Reviewed by Kate Anderton, B.Sc. (Editor)May 3 2019Exceeding noise levels of 100 decibels, the grunting sounds produced by some tennis players when hitting the ball are on a par with motorbikes or chainsaws. While fans react to these impressive exhalations with either annoyance or amusement, the habit has also been a source of intense debate among professionals.For instance, Serena Williams has said that she is not bothered by opponents grunting in the heat of the competition. In contrast, former world number one Martina Navratilova has complained that grunting masks the sound of the racket striking the ball, making it – unfairly – harder to predict the ball’s trajectory. The question of whether this common complaint is justified has now been examined in a new study by a team of sport psychologists from Friedrich Schiller University, Jena, led by Dr Florian Müller and Prof. Rouwen Cañal-Bruland.Experiment with manipulated grunting noisesFor this study, the research team conducted a series of experiments in which experienced players were shown video clips of rallies from a professional tennis match. After observing players hitting the ball, they had to work out the ball’s trajectory and indicate where it would land. Largely unnoticed by participants, though, the intensity of the grunting noises was manipulated.Grunting biases anticipation of ball flightResults indicate that grunting does have an effect – but not the one claimed by Navratilova. There was no evidence that grunting caused a distraction effect. In spite of the supposed irritation, participants’ level of error in predicting where the ball would land was the same – regardless of the intensity of the grunts. Instead, it was shown that the louder the grunting, the further the participants assumed the ball would fly. This reaction was observed even when the noises could only be heard after the racket had made contact with the ball, as is usual in many professional matches. “We assume that players account for the physiological benefits provided by grunting,” explains Müller. Other researchers have demonstrated that forcefully exhaling air activates the abdominal muscles, providing additional strength that enables players to hit harder, making the ball fly faster. “This possibly explains why an effect can be observed as a result of the grunting, but the ability to anticipate the ball’s trajectory remains unaffected.”Related StoriesProbing Submicron Protein Aggregation using Asymmetrical Flow Field-Flow Fractionation, AF4, and Light ScatteringHeat-induced heart attack risk on the rise, study showsResearchers discover how mosquitoes smell acidic volatiles in human sweatPerception in sport as the interplay of multiple sensory impressionsAccording to Müller and his colleagues, the results of the study suggest that Navratilova’s claim needs to be reconsidered. For the sport psychologists, it is also evidence that sensory impressions other than sight are of importance in sport as well, and that scientists should look at these more closely in future. For this reason, too, they want to stay ‘on the ball’ and investigate the phenomenon further. To get closer to real-world conditions, in the next step participants will have to catch a tennis ball on the touchscreen in real time. Ultimately, the experiment could even be conducted during a real match on a tennis court – as long as no one in the neighborhood is disturbed by excessively loud grunting.Source: https://www.uni-jena.de/en/190502_tennis_grunting.html
Provided by Loughborough University Citation: Researchers solve scientific puzzle that could improve solar panel efficiency (2019, May 14) retrieved 17 July 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2019-05-scientific-puzzle-solar-panel-efficiency.html Most of the world’s solar power is currently produced by solar panels – also known as photovoltaic panels – that are made of silicon.Recently, new solar panels have been created that are made from a semiconducting material called cadmium telluride (CdTe).CdTe panels have been found to produce electricity at lower costs than silicon panels and there has been a dramatic gain in efficiency brought about by adding an element called selenium to the cadmium telluride.As a result, electricity from CdTe solar farms is being produced more cheaply than it is from fossil fuels giving economic as well as environmental benefits around the world.Until now, it was not well understood why selenium increases efficiency but thanks to Tom Fiducia, a Ph.D. Research Student in the Centre for Renewable Energy Systems Technology (CREST), and an international team of researchers, the puzzle has been solved.Tom has worked with leading solar experts from CREST, Durham University, the University of Oxford and Colorado State University, in the United States, to explore the effect selenium has in solar panels and the group has had their findings published in Nature Energy – a monthly