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An Indian chemical plant has figured out how to turn its carbon emissions into baking soda

An Indian chemical plant has figured out how to turn its carbon emissions into baking soda This could solve a lot of problems. PETER DOCKRILL 4 JAN 2017 AddThis Sharing Buttons Share to FacebookShare to TwitterShare to FlipboardShare to Copy Link A chemical plant in India is the first in the world to run a new system for capturing carbon emissions and converting them into baking soda. The Tuticorin Alkali Chemicals plant, in the industrial port city of Tuticorin, is expecting to convert some 60,000 tonnes of CO2 emissions annually into baking soda and other chemicals – and the scientists behind the process say the technique could be used to ultimately capture and transform up to 10 percent of global emissions from coal. While carbon capture technology is not a new thing, what’s remarkable about the Tuticorin installation is that it’s running without subsidies from the government – suggesting the researchers have developed a profitable, practical system that could have the commercial potential to expand to other plants and industries. “I am a businessman. I never thought about saving the planet,” the managing director of the plant, Ramachadran Gopalan, told the BBC. “I needed a reliable stream of CO2, and …

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Finland has just launched a world-first universal basic income experiment

Finland has just launched a world-first universal basic income experiment It’s finally happening. DOM GALEON, FUTURISM 3 JAN 2017 AddThis Sharing Buttons Share to FacebookShare to TwitterShare to FlipboardShare to Copy Link It looks like 2,000 citizens in Finland will welcome the new year with outstretched arms. These Finns are the lucky recipients of a guaranteed income beginning this year, as the country’s government finally rolls out its universal basic income (UBI) trial run. UBI is a potential source of income that could one day be available to all adult citizens, regardless of income, wealth, or employment status. This pioneering UBI program was launched by the federal social security institution, Kela. It will give out €560 (US$587) a month, tax free, to 2,000 Finns that were randomly selected. The only requirement was that they had to be already receiving unemployment benefits or an income subsidy. The program allows unemployed Finns to not lose their benefits, even when they try out odd jobs. “Incidental earnings do not reduce the basic income, so working and … self-employment are worthwhile no matter what,” says Marjukka Turunen, legal unit head at Kela. If successful, the program could be extended to include all adult Finns. “Its purpose is to reduce the …

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Physicists have figured out how to create matter and antimatter using light

A team of researchers from the Institute of Applied Physics of the Russian Academy of Sciences (IAP RAS) has just announced that they managed to calculate how to create matter and antimatter using lasers. This means that, by focusing high-powered laser pulses, we might soon be able to create matter and antimatter using light. To break this down a bit, light is made of high-energy photons. When high-energy photons go through strong electric fields, they lose enough radiation that they become gamma rays and create electron-positron pairs, thus creating a new state of matter. “A strong electric field can, generally speaking, ‘boil the vacuum,’ which is full of ‘virtual particles,’ such as electron-positron pairs. The field can convert these types of particles from a virtual state, in which the particles aren’t directly observable, to a real one,” says Igor Kostyukov of IAP RAS, who references their calculations on the concept of quantum electrodynamics (QED). NASA Astrophysics A QED cascade is a series of processes that starts with electrons and positrons accelerating within a laser field. It will then be followed by the release of high-energy photons, electrons, and positrons. As high-energy photons decay, it will produce electron-positron pairs. Essentially, a …

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The world’s first hydrogen-powered passenger train is coming to Germany The future is here.

The world’s first hydrogen-powered passenger train has been unveiled this week by French transport company Alstom, which will be operating the incredibly quiet and environmentally friendly ‘Coradia iLint’ in Germany from next year. The best thing about the Coradia iLint train is that it only leaks excess steam and condensed water into the atmosphere, which means it offers a zero-emissions alternative to Germany’s 4,000-strong fleet of diesel trains. The train was presented to the public for the first time last week at Berlin’s InnoTrans trade show. Nicknamed the hydrail, it’s set to become the first hydrogen-powered passenger train to regularly operate over long distances. The iLint is expected to run on the Buxtehude-Bremervörde-Bremerhaven-Cuxhaven regional line in the northwestern German state of Lower Saxony, with testing and approval procedures to be carried out later this year, and public access to open up by December 2017. According to German newspaper Die Welt, Lower Saxony’s local transportation authority has so far ordered 14 iLint trains from Alstom, and if they prove to be a success, more will likely be seen in other regional areas of the country. Interest in the train has also been expressed by leaders in the Netherlands, Denmark and Norway. The iLint …

