How did the universe begin

first_img Citation: How did the universe begin? (2008, June 24) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2008-06-universe.html 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. One of the most interesting questions considered by astrophysicists deals with the start of our universe. Indeed, there is a great deal of speculation on the subject, with different theories about how the universe began, and what may have existed before the universe came into being. center_img Several prominent astrophysicists around the world are interested in answering these questions. In one paper, “No-Boundary Measure of the Universe,” published in Physical Review Letters, James Hartle, Stephen Hawking and Thomas Hertog calculate the probabilities that the no-boundary wave function predicts in terms of classical space-time possibilities.“Theories regarding the beginning of the universe are expressed as wave functions,” Hartle tells PhysOrg.com. “The no-boundary wave function is one theory about the origins of the universe.” The goal of this particular work with Hawking and Hertog, he continues, was to model the universe and see what kind of probabilities exist that the current universe could have originated in a certain way.The no-boundary proposal predicts that expansion in the early universe would have proceeded smoothly from a moment in time. The idea is that inflation was a feature of our early universe. “It collapsed from a previous large phase, bounced at a small but not zero radius, and expanded again to the large phase we are living in,” says Hartle.The no-boundary wave function also states that space-time was not what we see today at the outset of universal expansion. “When the universe started out,” Hartle explains, “there wasn’t ordinary space-time. Instead of three space directions, as we have now, there were four space directions. At some point, a transition was made to ordinary space-time.”Hartle and his colleagues examined models of the universe that were homogenous, isotropic and closed. A cosmological constant was assumed, as was a scalar field with quadratic potential. They looked at entire classical histories, examining the ideas of a singularity, such as a Big Bang, or considering a bounce with a finite radius. The point was to get a picture of which scenarios are most likely to produce a universe that is similar to what we see currently.“Both things, a Big Bang or a bounce, are possible,” Hartle says. “However, we found a significant probability that the early universe might have bounced.” Hartle does admit that the simple model used by him and his colleagues does have its limitations. For one thing, the universe is not completely homogenous as the model assumes. “You see a certain lumpiness in the real universe,” he concedes. However, most of the irregularities are small, and many of them can, in fact, be ultimately accounted for in a no-boundary proposal. “Our model does make a number of strong assumptions,” Hartle continues. But, he insists, “this is a standard trade-off in physics. Our model is simplified so that we can analyze it completely.”“In present cosmology, we test models to see if different proposals fit the universe that we see. In this instance, we see that the no-boundary wave function does,” Hartle says. “We see that there is a good chance the universe originated in a bounce.” “We hope that can extend this to other, more sophisticated models, with different potentials and different degrees of freedom.”Copyright 2008 PhysOrg.com. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed in whole or part without the express written permission of PhysOrg.com.last_img read more

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Invisibility cloak that generates virtual images gets closer to realization

