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- A fictional show called Big Bang Theory was recently in news for being the reason behind a groundbreaking scientific discovery
- Researchers at Iowa State University and avid fans of the show were inspired by the catchphrase Bazinga! and helped discover a ternary compound
- The ternary compound is made of barium (Ba), zinc(Zn), and gallium (Ga)
New Delhi, August 06, 2017: The work of the eminent physicist, Dr. Sheldon Cooper of hit TV show The big bang theory, has served as an incitement for the creation of a new chemical compound – BaZnGa!
Those familiar with Dr. Cooper will know that his use of the phrase ‘bazinga!’ tends to be associated with a joke. Despite this, Paul Canfield, a researcher at Iowa State University, and his team decided that Dr. Cooper’s fearsome scientific reputation merited the thorough investigation of the compound he so frequently proposes.
The compound BaZnGa, made of barium (Ba), zinc (Zn) and gallium (Ga), forms a new, never-before-seen crystal structure.
However, BaZnGa did not have any other exciting features, scientists said. It behaves like other non-magnetic quasicrystals but has a different arrangement of atoms.
Its creation is part of scientists efforts to discover new materials and characterize them, said Paul Canfield, a professor at Iowa State University in the US.
Na Hyun Jo, a graduate student at Iowa State University, was the first person to get the inspiration. “I was at home and turned on the TV, and there was a show about The big bang theory and a character said Bazinga! They showed the elements barium, zinc and gallium. So I thought, Wow, I think no one has ever tried to grow this material, and maybe this could be a new discovery of a high-temperature superconductor or some kind of a quasicrystal” or something like that,’ she explains.
[bctt tweet=”Famous catch phrase ‘Bazinga’ from TV show Big Bang Theory helps scientists to discover a new compound” username=”NewsGramdotcom”]
When Canfield was made aware of this he further probed into the matter, to check it as part of the scientific method. According to his knowledge, there was no known ternary compound with barium, zinc, and gallium. In his scientific opinion, it would have been a groundbreaking discovery to find one, hoping the compound would have interesting properties. Upon advancing their research they found that the ternary compound had superconductivity, and novel topological electronic properties, conceivably it could be not crystalline but quasi-crystalline, and a number of calculated assumptions were being made.
Sadly, further analysis did not reveal any particularly remarkable properties. However, this has not dampened the team’s enthusiasm. The researchers, who were already planning to study three-part compounds that contained barium and zinc, went ahead to create BaZnGa.
“Whenever you find a new structure, it gives you further information on how nature arranges atoms,” Canfield said.
These findings, along with others, will be discussed at the annual meeting of the American Physical Society in 2018. Incidentally, the meeting is to be held in Los Angeles – the home of Dr. Cooper. Canfield and his team hope that he will be in attendance.
-Prepared by Nivedita Motwani. Twitter @Mind_Makeup
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India is known for its pickles, popularly called 'Achaar', even across the world. But who thought about the idea of pickles in the first place? Apparently, the idea of making pickles first came from the ancient civilisation of Mesopotamia, where archaeologists have found evidence of cucumbers being soaked in vinegar. This was done to preserve it, but the practice has spread all over the world today, that pickles mean so much more than just preserved vegetables.
In India, the idea of pickle has nothing to do with preservation, rather pickle is a side dish that adds flavour and taste to almost anything. In Punjab, parathas are served with pickle; in the south, pickle and curd rice is a household favourite, and in Andhra, it is a staple, eaten with everything. The flavour profile of pickles in each state is naturally different, suited to each cuisine's taste. Pickles are soaked in oil and salt for at least a month, mixed with spices and stored all year round. Mango season is often synonymous with pickle season as a majority of Indians love mango pickle. In the coastal cities, pickles are even made out of fish and prawns.
The Indian Achaar Image credit: Photo by Rahat Hossen on Unsplash
In other cultures, the pickling process has more to do with preservation. Cold countries, where temperatures drop to very low levels, pickle their vegetables in brine, vinegar, or salt. Sweden is famous for pickled herring, because fishing all year round is hard with all the snow and ice. The German Sauerkraut, originally composed of rice, cabbage, and wine, is now made using salt instead of wine. This gives it a sour flavour that is characteristic of the beloved German delicacy.
In Korea, kimchi is the national delicacy. It is a pickle that is made from pickled cabbages with a distinct mix of spices. Kimchi is made with various core ingredients, and is gaining popularity these days with the Korean Wave hitting the globe. It is a practice that represents the Korean winters, which are too harsh to grow anything. The Kimchi business is one of the largest in Korea, while the individual family recipes are also well-preserved as it is believed that each is unique in its own way.
