Science News 2005

"A Simpler, Cheaper Biodiesel Production Process"

"Electric Currents Boost Brain Power"

"Law-Breaking Liquid Defies The Rules"

"Electrolyzed Water vs Bacteria"

"Shock Waves Tear Food Bugs Apart"

"Smart Glass Blocks Infrared When Heat Is On"

"Solar Photovoltaic Breakthrough Taps Infrared Light"

"Solar Panels May Get Five Times More Efficient"

"Graphite Magnets Get Ready for Applications"

"What Causes Rain?"

"Stirling Engine gets Noisy Makeover"

"Ukrainian Scientists Discover Our Time Speeding Up"

"Russian Scientist Invents Camera To Take Ghost Photos "

"Urine to Improve Diesel Fumes?"

( Online Source: -- April 15, 2005)

"A Simpler, Cheaper Biodiesel Production Process"

A scientist for the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Agricultural Research Service (ARS) may have found a new way to remove a costly component of biodiesel production.

Processing costs using dry flakes were estimated at $1.02 per gallon, which is $2.12 less than for biodiesel made from full-moisture soy flakes.
Michael Haas, a biochemist with the ARS Eastern Regional Research Center's Fats, Oils and Animal Coproducts Research Unit in Wyndmoor, Pennsylvania has developed a new approach to synthesizing biodiesel.

Soybean oil is the prevalent starting material in the United States for biodiesel, and its relatively high production cost results in a high resale cost for this renewable fuel.

The method developed by Haas and his colleagues eliminates the use of hexane, an air pollutant regulated by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, from the production of soy oil for biodiesel synthesis. Hexane, a colorless, flammable liquid derived from petroleum, is traditionally used to extract vegetable oil triglycerides from the raw agricultural material before biodiesel production.

The new method eliminates the conventional oil extraction step. Instead, the oilseed is incubated with methanol and sodium hydroxide, which are currently used to process extracted oil.

The researchers found that the moisture naturally present in soybeans -- as much as 10 percent in soy flakes -- requires that a large amount of methanol be used in this reaction. However, using dried flakes greatly reduced the methanol requirement. Processing costs using dry flakes were estimated at $1.02 per gallon, which is $2.12 less than for biodiesel made from full-moisture soy flakes.

The researchers are refining their economic model to account for income from the sale of the lipid-free, protein-rich flakes left over from the biodiesel reaction for use as animal feeds, and to account for differences in the cost of the refined oil and flaked soybean feedstocks.


( Online Source: ( 11-8-4 )

"Electric Currents Boost Brain Power"

by Jim Giles

Connecting a battery across the front of the head can boost verbal skills, says a team from the US National Institutes of Health.

A current of two thousandths of an ampere (a fraction of that needed to power a digital watch) applied for 20 minutes is enough to produce a significant improvement, according to data presented this week at the annual meeting of the Society for Neuroscience, held in San Diego. And apart from an itchy sensation around the scalp electrode, subjects in the trials reported no side-effects.

Meenakshi Iyer of the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke in Bethesda, Maryland, ran the current through 103 initially nervous volunteers. "I had to explain it in detail to the first one or two subjects," she says. But once she had convinced them that the current was harmless, Iyer says, recruitment was not a problem.

The volunteers were asked to name as many words as possible beginning with a particular letter. Given around 90 seconds, most people get around 20 words. But when Iyer administered the current, her volunteers were able to name around 20% more words than controls, who had the electrodes attached but no current delivered. A smaller current of one thousandth of an amp had no effect.

Trigger happy ~

Iyer says more work needs to be done to explain the effect, but she speculates that the current changes the electrical properties of brain cells in the prefrontal cortex, the brain region through which it passes. She believes that the cells fire off signals more easily after the current has gone by. That would make the brain area, a region involved in word generation, generally more active, she suggests.

Iyer's group, which is led by Eric Wassermann, was prompted to run the tests after considering problems facing researchers who were studying the effect of magnetic fields on the brain. Some neuroscientists hope that magnetic fields could have a therapeutic effect, perhaps by boosting activity in areas of the brain that have suffered cell loss owing to dementia. But magnetic fields can cause seizures and also require bulky equipment to generate them.

