Revolution-Green http://revolution-green.com Alternative Energy News Wed, 20 Sep 2017 12:58:31 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.8.2 Nano Discovery Could Halt Counterfeiters http://revolution-green.com/nano-discovery-halt-counterfeiters/ http://revolution-green.com/nano-discovery-halt-counterfeiters/#respond Wed, 20 Sep 2017 12:58:31 +0000 http://revolution-green.com/?p=16741 Will this stop the fake money business of crooks?  Time will tell.  Nothing to date has stopped making false currency,  Counterfeiters have always been very resourceful in the past, let's see what they do with this challenge?

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Editors Note: Will this stop the fake money business of crooks?  Time will tell.  Nothing to date has stopped making false currency,  Counterfeiters have always been very resourceful in the past, let’s see what they do with this challenge?  – Agcat

Scientists have discovered a new form of nanotechnology that could be used to produce anti-counterfeit banknotes. The breakthrough could also have implications for data storage and digital imaging, scientists have said. Engineers from Glasgow University developed filters that display different colours depending on the orientation of light hitting them. The technique allows the “printing” of two different, but detailed, images within the same surface area. The team, from the school of engineering, has used the technique to produce a microscopic image of the university’s crest or the university’s tower, depending on how the light hits it. Fade over time Dr Alasdair Clark, lead author of the research

Nano discovery could halt counterfeiters

Scientists have discovered a new form of nanotechnology that could be used to produce anti-counterfeit banknotes.

The breakthrough could also have implications for data storage and digital imaging, scientists have said.

Engineers from Glasgow University developed filters that display different colours depending on the orientation of light hitting them.

The technique allows the “printing” of two different, but detailed, images within the same surface area.

The team, from the school of engineering, has used the technique to produce a microscopic image of the university’s crest or the university’s tower, depending on how the light hits it.

Fade over time

Dr Alasdair Clark, lead author of the research paper, explained how the technology works.

“We’ve discovered that if we make colour pixels from tiny cross-shaped indents on a strip of aluminium film, the colour they display becomes polarisation-dependent, allowing us to encode two colours into a single pixel, and then select which colour is displayed by shining different polarisations of light at the surface,” he said.

“By changing the size and shape of the nanoscale indent, we can create a wide range of different colours at very high resolutions.”

Image copyright University of Glasgow
Image caption The team produced a microscopic image of the university crest and tower

Instead of relying on dyes and pigments, as in traditional printing, structural colour uses specially-structured nanomaterials to render colours.

These allow for much higher resolution prints that do not fade over time.

While a typical printed image in a magazine might consist of about 300 coloured dots per inch of page, or 300 DPI, a page “printed” with structural colour techniques could reach a resolution of 100,000 DPI or more.

Dr Clark said there were a lot of potential applications for the colour technology that the team was excited about.

Digital photography

He added: “It’s ideal for long-term data archival due to its ultra-high resolution, and because the colours won’t fade even when exposed long-term to the harshest sunlight.

“We’ve worked out that we could store 1.46 Gb per square centimetre, so a single A4 sheet could hold more than 900 Gb of data.

“Secondly, the process to produce the plasmonic colours is difficult to replicate without access to dedicated facilities, so it could be ideal for creating a new kind of anti-counterfeiting material for banknotes.

“Lastly, it offers the possibility of developing new types of colour filters for digital photography.”

The paper, titled Plasmonic color filters as dual-state nano-pixels for high density micro-image encoding, is published in Advanced Functional Materials.

The work was supported by the Royal Academy of Engineering and the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council.

 

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The ‘Tesla of Buses’ Just Set A Range Record That Could Spell The End For Diesel Buses http://revolution-green.com/tesla-buses-just-set-range-record-spell-end-diesel-buses/ http://revolution-green.com/tesla-buses-just-set-range-record-spell-end-diesel-buses/#respond Wed, 20 Sep 2017 12:28:12 +0000 http://revolution-green.com/?p=16735 The 'Tesla of Buses' Just Set A Range Record That Could Spell The End For Diesel Buses - Tesla of Buses-just-set-range-record-spell-end-diesel-buses/

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Editors Note:  Well we knew such things were being worked on and now there is revealed a bus that can really cover a lot of ground.  Well, this baby costs over $500,000 that is a whopping price.  One of the problems even when range is accomplished is staggering costs of purchase – Agcat

The ‘Tesla of Buses’ Just Set A Range Record That Could Spell The End For Diesel Buses  (Proterra currently sells a Catalyst E2 bus that can drive 350 miles on a single charge.Proterra)  Silicon Valley-based Proterra just set a new record for its electric bus.  Proterra said its new long-range version of its Catalyst E2 bus drove 1,101.2 miles on a single charge at the Navistar Proving Grounds in New Carlisle, Indiana. The record-breaking test shows battery tech has come a long way in allowing heavy-duty vehicles to seriously compete with their diesel-engine counterparts.  “Driven by the best cost savings-per- mile, we believe the business case for heavy-duty electric buses is superior to all other applications, and that the transit market will be the first to transition completely to battery-electric powered vehicles,” Proterra CEO Ryan Popple said in a press statement.

