June 26, 2010

All of the World's Oil and the Oceans

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The BP Gulf Oil spill ongoing and the possibility of capping operations causing a blowout (an explosion which would release more oil) of 240,000 barrels per day. Here is a consideration of the total volume of the oceans and the total volume of the world's oil.

The total mass of all of the Earth's water is about 1,400,000,000,000,000,000 metric tons (1.5×10^18 short tons) or 1.4×10^21 kg, which is about 0.023 percent of the Earth's total mass. Less than 3 percent is freshwater; the rest is saltwater, mostly in the ocean.

The global economy consumes approximately 30 billion barrels of oil (1.2 trillion U.S. gallons or 4.8 billion m^3) each year. There are 7.15 barrels of oil in one ton of oil. So about 4.4 billion tons of oil per year. one cubic mile is about 26 billion barrels. The world is using just over one cubic mile of oil per year.

Rolled Up Capacitors have double the energy density of Flat Capacitors

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Nano Letters - Self-Assembled Ultra-Compact Energy Storage Elements Based on Hybrid Nanomembranes

Self-assembly methods combined with standard top-down approaches are demonstrated to be suitable for fabricating three-dimensional ultracompact hybrid organic/inorganic electronic devices based on rolled-up nanomembranes. Capacitors that are self-wound and manufactured in parallel are almost 2 orders of magnitude smaller than their planar counterparts and exhibit capacitances per footprint area of around 200 μF/cm2. This value significantly exceeds that which was previously reported for metal−insulator−metal capacitors based on Al2O3, and the obtained specific energy (0.55 Wh/kg) would allow their usage as ultracompact supercapacitors. By incorporating organic monolayers into the inorganic nanomembrane structure we can precisely control the electronic characteristics of the devices. The adaptation of the process for creating ultracompact batteries, coils and transformers is an attractive opportunity for reducing the size of energy storage elements, filters, and signal converters. These devices can be employed as implantable electronic circuits or new approaches for energy-harvesting applications. Furthermore, the incorporation of functional organic molecules gives rise to novel devices with almost limitless chemical and biological functionalities.

Artificially enhancing ridges under glaciers could slow melting

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A robot submarine sent beneath the Antarctica's Pine Island glacier's floating ice sheet has shown that there is a ridge rising 400 metres from the sea floor. Until recently, the glacier would have rested on this ridge, preventing warm seawater from reaching the ice and melting it from underneath.

Artificially restoring or enhancing underwater subglacial ridges would slow the melting of glaciers. Pykrete is wood or newspaper mixed with ice that has a far higher melting point. Pykrete could be used to top up ridges that are no longer in contact with glaciers or to add an extra thickness to keep ridges and glaciers in contact.

Global Debt and Deleveraging from McKinsey and the Economist

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McKinsey Global has a 94 page report on Debt and deleveraging : The Global Credit Bubble and its economic consequences and the Economist magazine has a special feature on debt and created a global debt map.

The sustainability of debt shows that higher economic (GDP) growth after the cost of financing debt indicates an ability to grow and pay for more debt. This is an advantage for high growth countries like China and India and other emerging markets.

Most of the debt growth has been in residential mortgages. There are four main categories of debt (government debt, household debt, financial debt and non-financial debt). Financial debt is debt for banks and other financial institutions and non-financial is for other kinds of companies.

Spent Nuclear Fuel Composition and Brave New Climate's Renewables and Nuclear Power

New Developments in Quantum Algorithms

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There is a new quantum algorithm for quantum speedups for any problem that can be expressed via Boolean formulas and another for solving systems of linear equations.

The first new development is a quantum algorithm for evaluating a Boolean formula consisting of AND and OR gates of size N in time O(root N). This provides quantum speedups for any problem that can be expressed via Boolean formulas. This result can be also extended to span problems, a generalization of Boolean formulas. This provides an optimal quantum algorithm for any Boolean function in the black-box query model.

The second new development is a quantum algorithm for solving systems of linear equations. In contrast with traditional algorithms that run in time O(N^2.37...) where N is the size of the system, the quantum algorithm runs in time O(log^c * N). It outputs a quantum state describing the solution of the system.

Here is the 11 page paper that describes both algorithms.

