These include: what is the universe made of and how does it evolve? Are we alone in the universe? How do galaxies, stars and planets form and evolve? What are the laws of physics in extreme conditions? And how does the sun affect the earth? The University’s main role will be to search for signals which accompany the birth of stars.
Such an undertaking will require the completion of arrays of antennas to detect radio waves at metre-long wavelengths. The low frequencies of these waves gives rise to the telescope by the name of LOFAR – the LOw Frequency ARray. The arrays will be spread across the Netherlands, Germany, France and Great Britain.
The processing of the data will be done by a supercomputer situated at the University of Groningen and further radio telescopes may be constructed at sites in Poland, Sweden, Ireland and Ukraine.
Michael Smith, Professor of Astrophysics at the University of Kent, said: ‘The LOFAR project has been launched to advance upon instrumentation based on the old 1960s technologies of radio telescopes that used large mechanical dishes to collect signals which were then detected by a receiver for analysis.
‘Even if scientists continued to use the old technologies, the instruments for this project would need to be one hundred times larger than existing ones, which is cost prohibitive as a high proportion of the outlay on these telescopes is the steel and moving structure. Therefore, new technology was required to make the next step in sensitivity necessary to unravel the secrets of the early universe, the physical processes in the centres of galaxies, and the formation of quasars, stars and planets.’
LOFAR is the first telescope of this new sort, using an array of simple omni-directional antennas instead of mechanical signal processing with a dish. The electronic signals from the antennas are digitised, transported to a central digital processor, and combined in software to emulate a conventional antenna.
Seeing the quantum future... literally
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Among the general public, solar thermal energy is currently associated with dark blue, rectangular collectors on building roofs. Technologies are needed for aesthetically high quality architecture which offer the architect more room for manoeuvre when it comes to low- and plus-energy buildings. With the “ArKol” project, researchers at Fraunhofer ISE together with partners are currently developing two façade collectors for solar thermal energy generation, which permit a high degree of design flexibility: a strip collector for opaque façade sections and a solar thermal blind for transparent sections. The current state of the two developments will be presented at the BAU 2017 trade fair.
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Many pathogens use certain sugar compounds from their host to help conceal themselves against the immune system. Scientists at the University of Bonn have now, in cooperation with researchers at the University of York in the United Kingdom, analyzed the dynamics of a bacterial molecule that is involved in this process. They demonstrate that the protein grabs onto the sugar molecule with a Pac Man-like chewing motion and holds it until it can be used. Their results could help design therapeutics that could make the protein poorer at grabbing and holding and hence compromise the pathogen in the host. The study has now been published in “Biophysical Journal”.
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Fiber-reinforced plastics (FRP) are frequently used in the aeronautic and automobile industry. However, the repair of workpieces made of these composite materials is often less profitable than exchanging the part. In order to increase the lifetime of FRP parts and to make them more eco-efficient, the Laser Zentrum Hannover e.V. (LZH) and the Apodius GmbH want to combine a new measuring device for fiber layer orientation with an innovative laser-based repair process.
Defects in FRP pieces may be production or operation-related. Whether or not repair is cost-effective depends on the geometry of the defective area, the tools...
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