November 21, 2015

New glasses and liquid cooling will enable Exawatt lasers with at least one shot per minute and a path to near term commercial nuclear fusion

There are currently petawatt lasers in Japan and the USA. The EU has funded several ten petawatt lasers. Japan and the USA also have ten petawatt laser projects funded.

Japan recently fired a 2 petawatt laser and believe this could be a pathway to commercial nuclear fusion.

Ultrapowerful lasers have been increasing in power by 1000 times every ten years for the past forty years.

Current technology is sufficient for the ten petawatt lasers.

The formulation for the glasses needed for exawatt lasers is known but there is currently no vendor.

Liquid cooling can enable one shot per minute or better. There are other laser types that have lower power but very high repetition rates. One of many goals is to increase the power and increase the repetition rate.

30 Petawatts once per second with 30kJ of energy should be enough for proton boron fuel commercial fusion

The researchers at the Japan LFEX 2 petawatt laser calculated that 30PW picosecond laser pulses with 30kJ energy irradiating a solid cylinder of HB11 fuel of centimeter length and millimeter radius in a 10 kilotesla magnetic field may produce more than 280kWh electric energy (worth about $28). The calculation assumed a spherical reactor of more than 1 meter radius around a central reaction unit that is charged to −1.4 million volts. This voltage stops the generated alpha particles and converts their kinetic energy into electric energy. A very small fraction of this energy is needed to drive the lasers, and we further estimated costs of about $18 per shot associated with replacing the HB11 fuel and the reaction unit (which is destroyed each time) and recharging it. At a rate of one reaction per second, the generated electricity would produce a net income of over $300 million/year.

Generating kilotesla magnetic fields with petawatt lasers

A group of researchers at the Institute of Laser Engineering of Osaka University, the Graduate School of Engineering of Hiroshima University, the Institute for Laser Technology, the Interdisciplinary Graduate School of Engineering Sciences of Kyushu University, and the National Institute for Fusion Science, succeeded in laboratory generation of a magnetic field of 1.5 kilotesla (about 50 million times that of terrestrial magnetism). They achieved the generation of this strong magnetic field when a capacitor-coil target (invented by Osaka University) was driven by two beams from the high-power neodymium-doped glass laser, the GEKKO XII Laser.

Laboratory generation of strong magnetic fields opens new frontiers in plasma and beam physics, astro- and solar-physics, materials science, and atomic and molecular physics. Although kilotesla magnetic fields have already been produced by magnetic flux compression using an imploding metal tube or plasma shell, accessibility at multiple points and better controlled shapes of the field are desirable. Here we have generated kilotesla magnetic fields using a capacitor-coil target, in which two nickel disks are connected by a U-turn coil. A magnetic flux density of 1.5 kT was measured using the Faraday effect 650 μm away from the coil, when the capacitor was driven by two beams from the GEKKO-XII laser (at 1 kJ (total), 1.3 ns, 0.53 or 1 μm, and 5 × 10^16 W/cm2).

Kilotesla Magnetic Field due to a Capacitor-Coil Target Driven by High Power Laser

Magnetic field is generated spontaneously in a laser-produced plasma, and several kilotesla field has been measured in a relativistically intense laser-plasma interaction experiment in small spatial and temporal scales. Kilotesla fields have been produced by magnetic flux compression using imploding metal tubes and plasma shells. Up to 4 kT has been generated by compressing a 6-T seed magnetic field at the OMEGA laser facility.

Fast ignition has high potential to ignite a fusion fuel with only about one tenth of laser energy necessary for the central ignition. One of the most advanced fast ignition programs is the Fast Ignition Realization Experiment (FIREX). The goal of itsfirst phase is to demonstrate ignition temperature of 5 keV, followed by the second phase to demonstrate ignition-and-burn. As for the heating laser, a high-energy peta-Watt laser called LFEX (Laser for Fusion EXperiment) was fully commissioned in the end of 2014. It consists of a 4-beam and 4-path Nd:glass amplifier system with a 40-cm square aperture in each beam. The design goal of LFEX is to deliver 10-kJ energy in 10-ps width at 1-µm wavelength.

In July, 2015, the team at the university's Institute of Laser Engineering emitted a 2-petawatt, or 2 quadrillion-watt, laser beam using the huge "LFEX" (Laser for Fast Ignition Experiments).

The LFEX is about 100 meters long, including the observation apparatus. The four set of devices to amplify the laser beam were completed at the end of last year.

Ultrapower Lasers are improving by 1000 times every ten years.

