Mystery of the missing molecules

first_imgIn a famous parable, three blind men encounter an elephant for the first time. Each touches a part —the trunk, ear, side — and concludes the creature is a thick snake, a fan, or a wall. This elephant, said Kang-Kuen Ni, is like the quantum world. But scientists understand that they can only explore one tiny bit of this vast, unknown creature at a time. Now, Ni has revealed a few more to explore.It started last December, when she and her team constructed a new apparatus capable of achieving the lowest-temperature chemical reactions of any currently available technology, and then broke and formed the coldest bonds in the history of molecular coupling. An unforeseen benefit was that the ultracold temperatures slowed the reaction so much that researchers caught the first real-time glimpse of what happens during a chemical transformation. Though reactions were considered too fast to measure, Ni managed to determine the lifetime of that one — and solve the mystery of the missing molecules in the process.With ultracold chemistry, Ni, the Morris Kahn Associate Professor of Chemistry and Chemical Biology and of Physics, and her team cooled two potassium-rubidium molecules to just above absolute zero and found the “intermediate,” the space where reactants transform into products, lived for about 360 nanoseconds (almost a million times longer than they live in higher-temperature reactions). “It’s not the reactant. It’s not the product. It’s something in between,” Ni said. Watching that transformation, like touching the side of an elephant, can tell her researchers something new about how molecules, the foundation of everything, work.But they didn’t just watch.“This thing lives so long that now we can actually mess around with it … with light,” said Yu Liu, a grad student in the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences and first author on the study published in Nature Physics. “Typical complexes, like those in a room-temperature reaction, you wouldn’t be able to do much with because they dissociate into products so quickly.”Like “Star Trek” tractor beams, lasers can trap and manipulate molecules. In ultracold physics, this is the go-to method for capturing and controlling atoms, observing them in their quantum ground state, or forcing them to react. But when scientists moved from manipulating atoms to messing with molecules, something strange happened: Molecules started to disappear from view.“They prepared these molecules, hoping to realize many of the applications that they promise — building quantum computers, for example — but instead what they see is loss,” Liu said.Alkali atoms, like the potassium and rubidium Ni and her team study, are easy to cool down in the ultracold realm. In 1997, scientists won a Nobel Prize in physics for cooling and trapping alkali atoms in laser light. But molecules are wonkier than atoms: They aren’t just a spherical thing sitting there, said Liu. They can rotate and vibrate. When trapped together in the laser light, the gas molecules bumped against each other as expected, but some simply disappeared.Scientists speculated that the molecular loss resulted from reactions — two molecules bumped together and, instead of heading off in different directions, they transformed into something new. But how?“What we found in this paper answers that question,” Liu said. Turns out it’s the light’s fault.When Liu and Ni used lasers to manipulate that intermediate complex — the middle of their chemical reaction — they discovered the light forced the molecules off their typical reaction path and into a new one. A pair of molecules, stuck together as an intermediate complex, can get “photo-excited” instead of following their traditional path, Liu said. Alkali molecules are particularly susceptible because of how long they live in their intermediate complex.“Basically, if you want to eliminate loss, you’ve got to turn off the light,” Liu said. “You’ve got to find another way to trap these things.” Magnets, for example, or electric fields can trap molecules, too. “But these are all technically demanding,” said Liu. Light is just simpler. Next, Ni wants to see where these complexes go when they disappear. Certain wavelengths of light (like the infrared the team used to excite their potassium-rubidium molecules) can create different reaction paths — but no one knows which wavelengths send molecules into which new formations.They also plan to explore what the complex looks like at various stages of transformation. “To probe its structure, we can vary the frequency of the light and see how the degree of excitation varies,” Liu said. “From there, we can figure out where the energy levels of this thing are, which informs on its quantum mechanical construct.”“We hope this will serve as a model system,” Ni said, an example for how researchers can explore other low-temperature reactions that don’t involve potassium and rubidium.“This reaction is, like many other chemical reactions, sort of a universe in its own,” said Liu. With each new observation, the team reveals a tiny part of the giant quantum elephant. Since there are an infinite number of chemical reactions in the known universe, there are still many, many pieces to explore.Funding support for the project came from the Department of Energy, David and Lucile Packard Foundation, the Dutch Research Council (NWO), and the National Science Foundation, Department of Defense, and the Alexander von Humboldt Found Catching lightning in a bottle Related Tiny tweezers In a first, optical tweezers give Harvard scientists the control to capture ultracold molecules Researchers in an ultracold environment get a first look at exactly what happens during a chemical reaction last_img read more

