Planetary Eruptions

first_imgEruptions can come in two types: literal and figurative.  Some planetary bodies are literally erupting.  Others are causing figurative eruptions in theories.  Here are some recent news stories about planets, moons, comets and other objects circling our sun and other stars.  There hasn’t been much news from Mercury or Venus this month, so we’ll start on the home planet and work outward. Earth volcanoes:  Earth is busting out all over.  You can watch the fireworks going on at Mt. Etna on this BBC News video clip.  Live Science has a video of the hottest, deepest volcano on earth, found underwater near Fiji.  New Scientist resurrected the “heretical” view that the dinosaurs were killed by lava, not a meteor; two giant blobs of mantle that erupted onto the surface. One geologist remarked, “This will be controversial – it flies in the face of much of the research from the last 30 years.”  Wynne Perry at Live Science (see MSNBC) entertained the entertaining question, “Did a methane burp clear the way for the dinosaurs?”  Over at Science Daily, the idea was presented that much of earth’s surface was formed from ancient flood basalts, “giant lava eruptions that coat large swaths of land or ocean floor” periodically.  Incidentally, geologists are not sure where Earth’s internal heat comes from, especially since Japan’s KamLAND antineutrino detector came up short (see Science Daily).  “One thing we can say with near certainty is that radioactive decay alone is not enough to account for Earth’s heat energy,” remarked Stuart Freedman of Lawrence Berkeley National Lab.  “Whether the rest is primordial heat or comes from some other source is an unanswered question.” Moon volcanoes:  A region of volcanism was found on the back side of the moon.  Most of the volcanic evidence, the maria, is on the near side, but in the middle of the cratered regions on the far side, reported PhysOrg, “a small volcanic province created by the upwelling of silicic magma” was reported by remote sensing of chemical clues by the Lunar Prospector.  “The unusual location of the province and the surprising composition of the lava that formed it offer tantalizing clues to the Moon’s thermal history.” Mars volcanoes:  A Texas geologist is pouring lava on hopes for life on Mars by resurrecting a “heretical”  view that most of Martian history was created by lava, not water.  According to PhysOrg, David Leverington (Texas Tech) argues that slippery, low-viscosity lavas mimicked the action of water, carving the channels and basins that so tantalize astrobiologists. “If Leverington is right, the odds of life on Mars plummet to near zero,” because Mars would have been bone dry most of its history.  “But that’s a big ‘if’,” the article cautioned. Arguments on both sides of the debate were presented.  JPL’s next Mars rover Curiosity, scheduled for launch this fall, has a target for its August 2012 landing: Gale Crater, which is thought to have had liquid water in the past (Live Science).  Mission scientists, who love to look for water with visions of life, are probably hoping Leverington is wrong. Vesta geology: JPL’s DAWN spacecraft arrived in orbit at the giant asteroid Vesta on July 17.  It’s too early for science results, but the BBC News posted some of the best early images of the colorful, crater-packed surface.  Jupiter moon mysteries:  Live Science posted a review of “The Greatest Mysteries of Jupiter’s Moons” by Adam Hadhazy.  He presented the traditional tidal-flexing model of Io’s volcanism, but then admitted that tidal forces alone “might not account for all this oomph.”  The Juno spacecraft, readying for its launch in August, may make Io a prime target for study.  News media like PhysOrg and the Los Angeles Times have been exaggerating its capabilities as if one mission could “find the recipe for planet-making.” Titan volcanoes:  Out at the Saturn system, the source of Titan’s atmosphere is still a puzzle.  New Scientist said that planetologists are still unsure whether material has erupted onto the giant moon’s surface and replenished the methane which otherwise would be gone within 15 million years (a third of 1% the assumed age of the moon).  The article by Jeff Hecht reviews the findings and mysteries of this major enigmatic body of the solar system. Enceladus showers:  Saturn is feeling the eruptions from its little geysering moon Enceladus.  That surprising announcement came from the news room of the Herschel Space Observatory, a mission of the European Space Agency.  “Enceladus rains water onto Saturn,” PhysOrg said; New Scientist headlined, “Moon-showers give Saturn an aquatic belt.”  The infrared instrument on the orbiting telescope was able to detect the water and estimate that 5 percent of the eruptive water vapor (250 kg per second) “falls on Saturn where it collects to form a ring extending five times the width of the planet.”  This process is “unique to Saturn,” PhysOrg said.  