                                                                                     

                                                   Proterra bus

                                                  Proterra bus

Proterra currently sells a 40-foot Catalyst E2 with a 350-mile driving range for $700,000 a piece. As of June, Proterra had sold 400 buses in 15 states across the country.

The long-range variant will eventually go up for sale, Popple told Forbes.

Founded in 2004, Proterra has collaborated with LG Chem to develop batteries that can support heavy-duty vehicles. Proterra recently opened a new factory in Burlingame, California to ramp up production of the E2 battery packs.

The Catalyst E2, however, is more expensive than traditional diesel buses that cost roughly $500,000 each, Fortune reported.

The startup has launched a new battery financing model so transit agencies can buy the Catalyst E2 at roughly the same price as a diesel alternative, Proterra said in a statement. Park City Transit in Utah has used the option to purchase six buses, but price may end up being Proterra’s biggest remaining challenge.

Proterra joins several other companies in the race to offer heavy-duty, electric vehicles. Tesla plans to reveal an electric semitrailer in October.

Proterra manufactures its buses at its plants in Greenville, South Carolina and Los Angeles. The company has raised $195 million and is eyeing a 2018 IPO.

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Self-Healing Catalysts Make It Easier To Store Solar Energy With Water http://revolution-green.com/self-healing-catalysts-make-easier-store-solar-energy-water/ http://revolution-green.com/self-healing-catalysts-make-easier-store-solar-energy-water/#respond Wed, 20 Sep 2017 11:50:08 +0000 http://revolution-green.com/?p=16730 Self-Healing Catalysts Make It Easier To Store Solar Energy With Water - self-healing-catalysts-make-easier-store-solar-energy-water

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Editors Note:  Storing energy in water.  It is something now that seems to be a hot topic in certain circles.  Look and see.- Agcat

(Phys.org)—Currently one of the most efficient ways to store solar energy is to transfer the energy to catalysts that split water into hydrogen and oxygen. Then the hydrogen can either be used as a fuel or later recombined with oxygen to produce water and release electricity when needed.

However, one of the problems with using water to store solar is that the catalysts are made of earth-abundant elements (such as manganese, cobalt, and nickel) that corrode in water with a neutral pH. To address this problem, researchers have designed self-healing catalysts that can regenerate themselves in the presence of other elements, such as negatively charged phosphate or borate ions.

One of the remarkable features of the self-healing catalysts is that, as long as they are operating, there is no limit to the number of times that they can heal themselves.

          self healing catalyst
The self-assembly pathway used for self-healing catalysts. Credit: Costentin et al. ©2017 PNAS
Credit:  September 19, 2017 by Lisa Zyga feature

Now in a new paper published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, two of the researchers who have developed the self-healing catalyst, Cyrille Costentin at Paris Diderot University and Daniel G. Nocera at Harvard University, have investigated how this process works at a more detailed level.

“This paper provides a quantitative model for self-healing,” Nocera told Phys.org. “It actually extends beyond energy and provides a roadmap for the design of any self-healing catalyst. The rule set is self-assembly and catalysis. If the energy input for operation of the catalyst is greater than that for self-assembly, then the catalyst should be self-healing. So the principles developed in this paper are general.”

As the researchers show in their work, a catalyst can self-heal if the self-healing process requires less energy than that needed for normal catalyst operation. A simple way to control the self-healing process is to adjust the pH of the solution, since the amount of energy required for these two processes depends on the pH.

The researchers show that there is a critical pH “zone of self-healing” that depends on various factors, in particular the geometry of the water-splitting cell and the phosphate or borate buffer concentration. Fortunately for practical applications, the researchers show that can occur over a wide range of pH values, including at a neutral pH for typical cell geometries and buffer concentrations, which allows for most natural water sources to be used to store solar energy.

Since much of the future demand for renewable energy is expected to come from low-income, developing countries, the ability to use local natural water sources instead of pure water for storing will offer a big advantage for implementing the technology cost-effectively and on a large scale. The plan to work toward this goal in the future.

“The next stage is prototyping,” Nocera said. “We are using this in conjunction with CO2 and N2 fixing bacteria (papers from our group in Science in 2016 and PNAS in 2017) to make liquid fuels and fertilizer, renewably (using only air, , and sunlight as inputs). These prototypes are currently being developed in India at this time.”

Explore further: Scientists produce robust catalyst to split water into hydrogen, oxygen

More information: Cyrille Costentin and Daniel G. Nocera. “Self-healing catalysis in water.” Proceedings of the National

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Step Towards Better ‘Beyond Lithium’ Batteries – Lithium Batteries Have They Been Superseded? http://revolution-green.com/step-towards-better-beyond-lithium-batteries-lithium-batteries-superseded/ http://revolution-green.com/step-towards-better-beyond-lithium-batteries-lithium-batteries-superseded/#respond Wed, 20 Sep 2017 11:26:14 +0000 http://revolution-green.com/?p=16726 ep Towards Better 'Beyond Lithium' Batteries - Lithium Batteries Have Been Superceded? - Revolution-Green
Slug preview:revolution-green.com/step-towards-better-beyond-lithium-batteries-lithium-batteries-ca lithium batteries be superseded?

