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Fri, 21 Sep 2018
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Quantum Blue: The newest blue pigment— And how a color becomes a commodity

quantum blue
© Maria Chatzidakis.
Painting by Olga Alexopoulou using Quantum Blue. Photo by Maria Chatzidakis.
If you google "Quantum Blue," the top results, as of this writing, will all pertain to a 341-foot-long megayacht of that name owned by Russian billionaire Sergey Galitskiy. But that may soon change. In late August, scientists at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory in northern California, working with artist Olga Alexopoulou and color researcher Maria Chatzidakis, made strides towards developing a new, high-tech pigment dubbed "Quantum Blue."

The new color uses nanotechnology to achieve an exceptionally pure hue of blue that is best seen under ultraviolet (UV) light, which gives it an otherworldly, radioactive glow. (Without UV lighting, it has an unremarkable off-white appearance.) The key components of the futuristic blue are quantum dots: tiny semiconductor particles usually measuring no more than one millionth of an inch in size. Quantum dots convert light into color with exceptional speed and clarity, which has already made them popular with electronics manufacturers working on the next generation of ultra-high-definition screens. When she learned about quantum dots, Alexopoulou-whose own work involves a lot of blues, especially the historical Prussian blue-wondered whether the nanoscopic technology could be turned into a pigment for artists.

"Blue has a wonderful paradox about it, which is that it's the color that, statistically, most people across many cultures choose as their favorite, even though it's actually the most difficult color for the human eye to see," she said. "After working with blue for so many years, it felt like a natural progression to want to create something myself."

Comment: See also:


Nanotechnology researchers discover a 'tuneable' novel quantum state of matter

tunable quantum matter
© M. Z. Hasan, Jia-Xin Yin, Songtian Sonia Zhang, Princeton University
When the Princeton researchers turn an external magnetic field in different directions (indicated with arrows), they change the orientation of the linear electron flow above the kagome (six-fold) magnet, as seen in these electron wave interference patterns on the surface of a topological quantum kagome magnet. Each pattern is created in the lab of Princeton Professor Zahid Hasan by a particular direction of the external magnetic field applied on the sample.
Quantum particles can be difficult to characterize, and almost impossible to control if they strongly interact with each other - until now.

An international team of researchers led by Princeton physicist Zahid Hasan has discovered a quantum state of matter that can be "tuned" at will - and it's 10 times more tuneable than existing theories can explain. This level of manipulability opens enormous possibilities for next-generation nanotechnologies and quantum computing.

"We found a new control knob for the quantum topological world," said Hasan, the Eugene Higgins Professor of Physics. "We expect this is tip of the iceberg. There will be a new subfield of materials or physics grown out of this. ... This would be a fantastic playground for nanoscale engineering."

Hasan and his colleagues, whose research appears in the current issue of Nature, are calling their discovery a "novel" quantum state of matter because it is not explained by existing theories of material properties.


Jupiter and Saturn 'bullied' other planets away from the Sun in the early beginnings of the universe

Jupiter trojan belt
© NASA/JPL-Caltech
Artist's impression of the Jupiter Trojan belt.
Researchers studying the lone surviving binary asteroid in the Trojan belt orbiting Jupiter have revealed that the chaos at the beginning of our solar system may have been shorter but more violent than previously thought.

A new study on the binary asteroid Patroclus-Menoetius reveals that within the first 100 million years of the solar system's existence, Jupiter and Saturn shoved Uranus and Neptune away from the sun towards the Kuiper belt, a mass of primordial celestial bodies, in a kind of cosmic eviction.

The binary asteroid consists of a pair of celestial bodies both roughly 100km (62 miles) in diameter that are found within the Jupiter Trojan belt, a mass of objects that orbits the sun in line with the gas giant of our solar system.

"The Trojans were likely captured during a dramatic period of dynamic instability when a skirmish between the solar system's giant planets - Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus and Neptune - occurred," David Nesvorny, one of the team from the Southwest Research Institute in Colorado, said in a press release.
© W.M. Keck Observatory/Lynette Cook

Russian Flag

Russia puts S-300s & S-400s into combat mode for Vostok military drill

Russian S-400 missile system
© Sputnik
Russian S-300 and S-400 air defense missile systems are put in combat mode to practice hitting targets in the largest military drill the nation has held since the 1980s.

A video released by the Russian Defense Ministry shows cranes placing surface-to-air missiles on launch vehicles, while soldiers monitor radar in command centers. The launchers are later set into firing position, ready to shoot down incoming aircraft and enemy missiles. The Pantsir-S missile-gun systems can also be seen securing the area.

"We have repelled an enemy aerial attack. The unit has executed its task with excellence," the battery commander, Lieutenant Colonel Maksim Voronoy, said.

Comment: Also see: The Vostok-2018: 300k troops & thousands of war machines - Russia starts biggest military drill in decades

Evil Rays

AI detects a 'mysterious repeating' signal from alien galaxy 3B light years away

Greenbank Telescope
Green Bank Telescope, Green Bank, West Virginia
Researchers at Breakthrough Listen, a project involved in the search for extraterrestrial intelligence (SETI), have used AI to study signals from distant galaxies and found that we may have missed a lot in the hunt for alien life.

