Scientists Make TemperatureRegulating Coffee Mug

first_imgThe PCM absorbs the warmth of the mug’s content, stores it and brings it down to the optimal temperature. Then the PCM helps maintain the content’s temperature at this optimal level by slowly releasing the stored heat back into the mug’s contents. Image credit: Fraunhofer IBP. (PhysOrg.com) — A well-insulated mug may keep your coffee somewhat warm, but now scientists have designed a high-tech mug that can keep drinks hot or cold at the perfect temperature for up to half an hour. Citation: Scientists Make Temperature-Regulating Coffee Mug (2009, August 25) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2009-08-scientists-temperature-regulating-coffee.html Intel, STMicroelectronics Deliver Industry’s First Phase Change Memory Prototypes Researchers Klaus Sedlbauer and Herbert Sinnesbichler from the Fraunhofer Institute for Building Physics have created the temperature-regulating mug using phase change material (PCM). PCM is capable of storing and releasing large amounts of heat by changing its phase, such as changing from a solid to a liquid. To design the new mug, the researchers first created a hollow porcelain shell filled with ribbons of highly conductive aluminum. The aluminum formed a honeycomb structure, which the researchers filled with solid PCM. When the mug is filled with a hot beverage, the PCM absorbs the heat and melts like wax into a liquid. This process cools the beverage down to the optimal temperature. As the beverage cools over time, the PCM slowly releases the stored heat back into the drink, maintaining the optimal temperature for up to 30 minutes.As the scientists note, different drinks have different optimal temperatures. Warm drinks such as coffee and tea are best enjoyed at 58° C (136.4° F), beer tastes best at 7° C (44.6° F), and ice-cold drinks are best at -12° C (10.4° F). Since different types of PCM have different chemical properties and melting temperatures, the scientists can make different mugs for different beverages. The downside for the consumer is that there is not a single mug for hot and cold drinks.The researchers hope that, if they can find a business partner, the PCM mugs could be on sale by the end of the year. However, despite the fact that PCM is relatively inexpensive, the mugs will still probably cost significantly more than most mugs. Besides mugs, PCM could have other interesting applications. For instance, researchers are investigating the possibility of using it to keep perishable foods from spoiling, and even putting it on museum walls to protect paintings in the case of a fire, since PCM is non-flammable. PCM already has commercial uses in construction materials, where it is embedded in walls and ceilings to maintain a comfortable room temperature. Some winter jackets also contain PCM for providing greater warmth. In addition, due to their long-term memory capabilities, PCM could be used for storing computer data without the need for an electric current.via: Spiegel© 2009 PhysOrg.com Explore further This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only.last_img read more

Thermodynamic analysis reveals large overlooked role of oil and other energy sources