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Editors Note:  Can one say that the lithium battery will always be the battery of choice?  there are some that might disagree, read the article – Agcat

Batteries – Lithium Batteries Have they been Superseded?. A step towards new “beyond lithium” rechargeable batteries with superior performance has been made by researchers at the University of Bath.We increasingly rely on rechargeable batteries for a host of essential uses; from mobile phones and electric cars to electrical grid storage. At present this demand is taken up by lithium-ion batteries. As we continue to transition from fossil fuels to low emission energy sources, new battery technologies will be needed for new applications and more efficient energy storage.

One approach to develop batteries that store more energy is to use “multivalent” metals instead of lithium. In lithium-ion batteries, charging and discharging transfers lithium ions inside the battery. For every lithium ion transferred, one electron is also transferred, producing electric current. In multivalent batteries, lithium would be replaced by a different metal that transfers more than one electron per ion. For batteries of equal size, this would give multivalent batteries better energy storage capacity and performance.

The team showed that titanium dioxide can be modified to allow it to be used as an electrode in multivalent batteries, providing a valuable proof of concept in their development.

The scientists, an international team from the University of Bath, France, Germany, Holland, and the USA, deliberately introduced defects in titanium dioxide to form high concentrations of microscopic holes, and showed these can be reversibly occupied by magnesium and aluminium; which carry more than one electron per ion.

The team also describes a new chemical strategy for designing materials that can be used in future multivalent batteries.

The research is published in the journal Nature Materials.

Dr Benjamin Morgan, from the Department of Chemistry at the University of Bath, said: “Multivalent batteries are a really exciting direction for battery technology, potentially offering higher charge densities and better performance. New battery technologies are going to be more and more important as we wean ourselves off fossil fuels and adopt greener energy sources.

“There are quite a few technical hurdles to overcome, including finding materials that are good electrodes for multivalent ions. We’ve shown a way to modify titanium dioxide to turn it into a multivalent electrode.

“In the long term, this proof of concept is a possible step towards “beyond lithium” batteries with superior performance.”

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For further information, please contact Chris Melvin in the University of Bath Press Office on +44 (0)1225 383 941 or c.m.melvin@bath.ac.uk

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A New Microscope Can Quickly Generate 3D Images Of Living Organisms http://revolution-green.com/new-microscope-can-quickly-generate-3d-images-living-organisms/ http://revolution-green.com/new-microscope-can-quickly-generate-3d-images-living-organisms/#respond Tue, 19 Sep 2017 18:31:07 +0000 http://revolution-green.com/?p=16723 A New Microscope Can Quickly Generate 3D Images Of Living Organisms - new-microscope-can-quickly-generate-3d-images-living-organisms making life like views possible

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Editors Note:  With breakthroughs coming from the well funded and politically connected research organizations, it is only to be expected that advances in microscope technology would also be found.  There will most likely be more astounding findings in such areas in the future. – Agcat

A New Microscope Can Quickly Generate 3D Images Of Living Organisms.  A new microscope created by researchers at Universidad Carlos III de Madrid has the ability to take fast 3D images, making it easier to observe cells in living animals over time. For example, Jorge Ripoll, one of the researchers on the project and co-founder of the company set to produce the scope — 4D Nature — said in a statement, “We can see how the heart of a zebrafish beats and make a 3D- reconstruction of its beat.”

The QIs-scope, as it’s called, can take up to 200 images per second — way more than the five per second most confocal microscopes on the market can capture now. It also comes with four lasers that each emit a flat beam, but two more can be attached to bring that total up to six. With multiple lasers, different types of cells labeled with different colors of fluorescent dye can be imaged around the same time, without researchers having to switch out filters every time they want to look at a different cell type.

                                                                                 A new microscope can quickly generate 3D images of living organisms

A new microscope created by researchers at Universidad Carlos III de Madrid has the ability to take fast 3D images, making it easier to observe cells in living animals over time.

The microscope takes quick images from different positions in order to generate a 3D image and all of the lasers, cameras, filters and motors involved in that process have to be managed by sophisticated software. “Our goal is for the QIs-scope to be easy to use with intuitive software, so that the user can see the specimen and choose where to make the scans, choose the excitation colors and generate a three-dimensional image with as many colors as were chosen.” said Ripoll.

Credit: Mallory Locklear  Engadget

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Scientists May Be Able To Discover New Drugs By “Challenging” Organisms With Clusters Of Random Chemistry http://revolution-green.com/scientists-may-able-discover-new-drugs-challenging-organisms-clusters-random-chemistry/ http://revolution-green.com/scientists-may-able-discover-new-drugs-challenging-organisms-clusters-random-chemistry/#comments Mon, 18 Sep 2017 20:33:45 +0000 http://revolution-green.com/?p=16719 Scientists May Be Able To Discover New Drugs By "Challenging" Organisms With Clusters Of Random Chemistry - scientists-may-able-discover-new-drugs-challenging-organisms-clusters-new forms of sorting out DNA info

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Editors Note:  Well this is interesting, one usually thinks of uniformity but advantage is being taken by challenging organisms with clusters of random chemistry, well perhaps.?  Read the article, what do you think?

