Российская наука и мир (дайджест) - Июнь 2014 г.
Дайджест за другие годы
2014 г.
Российская наука и мир
(по материалам зарубежной электронной прессы)

январь февраль март апрель май июнь июль август сентябрь октябрь ноябрь декабрь
    Роснефть и ГПНТБ России подписали соглашение о долгосрочном сотрудничестве, которое предусматривает реализацию совместных гуманитарных проектов, направленных на гармонизацию отношений между бизнес-сообществом, научными учреждениями и учебными заведениями.

Rosneft and Russian National Public Library for Science and Technology signed a long-term cooperation agreement, which provides for implementation of joint humanitarian projects aimed at harmonization of relations between business community, scientific establishments, and educational institutions.
The partnership includes implementation of a joint project aimed at the creation of electronic archived catalogue of Rosneft Museum holdings. This will provide safety of existing information collection, and updating of a virtual museum collection with new materials.
Company employees will have access to the holdings and electronic resources of Russian National Public Library for Science and Technology, including collections of rare books and visual historical materials of the Russian Empire, Soviet Union, and Russian Federation, full-text electronic collections of modern scientific and technical literature, and wide range of foreign periodical publications.
There has been also planned the creation of Referral and Analytical Department Library, as a stand-alone branch, for continuous monitoring of informational materials, and preparation of digests for expert analysis and participation in the development of museum programs and projects.
Progressively as the Library accumulates the information base, it will prepare analytical reviews on thematic areas for structural units of the Company, and at a later stage forecast the development of oil and gas sector.

© 1996-2014 Maritime Activity Reports, Inc.
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    Ученые из ряда британских, испанских и российских научных центров (МФТИ, Институт спектроскопии РАН, Курчатовский институт, лаборатория «Кинтех») предложили способ синтезировать новый тип соединений - гетерофуллеренов - на основе углерода и никеля. Статья «Formation of nickel-carbon heterofullerenes under electron irradiation» опубликована в журнале Dalton Transactions.

Scientists from several British, Spanish and Russian research centers (MIPT, Institute for Spectroscopy RAS, Kurchatov Institute and Kintech Lab Ltd) have come up with a method of synthesizing a new type of nickel-carbon compound. The article titled Formation of nickel-carbon heterofullerenes under electron irradiation has been published by Dalton Transactions and is available as a pre-print at arxiv.org. The first author of the article is Alexander Sinitsa, an MIPT student, and the leading author is Andrey Popov (Institute for Spectroscopy RAS, 1989 MIPT graduate). Heterofullerenes are hollow molecules with a nearly-spherical shape, which, unlike the typical fullerenes, contain atoms of elements other than carbon. Such compounds were synthesized quite a while ago, in 1991, but till now no heterofullerenes containing nickel, or any other transition metal, have been obtained. Yet, as the authors point out in their article, transition metals are now being studied as catalysts in the synthesis of carbon nanotubes and graphene.
"I'd like to emphasize that the majority of calculations have been performed by a student. Hopefully, students regularly visit the MIPT site and get inspired by their colleagues' successes. If you are especially interested in the role of MIPT graduates in research, then I can tell you that Irina Lebedeva graduated from the Institute in 2008, and Andrey Knizhnik, perhaps in 1999, but I'm not exactly sure about the year. I'd also like to point out that Elena Bichoutskaia (a Saint Petersburg State University Faculty of Physics graduate) is a member of the Russian diaspora abroad, which is typical of international cooperation of Russian scientists," Andrey Popov told the MIPT Press Service.
The synthesis of nickel heterofullerenes is supposed to be carried out under electron irradiation, which is used in high-resolution transmission electron microscopy (HRTEM) in order to obtain detailed snapshots showing, if needed, separate atoms. A number of previous experiments conducted by various research groups demonstrated that electronic irradiation can also be applied to synthesize a variety of nanostructures, e.g., one-layer carbon fullerene-filled nanotubes were transformed into two-layer ones.
Using the latest data obtained from the HRTEM images and the results of computer modelling by methods of molecular dynamics, the scientists have shown the potential possibility to transform graphene flakes with nickel cluster into nickel-carbon heterofullerene.
The scientists, though, are not sure about the practical application of such heterofullerenes. According to Andrey Popov, "these new-type molecules can reveal some interesting electronic, magnetic, and optic features, or it may be possible to combine them with some organic functional complexes of interest to biologists and physicians. They can also be used to create 3D organic-metallic structures to store hydrogen."
In their work, the researchers developed and applied an authentic algorithm for modelling electron-nanostructure interactions. This allows taking into account both fast (just tens of picoseconds) and slow (lasting for full seconds) processes. The fast processes are associated with electron collisions, and the slow ones relate to molecular relaxation.

