You can find the original article at http://www.nasa.gov/directorates/esmd/home/black_point.html
It seems we are going back to the moon.
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Here is a short extract from the original article:
'Believe it or not, condominiums may be some of the most
environmentally responsible housing out there today, especially since
more and more developers are paying attention to sustainability from
By their very nature, many condo complexes adhere to some of the most
basic tenets of green housing: density, to maximize surrounding open
space and minimize buildings' physical and operational footprints;
proximity to mass transit, given their typical location in urban
areas; and reduced resource use per unit, thanks to shared systems,
walls and common spaces. Builders can elect to layer on other green
elements, such as high-efficiency appliances and HVAC systems, green
roofs and organic landscaping.
"Projects are embracing green [to] be more responsive to what the
buying public is looking for," says Gail Vittori, chairperson of the
U.S. Green Building Council, which produced and manages the Leadership
in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) design and building
standards. "They also want to have the built environment become much
more in line with environmental and health considerations."
One example is Florence Lofts, a new development of 12 townhouses and
a 4,200 square foot commercial building in downtown Sebastopol,
California. The LEED-certified project features a photovoltaic solar
system on the roof for hot water and other electrical needs, a
commercial scale "gray water" system to divert sink and shower water
for irrigation purposes, and a tank that collects storm water from
roofs to prevent excessive run-off.
Another example is The Riverhouse overlooking the Hudson River in New
York City's Battery Park district. The LEED-certified, 320-unit
building—the new home of actor/environmentalist Leo DiCaprio—has
geothermal heating and cooling, twice-filtered air, non-toxic paint,
and landscaped roof gardens.
But not all developers need to break the bank to go green on their
condo and apartment projects. Two-thirds of the units in Harlem's much-
publicized 1400 Fifth Avenue building—touted as New York's first green
condominium, are considered affordable, priced at $50,000 to $104,000
and restricted to families of moderate income. Also in the New York
metropolitan area, Habitat for Humanity recently announced it has
assembled a green design team to build "real affordable condos" in New
Rochelle and other parts of Westchester County.
"If you're doing a moderately green building, the premium to build is
typically in the 1.5 to two percent range. It's very small," says
Leanne Tobias of Malachite LLC, a Maryland-based green real estate
consulting firm. Additionally, the carrying costs for green units are
lower, since such buildings operate on less energy and water and
generate less waste than conventional high-rises. "All of those will
be savings every month for the homeowners or residents of those
buildings," Vittori adds. "That's a big plus."
Here is a short abstract from that article, the original can be found
'In 1917 Albert Einstein wrote a paper that was completely ignored for
40 years. In it he raised a question that physicists have only,
recently begun asking themselves: What would classical chaos, which
lurks everywhere in our world, do to quantum mechanics, the theory
describing the atomic and subatomic worlds? The effects of classical
chaos, of course, have long been observed-Kepler knew about the motion
of the moon around the earth and Newton complained bitterly about the
phenomenon. At the end of the 19th century the American astronomer
William Hill demonstrated that the irregularity is the result entirely
of the gravitational pull of the sun. So thereafter, the great French
mathematician-astronomer-physicist Henri Poincaré surmised that the
moon's motion is only mild case of a congenital disease affecting
nearly everything. In the long run Poincaré realized, most dynamic
systems show no discernible regularity or repetitive pattern. The
behavior of even a simple system can depend so sensitively on its
initial conditions that the final outcome is uncertain.
At about the time of Poincaré's seminal work on classical chaos, Max
Planck started another revolution, which would lead to the modern
theory of quantum mechanics. The simple systems that Newton had
studied were investigated again, but this time on the atomic scale.
The quantum analogue of the humble pendulum is the laser; the flying
cannonballs of the atomic world consist of beams of protons or
electrons, and the rotating wheel is the spinning electron (the basis
of magnetic tapes). Even the solar system itself is mirrored in each
of the atoms found in the periodic table of the elements.
Perhaps the single most outstanding feature of the quantum world is
its smooth and wavelike nature. This feature leads to the question of
how chaos makes itself felt when moving from the classical world to
the quantum world. How can the extremely irregular character of
classical chaos be reconciled with the smooth and wavelike nature of
phenomena on the atomic scale? Does chaos exist in the quantum world'?
