Scientists glimpse universe before the Big Bang

first_img © 2010 More information: V.G.Gurzadyan and R.Penrose. “Concentric circles in WMAP data may provide evidence of violent pre-Big-Bang activity.” arXiv:1011.3706v1via: Physics World Explore further Black hole encounters would have repeated themselves several times, with the center of each event remaining at almost exactly the same point in the CMB sky, even when occurring in different aeons. The huge amounts of energy released would appear as spherical, low-variance radiation bursts in the CMB. Image credit: Gurzadyan and Penrose. Planck Satellite ready to measure the Big Bang ( — In general, asking what happened before the Big Bang is not really considered a science question. According to Big Bang theory, time did not even exist before this point roughly 13.7 billion years ago. But now, Oxford University physicist Roger Penrose and Vahe Gurzadyan from the Yerevan Physics Institute in Armenia have found an effect in the cosmic microwave background (CMB) that allows them to “see through” the Big Bang into what came before. The CMB is the radiation that exists everywhere in the universe, thought to be left over from when the universe was only 300,000 years old. In the early 1990s, scientists discovered that the CMB temperature has anisotropies, meaning that the temperature fluctuates at the level of about 1 part in 100,000. These fluctuations provide one of the strongest pieces of observational evidence for the Big Bang theory, since the tiny fluctuations are thought to have grown into the large-scale structures we see today. Importantly, these fluctuations are considered to be random due to the period of inflation that is thought to have occurred in the fraction of a second after the Big Bang, which made the radiation nearly uniform.However, Penrose and Gurzadyan have now discovered concentric circles within the CMB in which the temperature variation is much lower than expected, implying that CMB anisotropies are not completely random. The scientists think that these circles stem from the results of collisions between supermassive black holes that released huge, mostly isotropic bursts of energy. The bursts have much more energy than the normal local variations in temperature. The strange part is that the scientists calculated that some of the larger of these nearly isotropic circles must have occurred before the time of the Big Bang.The discovery doesn’t suggest that there wasn’t a Big Bang – rather, it supports the idea that there could have been many of them. The scientists explain that the CMB circles support the possibility that we live in a cyclic universe, in which the end of one “aeon” or universe triggers another Big Bang that starts another aeon, and the process repeats indefinitely. The black hole encounters that caused the circles likely occurred within the later stages of the aeon right before ours, according to the scientists.In the past, Penrose has investigated cyclic cosmology models because he has noticed another shortcoming of the much more widely accepted inflationary theory: it cannot explain why there was such low entropy at the beginning of the universe. The low entropy state (or high degree of order) was essential for making complex matter possible. The cyclic cosmology idea is that, when a universe expands to its full extent, black holes will evaporate and all the information they contain will somehow vanish, removing entropy from the universe. At this point, a new aeon with a low entropy state will begin. Because of the great significance of these little circles, the scientists will do further work to confirm their existence and see which models can best explain them. Already, Penrose and Gurzadyan used data from two experiments – WMAP and BOOMERanG98 – to detect the circles and eliminate the possibility of an instrumental cause for the effects. But even if the circles really do stem from sources in a pre-Big Bang era, cyclic cosmology may not offer the best explanation for them. Among its challenges, cyclic cosmology still needs to explain the vast shift of scale between aeons, as well as why it requires all particles to lose their mass at some point in the future. Citation: Scientists glimpse universe before the Big Bang (2010, November 23) retrieved 18 August 2019 from 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