USA not stepping up so France will end up working with Russia and Assad against ISIS

French President Hollande earlier this week signaled a shift in his long-standing position that Assad should go before any solution could be found to the Syrian crisis. In recent days, Paris and Moscow appeared to move closer diplomatically after ISIL claimed responsibility for the downing of a Russian plane over Egypt’s Sinai desert and the attacks in Paris.

The ISIS attack on Paris and Mali and the threat of more attacks means effective action against ISIS is urgently needed.

The French seem to be groping for a course that would increase pressure on Islamic State, while stopping short of the major military escalation that Obama has firmly ruled out.

French officials signaled that they won't ask Obama to deploy large numbers of ground troops to Syria or Iraq

A U.S.-led coalition has launched more than 8,000 airstrikes on Islamic State targets since mid-2014. But three out of four pilots now return without dropping any bombs because they can't find appropriate targets, or fear hitting civilians, according to the Pentagon.

French officials are clear they want to pick up the pace of attacks to break the stalemate and push the militants out of their strongholds. At a minimum, analysts say, they want to broaden the list of targets coalition aircraft can attack.

The forces that would be effective in Syria are clearly Assads forces, Iran, Hezbolla and Russia.

In Iraq, the Kurds and the Iraqi government are the main forces against ISIL.

November 20, 2015

Average american has energy equivalent of 450 human slaves working 8 hours shifts every day

1 horsepower approximates the sustained work output of a horse
A healthy human can sustain about 0.1 hp indefinitely which is 74.5 watts
1 horsepower is the sustained effort of ten people
1 horse power = 745.6 watts = 33000 ft-lb/min
The average american uses 13,250 kWh/year in electricity
Which is 36 kwh/day
Which is 1512 watts constant
US average per person electrical energy is like 20 human slaves 24 hours per day
60 human slaves on 8 hour shifts 7 days a week

The average american uses 98400 kWh/year in total energy. This includes transportation and heating.
This is 7.4 times the electricity amount.
US average per person total energy is like 150 human slaves 24 hours per day
450 human slaves on 8 hour shifts 7 days a week

The US has about 144 billion human energy slaves on 8 hour shifts 7 days a week

In 2012, the IEA estimated that the world energy consumption was 155,505 terawatt-hour (TWh).

This works out to 17.7 TW.

This is about 237 billion human equivalent energy slaves working 24 hours per day

World energy is 711 billion human equivalent energy slaves on 8 hour shifts 7 days a week

Handheld torch can cut through 0.75 inch hardened solid steel bars in two seconds and soon larger version to cut up to 2 inch rods

Special operations forces (SOF) operating in war-zone environments are not regularly welcomed with open arms by their adversaries. In fact, their adversaries provide a variety of obstacles designed to keep them at arm’s length. As a result, SOF personnel requested a compact, lightweight, hand-held tool that would allow them to cut through locks, bars and other barriers.

The TEC Torch – a small, hand-held thermal erosive cutting (TEC) torch that can cut through steel bars in two seconds. Current systems require large oxygen tanks, hoses and separate ignition systems. The TEC torch uses a reusable handle and a disposable cartridge. The combined unit weighs one pound (0.45 kg.) and measures 13 inches (33 cm.) in length, and 1.5 inches (38.1 mm.) in diameter. The device can be used for breaching, forced entry and in rescue operations, as well as for the neutralization of explosive devices (EOD-UXO) and thermal destruction of objects and systems on land and underwater.

The torch operates by feeding combustion products jet through an engineered nozzle for approximately 2 seconds. The escaping jet is a combination of vaporized metal and particulate which quickly heats the target above its melting point and erodes the target material away. Cartridges contain a unique thermite formulation to achieve maximum temperature and velocity for optimized cutting performance. The cutting jet burns hotter than 4000°F. Cartridges are designed to contain this intense pressure and thermal energy safely within inches of the operator’s hand.

The rod cutter is designed to be fast, cutting a solid steel rod up to 0.75 inch (19 mm.) of hardened, plain carbon, or stainless, in two seconds.

The company is also developing scaled-up cartridges designed for heavy rod cutting up to 2 inch (50.8 mm) diameter and plates to 1.25 inch (31.7 mm) thickness.

Since fuel and oxidizer components are fully contained inside a sealed cartridge body, the torch effectively operates underwater. Testing are currently underway to characterize the performance and safety of the devices at depths up to 40 meter.

The rod cutter is designed to be fast, cutting a solid steel rod up to 0.75 inch (19 mm.) of hardened, plain carbon, or stainless, in two seconds. Photo: EMPI

Large Area graphene production 100 times cheaper than before could mean significant commercialization

Researchers at the University of Glasgow have now found a way to produce large sheets of graphene using the same cheap type of copper used to manufacture lithium-ion batteries found in many household devices.

