2019-11-07 - Nº 236
Esta é a Newsletter Nº 236 que se apresenta com o mesmo formato que as anteriores. Se gostar da Newsletter partilhe-a!
Todas as Newsletters encontram-se indexadas no link.
Esta Newsletter tem os seguintes tópicos:
Faz hoje anos que nascia, em 1867, Marie Curie. Esta química e física polaco-francesa ficou conhecida pelas suas célebres experiências sobre minerais de urânio levaram à descoberta de dois novos elementos. Primeiro ela separou o polónio e alguns meses depois o rádio. A quantidade de rádon em equilíbrio radioactivo com um grama de rádio foi denominada curie (redefinida posteriormente como a emissão de 3,7 x 1010 partículas alfa por segundo.) Com Henri Becquerel e seu marido, Pierre Curie, ela recebeu o Prémio Nobel de 1903 por Física. Mais tarde, ela também foi a única ganhadora do segundo Prémio Nobel em 1911, desta vez em Química. A sua família ganhou cinco prémios Nobel em duas gerações. Ela morreu de envenenamento por radiação devido ao seu trabalho pioneiro.
Faz também anos hoje que nascia, em 1878, Lise Meitner. Esta Física austríaco-sueca partilhou o prémio Enrico Fermi com os químicos Otto Hahn e Fritz Strassmann pela sua pesquisa conjunta iniciada em 1934 que levou à descoberta da fissão de urânio. Ela recusou-se a trabalhar na bomba atômica. Em 1917, com Hahn, ela descobriu o novo elemento radioactivo protactinium. Ela foi a primeira a descrever a emissão de electrões Auger. Em 1935, ela encontrou evidências de quatro outros elementos radioactivos correspondentes aos números atómicos 93-96. Em 1938, ela foi forçada a deixar a Alemanha nazi e foi para um posto na Suécia. O seu outro trabalho no campo da física nuclear inclui o estudo de raios beta e o estudo das três principais séries de desintegração. Mais tarde, ela usou o ciclotrão como uma ferramenta.
Por fim, faz anos hoje que nascia, em 1888 - Chandrasekhara Venkata Raman. Este físico indiano influenciou o crescimento da ciência na Índia com o seu trabalho. Ele ganhou o Prémio Nobel de Física de 1930 pela descoberta de 1928, agora chamada de espalhamento Raman: uma mudança na frequência observada quando a luz é espalhada num material transparente. Quando a luz monocromática ou a laser é passada através de um gás, líquido ou sólido transparente e é observada com o espectroscópio, a linha espectral normal associa-se a ela linhas de comprimento de onda mais longas e mais curtas, chamado espectro Raman. Tais linhas, causadas por fotões que perdem ou ganham energia em colisões elásticas com as moléculas da substância, variando com a substância. Assim, o efeito Raman é aplicado na análise química espectro-gráfica e na determinação da estrutura molecular.
Nesta semana que passou ficámos a saber que a maior turbina eólica flutuante do mundo, uma turbina eólica offshore classificada em ABS de 8,4 megawatt (MW), está prestes a ser instalada. É a primeira de três unidades do tipo submersível SEMI, classificadas em ABS, projectadas pela Principle Power que abriga turbinas MHI Vestas que conjugadas têm a capacidade total de 25 MWs de energia eólica offshore flutuante. Este é o primeiro parque eólico flutuante de grande escala da Europa continental, a 20 quilómetros da costa de Viana do Castelo em Portugal. O projeto é desenvolvido pelo consórcio Windplus, que é de propriedade conjunta da EDP Renováveis, ENGIE, Repsol e Principle Power Inc., e está calendarizado para entrar em operação no final de 2019.
Na Newsletter desta semana apresentamos diversos projetos de maker. É apresentado também o livro "Raspberry Pi Beginner’s Guide v3".
João Alves ([email protected])
O conteúdo da Newsletter encontra-se sob a licença Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.