Preliminary work seems to show that it does. Chaos is found in the
distribution of energy levels of certain atomic systems; it even
appears to sneak into the wave patterns associated with those levels.
Chaos is also found when electrons scatter from small molecules. I
must emphasize, however, that the term "quantum chaos" serves more to
describe a conundrum than to define a well-posed problem.
Considering the following interpretation of the bigger picture may be
helpful in coming to grips with quantum chaos. All our theoretical
discussions of mechanics can be somewhat artificially divided into
three compartments [see illustration] although nature recognizes none
of these divisions.
Elementary classical mechanics falls in the first compartment. This
box contains all the nice, clean systems exhibiting simple and regular
behavior, and so I shall call it R, for regular. .Also contained in R
is an elaborate mathematical tool called perturbation theory which is
used to calculate the effects of small interactions and extraneous
disturbances, such as the influence of the sun on the moon's motion
around the earth. With the help of perturbation theory, a large part
of physics is understood nowadays as making relatively mild
modifications of regular systems. Reality though, is much more
complicated; chaotic systems lie outside the range of perturbation
theory and they constitute the second compartment.
Since the first detailed analyses of the systems of the second
compartment were done by Poincaré, I shall name this box P in his
honor. It is stuffed with the chaotic dynamic systems that are the
bread and butter of science. Among these systems are all the
fundamental problems of mechanics, starting with three, rather than
only two bodies interacting with one another, such as the earth, moon
and sun, or the three atoms in the water molecule, or the three quarks
in the proton.
Quantum mechanics, as it has been practiced for about 90 years,
belongs in the third compartment, called Q. After the pioneering work
of Planck, Einstein and Niels Bohr, quantum mechanics was given its
definitive form in four short years, starting in 1924. The seminal
work of Louis de Broglie, Werner Heisenberg, Erwin Schrödinger, Max
Born, Wolfgang Pauli and Paul Dirac has stood the test of the
laboratory without the slightest lapse. Miraculously. it provides
physics with a mathematical framework that, according to Dirac, has
yielded a deep understanding of "most of physics and all of chemistry"
Nevertheless, even though most physicists and chemists have learned
how to solve special problems in quantum mechanics, they have yet to
come to terms with the incredible subtleties of the field. These
subtleties are quite separate from the difficult, conceptual issues
having to do with the interpretation of quantum mechanics.
The three boxes R (classic, simple systems), P (classic chaotic
systems) and Q (quantum systems) are linked by several connections.
The connection between R and Q is known as Bohr's correspondence
principle. The correspondence principle claims, quite reasonably, that
classical mechanics must be contained in quantum mechanics in the
limit where objects become much larger than the size of atoms. The
main connection between R and P is the Kolmogorov-Arnold-Moser (KAM)
theorem. The KAM theorem provides a powerful tool for calculating how
much of the structure of a regular system survives when a small
perturbation is introduced, and the theorem can thus identify
perturbations that cause a regular system to undergo chaotic behavior.
Quantum chaos is concerned with establishing the relation between
boxes P (chaotic systems) and Q (quantum systems). In establishing
this relation, it is useful to introduce a concept called phase space.
Quite amazingly this concept, which is now so widely exploited by
experts in the field of dynamic systems, dates back to Newton.
The notion of phase space can be found in Newton's mathematical
Principles of Natural Philosophy published in 1687. In the second
definition of the first chapter, entitled "Definitions", Newton states
(as translated from the original Latin in 1729): "The quantity of
motion is the measure of the same, arising from the velocity and
quantity of matter conjointly." In modern English this means that for
every object there is a quantity, called momentum, which is the
product of the mass and velocity of the object.
Newton gives his laws of motion in the second chapter, entitled
"Axioms, or Laws of motion." The second law says that the change of
motion is proportional to the motive force impressed. Newton relates
the force to the change of momentum (not to the acceleration as most
Momentum is actually one of two quantities that, taken together, yield
the complete information about a dynamic system at any instant. The
other quantity is simply position, which determines the strength and
direction of the force. Newton's insight into the dual nature of
momentum and position was put on firmer ground some 130 years later by
two mathematicians, William Rowan Hamilton and Karl Gustav-Jacob
Jacobi. The pairing of momentum and position is no longer viewed in
the good old Euclidean space or three dimensions; instead it is viewed
in phase space, which has six dimensions, three dimensions for
position and three for momentum.