In a new paper published in the journal Scientific Reports, a team led by Dr Ravinder Dahiya explain how they have been able to produce large-area graphene around 100 times cheaper than ever before.

Graphene is often produced by a process known as chemical vapour deposition, or CVD, which turns gaseous reactants into a film of graphene on a special surface known as a substrate.

They believe that large scale and low cost synthesis of high quality graphene films and the compatibility of our method to the roll-to-roll fabrication would open an avenue through the realization of graphene based flexible optoelectronic systems such as cell phones with roll-up displays, e-paper, radio-frequency identification (RFID) tags, as well as medical patches that can be attached to the skin to deliver drugs or monitor vital signs, and tactile or electronic skin for robotics and prosthetics

Effects of Cu surface morphology on graphene growth: (a) The optical microscope image of rough Cu foil (Alfa Aesar Cu foil) commonly used in graphene growth. Deep scratches on the rough Cu foil due to the rolling process are clearly visible (b) Scanning electron microscopy (SEM) image of the rough Cu surface. (c) The magnified SEM image of graphene flakes on rough Cu foil surface. The growth was terminated after 10 seconds to obtain dispersed graphene flakes. (d) Optical microscope image of commercially available ultra-smooth Cu foil (Mitsui mining and smelting co. LTD., B1-SBS) and (e) SEM image of ultra-smooth Cu surface. (f) Ultra-smooth Cu surfaces with graphene flakes. The density and shape of the graphene flakes are different on the rough and smooth foils. The sizes of individual grains along the Cu surface are clearly visible

Nature Scientific Reports - Synthesis of Large Area Graphene for High Performance in Flexible Optoelectronic Devices

New F35 problem with Wing spar cracks of main structural element on the F-35C

Pentagon testers have discovered cracks in a main structural element of the wing on the C-model of the Lockheed Martin F-35 Lightning II During a late October inspection of the F-35C durability testing ground article, a crack was found in one of its 13 wing spars.

The issue is not expected to affect flying operations for any of the three variants, nor will it alter the US Navy's (USN's) ability to meet its planned Initial Operating Capability (IOC) for the C-model in August 2018, according to the JPO. The cost of the retrofits is not yet known.

The F-35C durability test article had already accumulated more than 13,700 test hours, which equates to 6,850 flight hours or more than 20 years of operational flying, according to DellaVedova. "All current F-35Cs flying today have less than 250 flight hours," he added

The F-35C variant is distinguished by its larger wings and more robust landing gear, designed for catapult launches and arrestments aboard naval aircraft carriers, and its wingtips fold to allow for easier storage aboard a carrier.

ISIS affiliate attacks luxury hotel in Mali in West Africa and killed at least 29 people

Gunmen stormed a Radisson Blu hotel on Friday morning in Bamako, the capital of the West African nation of Mali, seizing scores of hostages and leaving bodies strewn across parts of the building.

A senior United Nations official said that as many as 29 people had been killed so far, with bodies found in the basement and on the second floor.

An unknown number of gunmen, perhaps four or five, took “about 100 hostages” at the beginning of the siege, said Gen. Didier Dacko of the Malian Army. He said soldiers had sealed the perimeter and were now “inside looking for the terrorists.”

Several dozen hostages, many of them crying – including women, children and older people — had begun streaming out of the hotel after hiding in their rooms, said Amadou Sidibé, a local reporter at the scene.

A hostage, second from left, was evacuated to safety from the Radisson Blu hotel in Bamako, Mali, on Friday. Credit Harouna Traore/Associated Press

Russia will supply 24 multirole Su-35 fighters to China

Russia is to supply China with 24 multirole Su-35 fighters in a deal stated as being worth USD2 billion (USD83 million per unit), Russian defence conglomerate Rostec has announced.

"Lengthy negotiations have concluded in a contract to supply 24 Su-35 multi-purpose fighters to China," Rostec CEO Sergey Chemezov was quoted as saying by Russian daily newspaper Kommersant on 19 November.

It will probably be 3 to 6 years before China has cloned the Su-35 based on previous clonings of the Su-27 and other fighters.

November 19, 2015

Promise and Peril of Gene drive

The idea sounds appealingly simple: Quickly spread a gene through a population of animals in order to prevent it from transmitting disease, or, more directly, to kill a destructive species such as an agricultural pest. Gene-drive technology is at the heart of such concepts. Gene drive shifts biases inheritance to favor certain versions of genes, a genetic alteration introduced into a few members of a population spreads rapidly throughout the entire population. If that alteration inhibits reproduction or survival in some way, gene drive can drive that population extinct in theory. In other uses, a desired trait could be driven through a population.