first_img Explore further The team of engineers, Wei Xiang Jiang, Hui Feng Ma, Qiang Cheng, and Tie Jun Cui from Southeast University in Nanjing, China, describes the recently developed class of optical transformation media as “illusion media.” As they explain in a new study, any object enclosed by such an illusion medium layer appears to be one or more other objects. The researchers’ proposed device is designed to operate at microwave frequencies. “The illusion media make an enclosed object appear like another object or multiple virtual objects,” Cui told PhysOrg.com. “Hence it can be applied to confuse the detectors or the viewers, and the detectors or the viewers can’t perceive the real object. As a result, the enclosed object will be protected.”As the researchers explain, illusion media is similar to an invisibility cloak, except for one main difference. In a perfect invisibility cloak, there are almost no scattering electric fields, so that the illusion space is only free space. In illusion media, on the other hand, the material creates scattered electric field patterns that generate virtual images. Any detector located outside the illusion medium layer will perceive the electromagnetic waves as if they were scattered from a virtual object. “Generally speaking, different objects will generate different scattering patterns under the illumination of electromagnetic/optical waves,” Ciu explained. “Hence a detector can perceive an object according to its scattering pattern. Our illusion media will change the scattering patterns of the enclosed object to make it appear like another object or multiple virtual objects.”The new illusion media design has an advantage over previously proposed illusion media, in that it should be easier to fabricate. As Ciu explains, this ability is due to how the illusion medium is constructed. “The general concept of our illusion media is similar to that of previous illusion media,” Cui said. “However, the previously proposed illusion media are two distinct pieces of metamaterials, which are called complementary medium and restoring medium. The complementary medium is composed of left-handed materials with simultaneously negative permittivity and permeability. As a result, the proposed illusion device is extremely demanding of material parameters, and is hardly realized. Our purpose is to make the illusion media be fairly realizable. All permittivity and permeability components of our illusion media are finite and positive. Hence the presented approach makes it possible to realize the illusion media using artificial metamaterials.” (PhysOrg.com) — In a twist on the concept of an invisibility cloak, researchers have designed a material that not only makes an object invisible, but also generates one or more virtual images in its place. Because it doesn’t simply display the background environment to a viewer, this kind of optical device could have applications that go beyond a normal invisibility cloak. Plus, unlike previously proposed illusion devices, the design proposed here could be realized with artificial metamaterials. Citation: Invisibility cloak that generates virtual images gets closer to realization (2010, April 2) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2010-04-invisibility-cloak-virtual-images-closer.html Illusion media can transform a real image into a virtual image. For example, a golden apple (the actual object) enclosed within the illusion medium layer appears as two green apples (the illusion) to any viewer outside the virtual boundary (dashed curves). Image credit: Jiang, et al. Copyright 2010 PhysOrg.com. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed in whole or part without the express written permission of PhysOrg.com. More information: Wei Xiang Jiang, Hui Feng Ma, Qiang Cheng, and Tie Jun Cui. “Illusion media: Generating virtual objects using realizable metamaterials.” Applied Physics Letters 96, 121910 (2010). Doi:10.1063/1.3371716 Transform a ball into a rock — or make it invisible — using transformation optics 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

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NIST physicists build a watt balance using LEGO blocks to measure Plancks

first_img To understand why the team at NIST would do such a thing requires a bit of background. Over the last century or so, scientists have been slowly replacing physical artifacts used for measurement, with devices that are based on more standard phenomenon—the meter, for example, is now based on time, rather than a rod sitting in a building. The lone holdout has been the kilogram, which is still defined by a chunk of metal sitting in a vault in France. But that’s going to change soon, as the International System of Units is reviewing possibilities—one of which are devices based on measuring the value of Planck’s constant to a certain degree of accuracy. Planck’s constant describes the relationship between the energy and frequency of an electromagnetic wave. One kind of device that can be used to measure mass based on Planck’s constant or taken the other way, to find a value for Planck’s constant based on a known mass, is called a watt balance. It does its work by balancing the force exerted by gravity with the force of current in a coil—the mass of an object can be calculated by comparing the mechanical power to the electrical power in the device.Scientists at NIST and other places have built elaborate and expensive watt balances, but in this new effort, they wanted to find a way to create one that anyone could build, and they found a way to do so by basing it on LEGO blocks—they actually built three, one of which they chose to outline in detail, describing not only how it works, but the parts used so that other’s could build one too. Their design, they say would require a would-be constructor to lay down just $634 for all the parts, which include 2 sub- milliwatt lasers, photodiode, controllers, etc. They note that some industrious sorts would likely be able to reduce costs using other less expensive parts they source themselves. © 2014 Tech Xplore (Phys.org)—A team of physicists at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) outside of Washington D.C. has found a way to bring physics to the masses—they’ve designed and built a watt balance based on LEGO blocks. They’ve also written a paper and uploaded it to the preprint server arXiv in which they describe their device and how it was built it, should readers wish to construct one of their own. Journal information: arXiv Video: vimeo.com/128598681 Image of three similar versions of the LEGO watt balance. The acrylic cases are backlit with blue LEDs and serve the purpose of blocking out disturbances from air currents. Two hinged doors on the front panel allow for small masses to be placed and removed from the mass pans. All the electronics are mounted below the wooden base board. Four adjustable feet are used for leveling the balance. Credit: arXiv:1412.1699 [physics.ins-det] Citation: NIST physicists build a watt balance using LEGO blocks to measure Planck’s constant (2014, December 16) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2014-12-nist-physicists-watt-lego-blocks.htmlcenter_img More information: A LEGO Watt Balance: An apparatus to demonstrate the definition of mass based on the new SI, arXiv:1412.1699 [physics.ins-det] arxiv.org/abs/1412.1699AbstractA global effort to redefine our International System of Units (SI) is underway and the change to the new system is expected to occur in 2018. Within the newly redefined SI, the present base units will still exist but be derived from fixed numerical values of seven reference constants. More specifically, the unit of mass, the kilogram, will be realized through a fixed value of the Planck constant h. For instance, a watt balance can be used to realize the kilogram unit of mass within a few parts in 108. Such a balance has been designed and constructed at the National Institute of Standards and Technology. For educational outreach and to demonstrate the principle, we have constructed a LEGO tabletop watt balance capable of measuring a gram size mass to 1 % relative uncertainty. This article presents the design, construction, and performance of the LEGO watt balance and its ability to determine h. Vacuums provide solid ground for new definition of kilogram CAD model of the LEGO watt balance. The balance pivots about the T-block at the center. Two PVC endcaps with copper windings hang from universal joints off either side of the balance beam. Coil A is on the left and Coil B is on the right. A 10 gram mass sits on the Coil A mass pan and each coil is concentric to its own magnet system. Two lasers are used to calibrate and measure the linear velocity of each coil. Credit: arXiv:1412.1699 [physics.ins-det] 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.last_img read more

