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Dear esteem reader,
Here is your SHAB TECHNOLOGY PLANET customized technology news for April 06, 2021.
Spotlight Stories Headlines
? TECHNOLOGY NEWS???:
DOUBLING THE CHARGING-RECHARGING CYCLE OF LITHIUM BATTERIES
The promotion of electric cars has dramatically increased the demand for lithium-ion batteries. However, cobalt and nickel, the main cathode materials for the batteries, are not abundant. If the consumption continues, it will inevitably elevate the costs in the long run, so scientists have been actively developing alternative materials. A joint research team co-led by a scientist from City University of Hong Kong (CityU) has developed a much more stable, manganese-based cathode material. The new material has higher capacity and is more durable than the existing cobalt and nickel cathode materials—90% of capacity is retained even when the number of charging-recharging cycles doubled. Their findings shed lights on developing low cost and high efficiency manganese-based cathode materials for lithium-ion batteries.
RESEARCHERS DEVELOP ‘EXPLAINABLE’ ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE ALGORITHM
Researchers from the University of Toronto and LG AI Research have developed an “explainable” artificial intelligence (XAI) algorithm that can help identify and eliminate defects in display screens.
THERMOBOTS: MICROROBOTS ON THE WATER
This research project was originated from the collaboration between two institutions with their respective expertise: The TIPs laboratory of the ULB, in Belgium, which is a group dedicated to the study of transport phenomena and fluid interfaces, and the AS2M department of the FEMTO-ST institute, in France, specialized in microrobotics. And thus, ThermoBot was born, a new kind of manipulation platform working on the air-water interface. ThermoBot uses an original actuation mechanism, an infrared laser that locally heats the air-water interface, triggering so-called thermocapillary flows. Combining our specialties in interfacial phenomena and robotics, we were able to use this flow to displace floating components in a controlled manner.
? PHYSICS NEWS⚙♨:
DIRECT 2D-TO-3D TRANSFORMATION OF PEN DRAWINGS
Pen drawings can allow simple, inexpensive and intuitive two-dimensional (2D) fabrication. Materials scientists aim to integrate such pen drawings to develop 3D objects. In a new report now published on Science Advances, See Woo Song et al. developed a new 3D fabrication method to directly transform pen-drawn 2D precursors into 3D geometries. The team facilitated the 2D-to-3D transformation of pen drawings using surface tension driven capillary peeling and floating of the dried ink film after dipping the drawing into an aqueous monomer solution. By selectively controlling and anchoring the parts of a 2D precursor, Song et al. transformed a 2D drawing into the designed 3D structure. They then fixed the transformed 3D geometry using structural reinforcement using surface-initiated polymerization. The scientists transformed simple pen-drawn 2D structures into complex 3D architectures to accomplish freestyle rapid prototyping with pen drawings including the mass production of 3D objects through roll-to-roll processing.
PLASMA JETS STABILIZE WATER TO SPLASH LESS
A study by KAIST researchers revealed that an ionized gas jet blowing onto water, also known as a ‘plasma jet,” produces a more stable interaction with the water’s surface compared to a neutral gas jet. This finding reported in the April 1 issue of Nature will help improve the scientific understanding of plasma-liquid interactions and their practical applications in a wide range of industrial fields in which fluid control technology is used, including biomedical engineering, chemical production, and agriculture and food engineering.
PHYSICISTS OBSERVE NEW PHASE IN BOSE-EINSTEIN CONDENSATE OF LIGHT PARTICLES
About 10 years ago, researchers at the University of Bonn produced an extreme aggregate photon state, a single “super-photon” made up of many thousands of individual light particles, and presented a completely new light source. The state is called an optical Bose-Einstein condensate and has captivated many physicists ever since, because this exotic world of light particles is home to its very own physical phenomena. Researchers led by Prof. Dr. Martin Weitz, who discovered the super photon, and theoretical physicist Prof. Dr. Johann Kroha now report a new observation: a so-called overdamped phase, a previously unknown phase transition within the optical Bose-Einstein condensate. The study has been published in the journal Science.