The team, led by UC Berkeley doctoral student Gerry Zhang, examined a phenomena known as Fast Radio Bursts or FRBs. These are signals from galaxies billions of light years away from Earth. FRBs last mere milliseconds and are extremely difficult to detect given the vast distances and huge areas involved.

The research is based on an unknown object called a "repeater" that is producing these FRBs, that is affectionately known as 'FRB 121102,' and is the only known FRB to have emitted multiple bursts.

"FRBs from 121102 originate in a dwarf galaxy 3 billion light years from Earth, but the nature of the object emitting them is unknown. There are many theories, including that they could be the signatures of technology developed by extraterrestrial intelligent life," the press release said.

The results of the team's research were published in the Astrophysical Journal on Monday.


University of Chicago And The NSF 'Disappeared' My Paper Modeling Differences Between The Sexes

document shredding
In the highly controversial area of human intelligence, the 'Greater Male Variability Hypothesis' (GMVH) asserts that there are more idiots and more geniuses among men than among women. Darwin's research on evolution in the nineteenth century found that, although there are many exceptions for specific traits and species, there is generally more variability in males than in females of the same species throughout the animal kingdom.

Evidence for this hypothesis is fairly robust and has been reported in species ranging from adders and sockeye salmon to wasps and orangutans, as well as humans. Multiple studies have found that boys and men are over-represented at both the high and low ends of the distributions in categories ranging from birth weight and brain structures and 60-meter dash times to reading and mathematics test scores. There are significantly more men than women, for example, among Nobel laureates, music composers, and chess champions - and also among homeless people, suicide victims, and federal prison inmates.

Comment: Proving once again that those possessed by ideology are more interested in preserving their belief system than in uncovering truth.


Russian heavy drone prototype caught on VIDEO

Russian heavy drone
© Zvezda TV channel / YouTube
Russian heavy drone Altair
A new video showing an improved version of the Russian heavy drone Altair has been featured in a show on Zvezda TV. The prototype aircraft is believed to be capable of carrying up to two tons of cargo.

The prototype aircraft, bearing the number '03' can be seen flying in an undisclosed location in wintertime. The UAV has an array of strings attached to its wing to evaluate its aerodynamic characteristics.

The machine is likely the third prototype of the aircraft, which has received a number of improvements on earlier versions. One of the additions is a large shroud at the UAV's nose, which likely conceals a satellite antenna.


Mysterious 'footprints' measuring over 6 feet long discovered on Pacific Ocean floor

Deep footprints Pacific Ocean
© Pixabay
“Analysis revealed that the depressions were not randomly distributed,” lead author of the research, Dr. Leigh Marsh, told the Express, adding that the most likely culprits are “deep-diving whales.”
Seventy percent of the Earth's surface is hidden beneath the ocean, yet 95 percent of it remains unexplored to the human eye.

Strange footprints have been found on the bottom of the ocean floor by a deep-diving robot as part of a British study from the National Oceanographic Center in Southampton.

Scientists ruled out the possibility of the mysterious tracks, measuring 6.5 feet in length and 13 inches deep, discovered 2.4 miles below the surface of the Pacific Ocean between Mexico and Hawaii, being the result of mining or scientific operations.

They also said that the tracks were too large to be created by fish or any other deep-sea creatures.

"Analysis revealed that the depressions were not randomly distributed," lead author of the research, Dr. Leigh Marsh, told the Express, adding that the most likely culprits are "deep-diving whales."


UK Scientists find way to make old human cells young again

cell division
© Andrzej Wojcicki / Getty Images
Scientists have discovered how to make old human cells young again through rejuvenation. It's an exciting discovery that could change the way humans age.

Researchers at the University of Exeter and University of Brighton found they could rejuvenate senescent cells, cells that had stopped their natural growth cycle,causing them to start to divide again. The experiment found they not only look younger, but also behave like younger cells.

"When I saw some of the cells in the culture dish rejuvenating I couldn't believe it. These old cells were looking like young cells. It was like magic," researcher Dr. Eva Latorre said. "I repeated the experiments several times and in each case the cells rejuvenated. I am very excited by the implications and potential for this research."


Huge trash tube that collects sea garbage launched in ambitious eco-project in San Francisco Bay

Ocean cleanup
© Ocean Cleanup
The innovative device will collect 5.5 tons of plastic waste each month.
Scientists have launched the Ocean Cleanup - a 2,000-foot trash-catching tube that could get rid of half of the Great Pacific Garbage Patch in just five years - receiving a big thumbs-up from inventor Elon Musk on social media.

The innovative device was launched on Saturday in San Francisco Bay. It is hoped that it will collect 5.5 tons of plastic waste each month, and will eventually be released in the Great Pacific Garbage Patch - a trash mass two times bigger than Texas, which is made up of 1.8 trillion pieces of rubbish, according to a recent study.

Dutch entrepreneur Boyan Slat originally came up with the idea after a scuba-diving holiday in Greece when he was just a teenager. "I actually saw more plastic bags than fish around me," said the now-CEO and founder of Ocean Cleanup. Slat went on to set up the organization in 2013, and has so far raised $35 million through crowdfunding campaigns to help tackle the pollution issue in the world's oceans.