Scientists May Be Able To Discover New Drugs By “Challenging” Organisms With Clusters Of Random Chemistry – I was cutting my grass when the battery in my iPod died. Instead of enjoying the distraction of music, my brain switched to its usual nerd mode of thinking about molecules. Within a few passes of cut grass, I was pondering the biggest “Why not?” of my scientific career: Could we discover new drugs and useful agricultural compounds by challenging organisms with clusters of random chemistry? My background is in molecular biology – the study of DNA, genes and how an organism’s blueprints are decoded and assembled into life. The discipline requires an understanding of how molecular codes are deciphered and turned into functional biology. Anyone in this field is plagued with dreams of dancing molecules,

FILE PHOTO: A DNA double helix is seen in an undated artist's illustration released by the National Human Genome Research Institute to Reuters on May 15, 2012. REUTERS/National Human Genome Research Institute/Handout/File Photo

Instead of enjoying the distraction of music, my brain switched to its usual nerd mode of thinking about molecules. Within a few passes of cut grass, I was pondering the biggest “Why not?” of my scientific career: Could we discover new drugs and useful agricultural compounds by challenging organisms with clusters of random chemistry?

My background is in molecular biology – the study of DNA, genes and how an organism’s blueprints are decoded and assembled into life. The discipline requires an understanding of how molecular codes are deciphered and turned into functional biology. Anyone in this field is plagued with dreams of dancing molecules, interacting and performing the roles that turn DNA information into our food, the plants in our environment and our families.

Every day in the lab we move genes around. It’s easy. Not meant to generate new products for consumers, moving DNA is used as a research tool that lets us understand how specific genes work. A classic example is the NPR1 gene from the model plant Arabidopsis; it’s a defense gene that confers enhanced tolerance to disease when you drop it into almost any plant’s genome. Manipulating genetic information – in plants, microbes and some animals – is commonplace.

On that half-cut lawn it occurred to me – instead of inserting DNA information we understand, what if we introduced a scrambled mess of random DNA code into a plant or bacterium? Could we identify random bits of genetic information that could give rise to small proteins (called peptides) that change an organism’s physiology or development?

Normally DNA encodes instructions that coordinate the order of the amino acid building blocks in a protein. Each amino acid has specific chemical characteristics. Strung together in a peptide chain, they fold into a protein that provides cellular structure or function, based on the complementary chemistries of its amino acid components.

My hypothesis was that a short, scrambled DNA message could give rise to a novel string of amino acids. This would be a small cluster of discrete chemistry that likely never existed before on the planet. The vast majority of the time it would be meaningless and just become cellular rubbish. But maybe on rare occasion it could do something new and desirable.

To test the hypothesis, our research team used randomized templates to synthesize trillions of random DNA fragments using simple DNA amplification techniques. Each was flanked by the genetic instructions to start and stop production of a peptide inside the plant.

Then we used standard genetic engineering techniques to insert a novel DNA sequence into thousands of individual Arabidopsis thaliana plants – and sat back to watch what would happen when the plants turned the random genetic information into little random peptides. We were hoping for cases where specific protein structures might find a connection with biological chemistry and we’d see the result in the plants themselves.

As the plants grew, we were blown away by what we observed.

Some plants were flowering early. Others were small and stunted. Others grew larger leaves. Some were loaded with healthy purple pigments. Still others grew up to a point…then died.

We then retrieved the particular random DNA sequence we’d added to each, a simple feat for a molecular biologist, and inserted the same sequence into new plants. Most of the time the random information affected the new generation of plants in exactly the same way, demonstrating that something was indeed happening related to the added, garbled information. We recently published our results in the journal Plant Physiology.

What is this random information doing inside the cell? The small random molecules generated from the inserted DNA instructions could affect a specific process, just by chance. They could bind a needed nutrient. They might inhibit a key enzyme. They could turn on flowering or protect a plant from freezing. Nobody really knows exactly how until the plants are examined in detail one by one. These new proteins may also be good models to design new useful molecules with similar chemical properties, but that are more durable in the cell. Our goal is to produce a compound that may be applied to crops to change the way plants grow and behave, or perhaps stop the growth of invasive or weedy plants.

The process is like throwing monkey wrenches into a complicated machine. Most of the time they clank around and affect nothing; but once in a long while a wrench catches in some critical gears and brings the machine to a halt. Other times the wrench might short-circuit a wasteful process, allowing the machine to run more efficiently. These peptides are molecular monkey wrenches.

Some of these peptides must interfere with an important biological process because they kill the plant. These findings bring to light new vulnerabilities in plants that researchers could exploit to develop environmentally friendly and nontoxic herbicides. Agriculture currently relies on a few relatively old chemistries, cultivation (using fossil fuels) or human labor to control the weeds that compete with food plants for resources. Good weed control means that valuable fertilizers, water and sunlight go only to the desired plants, rather than weeds. So new herbicide chemistries would be extremely valuable as farmers work to produce food for growing populations.

But why stop at plants? We are using the same approach to discover the next generation of antibiotics. The goal is to identify random information that affects a single species of problematic bacterium. For instance, we could potentially target S. aureus, the antibiotic-resistant bacteria that causes MRSA. We are hunting for new molecules that could destroy MRSA-related bacteria while leaving the rest of the microbiome unaffected. These experiments are underway in our lab.