In July, geneticists showed that one gene drive system was almost 100% effective in spreading a mutated pigmentation gene through a population of lab fruit flies, fueling fears about the power of gene drive.

There are a number of reasons why gene drives may not be as useful, or scary, as some think:

  • Gene drive works only in sexually reproducing species, and the genetic change spreads further with each successive generation. So changing or eliminating a population is practical only if the species has a short generation time—like Drosophila, or mosquitos. With many vertebrates, it would take decades for an introduced gene mutation or trait to spread wide enough to make a difference.
  • It has not yet been demonstrated that a CRISPR-Cas9 gene-driven change persists across many generations. The paper where gene drive was so effective only reported on one generation. For mosquitos, in which researchers want to knock out populations near people or introduce a parasite-resistant gene, modeling efforts indicate that drive would have to persist 20 generations to spread completely, Burt says.
  • There are few, if any, organisms so well characterized, say biologists, that they can predict the ecological effect of a gene-driven change or a disappearing population. We will “have the ability not just to change the genome but [also] to change the balance of species in a community,” says Allison Snow, a plant biologist from Ohio State University, Columbus. “There’s a lot of potential for ignorance, human error, or intent to cause harm.”
  • Before gene drive can be applied to wild populations instead of well-characterized laboratory ones, the CRISPR-Cas9 genome–editing technology needs to become even more precise. As Shengdar Tsai, a CRISPR researcher at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston, pointed out, his team’s analysis of the method in human cells uncovered about two dozen so-called off-target effects—places where the DNA not meant to be changed was. The sites identified confirm that the sites affected by CRISPR-Cas9 can be difficult to predict.
  • Instead of using gene drive to make malaria-carrying mosquitos extinct, a less ecologically worrisome strategy would be to change the insect’s genome so it would not transmit the malaria parasite to humans. But researchers don’t know enough about the mosquito immune system to target a specific gene for this type of gene drive yet, Burt says.
  • An effective “fail-safe” strategy that would cause gene drive to peter out after a specified number of generations or because researchers decide they needed to stop a gene’s spread still needs to be developed. One of the more promising ones—to undo the genetic change with another gene drive effort—may still be problematic if it’s gene drive itself that goes awry.
  • Hybridization between closely related animal species needs to be better understood before gene drives are unleashed. Successful mating between two species results in so-called gene flow, which could allow a gene-driven mutation to hop into an unintended species. This could be useful for malaria control—a gene drive given to one parasite-carrying mosquito species could spread it to the other seven that carry the human pathogen. But in other scenarios, a species-hopping gene drive could lead to the demise of the wrong species.

France triggers EU treaty and not NATO to start building a broader military coalition

France will hold direct talks with fellow members of the European Union in a first-ever request for help in defense and security under the EU treaty, as the French counterattack against the Islamic State group will stretch its resources, a Defence Ministry spokesman said.

There is no list of requests, but French forces were already stretched by deployments in the Sahel sub-Saharan region and the Middle East before taking a heightened role in domestic security in response to the IS-ordered attacks last Friday, which killed 129 people in restaurants and a crowded concert hall in the capital. France is at war, President François Hollande has said.

There will be a “bilateral” approach with EU fellow members, Defence Ministry spokesman Pierre Bayle told journalists Thursday. France has invoked article 42.7 of the EU treaty, which calls for “aid and assistance” when a member state has been attacked in its own territory.

France did not invoke article 5 requiring NATO aid. NATO (the North Atlantic Treaty Organization) is an international alliance that consists of 28 member states from North America and Europe. Of the 28 member countries, two are located in North America (Canada and the United States) and 25 are European countries while Turkey is in Eurasia.

US President Obama has repeated his vow not to send ground troops to fight ISIS.

Canada has promised robust support to France. However, this might only mean not stopping air strikes and adding a few more trainers to the 69 trainers already deployed

By triggering the EU, France gets all of the European aid that they might expect while not putting futile pressure on the USA and Canada. President Obama and Prime Minister Trudeau were not going to make a serious commitment even if NATO was invoked.

Picosecond pulsed laser design for possible commercial fusion reactor

Exceptionally high reaction gains of hydrogen protons measured with the boron isotope 11 are compared with other fusion reactions. This is leading to the conclusion that secondary avalanche reactions are happening and confirming the results of high-gain, neutron-free, clean, safe, low-cost, and long-term available energy. The essential basis is the unusual non-thermal block-ignition scheme with picosecond laser pulses of extremely high powers above the petawatt range.