peer-reviewed scientific journal which only shares the top energy research across the natural and social sciences.Their paper, titled ‘Understanding the role of selenium in defect passivation for highly efficient selenium-alloyed cadmium telluride solar cells’,has revealed that selenium works by overcoming the effect of harmful, atomic-scale defects in CdTe panels.This explains the increase of efficiency as electrons (subatomic particles that carry electricity), which are generated when sunlight hits the solar panel, are less likely to be trapped and lost at the defects. This increases the amount of power extracted. Tom, who is the lead author of the paper, says the team discovered this “unexpected” behaviour by measuring how much light is emitted from selenium-containing panels.As selenium is not evenly distributed across the panels, they compared the ‘luminescence’ emitted from areas where there was little-to-no selenium present and areas where the selenium was very concentrated.Tom explained: “While it seems counter intuitive, good solar cell material that is defect-free is very efficient at emitting light, and so luminesces strongly.”We mapped the luminescence emitted from a selenium-containing solar cell at a resolution of around 1/10,000thof a millimetre and compared it to a similarly high-resolution map of the selenium concentration taken on the exact same area of the cell.”It is strikingly obvious when you see the data that selenium-rich regions luminesce much more brightly than the pure cadmium telluride, and the effect is remarkably strong.”Tom hopes the findings will lead to improved solar panels and increased usage across the globe.He commented: “Now that the selenium-induced efficiency improvement is better understood, it may be possible to use this knowledge to increase the efficiency of cadmium telluride solar panels even further.”For instance, this could be by simply increasing the amount of selenium in the devices or altering its distributions within the cell.”If efficiency can be increased, this would further decrease electricity prices and have a direct positive impact on regions that adopt the technology.”Of appearing in Nature Energy, he said: “It’s nice to have some reassurance that your work is going along the right lines.”I hope that the results can be useful to other researchers and ultimately make a positive impact.”Professor Michael Walls, Professor of Photovoltaics and the academic overseeing Tom’s Ph.D. research, said: “Now we know how the selenium improves the solar cell efficiency, it should be possible to improve the power output still further.”It’s a great example of an international team working together contributing their expertise and facilities and developing a fundamental understanding of how devices really work.” This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only. Team optimizes formula for cadmium-tellurium solar cells More information: Thomas A. M. Fiducia et al. Understanding the role of selenium in defect passivation for highly efficient selenium-alloyed cadmium telluride solar cells, Nature Energy (2019). DOI: 10.1038/s41560-019-0389-z Journal information: Nature Energy Explore further Caption: (Left) map of the selenium distribution in the solar cell material. The brighter turquoise/white regions are where there are higher concentrations of selenium. (Right) This is a corresponding map of the luminescence emitted from the material. It can clearly be seen that there is brighter luminescence where there is more selenium. Credit: Loughborough University A Loughborough University Ph.D. student has helped shed light on a solar panel puzzle that could lead to more efficient devices being developed.
Next NIA Bill passes in Lok Sabha, Amit Shah says Modi govt will never misuse lawThe NIA (Amendment) Bill, 2019, has passed in the Lok Sabha after a round of heated debate on Monday.advertisement India Today Web Desk New DelhiJuly 15, 2019UPDATED: July 15, 2019 17:17 IST The NIA Bill was passed in the Lok Sabha on Monday. (File photo: PTI)HIGHLIGHTSThe NIA (Amendment) Bill, 2019, was passed in Lok Sabha on MondayCongress opposed to the Bill saying it may be misused by the govt for political vendettaAmit Shah said Modi govt will never misuse the NIA lawLok Sabha passed the National Investigation Agency (Amendment) Bill, 2019 on Monday after a heated debate between Home Minister Amit Shah and the Opposition.The Bill amends the National Investigation Agency (NIA) Act, 2008 that provides for a national-level agency to investigate and prosecute offences listed in the scheduled offences. Further, the Act allows for creation of Special Courts for the trial of scheduled offences.The Bill seeks to allow the NIA to investigate the following offences in addition to human trafficking, offences related to counterfeit currency or bank notes, manufacture or sale of prohibited arms, cyber-terrorism and offences under the Explosive Substances