OSU Researchers get to see electrons leave atoms for first time

Researchers have glimpsed, momentarily, an electron’s-eye view of the world.

They have succeeded for the first time in tracking an electron leaving the vicinity of an atom as the atom absorbs light. In a way akin to taking “snapshots” of the process, they were able to follow how each electron’s unique momentum changed over the incredibly short span of time it took to escape its host atom and become a free electron.

In the journal Nature Physics, the researchers write that following electrons in such fine detail constitutes a first step toward controlling electrons’ behavior inside matter—and thus the first step down a long and complicated road that could eventually lead to the ability to create new states of matter at will.

The technique the researchers used is called RABBITT, or Reconstruction of Attosecond Beating By Interfering Two-photon Transitions, and it involves hitting the atoms in a gas with light to reveal quantum mechanical information. It’s been around for nearly 15 years, and has become a standard procedure for studying processes that happen on very short timescales.

One immediate consequence is that researchers can now classify the quantum mechanical behavior of electrons from different atoms.

OSU Find Positive Correlation Between Exercise and Lupus Symptom Relief

OSU researchers compared mice against a related pilot study in humans and its showing how regular activity and stress reduction could lead to better health in the long run for lupus sufferers.

In the mouse model of lupus, researchers from found that moderate exercise significantly decreased inflammatory damage to the kidneys. While 88 percent of non-exercised mice had severe damage, only 45 percent of the treadmill-exercised animals did.

Researchers believe several biomarkers known to drive inflammation plummeted in the exercise group. Previous studies have supported the idea that physical activity is good for lupus patients, but hard scientific evidence explaining why has been scarce.

Researchers hope to change that through their work and help lupus sufferers relieve some of their pain through this new information on the benefits of exercise and lupus related inflammation.

Want to “rebound” from failure?

If you want to “rebound” from failure, focus on your emotions, not your failure, says new OSU study.

Researchers found that people who just thought about a failure tended to make excuses for why they were unsuccessful and didn’t try harder when faced with a similar situation. In contrast, people who focused on their emotions following a failure put forth more effort when they tried again.

While thinking about how to improve from past mistakes might help – this study didn’t examine that – the researchers found that people who reflect on a failure do not tend to focus on ways to avoid a similar mistake. When asked to think about their mistakes, most people focus on protecting their ego. They think about how the failure wasn’t their fault, or how it wasn’t that big of a deal, anyway.

Researchers stated that in most real-life situations, people probably have both cognitive and emotional responses to their failures. But the important thing to remember is not to avoid the emotional pain of failing, but to use that pain to fuel improvement.

OSU Researchers Study How Russian Government Rallies Pro-Censorship Sentiment Among Citizens

Researchers analyzing a survey of Russian citizens found that those who relied more on Russian national television news perceived the internet as a greater threat to their country than did others. This in turn led to increased support for online political censorship. These viewers were more likely to agree that the internet was used by foreign countries against Russia and that it was a threat to political stability within the country. Not surprisingly, those who saw the internet as a threat were also more likely to support online censorship.

Approval of the government of President Vladimir Putin amplified the impact of those threat perceptions on support for censorship, according to the study. Support for Vladimir Putin significantly strengthened the relationship between seeing the internet as a risk and supporting online censorship, the study found.

Researchers noted that the Russian regime uses its official news outlets, particularly television, to spread fear about anti-government sites. The regime often uses graphic metaphors to sensationalize the risk of some internet content, according to the researchers.

For example, the government has compared some websites it opposes to suicide bombers and tells citizens its response would be to use internet control and censorship to create a “bulletproof vest for the Russian society” said the researchers.

Researchers noted while it isn’t difficult to circumvent government censorship methods in a technical regard, but it can be very difficult to get around a well established mind-set that “censorship is good.”

OSU Undergrads Give Back

As part of Ohio State’s Summer Research Opportunities Program (SROP), undergraduate students from across the country gave their time and talent last month to help sort and prepare over 2,700 pounds of food for 1,755 needy families in the Westerville area.

SROP is a signature program of the Graduate School at Ohio State. Its singular purpose is to expose highly talented undergraduates from underrepresented populations to graduate study at the Ph.D. level.

The annual day of service is a way for the visiting students to give back to the central Ohio community and strengthen friendships. They also discover that successful undertakings, whether a research project or a service, share common attributes: a compelling vision, a solid plan, and strong effort from all involved.

SROP students come to Ohio State from colleges and universities around the country for the eight-week program, where they are matched with an Ohio State faculty mentor who oversees their intensive research experience. They also participate in activities crucial to preparation for graduate school, including workshops on research skills, seminars on topics related to graduate education and professional development events.