June 25, 2010

Perennial Grains Are Set to Transform Farming But Need Resources Equal to Biofuel Effort to Accelerate Development and Global Deployment

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Some are saying that Perennial grains could be the biggest breakthrough in farming for 10,000 years.

* perennial grain do not need to be replanted every year, which saves on fuel, labor and costs
* Their larger roots, which can reach 10 to 12 feet, reduce erosion, build soil and sequester carbon from the atmosphere.
* They require fewer passes of farm equipment and less herbicide
* By contrast, annual grains can lose five times as much water as perennial crops and 35 times as much nitrate, a valuable plant nutrient that can migrate from fields to pollute drinking water and create “dead zones” in surface waters

Journal Science - Increased Food and Ecosystem Security via Perennial Grains

Manmade Lungs for Rats and Lung on a Chip

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The lung on a chip, shown here, was crafted by combining microfabrication techniques from the computer industry with modern tissue engineering techniques, human cells and a plain old vacuum pump. Photo courtesy of the Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering

1. Researchers from the Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering at Harvard University, Harvard Medical School and Children’s Hospital Boston have created a device that mimics a living, breathing human lung on a microchip. The device, about the size of a rubber eraser, acts much like a lung in a human body and is made using human lung and blood vessel cells.

The lung-on-a-chip microdevice takes a new approach to tissue engineering by placing two layers of living tissues—the lining of the lung’s air sacs and the blood vessels that surround them—across a porous, flexible boundary. Air is delivered to the lung lining cells, a rich culture medium flows in the capillary channel to mimic blood and cyclic mechanical stretching mimics breathing. The device was created using a novel microfabrication strategy that uses clear rubbery materials. The strategy was pioneered by another Wyss core faculty member, George Whitesides, the Woodford L. and Ann A. Flowers University Professor at Harvard University

potential to use human cells while recapitulating the complex mechanical features and chemical microenvironments of an organ could provide a truly revolutionary paradigm shift in drug discovery

New Oil Sand projects to boost production as they return from backburner

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The emergence of several new players in Alberta's oilsands will lift overall crude production between 2020 and 2025, a period that wasn't expected to see any production gains in last year's forecast, the Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers.
Oilsands production is expected to nearly triple by 2025.
Sinopec Corp. and PetroChina, both state-owned corporations, injected more than $2 billion into the flagging oilsands in 2009, buying stakes in Athabasca Oil Sands Corp.' s and Total SA's Northern Lights projects.

This year alone, investment in Alberta's oilsands is expected to jump by $2 billion to $13 billion, up from $11 billion last year. More recently, China Investment Corp. invested $817 million in a project with Penn West Energy Trust, and Sinopec paid $4.65 billion US for a stake in Syncrude Canada, the largest oilsands operation in the world.

The full report of the 2010 Canadian Oil Forecast is here (40 pages)

June 24, 2010

Chinese Vice Premier Calls for More Urbanization

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Chinese Vice Premier Li Keqiang (who is likely to lead China starting in 2013) called for more efforts to accelerate China's urbanization, as part of the government's efforts to promote economic restructuring and expand domestic demand during this process.

* urbanization would bolster domestic demand, improve people's livelihoods and solve rural problems
* China's urbanization, which still has much room for expansion, is China's largest source of domestic demand as well as the largest potential driver for development.

A 2009 study by the McKinsey Global Institute forecasts that by 2025, the number of urban dwellers in China will have grown by 350 million

China Can Urbanize to Prosperity -
This plan is from Stephen Green, who is head of greater China research at Standard Chartered Bank.

City dwellers earn more and consume more in China.

An infrared invisibility cloak composed of glass

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The design of the invisibility cloak consists of a spoke-like configuration of glass resonators, which form a magnetic resonance that is used to obtain the desired parameters of the medium. The illustration shows the glass cloak designed to hide a metal cylinder of 15 micrometers in diameter. Image credit: Semouchkina, et al.

Michigan and Pennsylvania researchers are going to make an infrared invisibility cloak out of glass.

We propose to implement a nonmetallic low-loss cloak for the infrared range from identical chalcogenide glass resonators. Based on transformation optics for cylindrical objects, our approach does not require metamaterial response to be homogeneous and accounts for the discrete nature of elementary responses governed by resonator shape, illumination angle, and inter-resonator coupling. Air fractions are employed to obtain the desired distribution of the cloak effective parameters. The effect of cloaking is verified by full-wave simulations of the true multiresonator structure. The feasibility of cloak fabrication is demonstrated by prototyping glass grating structures with the dimensions characteristic for the cloak resonators.

