Ohio State Researcher Team Discovers How to Control Heat and Sound With Magnets

Most people were probably unaware the heat and sound have much in common and that it is possible to control heat—and probably sound – with magnetic fields. However, Ohio State researchers just published an article in Nature Materials in which they discuss their experiments where in they were able to reduce the amount of heat traveling through a semiconductor by 12 percent using a magnetic field about the size of a medical MRI. This is the first study to demonstrate that acoustic phonons, which are the particles that transmit both heat and sound, have magnetic properties.
Researchers believe with a strong enough magnetic field they should be able to control sound waves as well as heat.

At the moment it is difficult for researchers to imagine practical applications because the experiments were difficult to set up and the equipment doesn’t exist outside of hospitals and research laboratories. However, the discovery is interesting; theoretically one would be able to control the temperature materials like plastics, stone and glass with a strong enough magnet. In metals the difference would be negligible because so much heat is carried via electrons researchers say.

The next experiment these researchers have in mind is to see if they can deflect sound waves sideways with a magnetic field.

Jody Victor

Source: http://news.osu.edu/news/2015/03/23/heatmag/

OSU President Drake Named Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Trustee

The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum in Cleveland has named Ohio State University President Michael V. Drake to its Board of Trustees. Drake is one of three new trustees to join the board.

Dr. Drake has a long history in this kind of service position. He spent five years as vice president for health affairs for UC Irvine and directed special research programs on tobacco and breast cancer. He also co-chaired the California-Mexico Health Initiative. He launched a program know as PRIME to train physicians to treat under-served populations in the state of California and founded the California Health Benefits Review Program. Previous to these accomplishments Drake spent a twenty success filled years at the UC San Francisco School of Medicine.

Dr. Drake also has a long history with contemporary music. Maybe most importantly he is a musician himself, Drake plays guitar. Also, one of his first jobs was working for Tower Records in Sacramento. For many years he also taught an interesting course at UC Irvine that examines civil rights era music to track social changes. In fact, Drake plans to resurrect the course next year at OSU.

Between his service and knowledge of music Dr. Michael V. Drake seems like a perfect addition to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame’s Board of Trustees.

Jody Victor

Another Feather in the Cap of Ohio State University’s Sports

While The Ohio State University is already nationally known for its outstanding athletic department and programs, their culture of sportsmanship and excellence has earned them another feather in their cap.

Forbes magazine has listed the department among the 10 best organizations to work for in sports. The article ranks The Ohio State University Athletics Department, which employees some 300 people, as the 4th best among other prestigious organizations such as the Cleveland Cavilers (ranked 2nd).

The article quotes Janine Oman, Associate Athletics Director Sport Administration/Sport Performance as stating:

“The culture of OSU Athletics is one of excellence that is focused on the growth and development of each person. It is an environment where all individuals are valuable members of the team with ideas to contribute and given the opportunity to lead those efforts. The department provides traditional education opportunities as well as engages employees with projects to stretch them and grow new skills. Individuals are given autonomy at the local level to determine what works best for their group. Gene [Smith] truly supports each individual and allows them to lead. It is a culture of we and not me as cliché as that sounds. I am very thankful for the opportunity the Buckeye’s have given me to grow my professional skills.”

The Ohio State Antithetical Department is the only college athletic department to make the list. The others include: Arizona Diamondbacks, Cleveland Cavaliers, GMR Marketing, Navigate Research, National Football League, Premier Partnerships, The Aspire Group, RSE Ventures and Turnkey Sports and Entertainment.

The OSU program is an extremely diverse program that supports 36 fully funded varsity sports and maintains many impressive facilities such as the Ohio Stadium, Bill Davis Stadium, Jesse Owens Stadium, The Schottenstein Center and golf courses to name a few.

Perhaps most impressive among the department’s attributes is that it receives no state tax or student tuition dollars. The department is fully self-sufficient financially. In 2013 the department gave almost 30 million dollars to the university, 16 million dollars of that included grant-in-aid reimbursements.

This is one instance in which an end zone victory dance seems appropriate.

Jody Victor


The Future of Electronics Found In Its Past

Researchers at the Ohio State University are looking into using germanium, the base material of transistors from the 1940’s, as a replacement for silicon.

Joshua Goldberger, assistant professor of chemistry, is developing a new form of germanium called germanane. In 2013 Goldberger and his Ohio State University lab team were the first to successfully create a one-atom-thick sheet of germanane. This is so thin one might call it two dimensional.

Ok, but what does all this mean? What is the goal. Their goal is to create a material that will transmit electrons 10 times faster than silicon. But it will also be better at absorbing and emitting light. This will aid in the development of even more efficient LEDs and lasers.

The Goldberger’s team has also been experimenting with adding tin atoms to their new material – which Goldberger claims could make the conduction of electricity 100 percent efficient at room temperature. His lab also reported that this theoretical new material can be made chemically stable.

In fact, the team is already trying to work within traditional silicon manufacturing practices so that their new technology will be easily adaptable to the existing industry when the time comes.

Jody Victor

Source: http://news.osu.edu/news/2015/02/14/the-future-of-electronics%E2%80%94now-in-2d/

Weird Science: The Way We Walk

In 2000, charity participants took the first walk over the newly opened London Millennium Footbridge. As they walked their feet synchronized and the natural side-to-side motion caused the bridge to sway—much to the dismay of the walkers. Officials closed the footbridge until 2002 while they made modifications to stop the swaying.

Obviously the charity participants were frightened, but in a sense they brought it on themselves: because walking on a swaying surface takes about 5% less energy than walking on a stationary surface.

Ohio State University researchers wanted to look into the human behavior side of this equation. Why is it that, consciously or unconsciously, the charity participants fell into the same way of walking and kept walking that way as the bridge swayed beneath them?

The study found that when a few people walked on such a surface as the bridge, the optimal way to walk was without shaking it. Add enough people and the group will make the bridge sway to lower the group’s energy cost.

The research team is trying to discover a complete theory of why we walk the way we do. Unsurprisingly they found that stability is always the first concern, but the next priority is conserving energy despite the situation. The team has jokingly named it “the principle of maximum laziness” as their working theory suggests people usually adjust things like cadence or length and width of strides to save even a tiny it of energy.

Source: http://news.osu.edu/news/2015/02/02/walk-this-sway/

Jody Victor