NASA unveils possible submarine design for exploring liquid methane seas on Titan

first_imgNASA expects some sort of sub might be ready for a journey to Titan by 2040, which would mark the first time such a mission has not been conducted on dry land. To get it there, they envision a winged craft that makes its way to the surface, then sinks beneath the waves on Kraken Mare, leaving the sub to discover what lies beneath. Explore further (—NASA has unveiled at this year’s Innovative Advanced Concepts (NIAC) Symposium (and posted a video on Youtube) a possible design for a submersible robot for use in exploring the liquid methane/ethane seas on Saturn’s moon Titan. The video and sub design were created by NASA Glenn’s COMPASS Team along with some researchers from Applied Research Lab. The call for the design came from workers with the NASA NIAC Program, which of course is tasked with coming up with ideas for new ways to explore space and the celestial bodies in it. 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. The sub, which the team has dubbed the Titan Submarine Phase I Conceptual Design, looks reminiscent of early subs on Earth such as those developed for use in the Civil War. The technology onboard, would be anything but old, of course, as it would have to be able to operate mostly autonomously in a very hostile and distant environment.The most likely place for deployment of the sub would be Kraken Mare—Titan’s largest polar sea. Data from probes has found that the sea covers approximately 154,000 square miles with depths as deep as 525 feet. The sea is not idle, either—it has currents and a tide, both of which could make keeping the sub safe from harm a serious challenge. There would also be the problem of communicating with it. The researchers envision a system where the sub surfaces for 16 hours at a time, sending signals directly to Earth (which would take almost an hour and a half to get here). As an undersea vehicle, it would not be able to use solar power either, so the team envisions a radiothermal Stirling generator for propulsion. Also, because of the extreme cold, a special piston driven type of system would have to be developed to prevent freezing of (likely nitrogen) ballast. Though it is still not clear exactly what the sub might be looking for, one sure bet is it would be searching for compounds that might indicate life once existed in the sea or perhaps offer clues as to how life began back here on Earth. More information: Titan Submarine : Vehicle Design and Operations Concept for the Exploration of the Hydrocarbon Seas of Saturn’s Giant Moon (PDF) – Citation: NASA unveils possible submarine design for exploring liquid methane seas on Titan (w/ Video) (2015, February 12) retrieved 18 August 2019 from © 2015 Cassini sails into new ocean adventures on Titanlast_img read more

Electrical circuit made of gel can repair itself

first_img More information: Ye Shi, et al. “A Conductive Self-Healing Hybrid Gel Enabled by Metal-Ligand Supramolecule and Nanostructured Conductive Polymer.” Nano Letters. DOI: 10.1021/acs.nanolett.5b03069 Shape-shifting gels get smarter The researchers, led by Guihua Yu, an assistant professor at the University of Texas at Austin, have published a paper on the new self-healing gel in a recent issue of Nano Letters.The new gel’s properties arise from its hybrid composition of two gels: a supramolecular gel, or ‘supergel’, is injected into a conductive polymer hydrogel matrix. As the researchers explain, this “guest-to-host” strategy allows the chemical and physical features of each component to be combined. The supergel, or the “guest,” provides the self-healing ability due to its supramolecular chemistry. As a supramolecular assembly, it consists of large molecular subunits rather than individual molecules. Due to its large size and structure, the assembly is held together by much weaker interactions than normal molecules, and these interactions can also be reversible. This reversibility is what gives the supergel its ability to act like a “dynamic glue” and reassemble itself. Meanwhile, the conductive polymer hydrogel, or the “host,” contributes to the conductivity due to its nanostructured 3D network that promotes electron transport. As the backbone of the hybrid gel, the hydrogel component also reinforces its strength and elasticity. When the supergel is injected into the hydrogel matrix, it wraps around the hydrogel in such a way as to form a second network, further strengthening the hybrid gel as a whole.In their experiments, the researchers fabricated thin films of the hybrid gel on flexible plastic substrates to test their electrical properties. The tests showed that the conductivity is among the highest values of conductive hybrid gels, and is maintained due to the self-healing property even after repeated bending and stretching. The researchers also demonstrated that, when an electrical circuit made of the hybrid gel is cut, it takes about one minute for the circuit to self-heal and recover its original conductivity. The gel self-heals even after being cut multiple times in the same location.The researchers explained that the conductive self-healing material has a variety of potential applications.”The conductive self-healing gel we developed can be applied in many technologic areas, from flexible/stretchable electronics, artificial skins, energy storage and conversion devices, to biomedical devices,” Yu told “For example, the gel can be potentially used in implantable biosensors as flexible yet self-healable electrodes, ensuring the durability of these devices. And in energy devices, for example, the gel can function as binder materials for advanced battery electrodes in high-density Li-ion batteries where high-capacity electrodes may experience substantial volume changes.”The researchers also hope that, by combining supramolecular chemistry and polymer nanoscience, the resulting hybrid gels may provide a useful strategy for designing new self-healing materials.”We are planning to investigate the fundamental mechanisms of the self-healing properties of supramolecular gels and to better understand how different key factors, such as different metal ions, the molecules’ geometries, and the interactions between the supramolecule and different solvents, affect the self-healing characteristics,” Yu said. “A deeper fundamental understanding will allow better materials to be developed. Meanwhile, from a more ‘practical applications’ standpoint, some research efforts (together with our collaborators) will be devoted to developing scalable synthetic strategies of supramolecules and self-healing hybrid gels with even better mechanical strength and elasticity, for potential applications of these self-healing gels in different technology areas.” Explore further Citation: Electrical circuit made of gel can repair itself (2015, August 25) retrieved 18 August 2019 from (a) After being cut in half, the conductive supergel self-heals and can support its own weight when lifted with tweezers. (b) The supergel self-heals cracks caused by bending. (c) A self-healing electric circuit that lights an LED can repair itself after being bent, cut, and folded. Credit: Shi, et al. ©2015 American Chemical Societycenter_img Journal information: Nano Letters © 2015 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. (—Scientists have fabricated a flexible electrical circuit that, when cut into two pieces, can repair itself and fully restore its original conductivity. The circuit is made of a new gel that possesses a combination of properties that are not typically seen together: high conductivity, flexibility, and room-temperature self-healing. The gel could potentially offer self-healing for a variety of applications, including flexible electronics, soft robotics, artificial skins, biomimetic prostheses, and energy storage devices.last_img read more