The water belt extends out 10 Saturn radii and is one Saturn radius thick.  What happens to the other 95 percent?  “Although most of the water from Enceladus is lost into space, freezes on the rings or perhaps falls onto Saturn’s other moons, the small fraction that does fall into the planet is sufficient to explain the water observed in its upper atmosphere.” Pluto moon:  The Pluto system has added a child: Hubble discovered another small moon, bringing the family to four moons and a parent “dwarf planet” as Pluto is now labeled (PhysOrg).  Space.com quoted Alan Stern, principal investigator of the New Horizons spacecraft slated to swing by Pluto in July 2015. “This is a whole new kind of planet,” he said.  “It’s going to blow our doors off.”  One door ready to be blown is the dynamical problem of how such a small body could have four objects in orbit around it for billions of years. Comet eruptions:  A “theory eruption” has taken place regarding comets.  Sample returns and remote sensing has established that some cometary material formed at high temperatures, contrary to decades of assumptions.  PhysOrg presented work by European researchers who came up with a model employing “photophoresis,” that assumes material from the hottest parts of the inner solar system got cooked sunny side up.  The difference in temperature on the two sides of a particle leads to migration, they say, conveying the cooked material outward by sunlight pressure, where it became incorporated into comets.  “This novel physical explanation could account for the position of certain dust rings observed in protoplanetary disks and thus shed light on the conditions of planet formation,” they said.  Whether the model works if the grains rotate was not clear from the article.  Comet Hartley 2 is a real-world comet that made the news on PhysOrg.  Its tail includes particles as large as golf balls. Extrasolar planets:  Space.com is dabbling in the occult.  Its article, “How to keep lonely planets snug: just add dark matter” calls on mysterious unknown stuff to warm up lonely exoplanets wandering through the darkness of space.  Neither isolated planets nor dark matter have ever been observed, but the author quoted an astrobiologist who went even further into speculation, imagining life on such worlds subsisting off the internal heat from imaginary dark matter interactions with the imaginary planets. On his blog The Procrustean, physicist Rob Sheldon told a personal story of his friend’s quest to measure the solar wind.  It led to the Genesis mission, which found that the oxygen isotope ratios differ between the solar wind and earth, leading to the conclusion that Laplace, inventor of the nebular hypothesis, was wrong – not only in his physics, but his metaphysics (compared to Newton’s).  Tied into the discussion was Cornelius Hunter’s recent philosophical entry on his blog Darwin’s God about Laplace, Kant, Darwin, and god-of-the gaps hypotheses. We are very fortunate to live in an age of exceptional discoveries in astronomy.  We are less fortunate to live in a time of incorrigible materialism, when our science representatives spend reckless drafts on the bank of time to a point where we face an international debt crisis that is unlikely to be paid back, even with higher taxing of credulity.(Visited 47 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0last_img read more

South Africa’s sports awards nominees are announced

first_img9 November 2015The nominees for the 10th annual Sports Awards have been announced by the Department of Sport and Recreation.“This is a significant milestone and we’re celebrating the best sporting moments of the past 10 years, best moments of the Sport Awards and the best sport people that this country has produced,” said Minister Fikile Mbalula.“The Sport Awards gives us all an opportunity to pay tribute to those who excel both on and off the field,” he said. “We’re always inspired by our athletes as they continue to push boundaries and reach new heights of excellence.”The nomineesSportswoman of the Year:Ashleigh Moolman-PasioShabnim IsmailBridgitte HartleySportsman of the Year:Greg MinnaarChad le ClosWayde van NiekerkPeople’s Choice of the Year:AB de VilliersAshleigh Moolman-PasioChad le ClosLucas SitholeWayde van NiekerkNational Federation of the Year:Roller SportCyclingBasketballSports Administrator of the Year:Virginia MabasoKaren LoschTim CornishSchool Team of the Year:Oakdale Agricultural High SchoolSt Johns College – Junior Men’s PairHoerskool WaterkloofDeveloping School Team of the Year:Iqhayiya Secondary SchoolMontshiwa Primary SchooLphayizani Indoor Rowing ClubIndigenous Games Team of the Year:Limpopo Drie Stokkies Men’s TeamWestern Cape Iintonga TeamKZN Dibeke TeamRecreational Body of the Year:Isiqalo – Waves 4 ChangeDiepsloot Mountain Bike AcademyPhayizani Indoor Rowing ClubPhotographer of the Year:Gavin BarkerVeli NhlapoMotshwari MofokengSports Journalist of the Year:Bareng-Batho KortjaasDaniel MothowagaeMbali MokokoNewcomer of the Year:Nokwanda HlongwaneJayde Andrew JuliusKagiso RabadaTeam of the Year:Proteas Test Team – cricketLightweight Women’s 2x – rowingSpringbok Sevens – rugbySportswoman of the Year with a Disability:Kgothatso MontjaneIlse HayesPeggy de VilliersSportsman of the Year with a Disability:Lucas SitholeErnst van DykPieter du PreezCoach of the Year:Holger LoschGeoffrey ToyanaGraham HillRoger BarrowVolunteer of the Year:Zelda HansenNkosinathi NgubaneJeremy CampbellThis year’s awards theme is “IzinjaZeGame . The Best for 2015”.