first_imgA newer model of economic growth includes not only capital and labor, but also energy and creativity as production factors. Energy is placed on equal footing as capital and labor. Credit: R. Kümmel. The Second Law of Economics: Energy, Entropy, and the Origins of Wealth Citation: Thermodynamic analysis reveals large overlooked role of oil and other energy sources in the economy (2014, December 31) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2014-12-thermodynamic-analysis-reveals-large-overlooked.html (Phys.org)—The laws of thermodynamics are best known for dealing with energy in the context of physics, but a new study suggests the same concepts could help improve economic growth models by accounting for energy in the economic sphere. Polluting China for the sake of economic growth In neoclassical growth models, there are two main contributing factors to economic growth: labor and capital. However, these models are far from perfect, accounting for less than half of actual economic growth. The rest of the growth is accounted for by the Solow residual, which is thought to be attributed to the difficult-to-quantify factor of “technological progress.”Although neoclassical growth models help economists understand economic growth, the fact that they leave so much economic growth unexplained is a little unsettling. Even Robert A. Solow, the founder of neoclassical growth theory, stated that the neoclassical model “is a theory of growth that leaves the main factor in economic growth unexplained.” Energy, a powerful factor of production In a new study published in the New Journal of Physics, Professor Reiner Kümmel at the University of Würzburg and Dr. Dietmar Lindenberger at the University of Cologne argue that the missing ingredient represented by the Solow residual consists primarily of energy. They show that, for thermodynamic reasons, energy should be taken into account as a third production factor, on an equal footing with the traditional factors capital and labor. (By definition, labor represents the number of work hours per year. Capital refers to the capital stock that is listed in the national accounts, which consists of all energy-converting devices, information processors, and the buildings and installations necessary for their protection and operation. Energy includes fossil and nuclear fuels, as well as alternative energy sources.)The new proposal lies in stark contrast to neoclassical growth models, in which the production factors have very different economic weights, representing their productive powers. In neoclassical growth models, these economic weights or “output elasticities” are set equal to each production factor’s cost share: Labor’s cost share is 70%, capital’s is 25%, and energy’s is just 5%. Real-world implicationsTo test their model on reality, Kümmel and Lindenberger applied it to reproduce the economic growth of Germany, Japan, and the US from the 1960s to 2000, paying particular attention to the two oil crises. In neoclassical models, reductions of energy inputs by 7%, as observed during the first energy crisis in 1973-1975, should have caused total economic output reductions of only 0.35%, whereas observed reductions were up to an order of magnitude larger. By using the larger weight of energy, the new model can explain a much larger portion of the total output reductions during this time. If correct, their findings have major implications. First, the new model doesn’t require the Solow residual at all; this residual disappears from the graphs that show the empirical and the theoretical growth curves. Energy, along with the addition of a smaller “human creativity” factor, accounts for all of the growth that neoclassical models attribute to technological progress.Second, and somewhat unsettling, is the impact that the findings may have in the real world. In 2012, the International Monetary Fund stated in its World Economic Outlook that “…if the contribution of oil to output proved to be much larger than its cost share, the effects could be dramatic, suggesting a need for urgent policy action.” According to the authors’ analysis, the high productive power of cheap energy and the low productive power of expensive labor has implications that we can easily observe. On one hand, the average citizens of highly industrialized countries enjoy a material wealth that is unprecedented in history. On the other hand, cheap, powerful energy-capital combinations are increasingly replacing expensive, weak labor in the course of increasing automation. This combination kills jobs for the less skilled part of the labor force. It is also why far fewer people work in agriculture and manufacturing today than in the past, and more people work in the service sector—although even here, computers and software are replacing labor or causing job outsourcing to low-wage countries. This well-known trend can be understood by the new model’s message that energy is cheaper and more powerful than labor. Where is equilibrium?At the heart of Kümmel and Lindenberger’s model is the concept of thermodynamic equilibrium. As the researchers explain, economies are supposed to operate in an equilibrium where an objective, such as profit or overall welfare, has a maximum. To maximize these objectives, neoclassical economics assumes that there are no constraints on the combinations of capital, labor, and energy. With no constraints, economic equilibrium is characterized by the equality of output elasticities and cost shares, which is one of the assumptions of neoclassical growth models as described above.In their new model, Kümmel and Lindenberger apply the same optimization principles, but also take into account technological constraints on production factor combinations. In reality, a production system cannot operate at more than full capacity, and its degree of automation at a given time is limited by the quantities of energy-conversion devices and information processors that the system can accommodate at that time. Further, legal and social obligations may place “soft” constraints on the production factors, particularly labor.In the new model, these technological constraints on the production factors prevent modern industrial economies from reaching the neoclassical equilibrium where the output elasticities of capital, labor and energy are equal to these factors´ cost shares. Rather, the equilibrium of real-life economies, which are limited by technological constraints, is far from the neoclassical equilibrium.While the model provides a new perspective of economic growth, the ultimate question still remains: what kinds of strategies will stimulate economic growth and reduce unemployment and emissions? Whatever the answer, the results here suggest that it must account for the pivotal role of energy in economic production.”Within the present legal framework of the market, one needs economic growth to ban the specter of unemployment,” the researchers explain. “Energy-driven economic growth, in turn, may lead to increasing environmental perturbations, because, according to the first and second law of thermodynamics, nothing happens in the world without energy conversion and entropy production. And entropy production is associated with the emissions of heat and particles, notably carbon dioxide as long the world uses fossil fuels at the present rate.”Kümmel is also the author of a book on the subject called The Second Law of Economics: Energy, Entropy, and the Origins of Wealth. Explore further More information: Reiner Kümmel and Dietmar Lindenberger. “How energy conversion drives economic growth far from the equilibrium of neoclassical economics.” New Journal of Physics. DOI: 10.1088/1367-2630/16/12/125008 (Left) Economic growth and (right) contributions of the three main production factors to economic growth in Germany in the late 20th century. Credit: R. Kümmel. The Second Law of Economics: Energy, Entropy, and the Origins of Wealth In their analysis, the researchers found that, unlike in neoclassical models, the economic weights of energy and labor are not equal to their cost shares. While the economic weight of energy is much larger than its cost share, that of labor is much smaller. This means that energy has a much higher productive power than labor, which is mainly because energy is relatively cheap while labor is expensive. © 2014 Phys.org Journal information: New Journal of Physics This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only.last_img read more

