Posted: January 7th, 2012 | Author: Buster Cookson | Filed under: Applied Science, Cankler, Geology | Tags: Applied Science, Athol Tutanekai, Cankler, Convergent Plate Boundaries, Earthquake, Florida International University, Hurricane, Landslide, Seismic Moment, Trigger, Typhoon, Wdowinski | No Comments »
Nature is a harsh mistress. The more we study the natural world the more we come to understand how the various natural system are inter-connected. Recently scientists from Florida International University have established a connection between large Typhoons and earthquakes. While earthquakes are a complex event with many causes this is one more piece of the puzzle that will help us understand the world we live in.
The most destructive earthquakes are the result of the Earth’s crust being made of a number of separate plates – tectonic plates – that just won’t stand still. As the plates are made of rock and earth they are rough causing friction as they grind together. This friction causes the plates to lock at the edges while the rest of the plate behind continue to move forward, building up pressure where the plates meet – convergent plate boundaries -. When this pressure is released earthquakes are the result. The amount of energy that is released during an earthquake is astronomical. The total energy released by Japans recent earthquake - total energy or seismic moment – equates to 600 million times the energy released by the Hiroshima atomic bomb. All of that energy had built in the crust and was released in just a few minutes of shaking.
“Very wet rain events are the trigger,” said Wdowinski, associate research professor of marine geology and geophysics at the UM Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science. “The heavy rain induces thousands of landslides and severe erosion, which removes ground material from the Earth’s surface, releasing the stress load and encouraging movement along faults.” Read the full article »»»»
Posted: November 19th, 2011 | Author: Michael Courtenay | Filed under: Applied Science, Cankler, Engineered Life, Science, Science News | Tags: Atomic Simulation, Blip, Buddha's Brother, Cankler Science News, Chinese Academy of Science, H1N1, H1N1 Flu Virus, H1N1 Flu Virus Simulated, Institute of Process Engineering, IPE-CAS, Mole-8.5, NVIDIA, supercomputer, Tesla GPGPU, Virus | No Comments »
Our understanding of the universe is expanding in all directions, expanding outwards as we see more and more of the cosmos and inwardly as we learn more about the nano world. In the nano world the tools for capturing the action shots are improving but there are still a number of destinations we are unable to explore. Organic organisms - for example, influenza virus - are too delicate for the standard tools of nano exploration. Powerful x-rays and laser illumination used in modern microscopes simply disintegrate such delicacies. In these situations scientists have been turning to simulations - computer models - for answers. Until now, studying viruses has been challenging in laboratories, this new technology not only allows for greater offline research, it belies the complexity associated with simulating billions of particles in the correct conditions to create such simulations
Dr. Ying Ren along with a team of researchers at the Chinese Academy of Sciences Institute of Process Engineering have also been searching for answers using simulators, in the process they have developed the Computational Microscope, a breakthrough in simulation technology :: Read the full article »»»»
Posted: November 19th, 2011 | Author: Michael Courtenay | Filed under: Cankler, Climate Change, Science, Science News | Tags: china, Great Dying, Permian Mass Extinction, Permian-Triassic Boundary | No Comments »
Throughout the history of our planet, there have been a number of mass extinction events. The largest was the “Great Dying,” which occurred at the cusp of the Permian and Triassic periods. Over half of the species on Earth at the time became extinct.
A recent find in China has allowed researchers to pinpoint the events that appear to have precipitated the ‘Great Dying’ Scientists working in South China have pinpointed the timing of the Earth’s most dramatic extinction, an event that killed 96 per cent of all marine species, and 70 per cent of those on land.
Their findings show the so-called end-Permian mass extinction, sometimes referred to as the ‘Great Dying’, peaked just before 252 million years ago and took place very quickly, over a period of less than 200,000 years.
This precise timing should help scientists settle the contentious issue of what exactly stripped so much biodiversity from the face of the planet, says study author Sam Bowring, from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
Other researchers have proposed several mechanisms for the extinctions, including an asteroid impact, an enormous volcanic event, or a shift in ocean circulation driven by climate change. So far no hypothesis has gained widespread support among scientists. One obstacle has been a lack of precise information about the timing and length of the event :: Read the full article »»»»
Posted: November 10th, 2011 | Author: Michael Courtenay | Filed under: Applied Science, Cankler, Engineered Life, Santa Barbara, Science, Science News, Science of Green, Solar Stars | Tags: Flexible Organic Small-Molecule Solar Cells, Flexible Solar Cell, photovoltaic, Polymer Based Solar Cell, Santa Barbara, Science News, Science of Green, Small-Molecule Solar Cell, University of California | No Comments »
We’ve raved about solar cells previously: here, and here, the technology has taken several quantum leaps over the past decade. Paintable crystalline and printable solar cells seem to be the way of the future, the fight now is for real solar efficiency. Solar panels that can be simply printed have inched a step closer with the development of an energy efficient, organic, small-molecule solar cell. The solar cell, which was developed by a team from the University of California, Santa Barbara, has energy efficiencies of 6.7 per cent, which rivals the best polymer-based solar cells. Most polymer-based designs have reached the 6 to 8 range for efficiency.