Randomness may pinpoint undiscovered vulnerabilities or opportunities in plants, bacteria and other organisms. There even may be applications in solving human disease. The future is exciting as we mine the vast collections of new molecules and study how they integrate with biology to produce important desired outcomes.

Several of the molecules we’ve already identified slow plant growth. Future products from this technology might even be applied to make lawns grow more slowly. While others may find this advance helpful, I’ll have to skip using it. Cutting the grass gets my good ideas flowing.

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A Chip That Saves Optic Data As Sound Waves – New Use For Sound http://revolution-green.com/chip-saves-optic-data-sound-waves-new-use-sound/ http://revolution-green.com/chip-saves-optic-data-sound-waves-new-use-sound/#respond Mon, 18 Sep 2017 19:55:40 +0000 http://revolution-green.com/?p=16714 A Chip That Saves Optic Data As Sound Waves - New Use For Sound /chip-saves-optic-data-sound-waves-new-use-for-sound/

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Editors Note:  This is more showing the breakthrough areas that are coming at a faster and faster rate.  what will be next is going to astound many, as there are a lot of disruptive technological things on the cusp of coming forth.  It is time to prepare for the economic changes that will come with new technical advances. some jobs that exist now will no longer be needed and new career area will be seen where technical training will be needed to be used to prepare people for the shift in employment. This means changes to the educational system and department of colleges and universities to accommodate learning the skills of tomorrow as they become the tools of today.

 a chip that saves optic data as sound waves New use for sound – As the processing power of computers continues to increase, there are laws of physics that start to create practical problems. For instance, using electrons to transfer data is limited by the speed of electrons, and electronic resistance generates heat, a fact most of us who use laptops and smartphones are well aware of.

A new microchip developed by researchers from the University of Sydney could change that. This chip, fabricated at the Australian Research Council’s Centre of Excellence for Ultrahigh bandwidth Devices for Optical Systems (CUDOS), takes data stored in photons and converts them to sounds waves, and then back to the optical domain.

Photons — the particles that make up light — are very good carriers of information, and since they do not have any charge — unlike electrons — they do not cause any heating even as they travel over very long distances through fiber-optic cables. Also, they travel much faster than electrons, meaning computer networks that use photons would be much faster than traditional digital networks relying on electrons. Photons are also impervious to disturbances caused by electromagnetic radiation.

                                                                                       

This makes photons an ideal candidate to use in computing, and a lot of research is being done in the field of opto-photonics. However, the speed of photons also creates an inherent problem: they travel too fast for computers to actually process the data being carried by them, therefore making them potentially useless. This problem could be overcome if the photons could somehow be slowed down for processing, before being sent on their way again at their usual speed. And this is where the new microchip comes in.

Credit:

Himanshu Goenka  International Business Times

Stylised Chip Design

View photos

 

Stylised Chip Design

Stylized image of the chalcogenide glass microchip. Information enters in the form of light waves and is converted and stored in the chip as acoustic waves. This can later be transformed back into light waves for further distribution out of the chip. Photo: University of Sydney

“The information in our chip in acoustic form travels at a velocity five orders of magnitude slower than in the optical domain,” Birgit Stiller, research fellow at the University of Sydney and supervisor of the project, said in a statement Monday. “It is like the difference between thunder and lightning.”

The thunder and lightning analogy is fitting. Just as there is a delay between the flash of lightning and the roll of thunder that accompanies it, the delay between the light and sound in the chip “allows for the data to be briefly stored and managed inside the chip for processing, retrieval and further transmission as light waves,” according to the statement.

While various research institutions and even well-known companies like IBM and Intel are working on developing functional computer microchips that use photons instead of electrons, nothing is close to being produced at a commercially viable scale yet.

Moritz Merkelin of CUDOS, who was co-lead author of the research paper on the topic along with Stiller, said in the statement: “For this to become a commercial reality, photonic data on the chip needs to be slowed down so that they can be processed, routed, stored and accessed.”

Chip Size

View photos

 

Chip Size

Photograph shows the size of the chalcogenide glass chip developed at the University of Sydney against an Australian 50 cent piece. The coin is 31.5 mm in diameter. Photo: University of Sydney

Using acoustics is not the only possible solution to the problem, but it could be one of the breakthroughs in technology.

Calling their device a world first, Stiller said: “Our system is not limited to a narrow bandwidth. So unlike previous systems this allows us to store and retrieve information at multiple wavelengths simultaneously, vastly increasing the efficiency of the device.”

The research was published Monday in the journal Nature Communications

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Offshore wind cheaper than nuclear http://revolution-green.com/offshore-wind-cheaper-nuclear/ http://revolution-green.com/offshore-wind-cheaper-nuclear/#comments Mon, 18 Sep 2017 02:24:11 +0000 http://revolution-green.com/?p=16711 Energy from offshore wind in the UK will be cheaper than electricity from new nuclear power for the first time. The cost of subsidies for new offshore wind farms has halved since the last 2015 auction for clean energy projects. Two firms said they were willing to build offshore wind farms for a guaranteed price […]

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Energy from offshore wind in the UK will be cheaper than electricity from new nuclear power for the first time. The cost of subsidies for new offshore wind farms has halved since the last 2015 auction for clean energy projects. Two firms said they were willing to build offshore wind farms for a guaranteed price of £57.50 per megawatt hour for 2022-23. This compares with the new Hinkley Point C nuclear plant securing subsidies of £92.50 per megawatt hour. Nuclear firms said the UK still needed a mix of low-carbon energy, especially for when wind power was not available. Bigger turbines, higher voltage cables and lower cost foundations, as well as growth in the UK supply chain and the downturn in the oil and gas industry have all contributed to falling prices.