DARPA Funds Revolutionary Advances for 1000 Times Better Computers of All Sizes By 2018

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DARPA describes its Ubiquitous High Performance Computing (UHPC) - 70 pages
Yes, it would exaflop supercomputers on the supercomputer end but it would also mean superfast and robust future smartphones. It will mean selfware operating systems and more hack resistent computers and networks.
The UHPC program will develop the architectures and technologies that will provide the framework and underpinnings for the resolution of the power consumption, cyber resiliency, and productivity problems. The UHPC program will develop computer systems, from the embedded to cabinet system levels, that have extremely high-energy efficiency. These systems will have dramatically reduced power consumption while delivering a thousand fold increases in capabilities.

China Will Spend $25 billion to Boost Semiconductor Industry and Four AP1000 Are Under Construction

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1. The Chinese government is preparing to spend $25 billion on wafer fabs to boost domestic chip manufacturing over the next five years. China's chip industry had stumbled during the recession. So this is an effort to revive growth.

In 2009 Mainland China produced 40 billion ICs, which accounted for 25.1 percent of domestic demand. In comparison, Mainland China produced only 20.9 percent of its requirements in 2003, according to the analysis company. The Information Network now expects domestic production to account for 27.1 percent of domestic demand in 2010 and climb to 29.0 percent, 30.8 percent and 33.4 in the succeeding years as spending is ramped dramatically in China.

Hot Electrons Capture Using Quantum Dots Could Eventually Lead to 66% Efficient Solar Cells But This is NOT Related to Evolution Solar

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Researchers led by chemist Xiaoyang Zhu at The University of Texas at Austin have discovered a method using quantum dots to capture the higher energy sunlight that is lost as heat in conventional solar cells.

If the higher energy sunlight, or more specifically the hot electrons, could be captured, solar-to-electric power conversion efficiency could be increased theoretically to as high as 66 percent.

A $4 million company, Evolution Solar, put out a press release about this research, but they are not actually connected to it. Evolution Solar is only in the same field of solar energy.

AMD Announces New Firestream 9350 and Firestream 9370 GPU Accelerator Boards

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AMDannounced its next-generation FireStream GPU accelerator boards.

* The FireStream 9350 and 9370 represent the company's attempt to match the pace NVIDIA has set with its "Fermi" Tesla-20 GPU offerings launched this spring.
* The dual-slot 9370 device boasts 2.64 teraflops of single precision performance and 528 gigaflops of double precision performance. From a raw FLOPS standpoint, this matches up well with NVIDIA's latest "Fermi" parts, which deliver 1.03 single precision teraflops and 515 gigaflops double precision.
* The lesser 9350 offering is a single-slot board that delivers 2.0 teraflops of single precision and 400 gigaflops of double and only consumes 150 watts of power.

First Exoplanet Weather Report - HD209458b Has Hypersonic Winds

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A team of astronomers, including a researcher from MIT’s Kavli Institute for Astrophysics and Space Research, has become the first to measure wind in the atmosphere of an exoplanet.

By detecting heavy winds on HD209458b, a huge exoplanet located 150 light years away that is slightly more than half the mass of Jupiter, the researchers could then measure the movement of the planet as it orbited its host star — also another first for exoplanetary research.

The researchers detected a heavy wind that is blowing carbon monoxide in the planet’s atmosphere up to 10,000 kilometers per hour (hypersonic winds are the fastest winds ever detected on another planet in our solar system were blowing at up to 2,000 kilometers per hour [supersonic] on Neptune, according to previous research). By tracking the movement of the carbon monoxide, the astronomers could then measure the movement of the planet as it orbited its host star.

June 23, 2010

Northrop Grumman Doubles Several Phase I DARPA Fiber Laser Targets

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Northrop Grumman Corporation has surpassed Phase I goals for the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency's (DARPA) Revolution in Fiber Lasers (RIFL) program that seeks to mature fiber laser technology

Northrop Grumman's fiber laser page.
With a 1 kilowatt (kW) single mode fiber amplifier, the company demonstrated a near-perfect beam quality of better than 1.2 and efficiency better than 30 percent, twice the program's goal of 15 percent. Northrop Grumman also demonstrated a polarization extinction ratio of 50:1, and extremely low phase noise, which is essential for the coherent combination of laser chains used to scale power to weapons-class levels.

