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Scientists at Disney Research converted an entire room into a wireless charger.

Credit: Disney Research

When you need to charge your electronic devices on the go, it can be a hassle trying to find somewhere to plug in. And though some devices can already be charged without wires, researchers at The Walt Disney Company have recently supersized the technology by building a wireless "charging room."

 

Scientists at a branch of The Walt Disney Company called Disney Research have converted an entire room into a wireless charger that can boost the batteries of 10 objects at one time, according to the study. The researchers said they were inspired by inventor Nikola Tesla, who created the first system to wirelessly transmit electricity — the Tesla coil.

Tesla believed there could be a global network of wireless electricity that would use an electromagnetic wave that reverberated between the ionosphere (a layer of the Earth's atmosphere filled with ions and free electrons) and the ground, study co-author Alanson Sample, an associate lab director and principal research scientist at Disney Research, explained in a video. While Tesla's vision didn't come to fruition, Sample and his colleagues were inspired to investigate how wireless charging could be set up in large spaces. [Top 10 Inventions that Changed the World]

"What we really want is a three-dimensional charging experience, where you walk into your living room or office and your cellphone is charged simply by walking in," Sample said in the video. "We have a metalized room, and we're going to use standing electromagnetic waves that reverberate all around this room, providing wireless power to any devices inside."

 

Known as quasistatic cavity resonance (QSCR), the wireless charging technology uses electromagnetic fields generated by electrical currents. Disney Research's room is outfitted with aluminum-paneled walls and a centrally located copper pole that houses 15 capacitors (which store electrical energy, as batteries do). As the capacitors generate electrical currents, they travel through the ceiling, walls and floor, and then back through the pole. These electrical currents create the electromagnetic fields that circulate around the pole and wirelessly charge devices in the room, the researchers said.

Furniture and other objects can still decorate the room without interfering with the currents, according to the researchers, because magnetic fields don't react strongly with these commonplace objects. It's also safe for humans to occupy the space for any amount of time, because the researchers' simulations met federal safety regulations while still transmitting 1.9 kilowatts of power — enough to charge cellphones, laptops, lamps and other small electronic devices, according to the study.

"In this work, we're demonstrating room-scale wireless power, but there's no reason we couldn't shrink this down to the size of a toy box or charging chest, or scale up to a warehouse or a large building," Sample said.

The new research is detailed in a study published online Feb. 15 in the journal PLOS ONE.

Source: This article was published livescience.com By Kacey Deamer

Categorized in Internet Technology

The lead research said his curiosity about why shoelaces came undone intensified when he began teaching his child how to tie them. Photograph: Graham Turner for the Guardian

Researchers discover how laces come undone and offer alternative way to tie them that does knot involve your granny

Things can start to unravel at any moment, but when failure occurs it is swift and catastrophic. This is the conclusion of a scientific investigation into what might be described as Sod’s law of shoelaces.

The study focused on the mysterious phenomenon by which a shoe is neatly and securely tied one moment, and the next a flapping lace is threatening to trip you up – possibly as you are running for the bus or striding with professional purpose across your open-plan office.

 

In a series of experiments involving a human runner on a treadmill and a mechanical leg designed to swing and stomp, the scientists revealed that shoelace knot failure happens in a matter of seconds, triggered by a complex interaction of forces.

Oliver O’Reilly, a professor of mechanical engineering at the University of California Berkeley and the study’s senior author, said: “It’s unpredictable but when it happens, it’s in two or three strides and it’s catastrophic. There’s no way of coming back from it.”

The study found that the stomping of the foot gradually loosens the knot while the whipping forces produced by the swing of the foot act like hands tugging on the ends of the laces. As the tension in the knot eases and the free ends start to slide, a runaway effect takes hold and the knot suddenly unravels.

The findings also revealed what knot experts, such as sailors and surgeons, have long suggested: that the granny knot many of us use to tie our laces comes undone far quicker than an alternative method that is no more complex.

Robert Matthews, a physicist at Aston University in Birmingham who was not involved in the latest work, said: “It’s provided hard scientific backing for what many people have long suspected: that the traditional way of tying shoelaces is pretty rubbish.”

O’Reilly said he was inspired to investigate after spending decades pondering why laces spontaneously unknot themselves – an intellectual niggle that intensified when he came to teach his daughter how to tie her laces.

The scientist enlisted a pair of PhD students and initial tests revealed that sitting on a chair and swinging your leg or stamping your foot does not generally cause a knot to come undone. It appeared to be a combination of both motions that conspired to unravel laces.