Its all about Delhi

first_imgDHF (Delhi Heritage Foundation) organised the first talk under the Delhi Heritage Lecture Series on ‘Establishment and Growth of Hindu College in the Walled City: Post 1857 Intellectual Hulchul’ by Kavita Sharma (Former Principal Hindu College), Director IIC at its headquarter on 13 August. The session was a part of elaborate initiatives planned to present the unexplored of Delhi for its own residents and spread awareness. DHF has been set up with a mission to preserve and promote heritage of one of the oldest cities in the country. Also Read – ‘Playing Jojo was emotionally exhausting’The key objectives of DHF are – to preserve and promote the heritage, culture, monuments and history of Delhi and to encourage public involvement in heritage preservation.DHF has signed the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with Delhi Walks, a walking tour vertical founded by Sachin Bansal to connect and showcase both the historical and contemporary facets of Delhi as mélange of cultures. Another MOU has been signed with Shoobh Group Welfare Society under the banner of Bharat Gauba, a non-profit community based organisation, which has worked on different social issues and shall be taking Delhi heritage to schools and colleges through a wide array of specially designed programmes. It will soon be announcing a major initiative that includes lectures series, seminars, conferences, workshops and publications.last_img read more

Reviving the languages

first_imgBol Bosh, a website about the diverse languages, literatures and folklore of Kashmir, curated by Asiya Zahoor was launched at Oxford Bookstore Connaught Place in the Capital. Author Namita Gokhale launched the website on 5 August followed by a presentation and discussion with Basharat Ali and Asiya Zahoor.Bol Bosh in Kashmiri refers to communication, in the most endearing way. It aims to focus on those languages and oral and folk literatures in particular that are lesser known. Though these literatures are aesthetically appealing, culturally rich and historically significant, they have a very less or no visibility. By bringing these on a digital platform Bol Bosh aims to make such narratives accessible to the wider world. Some of the languages that are being revived through Bol Bosh are Pashtu, Gojri, Pahari, Dogri, Kohistani, Sheikhagal, Poguli, Shina, Bhaderwahi, Ladhki and Burushaski. Also Read – ‘Playing Jojo was emotionally exhausting’Asiya Zahoor lives and teaches in Baramulla, Kashmir. Her persisting passion for education since childhood led her to volunteer for teaching various schools in adjacent villages of Baramulla in addition to teaching at a colleges. She has known education as a tool of empowerment. Her interest in language and literature drove her to Oxford University. Basharat Ali pursued his Bachelor’s Degree from Government College Baramulla, University of Kashmir. From his childhood he had the urge and desire to contribute to his society by being a change. Ali has dedicated himself selflessly to the development of the society.last_img read more

An effort to promote ecofriendly Durga puja

first_imgBengal Association, New Delhi, has pioneered the concept of recognising the Puja Committees which think about the future of Mother Earth and promote eco-friendliness in their respective Pujas. The Association is recognised as the premier institute of Bengalis, residing in the metropolis of Delhi and NCR, and are involved in various socio-cultural activities.For the last four years, Bengal Association started recognising eco-friendly Puja Committees by felicitating them with Poribesh Bandhob’ Sharodotsav Samman in Delhi and NCR. More than the opulence, the award concentrates on maintenance of cleanliness, hygiene, safety and security, first-aid /medical facilities, and clean and usable toilets, in the Puja Mandaps. The aim of the initiative is to encourage and disseminate awareness amongst all Durga Puja Committees so as to adopt eco-friendly measures. Also, recognising and supporting Prime Minister’s Initiative of ‘Swachh Bharat’, emphasis is being given on cleanliness of pandal and surrounding areas. Also Read – Add new books to your shelfThe project, a brain-child of Tapan Sengupta, General Secretary, has inspired many Puja Committees to adopt eco-friendly measures. Getting successful in their attempt, many Durga Puja Committees have started taking strides in ensuring that their celebrations do not harm the environment. They have started using biodegradable elements and are exploring and adopting green methods for building Durga Puja pandals.This year, Bengal Association, New Delhi, is organising its 5th Shaktibhute Sanatani – eco-friendly Poribesh Bandhob Sharodotsav Samman 2017 for the Durga Puja, organised in Delhi and NCR. The Competition for the first time is being judged by reputed exponents in the field of arts, crafts, literature, theatre, environment, social work etc. This year, about fifty Puja Committees are participating in the competition and the prize money has been increased manifold. The prizes include trophy along with a cash prize. The judging will be based on clean and eco-friendly efforts made and not on the basis of decorative lavish Puja pandals. From the response received till now, hopefully next year more Puja Committees will join and adopt eco-friendly measures.last_img read more