Novidades da Semana
"The largest floating wind turbine in the world, an 8.4-megawatt (MW) ABS-classed offshore wind turbine, is about to be installed. It is the first of three ABS-classed, SEMI Submersible Type units designed by Principle Power housing MHI Vestas turbines that will make up for a total of 25 MWs of floating offshore wind power. This is continental Europe’s first larger scale floating wind farm, 20 kilometers off the coast of Viana do Castello, Portugal. “ABS has supported innovation in offshore energy since 1958. This landmark installation underlines how we continue to support promising technology more than sixty years later,” said Christopher J. Wiernicki, ABS Chairman, President and CEO. “Floating turbines enable us to reach offshore wind resources in water that is too deep for conventional bottom-fixed turbines." [...]
"Latest Addition to Jetson Product Family Brings Xavier Performance to Nano Form Factor for $399 NVIDIA today introduced Jetson Xavier™ NX, the world’s smallest, most powerful AI supercomputer for robotic and embedded computing devices at the edge. With a compact form factor smaller than the size of a credit card, the energy-efficient Jetson Xavier NX module delivers server-class performance up to 21 TOPS for running modern AI workloads, and consumes as little as 10 watts of power. Jetson Xavier NX opens the door for embedded edge computing devices that demand increased performance but are constrained by size, weight, power budgets or cost. These include small commercial robots, drones, intelligent high-resolution sensors for factory logistics and production lines, optical inspection, network video recorders, portable medical devices and other industrial IoT systems. “AI has become the enabling technology for modern robotics and embedded devices that will transform industries,” said Deepu Talla, vice president and general manager of Edge Computing at NVIDIA. “Many of these devices, based on small form factors and lower power, were constrained from adding more AI features." [...]
GLOBALFOUNDRIES and SiFive to Deliver Next Level of High Bandwidth Memory on 12LP Platform for AI Applications
"Next generation high bandwidth memory solution based on GF’s most advanced FinFET platform aims to deliver capacity, speed and power for cloud based AI Applications GLOBALFOUNDRIES® (GF®) and SiFive, Inc. announced today at GLOBALFOUNDRIES Technology Conference (GTC) in Taiwan that they are working to extend high DRAM performance levels with High Bandwidth Memory (HBM2E) on GF’s recently announced 12LP+ FinFET solution, with 2.5D packaging design services to enable fast time-to-market for Artificial Intelligence (AI) applications. In order to achieve the capacity and bandwidth for data-intensive AI training applications, system designers are challenged with squeezing more bandwidth into a smaller area while maintaining a reasonable power profile. SiFive’s customizable high bandwidth memory interface on GF’s 12LP platform and 12LP+ solution will enable easy integration of high bandwidth memory into a single System-on-Chip (SoC) solutions to deliver fast, power-efficient data processing for AI applications in the computing and wired infrastructure markets. As a part of the collaboration, designers will also have access to SiFive’s RISC-V IP portfolio and DesignShare IP ecosystem, which will leverage GF’s 12LP+ Design Technology Co-Optimization (DTCO), enabling them to significantly increase silicon specialization, improve design efficiency and deliver differentiated SoC solutions quickly and cost-effectively. “Extending SiFive’s reference IP platform, with HBM2E, on GF’s best-in-class performance 12LP+ solutiondelivers new levels of performance and integration for next generation SoCs and accelerators,” said Mohit Gupta, vice president and general manager, IP Business Unit at SiFive. “Deployment of highly optimized silicon requires highly customizable capabilities in order to realize the much-needed higher TOPS per milliwatt with low latency performance required for AI, while balancing the needs for low power and smaller area footprints.” “At GF, we continue our commitment to providing differentiated FinFET specific application solutions and IP that allow our clients to develop performance enhanced products for AI applications,” said Ted Letavic, CTO of Computing and Wired Infrastructure at GF." [...]
