"These tiny relics, a millionth of a meter small, could point us to the first steps of dust formation in both old and young stars," stated Dr. Larry Nittler of the Carnegie Institutions Department of Terrestrial Magnetism. Nittler is co-author of a study published in the September 3, 2004, issue of Science,* about the origin of two presolar grains from the Tieschitz meteorite and the implications they have for resolving observational and theoretical challenges of dusty outflows surrounding asymptotic giant branch (AGB) stars--one of the last evolutionary stages of low-mass stars like the Sun.
Both theoreticians and observational astronomers have long grappled with the issue of whether aluminum oxide--which in its crystalline form is the second hardest natural material--is the first solid to condense as hot, gaseous winds from oxygen-rich AGB stars expand and cool. "Because AGB stars are the most significant source of dust in the Milky Way galaxy, determining how and in what form this dust condenses is important to understanding how the chemical elements get cycled between stars and interstellar space. Also, the first solids in cooling disks around new stars form by analogous processes to those occurring around AGB stars, so these grains give us a glimpse into the earliest stages of our own solar system formation," said Nittler.
Observational astronomers have obtained telltale infrared spectra from dusty AGB stars that have indicated the possible presence of two forms of aluminum oxide--the crystalline form and an amorphous, or non crystalline form. However, the data have not been precise enough to tell if both forms are really present. "This study is really the first definitive analysis that indicates that both forms are indeed produced in AGB stars," said Professor Tom Bernatowicz of Washington University in St. Louis.
OU-led team discovers rare, newborn tri-star system using ALMA
27.10.2016 | University of Oklahoma
First results of NSTX-U research operations
26.10.2016 | DOE/Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory
Ultrafast lasers have introduced new possibilities in engraving ultrafine structures, and scientists are now also investigating how to use them to etch microstructures into thin glass. There are possible applications in analytics (lab on a chip) and especially in electronics and the consumer sector, where great interest has been shown.
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Researchers from the Institute for Quantum Computing (IQC) at the University of Waterloo led the development of a new extensible wiring technique capable of controlling superconducting quantum bits, representing a significant step towards to the realization of a scalable quantum computer.
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In a paper in Scientific Reports, a research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute describes a novel light-activated phenomenon that could become the basis for applications as diverse as microscopic robotic grippers and more efficient solar cells.
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By forcefully embedding two silicon atoms in a diamond matrix, Sandia researchers have demonstrated for the first time on a single chip all the components needed to create a quantum bridge to link quantum computers together.
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14.10.2016 | Event News
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