That was a quote from the BBC article at http://www.bbc.com/news/business-41220948

Of course, new nuclear power is bloody expensive at double the current wholesale cost of power, and the amount being paid to the windfarms is still a bit more than current wholesale prices, and the contracts are likely to be for a long time. It’s not really quite so astonishing when you look a bit more closely. Maybe a bit worrying that the cost to the end customer (us) will still be somewhat increased, just not as much as it might have been.

Another quote from the BBC: The newest 8 megawatt offshore turbines stand almost 200 metres high, taller than London’s Gherkin building. But Ms Pinchbeck said the turbines would double in size in the 2020s.

OK, so the turbines are getting bigger and there’s a cost-saving from that, and of course mass-production and competition will drive the costs down. We still need some pretty good storage solutions in order to keep our civilisation going 24/7 when the wind doesn’t blow or blows too strongly, and of course there are all those EVs to charge in a few years’ time.

It’s still worth reading the BBC article, though, since there’s a lot that I haven’t copy/pasted. There’s a mention of all the new jobs that will be created (though it would actually be better if fewer jobs were involved in delivering electricity). Basically, it’s somewhat good news with a kick in the tail if you see through the spin.

What might be good news is to announce a national holiday when the wind doesn’t blow, of course, in order to match the demand better to the supply. I think people would vote for that….

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Mathematicians Measure Infinities, And Find They’re Equal http://revolution-green.com/mathematicians-measure-infinities-find-theyre-equal/ http://revolution-green.com/mathematicians-measure-infinities-find-theyre-equal/#comments Sun, 17 Sep 2017 21:25:37 +0000 http://revolution-green.com/?p=16707 Mathematicians Measure Infinities, And Find They're Equal - mathematicians-measure-infinities-find-theyre-equal/

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Editors Note;  Well frankly this information goes beyond my skill set.  but is must be an important area as mathematics is the tool of choice to describe most anything we approach.

Proof rests on a surprising link between infinity size and the complexity of mathematical theories.  From Quanta Magazine (find original story here). In a breakthrough that disproves decades of conventional wisdom, two mathematicians have shown that two different variants of infinity are actually the same size. The advance touches on one of the most famous and intractable problems in mathematics: whether there exist infinities between the infinite size of the natural numbers and the larger infinite size of the real numbers. The problem was first identified over a century ago. At the time, mathematicians knew that “the real numbers are bigger than the natural numbers, but not how much bigger. Is it the next biggest size, or is there a size in between?” said Maryanthe Malliaris of the University.

From Quanta Magazine (find original story here).

Credit:  By Kevin Hartnett, Quanta Magazine on September 16, 2017

Credit: Saul Gravy Getty Images

In a breakthrough that disproves decades of conventional wisdom, two mathematicians have shown that two different variants of infinity are actually the same size. The advance touches on one of the most famous and intractable problems in mathematics: whether there exist infinities between the infinite size of the natural numbers and the larger infinite size of the real numbers.

The problem was first identified over a century ago. At the time, mathematicians knew that “the real numbers are bigger than the natural numbers, but not how much bigger. Is it the next biggest size, or is there a size in between?” said Maryanthe Malliaris of the University of Chicago, co-author of the new work along with Saharon Shelah of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and Rutgers University.

In their new work, Malliaris and Shelah resolve a related 70-year-old question about whether one infinity (call it p) is smaller than another infinity (call it t). They proved the two are in fact equal, much to the surprise of mathematicians.

“It was certainly my opinion, and the general opinion, that should be less than t,” Shelah said.

Malliaris and Shelah published their proof last year in the Journal of the American Mathematical Society and were honored this past Julywith one of the top prizes in the field of set theory. But their work has ramifications far beyond the specific question of how those two infinities are related. It opens an unexpected link between the sizes of infinite sets and a parallel effort to map the complexity of mathematical theories.

Many Infinities

The notion of infinity is mind-bending. But the idea that there can be different sizes of infinity? That’s perhaps the most counterintuitive mathematical discovery ever made. It emerges, however, from a matching game even kids could understand.

Suppose you have two groups of objects, or two “sets,” as mathematicians would call them: a set of cars and a set of drivers. If there is exactly one driver for each car, with no empty cars and no drivers left behind, then you know that the number of cars equals the number of drivers (even if you don’t know what that number is).

In the late 19th century, the German mathematician Georg Cantor captured the spirit of this matching strategy in the formal language of mathematics. He proved that two sets have the same size, or “cardinality,” when they can be put into one-to-one correspondence with each other—when there is exactly one driver for every car. Perhaps more surprisingly, he showed that this approach works for infinitely large sets as well.