Frank Fenner Predicts Humans will be Extinct Within 100 Years and Has Made No Effort to Make a Detailed Projection

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This online book details the life of Frank Fenner who made major contributions in research of viruses and who was involved in the administration of the smallpox eradication program.

Fenner predicts the extinction of humanity within 100 years, because of overpopulation, environmental destruction and climate change.

If it was just a prediction of some doom strongly related to viruses, then I would give it some more weight. If Frank Fenner had a history of correctly and accurately predicting things, then I would give more weight to this new prediction. Frank Fenner has made almost no more effort to justify his prediction than the guys with the End is Near signs.

Verizon and Motorola Launch the Droid X

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The Droid X has been launched by Verizon and Motorola.

Motorola today announced DROID X in partnership with Verizon, Google and Adobe. Featuring 720p HD video capture and a fully-loaded 8 megapixel camera, DROID X allows you to capture your world and share content with friends using an optional HDMI cable or Digital Living Network Alliance (DLNA) connectivity. DROID X utilizes high performance diversity antennas along with innovative software to improve signal strength and reduce dropped calls. Along with top-notch call quality, a 3G Mobile HotSpot and a super fast 1 GHz processor, allow you to connect with friends and bring content to life. Plus, DROID X users will receive Android 2.2 and Adobe Flash Player via an over-the-air upgrade late summer.

Full press release

* Droid X becomes 3G Mobile HotSpot with up to five Wi-Fi enabled devices

Tesla IPO Discloses Plans for Electric Van, SUV, Sedan and Cabriolet

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The Tesla electric car company has released a 258 page document as part of its planned IPO.

They reveal all sorts of financial and technical details. They also incidate how the model S Sedan planned for 2012 will be the platform for three other vehicle lines. The model S will be the platform for an electric Van, Sedan and Cabriolet vehicle. Tesla plans to have a dealership in each of the 50 largest metropolitan markets in the world.

Technical Details of Kevin Costner's Ocean Therapy Solution Centrifuges for Oil Spill Mitigation

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Kevin Costner spent $20 million over three years and hired a team of about 15 engineers and scientists to develop centrifuges to separate water from oil at up to 200 gallons per minute. In theory, twenty of the centrifuge devices could have cleaned up the Exxon Valdez spill in 5 days. BP has a contract for 32 of the centrifuges from Ocean Therapy Solutions (Kevin Costner's company) BP tested the devices for a week and they work.
Just one of the company's V20 machines can clean up to 210,000 gallons of oily water per day. There are 3 V20 centrifuge machines currently operational in the Gulf. Ten more should become operational within weeks. ”Once production at our factory in Nevada ramps up in July, OTS will be able to produce 10 machines a month,” said Pat Smith, Chief Operating Officer for OTS. ”We are currently ramping up production of new machines with a goal toward deploying the machines along the entire coast,” he said.

The Model V16 Centrifuge has a 5.00" (12.7 cm) diameter rotor. It has integrated Clean-In-Place and bearings on both the top and bottom of the rotor. It has maximum throughput of up to 90 GPM (gallons per minute)

Vietnam Plans 13 Nuclear Reactors by 2030 to Generate up to 16 Gigawatts

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Vietnam announced an expansion of its nuclear power programme on Tuesday, with eight plants planned for operation over the next 20 years. Initial plans called for four reactors but the notice said Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung had approved eight nuclear facilities, each with at least four reactors, by 2030.

The eight plants will generate a total of 15,000-16,000 megawatts of electricity. The government previously announced that a Russian firm had won the contract for Vietnam's first nuclear power station, which is to begin operation in 2020.

Experts estimated the cost of Vietnam's initial 4,000-megawatt facility at 11 billion to 18 billion dollars. The total 16,000 megawatts would then be in the cost range of 44 billion to 72 billion.
The eight nuclear facilities will have 13 nuclear reactors.

