Moon Rock Turns Out to be Fake

first_img The Rijksmuseum is famous for its fine art collections, especially paintings by Rembrandt and other masters. One of its lesser known objects, the “moon rock”, was first unveiled in October 2006 as the centerpiece of a “Fly me to the moon” exhibition. At that time, the museum said the rock symbolized the “exploration of the unknown, colonization of far-away places and bringing back of treasures…” A reading about the “moon rock” was even held on October 7 because it was a full moon!The rock was given as a private gift to former prime minister Willem Drees Jr in 1969 by the U.S. ambassador to The Netherlands, J. William Middendorf II, during a visit by the Apollo 11 astronauts, Armstrong, Collins and Aldrin, soon after the first moon landing. Drees had been out of office for 11 years, but was considered an elder statesman.When Drees died in 1988, the rock was donated to the Rijksmuseum, where it has remained ever since. According to a museum spokeswoman, Ms Van Gelder, no one doubted the authenticity of the rock because it was in the prime minister’s own collection, and they had vetted the acquisition by a phone call to NASA. According to an article published by the Rijksmuseum, at one time the rock was insured for approximately half a million dollars, but its actual value is probably no more than around $70.Former U.S. ambassador, Mr Middendorf was unable to recall the exact details of how the rock came to be in the U.S. State Department’s possession. It is known that NASA gave lunar rocks to over 100 countries in the 1970s, but when the rock was displayed in 2006 a space expert told the museum he doubted any material would have been given away so soon after the manned lunar landing.Researchers from the Free University of Amsterdam immediately doubted the rock was from the moon, and began extensive testing. The tests concluded the rock was petrified wood. U.S. embassy officials were unable to explain the findings, but are investigating.Even though the tests found the piece is not of lunar origin, the Rijksmuseum curators say they will keep it anyway as a curiosity.© 2009 PhysOrg.com Citation: Moon Rock Turns Out to be Fake (2009, September 1) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2009-09-moon-fake.html Explore further (PhysOrg.com) — The Dutch national Rijksmuseum made an embarrassing announcement last week that one of its most loved possessions, a moon rock, is a fake — just an old piece of petrified wood that’s never been anywhere near the moon. Astronauts who landed on the Moon collected 2,415 samples of Moon rocks weighing a total of 842 pounds (382 kilograms). Most of these rocks were collected during the Apollo 15, 16, and 17 missions. Image Credit: NASA Purdue University to display moon rock 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

Advanced Robotic Arm Controlled by Monkeys Thoughts w Video

first_img(PhysOrg.com) — Researchers at the University of Pittsburgh have demonstrated a monkey controlling an advanced robotic arm by using its thoughts. The experiments were led by Dr. Andrew Schwartz, a professor of neurobiology and involved a high degree of complexity in the robotic arm, the level of control, and the intricacy of the manipulations. © 2010 PhysOrg.com This is not the first time that Dr. Schwartz implanted sensors in a monkey’s brain to control a robotic arm. Back in May of 2008 experiments were conducted by Dr. Schwartz, using a simpler mechanical arm, to teach a monkey to feed itself. This was a four-degrees-of-freedom arm with shoulder joints, elbow, and a simple gripper. In this demonstration researchers at the University of Pittsburgh have taught a monkey to use its thoughts to control an advanced robotic arm and perform elaborate maneuvers with it. Credit: University of Pittsburgh In the video above the monkey (right side of video) uses its right arm to tap a button which triggers the robotic manipulator to position a black knob to an arbitrary position. The monkey is then seen controlling its articulated robotic arm to grasp the knob.After touching the knob the monkey places its mouth on a straw to be rewarded with a drink. By constant repetition the monkey eventually starts placing its mouth on the straw before touching the knob knowing that a drink is coming.This advanced robotic arm has seven-degrees-of-freedom as compared to the four-degrees-of-freedom arm back in 2008. The added three more degrees of freedom adds an articulated wrist which can perform pitch, roll and yaw movements. These movements enable the monkey to precisely turn the knob by rotating the mechanical wrist.By putting the brain in direct communications with machines, researchers will one day be able to engineer and operate advanced prosthetics in a natural way to help paralyzed people live a close to normal life.As of this writing Dr. Schwartz and his colleagues have not published the detailed results of their latest experiments.You can now listen to all PhysOrg.com podcasts at www.physorg.com/podcasts-news/ Citation: Advanced Robotic Arm Controlled by Monkey’s Thoughts (w/ Video) (2010, June 3) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2010-06-advanced-robotic-arm-monkeys-thoughts.htmlcenter_img Woman outfitted with robotic arm Explore further 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. In the video above monkeys in the Dr. Schwartz’s lab are able to move a robotic arm to feed themselves marshmallows and chunks of fruit while their own arms are restrained.In the experiments conducted this year two sensors were implanted into the monkey’s brain. One was implanted in the hand area and the second in the arm area of its motor cortex. The sensors monitor the firing of motor neurons and send data to the computer that translates the patterns into commands that control the robotic arm.last_img read more