© 2014 e! Science News.
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    Российская научная экспедиция обнаружила во Вьетнаме два новых вида земноводных из семейства Microhylidae (Узкороты). Статья «Two new species of Kalophrynus Tschudi, 1838 (Anura: Microhylidae) from the Annamite mountains in southern Vietnam» опубликована в журнале Zootaxa.

A group of Russian scientists have announced the discovery of two new amphibian species which were recently found in Vietnam, according to the Education for Nature-Vietnam.
The new toad species, including kalophrynus cryptophonus and kalophrynus honbaensis, have several morphological characteristics similar to the kalophrynus interlineatus, a popular amphibian species living in Southeast Asia.
The kalophrynus cryptophonus, which was found residing in a bamboo tube in the Central Highlands province of Lam Dong at the altitude of around 800m above sea level, has a pointed snout but does not have light stripes on the sides.
The kalophrynus honbaensis was spotted in the forests at the Hon Ba Natural Reserve in Vietnam's central coastal province of Khanh Hoa, at the altitude of around 1,500 m above sea level. Phung My Trung, the manager of the website "Vietnam Forest Creatures" and a researcher of forest animals, said that this is the third species of the kalophrynus family ever found in Vietnam, proving that the country has rich areas of biodiversity in the context of the Southeast Asian region.
The new findings were released in the May issue of Zootaxa, a peer-reviewed scientific journal for animal taxonomists.
Education for Nature - Vietnam (ENV) was established in 2000 as Vietnam's first non-governmental organization focused on the conservation of nature and protection of the environment, the ENV says on its website.

© All rights are reserved by Tuoi Tre/Tuoi Tre News.
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    ScienceBlog / June 23, 2014
    New type of dust in Martian atmosphere discovered
    A group of French and Russian scientists has discovered a new peculiarity of the Martian atmosphere
    С помощью спектрометра SPICAM, установленного на борту автоматической межпланетной станции ESA «Mars Express», группа российских и французских ученых (Московский физико-технический институт, Институт космических исследований РАН, Парижская обсерватория, научно-исследовательская лаборатория LATMOS) обнаружила в атмосфере Марса новый вид пыли.
    Оказывается, частицы пыли в атмосфере Марса не являются однородными и их можно разделить на две отдельные группы. К первой группе относятся ледяные частицы диаметром 1,2 μm и частицы пыли поменьше (0,7 μm). Ко второй - аэрозоли, которые состоят из частиц, диаметром 0,04-0,07 μm. По мнению учёных, именно аэрозоли играют основную роль в формировании климата на Марсе.

A group of French and Russian scientists, including three specialists from Moscow Institute of Physics and Technology, has discovered a new peculiarity of the Martian atmosphere. The scientists had analyzed satellite-acquired data and concluded that the dust particles in the planet's atmosphere can be of two types. The scientific article which presents the results of the research in detail has been published in the journal Icarus.
The Russian contributors to the research, Anna Fedorova, Alexander Rodin and Oleg Korablev, are the specialists of MIPT and SRI (IKI) RAS. These scientists and their French colleagues from the Paris Observatory and LATMOS research laboratory have carried out a simultaneous analysis of the ultraviolet and infrared atmospheric extinctions from SPICAM, the spectrometer on the board of the orbital station Mars Express.
The results were received during the solar occultations at the beginning of Northern summer on Mars. Before the Sun is completely eclipsed by the planetary disk, its rays pierce through the atmosphere and then get "caught" by the spectrometer's detector. Having gone through the atmosphere, the solar rays show a different spectrum with the changes hinting at the atmosphere's makeup, the amount of various aerosols and the size of their particles. This method was applied in order to understand the way the particles are distributed in the atmosphere.
The researchers have found out that the dust particles in the Martian atmosphere are not homogeneous, but can be roughly grouped into two modes. The first - coarser - mode is represented by both H2O ice grains with the average radius of 1.2 μm, and slightly smaller dust particles (R = 0.7 μm). The second mode is a lot finer, it is an aerosol which consists of much smaller particles with a radius of 0.04-0.07 μm.
Interestingly, the density number of the both modes is not that high. Even in the most "dusty" layers of the planet's atmosphere at altitudes of 20-30 km there are about 3.000 particles of the finer mode per 1 cm3, and not more than 2 particles of the coarser mode per 1 cm3.
If compared with what is considered the norm on Earth, the air with such dust density is rather clean (rooms are usually a lot dustier); yet, aerosols are important because they, according to the scientists, play a key role in forming the planet's climate.
Because of fine dust particles in the higher layers of the atmosphere, ice "embryos" are formed faster, which, in turn, influences clouds' build-up. The clouds are responsible for both precipitation and temperature condition on the planet's surface. Analyzing the way the dust is spread in the atmosphere of the planet with regard to the altitude and geographical coordinates is crucial for forming the full picture of what is happening on Mars.
Besides that, the dust modes which the scientists have discovered confirm that Martian dust storms ("dust devils") are able to lift large quantities of substance from the planet's surface.
The researchers point out that the fact of fine dust presence in the atmosphere can contradict the previously obtained data on the existence of the supersaturated steam at the same altitude.
With the extraneous particles present it would have been natural for the supersaturated steam to get further condensed and form clouds. The key to the solution of this contradiction is, presumably, that there are very low temperatures of about - 110 degrees Celsius. At such low temperatures the growth of ice grains slows down substantially.
Studying the clouds' build-up in the higher layers of the atmosphere is important not only to understand what is typical for Mars, but also to know more of Earth, because similar processes can be here occurring as well.