? EARTH NEWS?:
HOW THE CHICXULUB IMPACTOR GAVE RISE TO MODERN RAINFORESTS
Tropical rainforests today are biodiversity hotspots and play an important role in the world’s climate systems. A new study published today in Science sheds light on the origins of modern rainforests and may help scientists understand how rainforests will respond to a rapidly changing climate in the future.
CLIMATE CHANGE CUT GLOBAL AGRICULTURAL PRODUCTIVITY 21% SINCE 1960S
The University of Maryland (UMD) has collaborated with Cornell University and Stanford University to quantify the man-made effects of climate change on global agricultural productivity growth for the first time. In a new study published in Nature Climate Change, researchers developed a robust model of weather effects on productivity, looking at productivity in both the presence and absence of climate change. Results indicate a 21% reduction in global agricultural productivity since 1961, which according to researchers is equivalent to completely losing the last 7 years of productivity growth. This work suggests that global agriculture is becoming more and more vulnerable to ongoing climate change effects, with warmer regions like Africa, Latin America, and the Caribbean being hit the hardest.
LAKES ON GREENLAND ICE SHEET CAN DRAIN HUGE AMOUNTS OF WATER, EVEN IN WINTER
Using satellite data to ‘see in the dark’, researchers have shown for the first time that lakes on the Greenland Ice Sheet drain during winter, a finding with implications for the speed at which the world’s second-largest ice sheet flows to the ocean.
? ASTRONOMY & SPACE NEWS??:
NASA’s ROMAN MISSION PREDICTED TO FIND 100,000 TRANSITING PLANETS
NASA’s Nancy Grace Roman Space Telescope will create enormous cosmic panoramas, helping us answer questions about the evolution of our universe. Astronomers also expect the mission to find thousands of planets using two different techniques as it surveys a wide range of stars in the Milky Way.
DISTANT, SPIRALLING STARS GIVE CLUES TO THE FORCES THAT BIND SUB-ATOMIC PARTICLES
Space scientists at the University of Bath in the UK have found a new way to probe the internal structure of neutron stars, giving nuclear physicists a novel tool for studying the structures that make up matter at an atomic level.
NASA’s InSight DETECTS TWO SIZABLE QUAKES ON MARS
NASA’s InSight lander has detected two strong, clear quakes originating in a location of Mars called Cerberus Fossae—the same place where two strong quakes were seen earlier in the mission. The new quakes have magnitudes of 3.3 and 3.1; the previous quakes were magnitude 3.6 and 3.5. InSight has recorded over 500 quakes to date, but because of their clear signals, these are four of the best quake records for probing the interior of the planet.
? NANOTECHNOLOGY NEWS⛄☃:
2D MATERIALS COMBINE, BECOMING POLARIZED AND GIVING RISE TO PHOTOVOLTAIC EFFECT
For the first time, researchers have discovered a way to obtain polarity and photovoltaic behavior from certain nonphotovoltaic, atomically flat (2D) materials. The key lies in the special way in which the materials are arranged. The resulting effect is different from, and potentially superior to, the photovoltaic effect commonly found in solar cells.
3D DESIGN LEADS TO FIRST STABLE AND STRONG SELF-ASSEMBLING 1D NANOGRAPHENE WIRES
Nanographene is flexible, yet stronger than steel. With unique physical and electronic properties, the material consists of carbon molecules only one atom thick arranged in a honeycomb shape. Still early in technological development, current fabrication methods require the addition of substituents to obtain a uniform material. Additive-free methods result in flimsy, breakable fibers—until now.
RESEARCHERS DEVELOP THIRD AND FINAL ‘MADE-TO-ORDER’ NANOTUBE SYNTHESIS TECHNIQUE
The current method of manufacturing carbon nanotubes—in essence rolled up sheets of graphene—is unable to allow complete control over their diameter, length and type. This problem has recently been solved for two of the three different types of nanotubes, but the third type, known as ‘zigzag’ nanotubes, had remained out of reach. Researchers with Japan’s National Institutes of Natural Sciences (NINS) have now figured out how to synthesize the zigzag variety.
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