Science and Technology Current Affairs February 2017
World Most Heat Resistant Material Found
- The scientists on December 24, 2016 have identified materials that can withstand temperatures of nearly 4000° Celsius, an advance that may pave the way for improved heat resistant shielding for the faster-than-ever hypersonic space vehicle.
- They found that the mixed compound (Ta0.8Hf0.20C) was consistent with previous research, melting at 3905° Celsius, but the two compounds on their own exceeded previous recorded melting points. The compound TaC melted at 3768° Celsius, and HfC melted at 3958° Celsius.
- Tantalum Carbide and Hafnium Carbide (HfC) are refractory ceramics, meaning they are extraordinarily resistant to heat. Their ability to withstand extremely harsh environments means that refractory ceramics could be used in thermal protection systems on high-speed vehicles and as fuel cladding in the super-heated environments of nuclear reactors.
World’s First Solar Panel Road Opened
- First solar panel road Called Wattway, the road is made of panels coated in a special silicon to help withstand heavy vehicles on December 22, 2016.
- Wattway is a patented French innovation that is the fruit of 5 years of research undertaken by Colas, world leader in transport infrastructure, and the INES.
- By combining road construction and photovoltaic techniques, Wattway pavement provides clean, renewable energy in the form of electricity, while allowing for all types of traffic.
- Wattway produces electrical energy without overtaking farmland or natural landscapes, and contributes to increasing the share of photovoltaic electricity in the energy mix, both in France and worldwide.
Molten ‘Jet Stream’ Discovered Deep Inside Earth
- The scientists on December 21, 2016 discovered the so-called molten jet stream while analysing data from a trio of European satellites, called Swarm.
- The satellites launched in 2013 with the goal of studying Earth’s magnetic field. In this case, Swarm’s observations helped create a view akin to an X-ray of the planet.
- A band of molten iron is churning slowly deep inside Earth, much in the same way as a jet stream, a new study found.
Flock Launched FlockOS, World’s First Chat Operating System
- FlockOS, the world’s first chat operating system was launched on December 20, 2016. Developers can now build customised apps; bots and integrations on Flock, and either use them within their organisation, or publish it on Flock’s App Store, making them available for all Flock users.
- FlockOS is unique, as it provides a first-of-its-kind widgets feature that allows users to have a seamless experience with any Flock app—an experience matching that of any fully interactive website. With the kind of powerful apps that can be built, a user could get all their work done from within Flock, enabling massive productivity benefits.
American Scientists Successfully Mapped Human Thought
- American scientists, for the first time, have successfully tracked human thought by imaging rapidly fluctuating brain activity on December 5, 2016. This was made possible using fast FMRI, which measures changes in blood oxygenation associated with higher order brain functions.
- The new discovery is a significant step towards mapping human cognitive functions such as perception, attention, and awareness. The study, published in the journal PNAS, was conducted by the US National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering.
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ECOLOGY & ENVIRONMENT CURRENT AFFAIRS
Super Typhoon Nock-Ten (Nina) Hit at Philippines Coast
- Super Typhoon Nock-ten slammed into the Philippines on December 25, 2016 as the most intense late December tropical cyclone anywhere on the globe in over a half century.
- Nock-ten/Nina’s eyewall then tracked over the Philippine provinces of Albay, Camarines Sur, Quezon, Marinduque, Oriental Mindoro, Occidental Mindoro and Batangas before heading over the South China Sea.
- A favorable environment of low vertical wind shear and warm sea-surface temperatures lead to the rapid intensification.
- Tropical storms and hurricanes are almost never a Christmas concern in the Atlantic basin but can happen year-round in the northwest Pacific Ocean.