August 2019

ECOtality Inc and car2go team up to bring charging infrastructure to San

first_img Citation: ECOtality Inc. and car2go team up to bring charging infrastructure to San Diego (2011, July 14) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2011-07-ecotality-car2go-team-infrastructure-san.html The program, which is being put into place in the San Diego metropolitan area, will consist of a fleet of about 300 smart fortwo electric drive vehicles, making it the largest single fleet of electric vehicles in the United States to date. There are expected to be roughly 1000 charging stations deployed in the metro area as part of the project. Jonathan Read, the CEO of ECOtality, had this to say about the project, “Innovative car-sharing programs like car2go’s service are pivotal to encouraging the mainstream adoption of electric vehicles. As we deploy approximately 1,000 Blink charging stations in the San Diego region as part of The EV Project, we are creating the robust public infrastructure necessary for car2go’s program to succeed. Together, we will show that EVs are a perfect fit for the lifestyle of San Diego drivers.”The project is expected to begin late in 2011. Data collected from this first city will be used to understand how consumers use electric vehicles and better understand charging patterns. This data will be used in the roll out of a larger scale program. At an undisclosed point in the future ECOtality hopes to be able to put out a network of 14,000 commercial and residential charging stations in 18 major cities in the United States. The project is partially funded by the U.S. Department of Energy through a federal stimulus grant as part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. Explore further 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. Coulomb Technologies to install 4,600 electric vehicle charging stations © 2010 PhysOrg.com ECOtality Inc., a company that works on clean electric transportation and storage technologies, has announced the formation of a partnership with car2go, a car sharing service that is a subsidiary of Daimler North America Corporation. The two companies will be developing a system that will provide a large-scale electric vehicle-charging infrastructure that will be designed to support the first 100-percent electric car-sharing program in North America.last_img read more

Microsoft is exploring data centers powered by fuel cells

first_img EBay to power new data center with fuel cells Sean James, one of the authors, blogged earlier this week about the paper and Microsoft’s overall initiative. “Based on our models detailed in the paper,” he said, “we show how integrating a small generator with the IT hardware significantly cuts complexity by eliminating all the electrical distribution in the grid and data center.” James is senior research program manager, Global Foundation Services (the engine that powers Microsoft’s cloud services). The paper, he said, describes “how we are taking an unconventional approach to power a data center entirely by fuel cells integrated directly into the server racks.”The study, he remarked,” explores how to collapse the entire energy supply chain, from the power plant to the server motherboard, into the confines of a server single cabinet.” James cited key advantages of fuel cells, saying they are clean, reliable and well suited for small form-factor applications. While there is still a CO2 waste stream, the output is significantly lower and cleaner than other power generation technologies, he added. “In the new datacenter design approach outlined in our paper, chemical energy is first converted to direct current electrochemically and sent a few feet to the server power supply.” James also noted that the cost of fuel cells will drop as the fuel cell industry matures, especially small form factor fuel cells for automotive and IT applications.At this stage, however, he recognizes that such an initiative is not without challenges. “Deep technical issues remain, such as thermal cycling, fuel distribution systems, cell conductivity, power management, and safety training that needs to be further researched and solutions developed. But we are excited about working to resolve these challenges. This is only the early stages in our exploration of this concept.” Explore further Citation: Microsoft is exploring data centers powered by fuel cells (2013, November 15) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2013-11-microsoft-exploring-centers-powered-fuel.html More information: www.globalfoundationservices.c … the-server-rack.aspxresearch.microsoft.com/pubs/203898/FCDC.pdfcenter_img (Phys.org) —Fuel cell powered data centers may not be ready today but Microsoft is exploring the idea in a vision of data centers that one day can get out from under reliance on the electricity grid. Microsoft has released a paper discussing the fuel cell-based data center power distribution system. “No More Electrical Infrastructure: Towards Fuel Cell Powered Data Centers” is authored by Ana Carolina Riekstin, Sean James, Aman Kansal, Jie Liu, and Eric Peterson. The authors said that “If the FCs are placed close to power consumption units, at the servers or racks, we can completely eliminate the power distribution system in the data center, including the power backup generation system. So, no data center wide electrical infrastructure is required.” © 2013 Phys.org 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

