

Why dieting may not help you to lose weight

first_imgLooking to shed those extra kilos through dieting? You may be at a loss, as human bodies tend to compensate by sparing energy, limiting the number of calories that we burn and hence affect our weight loss regimen, researchers say. According to the study, a group of neurons – ‘agouti-related neuropeptide’ (AGRP) – in a brain region hypothalamus contributes to the caloric thermostat that regulates our weight, regulating how many calories we burn. When activated, these neurons make us hungry and drive us to eat, but when there is no food available, they tend to compensate for the reduction in calories. Also Read – Add new books to your shelf”Our findings suggest that AGRP in the brain coordinate appetite and energy expenditure, and can turn a switch on and off to burn or spare calories depending on what’s available in the environment,” said Clemence Blouet from the University of Cambridge in Britain. “When we eat less, our body compensates and burns fewer calories, which makes losing weight harder,” Blouet added. However, as soon as food becomes available and we start eating, the action of the AGRP neurons is interrupted and our energy expenditure goes back up again to normal levels.In the study, published in the journal eLife, the researchers identified a new mechanism through which the body adapts to low caloric intake and limits weight loss in mice. Using a genetic trick to switch the AGRP neurons ‘on’ and ‘off,’ they rapidly and reversibly manipulated the neurons’ activity in mice, a finding that could help in the design of improved therapies to help reduce overeating and obesity.last_img read more

Kids ostracised Kashmiri doctor mulls leaving Kolkata

first_imgKolkata: The Kashmiri doctor, who claimed he was asked to leave Kolkata following the Pulwama attack, is considering bidding adieu to the city after his daughters complained of ostracism in school and neighbourhood. The doctor, a cardiologist who has been living here for the last 22 years, has claimed that a day after the terror attack, he was threatened of “dire consequences” if he continued to stay in the city with his family. The Pulwama terror strike in Jammu and Kashmir on February 14 claimed the lives of 40 CRPF personnel and injured several others. Also Read – Bose & Gandhi: More similar than apart, says Sugata Bose In spite of the threats, the doctor said on Monday that he would stay put after the West Bengal government came to his rescue. The doctor’s daughters, aged nine and seven, are students of one of the leading English-medium schools in the city. Ananya Chakraborti, Chairperson of the West Bengal State Commission for Protection of Child Rights, who had been coordinating with the family and assured all support to them, said both the girls have been ostracised by their friends in school. Also Read – Rs 13,000 crore investment to provide 2 lakh jobs: Mamata “The doctor told me that his daughters’ friends are not interacting with them properly. I told him not to get tensed. I spoke to the school authorities and they said they will look into it,” Chakraborti told PTI. Some kids who go to school with the doctor’s daughters, all of a sudden, have stopped travelling with them, she said. The doctor also told me that some children even stopped talking to his daughters, Chakraborti said. “We have assured all support. But this is an alarming situation which is being deliberately created ahead of the elections, with the sole aim of polarisation,” she said. The doctor, who did not wish to be named, could not be contacted as he is not willing to speak to the media. He had said on Monday that he was heckled but he did not pay much attention to the threats he received initially. However, his concern grew when some men gathered outside his residence and threatened to harm his daughters, unless he “returned to Pakistan”. According to the doctor, on February 15, a day after the Pulwama attack, five men aged between 20 and 25 years had come to his house after he returned home from his chamber, asking him to leave the city immediately and “go back to Pakistan as Kashmiris have no place in this country”.last_img read more

Sparks in third rail hit Kolkata Metro services

first_imgKolkata: Metro Railway services were disrupted for more than hour Thursday morning after sparks were seen flying from the third rail near Dumdum station, an official said. According to Kolkata Metro spokesperson Indrani Banerjee, the sparks were noticed at 8.25am when a down train from Noapara was approaching the Dumdum station. “Power supply to the third rail was immediately stopped and passengers were evacuated from the train. They were then escorted to the platform at Dumdum by the Metro railway officials,” she said. Also Read – Bose & Gandhi: More similar than apart, says Sugata Bose Hundreds of inconvenienced passengers were seen waiting outside Metro stations during the rush hour, frantically trying to hop on a public transport to reach their destination. “Truncated services were maintained between Girish Park and Kavi Subhash stations during the disruption,” Banerjee stated, adding that normal operations resumed at 9.49am after necessary measures were taken by the Metro engineers.last_img read more