Iyer hopes that low electric currents will offer a safer and more portable alternative. After running further safety tests, she plans to test the effect of the current on patients with frontal temporal dementia, a brain disease that causes speech problems. "This won't be a cure," Iyer cautions. "But it could be used in addition to drugs."

The idea of using electrical current to boost brain activity dates back to experiments on animals in the 1950s. The early work showed some potential, but fell from favour because of a perceived link to electroconvulsive therapy, a controversial technique in which patients with depression are treated by having short but intense pulses of electricity applied to the brain.

( Online Source: PhysicsWeb // J. Chem. Phys 121: 5031 // Spectrométrie Physique at the Université Joseph Fourier -- 24 September 2004 )

"Law-Breaking Liquid Defies The Rules"
Physicists in France have discovered a liquid that "freezes" when it is heated. Marie Plazanet and colleagues at the Université Joseph Fourier and the Institut Laue-Langevin, both in Grenoble, found that a simple solution composed of two organic compounds becomes a solid when it is heated to temperatures between 45 and 75°C, and becomes a liquid when cooled again. The team says that hydrogen bonds are responsible for this novel behaviour (M Plazanet et al., 2004 J. Chem. Phys 121: 5031).
Solids usually melt when they are heated, and liquids turn into gas, although exceptions do exist when heating leads to chemical changes that cannot be reversed, such as polymerisation. However, a reversible transition in which a liquid becomes a solid when heated has never been observed until now.
Plazanet and colleagues prepared a liquid solution containing
*-cyclodextrine (CD), water and 4-methylpyridine (4MP). Cyclodextrines are cyclic structures containing hydroxyl end groups that can form hydrogen bonds with either the 4MP or water molecules.
At room temperature, up to 300 grams of CD can be dissolved in a litre of 4MP. The resulting solution is homogenous and transparent, but it becomes a milky-white solid when heated. The temperature at which it becomes a solid falls as the concentration of CD increases.
Neutron-scattering studies revealed that the solid phase is a "sol-gel" system in which the formation of hydrogen bonds between the CD and the 4MP leads to an ordered, rigid structure. At lower temperatures, however, the hydrogen bonds tend to break and reform within the CD, which results in the solution becoming a liquid again.

Molecular dynamics simulations by Plazanet and co-workers confirmed that the cyclodextrine ring becomes distorted as it is heated up to close to the solidification temperature. The hydrogen bonds within the CD break and the hydroxyl groups rotate towards the outside, which allows a network of bonds to form between the different molecules. The team has found a number of cyclodextrine/pyridine systems that also become solid when heated, and is now looking more closely at the structure of the sol-gel system to understand the solidification mechanism in more detail.

( Online Source:

"Electrolyzed Water vs Bacteria"

Deadly For Bacteria, Great For Consumers

"Electrolyzed water" -- produced by applying an electrical current to a very dilute saltwater solution - kills bacteria on fresh produce more effectively in some cases than heat or water containing chlorine, according to a research report presented here today at the 220th national meeting of the American Chemical Society, the world's largest scientific society.

Electrolyzed water could also be used to sanitize cutting boards, eating and drinking utensils, and food-processing equipment, says Yen-Con Hung, Ph.D., the University of Georgia professor who conducted the research. Soaking a cutting board in electrolyzed water for about five minutes at a moderately warm temperature (about 95-105 F) can reduce bacteria up to a million-fold, he says.

One advantage of using electrolyzed water to kill bacteria on food surfaces is that it doesn't adversely affect quality as heat can, according to Hung.

Trained sensory panelists "found there was no significant effect of the treatment on the quality," he said. They were "unable to find any differences in color, appearance or smell" between produce washed with electrolyzed water and produce washed with tap water.

The electrolytic process produces very acidic water. Hung believes the water's low pH (acidity) and potential for oxidation-reduction contribute to its effectiveness.