 

Next, the scientists captured slow-motion video of a runner on a treadmill. They found that the foot strikes the ground at seven times the force of gravity and as the fabric of the shoe squashes down on impact, extra lace is freed at the top of the shoe, causing the knot to loosen slightly with each stride. Meanwhile, the swinging leg causes the lace’s free ends to whip back and forth tugging them outwards. As the knot loosens, the friction holding the knot tight decreases, and as the free ends lengthen, the whipping force goes up, leading to an avalanche effect.

“The interesting thing about this mechanism is that your laces can be fine for a really long time, and it’s not until you get one little bit of motion to cause loosening that starts this avalanche effect leading to knot failure,” said Christine Gregg, a graduate student at UC Berkeley and a co-author.

The scientists tested two basic versions of the standard knot and bow: the square knot and the weaker granny knot. In a square knot, you start by crossing the lace in your right hand in front of the one in your left hand and then threading it under the left one. For the bow you repeat the process, but crossing the end that’s now in your right hand behind the one in your left (with added loops to make the bow). In a granny knot the same overhand motion is repeated for both knot and bow.

According to the data, the lace slippage rate was cut by at least a factor of five using a square knot compared with a granny knot. “Simply reversing the way we form the final knot when tying laces makes a huge difference,” Matthews said.

O’Reilly said: “With the strong [square] knot you might be able to get through the day without it failing.” Although he admitted to still using the granny knot himself through habit.

The study suggests the square knot works better because the impact of the foot loosens the knot more slowly, but the scientists were not able to establish why this is the case.

 

The study is published in the journal Proceedings of the Royal Society A.

Source : theguardian.com

Categorized in Others

There are multiple timelines playing out in parallel universes, according to a team of researchers.

The sensational claim was made by a team of physicists, who believe that the parallel universes can all affect one another.

Professor Howard Wiseman and Dr. Michael Hall, from Griffith University’s Centre for Quantum Dynamics, claim that the idea of parallel universes is more than just science fiction.

Fellow researcher Dr. Dirk-Andre Deckert, from the University of California, helped further the researchers’ theory, which goes against almost all conventional understanding of space and time.

 

WEARABLE CAMERA LETS YOU 'GO BACK IN TIME' TO RECORD FLEETING MOMENTS

If there really are multiple, interacting universes, then it would be possible for time travellers to visit Earth, and every imaginable scenario would be played out in a parallel universe at some point.

The team’s ‘Many Interacting Worlds Theory’ provides a whole new perspective on the ideas underpinning quantum theory, a notoriously complex strand of physics.

Professor Wiseman said: “The idea of parallel universes in quantum mechanics has been around since 1957.

“In the well-known ‘Many-Worlds Interpretation’, each universe branches into a bunch of new universes every time a quantum measurement is made.

 

“All possibilities are therefore realised – in some universes the dinosaur-killing asteroid missed Earth. In others, Australia was colonised by the Portuguese.

“But critics question the reality of these other universes, since they do not influence our universe at all.

“On this score, our ‘Many Interacting Worlds’ approach is completely different, as its name implies.”

WEASEL SHUTS DOWN WORLD'S LARGEST ATOM SMASHER IN SWITZERLAND

According to the theory, our universe is just one of many enormous worlds, with some identical to our reality and others completely different.

The Express reports that the worlds are all real, and all on the same timeline, but interact when they essentially bump into each other.

Dr. Hall believes that the group’s sensational theory fits with current scientific understanding, offering a new perspective rather than rewriting the physics rule book completely.

Author:  The Sun

Source:  http://www.foxnews.com/

Categorized in Online Research

LIFE probably does not exist on Mars as there is no water on the surface of the planet, a new study found.

A new study of meteorites that have crashed into the surface of the Red Planet over millions of years has found none showed signs of rust, suggesting there is no liquid present on Earth’s neighbour.

Our Neightbouring planet still harbours plenty of secrets, but alien life may not be one of them
Who would live in a place like this? A photo of the barren Martian surface

Who would live in a place like this? A photo of the barren Martian surface

There is less moisture on Mars than in the driest place on Earth – the Atacama Desert in Chile and Peru.

Some weather stations in this region have received no rain for years, while another station reports an average of one millimetre per year.

An international team of planetary scientists led by the University of Stirling suggested rust free meteorites showed Mars was incredibly dry and has been for millions of years.

 

The findings showed how difficult it would be for life to exist on Mars today as Earth’s nearest neighbour is the primary target in the search for life elsewhere.

Dr Christian Schröder said: “Evidence shows that more than three billion years ago Mars was wet and habitable.