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Lin-Manuel Miranda’s Hamilton to Have World Premiere at the Public

first_imgTony winner Lin-Manuel Miranda’s Hamilton will have its world premiere as part of the Public Theater’s 2014-15 season. Helmed by his Tony-nominated In The Heights director Thomas Kail, the new musical features Miranda playing Alexander Hamilton, one of the founding fathers and the first Secretary of the Treasury. The production will begin performances on January 20, 2015 and run through February 22.Inspired by the book Alexander Hamilton by Ron Chernow, Hamilton features a cast of historical figures that includes George Washington, Aaron Burr, James Madison and Thomas Jefferson.Miranda is the Tony and Grammy winning composer/lyricist of Broadway’s In the Heights. He is also the co-composer and co-lyricist of Broadway’s Bring it On: The Musical. His TV and film credits include The Electric Company, Sesame Street, The Sopranos, House, Modern Family, Do No Harm, Smash, How I Met Your Mother, The Sex and the City Movie, The Odd Life of Timothy Green and 200 Cartas.Click below for Miranda’s performance of a song from Hamilton at the White House in 2009. Lin-Manuel Miranda Show Closed This production ended its run on May 3, 2015 Related Shows Star Files View Comments Hamilton (Off-Broadway)last_img read more

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Newcastle Thunder aiming to cause a storm with Super League ambitions | Rugby League News

first_imgLeague One club Newcastle are aiming for a bright future in Super League York: A Super League future? York City Knights head coach James Ford on the progress of the club and their Super League ambitions. “What drives him is he wants Kingston Park to become a centre for rugby, no matter what your ability or interest. You can turn up there, you can play, you can watch and just feel part of that rugby community – and when he says it, he means it.“He’s put money behind in and invested in those facilities and invested time in it. That long-term aim is very much in place and if you look what we do in the community, we deal with so many different sectors of the community and try to involve them in their own way within either rugby league or union.” With just under one year to go, we take a look at how the north-east is preparing to be a focal point of RLWC 2021. It is 21 years since Gateshead Thunder flew the flag for the north east of England in Super League for a single season. If their descendants have their way though, it may not be long before the region has a presence in the top flight again.A Thunder team comprising former Australia international Kerrod Walters, that year’s joint-leading try-scorer Matt Daylight and a future Sky Sports presenter by the name of Brian Carney performed creditably during the 1999 season, finishing sixth and just two points off a play-off place.But the venture was claimed to have lost £700,000, the club were merged with Hull Sharks to become Hull FC and a new Thunder side was formed by the fans for the 2001 Northern Ford Premiership, and are yet to return to Super League. When Sky Sports spoke to Hogan, the sport in this country was yet to learn whether Toronto Wolfpack would be allowed back into Super League for 2021 after withdrawing ahead of this season’s restart.But since then the Canadian club’s business plan has been rejected, meaning an opportunity for the Thunder to fast-track their way in may have opened up as Super League looks to fill the vacant 12th spot in the division through a mini-licensing process.Should they apply, the League One side are likely to face stiff competition from Championship sides like Toulouse Olympique, London Broncos and York City Knights, although even before this came about Newcastle could make a pretty compelling case for their Super League potential.For starters, the city is familiar turf for Super League, having hosted Magic Weekend five times at St James’ Park and been due to do so again in 2020 before the coronavirus pandemic intervened. Newcastle’s aim is to win Super League by 2030. Chairman Mick Hogan says: “People check to see I’ve not been drinking because, let’s be honest, most of Super League hasn’t won it – so why would some crackpots in the north-east win it? But we believe we’ve got everything in place.” By Marc BazeleyLast Updated: 06/11/20 5:07pm – Advertisement – “We’ve got some big plans and the biggest aim we’ve got is to win Super League by 2030,” Thunder chairman Mick Hogan told Sky Sports.“When I say that, people check to see I’ve not been drinking because, let’s be honest, most of Super League hasn’t won Super League – so why would some crackpots in the north-east win it? But we believe we’ve got everything in place.“We need a fair bit of luck, we need a couple more promotions yet, but we can win Super League in 2030 and that’s what we’re aiming for.”center_img Brian Carney in action for Gateshead during their sole season in Super League Brian Carney in action for Gateshead during their sole season in Super League