Essentially, oxidation-reduction involves the exchange of electrons. In the case of bacteria like E. coli, salmonella and listeria, this exchange may take away electrons needed by cell membranes for metabolism and survival.

"We think the main indicator of the effectiveness of the solution is the oxidation-reduction potential," says Hung. "When you compare chlorinated water with electrolyzed water, there is a difference in the oxidation-reduction potential, even though they have the same chlorine concentration." The exact role of oxidation-reduction in destroying bacteria is still being investigated, he says.

Chlorine is not physically added to electrolyzed water, but is produced when the electrical current passes through the water and salt mixture.

The chlorine that is generated "is definitely one of the major components for killing microorganisms," Hung acknowledges. But, he adds, electrolyzed water has additional active components -- oxidants -- that his research group is trying to identify.

The equipment needed to produce and treat food with electrolyzed water is compact and already produced by several companies in Japan. A typical  unit costs between $3,000 and $5,000, says Hung. He believes the food industry will be first to use electrolyzed water and then, as equipment  costs come down, consumers will use it at home.

A fast-food chain in the United States is testing the technology and several other companies have expressed interest, according to Hung. He  did not identify them.

A few U.S. water treatment plants already use technology similar to that tested, according to Hung.

( Online Source: New Scientist // -- 15 November 2004)
"Shock Waves Tear Food Bugs Apart"

by Andy Coghlan

Shock waves have been used for the first time to destroy a host of common food bacteria. If the technique can be perfected, it could one day be used instead of pasteurisation to sterilise baby foods, dairy products and fruit juices without spoiling their taste.

The process is being developed by Achim Loske and colleagues at the Autonomous University of Mexico’s Centre for Applied Physics and Advanced Technology in Querétaro. Loske subjected vials of bacteria to shock waves in a device called an electrohydraulic generator, which generates shocks with pressures of up to 1000 atmospheres, accompanied by intense flashes of visible and ultraviolet light.

This combination, Loske says, killed bacteria in the vial. “A possible advantage of the treatment is that, as far as we know, shock waves don’t change the taste of the food,” he says.
The pressure waves cause microscopic air bubbles in the liquid surrounding the bacteria to expand momentarily and then violently collapse -- a process known as cavitation -- generating small regions of intense heat.
This, along with the pressure of the shock wave and the intense pulses of visible and ultraviolet light, are what kill the bacteria. “It’s a combination of compression, cavitation and electromagnetic radiation,” says Loske, whose results will be published in a forthcoming edition of the journal Innovative Food Science and Emerging Technologies.

Thousandfold Reduction ~

The system needs further development as it does not yet kill enough bacteria to be useful. The best results were with Listeria monocytogenes, a food-borne bug which can trigger miscarriages. Least affected were E. coli O157:H7 bacteria, which have caused fatal food poisoning outbreaks.
At best, populations of bacteria shrank a thousandfold following some 350 shock waves given over 15 minutes. Loske is confident of achieving million-fold reductions, which would be enough to make food safe. “It’s a matter of increasing the shock wave energy and dose, and has been achieved recently in our lab with Listeria monocytogenes,” he says.
His team is also investigating just how the shock waves kill the bacteria. “We still don’t know whether this would be cheaper than conventional technologies,” he says. Morse Solomon, a food safety expert at the US Agricultural Research Service lab in Beltsville, Maryland, says that understanding exactly how the bacteria are killed is essential if the technique is ever to be commercialised.
Solomon’s team once tried tenderising meat using shock waves from a small dynamite explosion (New Scientist, 23 December 2000, p 10). That also killed some bacteria, but not in practical quantities.

Online Source: New Scientist (9 August 04) //

"Smart Glass Blocks Infrared when Heat is on"

Glass that blocks out heat but not light when a room starts getting excessively warm has been developed by UK scientists.

At most room temperatures the glass lets both visible and infrared light pass through. But above 290C, a substance coating the glass undergoes a chemical change causing it to block infrared light. This will prevent room from overheating in bright sunshine or if temperatures outside start to soar.