Graphene origami opens up new spintronics features

first_img The scientists, A. T. Costa, et al., from institutions in Brazil, Ireland, Singapore, and the US, have published their paper on graphene origami in a recent issue of EPL.”While bandgap opening and spin-polarized currents are two separate features contained in the wish list of every graphene researcher, we have identified a way that might tick both boxes at once,” coauthor Mauro Ferreira, Associate Professor at Trinity College Dublin, told Phys.org.Since the bandgap is an energy range where no electron states exist, opening a bandgap in graphene transforms it from a conducting material to a semiconducting material. Semiconducting graphene would be more useful, and could have particularly interesting applications for spintronics devices, which exploit the electron’s quantum mechanical property of spin in addition to its property of electric charge. One reason that graphene is a promising spintronics material is that, compared to other materials, it has an extremely small spin-orbit interaction (SOI). This means that its spin interacts very little with its orbital motion, and so spin dissipation is practically negligible in graphene. As a result, information stored in graphene’s spin can be retained for considerably longer times than in other materials. A small SOI also means that the information can travel over long distances with very little loss.Although a small SOI has many advantages, here the scientists wanted to increase the SOI in parts of graphene because doing so is necessary for opening a bandgap. Recent research has demonstrated that SOI is enhanced when graphene is mechanically bent. Here, the researchers theoretically showed that a 2D graphene sheet molded into periodic ridges and troughs has an enhanced SOI in the curved regions.Increasing the SOI is half of the process to inducing a bandgap; the other half is applying a magnetic field. As the researchers explain, the SOI and magnetic field complement each other in such a way that both quantities must be enhanced to induce a bandgap. The magnitude of the bandgap is ultimately determined by the smaller of these two quantities.One way that a magnetic field can be applied is by doping the graphene with magnetic atoms. Doping is also another way to enhance SOI, so the whole process could potentially be achieved by doping with the right adsorbants. This method has some advantages compared to previous attempts to open up a bandgap in graphene. So far, previous methods have failed to produce technologically relevant semiconducting graphene for several reasons, including that the bandgap size is too small and that disorder emerges into the system. The researchers here predict that the new method may overcome these difficulties and finally achieve useful semiconducting graphene.The second important effect of the new method—that it spin-polarizes the current—means that the electrons’ spins are aligned in the same direction. This feature is particularly important for engineering spintronics devices. In their current study, the researchers showed that the new process can be easily realized by depositing graphene sheets on a substrate with periodic trenches. In the future, they plan to perform measurements on the resulting graphene’s electrical properties. “While we have good experimental control on how the graphene sheets are folded, to measure the transport properties of such origami-like structures remains challenging,” Ferreira said. “The next step is to adapt some of the transport measurement techniques to deal with the structures in this new geometry.” Journal information: Europhysics Letters (EPL) © 2013 Phys.org. All rights reserved. (a) To grow graphene fin-like structures, the researchers draped a graphene sheet over a patterned stamp. Below, (b) a scanning electron micrograph and (c) an atomic force microscope image show a small portion of the folded graphene surface. Credit: A. T. Costa, et al. ©2013 EPL 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. More information: A. T. Costa, et al. “Origami-based spintronics in graphene.” EPL, 104 (2013) 47001. DOI: 10.1209/0295-5075/104/47001center_img Elucidation of spin state of conduction electrons in graphene (Phys.org) —Despite graphene’s many impressive properties, its lack of a bandgap limits its use in electronic applications. In a new study, scientists have theoretically shown that a bandgap can be opened in graphene by folding 2D graphene sheets origami-style and exposing them to a magnetic field. In addition to opening up a bandgap, this method also produces spin-polarized current in the graphene sheets, making them attractive for spintronics applications. Citation: Graphene origami opens up new spintronics features (2013, December 19) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2013-12-graphene-origami-spintronics-features.html Explore furtherlast_img read more

