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Concept: Physical quantities


There is currently no evidence that the intervertebral discs (IVDs) can respond positively to exercise in humans. Some authors have argued that IVD metabolism in humans is too slow to respond anabolically to exercise within the human lifespan. Here we show that chronic running exercise in men and women is associated with better IVD composition (hydration and proteoglycan content) and with IVD hypertrophy. Via quantitative assessment of physical activity we further find that accelerations at fast walking and slow running (2 m/s), but not high-impact tasks, lower intensity walking or static positions, correlated to positive IVD characteristics. These findings represent the first evidence in humans that exercise can be beneficial for the IVD and provide support for the notion that specific exercise protocols may improve IVD material properties in the spine. We anticipate that our findings will be a starting point to better define exercise protocols and physical activity profiles for IVD anabolism in humans.

Concepts: Metabolism, Exercise, Vertebral column, Physical quantities, Intervertebral disc, Stretching, Anabolism, Catabolism


Electronic carriers in graphene show a high carrier mobility at room temperature. Thus, this system is widely viewed as a potential future charge-based high-speed electronic material to complement-or replace-silicon. At the same time, the spin properties of graphene have suggested improved capability for spin-based electronics or spintronics and spin-based quantum computing. As a result, the detection, characterization and transport of spin have become topics of interest in graphene. Here we report a microwave photo-excited transport study of monolayer and trilayer graphene that reveals an unexpectedly strong microwave-induced electrical response and dual microwave-induced resonances in the dc resistance. The results suggest the resistive detection of spin resonance, and provide a measurement of the g-factor, the spin relaxation time and the sub-lattice degeneracy splitting at zero magnetic field.

Concepts: Electron, Electromagnetism, Fundamental physics concepts, Spin, Nuclear magnetic resonance, Magnetic moment, Materials science, Physical quantities


Electronic phase separation is one of the key features in correlated electron oxides. The coexistence and competition of multiple phases give rise to gigantic responses to tiny stimuli producing dramatic changes in magnetic, transport and other properties of these compounds. To probe the physical properties of each phase separately is crucial for a comprehensive understanding of phase separation phenomena and for designing their device functions. Here we unravel, using a unique p-n junction configuration, dynamic properties of multiple phases in manganite thin films. The multiple dielectric relaxations have been detected and their corresponding multiple phases have been identified, while the activation energies of dielectric responses from different phases were extracted separately. Their phase evolutions with changing both temperature and applied magnetic field have been demonstrated by dielectric response. These results provide a guideline for exploring the electronic phase separation phenomena in correlated electron oxides.

Concepts: Magnetic field, Fundamental physics concepts, Maxwell's equations, Physical quantities, Capacitor, Dielectric, Dielectric spectroscopy, Permittivity


Until now, few sp carbon materials simultaneously exhibit superior performance for specific surface area (SSA) and electrical conductivity at bulk state. Thus, it is extremely important to make such materials at bulk scale with those two outstanding properties combined together. Here, we present a simple and green but very efficient approach using two standard and simple industry steps to make such three-dimensional graphene-based porous materials at the bulk scale, with ultrahigh SSA (3523 m/g) and excellent bulk conductivity. We conclude that these materials consist of mainly defected/wrinkled single layer graphene sheets in the dimensional size of a few nanometers, with at least some covalent bond between each other. The outstanding properties of these materials are demonstrated by their superior supercapacitor performance in ionic liquid with specific capacitance and energy density of 231 F/g and 98 Wh/kg, respectively, so far the best reported capacitance performance for all bulk carbon materials.

Concepts: Fundamental physics concepts, Density, Water, Chemical bond, Physical quantities, Ionic bond, Specific surface area, Porous media


The dielectric properties of Z-type hexaferrite Sr3Co2Fe24O41 (SCFO) have been investigated as a function of temperature from 153 to 503 K between 1 and 2 GHz. The dielectric responses of SCFO are found to be frequency dependent and thermally activated. The relaxation-type dielectric behavior is observed to be dominating in the low frequency region and resonance-type dielectric behavior is found to be dominating above 10(8) Hz. This frequency dependence of dielectric behavior is explained by the damped harmonic oscillator model with temperature dependent coefficients. The imaginary part of impedance (Z″) and modulus (M″) spectra show that there is a distribution of relaxation times. The scaling behaviors of Z″ and M″ spectra further suggest that the distribution of relaxation times is temperature independent at low frequencies. The dielectric loss spectra at different temperatures have not shown a scaling behavior above 10(8) Hz. A comparison between the Z″ and the M″ spectra indicates that the short-range charges motion dominates at low temperatures and the long-range charges motion dominates at high temperatures. The above results indicate that the dielectric dispersion mechanism in SCFO is temperature independent at low frequencies and temperature dependent at high frequencies due to the domination of resonance behavior.

