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

Concept: Torque


Spin-transfer torques offer great promise for the development of spin-based devices. The effects of spin-transfer torques are typically analysed in terms of adiabatic and non-adiabatic contributions. Currently, a comprehensive interpretation of the non-adiabatic term remains elusive, with suggestions that it may arise from universal effects related to dissipation processes in spin dynamics, while other studies indicate a strong influence from the symmetry of magnetization gradients. Here we show that enhanced magnetic imaging under dynamic excitation can be used to differentiate between non-adiabatic spin-torque and extraneous influences. We combine Lorentz microscopy with gigahertz excitations to map the orbit of a magnetic vortex core with <5 nm resolution. Imaging of the gyrotropic motion reveals subtle changes in the ellipticity, amplitude and tilt of the orbit as the vortex is driven through resonance, providing a robust method to determine the non-adiabatic spin torque parameter β=0.15±0.02 with unprecedented precision, independent of external effects.

Concepts: Magnetic field, Angular momentum, Fundamental physics concepts, Torque, Magnetism, Magnetic moment, Force, Sound


In the present report, we describe the successful use of miniscrews to achieve vertical control in combination with the conventional sliding MBT™ straight-wire technique for the treatment of a 26-year-old Chinese woman with a very high mandibular plane angle, deep overbite, retrognathic mandible with backward rotation, prognathic maxilla, and gummy smile. The patient exhibited skeletal Class II malocclusion. Orthodontic miniscrews were placed in the maxillary anterior and posterior segments to provide rigid anchorage and vertical control through intrusion of the incisors and molars. Intrusion and torque control of the maxillary incisors relieved the deep overbite and corrected the gummy smile, while intrusion of the maxillary molars aided in counterclockwise rotation of the mandibular plane, which consequently resulted in an improved facial profile. After 3.5 years of retention, we observed a stable, well-aligned dentition with ideal intercuspation and more harmonious facial contours. Thus, we were able to achieve a satisfactory occlusion, a significantly improved facial profile, and an attractive smile for this patient. The findings from this case suggest that nonsurgical correction using miniscrew anchorage is an effective approach for camouflage treatment of high-angle cases with skeletal Class II malocclusion.

Concepts: Torque, Mandible, Horse, Teeth, Malocclusion, Orthodontics, Maxilla, Prognathism


Muscles are the actuators that drive human movement. However, despite many decades of work, we still cannot readily assess the forces that muscles transmit during human movement. Direct measurements of muscle-tendon loads are invasive and modeling approaches require many assumptions. Here, we introduce a non-invasive approach to assess tendon loads by tracking vibrational behavior. We first show that the speed of shear wave propagation in tendon increases with the square root of axial stress. We then introduce a remarkably simple shear wave tensiometer that uses micron-scale taps and skin-mounted accelerometers to track tendon wave speeds in vivo. Tendon wave speeds are shown to modulate in phase with active joint torques during isometric exertions, walking, and running. The capacity to non-invasively assess muscle-tendon loading can provide new insights into the motor control and biomechanics underlying movement, and could lead to enhanced clinical treatment of musculoskeletal injuries and diseases.

Concepts: Muscle, Torque, Motor control, Force, Wave, Polarization, Tendon, Square root


A 3D numerical model of the earth’s core with a viscosity two orders of magnitude lower than the state of the art suggests a link between the observed westward drift of the magnetic field and superrotation of the inner core. In our model, the axial electromagnetic torque has a dominant influence only at the surface and in the deepest reaches of the core, where it respectively drives a broad westward flow rising to an axisymmetric equatorial jet and imparts an eastward-directed torque on the solid inner core. Subtle changes in the structure of the internal magnetic field may alter not just the magnitude but the direction of these torques. This not only suggests that the quasi-oscillatory nature of inner-core superrotation [Tkalčić H, Young M, Bodin T, Ngo S, Sambridge M (2013) The shuffling rotation of the earth’s inner core revealed by earthquake doublets. Nat Geosci 6:497-502.] may be driven by decadal changes in the magnetic field, but further that historical periods in which the field exhibited eastward drift were contemporaneous with a westward inner-core rotation. The model further indicates a strong internal shear layer on the tangent cylinder that may be a source of torsional waves inside the core.

Concepts: Magnetic field, Fundamental physics concepts, Earth's magnetic field, Earth, Torque, Rotation, Outer core, Inner core


Mechanical energy harvesters are needed for diverse applications, including self-powered wireless sensors, structural and human health monitoring systems, and the extraction of energy from ocean waves. We report carbon nanotube yarn harvesters that electrochemically convert tensile or torsional mechanical energy into electrical energy without requiring an external bias voltage. Stretching coiled yarns generated 250 watts per kilogram of peak electrical power when cycled up to 30 hertz, as well as up to 41.2 joules per kilogram of electrical energy per mechanical cycle, when normalized to harvester yarn weight. These energy harvesters were used in the ocean to harvest wave energy, combined with thermally driven artificial muscles to convert temperature fluctuations to electrical energy, sewn into textiles for use as self-powered respiration sensors, and used to power a light-emitting diode and to charge a storage capacitor.