“The majority of South Africans can identify with this colloquial phrase which, loosely translated, means that you are the top dog, the best at what you do,” the minister explained. “Our nominees are the best.”Honored to be a nominee for Sportsman of the year. Thanks Razzmatazz for putting on a great show @MbalulaFikile pic.twitter.com/4DUzbgIIVm— Greg Minnaar (@GregMinnaar) November 3, 2015Huge privilege & honour nominated for Sports Woman of the Year & People’s Choice @SASportsAwards 2015! Thanks for the support SA! #proudlySA— Ashleigh Moolman (@ashleighcycling) November 3, 2015PrizesEach category nominee receives R15 000 cash and the winner in each category receives R130 000.The winners of the Sport Star of the Year and People’s Choice Award each receive a luxury vehicle, R500 000 for themselves and R500 000 to donate to a charity of their choice.The awards ceremony will take place on 22 November 2015 at the Sand du Plessis Theatre in Mangaung, Free State.See the sports awards website for more information.SouthAfrica.info reporterlast_img read more

2015 northwest Ohio corn silage test

first_imgShare Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest In 2015, 38 corn silage hybrids representing 13 commercial brands were evaluated in a joint trial with Michigan State University (MSU). One Ohio location is combined with Michigan’s two southern (Zone 1) silage locations. The Ohio test site was located in our Northwest Region at Hoytville (Wood County). The two MSU sites were located in Branch and Lenawee counties, which are on the Ohio/Michigan state line. The test results from the three 2015 locations are treated as one region. The plots were planted with four-row air type planters and maintained by each respective state utilizing standard production practices. The center two rows were harvested with MSU’s self-propelled forage harvester. Silage tests were harvested uniformly as close to half milk line as possible. Near Infrared Reflectance (NIR) Quality Analysis was performed by MSU using their current procedures. Silage results present the percent dry matter of each hybrid plus green weight and dry weight as tons per acre. Other data presented include percent stand, the percentage of in vitro digestible dry matter, acid detergent fiber, neutral detergent fiber, neutral detergent fiber digestibility, crude protein and starch. Milk production in pounds per ton and pounds per acre were estimated using MILK2006 (UW-Madison Dairy Science Department).A complete summary of the Ohio results are available online at: http://www.oardc.ohio-state.edu/silagetrials. More information on procedures and additional 2015 MSU silage test data can be viewed online at: http://www.varietytrials.msu.edu/corn. For more information on Ohio State crop variety testing, visit: http://www.ag.ohio-state.edu/~perf.last_img read more

Congress doesn’t want President’s rule in Maharashtra, says Ashok Chavan

first_imgThe Congress in Maharashtra on Sunday said it didn’t want President’s Rule in the State which is in the midst of a political crisis in view of the BJP’s announcement that it would not form government. Senior Congress leader Ashok Chavan said newly-elected MLAs of the party will seek advice from the party high-command over its future political stand in the State. “We are in Jaipur. We will discuss the issue here and will seek advice for the future political stand. The party doesn’t want president’s rule in the state,” he told reporters. Mr. Chavan said he was in favour of forming a stable government in Maharashtra.last_img read more

UFC obliging troubled Greg Hardy’s desire for 2nd chance