The pickles made from dill and vinegar are most famous in America. It was introduced to the Americans by the Jewish immigrants. Dill pickles are best paired with sandwiches.
Keywords: Pickles, Culture, Brine, Vinegar, Preserves
It is impossible to detail the history of bookbinding without understanding the need for it. A very useful, and yet simple invention, spiral coils that hold books together and allow mobile access to the user came about just before WWII, but much before that, paper underwent a massive change in production technique.
Beginning in China, paper was made of bamboo sticks slit open and flattened. In Egypt, papyrus was made from the reeds that grew in the Nile. In India, long, rectangular strips of palm leaves were stitched together to form legible documents. When monasteries were established, scrolls came into being. Parchment paper, or animal hide, also known as vellum, were used to copy out texts periodically to preserve them. Prior to all this, clay tablets were used to record important events, and in some cases, rock edicts were made.
But all this changed with the invention of the printing press by Gutenberg. Paper became the medium by which inscriptions, announcements, and almost everything was made. Once paper became so accessible, printing began in full scale. Newspapers and the Bible were printed every day.
Metal coils were used before the world war Image credit: Photo by Dan Bucko on Unsplash
With wads of paper, something had to be done about keeping them together. Bookbinding began as a booming business. First, the pages were just sewn together. A special sewing machine was invented just for books. When this did not suit all book types, the process of punching and binding began. Holes were punched in books, and they were tied together.
Much later, an adhesive thermoplastic strip became available by which book pages were stuck together. They sold in this format for a long time. Ideas began to flow in for notebooks when people discovered that they could attach pieces of paper together. A machine was invented that drew lines. This made it easier for people who wrote a lot.
After a while, when people got used to having their books a certain way, The Spiral Binding Company opened in 1932, which changed the way bookbinding was done. Books could now be bound by coil and this was not only economical, but also convenient, because pages could easily be turned without breaking the bind. The original spiral bind coil was made of metal, but when supplies were rationed during WWII, they were made from plastic. This trend has remained to the present day, where spiral bound books are preferred to the other kinds of binding except in cases of publishing and official documentation.
Keywords: Spiral Binding, WWII, Paper, Books, Printing
By N. Lothungbeni Humtsoe
To keep the value and quality of what you offer, whether it's a romantic breakfast in bed or a royal wedding gift that will be remembered for years. The concept of gift-giving has taken on a number of shapes in today's society. Devina Singhania, the Founder of 'LE JAHAAN', a local home and decor accessories company, explains how the gifting paradigm has shifted.
Q: What do consumers expect from the gifting business and packaging designers these days?
A: Today's consumers are expecting more minimal sustainable products, designs and mediums. They are now more conscious about how their purchase affects the environment. Considering this shift in consumer buying, it's extremely important for companies to increase their commitments to responsible business practices and design products that are meant to be reused or recycled.
Today's consumers are expecting more minimal sustainable products, designs and mediums. | Photo by Superkitina on Unsplash
Q: The practice of self-gifting is being driven by millennials. What are your thoughts on the subject?
A: I absolutely agree with this. Millennials are so creative and expressive. They are more into personalized products with which they can tell the world something about themselves. We are often hired by millennials to monogram and personalize products for them. They truly believe it's the best way to stand out from the crowd and establish a signature style and we couldn't agree more.
We are often hired by millennials to monogram and personalize products for them. | Photo by freestocks on Unsplash
Q: What impact do colour trends have on gift designs and packaging?
A: 'Le Jahaan' has always been very influenced by colour and trends and we hope to continue this association with colour even while we break through to more sustainable products and collections.
'Le Jahaan' has always been very influenced by colour and trends | Photo by freestocks on Unsplash
Q: What has changed as a result of the pandemic in terms of how we commemorate special occasions and the gift-giving tradition?
A: It's smaller in quantity but more luxurious and thought through.
Q: What giving trends should one keep an eye on in 2022?
A: Consumers, including millennials and members of Generation Z, are especially concerned with sustainability. So, the trend is definitely to go green with eco-friendly.
Q: How does Le Jahaan keep its clients coming back?
A: Our products speak for themselves. We make small batches with exceptional quality with a personal touch.
(Article originally published on IANSlife) (IANS/ MBI)
Keywords: gifts, le jahaan, festive, millennials, sustainable, gen z, paradigm, gifting