Continue reading the article at http://www.sciam.com/article.cfm?id=quantum-chaos-subatomic-worlds&page=3
'The nearest known planetary system to Earth sports two asteroid
belts, a new study suggests. The relatively young system could offer
clues about how solar systems form and might be the ideal place to
look for the faint glint of an Earth-like planet.
The belts were found in orbit around the nearby star Epsilon Eridani,
which sits just 10.5 light years from Earth. The star boasts a planet
that orbits once every 7 years and weighs about 60% the mass of
Jupiter. Astronomers have also previously detected a far-out ring of
icy material around the star, similar to our own Kuiper belt.
Now, two rocky asteroid belts have been found much closer to the star,
a new study suggests. Dana Backman of the SETI Institute in Mountain
View, California, and colleagues caught the warmer glow of the two
belts using NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope, which images objects at
Epsilon Eridani's inner belt is similar to the solar system's own
asteroid belt, which sits between Mars and Jupiter.
The ring of debris sits 3 astronomical units (where 1 AU is the Earth-
Sun distance) away from the star, and seems to be composed of silicon-
based minerals. The star's one known planet may orbit just beyond this
A second belt, which sits 20 AU from the star, holds 20 times more
material, weighing in at roughly the same mass as the Moon.
Pale blue dot
The previously known icy ring sits between 35 and 90 AU from Epsilon
Eridani. This cometary belt is roughly 100 times more massive than the
Kuiper belt that lies beyond Neptune's orbit in our own solar system.
Two other planets, between the size of Neptune and Jupiter, might also
orbit Epsilon Eridani beyond its outer asteroid belt. One might have
helped carve the outside edge of the outer asteroid belt, and the
other might orbit just inside the star's icy 'Kuiper' belt.
Smaller planets could also be lurking inside Epsilon Eridani's inner
asteroid belt. "I would put money on there being an Earth-like planet
in the space between the inner asteroid belt and the star," Backman
told New Scientist.
The star is close enough that an Earth-like planet might be directly
imaged with future telescopes, such as the Terrestrial Planet Finder
Interferometer, a proposed orbiting array of telescopes currently
being considered by NASA. The system might "be the first one where you
could point to a pale blue dot and say, 'There's the Earth,'" Backman
told New Scientist.
Epsilon Eridani is only 850 million years old, about 20% the age of
the Sun. As a result, it sheds light on what the solar system might
once have looked like, before most of its debris was swallowed by the
Sun or cast far away, says team member Massimo Marengo of the Harvard-
Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Those
insights could help refine models of how solar systems form, he added.'
"When it comes to repairing damage done to the Earth's climate there's
no shortage of ideas, ranging from schemes to put "sunshades" in orbit
to burying the offending carbon dioxide underground.
But ideas won't be enough, so there is an urgent need to rank those
proposals to work out which should undergo rigorous testing, argues
Philip Boyd of the National Institute of Water and Atmospheric
Research in Dunedin, New Zealand.
"The ideas for how to change our climate keep getting pumped out. They
get lots of column inches," says Boyd. "My concern is that we will
reach a tipping point, people will ask what are we doing about it, and
none of the schemes will have been tested."
Boyd proposes that an international body such as the Intergovernmental
Panel on Climate Change prioritise the schemes according to possible
risks involved, how quickly they could be got of the ground, their
cost, and how efficiently they would change the climate.
Climate scientist Martin Manning of the University of Victoria in
Wellington agrees that a systematic ranking is needed, in part because
there is little communication between research communities working on
"If warming is to be kept at 2 degrees or so, which is what most
governments are endorsing, we have to take every technology on hand,
we can't be too fussy and we will make mistakes," he says.
Any assessment should be broadened to include other techniques besides
geo-engineering, such as using plants for sequestration, says Manning,
who worked for the IPCC during the last assessment.
Some schemes could quickly be dismissed, but testing even one of the
feasible schemes will still be a herculean task.
"We have only started to realise how complicated and interconnected
Earth systems are, and scale up will be difficult," Boyd says.
For example, the Pinatubo volcanic eruption inspired the proposal to
inject sulphur particles in to the atmosphere to alter the Earth's
albedo so that sunlight is reflected back into space. But closer
scrutiny of the eruption revealed that sulphur particles alone can not
account for the fall in temperatures and other changes in climate that
followed the eruption.
