Month: August 2019

Backpack straps harvest energy to power electronics

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first_img The piezoelectric backpack straps are the latest innovation in the area of “energy harvesting,” where otherwise-wasted, ambient energy is converted into electrical energy to prolong the life of electronics. Mechanical engineers Jonathan Granstrom and Joel Feenstra from Michigan Technological University, Henry Sodano from Arizona State University, and Kevin Farinholt from NanoSonic, Inc., have published their results in a recent issue of Smart Materials and Structures.The group’s intentions in designing the energy harvesting backpack were to make a device that was transparent to the user by not interfering with the user’s flexibility or endurance, as well as providing enough energy to reduce the need for carrying heavy batteries to power portable electronics. “The advantage of this system is that it seamlessly replaces a currently-used material with one that generates electrical energy,” Sodano told PhysOrg.com. “The strap would operate no differently than the strap on a traditional backpack.”The backpack uses straps made of polyvinylidene fluoride (PVDF), a strong, flexible material that feels very similar to nylon. But unlike nylon, PVDF is piezoelectric, meaning that an applied stress generates an electrical charge. When carrying a 100-pound load—a typical amount for a solider’s pack—and walking at 2-3 mph, simulations showed that the straps could generate 45.6 mW of power. The researchers said that this power output could either be used to power small electronics, or be accumulated over the duration of an excursion to be used as a weightless supplemental energy source instead of carrying extra batteries.“Some devices that could be powered include an LED headlamp (~38 mW), an Ipod Nano (~46mW), and a Motorola Razr cell phone, which in standby requires ~9 mW of continuous powering and ~360 mW during talk mode,” Sodano said. “In general, we want to accumulate the power before using it so that we could walk for 20 minutes then talk for 2.5 minutes. Or you could charge an LED headlamp while you walk in the day and use it at night while you camp. The energy could also go toward powering a handheld GPS system, which requires ~165-200 mW of continuous power.”One of the biggest challenges in designing the straps was finding an extremely robust and durable electrode, since typical electrodes cannot tolerate the high levels of strain imposed by the straps. The researchers teamed up with a company in Blacksburg, Virginia called NanoSonic, Inc., that provided a self-assembled nanocomposite material called “Metal RubberTM” to tailor an advanced electrode. Using nanotechnology to control its macroscopic properties, the researchers fabricated a 100-nm-thick electrode that could undergo strains of 1000% while maintaining conductivity, and then return to its original shape when released.The researchers hope that additional energy harvesting systems can be also be seamlessly integrated into a user’s normal gear, perhaps based on the piezoelectric backpack straps.Citation: Granstrom, Jonathan, Feenstra, Joel, Sodano, Henry A., and Farinholt, Kevin. “Energy harvesting from a backpack instrumented with piezoelectric shoulder straps. Smart Materials and Structures. 16 (2007) 1810-1820.Copyright 2007 PhysOrg.com. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed in whole or part without the express written permission of PhysOrg.com. Power-generating knee strap hints at end for batteries All that rubbing of your backpack straps on your shoulders may be put to good use, now that researchers have designed a novel type of energy harvesting backpack. The pack has straps made of a piezoelectric material that can convert the mechanical strain on the straps into electrical energy that may power or recharge portable electronics. Citation: Backpack straps harvest energy to power electronics (2007, September 13) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2007-09-backpack-harvest-energy-power-electronics.html Explore further The energy harvesting backpack uses piezoelectric straps to generate electrical energy. Credit: Jonathan Granstrom, et al. This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only.last_img read more