Study shows sea snake can live up to seven months without drinking

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. Explore further Citation: Study shows sea snake can live up to seven months without drinking (2014, March 19) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2014-03-sea-snake-months.html (Phys.org) —A team of researchers with members from France, the U.S. and Australia, has found that the yellow-bellied sea snake (Hydrophis platurus) is able to survive out in the ocean because its ability to survive severe dehydration. In their paper published in Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences, the team describes how they captured over 500 of the snakes and tested them to determine how they survived being so long at sea without access to fresh water. Pelamis Platurus. Credit: Aloaiza/Wikipedia The yellow-bellied sea snake lives primarily in the sea, which means it has to get all of its food and water from the ocean. The problem is, unlike sea turtles, it doesn’t have the ability to simply drink sea water and filter out all the salt. Instead, it survives, the researchers in this new effort report, by not drinking at all for months at a time. Living as it does off the coast of Costa Rica, the snake is dependent on fresh water from rainfall, but only during the rainy season—the fresh water sits for a time atop the heavier saltwater below, the snake surfaces and swallows it, bloats up and then doesn’t have to drink again for months. The trick is in surviving severe dehydration—the team found some specimens lost up to 18 percent of their body mass while waiting for rain.The researchers discovered this unique ability by capturing and examining specimens in their labs, caught at different times of the year. To test for thirstiness, the snakes were put in fresh water tanks. To assess how much water they were storing, several were weighed, then killed and baked in ovens to remove all the water held inside them, then weighed again. Some were also dissected.The researchers found that the snakes do have some ability to eliminate salt—small glands around their tongues expel salt taken in during eating, or to remove some salt from the fish they eat. The glands were nowhere near efficient enough to allow the snakes to drink saltwater however, thus, their refusal to do so. They also found that the snakes’ skin prevented salt from being absorbed into their bodies.The researchers also noted that the snakes’ technique for surviving at sea makes it particularly vulnerable to changes in its environment such as less frequent rainfall. This, they suggest might reveal why it is that scientists have been finding that sea snake populations are declining as global warming causes changes to rain patterns across the globe.center_img Journal information: Proceedings of the Royal Society B © 2014 Phys.org Studying sea snakes for underwater robot design More information: Pelagic sea snakes dehydrate at sea, Proc. R. Soc. B 7 May 2014 vol. 281 no. 1782 20140119. rspb.royalsocietypublishing.or … nt/281/1782/20140119AbstractSecondarily marine vertebrates are thought to live independently of fresh water. Here, we demonstrate a paradigm shift for the widely distributed pelagic sea snake, Hydrophis (Pelamis) platurus, which dehydrates at sea and spends a significant part of its life in a dehydrated state corresponding to seasonal drought. Snakes that are captured following prolonged periods without rainfall have lower body water content, lower body condition and increased tendencies to drink fresh water than do snakes that are captured following seasonal periods of high rainfall. These animals do not drink seawater and must rehydrate by drinking from a freshwater lens that forms on the ocean surface during heavy precipitation. The new data based on field studies indicate unequivocally that this marine vertebrate dehydrates at sea where individuals may live in a dehydrated state for possibly six to seven months at a time. This information provides new insights for understanding water requirements of sea snakes, reasons for recent declines and extinctions of sea snakes and more accurate prediction for how changing patterns of precipitation might affect these and other secondarily marine vertebrates living in tropical oceans.last_img read more

Highly conductive organic metal looks promising for disposable electronic devices