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The CNTB is organizing a water distribution campaign for tourists at border crossings

first_imgWe have already entered the peak of the tourist season, and accordingly every weekend there are big crowds at the borders due to the large number of tourists, and additionally crowds are created due to occasional, targeted, border control.Thus, large crowds are expected this weekend as well, and HAK says that possible waits are expected at some border crossings with Slovenia, BiH and Hungary. “On the last weekend in July, we expect a significant increase in traffic as early as Thursday, July 27, while the peak of traffic jams is expected during Saturday, July 29, from the earliest morning hours. The largest number of tourists will again come from Western European countries, Austria, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, etc. In Germany, the holidays in the state of Baden-Württenberg, and on Saturday in Bavaria from which a large number will head to the Adriatic for a summer vacation or will pass through Croatia to their destinations in Eastern Europe. In addition to citizens from the European Union, many citizens of the Republic of Croatia, but also neighboring countries (Slovenia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Serbia), will go on summer vacation. ”Point out from HAK.Well done to the CNTB and the action of sharing water for touristsFollowing the announced traffic jams and increased traffic at border crossings, the Croatian National Tourist Board is organizing a water distribution campaign for passengers, which will be carried out over the next three weekends, ie ending on the weekend of 12 and 13 August. This is an action of the Croatian Tourist Board which, in a symbolic way, thanks all passengers and tourists for their patience in traffic, but also for choosing Croatia as a tourist destination.The action will take place on Saturday mornings and on Sunday afternoons at the following border crossings: Macelj, Bregana, Rupa, Plovanija, Bajakovo and on NP Lučko where the water will be shared in cooperation with the Croatian Motorway maintenance and toll collection.Definitely great move CNTB, although symbolic, but sure how it will positively reflect and be double accepted among most tourists. The apology and understanding of what guests have been waiting for for hours in cars at + 30C and above, shows good intention and that we care about guests, as well as a small token of attention in the form of a bottle of water to freshen up. We can look at this from the aspect of crisis communication, the fact is that little can be done at the moment to reduce crowds, but to reduce the negative perception and scenes of angry and frustrated guests, sometimes only good will, open communication, understanding and gratitude are enough.last_img read more

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Indonesians in US confirmed safe as George Floyd protests continue nationwide

first_imgThe Indonesian Consulate General in Chicago has said that about 1,900 Indonesian nationals living in several states affected by the George Floyd protests in the American Midwest are safe.The protests, which erupted last Tuesday, have spread across the United States.The consulate general further reported that, to maintain security, at least 25 cities had imposed curfews and National Guard personnel been activated in at least 16 states as of Monday. “Indonesians living in protest-affected states are in good and safe condition,” the consulate general said in a statement on Monday, adding that it was maintaining communication with the Indonesian citizens to ensure their safety.”Those who need help can contact our 24-hour hotline at +1(312)347-9114,” it added.Read also: US anti-racism protests stretch to distant New ZealandOf the Indonesian nationals residing in the Midwest, 864 were in Chicago, 334 in Detroit, 272 in Minneapolis-St. Paul, 277 in Columbus, 81 in Cincinnati, 68 in Cleveland, 31 in Toledo, 27 in Dayton and 36 in Des Moines. Sympathy protests over the death of Floyd, the black man who was unarmed when he was killed at the hands of a white police officer in Minneapolis, Minnesota, were held across the nation shortly after the fatality.Initially peaceful rallies eventually developed into nights of unrest with reports of shootings, looting and vandalism in several cities.Reuters reported that Hennepin County prosecutors had charged Derek Chauvin, the officer who killed Floyd, with murder, yet the arrest did not succeed in lowering tensions.Protesters have been demanding systemic changes, crying support for the Black Lives Matter movement in response to decades of killings of African-Americans by the police.Topics :last_img read more