Hitachi demos 3D realworld object projector

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first_img Integral 3D TV system projects a promising future (w/ Video) More information: Hitachi press release The demo, shown as part of the Combined Exhibition of Advanced Technologies (CEATEC) trade show, the Japanese equivalent of CES, at the Makuhari Messe convention center just outside of Tokyo, was meant to show the progress that Hitachi has made in developing 3D projecting devices. Called Full-parallax 3D Display Technology, it looks like hologram technology, but isn’t. Instead it utilizes multiple cameras to capture the image then displays it using a group of 24 projectors, transparent mirrors and computers to project the image down onto a real three-dimensional object, such as an egg. In this respect, the technology is truly unique. When a viewer looking at the image moves up or down or left or right, what they see changes to suit the viewing angle. And if that’s not enough, the projected image can be viewed by multiple people from multiple angles, and everyone sees it as they would were there an actual real-world object sitting there. Also, if the object is moved around a little, the system compensates for it automatically. Explore further The system has a 60° horizontal and 30° vertical viewing angle and Hitachi reps report that it will have a resolution that is 1.6 times higher than anything shown before, though there are reports that Sony is working on a similar system so that boast may not last long.In addition to its use as a tool to show off its coolness factor, Hitachi believes that the projector could be used by design engineers, digital signature apps and perhaps as a training device in the manufacturing or medical arenas. Citation: Hitachi demos 3D real-world object projector (2011, October 5) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2011-10-hitachi-demos-3d-real-world-projector.html © 2011 PhysOrg.com This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only. (PhysOrg.com) — In a feat of technical wizardry combined with several doses of panache, Hitachi has demoed a 3D projector that can project images onto real-world objects in stunning fashion. For the demo, a 3D image of a bird hatching was displayed on an artificial egg that was cradled in an artificial nest. But that’s not all. Viewers looking at the demo see the bird as a hologram, in that as the viewing angle changes, so too does the view of the image, just as it would were you to be watching a real bird. The demo brings to mind Princess Leia, in Star Wars, delivering her message via 3D hologram to Obi Wan Kenobi.last_img read more

The case for codecaying dark matter

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first_img 3 knowns and 3 unknowns about dark matter A timeline of co-decaying dark matter: the standard model and dark sector decouple at Td, the dark sector density begins to decrease at TΓ, and dark matter “freezes out” at Tf, resulting in a relic abundance. Credit: Dror et al. ©2016 American Physical Society © 2016 Phys.org This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only. (Phys.org)—There isn’t as much dark matter around today as there used to be. According to one of the most popular models of dark matter, the universe contained much more dark matter early on when the temperature was hotter. As the universe cooled, the dark matter annihilated away, at least up until a point when thermal equilibrium was reached and the annihilations ceased, resulting in the number of dark matter particles in the universe “freezing out” and remaining roughly constant. More information: Jeff Asaf Dror, Eric Kuflik, and Wee Hao Ng. “Codecaying Dark Matter.” Physical Review Letters. DOI: 10.1103/PhysRevLett.117.211801, Also at arXiv:1607.03110 [hep-ph]center_img Journal information: Physical Review Letters Explore further Citation: The case for co-decaying dark matter (2016, December 5) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2016-12-case-co-decaying-dark.html Although this scenario, called “the weakly-interacting-massive-particle” (WIMP) scenario, has been researched extensively, it’s still unclear if the dark matter is indeed a WIMP.In a new study published in Physical Review Letters, Cornell physicists Jeff Asaf Dror, Eric Kuflik, and Wee Hao Ng have proposed a new mechanism for dark matter freeze-out in which there is not one but many dark sector particles that all co-decay to produce the observed dark matter density. One or more of these particles are potential candidates for dark matter.”For a long time, the Weakly Interacting Massive Particle (WIMP) has been the paradigm for explaining the particle nature of dark matter,” Kuflik told Phys.org. “Most experiments to discover dark matter were designed to find something that looks like a WIMP. The motivation for our work was to try to find other explanations for the nature of dark matter that would be experimentally searched for in a qualitatively different way than the WIMP.”Co-decaying dark matter provides a new mechanism for dark matter to freeze out and obtain its observed relic abundance. Here dark matter can freeze out early in the universe and obtain the correct abundance we observe today. Its properties suggest that the current experiments would not be sensitive to this type of dark matter, but it can lead to other, unique experimental signatures. Furthermore, the mechanism is quite general and will be realized in many extensions of the standard model of particle physics.”As the physicists explain, one of the biggest differences between the new mechanism and previous ones is that, in the new mechanism, the dark sector decouples from the standard model early on, which causes the two sectors to become out of equilibrium. This modification changes the decay rate by delaying the starting point of the decay, which causes the freeze-out to begin at later times. Ultimately this leads to a smaller dark matter density.If the dark matter density is smaller as predicted here, then in order to match the observed dark matter abundance, the annihilation rate must be larger than in previous mechanisms. The larger annihilation rate might be detected by future indirect-detection experiments, which could distinguish between the two scenarios.”Indirect-detection experiments for dark matter are experiments looking for the by-products of dark matter annihilating or decaying in space,” Dror explained. “The experiments point telescopes or satellites in regions where a large number of dark matter particles are expected (for example, the center of galaxies). Often, the by-products are photons (the quanta of light) which can be detected near the Earth. In contrast, direct-detection experiments correspond to waiting for dark matter particles themselves to collide with particles in detectors on Earth. The primary advantage of indirect-detection over direct-detection methods is that while the latter assumes that dark matter will collide frequently with lab experiment, the former does not. Indeed, this need not be the case: co-decaying dark matter is a prime example in which direct-detection signals are small, while indirect-detection signals are prominent.”The researchers plan to explore these possibilities in the future, and also further investigate the properties of dark matter particles and how this type of dark matter might fit into a larger framework.”We are looking into several novel effects that such dark matter can have,” Ng said. “Some of these are still work-in-progress so we are not yet ready to discuss the results. One example of an effect we are exploring are particles that are produced at the LHC, transverse a large distance in the detector, and then decay into the dark matter.”We are also studying explicit particle realizations of co-decaying dark matter. Co-decaying dark matter is a framework to produce the correct abundance, and new particle physics models that realize the framework are being explored.”last_img read more