first_img(Phys.org) —Although organic materials are often used as semiconductors, such as in organic LEDs and organic transistors, organic materials that have an electrical conductivity as high as that of metals are still very scarce. One problem with developing organic metals is that there is a tradeoff in terms of their crystalline structure: a high crystallinity is required for high conductivity, but is detrimental to the materials’ processability. 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 Citation: Highly conductive organic metal looks promising for disposable electronic devices (2014, August 19) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2014-08-highly-metal-disposable-electronic-devices.html Controlling the ‘length’ of supramolecular polymers through self-organization Now in a new paper published in the Journal of the American Chemical Society, researchers Joseph J. Armao, IV, et al., at the University of Strasbourg in France, have demonstrated a way to overcome this problem by developing a new class of organic materials that are highly conductive yet very soft and flexible. When irradiated with a light pulse, the material reorganizes its molecules to correct structural defects. The new material can therefore be assembled with low crystallinity and then transformed via a light pulse into a material with high electrical conductivity.”Historically, electronic devices have been developed with inorganic materials such as doped silicon, copper, silver, etc.,” Nicolas Giuseppone, professor at the University of Strasbourg, told Phys.org. “These materials come from limited natural resources which are expensive to extract and process before even being suitable for manufacturing. Additionally, a big problem we have is electronic waste, as many of the inorganic materials used in electronics are quite toxic for the environment, and recycling these materials is difficult and expensive. Organic metals provide an alternative material which is cheaper, easier to produce, and environmentally friendly. In addition to replacing inorganic materials in the electronic devices we currently use, we may be able to create devices with novel properties and architectures through a combination of synthetic modification (at the molecular level) as well as control over the supramolecular organization (at the bulk level).”The new material is a one-dimensional supramolecular polymer composed of stacks of molecular units called tris-amide triarylamines (TATA). Although these organic nanowires may originally suffer from the same structural defects as other organic materials, the application of a relatively low-energy light pulse can correct misalignments of the TATA stacks, essentially giving the polymers the ability to self-heal. The results showed that light irradiation increased the conductivities of the suparmolecular polymers by up to four orders of magnitude, reflecting the effectiveness of the photoinduced supramolecular self-optimization. The study marks the first demonstration of supramolecular polymers that achieve electronic, magnetic, and optical signatures similar to those measured in the best conjugated polymers. “I would say the greatest significance is (a) the ability to demonstrate metallic properties in a supramolecular system without the need to crystallize the material or resort to other processing techniques, (b) the demonstration that supramolecular systems, i.e. ensembles of molecules which are non-covalently bound, can possess characteristics found in conjugated polymers, (c) the ability to remotely trigger the healing mechanism and doping process with light, which creates a responsive material, and (d) the demonstration of a novel error correction mechanism driven by supramolecular polaron diffusion (charge-transfer interactions) within the assembled structures,” Giuseppone said.Highly conductive organic metals could have a variety of novel applications in organic electronics due to their advantages of being lightweight, low cost, and disposable. Applications include transparent electrodes, printed electronic circuits, thermoelectric materials, and memory devices. “Future research plans include both applications of these materials in devices as well as further research into their fundamental properties,” Giuseppone said. “In terms of applications, we are working towards incorporation of these organic assemblies as metallic interconnects for electronic circuitry, testing the efficacy of these materials in solar cells as well as trying to develop means for controlled vertical device architecture. Our fundamental work involves manipulation of optical and plasmonic fields as well as further elucidation and control over the conduction properties.”center_img (b-d) Images of the organic metal, TATA, are shown with different imaging techniques. (e) X-ray scattering of a thin film of TATA. (f) Side view (i) and top view (ii) of the proposed stacking structure of TATA. Credit: Armao, et al. ©2014 American Chemical Society © 2014 Phys.org Journal information: Journal of the American Chemical Society More information: Joseph J. Armao, IV, et al. “Healable Supramolecular Polymers as Organic Metals.” Journal of the American Chemical Society. DOI: 10.1021/ja5044006last_img read more