Interview of Synthetic Biologist Andrew Hessel by Sander Olson

Here is the Andrew Hessel interview. Mr. Hessel is a synthetic biologist who is the founder of the Pink Army Cooperative, which aims to leverage synthetic biology to create new individualized treatments for breast cancer. He is also a faculty chair at Singularity University. Mr. Hessel advocates using an open source approach for creating DNA code.

Question: What is the pink army cooperative?
Answer: The Pink army initiative launched in 2009, with the purpose of creating a new business model for drug development -- one that allows personalized drugs to be created safely, quickly, and affordably, perhaps even free. The main goal of the initiative is to expedite drug development by utilizing the new field of synthetic biology. Synthetic biology will largely remove the economic and technical barriers that substantially delay drug development, through individual personalization of medicines, which reduces the complexity of clinical trials.

Self Assembled DNA That Can Change Shape and Move on Demand

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Harvard and Dana-Farber Cancer Institute researchers have created nanodevices made of DNA that self-assemble and can be programmed to move and change shape on demand. In contrast to existing nanotechnologies, these programmable nanodevices are highly suitable for medical applications because DNA is both biocompatible and biodegradable.

Built at the scale of one billionth of a meter, each device is made of a circular, single-stranded DNA molecule that, once it has been mixed together with many short pieces of complementary DNA, self-assembles into a predetermined 3D structure. Double helices fold up into larger, rigid linear struts that connect by intervening single-stranded DNA. These single strands of DNA pull the struts up into a 3D form—much like tethers pull tent poles up to form a tent. The structure’s strength and stability result from the way it distributes and balances the counteracting forces of tension and compression.

This architectural principle—known as tensegrity—has been the focus of artists and architects for many years, but it also exists throughout nature. In the human body, for example, bones serve as compression struts, with muscles, tendons and ligaments acting as tension bearers that enable us to stand up against gravity. The same principle governs how cells control their shape at the microscale.

“This new self-assembly based nanofabrication technology could lead to nanoscale medical devices and drug delivery systems, such as virus mimics that introduce drugs directly into diseased cells,” said co-investigator and Wyss Institute director Don Ingber. A nanodevice that can spring open in response to a chemical or mechanical signal could ensure that drugs not only arrive at the intended target but are also released when and where desired.

NREL Makes SuperEfficient Air Conditioner

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NREL senior engineer Eric Kozubal examines a prototype air flow channel of the DEVap air conditioner, which he co-invented. DEVap, which stands for desiccant-enhanced evaporative air conditioner, is a novel concept that uses membrane technology to combine the efficiency of evaporative cooling and the drying potential of liquid desiccant salt solutions. The graph superimposed on the photo shows shows how hot humid air, in red, changes to cool dry air, in blue, as the air passes through the DEVap core. Credit: Pat Corkery The U.S. Department of Energy's National Renewable Energy Laboratory has invented a new air conditioning process with the potential of using 50 percent to 90 percent less energy than today's top-of-the-line units.
It uses membranes, evaporative cooling and liquid desiccants in a way that has never been done before in the centuries-old science of removing heat from the air. "The idea is to revolutionize cooling, while removing millions of metric tons of carbon from the air," NREL mechanical engineer Eric Kozubal, co-inventor of the Desiccant-Enhanced eVaporative air conditioner (DEVap), said.

June 22, 2010

World Wealth Recovers from 2008 Losses in 2009 and Asian Wealth Now More than European Wealth

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The World Wealth Report 2010 (Capgemini / Merryl Lynch) is here. (40 pages)

* world’s population of high net worth individuals (HNWIs1) grew 17.1% to 10.0 million in 2009
* Global HNWI wealth similarly recovered, rising 18.9% to US$39.0 trillion
* For the first time ever, the size of the HNWI population in Asia-Pacific was as large as that of Europe (at 3.0 million)
* Asia-Pacific HNWIs stood at US$9.7 trillion
* Europe’s HNWIs wealth was US$9.5 trillion

Sterile Neutrinos are Back and Cosmological Progress to Determining Neutrino Mass

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1. Cosmologists at UCL are a step closer to determining the mass of the elusive neutrino particle, not by using a giant particle detector, but by gazing up into space. Neutrinos are one of the top candidates for dark matter.

Although it has been shown that a neutrino has a mass, it is vanishingly small and extremely hard to measure – a neutrino is capable of passing through a light year (about six trillion miles) of lead without hitting a single atom.