An island of calm

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first_imgBusy weekdays and eventful weekends. Lifestyles these days hardly spare time for a breather.  Rest and a good few moments of serious detoxing is something everybody needs and in a space like this – spas become indispensible. A good spa session will not only relax you but it will charge you up. Cutting the competition in this case is Ishana’s Nature Spa in Saket. From the outside itself it seems like the perfect oasis. The sessions are perfectly planned and gives you ample time to get a massage, have a nice shower and then relax with fresh fruits.  The soothing aroma of vital oils waft through the spa as you sit at ease and pick a session that suits you. They have Restorative Jasmine Signature Facial for Rs 3,200, Organic Massages, Vimarn Touch of Paradise (Rs 3,650 – for 90 minutes) and a Gaya Energising Massage that peps you up. Ishana has specific massages for the head, back and feet but the best is to go for a whole body session to relax. Their sessions are nicely priced from Rs 2,000 onwards and are for 60 minutes or 90 minutes. They also have special body radiation treatments that are to die for. Designed with their own products – Ishana is a wonderful, wholesome experience. Definite five stars from us!last_img read more

Hughs Pan release date shifted

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first_imgHugh Jackman-starrer Pan, the retelling of fictional character Peter Pan, will now release on October 9 instead of July 24.“We wanted to give Pan the space to extend its theatrical run, so taking it out of the cluttered summer season made the most sense,” said Warner Bros’ domestic distribution head Dan Fellman, reports hollywoodreporter.com. “Moving the film to the heart of the fall will allow us more time to screen the picture, enabling us to capitalise on what we anticipate will be strong word of mouth,” he added.The fantasy drama directed by Joe Wright also stars Levi Miller, Rooney Mara, Garrett Hedlund and Amanda Seyfried.last_img read more

Now cooperatives to offer interest subsidy for long term loans to farmers

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first_imgKolkata: The Mamata Banerjee government has decided to give “interest subsidy with regard to long term loans” to farmers from cooperatives.At present, farmers in the state get interest subsidy with regard to short term crop loans from cooperatives.The State Level Monitoring Committee for Cooperative Sector had recommended interest subsidy for long term loans as well. The state government has decided to accept the recommendation.According to a senior official of the state government, the step will be helpful for the farmers in the state, as they won’t have to worry anymore before taking a long term loan for the purpose of agriculture. Also Read – Heavy rain hits traffic, flights”It will be of immense help to farmers and it will ensure further development of the state in the agriculture sector,” said the official.It may be mentioned that the Mamata Banerjee government has given a new lease of life to the state’s agriculture sector. Starting from waiving tax on agricultural land to helping farmers with modern tools, it has ensured an increase in the yield and Bengal has won Krishi Karman award for five consecutive years.At the same time, steps have also been taken to give old-age pension to as many as 1 lakh farmers above the age of 60 years. At present, a total of 69,000 aged farmers get the benefit. But the Chief Minister has now decided to bring in another 31,000 aged farmers under the project. Also Read – Speeding Jaguar crashes into Merc, 2 B’deshi bystanders killedThe amount of the pension has also gone up. Earlier, the aged farmers used to get Rs 650 to Rs 750 per month as pension. The “pro-peoplegovernment” has now decided to increase the amount toRs 1,000 per month.The state government has also taken steps to set up 2,000 farm machinery hubs, through the best performing Primary Agriculture Cooperative Sector (PACS). Around 1,000 such hubs will be developed in the 2018-19 financial year and the rest of the same will be developed in the next fiscal. Setting up of the machinery hubs was taken up following recommendation of the committee.According to a communique of the state government, “The committee has also made a few other recommendations, relating to activities other than banking, undertaken by PACS. These will be examined and necessary steps will be taken by the concerned departments.”last_img read more