Computer model solves the riddle of why lava sometimes forms into hexagons

first_img How a change in slope affects lava flows (Phys.org)—A team of researchers with Dresden University of Technology in Germany has apparently solved the riddle of why lava sometimes forms into hexagonal towers as it cools. In their paper published in Physical Review Letters, the team describes how they put together a computer model that ultimately showed how such shapes can form. © 2015 Phys.org Citation: Computer model solves the riddle of why lava sometimes forms into hexagons (2015, October 14) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2015-10-riddle-lava-hexagons.html Scientists and other people have been amused, piqued and inspired by some of the geometric shapes that come about as lava cools—Devils Tower in Wyoming, for example, or Giant’s Causeway in Northern Ireland, both feature cooled lava in the form of hexagonal structures. Upon seeing them, most wonder how they could have come about—after all, most things in nature are random, or perhaps round. Hexagons seem like they could come about only due to intervention by us humans. Now it appears, the team in Germany has cracked the riddle of how nature could have made it happen.It is all about heat differential and the way cracks form, the team reports. They made these discoveries by building a model very similar to those used by engineers to build bridges or aircraft parts. It allowed them to account for the characteristics of the lava, both when it was hot, and as it cooled. That allowed them to see that after some bit of lava stopped flowing, as it cooled, the inner parts cooled faster than the outer parts, leading to shrinkage and the formation of cracks adjacent to one another, which meant they formed at 90 degree angles. Then as the lava cooled even more and more shrinkage occurred, the cracks made their way down into the lava below which was still solidifying—that forced the cracks to grow larger, forcing the angle between them to change to approximately 120 degrees, which occurred because it was the point at which the largest amount of energy was released—and it is also, of course, the same angle degree found in hexagonal structures.The hexagonal structure were then maintained as the lava cooled down to ambient temperatures and the shape was persevered—meanwhile, the same process occurred around it, causing the creation of other lava formations that looked very nearly just like it. Explore furthercenter_img Credit: Physics/iStockphoto.com/Macsnap Journal information: Physical Review Letters More information: Why Hexagonal Basalt Columns? Phys. Rev. Lett. 115, 154301 – Published 7 October 2015. dx.doi.org/10.1103/PhysRevLett.115.154301ABSTRACTBasalt columns with their preferably hexagonal cross sections are a fascinating example of pattern formation by crack propagation. Junctions of three propagating crack faces rearrange such that the initial right angles between them tend to approach 120°, which enables the cracks to form a pattern of regular hexagons. To promote understanding of the path on which the ideal configuration can be reached, two periodically repeatable models are presented here involving linear elastic fracture mechanics and applying the principle of maximum energy release rate. They describe the evolution of the crack pattern as a transition from rectangular start configuration to the hexagonal pattern. This is done analytically and by means of three-dimensional finite element simulation. The latter technique reproduces the curved crack path involved in this transition. 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

first_imgThe buffalo thief who ran away with UP Minister Azam Khan’s bovines has been traced by the state police.Seven buffaloes, worth lakhs of rupees, were stolen from a barn owned by Azam in Rampur on January 31, 2014, following which dog squads, crime branch sleuths and police personnel were put on the job to find them.The bovines were rescued after an intensive overnight search and five of the accused were nabbed earlier.Acting on a tip off, another accused identified as Chunan, a history sheeter, was arrested on Sunday in Moradabad district along with two others who were planning to commit a dacoity, Moradabad Superintendent of Police (Rural) Praval Pratap Singh said.last_img read more

India break 22yearold jinx with 21 series win in Lanka

first_imgAfter setting a daunting victory target of 386, India managed to dismiss Sri Lankan for 268 despite captain Angelo Mathews valiant century to wrap up the series 2-1, their first overseas series victory since June, 2011 against the West Indies.The last time an Indian team won a series in Sri Lanka was way back in 1993 under Mohammed Azharuddin’s leadership when they sealed the series with 1-0 scoreline.Since 1993, India has toured Sri Lanka five times but had not managed to win a series. While they had travelled to Sri Lanka in 1997, 2001, 2008 and 2010 for a bilateral series, in 1998-99 they competed there in the Asian Test Championships. Also Read – New head priest selected for Ayyappa temple at SabarimalaTill now, India have won only three Test series after losing the first Test and this is the first time that the achievement has come on foreign soil. India won a series in 1972-73 against England and against Australia in 2000-2001 at home.It was new captain Virat Kohli’s first series win ever since he took over the reins of the team from Mahendra Singh Dhoni.On an absorbing final day’s play, the visitors took two quick wickets in the morning session before Mathews (110) and debutant Kusal Perera (70) scripted a spirited fightback to frustrate the Indians. Also Read – Veteran DD News anchor Neelum Sharma diesThe duo put on a resolute 135-run partnership for the sixth wicket, the second-highest stand in the fourth innings in Sri Lanka’s Test history. Roy Dias and Duleep Mendis hold the record of biggest fourth innings partnership with a 214- run stand.Off-spinner R Ashwin was the pick of the Indian bowlers with four for 69 while paceman Ishant Sharma scalped three for 32. Umesh Yadav chipped in with two for 65.The fifth day’s action was not devoid of drama as more on-field altercation took place with Kusal Perera being involved in a heated exchange with Indian players. Ashwin took the last wicket of Nuwan Pradep to bring about India’s moment of glory, triggering scenes of wild celebrations in the dressing room as the players hugged each other and picked up the stumps as mementos.Ashwin provided the vital breakthrough by breaking the sixth-wicket partnership with Perera’s scalp. The second new ball, taken after tea break, turned the tide completely in India’s favour with Ishant getting rid of Mathews in the very first over.PM congratulates Indian team on Test series win against SL read more