© 2014 ScienceBlog.com. All Rights Reserved.
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    Исследователи из лаборатории спектроскопии планетных атмосфер высокого разрешения Московского физико-технического института создали прибор, который позволяет с высокой точностью измерить концентрацию в атмосфере различных газов.
    Статья «High resolution heterodyne spectroscopy of the atmospheric methane NIR absorption» опубликована в журнале Optics Express.

MIPT's Laboratory for the Spectroscopy of Planetary Atmospheres has come up with a high-resolution meter to gauge the concentration of gases in the atmosphere with unparalleled precision. The infrared spectrum radiometer is described in an article recently published in the journal Optics Express.
The paper, authored by Alexander Rodin, Artem Klimchuk, Alexander Nadezhdinsky, Dmitry Churbanov and Maxim Spiridonov, says that the new spectrum radiometer is 100 times more precise than the best available near-infrared spectrometers, and 10 times more accurate than a meter created on a similar principle recently described by NASA's Goddard Center.
Tracking down carbon dioxide, methane and other gases with simultaneous determination of their concentrations at different altitudes is necessary, in particular, for research into global warming. The vast majority of scientists do not doubt the correlation between growing temperatures on the planet and the greenhouse effect, but so far it has been impossible to positively predict future changes in global warming. A current lack of data on the distribution of greenhouse gases also compromises the forecasting and, consequently, the development of appropriate response measures. This is because in order to create a dense network of monitoring stations, many large, sophisticated and expensive spectrometers are needed.
The meter created by the Russian scientists is distinctive not only for its very high resolution, but also for its easy maintenance. The authors of the paper stress that their meter is far less susceptible to external disturbances compared with existing analogues. Its performance depends to a lesser extent on vibration, humidity and exposure to both low and high temperatures.
Alexander Rodin explained that the meter uses the heterodyne principle, known for over 100 years. The essence of the method could be best described as follows: a received signal is added to a reference signal to form an intermediate frequency signal. Generally, it does not matter whether it's a radio wave or sunlight passing through the atmosphere, as is the case in the new meter.
The converted signal is much easier to process, namely to amplify and to filter. Moreover, when the frequency of the reference signal is sufficiently stable, extremely high sensitivity can be achieved. The only problem is that a signal of very high frequency, whether it is infrared or optical, is not so easy to add to the reference source - it must be very stable and at the same time emit radiation of high intensity.
The first heterodyne radios, operating at megahertz frequencies, were created in the early 20th century, becoming mass-produced toward the end of the Second World War; while in the terahertz sphere heterodyne devices appeared only recently. For near-infrared radiation, whose frequency is a few hundred times greater, the task of combining the signals appeared to be compounded by a number of technical difficulties.
Calculations showed that a more "touchy" device is needed for a heterodyne signal in the near infrared radiation spectrum. Even a shift of a few hundredths of a wavelength (i.e. a couple of dozen nanometers) could be critical, but eventually the researchers from MIPT and their colleagues from the Moscow-based General Physics Institute managed to create a heterodyne near-infrared detector, in which a key role was played by laser stabilization.
They used an optical system that directs a laser beam to two different points, one of them a special module for mixing it with sunlight passed through the atmosphere (i.e. the analyzed signal) and the other a cell with a pure sample of the gas to be identified. Since the gas absorbs electromagnetic waves at a specific frequency, the brightness of the radiation going through the cell indicates how far the laser has deviated from the reference frequency. And this, in turn, makes it possible to adjust the frequency of the optical oscillator, i.e. laser (the word laser is an acronym of "light amplification by stimulated emission of radiation").
New spectrum radiometers may be used at both stationary and mobile stations monitoring the atmosphere, according to the official site of the IVOLGA project, which is another abbreviation translated from Russian as "infrared heterodyne fiber analyzer."

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