Discover the most talked about and latest scientific content & concepts.

Concept: Kinetic energy


It is generally accepted that crew rowing requires perfect synchronization between the movements of the rowers. However, a long-standing and somewhat counterintuitive idea is that out-of-phase crew rowing might have benefits over in-phase (i.e., synchronous) rowing. In synchronous rowing, 5 to 6% of the power produced by the rower(s) is lost to velocity fluctuations of the shell within each rowing cycle. Theoretically, a possible way for crews to increase average boat velocity is to reduce these fluctuations by rowing in antiphase coordination, a strategy in which rowers perfectly alternate their movements. On the other hand, the framework of coordination dynamics explicates that antiphase coordination is less stable than in-phase coordination, which may impede performance gains. Therefore, we compared antiphase to in-phase crew rowing performance in an ergometer experiment. Nine pairs of rowers performed a two-minute maximum effort in-phase and antiphase trial at 36 strokes min(-1) on two coupled free-floating ergometers that allowed for power losses to velocity fluctuations. Rower and ergometer kinetics and kinematics were measured during the trials. All nine pairs easily acquired antiphase rowing during the warm-up, while one pair’s coordination briefly switched to in-phase during the maximum effort trial. Although antiphase interpersonal coordination was indeed less accurate and more variable, power production was not negatively affected. Importantly, in antiphase rowing the decreased power loss to velocity fluctuations resulted in more useful power being transferred to the ergometer flywheels. These results imply that antiphase rowing may indeed improve performance, even without any experience with antiphase technique. Furthermore, it demonstrates that although perfectly synchronous coordination may be the most stable, it is not necessarily equated with the most efficient or optimal performance.

Concepts: Kinetic energy, Kinematics, Power, Rowing, Indoor rower, College rowing, History of rowing


Earth is continuously colliding with fragments of asteroids and comets of various sizes. The largest encounter in historical times occurred over the Tunguska river in Siberia in 1908, producing an airburst of energy equivalent to 5-15 megatons of trinitrotoluene (1 kiloton of trinitrotoluene represents an energy of 4.185 × 10(12) joules). Until recently, the next most energetic airburst events occurred over Indonesia in 2009 and near the Marshall Islands in 1994, both with energies of several tens of kilotons. Here we report an analysis of selected video records of the Chelyabinsk superbolide of 15 February 2013, with energy equivalent to 500 kilotons of trinitrotoluene, and details of its atmospheric passage. We found that its orbit was similar to the orbit of the two-kilometre-diameter asteroid 86039 (1999 NC43), to a degree of statistical significance sufficient to suggest that the two were once part of the same object. The bulk strength-the ability to resist breakage-of the Chelyabinsk asteroid, of about one megapascal, was similar to that of smaller meteoroids and corresponds to a heavily fractured single stone. The asteroid broke into small pieces between the altitudes of 45 and 30 kilometres, preventing more-serious damage on the ground. The total mass of surviving fragments larger than 100 grams was lower than expected.

Concepts: Energy, Mass, Kinetic energy, Impact event, Asteroid, Comet, Units of energy, TNT equivalent


Wearable electronics fabricated on lightweight and flexible substrate are believed to have great potential for portable devices, but their applications are limited by the life span of their batteries. We propose a hybridized self-charging power textile system with the aim of simultaneously collecting outdoor sunshine and random body motion energies and then storing them in an energy storage unit. Both of the harvested energies can be easily converted into electricity by using fiber-shaped dye-sensitized solar cells (for solar energy) and fiber-shaped triboelectric nanogenerators (for random body motion energy) and then further stored as chemical energy in fiber-shaped supercapacitors. Because of the all-fiber-shaped structure of the entire system, our proposed hybridized self-charging textile system can be easily woven into electronic textiles to fabricate smart clothes to sustainably operate mobile or wearable electronics.

