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.
© 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:1105.4714v1
Image: 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. 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.
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.html
Credit: 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.org
The 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/s41557-019-0249-2 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 Chemistry
Kolkata: 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.
The 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.