Scientists interested in the Earths carbon cycle – something that must be understood to assess the ongoing effects of carbon dioxide created by human actions, such as driving cars – have a new problem. They need to adjust various calculations because one component, graphitic black carbon, similar to the material found in pencil lead, turns out to be so tough.
In a letter in todays issue of Nature, researchers say that graphitic black carbon is created as sedimentary rocks undergo metamorphism – unlike forms of combustion-derived black carbon such as soot, charcoal and other debris thats left when biomass such as forests or fossil fuels dont burn completely. Eroding from rocks on land, graphitic black carbon appears to be one of the only kinds of carbon that resists conversion to other forms of carbon, such as combining with oxygen to form carbon dioxide, as it cycles between land, atmosphere and oceans.
"Carbon is generally considered to pass fairly freely between reservoirs, or boxes, of the carbon cycle," says lead author Angela Dickens, a doctoral student in chemistry and oceanography at the University of Washington. "The carbon stays in one box for a variable amount of time – for hundreds of years in trees, a few days in a bug, thousands of years as organic carbon dissolved in the worlds oceans and such, but not generally staying more than a few thousand years in any one form before being converted into a different form.
Sandra Hines | EurekAlert!
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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.
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The Max Planck Institute for Physics (MPP) is opening up a new research field. A workshop from November 21 - 22, 2016 will mark the start of activities for an innovative axion experiment. Axions are still only purely hypothetical particles. Their detection could solve two fundamental problems in particle physics: What dark matter consists of and why it has not yet been possible to directly observe a CP violation for the strong interaction.
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The efficiency of power electronic systems is not solely dependent on electrical efficiency but also on weight, for example, in mobile systems. When the weight of relevant components and devices in airplanes, for instance, is reduced, fuel savings can be achieved and correspondingly greenhouse gas emissions decreased. New materials and components based on gallium nitride (GaN) can help to reduce weight and increase the efficiency. With these new materials, power electronic switches can be operated at higher switching frequency, resulting in higher power density and lower material costs.
Researchers at the Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems ISE together with partners have investigated how these materials can be used to make power...
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