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Oct 18, 2021

Extreme Geophysics: Quantum Phase Transition Detected on a Global Scale Deep Inside the Earth

Posted by in categories: mapping, quantum physics

Multidisciplinary team of materials physicists and geophysicists combine theoretical predictions, simulations, and seismic tomography to find spin transition in the Earth’s mantle.

The interior of the Earth is a mystery, especially at greater depths (660 km). Researchers only have seismic tomographic images of this region and, to interpret them, they need to calculate seismic (acoustic) velocities in minerals at high pressures and temperatures. With those calculations, they can create 3D velocity maps and figure out the mineralogy and temperature of the observed regions. When a phase transition occurs in a mineral, such as a crystal structure change under pressure, scientists observe a velocity change, usually a sharp seismic velocity discontinuity.

In 2,003 scientists observed in a lab a novel type of phase change in minerals — a spin change in iron in ferropericlase, the second most abundant component of the Earth’s lower mantle. A spin change, or spin crossover, can happen in minerals like ferropericlase under an external stimulus, such as pressure or temperature. Over the next few years, experimental and theoretical groups confirmed this phase change in both ferropericlase and bridgmanite, the most abundant phase of the lower mantle. But no one was quite sure why or where this was happening.

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Oct 13, 2021

Deep learning helps predict traffic crashes before they happen

Posted by in categories: mapping, robotics/AI, satellites

Today’s world is one big maze, connected by layers of concrete and asphalt that afford us the luxury of navigation by vehicle. For many of our road-related advancements — GPS lets us fire fewer neurons thanks to map apps, cameras alert us to potentially costly scrapes and scratches, and electric autonomous cars have lower fuel costs — our safety measures haven’t quite caught up. We still rely on a steady diet of traffic signals, trust, and the steel surrounding us to safely get from point A to point B.

“If people can use the risk map to identify potentially high-risk road segments, they can take action in advance to reduce the risk of trips they take. Apps like Waze and Apple Maps have incident feature tools, but we’re trying to get ahead of the crashes — before they happen,” says He.

Full Story:

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Oct 12, 2021

Quantum phase transition detected on a global scale deep inside the Earth

Posted by in categories: computing, mapping, quantum physics

The interior of the Earth is a mystery, especially at greater depths (660 km). Researchers only have seismic tomographic images of this region and, to interpret them, they need to calculate seismic (acoustic) velocities in minerals at high pressures and temperatures. With those calculations, they can create 3D velocity maps and figure out the mineralogy and temperature of the observed regions. When a phase transition occurs in a mineral, such as a crystal structure change under pressure, scientists observe a velocity change, usually a sharp seismic velocity discontinuity.

In 2,003 scientists observed in a lab a novel type of phase change in minerals—a spin change in iron in ferropericlase, the second most abundant component of the Earth’s lower mantle. A spin change, or spin crossover, can happen in minerals like ferropericlase under an external stimulus, such as pressure or temperature. Over the next few years, experimental and theoretical groups confirmed this phase change in both ferropericlase and bridgmanite, the most abundant phase of the lower mantle. But no one was quite sure why or where this was happening.

In 2,006 Columbia Engineering Professor Renata Wentzcovitch published her first paper on ferropericlase, providing a theory for the spin crossover in this mineral. Her theory suggested it happened across a thousand kilometers in the lower mantle. Since then, Wentzcovitch, who is a professor in the and applied mathematics department, earth and environmental sciences, and Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory at Columbia University, has published 13 papers with her group on this topic, investigating velocities in every possible situation of the spin crossover in ferropericlase and bridgmanite, and predicting properties of these minerals throughout this crossover. In 2,014 Wenzcovitch, whose research focuses on computational quantum mechanical studies of materials at extreme conditions, in particular planetary materials predicted how this spin change phenomenon could be detected in seismic tomographic images, but seismologists still could not see it.