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Researchers create tiny pump that provides continuous and spontaneous antigravity water delivery

first_img For perhaps thousands of years people have wished for a way to move water from one location to another without the need for a power source, i.e. carrying or pumping it, especially when moving it uphill. In this new effort, the researchers have found a way to do that, albeit, with severe limitations.As the researchers note, scientists have seen many examples of water being moved up from a lower location in nature, capillary action, etc., but not in the way they were looking for. In this new effort the team looked to improve on such examples by taking advantage of both surface tension and a superhydrophobic material.To build their pump, the researchers created a superhydrophobic material by exposing a copper mesh to an alkali solution—the microscopic sized pockets it created caused water to slide with almost no friction. They then affixed the mesh to the bottom of a plastic tube that sat vertically. They next attached another tube to the first creating a right angle at the top and then attached a very short third tube to the second at its other end, this one pointing straight down. That was all it took. To use the pump, a bit of liquid was introduced into the pump, priming it, then a drop was introduced from beneath the pump, through the wire mesh. The liquid in the pump rose, because it was repelled from below, into the second tube and then into the third where it was expelled. © 2015 Phys.org More information: Superhydrophobic “Pump”: Continuous and Spontaneous Antigravity Water Delivery, Advanced Functional Materials, DOI: 10.1002/adfm.201501320AbstractAntigravity transportation of water, which is often observed in nature, is becoming a vital demand for advanced devices and new technology. Many studies have been devoted to the motion of a single droplet on a horizontal or inclined substrate under specific assistance. However, the self-propelled water motion, especially continuous antigravity water delivery, still remains a considerable challenge. Here, a novel self-ascending phenomenon driven only by the surface energy release of water droplets is found, and a superhydrophobic mesh to pump water up to a height of centimeter scale is designed. An integrated antigravity transportation system is also demonstrated to continuously and spontaneously pump water droplets without additional driving forces. The present novel finding and integrated devices should serve as a source of inspiration for the design of advanced materials and for the development of new technology with exciting applications in microfluidics, microdetectors, and intelligent systems.via NewScientist Play Credit: Advanced Functional Materials, DOI: 10.1002/adfm.201501320 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 Shape shifting liquid metal able to propel itself through liquids (w/ video) Play Credit: Advanced Functional Materials, DOI: 10.1002/adfm.201501320 The team notes that such a device can only pump to a few centimeters in height before gravity wins over, preventing the drop from entering, much less pushing other liquid up.. They suggest it could be used as a design for advanced materials and in developing new kinds of technology applications in microfluidics, microdetectors or with intelligent systems. 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 Explore further Journal information: Advanced Functional Materials Citation: Researchers create tiny pump that provides continuous and spontaneous antigravity water delivery (2015, June 15) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2015-06-tiny-spontaneous-antigravity-delivery.html 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 (Phys.org)—A team of researchers at Beihang University in China has created a very tiny pump that is able to lift a drop of water without the use of any power source and move it to a higher location. In their paper published in the journal Advanced Functional Materials, the team describes how they built their pump and the ways it might be used. Play Credit: Advanced Functional Materials, DOI: 10.1002/adfm.201501320 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