Consider the natural numbers: 1, 2, 3 and so on. The set of natural numbers is infinite. But what about the set of just the even numbers, or just the prime numbers? Each of these sets would at first seem to be a smaller subset of the natural numbers. And indeed, over any finite stretch of the number line, there are about half as many even numbers as natural numbers, and still fewer primes.

Yet infinite sets behave differently. Cantor showed that there’s a one-to-one correspondence between the elements of each of these infinite sets.

1 2 3 4 5 (natural numbers)
2 4 6 8 10 (evens)
2 3 5 7 11 (primes)

Because of this, Cantor concluded that all three sets are the same size. Mathematicians call sets of this size “countable,” because you can assign one counting number to each element in each set.

After he established that the sizes of infinite sets can be compared by putting them into one-to-one correspondence with each other, Cantor made an even bigger leap: He proved that some infinite sets are even larger than the set of natural numbers.

Consider the real numbers, which are all the points on the number line. The real numbers are sometimes referred to as the “continuum,” reflecting their continuous nature: There’s no space between one real number and the next. Cantor was able to show that the real numbers can’t be put into a one-to-one correspondence with the natural numbers: Even after you create an infinite list pairing natural numbers with real numbers, it’s always possible to come up with another real number that’s not on your list. Because of this, he concluded that the set of real numbers is larger than the set of natural numbers. Thus, a second kind of infinity was born: the uncountably infinite.

What Cantor couldn’t figure out was whether there exists an intermediate size of infinity—something between the size of the countable natural numbers and the uncountable real numbers. He guessed not, a conjecture now known as the continuum hypothesis.

In 1900, the German mathematician David Hilbert made a list of 23 of the most important problems in mathematics. He put the continuum hypothesis at the top. “It seemed like an obviously urgent question to answer,” Malliaris said.

In the century since, the question has proved itself to be almost uniquely resistant to mathematicians’ best efforts. Do in-between infinities exist? We may never know.

Forced Out

Throughout the first half of the 20th century, mathematicians tried to resolve the continuum hypothesis by studying various infinite sets that appeared in many areas of mathematics. They hoped that by comparing these infinities, they might start to understand the possibly non-empty space between the size of the natural numbers and the size of the real numbers.

Many of the comparisons proved to be hard to draw. In the 1960s, the mathematician Paul Cohen explained why. Cohen developed a method called “forcing” that demonstrated that the continuum hypothesis is independent of the axioms of mathematics—that is, it couldn’t be proved within the framework of set theory. (Cohen’s work complemented work by Kurt Gödel in 1940 that showed that the continuum hypothesis couldn’t be disproved within the usual axioms of mathematics.)

Cohen’s work won him the Fields Medal (one of math’s highest honors) in 1966. Mathematicians subsequently used forcing to resolve many of the comparisons between infinities that had been posed over the previous half-century, showing that these too could not be answered within the framework of set theory. (Specifically, Zermelo-Fraenkel set theory plus the axiom of choice.)

Some problems remained, though, including a question from the 1940s about whether p is equal to t. Both p and t are orders of infinity that quantify the minimum size of collections of subsets of the natural numbers in precise (and seemingly unique) ways.

The details of the two sizes don’t much matter. What’s more important is that mathematicians quickly figured out two things about the sizes of p and t. First, both sets are larger than the natural numbers. Second, p is always less than or equal to t. Therefore, if p is less than t, then p would be an intermediate infinity—something between the size of the natural numbers and the size of the real numbers. The continuum hypothesis would be false.

Mathematicians tended to assume that the relationship between p and t couldn’t be proved within the framework of set theory, but they couldn’t establish the independence of the problem either. The relationship between p and t remained in this undetermined state for decades. When Malliaris and Shelah found a way to solve it, it was only because they were looking for something else.

An Order of Complexity

Around the same time that Paul Cohen was forcing the continuum hypothesis beyond the reach of mathematics, a very different line of work was getting under way in the field of model theory.

For a model theorist, a “theory” is the set of axioms, or rules, that define an area of mathematics. You can think of model theory as a way to classify mathematical theories—an exploration of the source code of mathematics. “I think the reason people are interested in classifying theories is they want to understand what is really causing certain things to happen in very different areas of mathematics,” said H. Jerome Keisler, emeritus professor of mathematics at the University of Wisconsin, Madison.

In 1967, Keisler introduced what’s now called Keisler’s order, which seeks to classify mathematical theories on the basis of their complexity. He proposed a technique for measuring complexity and managed to prove that mathematical theories can be sorted into at least two classes: those that are minimally complex and those that are maximally complex. “It was a small starting point, but my feeling at that point was there would be infinitely many classes,” Keisler said.

It isn’t always obvious what it means for a theory to be complex. Much work in the field is motivated in part by a desire to understand that question. Keisler describes complexity as the range of things that can happen in a theory—and theories where more things can happen are more complex than theories where fewer things can happen.

A little more than a decade after Keisler introduced his order, Shelah published an influential book, which included an important chapter showing that there are naturally occurring jumps in complexity—dividing lines that distinguish more complex theories from less complex ones. After that, little progress was made on Keisler’s order for 30 years.