Arxiv - Picosecond-petawatt laser-block ignition for avalanche fusion of boron by ultrahigh acceleration and ultrahigh magnetic fields

Fusion energy from reacting hydrogen (protons) with the boron isotope 11 (HB11) resulting in three stable helium nuclei, is without problem of nuclear radiation in contrast to DT fusion. But the HB11 reaction driven by nanosecond laser pulses with thermal compression and ignition by lasers is extremely difficult. This changed radically when irradiation with picosecond laser pulses produces a non-thermal plasma block ignition with ultrahigh acceleration. This uses the nonlinear (ponderomotive) force to surprizingly resulting in same thresholds as DT fusion even under pessimistic assumption of binary reactions. After evaluation of reactions trapped cylindrically by kilotesla magnetic fields and using the measured highly increased HB11 fusion gains for the proof of an avalanche of the three alphas in secondary reactions, possibilities for an absolutely clean energy source at comptitive costs were concluded.

Energy generation from laser driven fusion of deuterium D with tritium T (DT) arrived at highest fusion gains at the NIF project by using indirect drive using up to 2 MJ laser pulses of about nanosecond duration where the thermal processes with ablation-compression and spark ignition are involved. A similar option with direct drive and volume ignition is being studied for thermal driven laser-fusion with nanosecond laser pulses.

This is in basic contrast with using picosecond (ps) laser pulses with needing energy fluxes E* of about 100 million joules per square centimeter for igniting uncompressed solid density DT. Initiated by Chu, a non-thermal energy transfer from laser energy into plasma blocks is used to avoid complicate thermal determined mechanisms of the nanosecond interaction. This is possible now through the Chirped Pulse Amplification CPA of laser pulses of picosecond and shorter duration with powers above petawatt (PW).

The ultrahigh acceleration of the plasma blocks was theoretically-numerically predicted in 1978 and measured in agreement with the theory. The advantage of the picosecond-block-ignition arrived at the surprising result, that the environmentally clean fusion of protons with the boron isotope 11 (HB11) is possible at similar thresholds as DT, while thermal ignition was considered as impossible with needing compression of HB11 to more than 100000 times solid state density.

Next steps of these developments focus on the combination of these results with cylindrical trapping of the fusion reaction with ultrahigh magnetic fields of about 10 kilotesla and by using the measured highly increased gains of HB11 fusion as an avalanche ignition process.

Based on the computation of block ignition by a picosecond laser pulse 2 of 10^20W per centimeter squared intensity on a solid HB11 cylinder of 0.2mm diameter within a 10 kilotesla magnetic field shows a slow radial expansion against the trapping and an axial propagation of the reaction with several thousands of km/s velocity during about a ns. With avalanche reaction, the cylinder is nearly completely reacting producing more than one gigajoule energy of alpha particles by the irradiated 30 kJ laser pulse 2.

Estimations about preliminary parameters for HB11 fusion generation.

Following the results for a reaction scheme, a picosecond laser pulse of 30 kilojoule energy (30PW power) should produce more than a GJ energy in clean alpha particles. The technology for the needed laser pulses is close to availability in view of 200 PW-0.1ps laser pulses to be produced using the developed NIF-technology. Figure 3 describes the scheme of a fusion reactor for converting the energy of the alpha particles into an electrostatic pulse in the range close to 1.4 megavolts using the technology of high voltage direct current HVDC power transmission electricity.

It was estimated for a power station working with one reaction per second, that after deducting the costs for investment and operation, the energy of the value of up to $300Million per year may be produced for the grid.

November 18, 2015

Theory and Experiments suggest Space Time is made of Quantum Entanglement

Many physicists believe that entanglement is the essence of quantum weirdness — and some now suspect that it may also be the essence of space-time geometry.

Mark Van Raamsdonk proposes a unification of quantum mechanics and gravity. Both quantum mechanics and gravity theories have been abundantly verified through experiment, yet the realities they describe seem utterly incompatible.

Van Raamsdonk’s approach to resolving this incompatibility is  strange. 'Entanglement' is the key: the phenomenon that many physicists believe to be the ultimate in quantum weirdness. Entanglement lets the measurement of one particle instantaneously determine the state of a partner particle, no matter how far away it may be — even on the other side of the Milky Way.

Entanglement might be the basis of geometry, and thus of Einstein’s geometric theory of gravity. “Space-time,” he says, “is just a geometrical picture of how stuff in the quantum system is entangled.”

This idea is a long way from being proved, and is hardly a complete theory of quantum gravity. But independent studies have reached much the same conclusion, drawing intense interest from major theorists. A small industry of physicists is now working to expand the geometry–entanglement relationship, using all the modern tools developed for quantum computing and quantum information theory.