Other solutions, such as tinted glass, do not respond to changing conditions. As well as reducing the light entering a room, tinted glass keeps a room cool even when some of the Sun's warmth would be welcome.

The researchers behind the new glass technology believe it could change the way architects design large buildings.

"The current trend towards using glass extensively in building poses a dilemma for architects," says Ivan Parkin, who developed the new glass with colleague Troy Manning at University College London. "Do they tint the glass, which reduces the benefit of natural light or face hefty air conditioning bills?"

Transition Temperature ~

The glass is coated the chemical vanadium dioxide. This material transmits both visible and infrared wavelengths of light, and normally undergoes a change at about 700 C.

Above this transition temperature, the electrons in the material alter their arrangement. This turns it from a semiconductor into a metal, and makes it block infrared light. Parkin and Manning lowered the transition temperature to 290C by doping the material with the metal tungsten.

They also found a way to incorporate deposition of the coating into a conventional glass manufacturing process. This should make it relatively cheap to mass produce, they claim, with a commercial version of the glass ready within three years.

However, a number of issues still need to be overcome. Firstly, the substance is not permanently fixed to the glass. Also, the coating itself currently has a strong yellow tint.

But Manning believes it should be possible to overcome these issues. "You could add another substance, like titanium dioxide, to fix it to the glass," he told New Scientist. "And you could use a dye that would cancel out the yellow."

( Online Source: Renewable Energy Access -- 11 January 2005)

"Solar Photovoltaic Breakthrough Taps Infrared Light"

In a paper published on the Nature Materials Web site on January 9, senior author and Professor Ted Sargent, Nortel Networks - Canada Research Chair in Emerging Technologies at the University of Toronto's Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, and his team report on their achievement in tailoring matter to harvest the sun's invisible, infrared rays.

"We made particles from semiconductor crystals which were exactly two, three or four nanometres in size," Sargent said. "The nanoparticles were so small they remained dispersed in everyday solvents just like the particles in paint," explains Sargent.

Sargent's team then tuned the tiny nanocrystals to catch light at very long wavelengths. The result is a sprayable infrared detector.

"Existing technology has given us solution-processible, light-sensitive materials that have made large, low-cost solar cells, displays, and sensors possible, but these materials have so far only worked in the visible light spectrum," Sargent said.

The discovery may help in the quest for cheaper, more efficient renewable energy resources. Specifically, it could help drive up the efficiencies of current polymer-based solar cells which hold the potential to be manufactured at a lower cost than current crystalline silicon cells but have so far been unable to match crystalline power conversion efficiencies.

"Companies have already been formed which have discovered how to make roll-to-roll, large area, plastic photovoltaics," Sargent said. "They face the challenge of low efficiencies in harvesting the sun's power. Our work has the potential to improve these efficiencies considerably.

Sargent expects their research breakthrough could see commercial implementation within 3 to 5 years.

Flexible, roller-processed solar cells have the potential to harness the sun's power, but efficiency, flexibility and cost are going to determine how that potential becomes practice, said Josh Wolfe, Managing Partner and nanotechnology venture capital investor at Lux Capital in Manhattan.

"These flexible photovoltaics could harness half of the sun's spectrum not previously accessed," he said.

Professor Peter Peumans of Stanford University, who has reviewed the U of T team's research, also acknowledges the groundbreaking nature of the work.

"Our calculations show that with further improvements in efficiency, combining infrared and visible photovoltaics, could allow up to 30 percent of the sun's radiant energy to be harnessed, compared to six percent in today's best plastic solar cells," Peumans said.

U of T electrical and computer engineering graduate student Steve MacDonald carried out many of the experiments that produced the world's first solution-processed photovoltaic in the infrared.

"The key was finding the right molecules to wrap around our nanoparticles," he explains. "Too long and the particles couldn't deliver their electrical energy to our circuit; too short, and they clumped up, losing their nanoscale properties. It turned out that one nanometer -- eight carbon atoms strung together in a chain -- was 'just right'."