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Layering technique allows for creating graphene fiber that maintains conductivity and strength

first_img Graphene has excellent conductivity and mechanical strength, when in its 2D form—getting it to maintain both attributes when using it to make 3D products, however has been problematic. In this new effort, the researchers report on a new technique they developed for creating grahene fiber that offers higher thermal and electrical conductivity and better strength than other methods.Prior research has shown that it is possible to make graphene fibers by creating graphene oxide (GO) sheets in a liquid solution using a wet-spinning method—the graphene fibers are created using a reduction of the GO fibers technique. Unfortunately, the material that is created does not have enough of the positive attributes of 2D graphene to make it useful. In this new effort, the researchers take the same approach, but go one step further—they weave sheets the same size as others have produced, then weave some more that are smaller, then they weave the two layers together—this allows for filling in the “voids” (defects that occur during the process) in the larger materials, which results in the creation of a final product that has better electrical properties (35.8 percent), better thermal properties (31.6 percent) and higher tensile strength (from 940 megapascals on average to 1080 MPa.)The researchers believe their process paves the way for the creation of real world useful materials made with graphene such as those that could be used in managing heat in electronics in high power applications , or by allowing for the creation of composite materials with superior attributes, energy storage and new or better sensors and/or membranes. They also plan to continue their work with the process, hoping to better understand the structure of the fiber they create and hopefully to refine it even further to allow for the creation of a material that retains even more of 2D graphene’s positive attributes. More information: Highly thermally conductive and mechanically strong graphene fibers Science 4 September 2015: Vol. 349 no. 6252 pp. 1083-1087 DOI: 10.1126/science.aaa6502ABSTRACTGraphene, a single layer of carbon atoms bonded in a hexagonal lattice, is the thinnest, strongest, and stiffest known material and an excellent conductor of heat and electricity. However, these superior properties have yet to be realized for graphene-derived macroscopic structures such as graphene fibers. We report the fabrication of graphene fibers with high thermal and electrical conductivity and enhanced mechanical strength. The inner fiber structure consists of large-sized graphene sheets forming a highly ordered arrangement intercalated with small-sized graphene sheets filling the space and microvoids. The graphene fibers exhibit a submicrometer crystallite domain size through high-temperature treatment, achieving an enhanced thermal conductivity up to 1290 watts per meter per kelvin. The tensile strength of the graphene fiber reaches 1080 megapascals. Journal information: Science Citation: Layering technique allows for creating graphene fiber that maintains conductivity and strength (2015, September 4) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2015-09-layering-technique-graphene-fiber-strength.html 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. Graphene made superconductive by doping with lithium atomscenter_img Explore further Schematics of the “intercalated” structure of the GO fibers and graphene fibers: (1) GO fiber with optimized LGGO and SMGO loadings; (2) optimized graphene fiber with a highly ordered and compact structure with 30 wt % SMGOs filling into the microvoids; (3) graphene fiber from pure LGGOs showing a highly ordered but less dense structure; and (4) graphene fiber from pure SMGOs showing a random sheet alignment. Credit: Science 4 September 2015: Vol. 349 no. 6252 pp. 1083-1087 DOI: 10.1126/science.aaa6502 (Phys.org)—A team of researchers working at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute has found a way to create a graphene fiber that is stronger and maintains conductive properties better than prior efforts. In their paper published in the journal Science, the team describes their technique and suggests possible uses for the resultant material. © 2015 Phys.orglast_img read more