Telangana budget vows to develop Hyderabad as world class city

first_imgIn its maiden full-fledged budget for the new state, Telangana government on Wednesday proposed a total expenditure of Rs 1,15,689 crore, including non-plan expenditure of Rs 63,306 crore for 2015-16.The estimated revenue surplus in the Budget presented by state Finance Minister Etela Rajender is Rs 531 crore. The plan expenditure was proposed at Rs 52,383 crore, while no fresh taxes have been imposed. The fiscal deficit is estimated at Rs 16,969 crore. Sectors of education, irrigation, medical and health services, ‘Mission Kakatiya’ (revival of tanks), energy, water grid, agriculture, welfare of SCs, STs, minorities, road upgradation, administration of Hyderabad, including metro rail; have received major allocations in budget estimates for 2015-16.last_img read more

Jadavpur Vidyapith turns turbulent over lottery admission to Class V

first_imgKolkata: The guardians of Jadavpur Vidyapith students staged a sit-in demonstration on Tuesday, protesting against the admission of students in Class V through lottery system.A notification issued by the school authorities has triggered confusion among some of the parents, who put up a road block in front of the school on Tuesday morning. The agitation was later lifted after the intervention of senior police officers, who urged the guardians to stop the demonstration. Also Read – Rain batters Kolkata, cripples normal lifeEarlier, the students studying in the primary or Kishalaya section of the school had been able to take direct admission to Class V. On last Friday, the school authorities had published a notice saying that the lottery system which is applied for selecting students in the Kishalaya section, would also be implemented for the admission of students in Class V.The publication of the new notification triggered resentment among the guardians who demanded withdrawal of the notification. Also Read – Speeding Jaguar crashes into Mercedes car in Kolkata, 2 pedestrians killedParents of the students in primary section said that their candidates were given admission through a lottery system. They raised questions on the rationality of implementing the same system for the second time for admission of students in Class V.Parents of some students in Class IV said that there are around 180 seats in class V. “What is the point in introducing a new method when the existing system has been doing well and all the students from the Kishalaya section are getting hassle free admission in Class V?” asked the guardians. If the new system is introduced, a large number of students who are studying in the primary section of the school would not get an opportunity to study in the secondary level.Till last year, all the students from Class IV in the Kishalaya section used to get direct admission to Class V. Outside candidates were given an opportunity to get admission in Class V only after all the Class IV students of the school secured admission in the next class. The guardians said that they have talked to the headmasters of both the primary and higher secondary sections, but no assurances were given by the school authorities. After this, many guardians started demonstration inside the school campus from 7 am on Tuesday. Some others later joined the agitation.Traffic movement was disrupted in the area after the agitating guardians took to the streets. They put up a road block, demanding withdrawal of the new notification.The school authorities said that the direct transfer of a student from Class IV to V is not possible because Jadavpur Vidyapith is a government-aided school, while the primary section is run by private management.last_img read more