Other members of the U of T research team are Gerasimos Konstantatos, Shiguo Zhang, Paul W. Cyr, Ethan J.D. Klem, and Larissa Lavina of electrical and computer engineering; Cyr is also with the Department of Chemistry. The research was supported in part by the Government of Ontario through Materials and Manufacturing Ontario, a division of the Ontario Centres of Excellence; the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada through its Collaborative Research and Development Program; Nortel Networks; the Canada Foundation for Innovation; the Ontario Innovation Trust; the Canada Research Chairs Programme; and the Ontario Graduate Scholarship.

Online Source: / Bell Globemedia Inc.
"Solar Panels May Get Five Times More Efficient"
ORONTO (CP) -- Researchers at the University of Toronto have invented an infrared-sensitive material that's five times more efficient at turning the sun's power into electrical energy than current methods.

The discovery could lead to shirts and sweaters capable of recharging our cellphones and other wireless devices, said Ted Sargent, professor of electrical and computer engineering at the university.

Sargent and other researchers combined specially-designed minute particles called quantum dots, three to four nanometres across, with a polymer to make a plastic that can detect energy in the infrared.

Infrared light is not visible to the naked eye but it is what most remote controls emit, in small amounts, to control devices such as TVs and DVD players.

It also contains a huge untapped resource -- despite the surge in popularity of solar cells in the 1990s, we still miss half of the sun's power, Sargent said.

"In fact, there's enough power from the sun hitting the Earth every day to supply all the world's needs for energy 10,000 times over," Sargent said in a phone interview Sunday from Boston. He is currently a visiting professor of nanotechnology at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Sargent said the new plastic composite is, in layman's terms, a layer of film that "catches" solar energy. He said the film can be applied to any device, much like paint is coated on a wall.

"We've done the same thing, but not with something that just sit there on the wall the way paint does," said the Ottawa native.

"We've done it to make a device which actually harnesses the power in the room in the infrared."

The film can convert up to 30 per cent of the sun's power into usable, electrical energy. Today's best plastic solar cells capture only about six per cent.

Sargent said the advance would not only wipe away that inefficiency, but also resolve the hassle of recharging our countless gadgets and pave the way to a true wireless world.

"We now have our cellphones and our BlackBerries and we're walking around without the need to plug in, in order to get our data," he said.

"But we seem trapped at the moment in needing to plug in to get our power. That's because we charge these things up electrically, from the outlet. But there's actually huge amounts of power all around us coming from the sun."

The film has the ability to be sprayed or woven into shirts so that our cuffs or collars could recharge our IPods, Sargent said.

While that may sound like a Star Trek dream, venture capitalists are keen to Sargent's invention.

Josh Wolfe, managing partner at Lux Capital, a New York City-based venture capital firm, said while such a luxury may be five years away, the technology knows no bounds.

"When you have a material advance which literally materially changes the way that energy is absorbed and transmitted to our devices... somebody out there tinkering away in a bedroom or in a government lab is going to come up with a great idea for a new device that will shock us all," he said in a phone interview.

"When the Internet was created nobody envisioned that the killer app (application) would be e-mail or instant messaging."

Sargent's work was published in the online edition of Nature Materials on Sunday and will appear in its February issue.

( Online Source: PhysicsWeb (26 July 2004)

"Graphite Magnets get ready for Applications"

by Belle Dumé

Physicists in Uruguay and Brazil have succeeded in synthesising large quantities of magnetic graphite for the first time. The material made by Álvaro Mombrú and colleagues at the Universidad de la República in Montevideo and the Universidad Federal de São Carlos has the advantage of remaining magnetic at room temperature (H Pardo et al., 2004: Magnetic carbon could be used to make inexpensive, metal-free magnets for applications in medicine and biology, nanotechnology and telecommunications.

Graphite and other forms of carbon can have ferromagnetic properties. However, the effects are weak, and usually only seen at very low temperatures, so physicists are not sure if the magnetism is due to tiny amounts of iron-rich impurities, or if it is an intrinsic property of the carbon.