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Soft robotic hand can hold on as CSAIL demonstrates

first_img Soft robots matter. If we are to enjoy potential applications for robots that can grasp, hold, and manipulate objects without dropping or crushing them, then the engineers at MIT’s Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory (CSAIL) potentially have much to contribute. At MIT, they are looking into, well, robots that can turn to the more delicate responsibility of handling eggs without dropping and smashing them.Engineers at MIT’s CSAIL have built a new robot that has a hand with three fingers, made out of silicone rubber. This is a robotic gripper with special sensors and it can estimate the size and shape of an object accurately enough to identify it from a set of multiple items.Adam Conner-Simons reported in MIT News on Wednesday that researchers have demonstrated the 3-D-printed robotic hand made out of silicone rubber, which can lift and handle objects as delicate as an egg and as thin as a compact disc. “Just as impressively,” he said, “its three fingers have special sensors that can estimate the size and shape of an object accurately enough to identify it from a set of multiple items.” A video shows the gripper holding items such as disk, cube, coffee cup, little soft, stuffed animal toy, and other objects. One can see success in holding various shapes, sizes and textures. Robots are often limited in what they can do because of how hard it is to interact with objects of different sizes and materials,” CSAIL Director Daniela Rus said. “Grasping is an important step in being able to do useful tasks; with this work we set out to develop both the soft hands and the supporting control and planning systems that make dynamic grasping possible.”At the core of their technology are their “bend sensors,” said Conner-Simons. “When the gripper hones in an object, the fingers send back location data based on their curvature. Using this data, the robot can pick up an unknown object and compare it to the existing clusters of data points that represent past objects.” With just three data points from a single grasp, algorithms distinguish between objects.Bianca S. Homberg, Robert K. Katzschmann, Mehmet R. Dogar, and Daniela Rus, team members for the soft robotic hand, authored the paper, “Haptic Identification of Objects using a Modular Soft Robotic Gripper,” where they discuss the hand and how it works.The authors wrote that “With the integrated bend sensors – one data point from each of the three fingers– our robot is able to identify a set of canonical objects of different shape, size and compliance by grasping them. We do this by building a relation between objects and the configurations the soft hand takes while grasping them. Then, given an unidentified object from our training set, our robot grasps it and uses proprioception to identify it. Through experiments we show that our hand can successfully distinguish between objects up to the resolution limit of the proprioceptive sensors.”Researchers control the gripper via pistons, pushing pressurized air through the fingers. The pistons cause bubbles to expand in the fingers, spurring them to stretch and bend. The robotic hand can hold objects using “enveloping grasps,” where the object is entirely contained within the gripper, and “pinch grasps,” where the object is held by the tips of the fingers.As for materials used, silicone rubber was chosen, and the MIT News report spelled out why. The fingers were made of silicone rubber because of it being “relatively stiff, but also flexible enough to expand with the pressure from the pistons. Meanwhile, the gripper’s interface and exterior finger-molds are 3-D-printed, which means the system will work on virtually any robotic platform.”CSAIL is the largest research laboratory at MIT. 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 Soft robotic hand can pick up and identify a wide array of objects © 2015 Phys.org More information: groups.csail.mit.edu/drl/wiki/ … _Robotic_Gripper.pdf Three fingers on a new soft robotic gripper each have special sensors that can estimate the size and shape of an object accurately enough to identify it from a set of multiple items. Credit: Jason Dorfman/CSAIL Citation: Soft robotic hand can hold on as CSAIL demonstrates (2015, October 1) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2015-10-soft-robotic-csail.html Soft robots are in focus at MIT. They are built from non-traditional materials like paper and synthetic fiber. Brooks Hays reported on their work for UPI on Wednesday.last_img read more

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Dig site in Tuscany reveals Neanderthals used fire to make tools