New results using the largest ever survey of galaxies in the universe puts total neutrino mass at no larger than 0.28 electron volts – less than a billionth of the mass of a single hydrogen atom. This is one of the most accurate measurements of the mass of a neutrino to date. The research is due to be published in an upcoming issue of the journal Physical Review Letters

Greater Control of the Interaction between Light and Superconducting Matter is a Step to Large Scale Quantum Computers

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1. Arxiv - Direct Observation of Coherent Population Trapping in a Superconducting Artificial Atom (5 pages)

Normally, superconducting artificial atoms absorb photons at a particular frequency. However applying a second field at a different frequency can be used to prevent this absorption, making the artificial atom effectively transparent. Superconducting artificial atoms offer fast and reliable processing, and light offers fast and reliable transmission over long distances.

Quanta and Tilera Launch S2Q Cloud Computing Server and Tilera Plans to Double Cores Per Chip Every Two Years

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Tilera and Taiwanese Quanta Computer launched the S2Q server, targeted specifically to tackle today's cloud computing workloads, was designed in collaboration with cloud datacenter providers, end customers and software partners.
Tilera says it can get 10,752 cores in one 8-kilowatt rack in a data center. The S2Q server will be available in September in limited quantities. Each TilePro chip sells for $900 in 200-unit quantities. A competitor Seamicro has a 512 core server. However, SeaMicro is putting 512 Atom Z530 cores into a 10U form factor, including switching and storage for the server nodes. The S2Q is 5 times thinner than the Seamicro server.

Tilera will soon release 40 nm chips. The Tile-Gx family will run at between 1 GHz and 1.5 GHz, thanks to the 40nm process shrink, and will come in versions with 16, 36, 64, and 100 cores.

Each S2Q server includes eight Tilera TILEPro64™ processors and replaces eight high-end Intel Xeon 5000-class dual-socket servers, making it the highest performance and performance density 2U server in the industry. It provides vendors the building block for large-scale web clouds. Moreover, the integration of I/O on each processor enables this server to provide up to sixteen 10 GbE interfaces and sixteen 1 Gb interfaces without adding the power and the cost of additional chipsets and networking cards.

Diamondlike BC5 Material is Superhard and a Superconductor

I Like to Lose it, Lose it

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King Julian (of the Lemurs, from the movie Madagascar) would be pleased with the latest research on resveratrol.

Lemurs eating a diet supplemented with the resveratrol decreased their energy intake by 13% and increased their resting metabolic rate by 29%. The researchers demonstrated that a four-week resveratrol supplementation was associated with a decrease in food intake and a reduction in seasonal body-mass gain in six lemurs.

Nokia N8 Budget Smartphone Expected October 2010 and Leaked Nokia N8 vs Droid 2 vs Droid X vs iPhone4

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The Australian has more features of the Nokia N8 phone.

* 3.5 inch, 640 by 360 pixel screen
* 4.76 ounces (135 grams)
* 720p HD video
* HDMI out cable for viewing snaps and movies on a TV
* a standard USB interface for USB memory sticks
* On board memory is 16GB with a micro SD slot for more memory
* free, turn by turn navigation through the firm’s Ovi Maps app
* Symbian 3 operating system
* multitasking and live updates to social-networking apps like Facebook and Twitter
* scalable phone platform. So there will be a family of N8 class Smartphones

UPDATE : A more complete list of Nokia N8 features is gsmarena

The Motorola Droid X has been released

Carnival of Space 159

June 21, 2010

China will be the Largest Manufacturer in 2011

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IHS Global Insight, a US-based economics consultancy, forecasts that China will pass the United States in 2011 as the largest manufacturing nation. Before the global economic slump it was expected that China would pass the USA in 2009.

In 2009, according to IHS, goods output by the US totalled $1,717bn, ahead of China at $1,608bn. However in 2011, on the basis of IHS’s estimates, China’s factory output will come to $1,870bn, a fraction ahead of the projected US figure for the year.

If China does become the world’s biggest manufacturer, it will be a return to the top slot for a nation which – according to economic historians – was the world’s leading country for goods production for more than 1,500 years up until the 1850s, when Britain took over for a brief spell, mainly due to the impetus of the industrial revolution.