Man held from Bagdogra Airport for trying to smuggle gold

first_imgDarjeeling: A man was arrested from Bagdogra Airport in Siliguri, with nearly one and a half kilogram of gold which he was trying to smuggle out. The gold was found hidden in his rectum.The man was scheduled to board an afternoon Air Asia flight to Delhi. While going through security check, the handheld metal detector of the security personnel began to beep while frisking his lower body. This aroused the suspicion of CISF personnel. He was then asked to walk through the doorframe metal detector. He was then interrogated by a CISF team and asked whether he had any metal implants in his body. When he replied that he did not have any implants, he was handed over to the Central Excise and Customs officials. During further interrogation, he broke down and admitted that he was carrying gold in his rectum. 9 gold biscuits wrapped in three black plastic packets were extracted. The recovered gold is worth around Rs 50 lakh. On January 15, one Gaurav Singh had been arrested from Bagdogra with gold biscuits weighing 900g.last_img read more

Remembering Tagore on his 158th birth anniversary

first_imgKolkata: The 158th birth anniversary of Rabindranath Tagore was observed with great enthusiasm.Tagore was born on May 9, 1861 at Jorasanko and was the youngest son of Debendranath Tagore. State Information and Cultural Affairs department organised a function on Cathedral Road outside Rabindra Sadan. Noted Rabindrasangeet exponents paid homage to Tagore through their songs. Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee was present at the function. A function was held at Jorasanko Thakurbari in the morning. Noted Rabindrasangeet exponents and elocutionists paid their respect to Also Read – Rs 13,000 crore investment to provide 2 lakh jobs: MamataTagore. The statue of Tagore was garlanded by Sabyasachi Basu Roy Chaudhuri, the vice chancellor of Rabindra Bharati University. Later, he inaugurated an art gallery that has been named after Abanindranath Tagore. A total of 32 paintings including one by Tagore and the remaining by all well-known artists who were Tagore’s contemporaries were put up at the gallery. A function was held at Oriental Seminary, a school where Tagore had been enrolled as a student for some time. Also Read – Lightning kills 8, injures 16 in stateMinister of state for Women and Child Development and Social Welfare Shashi Panja garlanded the half-bust statue of Tagore at the school. Housing Infrastructure Development Corporation (HIDCO) organised a function titled “He Antartara” at Rabindra Tirtha where well known Rabindrasangeet singers including Ashis Bhattacharya, Enakshi Chattopadhyay, Dipak Rudra, Anindya Narayan Chattopadhyay, Chandrabali Rudra Dutta among others took part in the programme. Noted elocutionists Pranati Thakur, Bijoylakshmi Barman, Sovanshundar Basu recited poems wrote by Tagore. HIDCO will organise programs in all the Saturdays and Sundays except May 18 and 19 at Rabindra Tirtha in the evening. A programme was held at Jadavpur Laughing Club where singers Surajit, Agnibha Bhattacharya, Monomoy Bhattacharya took part along with elocutionist Satinath Mukhopadhyay. Nabanalanda High School organised a programme on Southern Avenue opposite the new school premises. Rammohan Mission School also organised a programme to pay tribute to Tagore. Programmes were held all over Bengal and thousands of artists, dancers, elocutionists took part in these programmes. Metro Railway observed the 158th birth anniversary of Kavi Guru Rabindra Nath Tagore in a solemn manner at Metro Rail Bhavan. P C Sharma, general manager, Metro Railway paid homage to Gurudev by garlanding his photograph on behalf of staff and officers of Metro Railway. Metro staff and officers paid homage to Kavi Guru by singing his songs and reciting poems. All officers and staff were present in this programme.last_img read more

Special drive by ER to check touts

first_imgKolkata: The Indian Railways have launched Operation Thunder across the country against the touts who sell railway tickets at a premium making an illegal profit. They buy mass tickets shrinking the number of tickets genuine passengers have access to.The drive was launched by Arun Kumar, DG RPF with the help of the technical staffs and IT cell of the Indian Railways. All zonal railways have been instructed to conduct special drives. As many as 276 places were raided in 141 cities all over the country. Altogether 387 touts were arrested and 22, 253 tickets valued at Rs 32,99,093 were seized. Preliminary investigation revealed that the touts had sold the tickets at Rs 3,24,12, 706. All suspected user Ids have been black-listed and the tickets are being deactivated. Also Read – Rs 13,000 crore investment to provide 2 lakh jobs: MamataIllegal software ANMS/ Red Mirchi has been seized from Kota, Rajasthan. Three-hundred-and-seventy-five cases have been registered against the arrested persons. The Indian Railways have decided to intensify the raids. This is the peak season for railway passengers due to summer vacation and the season for marriages in north India. The touts utilise the situation and misuse the facility of e-ticketing. They sell the tickets at a premium making huge profits. The touts have their agents in all the metropolitan cities.last_img read more