first_img Citation: Dig site in Tuscany reveals Neanderthals used fire to make tools (2018, February 6) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2018-02-site-tuscany-reveals-neanderthals-tools.html Poggetti Vecchi, Grosseto (Italy). This is a general view of the excavation. Credit: PNAS Explore further Detail of the handle of digging stick no. 2 on the paleosurface U2 of the Poggetti Vecchi site. Credit: PNAS The find marks the earliest evidence of fire use by Neanderthals and of tool use by female members of a group—it is the women in modern hunter-gatherer groups that use digging sticks. Journal information: Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences Wood, as the researchers note, has always been a popular material for crafting tools and weapons. It is readily at hand and can be relatively easily crafted to allow for specific uses. In this new effort, the researchers describe meter-long sticks that had been rounded at one end and sharpened at the other, suggesting a digging stick. Digging sticks are still used today—they are useful for digging up roots and tubers and can be used to hunt animals that burrow underground. In a pinch, they can also be used as a weapon. The sticks were found at a site in Tuscany, Italy, called Poggetti Vecchi—an area that has previously given up Neanderthal artifacts.In studying the sticks, the researchers found them to be made from boxwood, a particularly hard wood. They also discovered that the tips had been charred, likely as a means of removing stubborn bark. The team noted that the sticks had been charred in a consistent pattern in the same part of multiple sticks, which suggests it was intentional. Charring would have softened the bark, making it easier to remove. They also noted cut marks and striations on the shafts of the sticks, evidence of stone tool use to fashion an ordinary stick into a useful tool. The team notes that modern hunter-gatherers use roughly the same technique in making their digging sticks. The team dated the sticks back to approximately 171,000 years ago, putting them in the Middle Paleocene, a period when Neanderthal were dominant in the area. © 2018 Phys.org 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. A team of researchers from several institutions in Italy has found evidence of Neanderthals using fire to craft tools approximately 171,000 years ago. In their paper published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, the group outlines where the naturally preserved wood artifacts were found and how they discovered their purpose. High-speed video study reveals the nature of the cobra wave Poggetti Vecchi, Grosseto (Italy). This is the excavation of the tusk of a straight-tusked elephant. Credit: PNAS More information: Biancamaria Aranguren et al. Wooden tools and fire technology in the early Neanderthal site of Poggetti Vecchi (Italy), Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (2018). DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1716068115AbstractExcavations for the construction of thermal pools at Poggetti Vecchi (Grosseto, Tuscany, central Italy) exposed a series of wooden tools in an open-air stratified site referable to late Middle Pleistocene. The wooden artifacts were uncovered, together with stone tools and fossil bones, largely belonging to the straight-tusked elephant Paleoloxodon antiquus. The site is radiometrically dated to around 171,000 y B.P., and hence correlated with the early marine isotope stage 6 [Benvenuti M, et al. (2017) Quat Res 88:327–344]. The sticks, all fragmentary, are made from boxwood (Buxus sempervirens) and were over 1 m long, rounded at one end and pointed at the other. They have been partially charred, possibly to lessen the labor of scraping boxwood, using a technique so far not documented at the time. The wooden artifacts have the size and features of multipurpose tools known as “digging sticks,” which are quite commonly used by foragers. This discovery from Poggetti Vecchi provides evidence of the processing and use of wood by early Neanderthals, showing their ability to use fire in tool making from very tough wood.last_img read more

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Can Botox and Cosmetic Surgery Chill Our Relationships With Others

first_imgThat’s why anything that disrupts one’s ability to emote is cause for concern, particularly in an age when Botox and other cosmetic procedures that paralyze, stretch, plump or otherwise alter the face are commonplace. Permanently pouty lips and smooth brows might be good for selfies, but research suggests they flatten your affect, disconnecting you from your feelings and the feelings of others. But what if you couldn’t smile naturally, with the usual crinkles around your eyes and creases in your cheeks? There’s convincing scientific evidence that the same kind of mutual engagement and interplay — with infants, or anyone else — would be difficult to achieve. Experts say mirroring another person’s facial expressions is essential for not only recognizing emotion, but also feeling it. If you’re like most people, you reflexively smile back and your insides just melt. The baby might react by smiling even more broadly and maybe kicking its feet with delight, which will only deepen your smile and add to the warm feeling spreading in your chest. “Muscle movements in the face sustain interactions between people, and if you take that out, you’re working with a blank slate,” said Jeffrey Cohn, a professor of psychology and psychiatry at the University of Pittsburgh, who studies the link between the lack of facial expressiveness and depression. “That’s not an effective way of maintaining rapport or establishing connection.” Read the whole story: The New York Timescenter_img — Let’s say you’re walking down the street and coming toward you is someone pushing a baby in a stroller. The baby looks right at you and bursts into a big, gummy grin. What do you do?last_img read more