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Letters

first_imgAlmaty needs helpSir – In your news item on Kazakstan (RG 12.96 p786) reference is made to the signature of a letter of intent for Skoda Plzen to rehabilitate the tramway networks in Almaty and Akmola. Some difficulty may be experienced in rehabilitating the Akmola network, as while Akmola has trolleybuses, it has never operated a tramway.Even to rehabilitate the Almaty tramway would involve much effort. Since the end of the Soviet era, six of the nine routes have closed, and the fleet of 202 cars has diminished to about 55, of which only 36 are capable of operation on any one day. The condition of both vehicles and track is almost beyond redemption, and the local authority sees the future in terms of franchising urban motor bus routes for private sector operation.That said, it is understood that certain issues have been discussed at central government level concerning Skoda’s capabilities in the sphere of electric transport development, especially for Almaty. However, as yet there have been neither specific feasibility studies nor any business plans, nor has there been any discussion about the scale or apportionment of investment. Thus at present electric transport rehabilitation is little more than an idea, although it may gain some tangible shape when Skoda’s delegation arrives in Almaty for negotiations.Some sort of aid package would make sense, as Almaty currently holds the dubious distinction of being the world’s only major city which is simultaneously abandoning its tramway and failing to open its metro (on which work ceased in 1993). The national and local authorities might be well advised to consider integrating the still physically intact tramway with the metro tunnels to create a San Francisco style subway-surface light rail network.T V RunnaclesNorth Point, Hong Konglast_img read more

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Beatrice Spring Nationals moved forward one day

first_imgBEATRICE, Neb. (March 7) – Racing at the 24th annual IMCA Spring Nationals at Beatrice Speedway has been moved to Thursday and Friday, March 9 and 10. The open practice now runs from 6-9 p.m. Wednesday, March 8, with the $500 to win Race of Champions for previous Modified winners at Spring Nationals set for 9:15 p.m.Hot laps will start at 5 p.m. with the first heat race at 6 p.m. both Thursday and Friday.Volatile weather forecasts are the reason for the change in schedule, promoter Toby Kruse said.The event will be broadcast live on Speed Shift TV.IMCA Modified features Thursday and Friday both pay $2,500 to win, a minimum of $250 to start and are Fast Shafts All-Star Invitational ballot qualifying events. IMCA Sunoco Stock Cars, Karl Chevrolet North­ern SportMods and IMCA Sunoco Hobby Stocks race Thursday and Friday, Mach-1 Sport Compacts on Friday.IMCA Speedway Motors Weekly Racing National, re­gional and Allstar Performance State points will be awarded both nights.Grandstand admission Thursday and Friday is $15 for adults and $5 for kids ages 10 and under. Pit passes are $10 on Wednesday and $30 on Thursday and Friday.More information about Spring Nationals is available from Kruse at 515 231-5444.last_img read more

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Sunman residents voice concern over MGP-Ingredients tax abatement, mold concerns

first_imgSunman, In. — The Sunman town council will meets tonight at 6:30 p.m. following the approval of a tax abatement to MGP Ingredients Indiana. The distillery plans to use a portion of the Duefol facility to age spirits.In recent weeks residents have used the Facebook page Sunman Area Citizens Against MGPI of Indiana to organize and spread the message, “The Angels Share is going to cause one hell of a problem.”The slogan refers to a fungus that grows as a result of evaporating ethanol. The black fungus will coat surfaces like houses and cars. Some fear property values could take a hit. The fungus, Baudoinia compniacensis, is documented in other distillery locations in Scotland and Ireland. In 2007, a scientific study was done that directly tied growth of the fungus to ethanol.A judge ordered Penrod Ricard to pay Lawrenceburg and Greendale residents $1.23 million in 2016 following a class action filed in 2005.Town officials say James & Linda Middlebrook, David Bruns and Carla Hacker are on the meeting agenda to address council. There are unconfirmed reports that residents will ask council members to resend the tax abatement.Sunman residents get a hearing on ‘barrel house’ proposalSunman group opposes ‘barrel house’ planSunman warehouse to be transformed into ‘barrel house’last_img read more