"One year ago, on Nov. 5, 2018, NASA's Voyager 2 became only the second spacecraft in history to leave the heliosphere - the protective bubble of particles and magnetic fields created by our Sun. At a distance of about 11 billion miles (18 billion kilometers) from Earth - well beyond the orbit of Pluto - Voyager 2 had entered interstellar space, or the region between stars. Today, five new research papers in the journal Nature Astronomy describe what scientists observed during and since Voyager 2's historic crossing. Each paper details the findings from one of Voyager 2's five operating science instruments: a magnetic field sensor, two instruments to detect energetic particles in different energy ranges and two instruments for studying plasma (a gas composed of charged particles). Taken together, the findings help paint a picture of this cosmic shoreline, where the environment created by our Sun ends and the vast ocean of interstellar space begins. The Sun's heliosphere is like a ship sailing through interstellar space." [...]
"Microsoft and Warner Bros. have collaborated to successfully store and retrieve the entire 1978 iconic “Superman” movie on a piece of glass roughly the size of a drink coaster, 75 by 75 by 2 millimeters thick. It was the first proof of concept test for Project Silica, a Microsoft Research project that uses recent discoveries in ultrafast laser optics and artificial intelligence to store data in quartz glass. A laser encodes data in glass by creating layers of three-dimensional nanoscale gratings and deformations at various depths and angles. Machine learning algorithms read the data back by decoding images and patterns that are created as polarized light shines through the glass. The hard silica glass can withstand being boiled in hot water, baked in an oven, microwaved, flooded, scoured, demagnetized and other environmental threats that can destroy priceless historic archives or cultural treasures if things go wrong. It represents an investment by Microsoft Azure to develop storage technologies built specifically for cloud computing patterns, rather than relying on storage media designed to work in computers or other scenarios." [...]
AMD Introduces World’s Fastest High-End Desktop Processors With 3rd Gen Ryzen Threadripper Family: Delivering Unmatched Performance With No Compromises
"Today, AMD announced the upcoming availability of powerful new additions to its high-end desktop processor family that deliver groundbreaking performance for creators, developers, and enthusiasts. Built to deliver leadership performance1,3 for the most demanding desktop and content creation workloads, the 24-core AMD Ryzen Threadripper 3960X and the 32-core AMD Ryzen Threadripper 3970X processors will be available worldwide November 25, 2019. “With our 3rd Gen AMD Ryzen Threadripper processors, AMD is once again raising the performance bar significantly for creators, developers, and PC enthusiasts,” said Saied Moshkelani, senior vice president and general manager, AMD Client Compute. “3rd Gen Ryzen Threadripper processors combine leadership performance and energy efficiency to create the ultimate high-end desktop solution. We are extremely excited to expand our leadership high-end desktop processor family and deliver the world’s fastest processors.” 3rd Gen AMD Ryzen Threadripper Processors: World’s Most Powerful Desktop Processors The 3rd Gen AMD Ryzen Threadripper lineup features two new processors built on industry-leading 7nm “Zen 2” core architecture, boasting up to 88 PCIe® 4.0 lanes and 144MB cache with extraordinary power efficiency. Achieving up to 90 percent faster performance over the competition’s top-end HEDT processor1, the new 32-core Ryzen Threadripper 3970X processor offers unsurpassed performance as the most powerful and fastest desktop processor1 in the high-end desktop market." [...]
Ciência e Tecnologia
"Stanford researchers designed a tactile display that aims to make 3D printing and computer-aided design accessible to people who are blind and visually impaired. With the goal of increasing access to making, engineers at Stanford University have collaborated with members of the blind and visually impaired community to develop a touch-based display that mimics the geometry of 3D objects designed on a computer. Creating a 3D object with computer software is often the first step in producing it physically and can be burdensome for people who are blind or visually impaired. Even with 3D modeling software that has more accessible ways of inputting designs, they still have to evaluate their work by either creating a physical version they can touch or by listening to a description provided by a sighted person. “Design tools empower users to create and contribute to society but, with every design choice, they also limit who can and cannot participate,” said Alexa Siu, a graduate student in mechanical engineering at Stanford, who developed, tested and refined the system featured in this research. “This project is about empowering a blind user to be able to design and create independently without relying on sighted mediators because that reduces creativity, agency and availability.” This work is part of a larger effort within the lab of Sean Follmer, assistant professor of mechanical engineering, to develop tactile displays – displays that relay information through touch – for various purposes, such as human-computer interaction and new ways of sharing or explaining 3D information." [...]