Recently it was predicted that it should be possible to induce magnetism in carbon by introducing defects, such as pores and stacking structures, into the honeycomb structure of graphite. To produce such material, the team placed two crucibles, one containing highly pure powdered graphite and the other powdered copper oxide, in a tube furnace containing either nitrogen or argon at 1200°C for 24 hours. In this way, the two components underwent a vapour phase reaction so that the graphite remained pure but was microstructurally modified.

Mombrú and co-workers characterised their graphite samples using scanning electron microscopy, together with magnetic force microscopy and magnetometry, at different temperatures. They found that pores, and other complex microstructural defects, were distributed non-uniformly throughout the sample. Furthermore, they calculated that the magnetization of the graphite was just 500 times weaker than iron at 4.2 kelvin, and 800 times weaker at room temperature.

Mombrú believes that magnetic impurities are not responsible for the magnetization because iron concentrations of nearly 2000 parts per million (ppm) would be required to produce the values observed, yet they only measured around 60 ppm of iron.

"In addition to being of fundamental interest, our work will be important for technological applications in engineering, nanotechnology, sensors and detectors, and telecommunications," says Mombrú. "It will also have uses in medicine and biology as a unique biocompatible magnetic material."

( Online SOurce: )

What Causes Rain?

Until recently meteorologists were unable to explain why clouds contain disproportionately large quantities of large and small water droplets.

Now Dutch researchers claim that areas of air turbulence that forms very small spiral patterns and that this then causes clouds to produce rain.

The research was carried out by Delft University of Technology and used the computational facilities at the Academic Computation Centre in Amsterdam. Researchers used a Cray C90 super computer to calculate how hundreds of thousands of water droplets contained in one litre of cloud move and grow.

During this process small tubular-shaped vortices are formed and that these force droplets outwards by centrifugal force, so that they congregate at the edge.

For rain to happen one in every million droplets needs grow to a diameter greater them 20 micrometers and this happens as droplets collide --- this then sets off a chain reaction within the cloud.

This new data turns on its head old meteorological calculations that did not include the effect of small-scale areas of turbulence. The process should take more than three hours before clouds become dense enough to release rain, but in actual fact this process only takes about thirty minutes.

What has also been shown is that there are very few droplets in the center of each area of turbulence and that as a consequence the air there remains supersaturated.

Until recently meteorologists had considered this to be impossible, but the results also indicated that air more than one hundred meters above the base of a cloud becomes so supersaturated with water vapour that droplets are created.

Water vapour then condenses on particles (like dust), with a radius of less than a micrometer. Just how many small droplets develop depends on the level of supersaturation of the air.

Meteorologists may now have to revise many of their long-held assumptions about clouds and rain. This may not sound like a major scientific feat, but it's right up there for many dry continents like Africa and Australia where water may be one of the key regional security issues in the 21st century.

( Online Source:

"Stirling Engine Gets Noisy Makeover"

Scientists from the University of California and Northrop Grumman Space  Technology have developed a novel method for generating electrical power for deep-space travel using sound waves.

The research, appearing in the journal Applied Physics Letters, suggests  that the traveling-wave thermoacoustic electric generator could be used to power spacecraft venturing into the furthest reaches of the Universe.

Scientist Scott Backhaus and his Northrop Grumman colleagues, Emanuel  Tward and Mike Petach say the traveling-wave engine/linear alternator system is similar to the current thermoelectric generators in that it uses heat from the decay of a radioactive fuel to generate electricity, but is more than twice as efficient.

The new design is an improvement over current thermoelectric devices used for the generation of electricity aboard spacecraft. Such devices convert only 7 percent of the heat source energy into electricity.

The traveling-wave engine converts 18 percent of the heat source energy into electricity.

The traveling-wave engine is a modern-day adaptation of the 19th century invention of Robert Stirling -- the Stirling engine -- which is similar to a steam engine, but uses heated air instead of steam to drive a piston.

The traveling-wave engine works by sending helium gas through a stack of 322 stainless-steel wire-mesh discs called a regenerator. The regenerator is connected to a heat source and a heat sink that causes the helium to expand and contract.