Look Ma no calibration Handheld 3D scanner points and shoots

first_imgFuel3D was developed by hardware and software engineers and scientists. The scanner technology is based on work that was first developed at Oxford University toward a 3-D medical imaging system. That system was subsequently deployed in UK national health clinics, and medical facilities in the US, France, Denmark, Australia and Afghanistan. Later on, seeing a lack of quality 3D scanning options at affordable prices, a team member recommended working on such a scanner, based on their medical technology. At the time of this writing, they topped their $75,000 goal with $80,485 pledged and 31 days to go. They were originally offering an early bird pledge price of $750 for beta preproduction units but those are all gone. Pledges of $990 get a full production batch scanner with estimated delivery date of July next year. The 3D printer market is heating up but the real problem is getting a 3D scanner that can deliver a good template of what you want to print. That is easier said than done. You can get handhelds for a few hundred dollars but pricetags for high-end quality scanners can easily scare off independent artists, engineers and crafts people in search of true 3D geometry and full color and an image capture of highly textured organic and inorganic surfaces. An image capture company with offices in Greenville, North Carolina, and Oxford in the UK, Fuel3D has a product in the works which they want to swing into full production mode. Fuel3D has a working prototype of a handheld full-color 3D scanner for less than $1000. The scanner is a point-and-shoot device, and, for that price range, offers high-quality images. The company has turned to Kickstarter to raise funds to get the product out. One of their selling points is that no calibration is needed and yet the scanner can achieve a level of color resolution and detail that one would expect from a device with a far higher pricetag. “Today, a buyer could expect to pay over $15,000 for a handheld scanner that provides similar quality results,” they said. According to a Fuel3D technical paper, The Fuel3D system has the following components: The handheld unit that connects a PC or Mac via USB connection; the computer software that works with the scanner; and optical targets, to allow the scanner to track its motion during image capture.The technology behind this scanner fuses geometric and photometric stereo 3D recovery techniques.Once a shot is taken on the scanner, raw image data becomes 3D color geometrical data through the company’s software, which is included with the scanner, they said. “To run the Fuel3D software, you will need a reasonable specification computer (Mac, Windows 7 or higher, 2GB RAM, dual-core processor),”they added. Explore further Citation: Look Ma, no calibration: Handheld 3D scanner points and shoots (2013, August 1) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2013-08-ma-calibration-handheld-3d-scanner.html More information: www.kickstarter.com/projects/4 … r-for-less-than-1000 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. Mini-CT scanner developed as a teaching tool © 2013 Phys.orglast_img read more