General Relativity and Gravitation - Building up spacetime with quantum entanglement

Abstract - Building up spacetime with quantum entanglement

In this essay, we argue that the emergence of classically connected spacetimes is intimately related to the quantum entanglement of degrees of freedom in a non-perturbative description of quantum gravity. Disentangling the degrees of freedom associated with two regions of spacetime results in these regions pulling apart and pinching off from each other in a way that can be quantified by standard measures of entanglement.

Professor Mark van Raamsdonk of the University of British Columbia gave the Stanford Physics and Applied Physics Colloquium in the video belwow.

The AdS/CFT correspondence from string theory provides a quantum theory of gravity in which spacetime and gravitational physics emerge from an ordinary non-gravitational system with many degrees of freedom. In this talk, I will explain how quantum entanglement between these degrees of freedom is crucial for the emergence of a classical spacetime, and describe progress in understanding how spacetime dynamics (gravitation) arises from the physics of quantum entanglement.

Eternal black holes in anti-de Sitter by Juan Maldacena 2003

Abstract - Eternal black holes in anti-de Sitter

We propose a dual non-perturbative description for maximally extended Schwarzschild Anti-de-Sitter spacetimes. The description involves two copies of the conformal field theory associated to the AdS spacetime and an initial entangled state. In this context we also discuss a version of the information loss paradox and its resolution.

First white laser made which could revolutionize communications, lighting and displays

The invention of the world’s first white laser, which could revolutionize communications, lighting and displays, is being recognized as one of the top 100 breakthroughs of the year by Popular Science magazine.

Nextbigfuture had covered the white lasers in August

Arizona State University electrical engineering professor Cun-Zheng Ning worked on the problem for 10 years until he and his team of graduate students cracked it.

The white laser will eventually produce computer and TV displays with 70 percent more colors than current technology.

Laser TVs exist now, but they are bulky, heavy and extremely expensive. And, without the white laser, they haven’t reached their full potential.

It will take some time for the technology to advance to the consumer level, Ning said.

“It’s basic research at this point,” he said. “The lasers are still quite big, and the projection is not like an LCD TV we have at home. … We cannot produce multicolor white lasers that efficiently, so that we can put in our TV pixels.”

Composition-graded nanostructures on a single quartz substrate. a, Real color image of the as-grown full composition-grade sample under ambient lighting. The light grey and black regions on the substrate represent the ZnSand CdSe-rich compositions, respectively and the intermediate colors are associated with the quaternary alloys of intermediate compositions. Scale bar only for the width direction, 0.25cm. b and c, PL images of the region between the dashed lines under 10X (b) and 50X (c) of magnification . The sample was pumped by a 405 nm continuous wave (CW) laser diode. d, Cross-sectional SEM images from six representative points along the substrate, within the region between the dashed lines in a. Scale bars, 10m. e, EDS results from fourteen evenly-spaced points between the dashed lines in a, moving from left (ZnS-rich) to right (CdSe-rich). f, Corresponding EDS spectra of several points in e.

Li-Fi is a bidirectional, high speed and fully networked wireless communication technology similar to Wi-Fi. Li-Fi is a subset of optical wireless communications (OWC) and can be a complement to RF communication (Wi-Fi or Cellular network), or a replacement in contexts of data broadcasting.

LED based Li-Fi should be able to get hundreds of megabit per second communication speed. White Laser based Li-Fi should be able to get hundreds of times faster than LED based Li-Fi.

Nature Nanotechnology - A monolithic white laser

World has now warmed 1 degree Celsius from pre-industrial times and would warm another 0.6 degrees if CO2 emissions stopped today

Even if carbon dioxide levels stopped rising today, the world would still warm by 1.6 °C above pre-industrial levels –which is more than three-quarters of the way to the 2 °C limit the world is supposed to be aiming for. That is the implication of two sets of figures announced on Monday.

Global average levels of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere temporarily broke the 400 parts per million level earlier this year for the first time, the World Meteorological Organization said.

Meanwhile, the UK Met Office confirmed what New Scientist reported first in July – that the world has now warmed by 1 °C relative to pre-industrial times.

Climate models show that even if CO2 levels stopped rising, the world would still warm by around 0.6 °C. So the latest figures mean that even if the world slashed emissions by 60 per cent immediately, which is what it would take to stabilise CO2 levels, we would still hit 1.6 °C.

Even if countries stick to what they are proposing to do as part of the global climate treaty now being negotiated, emissions and CO2 levels will continue to climb well past 2030. It therefore appears unlikely that warming can be limited to 2 °C.