Oct 6, 2021

How the world’s biggest brain maps could transform neuroscience

Posted by in categories: government, mapping, neuroscience

The largest projects started in 2,013 when the US government and the European Commission launched ‘moonshot’ efforts to provide services to researchers that will help to crack the mammalian brain’s code. They each poured vast resources into large-scale systematic programmes with different goals. The US effort — which is estimated to cost US$6.6 billion up until 2027 — has focused on developing and applying new mapping technologies in its BRAIN (Brain Research through Advancing Innovative Neurotechnologies) Initiative (see ‘Big brain budgets’). The European Commission and its partner organizations have spent €607 million ($703 million) on the Human Brain Project (HBP), which is aimed mainly at creating simulations of the brain’s circuitry and using those models as a platform for experiments.


Scientists around the world are working together to catalogue and map cells in the brain. What have these huge projects revealed about how it works?

Oct 6, 2021

Nature: How the world’s biggest brain maps could transform neuroscience?

Posted by in categories: mapping, neuroscience

Nature is the foremost international weekly scientific journal in the world and is the flagship journal for Nature Portfolio. It publishes the finest…

Sep 23, 2021

Astronomers Have Discovered a Gigantic Sphere-Shaped Cavity in Space

Posted by in categories: mapping, space

Astronomers analyzing 3D maps of the shapes and sizes of nearby molecular clouds have discovered a gigantic cavity in space.

The sphere-shaped void, described today in the Astrophysical Journal Letters, spans about 150 parsecs — nearly 500 light years — and is located on the sky among the constellations Perseus and Taurus. The research team, which is based at the Center for Astrophysics | Harvard & Smithsonian, believes the cavity was formed by ancient supernovae that went off some 10 million years ago.

The mysterious cavity is surrounded by the Perseus and Taurus molecular clouds — regions in space where stars form.

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Sep 10, 2021

Autonomous Robot Swarms To Mine the Moon’s Resources

Posted by in categories: habitats, mapping, robotics/AI, space

University of Arizona aerospace and mining engineers are mapping out a plan for harvesting the moon’s resources using autonomous robot swarms and new excavation techniques.

With scientists beginning to more seriously consider constructing bases on celestial bodies such as the moon, the idea of space mining is growing in popularity.

After all, if someone from Los Angeles was moving to New York to build a house, it would be a lot easier to buy the building materials in New York rather than buy them in Los Angeles and lug them 2,800 miles. Considering the distance between Earth and the moon is about 85 times greater, and that getting there requires defying gravity, using the moon’s existing resources is an appealing idea.

Aug 31, 2021

Mapping the Brain Circuitry of Spirituality

Posted by in categories: mapping, neuroscience

Summary: Researchers find a region of the brain stem called the periaqueductal gray may mediate religiosity and spirituality in humans.

Source: Elsevier.

Scientists have long suspected that religiosity and spirituality could be mapped to specific brain circuits, but the location of those circuits remains unknown. Now, a new study using novel technology and the human connectome, a map of neural connections, has identified a brain circuit that seems to mediate that aspect of our personality.

Aug 17, 2021

Qualcomm launches world’s first drone platform with both 5G, AI tech

Posted by in categories: drones, internet, mapping, robotics/AI, security

Qualcomm has unveiled the world’s first drone platform and reference design that will tap in both 5G and AI technologies. The chipmaker’s Flight RB5 5G Platform condenses multiple complex technologies into one tightly integrated drone system to support a variety of use cases, including film and entertainment, security and emergency response, delivery, defense, inspection, and mapping.

The Flight RB5 5G Platform is powered by the chipmaker’s QRB5165 processor and builds upon the company’s latest IoT offerings to offer high-performance and heterogeneous computing at ultra-low power consumption.

Aug 16, 2021

How Do Starlink Satellites Navigate To Their Final Operational Orbits

Posted by in categories: internet, mapping, satellites

When SpaceX deploy batches of Starlink satellites they drop them off in lower orbits and expect the satellites themselves to navigate towards their final operational orbits. This is quite a complex process and one that’s worth discussing, the satellites need to be able to reach the target orbital plane, raise the orbit to operational altitude, and then finally maneuver to a specific slot within that plane before they become operational.

Satellite Orbital Maps by Celestrak.
https://celestrak.com/

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