Act, 1908.Refuting Opposition claims over “misuse” of the NIA law, Amit Shah on Monday asserted that the Modi government will never misuse it on the basis of religion but ensure that terrorism is finished off irrespective of the religion of the accused.In an intervention during a discussion in Lok Sabha on the National Investigation Agency (Amendment) Bill, 2019, Shah also targeted the Congress-led UPA government for repealing the anti-terror act POTA, saying it was not done because of its alleged misuse but to “save its vote bank”.While Minister of State for Home G Kishan Reddy sought support of all parties for the passage of the National Investigation Agency (Amendment) Bill, 2019, Manish Tewari of the Congress accused the government of trying to turn India into a “police state”.Reddy told the House that the new law will allow the NIA to probe cases of terrorism targeting Indians and Indian assets abroad, and also empower the agency to investigate cases of arms and human trafficking besides those linked to cyber terrorism.He said terror attacks witnessed an uspurge after the Prevention of Terrorism Act (POTA) was repealed resulting in the same UPA government being forced to constitute NIA after the Mumbai attacks.Shah sought all-party support for the Bill’s passage, saying a division in the House on the issue of strengthening the agency will send out a wrong message and boost the morale of terrorists.Parliament should speak in one voice in giving powers to the NIA to send out a message to terrorists and the world, he asserted.His response came as several opposition leaders criticised the bill and accused the government of using investigating agencies for “political vendetta”.Some MPs said the anti-terror law is misused at times to target members of a particular community.”Let me make it clear. The Modi government has no such intention. Its only goal is to finish off terrorism but we will also not look at the religion of the accused while taking action,” Shah said.Tewari opposed the bill, saying probe agencies are misused for “political vendetta” and “inspired media leaks” from them have turned the maxim of “innocent until proven guilty” on its head.He also claimed that the constitutional validity of the NIA Act, which led to the investigation agency’s formation, is still not settled as pleas challenging its validity are pending in different courts.(With PTI inputs)Also Read | Owaisi Saab, sunne ki aadat daaliye: Amit Shah-Owaisi spar in Lok Sabha over NIAAlso Watch | Political war breaks out over G Kishan Reddy’s Hyderabad terror hub remarkFor the latest World Cup news, live scores and fixtures for World Cup 2019, log on to indiatoday.in/sports. Like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter for World Cup news, scores and updates.Get real-time alerts and all the news on your phone with the all-new India Today app. Download from Post your comment Do You Like This Story? Awesome! Now share the story Too bad. Tell us what you didn’t like in the comments Posted bySanchari Chatterjee
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Next BJP MLA’s daughter, Dalit partner likely to marry in court next weekSources said BJP MLA’s daughter Sakshi Misra and her partner will get their marriage registered in court on July 16 after making a request to the court.advertisement Indo-Asian News Service LucknowJuly 13, 2019UPDATED: July 13, 2019 10:16 IST Their inter-caste wedding created a huge controversy.Sakshi Misra, the daughter of a BJP MLA from Uttar Pradesh, and her husband were now expected to opt for a registered marriage in court, after their inter-caste wedding created a huge controversy.Sakshi is a Brahmin, while her husband Ajitesh Kumar belongs to a Dalit family.This is being done after the priest of the Ram Janki temple in Prayagraj, where they reportedly exchanged vows and even have a certificate to prove that they tied the knot, denied the marriage, adding that the certificate was fake.According to sources, the couple will be appearing in the Allahabad High Court where their petition will be taken up for hearing on July 15.”They will get their marriage registered in court on July 16 after making a request to the court itself,” the sources said.Sakshi and her husband, who have been on the run since July 3 when they left their respective homes, made an appearance on Friday on a news channel where they again alleged that the Bharatiya Janata Party MLA from Bareilly, Rajesh Misra was against their marriage purely on caste grounds.The couple and Ajitesh’ father Harish Kumar have alleged that SSP Bareilly Muniraj G had refused to respond to their calls for protection and security.However, after the matter hit the headlines, the SSP has now said that the couple would get police protection so that they can safely appear before court.READ | Bareilly BJP MLA’s daughter who married Dalit moves court, seeks protectionALSO READ | Soch badlo papa: BJP MLA’s daughter who married Dalit boy makes emotional appeal to dad on live TVALSO WATCH | Please change your thinking: BJP MLA’s daughter’s emotional appeal to her fatherFor the latest World Cup news, live scores and fixtures for World Cup 2019, log on to indiatoday.in/sports. Like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter for World Cup news, scores and updates.Get real-time alerts and all the news on your phone with the all-new India Today app. Download from Post your comment Do You Like This Story? Awesome! Now share the story Too bad. Tell us what you didn’t like in the comments Posted byKritika Bansal Tags :Follow BJP MLA
