The Arctic and Antarctic evoke images of virgin territories playing host to a rich variety of flora, fauna and indigenous populations, but also a hardy group of intrepid researchers and explorers. A special issue of RTD info, produced with the International Polar Foundation, joins the exploration of the poles’ vast scientific wonders.
The European Commission’s flagship research publication RTD info takes readers on a journey to the ends of the Earth in its exploration of polar research. “A voyage to the polar regions of the world is also a trip through time and history,” notes the special issue of RTD info. For climate researchers, the poles are a frozen archive of global climatic change, helping them unravel what has happened in the past to better understand the future. Sample cores drilled from deep polar ice sheets allow scientists to monitor the impact of global warming and validate simulation models of future changes to the Earth’s climate system.
This issue describes the leading role that European teams are playing in diverse scientific fields – including glaciology, climatology, astronomy and the life sciences – and the importance of international co-operation in this research. Because of the harsh, cold and remote working conditions, “polar researchers … often rely on specially adapted methods and technologies to carry out their work”. This makes it a complex and costly activity, but essential nonetheless. And the more scientists learn about the two poles, the more striking their differences appear. With a long history of human settlement in the Arctic, research activities – i.e. marine biology and environmental studies – are more developed than in Antarctica. But the south is catching up fast, spearheaded by international collaborative efforts made possible by the signing of the Antarctic Treaty in 1959.
Michel Claessens | alfa
Predicting unpredictability: Information theory offers new way to read ice cores
07.12.2016 | Santa Fe Institute
Sea ice hit record lows in November
07.12.2016 | University of Colorado at Boulder
Physicists of the University of Würzburg have made an astonishing discovery in a specific type of topological insulators. The effect is due to the structure of the materials used. The researchers have now published their work in the journal Science.
Topological insulators are currently the hot topic in physics according to the newspaper Neue Zürcher Zeitung. Only a few weeks ago, their importance was...
In recent years, lasers with ultrashort pulses (USP) down to the femtosecond range have become established on an industrial scale. They could advance some applications with the much-lauded “cold ablation” – if that meant they would then achieve more throughput. A new generation of process engineering that will address this issue in particular will be discussed at the “4th UKP Workshop – Ultrafast Laser Technology” in April 2017.
Even back in the 1990s, scientists were comparing materials processing with nanosecond, picosecond and femtosesecond pulses. The result was surprising:...
Have you ever wondered how you see the world? Vision is about photons of light, which are packets of energy, interacting with the atoms or molecules in what...
A multi-institutional research collaboration has created a novel approach for fabricating three-dimensional micro-optics through the shape-defined formation of porous silicon (PSi), with broad impacts in integrated optoelectronics, imaging, and photovoltaics.
Working with colleagues at Stanford and The Dow Chemical Company, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign fabricated 3-D birefringent...
In experiments with magnetic atoms conducted at extremely low temperatures, scientists have demonstrated a unique phase of matter: The atoms form a new type of quantum liquid or quantum droplet state. These so called quantum droplets may preserve their form in absence of external confinement because of quantum effects. The joint team of experimental physicists from Innsbruck and theoretical physicists from Hannover report on their findings in the journal Physical Review X.
“Our Quantum droplets are in the gas phase but they still drop like a rock,” explains experimental physicist Francesca Ferlaino when talking about the...
16.11.2016 | Event News
01.11.2016 | Event News
14.10.2016 | Event News
09.12.2016 | Life Sciences
09.12.2016 | Ecology, The Environment and Conservation
09.12.2016 | Health and Medicine