first_imgFILE – In this Sunday, Dec. 27, 2015, file photo, Dallas Cowboys defensive end Greg Hardy arrives prior to an NFL football game against the Buffalo Bills, in Orchard Park, N.Y. Former NFL defensive end Greg Hardy says he is “haunted” by his high-profile domestic violence past and wants to prove he has changed as he makes his debut in UFC, a promotion that hasn’t hesitated to embrace fighters with legal or drug problems. (AP Photo/Bill Wippert, File)NEW YORK — Greg Hardy’s eyes popped as he saw his name in bold print on the oversized placard that identified him as a UFC fighter.“That’s dope! It’s got my Twitter thing on it,” Hardy said with a laugh.ADVERTISEMENT Yes, his Twitter handle @greghardyjr was printed underneath his name to let fans know how to find the hulking heavyweight on social media. UFC enthusiasts and social media pundits had already pounced on the disgraced former NFL defensive end:— “he can beat up women that’s for sure.”FEATURED STORIESSPORTSPrivate companies step in to help SEA Games hostingSPORTSUrgent reply from Philippine ‍football chiefSPORTSWin or don’t eat: the Philippines’ poverty-driven, world-beating pool stars— “why is this woman beater in the UFC?”— “which woman fighter is he gonna beat up?” PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games PLAY LIST 02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games01:44Philippines marks anniversary of massacre with calls for justice01:19Fire erupts in Barangay Tatalon in Quezon City01:07Trump talks impeachment while meeting NCAA athletes02:49World-class track facilities installed at NCC for SEA Games02:11Trump awards medals to Jon Voight, Alison Krauss LOOK: Joyce Pring goes public with engagement to Juancho Triviño SEA Games hosting troubles anger Duterte Keep scrolling and scrolling and the majority of the 240-character sentiments strike similar opinions: Hardy doesn’t deserve a chance to fight for UFC.Hardy understands those who want to wash their hands of someone arrested for assaulting a woman. While still playing football, Hardy was convicted in July 2014 of assaulting and threatening a woman who contended the 6-foot-4, 275-pounder threw her in a bathtub and onto a sofa covered with guns before threatening to kill her. He appealed, and prosecutors in North Carolina eventually dismissed domestic violence charges in February 2015, saying the accuser in the case couldn’t be found. The court heard the woman had reached a civil settlement with Hardy.“I do revisit the past at night,” Hardy said Thursday. “I’m haunted and I am a broken man. But at the end of the day, I’ve got to build myself back up.”Hardy wants to show he has changed as he makes his debut in UFC, a promotion that hasn’t hesitated to embrace fighters with legal or drug problems. His co-headline spot in a heavyweight bout Saturday night comes at a key moment for the MMA giant, its first show in its $1.5-billion contract with ESPN.Hardy played 12 football games in 2015 under a $13.1 million deal with the Cowboys before turning to professional fighting, where his rise has been rapid. The 30-year-old breezed through six fights — none lasting past the first round — and won a contract through a UFC reality show.ADVERTISEMENT Is Luis Manzano planning to propose to Jessy Mendiola? “I felt like that was the right thing for me to do,” he said. “I totally get it. I understand why people would have a hard time grasping the whole situation and why things happen. But I believe everything happens for a reason. I believe we can change our surroundings for a positive thing.”Hardy has had few positives since he had 15 sacks for the Carolina Panthers in 2013 when he was picked for the Pro Bowl. He was arrested on a cocaine possession charge in a Dallas suburb in 2016.“I’ve grown in every way possible and the people around me have helped me do that,” Hardy said. “Everything’s changed as far as the sport, the venues and myself. Please keep watching and find out for yourself.”Hardy hopped down the stage after the ceremonial staredown against Allen Crowder and gave White a big bro hug.But not all observers backed UFC’s decision to sign Hardy.“It’s quite offensive. It’s gross,” said Kiersten Stewart, director of public policy at Futures Without Violence, a national group that works to prevent domestic and sexual violence and child abuse. “It’s about making money off domestic violence. It really minimizes the harm that domestic violence does.”Stewart said Ostovich had every right to fight at Barclays Center with Hardy, but raised the question: “Why was she put in this position?”White said it was a moot point.“These are two UFC fighters and eventually they would have ended up on the same card anyway,” White said. “It could be this fight or it could be 10 fights from now.”Win or lose, Ostovich knows she’ll end her combat in the cage in tears. She’s been publicly stoic in the face of probing questions about her abuse and Hardy’s presence and is ready to let her emotions out once the bell rings. Through all the adversity, there was nowhere else she wanted to be but New York. Private companies step in to help SEA Games hosting MOST READ SEA Games: Biñan football stadium stands out in preparedness, completioncenter_img Jhack Tepora spearheads PH fighters in Pacquiao-Broner undercard Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. SEA Games: Biñan football stadium stands out in preparedness, completion LATEST STORIES TS Kammuri to enter PAR possibly a day after SEA Games opening His debut comes one month after UFC allowed Jon Jones to compete following a positive drug test, moving an entire fight from Las Vegas to Los Angeles because Nevada regulators wouldn’t license the troubled