Police take steps against man for sharing misinformation

first_imgKolkata: Kolkata Police is taking legal action against one Ranjit Mallick for sharing a post containing incorrect information. It read: “The police are allegedly not allowing to organise a 91-year-old Durga Puja” at Rashbehari in South Kolkata. The police have stated on a Facebook post that the information is “fake” and purposely posted with an intention to hit religious sentiment. The Puja organiser also clarified that the information is false.There was a difference of opinion between the members of two Puja committees over putting up hoarding and the matter was settled after police intervention. But according to Kolkata Police “distorted information” was shared on social media. “Hence, the police are taking legal steps against Ranjit Mallick,” stated the post of Kolkata Police.last_img read more

Doctors call for change in dietary habits to keep diabetes at bay

first_imgKolkata: Doctors on World Diabetes Day have urged people above 35 years to regulate diet and do half-an-hour exercise every day. International Diabetes Federation said 42.5 crore adults suffer from diabetes while around 11.6 lakh children suffer from the disease globally. In India, the number of people suffering from the disease is going up at a galloping rate. Almost every household in urban India has a diabetic patient. People in several villages are getting afflicted with the disease. Also Read – Rain batters Kolkata, cripples normal lifeSedentary habits, smoking and obesity expedite the chances of getting afflicted with the disease. Dr P Mukherjee said half-an-hour exercise is mandatory for those suffering from the disease. People should try to reduce stress and take up physical activity. Dr PB Sarkar, eye specialist said patients suffering from Diabetes should visit an eye specialist every six months and get their eye sight examined. People suffering from the disease are found to be suffering from Diabetic Retinopathy but as they neglect eye issues, many patient develop major complication. Also Read – Speeding Jaguar crashes into Mercedes car in Kolkata, 2 pedestrians killedA walkathon to create awareness to check the disease was held at Swapno Bhor, the senior citizen’s park in New Town. Debasis Sen, chairman of Housing Infrastructure Development Corporation (HIDCO) along with the senior HIDCO officials and members of Swapno Bhor took part in the Walkathon. Camps were held all over the state where blood sugar tests were done free of cost. Doctors have urged the parents not to give junk food to their children and take them out for outdoor exercise.last_img read more