Concepts: Energy, Light, Sun, Kinetic energy, Solar cell, Energy conversion, Capacitor, Textile


Wind turbines remove kinetic energy from the atmospheric flow, which reduces wind speeds and limits generation rates of large wind farms. These interactions can be approximated using a vertical kinetic energy (VKE) flux method, which predicts that the maximum power generation potential is 26% of the instantaneous downward transport of kinetic energy using the preturbine climatology. We compare the energy flux method to the Weather Research and Forecasting (WRF) regional atmospheric model equipped with a wind turbine parameterization over a 10(5) km(2) region in the central United States. The WRF simulations yield a maximum generation of 1.1 We⋅m(-2), whereas the VKE method predicts the time series while underestimating the maximum generation rate by about 50%. Because VKE derives the generation limit from the preturbine climatology, potential changes in the vertical kinetic energy flux from the free atmosphere are not considered. Such changes are important at night when WRF estimates are about twice the VKE value because wind turbines interact with the decoupled nocturnal low-level jet in this region. Daytime estimates agree better to 20% because the wind turbines induce comparatively small changes to the downward kinetic energy flux. This combination of downward transport limits and wind speed reductions explains why large-scale wind power generation in windy regions is limited to about 1 We⋅m(-2), with VKE capturing this combination in a comparatively simple way.

Concepts: Energy, Kinetic energy, Wind, Wind power, Wind farm, Floating wind turbine, Wind turbine, Windmill


Climate change is predicted to expand the ice-free season in western Hudson Bay and when it grows to 180 days, 28-48% of adult male polar bears are projected to starve unless nutritional deficits can be offset by foods consumed on land. We updated a dynamic energy budget model developed by Molnar et al. to allow influx of additional energy from novel terrestrial foods (lesser snow geese, eggs, caribou) that polar bears currently consume as part of a mixed diet while on land. We calculated the units of each prey, alone and in combination, needed to alleviate these lethal energy deficits under conditions of resting or limited movement (2 km d-1) prior to starvation. We further considered the total energy available from each sex and age class of each animal prey over the period they would overlap land-bound polar bears and calculated the maximum number of starving adult males that could be sustained on each food during the ice-free season. Our results suggest that the net energy from land-based food, after subtracting costs of limited movement to obtain it, could eliminate all projected nutritional deficits of starving adult male polar bears and likely other demographic groups as well. The hunting tactics employed, success rates as well as behavior and abundance of each prey will determine the realized energetic values for individual polar bears. Although climate change may cause a phenological mismatch between polar bears and their historical ice-based prey, it may simultaneously yield a new match with certain land-based foods. If polar bears can transition their foraging behavior to effectively exploit these resources, predictions for starvation-related mortality may be overestimated for western Hudson Bay. We also discuss potential complications with stable-carbon isotope studies to evaluate utilization of land-based foods by polar bears including metabolic effects of capture-related stress and consuming a mixed diet.

Concepts: Metabolism, Energy, Kinetic energy, Malnutrition, Carbohydrate, Potential energy, Famine, Polar bear


Wind turbines convert kinetic to electrical energy, which returns to the atmosphere as heat to regenerate some potential and kinetic energy. As the number of wind turbines increases over large geographic regions, power extraction first increases linearly, but then converges to a saturation potential not identified previously from physical principles or turbine properties. These saturation potentials are >250 terawatts (TW) at 100 m globally, approximately 80 TW at 100 m over land plus coastal ocean outside Antarctica, and approximately 380 TW at 10 km in the jet streams. Thus, there is no fundamental barrier to obtaining half (approximately 5.75 TW) or several times the world’s all-purpose power from wind in a 2030 clean-energy economy.

Concepts: Energy, Kinetic energy, Potential energy, Renewable energy, Wind power, Joule, Wind turbine, Windmill


The immense potential of colossal permittivity (CP) materials for use in modern microelectronics as well as for high-energy-density storage applications has propelled much recent research and development. Despite the discovery of several new classes of CP materials, the development of such materials with the required high performance is still a highly challenging task. Here, we propose a new electron-pinned, defect-dipole route to ideal CP behaviour, where hopping electrons are localized by designated lattice defect states to generate giant defect-dipoles and result in high-performance CP materials. We present a concrete example, (Nb+In) co-doped TiO2 rutile, that exhibits a largely temperature- and frequency-independent colossal permittivity (> 10(4)) as well as a low dielectric loss (mostly < 0.05) over a very broad temperature range from 80 to 450 K. A systematic defect analysis coupled with density functional theory modelling suggests that 'triangular' In2(3+)VO(••)Ti(3+) and 'diamond' shaped Nb2(5+)Ti(3+)ATi (A  =  Ti(3+)/In(3+)/Ti(4+)) defect complexes are strongly correlated, giving rise to large defect-dipole clusters containing highly localized electrons that are together responsible for the excellent CP properties observed in co-doped TiO2. This combined experimental and theoretical work opens up a promising feasible route to the systematic development of new high-performance CP materials via defect engineering.