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New evidence is forcing scientists to reconsider how the Moon was formed

  New evidence is forcing scientists to reconsider how the Moon was formed Things just got complicated. BEC CREW 13 SEP 2016 For decades, scientists have been debating what it would have looked like when a chunk of Earth broke off and formed our Moon some 4.5 billion years ago. And now new chemical evidence suggests that things were way more violent than we’d assumed, with researchers suggesting that the impact that set our Moon free was “like a sledgehammer hitting a watermelon”. It’s well-established that the Moon was once a part of Earth before it was sloughed off the side and thrown into our orbit, but the circumstances in which this ‘great uncoupling’ occurred has been a topic of heated debate. Until recently, the most widely accepted hypothesis for how the Moon was formed suggested that a Mars-sized object (sometimes called Theia) once collided with the still-developing Earth, about 20 to 100 million years after the Solar System first came together. While our young planet appears to have come out of the collision fairly unscathed, the impact would have caused Theia’s core and most of its mantle to sink into and merge with Earth’s own core and mantle. Of …

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Human Growth round the world

Global height study finds out who grew the most in the past 100 years Get up, stand up. JACINTA BOWLER 27 JUL 2016 933 In a global height analysis based on nearly 1,500 studies, Dutch men and Latvian women topped the charts, standing tallest at heights of 182.5cm and 169.8cm on average respectively. The study found heights have changed dramatically between 1914 and 2014, with South Korean women showing the largest increase of 20.2 cm over the period. Americans are leading the race in another trend – plateauing. The study shows that although humans as a species are still getting taller, countries such as the US, UK, and Japan have stopped or slowed growing significantly in the last 30-40 years. The US, once home to the 3rd tallest men and 4th tallest women in the world, are now sitting in 37th and 42nd place respectively. “This study gives us a picture of the health of nations over the past century, and reveals the average height of some nations may even be shrinking while others continue to grow taller,” said lead researcher Majid Ezzati from Imperial College London in the UK. “Our study also shows the English-speaking world, especially the USA, is …

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A classic formula for pi has been discovered hidden in hydrogen atoms

For the first time, scientists have discovered a classic formula for pi in the world of quantum physics. Pi is the ratio between a circle’s circumference and its diameter, and is incredibly important in pure mathematics, but now scientists have also found it “lurking” in the world of physics, when using quantum mechanics to compare the energy levels of a hydrogen atom. Why is that exciting? Well, it reveals an incredibly special and previously unknown connection between quantum physics and maths. “I find it fascinating that a purely mathematical formula from the 17th century characterises a physical system that was discovered 300 years later,” said one of the lead researchers, Tamar Friedmann, a mathematician at the University of Rochester in the US. Seriously, wow. The discovery was made when Carl Hagen, a particle physicist at the University of Rochester, was teaching a class on quantum mechanics and explaining to his students how to use a quantum mechanical technique known as the ‘variation principle’ to approximate the energy states of a hydrogen atom. While comparing these values to conventional calculations, he noticed an unusual trend in the ratios. He asked Friedmann to help him work out this trend, and they quickly …

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क्वांतम की सच्चाई, truth as per Quantum mechanics

Reality doesn’t exist until we measure it, quantum experiment confirms Mind = blown. FIONA MACDONALD 1 JUN 2015 230.4k Australian scientists have recreated a famous experiment and confirmed quantum physics’s bizarre predictions about the nature of reality, by proving that reality doesn’t actually exist until we measure it – at least, not on the very small scale. That all sounds a little mind-meltingly complex, but the experiment poses a pretty simple question: if you have an object that can either act like a particle or a wave, at what point does that object ‘decide’? Our general logic would assume that the object is either wave-like or particle-like by its very nature, and our measurements will have nothing to do with the answer. But quantum theory predicts that the result all depends on how the object is measured at the end of its journey. And that’s exactly what a team from the Australian National University has now found. “It proves that measurement is everything. At the quantum level, reality does not exist if you are not looking at it,” lead researcher and physicist Andrew Truscott said in a press release. Known as John Wheeler’s delayed-choice thought experiment, the experiment was first proposed …

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