Korea Makes Graphene 25 Inch Touchscreen and RPI a New Technique Enables Large-Scale Production of Graphene at Room Temperature

Researchers have created a flexible graphene sheet with silver electrodes printed on it (top) that can be used as a touch screen when connected to control software on a computer (bottom). Credit: Byung Hee Hong, SKKU. 2. Researchers at Samsung and Sungkyunkwan University, in Korea, have produced a continuous layer of pure graphene the size of a large television, spooling it out through rollers on top of a flexible, see-through, 63-centimeter-wide (25 inch) polyester sheet.

The team has already created a flexible touch screen by using the polymer-supported graphene to make the screen's transparent electrodes. The material currently used to make transparent electronics, indium tin oxide, is expensive and brittle. Producing graphene on polyester sheets that bend is the first step to making transparent electronics that are stronger, cheaper, and more flexible. "You could theoretically roll up your iPhone and stick it behind your ear like a pencil," says Tour

Dwave Quantum Optimization will Outperform Classical Solvers by 10,000 to 1 million Times Even Without Scaling Advantage

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For problems with up to 128 variables, the adiabatic times for the simulated processor architecture are about 4 and 6 orders (10,000 to 1 million times faster) of magnitude shorter than the two classical solvers’ times. This performance difference shows that, even in the potential absence of a scaling advantage, adiabatic quantum optimization may outperform classical solvers

High performance Quantum Monte Carlo simulations on a large-scale Internet-based computing platform were used to compare the median adiabatic times with the median running times of two classical solvers .

BP Deepwater Horizon Spill Probably the Largest Spill in the Gulf of Mexico

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The Deepwater Horizon oil leak is closing in on the size of the largest oil spills ever.

The current total estimates range from 377,000 tons to 832,000 tons of oil.

Safety and prevention should be the primary focus for correcting oil leaks from deepwater oil rigs. There should also be mitigation systems that are tested and predeployed as soon as possible in case there are future problems with any of the thousands of deepwater oil rigs.

Joseph Friedlander had a detailed suggestion for dealing with the current problem.

Nextbigfuture has suggested energy plans for shifting away from oil and coal as soon as possible.

There will be an update shortly. Fairly rapid impact can be achieved by aeromodding and economically retrofitting existing cars and trucks to double gas mileage. The largest and most heavily used container ships can be converted to nuclear power propulsion, which are currently used by hundreds of military naval ships and submarines.

American Superconductor and Hyundai Heavy Industries will Jointly Make 5 Megawatt Superconducting Wind Turbines by the end of 2011

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American Superconductor and Hyundai Heavy Industries will jointly development a 5 megawatt (MW) full conversion wind turbine primarily for use in the burgeoning offshore wind industry. HHI plans to begin volume production of the wind turbines by the end of 2011.

In October 2008, AMSC Windtec licensed 1.65 and 2 MW doubly-fed induction wind turbine designs to HHI. HHI already has begun volume production of the 1.65 MW wind turbines and has ordered nearly 80 sets of electrical control systems and power electronic components from AMSC for this platform. HHI also has ordered an initial 10 wind turbine electrical control systems from AMSC for use in its first 2 MW wind turbines. HHI plans to commission its first 2 MW wind turbines by June 12, 2010 and plans to enter volume production of these wind turbines by the end of this year.

Neutrinos Detector Wll Provide Details on Earth's Interior and Could lead to Better Earthquake and Volcano Predictions

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The Princeton University scientists and others in the Borexino Collaboration have detected geoneutrinos at the Gran Sasso National Laboratory of the Italian Institute of Nuclear Physics. The discovery could explain how reactions taking place in the planet's deep interior affect events on the surface. This stainless steel sphere is part of the neutrino detector used in the project, located nearly a mile below the surface of the Gran Sasso mountain about 60 miles outside of Rome.

Neutrino's at wikipedia.

A neutrino is an elementary particle that usually travels close to the speed of light, is electrically neutral, and is able to pass through ordinary matter almost undisturbed. This makes neutrinos extremely difficult to detect. Neutrinos have a very small, but nonzero mass. They are denoted by the Greek letter ν (nu).