This expansion and contraction creates powerful sound waves -- in much the same way that lightning causes the thermal expansion that produces thunder. These oscillating sound waves in the traveling-wave engine drive the piston of a linear alternator that generates electricity.

Since the only moving component in the device besides the helium gas itself is an ambient temperature piston, the device possesses the kind of high-reliability required of deep space probes.

( Online Source : )
"Ukrainian Scientists Discover Our Time Speeding Up"

by Taras Vanakaplus

Ukrainian physicists made a remarkable discovery capable of changing that our perception of Time Scientists of Kiev"s Institute of quantum physics Dmitro Stary and Irina Soldatenko began their experiment in the early 70s. Since then, it"s been going on for more than 30 years, despite all the difficulties such lack of resources, power outages and no monthly salaries. Their longstanding scientific exploit has finally paid off; it has lead to a real scientific breakthrough, which could only be compared to Einstein"s relativity theory. Their unprecedented experiment, which was originated by famous Soviet physicist Anastas Korzh, entails measurement of the Universe"s expansion.

Their technique however differs from the one commonly used these days. Usually, scientists measure the distance between galaxies or rather those oblique "evidences" like the Doppler Effect for instance.

Anastas in turn suggested the young specialists, graduates of the University of Physics, to precisely measure the most ordinary distance such as the length of iridium standard meter, accessible for scientists, using modern high-precision quantum devices. After all, if the Universe does expand, the process does not only affect the edges, but its entirety.

The iridium standard meter rod will also have to become longer after some time.

Dmitro developed a unique computer program (BESM-4) which enabled the scientist to compensate and correct mistakes of his electronic devices.

In the end, after such tedious and lengthy research work, Ukrainian scientists managed to calculate more accurately the exact number of years of our Universe as well as to acquire other significant data. Practical advantages of such research appear to be significant as well. For instance, nowadays all leading airlines of the world take into account the so-called Stary-Soldatenko factor for calculating the amount of over-expenditure of aviation fuel.

The major outcome however, which was never intended by the scientists, became obvious only during the final stages of the experiment. After conducting thorough analysis of acquired data, they discovered that not only does the Universe expand, but Time tends to accelerate as well!

Actually, we have been following this effect for quite some time now. However, those physicists who measured Time by means of various electronic devices, which in turn also accelerated, did not lead us to believe in it.

The results of Stary and Soldatenko turn our preconceived notions of the Universe upside down. Today, they haven"t been totally accepted in the scientific world. In the meantime, the results are being tested in many laboratories worldwide. Perhaps, it will take additional 30 years for the scientific world to repeat the experiment.

Today, many researchers undoubtedly agree that this is a fundamentally new physical phenomenon, which will trigger new breakthroughs in the world of science.

( Online Source: )

"Russian Scientist Invents Camera To Take Ghost Photos "

Collection Of Unique Photos Includes Dinosaurs, WWII Soldiers

by Savely Kashnitsky
(  8-6-4 )

Russian geologist, specialist for geophysical devices Henry Silanov founded a photo studio, in which one can see the collection of 80 unusual photographs - aliens, paranormal activities, people from the past eras.

When a girl was packing a camping tent, Henry was preparing his camera to take a picture of her. The girl stood up and came up to the man. Henry clicked the camera. When the film was developed, they saw the girl on a shot bending over the tent. The picture depicted the girl several seconds prior to the moment, when the picture was actually taken. Henry Silanov photographed not the girl, but the informational trace she had left. It does not sound scientific at all - the experienced geologist is aware of that. He would never believe anyone saying a camera is capable of photographing moments, which were over before the moment of shooting. The scientist would never believe it, if he did not take tens of such photographs himself.