"Navigation method may speed up autonomous last-mile delivery. In the not too distant future, robots may be dispatched as last-mile delivery vehicles to drop your takeout order, package, or meal-kit subscription at your doorstep — if they can find the door. Standard approaches for robotic navigation involve mapping an area ahead of time, then using algorithms to guide a robot toward a specific goal or GPS coordinate on the map. While this approach might make sense for exploring specific environments, such as the layout of a particular building or planned obstacle course, it can become unwieldy in the context of last-mile delivery. Imagine, for instance, having to map in advance every single neighborhood within a robot’s delivery zone, including the configuration of each house within that neighborhood along with the specific coordinates of each house’s front door. Such a task can be difficult to scale to an entire city, particularly as the exteriors of houses often change with the seasons." [...]
"Researchers at the Laboratory of Organic Electronics have discovered a material that can both increase and reduce its volume when exposed to a weak electrical pulse. In a sponge, or filter, the researchers can control the size of particles that pass through. Materials, such as solids and gels, that change volume depending on temperature or pH have long been available. Such materials are used in control units (one example of which are windows in greenhouses that automatically open and close depending on the temperature). They are also used in robots and in other electromechanical systems and in applications in biomedicine. One property that researchers have, however, long sought is the change of a material from a solid form to a gel state with the aid of an electrical signal." [...]
"What happens when something keeps getting smaller and smaller? This is the type of question Empa researcher Johann Michler and his team are investigating. As a by-product of their research completely novel watch springs could soon be used in Swiss timepieces. Applied research is not always initiated by industry – but oftentimes it yields results that can swiftly be implemented by companies. A prime example can be seen on the Empa campus in Thun: Tiny watch springs are on display at the Laboratory for Mechanics of Materials and Nanostructures. These springs – the beating heart of every mechanical clock – are not your usual components." [...]
"Development is significant step toward skin grafts that can be integrated into patient’s skin Researchers at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute have developed a way to 3D print living skin, complete with blood vessels. The advancement, published online today in Tissue Engineering Part A, is a significant step toward creating grafts that are more like the skin our bodies produce naturally. “Right now, whatever is available as a clinical product is more like a fancy Band-Aid,” said Pankaj Karande, an associate professor of chemical and biological engineering and member of the Center for Biotechnology and Interdisciplinary Studies (CBIS), who led this research at Rensselaer. “It provides some accelerated wound healing, but eventually it just falls off; it never really integrates with the host cells.” A significant barrier to that integration has been the absence of a functioning vascular system in the skin grafts. Karande has been working on this challenge for several years, previously publishing one of the first papers showing that researchers could take two types of living human cells, make them into “bio-inks,” and print them into a skin-like structure. Since then, he and his team have been working with researchers from Yale School of Medicine to incorporate vasculature." [...]
"New control system may enable humanoid robots to do heavy lifting and other physically demanding tasks. Rescuing victims from a burning building, a chemical spill, or any disaster that is inaccessible to human responders could one day be a mission for resilient, adaptable robots. Imagine, for instance, rescue-bots that can bound through rubble on all fours, then rise up on two legs to push aside a heavy obstacle or break through a locked door. Engineers are making strides on the design of four-legged robots and their ability to run, jump and even do backflips. But getting two-legged, humanoid robots to exert force or push against something without falling has been a significant stumbling block. Now engineers at MIT and the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have developed a method to control balance in a two-legged, teleoperated robot — an essential step toward enabling a humanoid to carry out high-impact tasks in challenging environments." [...]