Fashion of the future

first_imgA recently organized fashion show, ‘Fashion Blazon 2017, held at the Footwear design and development institute (FDDI), evidently proved that future of Indian fashion and styling industry is in safe hands. Amalgamating creativity with contemporary ideas, numerous students of the institute presented self-designed attires, jewellery and footwear. Each and every presentation spoke of the efforts and the innovation put in by the students, who explored the new limits of the fashion world. Also Read – Add new books to your shelfOrganised within the college premises on November 17, the show was attended by renowned designers, fashion industry experts, and officials. Amidst claps and applause, the show opened with the first sequence ‘Marigold, which was entirely inspired by the Maharashtrian culture. The collection beautifully depicted ‘modernity in tradition’. Next in line was a collection around the theme of ‘Yoga’ followed by ‘Valentine special collection’. The glamorous garments, perfect for a romantic evening, totally stole the show. Other presentations based on themes like, ‘Tie and dye’– presenting ancient art majorly used in Rajasthan and Gujarat; ‘Game of Thrones’ – showcasing the inspiring characters from the famous TV show thereby capturing the Westeros feel; ‘Van Gogh’, ‘Silver’, and ‘Madhubani’ themes, were equally innovative. Also Read – Over 2 hours screen time daily will make your kids impulsiveGiving a beautiful closure to the fashion show, a collection inspired by the queen of Chittor, Rani Padmavati, was also showcased. The story of valour and sacrifice was depicted via this sequence featuring royal attires of Rajput and Khalji dynasties.Mr Ravinder, Joint Secretary of DIPP graced the occasion as the chief guest. Harpreet Narula, head designer for the upcoming periodic drama Padmavati, was also present at the show. Impressed by the entire showcase, he went on to praise the hard work and efforts put in by the students. FDDI is an apex organisation which has been playing a pivotal role in facilitating the Indian industry by bridging the skill gap in the areas of footwear, leather, retail and management areas. FDDI has been functioning as an interface between the untapped talent and industry and its global counterparts by fulfilling the demand of skilled manpower with its state of art machines and world-class infrastructure.Overwhelmed with amazement, Arun Kumar Sinha, Managing Director, FDDI, congratulated the students for presenting such stupendous collections. “It was a great show considering the efforts of the students. I can see that many of them are quite professional. I loved the way they presented their ideas. When I came here, I had a notion that everything within this campus revolves around footwear designing. But looking at the versatility and the talent, I feel happy.”Speaking further about his plans to take FDDI to new heights, Sinha said, “There are two things which we are aiming at. Firstly, we are trying to bring more designers to the institute so that our students can learn from the professionals. Secondly, we want to provide better exposure by stepping out of the institute. This would help them get firsthand experience in designing, styling, and management. In the words of Aakriti Choudhry – a student who designed two of the garments for the show (one of which was inspired by the petals of the rose) – FDDI is the best platform for anyone who is enthusiastic about fashion or anything related to this industry. “This college is the perfect place to learn new things. It gave us innumerable opportunities to go places and learn, not just through words and teachings within the four walls of the classroom but through experiences. They also provide us with opportunities to go and attend events like the Amazon fashion week and other fashion events of the sort. Not every person wants to get into core designing like I want to be. The college faculty and the staff help us figure out what are we meant to do. I am really happy to be a part of this college and the event as well. Every designer has put in a lot of effort to make it a success.”last_img read more