Phytoplankton, the microscopic plants forming the base of the marine food chain, generate a huge amount of power. Florida State University researchers have calculated just how much –– about five times the annual power consumption of humans. Around one per cent of this is invested in mechanical energy, manifested in the swimming motions of ocean dwellers. The amount of mixing caused by ocean swimmers is comparable to the deep ocean mixing caused by the wind blowing on the ocean surface and the effects of the tides, says a researcher.
High flyers will enjoy faster and safer travel in the future, thanks to mathematicians at The University of Manchester and the UK-based airport security specialists Rapiscan Systems. The two are joining forces to maximise the effectiveness of a new 3D scanner developed by Rapiscan Systems’ research subsidiary, CXR Ltd. The current scanners give security staff a flat, one-dimensional view of the contents of a bag, where as the CXR machine uses multiple x-ray sources to provide a more comprehensive and probing 3D image.
Carbon nanotubes (CNT) have been under intense study by scientists worldwide for more than a decade and are being thought of as ideal building blocks for nanoelectromechanical systems (NEMS). Now scientists from Northwestern University, Illinois, have demonstrated a novel CNT-based nanoelectromechanical switch exhibiting bistability based on current tunnelling. “We believe the unique characteristics of this nano device will likely lead to many high-impact applications in the field of nanoelectronics and nanosensors,” said a researcher.