He took the first unusual picture in St.Petersburg's Hermitage. In one of the halls Silanov photographed the throne of Russian tsars. The developed picture depictured the face of Peter the Great, who used to sit on the throne indeed. Silanov started taking photographs of the past. The geologist has a picture of the thermos bottle photographed on the grass. The image of the bottle is slightly covered with vague outlines of a bucket, which was used to keep fresh milk in. The image of the bucket is invisible, but it inexplicably appears on a film. Another photograph shows an old tree broken with a storm. One can see the pale shade of the tree top above the fracture too.

Henry Silanov uses unconventional cameras to take photographs of the past. Object-glasses are usually covered with a thin layer of magnesium fluoride to filter the ultra-violet part of the spectrum. However, Silanov believes this is the exactly the frequency, which allows the film to fix 'the memory of the field.' The scientist uses this term, because there is no better definition for the time being. Henry Silanov thinks space is a huge hologram filled with information about everything that was ever placed or moved in it. Certain conditions make it possible to 'turn the memory of space on.' The memory is materialized in light quanta, which retrieve images of the past. Many years of his extended experience in photographing equipment became of great use in the new hobby.

Traditional optical devices do not let ultraviolet rays pass through. To make a unique object-glass Silanov uses tiniest grains of natural quartz, analyzing them on a spectrometer. Then he melts the grains for the glass, and polishes the lens manually. The film is also special: it is deprived of the gelatin layer, which filters ultraviolet rays.

Silanov took the majority of photographs in summer months, during his annual missions to anomalous zones of the Hopyor river. The scientist is the permanent leader of the public scientific expedition Hopyor. Every summer he leads a group of enthusiasts to the river-bed to study paranormal activities. There is a photograph of bushes, in which profiles of soldiers are seen standing out. The analysis determined the picture depicted Czech soldiers in 1943. The quartz object-glass captured a military unit, which was apparently deployed in the area during World War II.

Another photograph shows a man wearing ancient clothes. It is supposedly a Scythian man - they used to inhabit the region in ancient times. Soldiers in pointed helmets bring up the Golden Horde warriors. One can see ropes across the river next to the warriors -- they were probably building a passage. Another photograph depicts a dinosaur, which was probably hunting in the region millions of years ago.

It is impossible to choose the period of time-photographs. The scientist does not know how to control his photo time-machine; he has not invented the time-switch yet. Silanov tried to use five cameras at once: all photographs differed from each other.

Many professional photographers analyzed Henry Silanov's pictures and found no technical flaws. Silanov learned from them he was not the only one to discover mysterious images on photographs.

The unique camera is capable of photographing dead people too. This phenomenon has its own story. American citizen William Mummler took the first picture of a ghost soon after the invention of photography. He took a picture of himself, but was shocked to discover the see-through image of his cousin Sarah, who had died in the same house 12 years before that. A girl could be seen on the picture wearing white clothes, standing next to Mummler.

Henry Silanov has his own collection of ghosts on film. The scientist believes they try to say they have not vanished, they live somewhere in a parallel world, watching over us. Henry is a skeptic person. He perfectly realizes a lot of people will never believe his theories, taking into consideration the fact they are all based on photographs. However, physicians will have to study 'the memory of the field' if other people's collections of unusual photograph present more evidence of its existence.

( Online Source: )

"Urine to improve diesel fumes?"
Swiss scientists have come up with a way to take the stink out of diesel exhaust fumes -- by spraying it with urine. Researchers at Switzerland's Paul Scherrer Institute confirmed they had developed the new catalytic converter for diesel engines based on urea, a compound found in urine.
Diesel motors emit nitrogen oxides that drive up ozone levels and until now there has not been a catalytic converter able to efficiently break down these pollutants. But the PSI's Oliver Kroecher, who headed the research team in Villigen in Switzerland, said: "Our method is to spray urea, which is harmless and used as a fertiliser, to break down the oxides."
He explained that a urea solution is introduced into the exhaust outlet as a fine spray, where it breaks down into ammonia. The ammonia then reacts with the oxides, transforming them into nitrogen and water.
Kroecher added: "We expect our technology to be on the market soon, within the next 18 months. There's been a lot of interest from truck manufacturers."
The EU plans to introduce new, tougher emission limits for diesel engines by the end of next year.