New more accurate model forecasts less Sea level rise

A new study by scientists in the UK and France has found that Antarctic ice sheet collapse will have serious consequences for sea level rise over the next two hundred years, though not as much as some have suggested.

An ice sheet model predicts that the sea level rise from ice melt contribution is most likely to be 10 cm of sea-level rise this century under a mid to high climate scenario, but is extremely unlikely to be higher than 30 cm. When combined with other contributions, that's a significant challenge for adapting to future sea level rise. But it's also far lower than some previous estimates, which were as high as one metre from Antarctica alone.

The study's central estimate raises the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) central prediction of 60 cm global sea-level rise by just a few centimetres under the mid to high scenario they used. But the UK and France team's method allowed them to assess the likelihood of sea-level rise from substantial parts of the ice sheet collapsing, which the IPCC could not due to a lack of evidence. They predict there is a one in twenty chance that Antarctic collapse could contribute more than 30 cm sea-level rise by the end of the century and more than 72 cm by 2200. This does not rule out larger contributions on longer time scales.

The control run for the case of a 2 × CO2 emissions scenario is characterized by a loss of ~2.8 million km3 of ice by the end of the simulation, which corresponds to a global average sea-level equivalent (GSLE; which we define at a given time as the globally averaged sea-level rise after all solid surface depressions, that is, negative topography, left behind by marine sectors freed of ice at that time in the model simulation, are filled with melt water) of 3.8 m (Fig. 1a, black line). About half of this GSLE rise (1.9 m) is reached after just 1 kyr. When the sea-level feedback is incorporated into the simulation, the sea-level rise is reduced by ~50% after 200 years, 500 years and 1000 years, and by ~20%, to 3.1 meters, after 5000 yrs.

Nature - Sea-level feedback lowers projections of future Antarctic Ice-Sheet mass loss

Modelling ice dynamic contributions to sea-level rise from the Antarctic Peninsula

$1.5 million simple to use personal submarine, Deep Flight, targets wealthy yacht owners

The DeepFlight Dragon takes underwater flight to the next level by enabling you to both hover and fly. You take the controls. As the pilot in a boundless sea, you have the freedom to chart your own course and explore a piece of the planet no human has seen before.

Deepflight is targeting wealthy yacht owners who want easy and safe submarine adventures.

120 meters (400 ft)

250 kg (550 lbs)

Inherent Safety

Like all DeepFlight craft, the Dragon has fixed positive buoyancy, meaning that it will always naturally float back to the surface. No variable ballast system, no drop weights, just pure, safe underwater exploration.

Simple to operate

The Dragon uniquely offers the DeepFlight Dive Manager (DDM), a proprietary technology that monitors and manages critical functions. The DDM allows you to pilot the Dragon with minimal training and provides the ability to set the depth limit on any particular dive.

Hover and Fly

The Dragon is the first DeepFlight craft to offer hovering capability, allowing complete freedom to cruise alongside big animals or stop and hover over ancient shipwrecks. Quad brushless DC thrusters and an underwater lithium battery pack give you quiet, efficient operation for up to 6 hours between charges

Fits most Yachts

At 1800 kg and only 5 meters in length, the Dragon is able to fit on more yachts than any other submarine on the market, with little or no retrofit required. Launches, recovers and stores just like your tender. We provide custom integration services, including a launch and recovery solution, inclusive with purchase.

US still has the most supercomputers on the list of Top 500 supercomputers

The latest list of the World's top 500 supercomputers was released.

The Top countries in terms of number of supercomputers in the Nov 2015 list of the top 500 are

USA     199
China   109
Japan    37
Germany  33
UK       18
France   18

Chinese maker Sugon is now third on the list of supercomputer vendors.

China will build a two more nuclear reactors for Argentina

Argentina has signed deals with China for the construction of the Latin American country's fourth and fifth nuclear power plants. The agreements were signed yesterday by the president of Nucleoeléctrica Argentina SA (NASA), Jose Luis Antunez, and the head of China's China National Nuclear Corporation (CNNC), Quian Zhimin, on the sidelines of the G20 summit taking place in the Turkish coastal resort of Antalya.

The projects are worth around $15 billion and China will contribute 85% of the required financing, according to a statement issued by the Argentine president's office.

Walmart is selling a $10 Android smartphone but locked to pre-paid mobile carrier TracFone

Walmart has two $10 smartphones. They are the LG Sunrise L15G and LG Lucky LG16, though the LG16 is currently out of stock. The L15G is a 3.8-inch display device running Android KitKat, with a 1.2GHz processor, 512 MB RAM, a three-megapixel main camera, and a 4GB microSD included.