superstar. It’s also several months after Dana White, UFC’s president, condemned Conor McGregor for his criminal act of throwing a wheeled cart at a bus full of fighters, then turned around and used the video footage to hype up an October megafight between McGregor and Khabib Nurmagomedov, a bout that itself ended in a melee.Scrutiny of Hardy’s ascent grew among fans when he was placed on the same card as flyweight Rachael Ostovich, who is fighting Paige VanZant. Honolulu police arrested Ostovich’s husband, Arnold Berdon, who pleaded not guilty to attempted murder and is accused of punching his wife in the head, face and ribs, fracturing her eye socket.White has defended having the two intertwined fighters on the same card and said he had Ostovich’s approval to book Hardy.“From the minute I called her, there was never a situation,” White said. “She didn’t know who Hardy was. She didn’t know anything about it. She said, ‘His situation isn’t my situation. They’re completely different. I don’t even know the guy and I’ll have no problem with any of this.’”Ostovich said in New York that she talked to Hardy this week to “squash whatever might be happening.”“Let’s work together and use this to help other people from both sides,” she said. “It wasn’t bothering me. It was just something that was on my mind and on my heart that I wanted to go in and meet with him.”Hardy appreciated the chat.“She’s a phenomenal person,” he said. “It shows greatness that she went through what she went through and came here to kick butt.”Ostovich was pulled from her fight against VanZant because of the severity of the injuries suffered in her attack, only to insist she could compete as she saw other fighters clamor for the marquee spot.She had earned her spot in Brooklyn and, once medically cleared — she wanted to clear the slate with Hardy. LOOK: Joyce Pring goes public with engagement to Juancho Triviño View comments “If I was pulled from the card because of my situation and being at home just recovering and thinking about it, I would have been at home Saturday night watching my fight and just be so crushed,” she said. “It feels so much better to be here than not.”Hardy feels similarly about a new lease on life as an athlete. He was cheery — downright happy-go-lucky — and did not shy away from answering questions about his past, even as he was light on specifics.And he’s already made a great impression on the new boss.“The guy is gifted. He’s a great athlete. He looks good so far,” White said. “When he hits people, they go down.”Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Nextlast_img read more

A superconductor story with a twist

first_img Return to article. Long DescriptionRice University researchers used experiments and simulations to discovery small distortions in the lattice of an iron pnictide that becomes superconductive at ultracold temperatures. They suspect these distortions introduce pockets of superconductivity in the material above temperatures at which it becomes entirely superconductive. Illustration by Weiyi WangThe discovery reported this week in Nature Communications is the result of nearly two years of work by the Rice team and collaborators in the U.S., Germany and China.Dai and Nevidomskyy, both members of the Rice Center for Quantum Materials (RCQM), are interested in the fundamental processes that give rise to novel collective phenomena like superconductivity, which allows materials to transmit electrical current with no resistance.Scientists originally found superconductivity at ultracold temperatures that let atoms cooperate in ways that aren’t possible at room temperature. Even known “high-temperature” superconductors top out at 134 Kelvin at ambient pressure, equivalent to minus 218 degrees Fahrenheit.So if there’s any hope for widespread practical use of superconductivity, scientists have to find loopholes in the basic physics of how atoms and their constituents behave under a variety of conditions.That is what the Rice researchers have done with the iron pnictide, an “unconventional superconductor” of sodium, iron and arsenic, especially when doped with nickel.To make any material superconductive, it must be cooled. That sends it through three transitions: First, a structural phase transition that changes the lattice; second, a magnetic transition that appears to turn paramagnetic materials to antiferromagnets in which the atoms’ spins align in alternate directions; and third, the transition to superconductivity. Sometimes the first and second phases are nearly simultaneous, depending on the material.In most unconventional superconductors, each stage is critical to the next as electrons in the system begin to bind together in Cooper pairs, reaching peak correlation at a quantum critical point, the point at which magnetic order is suppressed and superconductivity appears. Share1NEWS RELEASEEditor’s note: Links to high-resolution images for download appear at the end of