Concepts: Scientific method, Electron, Fundamental physics concepts, Schrödinger equation, Temperature, Kinetic energy, Density functional theory, Titanium


This study examined absorption properties of 2-styrylpyridine, trans-2-(m-cyanostyryl)pyridine, trans-2-[3-methyl-(m-cyanostyryl)]pyridine, and trans-4-(m-cyanostyryl)pyridine compounds based on theoretical UV/Vis spectra, with comparisons between time-dependent density functional theory (TD-DFT) using B3LYP, PBE0, and LC-ωPBE functionals. Basis sets 6-31G(d), 6-31G(d,p), 6-31+G(d,p), and 6-311+G(d,p) were tested to compare molecular orbital energy values, gap energies, and maxima absorption wavelengths. UV/Vis spectra were calculated from fully optimized geometry in B3LYP/6-311+G(d,p) in gas phase and using the IEFPCM model. B3LYP/6-311+G(d,p) provided the most stable form, a planar structure with parameters close to 2-styrylpyridine X-ray data. Isomeric structures were evaluated by full geometry optimization using the same theory level. Similar energetic values were found: ∼4.5 kJ mol(-1) for 2-styrylpyridine and ∼1 kJ mol(-1) for derivative compound isomers. The 2-styrylpyridine isomeric structure differed at the pyridine group N-atom position; structures considered for the other compounds had the cyano group attached to the phenyl ring m-position equivalent. The energy difference was almost negligible between m-cyano-substituted molecules, but high energy barriers existed for cyano-substituted phenyl ring torsion. TD-DFT appeared to be robust and accurate approach. The B3LYP functional with the 6-31G(d) basis set produced the most reliable λmax values, with mean errors of 0.5 and 12 nm respect to experimental values, in gas and solution, respectively. The present data describes effects on the λmax changes in the UV/Vis absorption spectra of the electron acceptor cyano substituent on the phenyl ring, the electron donor methyl substituent, and the N-atom position on the electron acceptor pyridine ring, causing slight changes respect to the 2-styrylpyridine title compound.

Concepts: Electromagnetic radiation, Molecule, Computational chemistry, Kinetic energy, Density functional theory, Quantum chemistry, Molecular orbital, Basis set


In the present study we investigated displacement, time, velocity and acceleration history of center of mass (COM) and electrical activity of knee extensors to estimate the dominance of the factors influencing the vertical velocity in squat jumps (SJs), countermovement jumps (CMJs) and drop jumps (DJs) performed with small (40°) and large (80°) range of joint motion (SROM and LROM). The maximum vertical velocity (v4) was 23.4% (CMJ) and 7.8% (DJ) greater when the jumps were performed with LROM compared with SROM (p<0.05). These differences are considerably less than it could be expected from the greater COM and knee angular displacement and duration of active state. This small difference can be attributed to the greater deceleration during eccentric phase (CMJ:32.1%, DJ:91.5%) in SROM than that in LROM. v4 was greater for SJ in LROM than for SJ in SROM indicating the significance of the longer active state and greater activation level (p<0.001). The difference in v4 was greater between SJ and CMJ in SROM (38.6%) than in LROM (9.0%), suggesting that elastic energy storage and re-use can be a dominant factor in the enhancement of vertical velocity of CMJ and DJ compared with SJ performed with SROM.

Concepts: Energy, Kinetic energy, Classical mechanics, Acceleration, Velocity, Kinematics, Newton's laws of motion, Motion


FT-IR and Raman spectra of 1-pyrrolidino-1-cyclopentene (1py1cp) were experimentally reported in the region of 4000-10cm(-1) and 4000-100cm(-1), respectively. The optimized geometric parameters, normal mode frequencies and corresponding vibrational assignments of 1py1cp (C(9)H(15)N) were theoretically examined by means of the B3LYP hybrid density functional theory (DFT) method together with the 6-31++G(d,p) basis set. Furthermore, reliable vibrational assignments were made on the basis of the potential energy distribution (PED) and the thermodynamics functions, the highest occupied and the lowest unoccupied molecular orbitals (HOMO and LUMO) of 1py1cp were predicted. Calculations were carried out employed for three different conformations of 1py1cp in gas phase. Comparison between the experimental and theoretical results indicates that density functional B3LYP method is able to provide satisfactory results for predicting vibrational wavenumbers and envelope conformer is predicted to be the most stable conformer of 1py1cp.

Concepts: Scientific method, Energy, Computational chemistry, Kinetic energy, Density functional theory, Hypothesis, Quantum chemistry, Theory