Schemes that rely on biological mechanisms – for example seeding
oceans with iron to stimulate algae that would suck up carbon dioxide
– will be the most prone to unknown side effects, says Boyd. "You
probably never want to work with animals, children or biological
The schemes that will be least prone to unexpected side effects – but
potentially among the most costly – would be those based on well
understood principles of physics and chemistry, such as "wind
scrubbing", in which chemicals are used to absorb carbon dioxide from
Boyd ranks geochemical schemes, such as transforming the carbon in
carbon dioxide into bicarbonate ions that would be dissolved in the
ocean as in between the two when it comes to risks of unexpected side
Boyd acknowledges that there are other risks inherent in testing
mitigation schemes. "You risk letting people of the hook in terms of
reducing emissions," he says. "On the other hand purposely
manipulating the environment on such a huge scale is a frightening
concept, and it could push people to take action."
Journal reference: Nature Geoscience, DOI: 10.1038/ngeo348
Climate Change – Want to know more about global warming: the science,
impacts and political debate? Visit our continually updated special
NF3 is 12,000-20,000 times more efficient at trapping heat than carbon
dioxide, the best-known of six greenhouse gases regulated by the 1997
Kyoto protocol on climate change.
In the past ten years, NF3 has become an environmentally preferable
alternative to more volatile perfluorocarbons. It is now commonly used
by manufacturers of plasma TVs and other flat-panel displays as a
source of reactive fluorine atoms, used to etch the silicon chips in
Because only very small amounts of the gas were thought to escape to
the atmosphere in these processes - about 2% of all NF3 produced - it
was long assumed that its contribution to man-made global warming was
This notion was first challenged earlier this year when Michael
Prather, an atmospheric chemist at the University of California in
Irvine, questioned the commonly assumed emission rates of the gas1.
Now, analyses of air samples taken at two coastal clean-air stations
in California and Tasmania, Australia, have for the first time
confirmed that a significantly higher percentage of overall NF3
production escapes to the atmosphere.
The team, led by Ray Weiss of the Scripps Institution of Oceanography
in La Jolla, California, used a combined gas-chromatography and mass-
spectrometry system to measure NF3 levels in their samples.
They found that over the past three decades, the atmospheric
concentration of the gas has increased more than 20-fold, from 0.02 to
0.454 parts per trillion, with most emissions occurring in the
Northern Hemisphere. The overall amount of the gas in the atmosphere,
estimated in 2006 at less than 1,200 tonnes, was then actually 4,200
tonnes and has since risen to 5,400 tonnes, they report in Geophysical
Given its strong global-warming potential and estimated atmospheric
lifetime of 740 years, this is equivalent to the effect of about 67
million tonnes of carbon dioxide – roughly the total annual CO2
emissions of Finland.
"I'd say case closed. It is now shown to be an important greenhouse
gas," says Prather, who was not involved with the second study. "Now
we need to get hard numbers on how much is flowing through the system,
from production to disposal."
"Industries were quite dismissive of Michael Prather's original paper
as pure speculation," says Piers Forster, an atmospheric chemist at
the University of Leeds, UK. "This new paper shows that NF3 is there
in significant quantities, and it's increasing."
The two papers have caught the problem in good time for industries to
clean up their act, he adds. Liquid crystal display (LCD) screens, for
example, can be produced in a more environmentally friendly way, and
may soon begin to replace plasma screens.
"The problem may die away naturally," agrees Jim Haywood, an
atmospheric scientist with the UK Meteorological Office. "But in the
meantime, it may well be worth including NF3 in the list of regulated
1. Prather, M. J . & Hsu, J. Geophys. Res. Lett. 35, L12810
2. Weiss, R. F., Mühle, J., Salameh, P. K. & Harth, C. M.
Geophys. Res. Lett. (2008) doi:10.1029/2008GL035913.
Original article available at http://www.nature.com/news/2008/081024/full/news.2008.1189.html
You can read it at http://www.sciam.com/article.cfm?id=x-ray-machine-adhesive-tape
You can read the article with a included video at
You can read a full article about the farm at the following address:
It can be read at:
Taken from '1001 little ways to save the planet' by Esme Floyd. I
definitely recommend getting the book.