this release.David Ruth713-348-6327david@rice.eduMike Williams713-348-6728mikewilliams@rice.eduA superconductor story with a twistRice University physicists find surprising distortions in high-temperature superconductorsHOUSTON – (Aug. 7, 2018) – There’s a literal disturbance in the force that alters what physicists have long thought of as a characteristic of superconductivity, according to Rice University scientists.Rice physicists Pengcheng Dai and Andriy Nevidomskyy and their colleagues used simulations and neutron scattering experiments that show the atomic structure of materials to reveal tiny distortions of the crystal lattice in a so-called iron pnictide compound of sodium, iron, nickel and arsenic.These local distortions were observed among the otherwise symmetrical atomic order in the material at ultracold temperatures near the point of optimal superconductivity. They indicate researchers may have some wiggle room as they work to increase the temperature at which iron pnictides become superconductors. AddThis Return to article. Long DescriptionThese single crystals of nickel-doped compounds of sodium, iron and arsenic are like those used by Rice University researchers in experiments to determine the material’s superconductive properties at ultracold temperatures. They used simulations and precise neutron scattering experiments to show the presence of tiny lattice distortions near the optimal superconductivity of an iron pnictide compound.But in the pnictide superconductor, the researchers found the first transition is a little fuzzy, as some of the lattice took on a property known as a nematic phase. Nematic is drawn from the Greek word for “thread-like” and akin to the physics of liquid crystals that align in reaction to an outside force.The key to the material’s superconductivity seems to lie within a subtle property that is unique to iron pnictides: a structural transition in its crystal lattice, the ordered arrangement of its atoms, from tetragonal to orthorhombic. In a tetragonal crystal, the atoms are arranged like cubes that have been stretched in one direction. An orthorhombic structure is shaped like a brick.Sodium-iron-arsenic pnictide crystals are known to be tetragonal until cooled to a transition temperature that forces the lattice to become orthorhombic, a step toward superconductivity that appears at lower temperatures. But the Rice researchers were surprised to see anomalous orthorhombic regions well above that structural transition temperature. This occurred in samples that were minimally doped with nickel and persisted when the materials were over-doped, they reported.“In the tetragonal phase, the (square) A and B directions of the lattice are absolutely equal,” said Dai, who carried out neutron scattering experiments to characterize the material at Oak Ridge National Laboratory, the National Institute of Standards and Technology Center for Neutron Research and the Research Neutron Source at the Heinz Maier-Leibnitz Center.“When you cool it down, it initially becomes orthorhombic, meaning the lattice spontaneously collapses in one axis, and yet there’s still no magnetic order. We found that by very precisely measuring this lattice parameter and its temperature dependence distortion, we were able to tell how the lattice changes as a function of temperature in the paramagnetic tetragonal regime.”They were surprised to see pockets of a superconducting nematic phase skewing the lattice towards the orthorhombic form even above the first transition.“The whole paper suggests there are local distortions that appear at a temperature at which the system, in principle, should be tetragonal,” Dai said. “These local distortions not only change as a function of temperature but actually ‘know’ about superconductivity. Then, their temperature dependence changes at optimum superconductivity, which suggests the system has a nematic quantum critical point, when local nematic phases are suppressed.“Basically, it tells you this nematic order is competing with superconductivity itself,” he said. “But then it suggests the nematic fluctuation may also help superconductivity, because it changes temperature dependence around optimum doping.”Being able to manipulate that point of optimum doping may give researchers better ability to design materials with novel and predictable properties.