BJP Sena welcome SC verdict on Yakub slam those opposing it

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first_imgBranding those who opposed the death sentence to Memon as “mentally challenged” in need of treatment, BJP said it was wrong for “some people to have politicised the whole issue or for giving it a communal colour”.”We welcome the SC judgement. Ultimately justice has been delivered to all the victims of the 1993 Mumbai blasts. People of the country have faith in the judiciary and with this verdict, their faith has been strengthened further,” BJP national secretary Shrikant Sharma said.He slammed those opposing the death sentence to Memon as “mentally challenged” and said all such people need treatment.BJP national spokesperson Nalin Kohli said the SC verdict has made it clear that decision taken by trial court in terms of awarding death sentence is correct.”It brings finality to the entire legal process. It would not be proper to try and go behind the decision and attribute anything to the decision.”This marks the closure with respect to Yakub Memon’s trial and also a step in the direction of closure for all those who lost their family members or suffered on account of the horrific terror attack and bomb blasts in 1993 in Mumbai,” Kohli said.Another BJP national spokesperson, Sambit Patra, said it is a “big day” for the victims of the 1993 Mumbai blasts and a sense of justice prevails on Wednesday and termed it as a “victory” of law.”BJP has always maintained that law should take its own course. Today, with the verdict of the Supreme Court, in fact the law has taken its course. A sense of justice prevails for the victims of 1993 Mumbai blasts and it was wrong for some people to have politicised the whole issue or for giving it a communal colour,” Patra said. Sharma said terrorism was a threat to the entire world and there is need for all to unitedly fight the menace.Tight Security in Mumbai ahead of execution A day before the hanging of the sole death row convict of the 1993 Mumbai blasts case Yakub Abdul Razzak Memon in Nagpur, the Maharashtra police have tightened security in India’s financial capital. Memon would be hanged on Thursday morning.Countdown for Yakub Memon’s hanging starts at Nagpur jail With the Supreme Court rejecting relief to Yakub Memon, the countdown for the hanging of the only death-row convict of 1993 Mumbai blasts case tomorrow has started at the Nagpur Central Prison here. Memon is all set to be hanged to death as per the Terrorist and Disruptive Activities (Prevention) Act (TADA) court’s order on Thursday on his 53rd birthday. All the preparations were complete, prison sources said. Top police officials on Wednesday visited the prison to supervise the security.last_img read more

Iodine supplementation in pregnancy boosts kids IQ

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first_img“Iodine deficiency in pregnancy remains the leading cause of preventable retardation worldwide. Even mild iodine deficiency during pregnancy leads to lower IQ in children,” said study co-author Kate Jolly, professor at University of Birmingham in Britain.The study published in the journal The Lancet Diabetes and Endocrinology suggests that iodine supplementation before and during pregnancy should be made universal.  Also Read – ‘Playing Jojo was emotionally exhausting’The researchers studied the effects of introducing iodine supplementation in Britain, a mildly iodine deficient country.Using data from a systematic review of published studies and expert opinion, the researcher modelled both the direct health service savings and monetary benefits to society (lifetime earnings) in terms of gains from an additional IQ point in the children.By converting the effects of iodine supplementation in pregnancy on developing IQ points in the brain, the authors estimate that the benefits equate to 1.22 IQ points per child, with monetary benefits of around 44,476 pounds per pregnancy for society. With around 1.9 billion people and 241 million school-age children (aged six-12 years) living in the 32 countries that have iodine deficiency, the study found that the benefits of universal iodine supplementation during pregnancy could be substantial. Also Read – Leslie doing new comedy special with Netflix“It is time for all women living in iodine deficient countries without universal supplementation of iodine, who are pregnant, breastfeeding, or planning a pregnancy, to be advised to take a daily supplement containing iodine,” Jolly noted. Severe iodine deficiency during pregnancy can cause substantial mental impairment and delayed development in children, resulting in a lower IQ and consequently lower educational attainment and earning potential.  International health organisations like WHO and the European Food Safety Authority recommend that pregnant and breastfeeding women take daily iodine supplements.last_img read more