Study group claims free access to research papers has reached a tipping

first_img © 2013 Phys.org Explore further Citation: Study group claims free access to research papers has reached a ‘tipping point’ (2013, August 23) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2013-08-group-free-access-papers.html University of California adopts open-access policy for research papers More information: www.science-metrix.com/eng/news_13_08.htm 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 idea of open-access for research papers is a relatively new idea. Online sites such as Nature or Science charge a fee for the right to read the articles they publish. But that, open-access advocates say, hampers scientific progress by preventing a lot of people from using such papers to further their own research. There is also the issue of who really owns the rights to papers produced that cover work paid for by governmental agencies. The Obama administration, tackling the issue head-on, just this past February mandated that all research papers that come about as a result of government funded work be made available free to the public within one year of initial publication. More recently the European Commission has announced that it will implement a similar plan, though the time frame is to be just six months.To learn more about how many papers are already available for free online, Science-Metrix undertook a study (paid for by the European Commission) using an outside source to estimate the number of papers published in 2008 and subsequently made freely available. That review came back with 32 percent. Not satisfied with that result, the company undertook its own study searching for papers published between 2008 and 2011. They claim to have found free access to 42 percent of 320,000 papers they searched for using netbots. Then, because they estimated that their search engines missed some free articles, they bumped the number up to 50 percent, which led Archambault to make his tipping point claim. The company suggests that the reason the number has grown so high is due to several developments. The first is the growth in open-access sites (from 4 to 12 percent of total published articles over the period 2004-2011). The second and likely making more of impact, however, is the trend towards allowing free access to articles initially published behind paywalls after a certain amount of time has passed—typically a year.Whether articles published as open-access have indeed reached a tipping point remains to be seen, what is certain now, is that the practice continues to incite great debate in the scientific community regarding both its merits and flaws. Per cent of freely available peer-reviewed papers, 2004-2011. Credit: Science-metrix report , Science Journal information: Nature (Phys.org) —Éric Archambault, president of Science-Metrix, is claiming in a paper produced by his company that free access (open-access) to research papers has now reached a “tipping point.” The implication is that now that at least as many researchers paper are available for free as those behind paywalls, more and more will be made available for free to the public until eventually all of them can be accessed by anyone that wishes without charge.last_img read more

Speed of light drops to zero at exceptional points

first_img More information: Tamar Goldzak et al. “Light stops at exceptional points.” Physical Review Letters. DOI: 10.1103/PhysRevLett.120.013901, Also at arXiv:1709.10172 [physics.optics] Light, which travels at a speed of 300,000 km/sec in a vacuum, can be slowed down and even stopped completely by methods that involve trapping the light inside crystals or ultracold clouds of atoms. Now in a new study, researchers have theoretically demonstrated a new way to bring light to a standstill: they show that light stops at “exceptional points,” which are points at which two light modes come together and coalesce, in waveguides that have a certain kind of symmetry. ‘Exceptional points’ give rise to counterintuitive physical effects Explore further Unlike most other methods that are used to stop light, the new method can be tuned to work with a wide range of frequencies and bandwidths, which may offer an important advantage for future slow-light applications.The researchers, Tamar Goldzak and Nimrod Moiseyev at the Technion – Israel Institute of Technology, along with Alexei A. Mailybaev at the Instituto de Matemática Pura e Aplicada (IMPA) in Rio de Janeiro, have published a paper on stopping light at exceptional points in a recent issue of Physical Review Letters.As the researchers explain, exceptional points can be created in waveguides in a straightforward way, by varying the gain/loss parameters so that two light modes coalesce (combine into one mode). Although light stops at these exceptional points, in most systems much of the light is lost at these points. The researchers showed that this problem can be fixed by using waveguides with parity-time (PT) symmetry, since this symmetry ensures that the gain and loss are always balanced. As a result, the light intensity remains constant when the light approaches the exceptional point, eliminating losses.To release the stopped light and accelerate it back up to normal speed, the scientists showed that the gain/loss parameters can simply be reversed. The most important feature of the new method, however, is that the exceptional points can be adjusted to work with any frequency of light, again simply by tuning the gain/loss parameters. The researchers also expect that this method can be used for other types of waves besides light, such as acoustic waves. They plan to further investigate these possibilities in the future. Citation: Speed of light drops to zero at ‘exceptional points’ (2018, January 31) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2018-01-exceptional.htmlcenter_img © 2018 Phys.org Journal information: Physical Review Letters Artistic image. Credit: pixabay 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