The prices of the two LG Android smartphones are for outright ownership but they are locked to US pre-paid mobile carrier TracFone. Image: Walmart/LG

Energy Harvesting Backpack

The Army Research Laboratory, or ARL, is in the middle of testing a prototype "Energy Harvesting Backpack" at the Soldier Performance and Equipment Advanced Research, or SPEAR.

How It Works

A frame mounted to the standard-issue assault pack contains a two-spring, rack-and-pinion suspension system that allows it to gently glide up and down as the Soldier is walking or running, Webster said.

As the assault pack moves, the mechanical energy produced by the motion recharges the Soldier's battery, she said.

The other thing that happens is that the up-and-down motion is gradual and controlled. Without the attachment, this is not the case, she said, providing a comparison to a backpack full of school books that "bounces and slams your shoulders when running."

Perhaps the biggest limitation of the device, Webster said, is that it weighs 15 pounds. That's not insignificant because Soldiers are already heavily loaded down.

The weight offset would be fewer batteries to carry, and each battery is about the size of a paperback novel - not the tiny batteries found in stores. The other offset would be creating a lighter device. But that would be in the future, she said. For now, testing for weight wasn't a goal, "we're just trying to determine the energy output we get. We need that knowledge first before proceeding."

Layered Manganese Oxide mimics photosynthesis

A Florida State University researcher has discovered an artificial material that mimics photosynthesis and potentially creates a sustainable energy source.

In The Journal of Physical Chemistry, Assistant Professor of Chemical Engineering Jose L. Mendoza-Cortes details how this new material efficiently captures sunlight and then, how the energy can be used to break down water into oxygen (O2) and hydrogen (H2). This process is known as oxidation, and it is also what happens during photosynthesis when a plant uses light to break down water and carbohydrates, which are the main energy sources for the plant.

His discovery generates exciting new prospects for how this process could be used to forge new energy sources in a carbon neutral way. Potentially, hydrogen could be transported to other locations and burned as fuel.

“In theory, this should be a self-sustaining energy source,” Mendoza-Cortes said. “Perhaps in the future, you could put this material on your roof and it could turn rain water into energy with the help of the sun.”

Journal of Physical Chemistry - Birnessite: A Layered Manganese Oxide To Capture Sunlight for Water-Splitting Catalysis

November 17, 2015

Rice makes light-driven nanosubmarines

Each of the single-molecule, 244-atom submersibles built in the Rice lab of chemist James Tour has a motor powered by ultraviolet light. With each full revolution, the motor’s tail-like propeller moves the sub forward 18 nanometers.

And with the motors running at more than a million RPM, that translates into speed. Though the sub’s top speed amounts to less than 1 inch per second, Tour said that’s a breakneck pace on the molecular scale.

“These are the fastest-moving molecules ever seen in solution,” he said.

Expressed in a different way, the researchers reported this month in the American Chemical Society journal Nano Letters that their light-driven nanosubmersibles show an “enhancement in diffusion” of 26 percent. That means the subs diffuse, or spread out, much faster than they already do due to Brownian motion, the random way particles spread in a solution.

Rice University scientists have created light-driven, single-molecule submersibles that contain just 244 atoms. Illustration by Loïc Samuel

A chemical schematic shows the design of single-molecule nanosubmersibles created at Rice University. The sub's fluorescent pontoons are blue; the motor is red. (Illustration by Victor García-López

Nanoletters - Unimolecular Submersible Nanomachines. Synthesis, Actuation, and Monitoring

Lasers could heat materials to ten million degrees in much less than a million millionth of a second

Lasers could heat materials to temperatures hotter than the centre of the Sun in only 20 quadrillionths of a second, according to new research.

Theoretical physicists from Imperial College London have devised an extremely rapid heating mechanism that they believe could heat certain materials to ten million degrees in much less than a million millionth of a second.

The method, proposed here for the first time, could be relevant to new avenues of research in thermonuclear fusion energy, where scientists are seeking to replicate the Sun’s ability to produce clean energy.

The heating would be about 100 times faster than rates currently seen in fusion experiments using the world’s most energetic laser system at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory in California. The race is now on for fellow scientists to put the team’s method into practice.

Researchers have been using high-power lasers to heat material as part of the effort to create fusion energy for many years. In this new study, the physicists at Imperial were looking for ways to directly heat up ions – particles which make up the bulk of matter.

When lasers are used to heat most materials, the energy from the laser first heats up the electrons in the target. These in turn heat up the ions, making the process slower than targeting the ions directly.

The Imperial team discovered that when a high-intensity laser is fired at a certain type of material, it will create an electrostatic shockwave that can heat ions directly.

Nature Communications - Ultrafast collisional ion heating by electrostatic shocks

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