Concepts: Energy, Torque, Mass, Carbon nanotube, Capacitor, Joule, Volt, Watt


Humans have ridden bicycles for over 200 years, yet there are no continuous measures of how skill differs between novice and expert. To address this knowledge gap, we measured the dynamics of human bicycle riding in 14 subjects, half of whom were skilled and half were novice. Each subject rode an instrumented bicycle on training rollers at speeds ranging from 1 to 7 m/s. Steer angle and rate, steer torque, bicycle speed, and bicycle roll angle and rate were measured and steering power calculated. A force platform beneath the roller assembly measured the net force and moment that the bicycle, rider and rollers exerted on the floor, enabling calculations of the lateral positions of the system centers of mass and pressure. Balance performance was quantified by cross-correlating the lateral positions of the centers of mass and pressure. The results show that all riders exhibited similar balance performance at the slowest speed. However at higher speeds, the skilled riders achieved superior balance performance by employing more rider lean control (quantified by cross-correlating rider lean angle and bicycle roll angle) and less steer control (quantified by cross-correlating steer rate and bicycle roll rate) than did novice riders. Skilled riders also used smaller steering control input with less variation (measured by average positive steering power and standard deviations of steer angle and rate) and less rider lean angle variation (measured by the standard deviation of the rider lean angle) independent of speed. We conclude that the reduction in balance control input by skilled riders is not due to reduced balance demands but rather to more effective use of lean control to guide the center of mass via center of pressure movements.

Concepts: Fundamental physics concepts, Torque, Mass, Force, Standard deviation, Automobile, Bicycle, Center of mass


Gears are found rarely in animals and have never been reported to intermesh and rotate functionally like mechanical gears. We now demonstrate functional gears in the ballistic jumping movements of the flightless planthopper insect Issus. The nymphs, but not adults, have a row of cuticular gear (cog) teeth around the curved medial surfaces of their two hindleg trochantera. The gear teeth on one trochanter engaged with and sequentially moved past those on the other trochanter during the preparatory cocking and the propulsive phases of jumping. Close registration between the gears ensured that both hindlegs moved at the same angular velocities to propel the body without yaw rotation. At the final molt to adulthood, this synchronization mechanism is jettisoned.

Concepts: Torque, Gears, Gear, Rack railway


Energy harvesting from noise is a paradigm proposed by the theory of stochastic resonances. We demonstrate that the random switching of a hydrogen (H(2)) molecule can drive the oscillation of a macroscopic mechanical resonator. The H(2) motion was activated by tunneling electrons and caused fluctuations of the forces sensed by the tip of a noncontact atomic force microscope. The stochastic molecular noise and the periodic oscillation of the tip were coupled in a concerted dynamic that drives the system into self-oscillation. This phenomenon could be a way for enhancing the transfer of energy from incoherent sources into coherent dynamics of a molecular engine.

Concepts: Electric charge, Physics, Molecule, Atom, Chemical bond, Torque, Resonator, Mass


The objectives of this study were to develop a numerically controlled experimental set-up to predict the movement caused by the force systems of orthodontic devices and to experimentally verify this system. The presented experimental set-up incorporated an artificial tooth fixed via a 3D force/moment sensor to a parallel kinematics robot. An algorithm determining the initial movement of the tooth in its elastic embedding controlled the set-up. The initial tooth movement was described by constant compliances. The constants were obtained prior to the experiment in a parameterised finite element (FE) study on the basis of a validated FE model of a human molar. The long-term tooth movement was assembled by adding up a multiple of incremental steps of initial tooth movements. A pure translational movement of the tooth of about 8 mm resulted for a moment to force ratio of - 8.85 mm, corresponding to the distance between the bracket and the centre of resistance. The correct behaviour of this linear elastic model in its symmetry plane allows for simulating single tooth movement induced by orthodontic devices.

Concepts: Algorithm, Causality, Chemistry, Torque, Science, Experiment, Hypothesis, Classical mechanics


The purpose of this study was to compare the power production of the hang clean (HC), jump shrug (JS), and high pull (HP) when performed at different relative loads. Seventeen men with previous HC training experience, performed 3 repetitions each of the HC, JS, and HP at relative loads of 30%, 45%, 65%, and 80% of their 1 repetition maximum (1RM) HC on a force platform over 3 different testing sessions. Peak power output (PPO), force (PF), and velocity (PV) of the lifter plus bar system during each repetition were compared. The JS produced a greater PPO, PF, and PV than both the HC (p < 0.001) and HP (p < 0.001). The HP also produced a greater PPO (p < 0.01) and PV (p < 0.001) than the HC. PPO, PF, and PV occurred at 45%, 65%, and 30% 1RM respectively. PPO at 45% 1RM was greater than PPO at 65% (p = 0.043) and 80% 1RM (p = 0.004). PF at 30% was less than PF at 45% (p = 0.006), 65% (p < 0.001), and 80% 1RM (p = 0.003). PV at 30% and 45% was greater than PV at 65% (p < 0.001) and 80% 1RM (p < 0.001). PV at 65% 1RM was also greater than PV at 80% 1RM (p < 0.001). When designing resistance training programs, practitioners should consider implementing the JS and HP. To optimize PPO, loads of approximately 30% and 45% 1RM HC are recommended for the JS and HP, respectively.

Concepts: Torque, Power, Repetition, Transmitter power output, Clean and jerk, Hang, Ionocraft