Physicists explain fireballs erupting from grapes in microwave oven

first_imgProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (2019). DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1818350116 © 2019 Science X Network Journal information: Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences Citation: Physicists explain fireballs erupting from grapes in microwave oven (2019, February 19) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2019-02-physicists-fireballs-erupting-grapes-microwave.html More information: Linking plasma formation in grapes to microwave resonances of aqueous dimers, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (2019). DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1818350116 Play Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (2019). DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1818350116 Genomic study reveals clues to wild past of grapes Play Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (2019). DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1818350116 center_img 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. PausePlay% buffered00:0000:00UnmuteMuteDisable captionsEnable captionsSettingsCaptionsDisabledQuality0SpeedNormalCaptionsGo back to previous menuQualityGo back to previous menuSpeedGo back to previous menu0.5×0.75×Normal1.25×1.5×1.75×2×Exit fullscreenEnter fullscreen Back in 2011, impressive videos of grapes igniting in microwaves went viral on YouTube. All a person had to do was cut a grape in half, leaving the two halves connected by a bit of skin at the bottom, and heat them in a microwave oven—within seconds, a tiny fireball would appear between them. Making things even more exciting was that nobody could explain it. Since that time, many armchair scientists have presented possible explanations—one of the more popular was the suggestion that the grapes somehow form an antenna directing the microwaves across the skin bridge. In this new effort, the physicists in Canada ran multiple tests on the grapes and other similar objects to learn the true reason for the formation of the fireball.The tests consisted mostly of using thermal imaging cameras to capture the action as the grapes were heated and running simulations. They also tested other similarly sized fruit and plastic balls filled with water.The researchers found that the formation of the fireball was the result of a simple process. As the microwaves enter the grapes, hot spots form in both pieces at the points where they are closest to one another due to a bond between them. As the hot spots grow hotter, surrounding electrolytes become supercharged, resulting in the formation of a burst of plasma in the form of a small fireball.The researchers note that the same effect could be produced using similarly sized fruit or water-filled balls. They also found that it is not necessary to maintain any sort of physical connection between the two pieces—all that is required is that they be no more than three millimeters apart. A trio of researchers with McMaster, Concordia and Trent Universities has solved the mystery of why pairs of grapes ignite into fireballs when cooked together in a microwave oven. In their paper published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, Hamza Khattak, Pablo Bianucci and Aaron Slepkov claim that the fireball is not the result of heat from the outside of the grapes making its way in, but instead comes about due to hotspots that form in both grapes. Explore further PausePlay% buffered00:0000:00UnmuteMuteDisable captionsEnable captionsSettingsCaptionsDisabledQuality0SpeedNormalCaptionsGo back to previous menuQualityGo back to previous menuSpeedGo back to previous menu0.5×0.75×Normal1.25×1.5×1.75×2×Exit fullscreenEnter fullscreenlast_img read more