“These results provide important progress for solution-processed organic photovoltaics and demonstrate that solar cells fabricated from small donor molecules can compete with their polymeric counterparts,” the authors, including Nobel Prize winner Professor Alan Heeger, wrote in Nature Materials. Read the full article »»»»
Posted: November 2nd, 2011 | Author: Buster Cookson | Filed under: Applied Science, Cankler, Quantum Mechanics | Tags: Buddha's Brother, Cankler, Flying Rug, Ithaca College, Levitation, Quantum Flux, Quantum Levitation, Quantum Pinning, Resistance, Superconductor, Tel Aviv University | Comments Off
Levitation, the ability to appear to defy gravities bonds, has long fascinated humanity. From flying carpets to flying nuns it has long been part of our culture. There is a modern take on this ancient story as well, Superconducting Levitation.
Seemingly able to cancel out gravity and allow objects to levitate, it seems to be the answer to giving us mere mortals at least one of superman’s powers, the ability to fly. Unfortunately superconductors don’t cancel out gravity and we will never fly under our own power, undies on the outside maybe. Instead the levitating effect called Quantum Levitation uses a number of the unusual properties of superconductors to create the effect.
All current superconductors need the cold to enter their superconducting phase. In this phase electrons are able to move about without any resistance, power loss or heat generated, which is typical for most wires or electronics that use ordinary conductors :: Read the full article »»»»
Posted: October 31st, 2011 | Author: Buster Cookson | Filed under: Cankler, Science, Science News | Tags: Borg Satellite, Buddha's Brother, Cankler, DARPA, Orbital Repair, PODS, Project Phoenix, Re-Purposing, science, Tender Satellite | Comments Off
Satellites envelop our world like a web, another kind of world wide web. Proving to be indispensable for communications, scientific exploration and avoiding getting lost when shopping, they have become our eyes and ears in the sky, an essential part of everyday life.
DARPA, America’s greatest research and development organizations has turned it’s attention to space junk and satellites. With such previous contributions to society such as the Internet and GPS satellites DARPA isn’t the sort of company you ignore. Sure they may have their odd flight of fancy, the flying Humvee idea turned a lot of heads, turned heads with curious looks wanting to ask flying what now? Project Phoenix aims to create a new class of satellite, the Borg Satellite.
The Borg or Tender - DARPA’s designation – space robot will be able to disassemble and maintain other satellites. Eventually DARPA hopes the Tender’s will be able build working satellites from various spare parts floating around in GEO – geostationary – orbit. Could the DARPA Borg satellites begin eating other satellites and produce kill-bots to take over the world, possibly but there are a lot of technological hurdles to overcome yet :: Read the full article »»»»
Posted: October 30th, 2011 | Author: Marcus Dangerfield | Filed under: Cankler, Engineered Life, Nanotechnology, Science | Tags: ASC NANO, biopharmaceuticals, Cankler, Engineered Life, Iron Age, macromolecules, Nanomedicine, Nanoparticles, Nanotechnology, science, Science News, University of Oregan | Comments Off
Since the emergence of nanotechnology, researchers, regulators and the public have been concerned at the potential toxicity of nano-sized products, the U.S. government has an admirably large funding program for the technology, especially in it’s medical application. And though their haven’t been any large scale commercial breakthroughs, nanomedicine battles on to refine the application of molecular nanotechnology.
Much hope is placed in the forward looking researchers who are as we write, furthering their research into the delivery of drugs via nanoscale particles, macromolecules, biopharmaceuticals, flesh welding surgery utilizing gold coated nanoshells, or the visionary field of neuro-electronic interfaces. The uses of nanoparticles in medicine is seemingly endless, except of course for that handicap all foreign objects face when entering the human body; our immune system and it’s antibodies, Nanomedicine it would seem is the way of the future. At any moment a breakthrough is likely to hit the journals, ‘Nanoparticle Targeting Kills Cancer’ until that day though nonomedicine is largely restricted to diagnostic practice. Read the full article »»»»