Science and Technology Current Affairs May 2017
GRAPES-3 Telescope Upgrade to Control Solar Storms
- The GRAPES-3 experiment at TIFR’s Cosmic Ray Laboratory in Ootacamund (Tamil Nadu) upgraded on March 21, 2017. The upgraded detector will have an increased coverage of the sky and improved capacity to determine the direction of incident cosmic rays.
- The Sun is at a distance of 150 million kilometres from the Earth, and satellites have been placed at a distance of nearly 1.5 million kilometre, at the so-called LI point, where they orbit the Sun along with the Earth.
- Since charged particles from a solar storm will first impact the satellites before hitting the Earth, they act as an early, warning system. Depending on the speed of the storm, it will take about 20-40 minutes to reach the earth from the LI point.
- GRAPES-3 has an important role in understanding the propagation of storms from the LI point to its impact on the Earth. We have seen indications that the actual time taken may not be what the satellites predict.
Five New Sub-atomic Particles Discovered at CERN
- The scientists Using the world’s largest and most powerful particle accelerator have discovered a new system of five particles all in a single analysis on March 20, 2017.
- The new particles were found to be excited states [a particle state that has a higher energy than the absolute minimum configuration (or ground state)1 of a particle called Omega-c-zero. This Omega-c*zero is a baryon, a particle with three quarks, containing two ‘strange’ and one ‘charm’ quark.
- Omega-c-ze to decays vw the strong force into another baryon, called Xi-c-plus, (containing a ‘charm’, a ‘strange’ and an ‘up’ quark) and a kaon K.
IBM Researchers Created World’s Smallest Magnet
- An international team of researchers working at IBMs’ created the world’s smallest magnet—it was made from a single atom on March 8, 2017.
- It takes approximately 100000 atoms to hold a single bit of information. If a technique could be found to commercialise their single-atom approach, they further note, it would allow for holding something as massive as Apple’s iTunes library of songs on something as small as a credit card.
- To create their tiny magnet, the team used a scanning tunneling microscope to manipulate holmium atoms placed on a magnesium oxide plate (to keep the magnetic poles stable).
- One data bit was written by passing an electrical current through a Holmium atom freezing its magnetic orientation up or down referring to states 1 or 0. Current hard drives use about 100000 atoms to store a single bit.
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