Then, in her 2009 doctoral thesis and other early papers, Malliaris reopened the work on Keisler’s order and provided new evidence for its power as a classification program. In 2011, she and Shelah started working together to better understand the structure of the order. One of their goals was to identify more of the properties that make a theory maximally complex according to Keisler’s criterion.

Malliaris and Shelah eyed two properties in particular. They already knew that the first one causes maximal complexity. They wanted to know whether the second one did as well. As their work progressed, they realized that this question was parallel to the question of whether p and t are equal. In 2016, Malliaris and Shelah published a 60-page paper that solved both problems: They proved that the two properties are equally complex (they both cause maximal complexity), and they proved that p equals t.

“Somehow everything lined up,” Malliaris said. “It’s a constellation of things that got solved.”

This past July, Malliaris and Shelah were awarded the Hausdorff medal, one of the top prizes in set theory. The honor reflects the surprising, and surprisingly powerful, nature of their proof. Most mathematicians had expected that p was less than t, and that a proof of that inequality would be impossible within the framework of set theory. Malliaris and Shelah proved that the two infinities are equal. Their work also revealed that the relationship between p and t has much more depth to it than mathematicians had realized.

“I think people thought that if by chance the two cardinals were provably equal, the proof would maybe be surprising, but it would be some short, clever argument that doesn’t involve building any real machinery,” said Justin Moore, a mathematician at Cornell University who has published a brief overview of Malliaris and Shelah’s proof.

Instead, Malliaris and Shelah proved that p and t are equal by cutting a path between model theory and set theory that is already opening new frontiers of research in both fields. Their work also finally puts to rest a problem that mathematicians had hoped would help settle the continuum hypothesis. Still, the overwhelming feeling among experts is that this apparently unresolvable proposition is false: While infinity is strange in many ways, it would be almost too strange if there weren’t many more sizes of it than the ones we’ve already found.

Reprinted with permission from Quanta Magazine, an editorially independent publication of the Simons Foundation whose mission is to enhance public understanding of science by covering research developments and trends in mathematics and the physical and life sciences.

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This Tiny Chip Will Help Doctors Track Smart Pills Through A Patient’s Body http://revolution-green.com/tiny-chip-will-help-doctors-track-smart-pills-patients-body/ http://revolution-green.com/tiny-chip-will-help-doctors-track-smart-pills-patients-body/#comments Sun, 17 Sep 2017 19:58:48 +0000 http://revolution-green.com/?p=16702 This Tiny Chip Will Help Doctors Track Smart Pills Through A Patient’s Body - this-tiny-chip-will-help-doctors-track-smart-pills-through-a-patients-body/

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Editors Note:  Invasion of the body by nano machines?  How are these things disposed of in the body? if someone is critically ill, how many devices can be put into the body before it has to develop a junk yard to deposit them In?  We all hope for the best and hope these things are well thought through.  Time will tell.  Agcat

 

 

 

Ella Marushchenko for Caltech

Tiny tracking Chip – “Smart pills” that are able to diagnose and treat diseases in a way that is unimaginable to us today are just around the corner. However, in order for them to be effective, they will need a way of relaying their location in the body to medical personnel. Because of the tiny microscale of such smart pills, that’s easier said than done — although researchers at the California Institute of Technology think they may well have cracked it.

                                                                              

                                          chip

                                                                                                         CHIP

Credit: Luke Dormehl Digital Trends

What they developed is a unique creation called ATOMS, standing for Addressable Transmitters Operated as Magnetic Spins. ATOMS is a silicon chip that relies on the same principles as magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) to determine where in the body it is located at any given time.

“To solve the problem of localizing microscale devices in the body, we borrowed some principles from nuclear magnetic resonance and embodied them in a silicon integrated circuit,” Mikhail Shapiro, an assistant professor of chemical engineering at Caltech, told Digital Trends. “Nuclear spins in atoms resonate at certain frequencies, which scale linearly with the strength of the magnetic field to which they are exposed. MRI is based on the idea of applying a magnetic field gradient, so that spins at two different locations resonate at two different frequencies. We can look at these frequencies and determine the locations of these spins, all at the same time. In our device, we have the same principle, but instead of a natural atom, we have a silicon chip that mimics its behavior by sensing the magnetic field and changing its resonance frequency. This allows us to figure out the chip’s location just by applying a magnetic field gradient and looking at the frequency that comes out.”

caltech chip smart pill atoms 2
caltech chip smart pill atoms 2

Shapiro and Emami Labs/Caltech

The research is still at a preliminary stage, but one day the hope is that the device could be deployed in settings like patients’ gastrointestinal tract, blood, or even their brain. Once there, it could measure for information such as pH levels, temperature, pressure, or sugar concentrations, and wirelessly transmit this data to doctors. At present, a final prototype chip — measuring just 1.4 square millimeters — has been demonstrated in mice.

“Ultimately, we envision a flotilla of tiny microchips circulating inside our bodies, taking measurements for diagnosis or releasing energy or drugs for therapy,” Shapiro continued. “The ATOMS technology will be integrated into these chips so we can see where they are and what they’re doing, and tell them what to do.”

A paper describing the work was recently published in the journal Biomedical Engineering.

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