Next Not a smooth road ahead for Kartarpur corridor amid India-Pak differences over constructionWhile India is making a bridge for the pilgrims, the Pakistani side is constructing a “causeway”, which has been a persistent bone of contention between India and Pakistan on the Kartarpur corridor issue. advertisement Kamaljit Kaur Sandhu New DelhiJuly 12, 2019UPDATED: July 12, 2019 17:51 IST Sources have said that the Kartarpur corridor structure on the Indian side will be completed by October 31. (India Today file photo)The Indian and the Pakistani officials will meet this Sunday for the second high-level talks on the Kartarpur Sahib corridor. The meeting is to find a way to iron out disagreements between the two countries. The Indian side is likely to reiterate the same set of concerns as the key issue remains unresolved — the construction of a causeway by Pakistan.While India is making a bridge for the pilgrims, the Pakistani side is constructing a “causeway”, which has been a persistent bone of contention between India and Pakistan on the Kartarpur corridor issue.India is of the view that not building a bridge would lead to flooding of the Indian areas during monsoon when the Ravi river overflows.”India has disagreed on the construction of a causeway. Causeways are not considered good engineering. India has been covering the Indian side of 68 km bund while the Pakistani side has a vast 250 km bund. Flooding in monsoon is a concern,” a government source said.The Indian team has suggested the use of “service road” by pilgrims till the time the bridge is not built by Pakistan.Kartarpur corridor structure on Indian side to be completed by October 31: SourcesA day after the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) sought to dismiss “misconceptions” that India has been slow in completing its side of the Kartarpur corridor, government sources have claimed that the construction on the Indian will be completed by October 31.The sources also said that the Indian government expects completion of the Kartarpur corridor on both the sides before the 550th birth anniversary of Guru Nanak Dev. Speaking to news agency ANI, a government source said, “Construction of the Kartarpur corridor on the Indian side will be completed by October 31. Sixty per cent is done. The government is keen that the Kartarpur corridor is completed on both the sides by the 550th anniversary of Guru Nanak Dev ji. India is looking forward to it with high expectation.”The movement of the Kartarpur corridor pilgrims is expected to be discussed in the meeting. Discussions on permits or visa-free access to all the pilgrims, fees and journey time of the pilgrims are also expected during the Kartarpur corridor talks.”India is creating an all-weather facility to cater to 10,000 pilgrims on special occasions and 5,000 pilgrims daily,” the source said, adding, “India will use high tech surveillance system and put a robust security system in place. That is not negotiable.”However, Pakistan wants to limit the number of pilgrims to 750 a day. Sources say that despite three technical meetings, the Pakistani side has not responded positively.Will reiterate concern regarding Khalistani terrorist Gopal Singh Chawla: SourcesThe government sources have said the Indian side will reiterate their concern regarding the Khalistani terrorist, Gopal Singh Chawla. Gopal Singh Chwala is linked to Sikh Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee and works in the capacity of its general secretary. He is known for his close links to Jama’at-ud-Da’wah (JuD) chief Hafiz Saeed.Also Read | India fully committed to Kartapur Sahib corridor, wants work to be completed expeditiously: MEAAlso Read | India proposes dates for Kartarpur corridor talks with PakistanAlso Watch | #5Reasons Why Pakistan says they decided to open Kartarpur Sahib corridorFor the latest World Cup news, live scores and fixtures for World Cup 2019, log on to indiatoday.in/sports. Like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter for World Cup news, scores and updates.Get real-time alerts and all the news on your phone with the all-new India Today app. Download from Post your comment Do You Like This Story? Awesome! Now share the story Too bad. Tell us what you didn’t like in the comments Posted byChanchal Chauhan