Ultrashort period brown dwarf discovered

first_img More information: James A. G. Jackman, et al. NGTS-7Ab: An ultra-short period brown dwarf transiting a tidally-locked and active M dwarf. arXiv:1906.08219v1 [astro-ph.SR]: arxiv.org/abs/1906.08219 © 2019 Science X Network Brown dwarfs are intermediate objects between planets and stars, occupying the mass range between 13 and 80 Jupiter masses. Although many brown dwarfs have been detected to date, such objects orbiting other stars are a rare find.Now, a group of astronomers led by James A.G. Jackman of University of Warwick, UK, reports the finding of new rare brown dwarf in the binary system NGTS-7AB. The system, located about 500 light years away, consists of two M-dwarf stars. The newly detected brown dwarf orbits the primary star known as NGTS-7A and therefore received designation NGTS-7Ab.The discovery occurred during the Next Generation Transit Survey (NGTS), a ground-based robotic search for exoplanets. The brown dwarf nature of the new object was confirmed by follow-up observations.”We have reported the discovery of NGTS-7Ab, a high mass transiting brown dwarf orbiting an M-star with an orbital period of 16.2 hours,” the astronomers wrote in the paper.According to the study, the discovery is significant due to the very short orbital period of the newly found object and its relatively high mass. NGTS-7Ab represents the so-called “brown dwarf desert,” describing the paucity of massive brown dwarfs (with masses greater than 35 Jupiter masses) orbiting their hosts at a relatively close distance (less than 3.0 AU).NGTS-7Ab was found to orbit its parent star at a separation of around 0.014 AU, and its mass is assumed to be around 75.5 Jupiter masses, which makes it one of the most massive objects of this type detected to date. The radius of this object is estimated at approximately 1.38 Jupiter radii.Moreover, NGTS-7Ab is the shortest period transiting brown dwarf around a pre-main or main sequence star so far discovered, and only the fifth brown dwarf transiting an M-star host. Summing up the results, the researchers also try to explain the ultra-short orbital period of NGTS-7Ab, noting that the M-dwarf companion could be responsible for this.”We believe NGTS-7Ab is part of a hierarchical triple system and the presence of NGTS-7B may have had a role in moving the brown dwarf into its close orbit via the Kozai-Lidov mechanism and tidal circularisation,” the authors of the paper concluded.They added that the orbit of NGTS-7Ab will most likely decay within about 5 to 10 million years due to a combination of tidal synchronisation and magnetic braking. Citation: Ultra-short period brown dwarf discovered (2019, June 27) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2019-06-ultra-short-period-brown-dwarf.html Transit lightcurves of NGTS-7Ab. Top: phase folded NGTS lightcurve with the best fitting model overlaid in red. Middle: Primary transit lightcurve from SAAO in I band, with the best fitting model in green. Bottom: Primary transit lightcurve from EulerCam in V band, with the best fitting model in magenta. Residuals for each fit are shown underneath each respective plot. Credit: Jackman et al., 2019. 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. Explore further An international team of astronomers has detected a new brown dwarf with an ultra-short orbital period that transits an active M-dwarf star. The newfound object, designated NGTS-7Ab, turns out to be the shortest period transiting brown dwarf around a main or pre-main sequence star discovered to date. The finding is detailed in a paper published June 19 on the arXiv pre-print server. Massive brown dwarf detected by astronomerslast_img read more

ForNow Parents and Big Feelings How Sesame Street Talks About Trauma

first_imgIn between cheering for Elmo and Karli, Elmo’s dad (whose name is Louie) asks Clem and Dalia: “How has everything been going, since becoming her foster parents?” — In the final version of this video—part of Sesame Workshop’s new set of materials on foster care, released today—Clem’s head is held high, and a measured acknowledgment that sometimes things can be tough gives way to excitement when it’s decided that Elmo can join Karli, Clem, and Dalia for “pizza-party Tuesdays,” because as Louie says, “everything’s better with a friend by your side.” Outside, it’s a chilly gray December Monday, but on set the monsterball park is brimming with plant life, and butterfly puppets held up on long metal wires flap their wings. Looking on are Elmo’s dad—yes, he has a dad now, as of 2006—and two of what Sesame Street calls “anything Muppets,” puppets with no particular character attached that are made as templates and can be adapted as needed. These Muppets—a fuzzy teal monster in an athletic jersey and a gray monster with pink and purple feathers for hair—have become Karli’s foster parents, Clem and Dalia. Clem hangs his head and sighs. “Changes like this can be really rough for kids. And for adults, too,” he says. ASTORIA, NEW YORK—Inside the Sesame Street studio in Queens, Elmo is playing “monsterball” with his friend, a new Muppet named Karli who has lime-green fur and two ponytails. (Monsterball, for what it’s worth, appears to be the same as soccer, but with a furry ball.) Puppeteers, with their hands raised high and their heads cranked to the side to stay out of the camera’s shot, run around, making Elmo and Karli kick, laugh, and throw the ball. The foster-care resources—which include an interactive storybook and printable activities, as well as videos featuring Muppets—are the latest in a series of packages that Sesame Workshop is producing to support kids going through traumatic experiences. These online resources—which won’t be featured on the television show—are intended for use by parents and caretakers, and also by therapists, social workers, and anyone else who works with such kids. Read the whole story: The Atlanticlast_img read more