"Over the past decade, the UAE has demonstrated a serious commitment to the development of renewable and alternative energy, which is one of the pillars of the country’s economic diversification strategy. The empowerment of renewable energy technology and the rapid advancements in energy storage technologies will lead to significant improvements in our daily life. Batteries play a key role as an energy storage device to overcome the operational challenges caused by the intermittent nature of renewable energy, while advanced flexible energy storage solutions will allow for further miniaturization of portable electronic devices, including wearables. A major limitation to better electrochemical energy storage systems lies in the electrode. Electrodes are the places in every storage device i.e., battery or supercapacitor, where the chemical reactions occur and where the ions, or charged particles, are stored. Researchers around the world have been racing to develop high-performance electrode materials." [...]
"Energy storage systems are of crucial importance to all sectors of industry involved in the energy and mobility transition. The idea behind Germany’s ‘Forschungsfertigung Batteriezelle’ is to create a development center for battery cell production that will serve the whole of Germany. Known by its German abbreviation FFB, the new battery cell research facility will close the current gap in the value chain of primary and rechargeable batteries and eliminate the need to depend on other markets. The project team, which consists of the Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft and its research partners, is now embarking on the first steps to put the FFB concept into practice at the chosen location of Münster in the federal state of North Rhine-Westphalia. Over the past decade, Germany has regained its standing at the top of the international battery research league. Despite this, there continues to be widespread reluctance among German industrial concerns to enter the realm of high-volume battery cell production." [...]
"Scientific instrument made at McGill reveals liquid-like properties of a solid substance McGill University researchers have gained tantalizing new insights into the properties of perovskites, one of the world’s most promising materials in the quest to produce a more efficient, robust and cheaper solar cell. In a study published today in Nature Communications, the researchers used a multi-dimensional electronic spectrometer (MDES) – a unique instrument hand-built at McGill – to observe the behaviour of electrons in cesium lead iodide perovskite nanocrystals. The MDES that made these observations possible is capable of measuring the behaviour of electrons over extraordinarily short periods of time – down to 10 femtoseconds, or 10 millionths of a billionth of a second. Perovskites are seemingly solid crystals that first drew attention in 2014 for their unusual promise in future solar cells that might be cheaper or more defect tolerant. A most exciting discovery “It’s the most exciting result that I have been a part of since starting in science in 1995,” said senior author and McGill chemistry professor Patanjali Kambhampati of the discovery of perovskite’s liquid-solid duality. “Instead of searching for perfection in defect-free silicon microelectronics, here we have a defective thing that’s defect-tolerant." [...]
"Imagine a runner who doesn’t need to carry a stopwatch or cell phone to check her time: She could just gaze at the glowing stopwatch display on the back of her hand. Such human-machine interfaces are no longer science fiction, but they still have a way to go before becoming mainstream. Now, researchers reporting in ACS Materials Letters have developed a stretchable light-emitting device that operates at low voltages and is safe for human skin. Recently, scientists have developed stretchable light-emitting devices called alternating-current electroluminescent (ACEL) displays that can be stuck on skin or other surfaces like a temporary tattoo. However, the displays require relatively high voltages to achieve sufficient brightness, which could create safety concerns. So, Desheng Kong and colleagues wanted to develop an ACEL that could operate at lower voltages and thus be safer for human skin." [...]
"For many years now, miniaturization has been the main driver of the electronics industry. This is particularly true for ceramic-based circuit boards, which have properties that make them especially suitable for high-frequency circuits. Increasingly demanding technical requirements have exposed the limits of the classic thick-film technologies used for the production of circuit-board conductors. Now, however, a new generation of thick-film pastes and their photolithographic structuring enable the manufacturing of extremely high-resolution thick-film structures necessary for 5G applications. Moreover, this process is suitable for mass production and industrial applications while maintaining low investment costs and only minimally extending production times. Researchers from the Fraunhofer Institute for Ceramic Technologies and Systems IKTS exhibit the new pastes at the Productronica trade fair in Munich from November 12 to 15 (Hall B2, Booth 228)." [...]