“However, this latest research reaffirms just how dry the environment is today.

“For life to exist in the areas we investigated, it would need to find pockets far beneath the surface, located away from the dryness and radiation present on the ground.”

National Geographic series Mars

An artist’s impression of astronauts exploring Mars

A study last year using data from the Curiosity Rover investigating Gale crater suggested very salty liquid water might be able to condense in the top layers of Martian soil overnight.

But the lecturer in environmental science and planetary exploration and science team collaborator for the Mars Exploration Rover Opportunity mission added: "But, as our data show, this moisture is much less than the moisture present even in the driest places on Earth."

The Mars Exploration Rover Opportunity provided data on a cluster of meteorites at Meridiani Planum - a plain just south of the planet's equator and at a similar latitude to Gale crater.

The study comes as the European Space Agency's Schiaparelli lander prepares to land on Mars to search for life

The European Space Agency's Schiaparelli craft, which failed in its mission to land a exploration robot on the Red Planet

Author:  Tony Whitfield

Source:  https://www.thesun.co.uk

Categorized in News & Politics

The search for life on Mars might just center around a strange funnel-shaped surface feature inside a crater, scientists say in a new study. Located in what is known as the Hellas depression, the feature could hold the “ingredients of life.”

The Daily Mail reported last week that a new study suggests that volcanic activity on Mars might have been a key contributor to the odd funnel depression that could be Mars’ best chance to host living organisms. Scientists have believed that a volcano located beneath a glacier on Mars’ surface created the Hellas depression, but new data taken from stereoscopic images and digital elevation models indicates that the formation is not only volcanic in origin, it might be similar to “ice cauldrons” on Earth. Such a formation could create an environment warm enough to host liquid water and chemical nutrients that might support life.

Ice cauldrons are found on Earth in places like Iceland and Greenland, created when volcanoes erupt under an ice sheet. On Mars, these same conditions potentially could host life.

Joseph Levy, a research associate and lead author of the study from the University of Texas Institute for Geophysics, explained the reasoning behind the study’s site choice.

“We were drawn to this site because it looked like it could host some of the key ingredients for habitability – water, heat, and nutrients.”

The Hellas depression, as noted, is located in a crater at the edge of the Hellas basin. Ancient glacial deposits surround the feature.

Photo of Mars' Hellas basin

The Hellas basin on Mars. [Image by ESA/DLR/FU Berlin (G. Neukum)/Getty Images]

Nor is the feature, which was first discovered in 2009 in images from the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter, unique. It is similar to a depression in the Galaxias Fossae region.

“These landforms caught our eye because they’re weird looking. They’re concentrically fractured so they look like a bull’s-eye. That can be a very diagnostic pattern you see in Earth materials,” Levy admitted.

The study concluded that the two funnel structures were formed in different ways. The Galaxias Fossae depression seems to be a product of an impact, while the Hellas depression showed several indications of volcanism.

 

Levy and his fellow researchers suggest that such depressions on Mars should be considered as prime locations for the search for life on the Red Planet. The Hellas formation is of particular interest due to its possible volcanic origins and the potential for life-fostering properties.

The search for life on Mars might have received a boost or perhaps even a confirmation (or denial) of its existence last month had the Rocosmos and European Space Agency’s lander been able to continue its mission on the planet’s surface. Called Schiaparelli, the lander was an astrobiology project specifically designed to search for life on Mars. As the Inquisitr reported, Schiaparelli exploded on impact with the surface on October 19, a victim of its parachute deploying too early (although conspiracy theorists oddly accused NASA of shooting down the craft to maintain its scientific dominance).

Mars landscape at sunset

Mars life might be found first in a crater in the Hellas basin that exhibits a strange funnel-shaped depression. [Image by Jurik Peter/Shutterstock]

Beyond Mars, the search for life outside the bounds of the Solar System received help from the Parkes Observatory in Australia this week. According to Space.com, the telescope joined the $100 million Breakthrough Listen project, the astronomical initiative launched by Russian billionaire Yuri Milner, becoming the third telescope in the line-up that includes the Green Bank Telescope in West Virginia and the Automated Planet Finder at Lick Observatory in Northern California.

 

“The addition of Parkes is an important milestone,” Milner said in a statement. “These major instruments are the ears of planet Earth, and now they are listening for signs of other civilizations.”

The Parkes dish’s first Breakthrough Listen observations were received from the nearest star system, Proxima Centauri, where a planet has been detected that exists in the star’s habitable zone.

Author:  Norman Byrd

Source:  http://www.inquisitr.com/

Categorized in News & Politics

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