Senior bureaucrats from ministry likely to be summoned by police

first_imgThe Special Investigation Team (SIT) is keeping a vigil on former employees and a few senior bureaucrats from various ministries in connection to the corporate espionage case, after the recent arrest of the two former multi-tasking staffs (MTS) by the Crime Branch.“Very soon, the SIT will summon several senior bureaucrats from the ministry for investigation. Bureaucrats, employees and officials with the Public Sector Undertakings will also be questioned, as we have found the involvement of some of them in this case,” a source told Millennium Post. A senior police official privy to investigation said that the same module, which was involved in the stealing and leaking of documents, had their men within the ministry of environment and forests, ministry of power, ministry of telecommunications and ministry of road transport and highways. Also Read – Company director arrested for swindling Rs 345 croreThe probe has further brought to light that the stealing and procuring of the highly classified documents had been going on for a decade. The two arrested employees, who were associated with the environment ministry and the Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) said that they have been stealing the documents since 1996 and selling them to the corporate houses.It has been revealed by the accused persons that documents from the forest ministry, transport and highways had been demanded by the corporate houses. After picking a few targets, the concerned offices were besieged and the lower-rung employees were contacted to procure the documents related to that ministry, the source said. Also Read – Man who cheated 20 women on matrimonial websites arrestedThe SIT arrested Jatinder Nagpal, personal assistant to the joint secretary in the ministry on Wednesday night. He was accompanied by one Vipan Kumar, personal assistant to a member of the UPSC. Kumar had joined the petroleum and natural gas ministry in the position of a stenographer in 1996. The police said that, from 1996 to 2010, Kumar used to steal documents from the ministry with the help of his contacts and subsequently pass them on to corporate houses. Nagpal, too, had joined service as a stenographer in 1994 at the ministry of law and justice, where he served till 2007. From 2001 to 2003, while he worked at the ministry of chemicals and fertilizers, he used to acquire documents from Vipan Kumar, Lokesh Sharma (already arrested earlier) and his other contacts.last_img read more

Franchises retain 41 Indian footballers for 2015 ISL

first_imgThe Indian Super League (ISL) franchises have retained a total of 41 footballers and signed 23 more from the open market in a step towards building their respective squads for the second edition of the tournament later this year.All the eight franchises have submitted on Friday, within the stipulated deadline, the list of retained Indian players as well as open market signings, an ISL release said on Sunday.The franchises had a retention quota of minimum of one and maximum of six Indian players. Also Read – Khel Ratna for Deepa and Bajrang, Arjuna for JadejaFranchises Chennaiyin FC, FC Goa, FC Pune City and Kerala Blasters FC have exercised the maximum allowed retention clause by retaining six Indian players each from their previous squad.Delhi Dynamos and NorthEast United FC have retained five each, defending champions Atletico de Kolkata retained four players and Mumbai City FC continued the services of three.Each franchise is allowed to have a squad of 22, comprising 13 Indian and 9 international players including one marquee signing. Additionally, a franchise can sign 3 more players from the open market which can include maximum of 2 international player.Indian player signings will be completed in the month of July through an auction followed by draft of unsigned players. The 2015 ISL is scheduled to kick-off in September and stretch till December 2015.last_img read more