Concepts: Optics, Fundamental physics concepts, Wave, Physical quantities, Hertz, Resonance, Harmonic oscillator, Dielectric


For many patients clinical prescription of walking will be beneficial to health and accelerometers can be used to monitor their walking intensity, frequency and duration over many days. Walking intensity should include establishment of individual specific accelerometer count, walking speed and energy expenditure (VO2) relationships and this can be achieved using a walking protocol on a treadmill or overground. However, differences in gait mechanics during treadmill compared to overground walking may result in inaccurate estimations of free-living walking speed and VO2. The aims of this study were to compare the validity of track- and treadmill-based calibration methods for estimating free-living level walking speed and VO2 and to explain between-method differences in accuracy of estimation.

Concepts: Estimator, Psychometrics, Physical quantities, Estimation, Walking, Pedometer, Accelerometer, G-force


Experimental data are shown for survival of fossilized diatoms undergoing shocks in the GPa range. The results were obtained from hypervelocity impact experiments which fired fossilized diatoms frozen in ice into water targets. After the shots, the material recovered from the target water was inspected for diatom fossils. Nine shots were carried out, at speeds from 0.388 to 5.34 km s(-1), corresponding to mean peak pressures of 0.2-19 GPa. In all cases, fragmented fossilized diatoms were recovered, but both the mean and the maximum fragment size decreased with increasing impact speed and hence peak pressure. Examples of intact diatoms were found after the impacts, even in some of the higher speed shots, but their frequency and size decreased significantly at the higher speeds. This is the first demonstration that fossils can survive and be transferred from projectile to target in hypervelocity impacts, implying that it is possible that, as suggested by other authors, terrestrial rocks ejected from the Earth by giant impacts from space, and which then strike the Moon, may successfully transfer terrestrial fossils to the Moon.

Concepts: Earth, Moon, Physical quantities, Pressure, Velocity, Projectile, Impact crater, Hypervelocity


Interfaces between organic electron-donating (D) and electron-accepting (A) materials have the ability to generate charge carriers on illumination. Efficient organic solar cells require a high yield for this process, combined with a minimum of energy losses. Here, we investigate the role of the lowest energy emissive interfacial charge-transfer state (CT1) in the charge generation process. We measure the quantum yield and the electric field dependence of charge generation on excitation of the charge-transfer (CT) state manifold via weakly allowed, low-energy optical transitions. For a wide range of photovoltaic devices based on polymer:fullerene, small-molecule:C60 and polymer:polymer blends, our study reveals that the internal quantum efficiency (IQE) is essentially independent of whether or not D, A or CT states with an energy higher than that of CT1 are excited. The best materials systems show an IQE higher than 90% without the need for excess electronic or vibrational energy.

Concepts: Photon, Quantum mechanics, Light, Solar cell, Photovoltaics, Physical quantities, Quantum efficiency, Quantum yield


The atomic-scale response of dielectrics/ferroelectrics to electric fields is central to their functionality. Here we introduce an in situ characterization method that reveals changes in the local atomic structure in polycrystalline materials under fields. The method employs atomic pair distribution functions (PDFs), determined from X-ray total scattering that depends on orientation relative to the applied field, to probe structural changes over length scales from sub-Ångstrom to several nanometres. The PDF is sensitive to local ionic displacements and their short-range order, a key uniqueness relative to other techniques. The method is applied to representative ferroelectrics, BaTiO3 and Na½Bi½TiO3, and dielectric SrTiO3. For Na½Bi½TiO3, the results reveal an abrupt field-induced monoclinic to rhombohedral phase transition, accompanied by ordering of the local Bi displacements and reorientation of the nanoscale ferroelectric domains. For BaTiO3 and SrTiO3, the local/nanoscale structural changes observed in the PDFs are dominated by piezoelectric lattice strain and ionic polarizability, respectively.

Concepts: Scientific method, Crystal, Fundamental physics concepts, Physical quantities, Piezoelectricity, Permittivity, Ferroelectricity, Pyroelectricity


Abstract The purpose of the study was to assess the average physical intensity and energy expenditure during a single round of golf on hilly and flat courses in a heterogeneous group of healthy men and women of varying age and golf handicap. Forty-two males and 24 females completed an incremental cycle-ergometer exercise test to determine exercise performance markers. The heart rate (HR), duration, distance, walking speed, ascent and descent were measured via a global positioning system (GPS)/HR monitor during the game and energy expenditure was calculated. Playing 9 or 18-holes of golf, independent of the golf course design, the average HR was not significantly different between sexes or the subgroups. The intensities were light with respect to the percentage of maximal HR and metabolic equivalents of task (METs). Total energy expenditure of all participants was not significantly different for hilly (834 ± 344 kcal) vs. flat courses (833 ± 295 kcal) whereas male players expended significantly greater energy than female players (926 ± 292 vs. 556 ± 180 kcal), but did not have significantly greater relative energy expenditure (2.8 ± 0.8 vs. 2.2 ± 0.7 METs). As a high volume physical activity, playing golf is suggested to yield health benefits. Since the intensity was well below recommended limits, golf may have health related benefits unrelated to the intensity level of the activity.

Concepts: Male, Female, Energy, Light, Gender, Sex, Physical quantities, Golf