Afghanistan's natural resources include significant deposits of metals such as gold, silver, copper and zinc; precious and semi-precious stones including lapis, emerald and azure; and coal, natural gas and oil. Accurate geological surveys of the country's mineral resources are crucial to locating deposits and advising potential investors, but the AGS has seen decades of decay and neglect.
Michael Watts, an analytical chemist with the British Geological Survey, is deputy leader of a team that has just left for Afghanistan to install a geochemistry laboratory. ‘We have to take a very pragmatic, low-tech approach,’ Watts told Chemistry World magazine. ‘We are establishing a very basic infrastructure.’ The main piece of equipment for the laboratory will be a spectrophotometer, used to test water for the presence of zinc, nickel and copper.
If the AGS can start to function efficiently once again, the future is potentially bright: donors such as the World Bank are waiting in the wings with substantial investment to help develop Afghanistan’s mineral trade.
Read the whole story here: http://www.rsc.org/chemistryworld/News/2007/May/24050701.asp
Michael Watts can be contacted while in Afghanistan by email: email@example.com
Also in this issue:
How green is ‘green chemistry’? Some chemistry enthusiastically labelled as green may be nothing of the kind, warn researchers who worry that mediocre – if well-meaning – science is damaging their subject.
Read the whole story here: http://www.rsc.org/chemistryworld/News/2007/May/25050701.asp
China’s battle with fake drugs: Chemistry World joins counterfeit pharmaceuticals investigator Gao Jingde, who is fighting the rising tide of fake or substandard drugs which, according to one estimate, claim up to 300,000 Chinese lives a year.
Read the whole story here: http://www.rsc.org/chemistryworld/News/2007/May/18050701.asp
Plus: As companies and consumers face a 1 July deadline to comply with the EU’s Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WEEE) regulations – covering everything from televisions to fridges, computers to pinball machines – we look at the chemistry that is helping to beat e-waste. (feature article on request)
Brian Emsley | alfa
Devils Hole: Ancient Traces of Climate History
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Supercomputing helps researchers understand Earth's interior
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Physicists from the University of Würzburg are capable of generating identical looking single light particles at the push of a button. Two new studies now demonstrate the potential this method holds.
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An international team of physicists has monitored the scattering behaviour of electrons in a non-conducting material in real-time. Their insights could be beneficial for radiotherapy.
We can refer to electrons in non-conducting materials as ‘sluggish’. Typically, they remain fixed in a location, deep inside an atomic composite. It is hence...
Two-dimensional magnetic structures are regarded as a promising material for new types of data storage, since the magnetic properties of individual molecular building blocks can be investigated and modified. For the first time, researchers have now produced a wafer-thin ferrimagnet, in which molecules with different magnetic centers arrange themselves on a gold surface to form a checkerboard pattern. Scientists at the Swiss Nanoscience Institute at the University of Basel and the Paul Scherrer Institute published their findings in the journal Nature Communications.
Ferrimagnets are composed of two centers which are magnetized at different strengths and point in opposing directions. Two-dimensional, quasi-flat ferrimagnets...
An Australian-Chinese research team has created the world's thinnest hologram, paving the way towards the integration of 3D holography into everyday...
In the race to produce a quantum computer, a number of projects are seeking a way to create quantum bits -- or qubits -- that are stable, meaning they are not much affected by changes in their environment. This normally needs highly nonlinear non-dissipative elements capable of functioning at very low temperatures.
In pursuit of this goal, researchers at EPFL's Laboratory of Photonics and Quantum Measurements LPQM (STI/SB), have investigated a nonlinear graphene-based...
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