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Eden Hazard says rivals want to ‘kill’ champions Chelsea

first_img After Spain’s win in Macedonia, Costa said on as.com: “I’ve got a lot to improve and I’ve got to start scoring goals. “There will be no lack of effort on my part. I’ll keep working hard at my club to improve. “I am always filled with ambition whenever I get called for the national team. “On a personal level I am not happy because I didn’t manage to score.” The Blues are eight points adrift of leaders Manchester City after four points in four games and suffered a rare home loss – Jose Mourinho’s second at home in 100 league matches – against Crystal Palace before the international break. Chelsea next play at Everton on Saturday in a contest which could have added spice after the champions’ unsuccessful bid to sign defender John Stones. Hazard, the recipient of numerous awards as Chelsea’s star last term, is one of a number of players yet to hit the same performance levels, much to Mourinho’s dissatisfaction. The Belgium playmaker told fashion website HypeBeast.com: “It’s difficult to play as a champion because everyone wants to beat you, everyone wants to kill you. “We wear the gold badge and… yeah, it’s very good. We had a fantastic season last season… if we could do the same this season we’d be good.” Mourinho labelled Hazard one of the three best players in the world last term, alongside Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi. Hazard added: “Every day I try to reach a better level. This is my job, every day I try to score. Every game I try to score. “I just want to be champion. I just want to be a champion and win everything like I did last season.” Diego Costa made a stunning start to life at Chelsea last season and scored nine goals in his first seven league games, including two in a 6-3 win at Goodison Park. The Spain striker, though, has only struck once for club and country this season. Press Association Eden Hazard says Chelsea are finding life as Premier League champions challenging as “everyone wants to kill you”. last_img read more

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Arsene Wenger: Arsenal form creates confidence ahead of Anfield trip

first_img Arsenal are expected to return to full strength for their trip to Anfield as they look to defend their two-point lead at the top of the table. And Wenger, who remains hopeful a deal for Egypt international midfielder Mohamed Elneny will be completed by the end of the week, feels the current run holds his side in good stead heading into the game with Jurgen Klopp’s men. “The momentum creates confidence and confidence is vital at that level,” he said. “In December and now in January we have been consistent and we go into a very important part of the season because we play many games and that consistency is a good basis to go into the next game with the right belief. “The consistency of our results is very important. Therefore it was important to win on Saturday and not to break that belief. “It was good for me to see some players that have played less and to be down 1-0 and respond in the way we did and have an outstanding second half. It was all a very positive basis in preparation for Liverpool.” While Wenger will call upon his key men at Liverpool, one player who will not feature is Chile forward Alexis Sanchez – who continues to recover from a hamstring complaint. “We should have Ozil and Mathieu Flamini available,” Wenger said of his squad. “We will have to test David Ospina who is not available on Saturday. For Alexis, the Liverpool game will come too soon for him but he has a chance to be available for Stoke and his development is going well. “He is always keen to play. If you listen to Alexis, he can always play – even when he is injured. We try to be cautious. With a muscular injury you never exactly (know) how big the risk but he is very close. If you look at him training he is very close.” Arsene Wenger believes Arsenal’s current run of form means they go to Liverpool with the right belief to maintain their place at the Barclays Premier League summit. The Gunners have won seven of their last eight matches in all competition, with a Boxing Day defeat at Southampton the only blemish on their recent good run. Wenger made five changes for Saturday’s FA Cup third-round victory over Sunderland with the likes of Mesut Ozil and Per Mertesacker rested completely for the 3-1 win. center_img Press Associationlast_img read more

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