"New approach greatly simplifies silica fiber fabrication, enabling new designs and applications Researchers have developed a way to use 3D printing to create a preform that can be drawn into silica glass optical fibers, which form the backbone of the global telecommunications network. This new fabrication method could not only simplify production of these fibers but also enable designs and applications that weren’t possible before. “Making silica optical fiber involves the labor-intensive process of spinning tubes on a lathe, which requires the fiber’s core or cores to be precisely centered,” explained John Canning who led the research team from the University of Technology in Sydney. “With additive manufacturing, there’s no need for the fiber geometry to be centered. This removes one of the greatest limitations in fiber design and greatly reduces the cost of fiber manufacturing.” In The Optical Society (OSA) journal Optics Letters, Canning’s group in collaboration with Gang-Ding Peng’s research team at the University of New South Wales in Sydney report the first silica glass fibers drawn from 3D printed preforms. “Additive manufacturing approaches such as 3D printing are well suited to change the entire approach to fiber design and purpose,” said Canning." [...]
"Developed at MIT’s Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory, robots can self-assemble to form various structures with applications including inspection. Swarms of simple, interacting robots have the potential to unlock stealthy abilities for accomplishing complex tasks. Getting these robots to achieve a true hive-like mind of coordination, though, has proved to be a hurdle. In an effort to change this, a team from MIT’s Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory (CSAIL) came up with a surprisingly simple scheme: self-assembling robotic cubes that can climb over and around one another, leap through the air, and roll across the ground. Six years after the project’s first iteration, the robots can now “communicate” with each other using a barcode-like system on each face of the block that allows the modules to identify each other. The autonomous fleet of 16 blocks can now accomplish simple tasks or behaviors, such as forming a line, following arrows, or tracking light." [...]
"The roar of a jet or race car engine can nearly take one’s breath away. Now imagine trying to hear through all that noise to pinpoint a problem with the engine – and stop a potentially disastrous failure. Purdue University researchers have developed a monitoring system to detect one of the most common causes of premature blade failure in gas turbine engines – rotor forced response vibration. These vibrations can be so intense at times that they affect the ability of the engine to function correctly. “Our technology is a blade vibration monitoring system using multiple unsteady pressure sensors to listen to the specific sound signature of gas turbine engine blade vibration,” said Yujun Leng, a research scientist in Purdue’s College of Engineering. “The flow field inside a gas turbine engine is very complicated and noisy." [...]
NTU Singapore researchers develop quantum communication chip 1,000 times smaller than current setups
"Researchers at Nanyang Technological University, Singapore (NTU Singapore) have developed a quantum communication chip that is 1,000 times smaller than current quantum setups, but offers the same superior security quantum technology is known for. Most leading security standards used in secure communication methods – from withdrawing cash from the ATM to purchasing goods online on the smartphone – does not leverage quantum technology. The electronic transmission of the personal identification number (PIN) or password can be intercepted, posing a security risk. Roughly 3mm in size, the tiny chip developed by NTU scientists uses quantum communication algorithms to provide enhanced security compared to existing standards. It does this by integrating passwords within the information that is being delivered, forming a secure ‘quantum key’. After the information is received, it is destroyed along with the key, making it an extremely secure form of communication." [...]
"A new type of 3D-printed feed spacer could make membrane-based seawater desalination processes, such as reverse osmosis and ultrafiltration, more efficient, according to new findings by researchers at Khalifa University’s Center for Membranes and Advanced Water Technology (CMAT). The feed spacers, designed and manufactured with the help of 3D printing to achieve complex geometries and sizes, are described most recently in the Journal of Membrane Science, by a team led by KU’s Dr. Hassan Arafat, Professor of Chemical Engineering and Director of CMAT. The team also includes professors Rashid Abu Al-Rub, Hector Hernandez and Giovanni Palmisano as well as researchers Oraib Al-Ketan, N. Sreedhar Navya