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The food spring fling

first_imgCelebrating these fresh tastes, The Imperial has a lot to offer this April. Read on, pick what you want and book a table.Easter Fare at La Baguette (1 to 30 April) serves up some delectable treats to celebrate the season of rebirth. Easter creates nostalgia of enchanting childhood memories filled with Easter bunnies, egg painting and egg hunting sessions. There will be a special Easter Sunday Brunch at the sun-soaked 1911.Punjabi Tadka at Daniell’s Tavern (14 April-28 April) brings to you the Butter Chicken,  Makke ki Roti, Tandoori preparations and the lip-smacking lassi. Taking you to the land of foodie’s paradise, Daniell’s Tavern this April creates a classic menu filled with the goodness of butter in delicious gravies infused with authentic spices, for a quintessential Punjabi dining experience. As the great Indian summer begins to shine, Chef Veena introduces her soup creations at The Spice Route to keep you light this April.  Soups ‘n’ spices at The Spice Route (11 April – 20 April) will let you cool yourself with this special menu filled with the goodness of herbs and spices such as Mint, Cilantro, Fennel, Turmeric, Basil, Cardamom, Dill and Cumin in lots of refreshing flavours, inspired from the kitchens of South East Asia.last_img read more

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A matter of mind

first_imgThis month, they came up with some very fine projects. Some of them being, a photo composition on Kailash Temple at Ellora by Christel Pilz.Pandit Laxman Krishnarao Pandit launched a DVD of Hindustani Classical Music, Sanskrit theatre from Kerala, by Natana Kairali- ‘Toranayuddham’ from Abhisheka Nataka (Act III) of Bhasa was performed while people enjoyed in awe! You shouldn’t be sad if you’ve missed these, there are so many more lined up! PUBLIC LECTURES ON BUDDHISM Also Read – ‘Playing Jojo was emotionally exhausting’ Indian art is an expression of Indian life and thought attuned to its vast natural background and its socio-religious traditions.  It is not exclusive or sectarian in the narrow sense of the term.  Its style, technique or general tenor has nothing to do with any particular religious outlook.  It is fed and fostered upon a vast store-house of Indian traditions, symbols and designs.Buddhist art is meant popularly those monuments and paintings which have for the main purpose the edification or popularization of Buddhism.  Fortunately enough, in India and outside where Buddhism did exist, or still exists, there are innumerable monuments representing different phases of Buddhism and these help visualise the trend of Buddhist art through the ages. Also Read – Leslie doing new comedy special with NetflixA short-term course on Buddhist Studies, its art and Philosophy was conducted every Wednesday and Friday of this month by IGNCA. The enrolment being free of cost and on a first come first served basis also provided students with a certificate. The course was headed by Radha Banerjee SarkarDate: 30 July Venue:  Auditorium, C.V. Mess, Janpath Time: 3.30 to 5.30 pm. PUPPET SHOW ON THE LIFE OF SWAMI VIVEKANANDAOn the occasion of 150th birth anniversary of Swami Vivekananda, Indira Gandhi National Centre for the Arts (IGNCA) in collaboration with Ramakrishna Mission, Delhi is producing a puppet show on the life of Swami Vivekananda. This show, created by Bharatiya Lok Kala Mandal, Udaipur, has already travelled to around 200 centres in the north, north-east and western India. It has been received very well in each city. An English version of the puppet show is ready to be performed in the Capital too.  Minister of Culture, Yesso Naik will inaugurate the English version of the puppet show at Ramakrishna Mission Auditorium. Venue:  Vivekananda Auditorium, Ramakrishna Mission, DelhiTime: 6.30 p.m.  to 7.30 p. m.Date: Thursday, 31 July PROJECT MAUSAM MONTHLY LECTURE SERIESProject Mausam Monthly Lecture series  in association with NMA, IGNCA and IIC is coming up with a talk on Great Stupa at Amaravati in coastal Andhra and the Indian Ocean World. It is a talk by Akira Shimada, State University of New York, New Paltz. Project Mausam is an interdisciplinary project initiated by the Ministry of Culture that aims to explore the cultural heritage of coastal settlements along the Indian Ocean, along with various cultural dimensions of the monsoon winds that shaped communications and interactions across the seas. Collating archaeological and historical data, the project will research and celebrate the diversity of cultural, commercial and religious interactions in the Indian Ocean world -extending from East Africa, the Arabian Peninsula, the Indian subcontinent and Sri Lanka to the Southeast Asian archipelago.Venue: Conference Room I, India International Centre, 40, Max Muller Marg Time: 6.30 p.m.last_img read more

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