“The electronic nematic fluctuations grow very large in the vicinity of the quantum critical point, and they get pinned by local crystal imperfections and impurities, manifesting themselves in the local distortions that we measure,” said Nevidomskyy, who led the theoretical side of the investigation. “The most intriguing aspect is that superconductivity is strongest when this happens, suggesting that these nematic fluctuations are instrumental in its formation.”Co-lead authors of the paper are Rice graduate student Weiyi Wang and Yu Song, a former RCQM postdoctoral fellow in quantum materials at Rice and now a postdoctoral scholar at the University of California, Berkeley. Co-authors are graduate student Yu Li of Rice; Chongde Cao, a former visiting research scholar at Rice and now a professor at Northwestern Polytechnic University in Fremont, Calif.; Kuo-Feng Tseng and Thomas Keller of the Max Planck Institute; L.W. Harriger of the National Institute of Standards and Technology; Wei Tian and Songxue Chi of Oak Ridge National Laboratory; and Rong Yu of Renmin University, Beijing, China. Dai is a professor of physics and astronomy. Nevidomskyy is an associate professor of physics and astronomy.The research was supported by the U.S. Department of Energy, the Robert A. Welch Foundation, the National Science Foundation, the National Science Foundation of China, the National Key Research and Development Program of China, the Shenzhen Science and Technology Program and the Shaanxi International Cooperation Program.-30-Read the open-access paper at http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41467-018-05529-2Follow Rice News and Media Relations via Twitter @RiceUNewsRelated materials:Pengcheng Dai Group: https://pdai.phys.rice.eduAndriy Nevidomskyy bio: http://rcqm.rice.edu/researchers/andriy-nevidomskyy/Rice Department of Physics and Astronomy: https://physics.rice.eduWiess School of Natural Sciences: https://naturalsciences.rice.eduImages for download: Return to article. Long Description Rice University researchers used experiments and simulations to discovery small distortions in the lattice of an iron pnictide that becomes superconductive at ultracold temperatures. They suspect these distortions introduce pockets of superconductivity in the material above temperatures at which it becomes entirely superconductive. (Credit: Illustration by Weiyi Wang/Rice University) These single crystals of nickel-doped compounds of sodium, iron and arsenic are like those used by Rice University researchers in experiments to determine the material’s superconductive properties at ultracold temperatures. They used simulations and precise neutron scattering experiments to show the presence of tiny lattice distortions near the optimal superconductivity of an iron pnictide compound. (Credit: Rice University)center_img http://news.rice.edu/files/2018/08/0813_SUPERCONDUCTIVITY-1-WEB-1qp3nx7.jpgRice University researchers used experiments and simulations to discovery small distortions in the lattice of an iron pnictide that becomes superconductive at ultracold temperatures. They suspect these distortions introduce pockets of superconductivity in the material above temperatures at which it becomes entirely superconductive. (Credit: Illustration by Weiyi Wang/Rice University) These single crystals of nickel-doped compounds of sodium, iron and arsenic are like those used by Rice University researchers in experiments to determine the material’s superconductive properties at ultracold temperatures. They used simulations and precise neutron scattering experiments to show the presence of tiny lattice distortions near the optimal superconductivity of an iron pnictide compound. (Credit: Rice University) Return to article. Long Description Rice University researchers used experiments and simulations to discovery small distortions in the lattice of an iron pnictide that becomes superconductive at ultracold temperatures. They suspect these distortions introduce pockets of superconductivity in the material above temperatures at which it becomes entirely superconductive. (Credit: Illustration by Weiyi Wang/Rice University) http://news.rice.edu/files/2018/08/0813_SUPERCONDUCTIVITY-2-WEB-26dz09l.jpgThese single crystals of nickel-doped compounds of sodium, iron and arsenic are like those used by Rice University researchers in experiments to determine the material’s superconductive properties at ultracold temperatures. They used simulations and precise neutron scattering experiments to show the presence of tiny lattice distortions near the optimal superconductivity of an iron pnictide compound. (Credit: Rice University)Located on a 300-acre forested campus in Houston, Rice University is consistently ranked among the nation’s top 20 universities by U.S. News & World Report. Rice has highly respected schools of Architecture, Business, Continuing Studies, Engineering, Humanities, Music, Natural Sciences and Social Sciences and is home to the Baker Institute for Public Policy. With 3,970 undergraduates and 2,934 graduate students, Rice’s undergraduate student-to-faculty ratio is just under 6-to-1. Its residential college system builds close-knit communities and lifelong friendships, just one reason why Rice is ranked No. 1 for lots of race/class interaction and No. 2 for quality of life by the Princeton Review. Rice is also rated as a best value among private universities by Kiplinger’s Personal Finance. To read “What they’re saying about Rice,” go to http://tinyurl.com/RiceUniversityoverview.last_img read more