Teens as sedentary as 60yearolds

first_imgPhysical activity among children and teens is lower than previously thought, according to a new study which found that 19-year-olds are as sedentary as 60-year-olds. The findings come amid heightened concern that exercise deficits are contributing to the growing obesity epidemic, particularly among children and teens, researchers said.The study by Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health in the US found that young adults after the age of 20 show the only increases in activity over the lifespan, and starting at age 35, activity levels declined through midlife and older adulthood. It also identified different times throughout the day when activity was highest and lowest, across age groups and between males and females. Also Read – Add new books to your shelfThese patterns, the researchers said, could inform programmes aimed at increasing physical activity by targeting not only age groups but times with the least activity, such as during the morning for children and adolescents.”Activity levels at the end of adolescence were alarmingly low, and by age 19, they were comparable to 60-year-olds,” said Assistant Professor Vadim Zipunnikov. “For school-age children, the primary window for activity was the afternoon between 2 and 6 pm. So the big question is how do we modify daily schedules, in schools for example, to be more conducive to increasing physical activity?” said Zipunnikov, senior author of the study published in the journal Preventive Medicine. Also Read – Over 2 hours screen time daily will make your kids impulsiveThe researchers used data from the US National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey from the 2003-2004 and 2005-2006 survey cycles. The 12,529 participants wore tracking devices for seven straight days, removing them for only bathing and at bedtime. The devices measured how much time participants were sedentary or engaged in light or moderate-to-vigorous physical activity.Activity among 20-somethings, the only age group that saw an increase in activity levels, was spread out throughout the day, with an increase in physical activity in the early morning, compared to younger adolescents, researchers said. The increase may be related to starting full-time work and other life transitions. For all age groups, males generally had higher activity levels than females, particularly high-intensity activity, but after midlife, these levels dropped off sharply compared to females. Among adults 60 years and older, males were more sedentary and had lower light-intensity activity levels than females.The study confirmed that recommended guidelines were not being met. For instance, the World Health Organisation recommends at least 60 minutes of moderate-to-vigorous physical activity a day for children aged five to 17 years. The study found that more than 25 per cent of boys and 50 per cent of girls aged six to 11 and over 50 per cent of male and 75 per cent of female adolescents aged 12 to 19 had not met the WHO recommendation.last_img read more

CID grills Bharati Ghosh again over Daspur case

first_imgKolkata: Former IPS officer Bharati Ghosh was interrogated by the state Criminal Investigation Department (CID) on Friday.Sources informed that CID had served a notice at her Naktala home in Kolkata but Ghosh was not there. Her husband MAV Raju refused to receive the notice. Later, Ghosh informed CID that she was not able to attend the call as she was busy with election-related work. Following her intimation on Thursday, a CID team went to her home at Daspur in West Midnapore. Also Read – Rs 13,000 crore investment to provide 2 lakh jobs: MamataAfter Ghosh’s name was announced by BJP as their candidate from Ghatal constituency, the state government had appealed to the Supreme Court to ban her from entering Bengal. Subsequently, the apex court passed an order last week, stating that Ghosh cannot be arrested but she can be interrogated in connection with the case where she has been an accused. The apex court also directed Ghosh to intimate the state about her contact number and whereabouts. Also Read – Lightning kills 8, injures 16 in stateOn Friday afternoon, a team from CID went to Ghosh’s rented house in Daspur. She was interrogated in connection with the extortion case lodged against her at the Daspur police station. However, CID officials did not disclose anything regarding the interrogation as it may hamper the investigation process. Earlier during March this year, Ghosh was granted protection from arrest by the Supreme Court. Following the stay on her arrest, Ghosh appeared before the Midnapore District Court, responding to a summon in connection with the Daspur extortion case. CID raids were started following a case of extortion and criminal conspiracy which was initiated in West Midnapore’s Daspur during February last year after gold trader Chandan Majhi lodged a complaint against some police officers in the district, who were reportedly close to the former SP Ghosh. The sleuths had earlier seized more than Rs 2.4 crore in cash and several important government documents while raiding a number of flats in an apartment at Kolkata’s Madurdaha. A huge amount of unaccounted cash was also seized from the house of several police officers named in the FIR. Ghosh’s husband Raju was also arrested last year in this connection.last_img read more

How binge drinking affects human brain

first_imgWhile binge drinking affects health of both males and females, the effect of gene expression in an area of the brain linked to addiction was found to be different, finds a new study.Repeated binge drinking was found to significantly alter molecular pathways in the nucleus accumbens – a region of the brain linked to addiction. But, in females the genes linked to hormone signalling and immune function are altered, whereas in males genes related to nerve signalling are affected. Also Read – Add new books to your shelfThe study has significant implications for the treatment of alcohol use disorder as they emphasise the importance of tailoring effective therapies towards male and female patients, said researchers led by Deborah Finn, Professor at Oregon Health and Science University.Repeated binge drinking can be a risk factor for the development of alcohol dependence. For the study, published in the journal Frontiers in Genetics, the team analysed gene expression in nucleus accumbens. Experts noted that a consideration of sex is critical in the development of potential pharmacological therapies for the treatment of alcohol use disorder.last_img read more