In the latest edition of Nature (March 13th, 2003) a group of scientist led by professor Pertti Hari from the University of Helsinki presents a novel observation: ultraviolet radiation induced a flux of nitrogen oxides (NOx) from pine needles to the atmosphere. This result is interesting because nitrogen oxides participate in several essential chemical reactions in the atmosphere. On the other hand, plants can utilize the nitrogen of NOx as their nutrient.
It has been difficult to detect the UV-induced NOx emission in earlier studies, because the measuring chambers usually are constructed with UV-opaque materials. However, the cover of the scientists measuring chamber now is made of UV-transparent quartz glass, which enables UV radiation to reach the pine needles. This technical detail might explain why this phenomenon has not been observed earlier.
The origin of the NOx flux is not known yet. It might come from plant metabolism, or UV radiation might release the NOx from needle surfaces.
Minna Meriläinen | alfa
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A study led by scientists of the Max Planck Institute for the Structure and Dynamics of Matter (MPSD) at the Center for Free-Electron Laser Science in Hamburg presents evidence of the coexistence of superconductivity and “charge-density-waves” in compounds of the poorly-studied family of bismuthates. This observation opens up new perspectives for a deeper understanding of the phenomenon of high-temperature superconductivity, a topic which is at the core of condensed matter research since more than 30 years. The paper by Nicoletti et al has been published in the PNAS.
Since the beginning of the 20th century, superconductivity had been observed in some metals at temperatures only a few degrees above the absolute zero (minus...
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