TMC to raise ATM fraud case in Parliament today Mamata

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first_imgKolkata: Expressing her deep concern over the ATM fraud cases recently happening in Kolkata, Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee stated that she would direct her party’s MPs to raise the issue in Parliament on Tuesday.She also questioned the role of the Finance Ministry in this connection and maintained that it should “seriously inquire” about the matter.While leaving the state Secretariat, Nabanna, on Monday evening, Banerjee said: “What action is the Finance Ministry taking? It (Finance Ministry) should have seriously probed the incident. Our MPs will be raising the issue in Parliament on Tuesday.” Also Read – Rain batters Kolkata, cripples normal lifeThe Chief Minister also mentioned an advertisement that got an immense promotion just after demonetisation of high-value notes was announced by Prime Minister Narendra Modi to promote the digital transfer of money.Banerjee also slammed the Centre for its stress on the use of “plastic cards” when there is no bank in several villages in the country. She added: “How can the plastic economy become successful in a country where there is an inadequate number of banks?” Also Read – Speeding Jaguar crashes into Mercedes car in Kolkata, 2 pedestrians killed”India is a country of simple people. Here the maximum number of people likes to lead a simple life and most of them are from the unorganised sectors. Hence plastic economy can be successful only if its nitty-gritty is properly known,” Banerjee maintained.The Chief Minister was the first one to criticise the “anti-people” move of the Modi government of demonetising high-value notes and had stated that it would leave an adverse effect on the economy of the country. A high-level meeting with the top brass of a number of nationalised and private banks and officials of Kolkata Police’s Detective department, who have been involved in the probe of the ATM money siphoning case, took place on Monday. A top official from the Reserve Bank of India, who attended the meeting, said that they are working upon fresh guidelines for the banks to prevent such ATM frauds in future.It may be mentioned that more than 76 cases of unauthorised withdrawal of money from bank accounts after collecting data by skimming ATM cards have come to light in Kolkata recently. Involvement of foreigners has also come up during the probe undertaken by the Kolkata Police that had set up a Special Investigation Team (SIT) to address the menace.last_img read more

Mamata rues being stopped from attending Chicago event in memory of Swamijis

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first_imgKolkata: Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee said that she had been prevented from attending a function in Chicago to commemorate the125th year of Swami Vivekananda’s address before the World Parliament of Religions by some “unholy conspirators”. “I felt bad and was hurt. I know that some unholy conspirators did not want me to attend the meeting. They had threatened Ramakrishna Mission as well,” she said while addressing a gathering at Belur Math on Tuesday afternoon. Also Read – Rain batters Kolkata, cripples normal lifeBanerjee was scheduled to address a meeting at Chicago in August on the invitation of the Vedanta Centre, a branch unit of Ramakrishna Mission. The state government will create Vivekananda Chair at the Ramakrishna Mission Educational Research Institute, formerly known as Ramakrishna Mission Vivekananda University and gave Rs 10 crore for Vivek Tirtha, the value education centre that is coming up at New Town. Banerjee said some forces are trying to interpret Hinduism by creating division. Also Read – Speeding Jaguar crashes into Mercedes car in Kolkata, 2 pedestrians killed”There are some who are trying to dictate what food habit we should follow or what dress we should put on. This is ridiculous. We have Swami Vivekananda and will not listen to the neo-interpretations,” the Chief Minister said. Quoting Swamiji’s first speech at the Parliament of Religions where he said “We believe not only in universal tolerance but we accept all religions as true,” she said this is Swamiji’s philosophy and this is Bengal. She said to become a leader one must learn to sacrifice for the people. She felt that more and more students should be brought under Swamiji’s umbrella. “Swamiji is our leader and he can show the path,” she said, adding that steps should be taken to ensure that fanaticism and sectarianism do not affect the society. She urged people to follow the path of Swami Vivekananda. The Chief Minister said tolerance is the biggest gift of Hindu religion. “This religion is humanism,” she said. She said Swamiji had wanted all boys and girls to be fearless. “If there is any weakness in the world, it is sin, it is death,” she quoted the words of Swamiji, who had spread the message of love, hope and tolerance. Many people blew conch shells on Tuesday afternoon, to mark the beginning of the Parliament of Religions in 1893. Swamiji had delivered six lectures at the Parliament. In state-run, sponsored and aided schools, functions were held to commemorate 125 years of Swamiji’s speech. The state government will also observe Harmony week from September 12 to 19.last_img read more