Neutrinos are created as a result of certain types of radioactive decay or nuclear reactions such as those that take place in the Sun, in nuclear reactors, or when cosmic rays hit atoms. There are three types, or "flavors", of neutrinos: electron neutrinos, muon neutrinos and tauon neutrinos (or tau neutrino); each type also has a corresponding antiparticle, called antineutrinos. Electron neutrinos (or antineutrinos) are generated whenever protons change into neutrons (or vice versa), the two forms of beta decay. Interactions involving neutrinos are mediated by the weak interaction. Most neutrinos passing through the Earth emanate from the Sun, and more than 50 trillion solar neutrinos pass through the human body every second

BP Captures 23,290 Barrels and Plans to Increase to 53,000 Barrels within Ten Day and Up to 80,000 Barrels by Mid-July

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Its containment cap system, installed on June 3, collected 14,570 barrels on Sunday, BP said. A second system, started up on June 16, burned off 8,720 barrels on Sunday, BP said. The systems have a total capacity of 28,000 barrels a day, according to BP.

BP aims to add another oil-capture system by the end of June to increase overall capacity to up to 53,000 barrels a day, and then make further changes to boost capacity to up to 80,000 barrels a day by mid-July, according to the company's latest plan submitted to the Coast Guard. The U.S. government estimates that up to 60,000 barrels of oil are gushing from the ruptured well per day.

Tilera Hints at Low-Power Server With 512 Cores

Japan Announces 2.39 Petaflop Supercomputer and IBM Watson is Almost Ready to Compete with humans on Jeopardy

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1. The Tokyo Institute of Technology announced the details of the "Tsubame 2.0," the next-generation multi-petaflop supercomputer system for the university that will start operation in the fall of 2010

The computation capacity of the system is 2.39 PFLOPS (petaflops, double-precision value), which ranks second in the "Top500," a ranking of supercomputers, as of June 2010.

"It will be the first petaflops computer in Japan," said Satoshi Matsuoka, professor at the Global Scientific Information and Computing Center (GSIC) of the university. "And it will be the first world-class supercomputer system for our university."

The actual construction of the system, which will be conducted by NEC Corp and Hewlett-Packard Co, has yet to be done.

The system has the "vector-scalar mixture architecture," Matsuoka said. But the computation capacity of its graphics processing units (GPUs) accounts for 90% of the total computation capacity, making the system more like a vector computer.

2. IBM's Watson supercomputer is almost ready to compete with humans on the TV quiz show Jeopardy.

For the last three years, I.B.M. scientists have been developing what they expect will be the world’s most advanced “question answering” machine, able to understand a question posed in everyday human elocution — “natural language,” as computer scientists call it — and respond with a precise, factual answer. In other words, it must do more than what search engines like Google and Bing do, which is merely point to a document where you might find the answer. It has to pluck out the correct answer itself.

The producers of “Jeopardy!” have agreed to pit Watson against some of the game’s best former players as early as this fall. To test Watson’s capabilities against actual humans, I.B.M.’s scientists began holding live matches last winter.

On one day of test matches against humans Watson won four of six games.

Jeopardy Champions hit the buzzer first about 50% of the time and get 85-95% of the answers correct.

IBMs true target is to create search engines better than Google and answer engines better than WolframAlpha.

carbon nanotubes in a lithium battery can increase energy capacity up toTen Times

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MIT researchersfound that using carbon nanotubes for one of the battery’s electrodes produced a significant increase — up to tenfold — in the amount of power it could deliver from a given weight of material, compared to a conventional lithium-ion battery. Such electrodes might find applications in small portable devices, and with further research might also lead to improved batteries for larger, more power-hungry applications.

The energy output for a given weight of this new electrode material was shown to be five times greater than for conventional capacitors, and the total power delivery rate was 10 times that of lithium-ion batteries, the team says. This performance can be attributed to good conduction of ions and electrons in the electrode, and efficient lithium storage on the surface of the nanotubes.

In addition to their high power output, the carbon-nanotube electrodes showed very good stability over time. After 1,000 cycles of charging and discharging a test battery, there was no detectable change in the material’s performance.

To produce the powerful new electrode material, the team used a layer-by-layer fabrication method, in which a base material is alternately dipped in solutions containing carbon nanotubes that have been treated with simple organic compounds that give them either a positive or negative net charge. When these layers are alternated on a surface, they bond tightly together because of the complementary charges, making a stable and durable film.

Nature Nanotechnology - High-power lithium batteries from functionalized carbon-nanotube electrodes

China Allows the Yuan to Rise

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