Babies learn turntaking much before they can speak

first_imgTaking turns to respond to each other is a key part of conversation and babies learn the technique at around six months of age, long before infants know much about language, says a new study.The speed of response white taking turns — about 200 milliseconds on average, about the same time as it takes to blink — is astonishing when we appreciate the slow nature of language encoding: it takes 600ms or more to prepare a word for delivery, the study said. Also Read – ‘Playing Jojo was emotionally exhausting’This implies a substantial overlap between listening to the current speaker and preparing our own response. In human infants, turn-taking is found in the ‘proto-conversations’ with caretakers.These infant-caretaker interactions are initially adult-like in terms of how fast infants can respond. But as they develop into more sophisticated communicators, infants’ turn-taking abilities slow down, likely due to both learning more and more complex linguistic structures, and having to find a way to squeeze these into short turns, said researcher Stephen Levinson from Max Planck Institute for Psycholinguistics in the Netherlands. Levinson reviewed new research on turn-taking, focusing on its implications for how languages are structured and for how language and communication evolved. Also Read – Leslie doing new comedy special with NetflixHe pointed out that turn-taking is common not only across unrelated cultures and language, the patter is also exhibited in all the major branches of the primate family – partly innate and partly learned in some monkeys, just as with human infants.  Even our nearest cousins the great apes take alternating turns in gestural communication, despite having a less complex vocal channel. All of this suggests that humans may have inherited a primate turn-taking system, Levinson said.This may have started out as a gestural form of communication, as with the other great apes, then later (about one million years ago) became one primarily expressed through the vocal channel, the study noted. The findings appeared in the journal Trends in Cognitive Sciences.last_img read more

Baithak with the legends

first_imgIn view of fostering the uniqueness of Indian art and culture, the Legends of India – a non-profit organisation takes the privilege of organising ‘Baithak’, which will induce a direct interactive session with Ustad Aashish Khan and spectators. The event is to feature a classical musical performance of the maestro where he would mesmerise all with the golden strings of his Sarod, which would be an absolute treat for eyes and ears for the audience. Accompanying him on stage will be his nephew, Shiraz Ali Khan on Sarod. The evening will also see the participation of Kathak maestro Pt Sandeep Mahavir. Also Read – Add new books to your shelfTheir recent collaboration with Amar Ujala Gharana aur Parampara, shall give a new impetus. “Music, being the purest form of art, possesses a power to transcend all barriers of language, religion, geography, and hierarchy”, said Dipayan Mazumdar, Founder Chairman of Legends of India. The organisation introduced ‘Morning Ragas’ and ‘Baithaks’ in 2015 and since then they have been organising a monthly event religiously in collaboration with Sangeet Natak Akademi and the Ministry of Culture, they also look forward to popularising and appreciating Indian music through programs like ‘Baithak’, and create memorable experiences. In its seventeen years of existence, Legends of India has effectively carried out the mandate of holding exhibitions of the visual arts and live concerts by ‘Legends’ and ‘Would be Legends’.last_img read more