Scientists Threw a Smartphone in a Blender to Reveal the Contents

The latest results in scientific research have come from an unlikely machine: the blender.

Scientists at the University of Plymouth in the United Kingdom wanted to investigate what materials were used to create an iPhone, so they turned to the friendly kitchen tool to blend a phone to dust. Then, the researchers added sodium peroxide, an oxidizer, and mixed the combination at nearly 500 degrees celsius — that’s more than 900 degrees fahrenheit.

The brainchild of two geologists at the university, the project sought “to demonstrate why we should all take a keener interest in what is contained within everyday electrical items,” a university representative wrote in a press release. One goal of the experiment was to “encourage greater recycling rates once the devices reach the end of their useful lives,” according to the release.

With a chemical analysis, the scientists found that the iPhone was made of 33 grams of iron, 7 grams of chromium and 13 grams of silicon. But, beyond that, the most fascinating discovery is the amount of gold and silver found in the phones. That’s 100 times more gold than what geologists refer to as “high-grade,” the release says.

But the research isn’t just about jewels. It also showed that in order to manufacture one phone, you’d need to mine almost 1,000 kilograms of materials that include copper, nickel, ore and gold ore.

Colin Wilkins, one of the two scientists behind the experiment, said that the phone industry needs to do their part in helping the environment by recycling more of these materials.

It’s not the first time people have made attempts to blend phones, but most attempts haven’t been quite as academic.

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Source:: Time – Science


Google Celebrates Pi Day As Employee Calculates New World Record

Emma Haruka Iwao, a Google employee from Japan, calculated pi to new world record. Google announced the milestone on Thursday March 14, also known as Pi Day (3.14).

Iwao calculated pi to 31 trillion digits (31,415,926,535,897), far outpacing the previous record of 24.6 trillion, set in 2016 by Peter Trueb.

A Google employee broke the world record for calculating pi

Google employee Emma Haruka Iwao used Google’s cloud computing service to break the world record for calculating pi, an infinite number vital to engineering.

Most people will be familiar with the first few digits …

— best tech trade (@besttechtrade) March 14, 2019

Pi is the ratio of the circumference of a circle to its diameter. It’s an important foundation of mathematics, most importantly in geometry, physics and engineering.

3.14, pi’s first three digits, are well known but the rest is infinitely long. Extending the number is no leisurely pastime. It’s an extremely difficult challenge since the sequence follows no set pattern.

Mathematician James Grime says that just 39 digits of pi is enough to calculate the circumference of the known universe, and NASA’s Jet Propulsion lab only uses 15 digits to calculate interplanetary travel. Pi is being used in many NASA pursuits, including landing on Mars, discovering new inhabitable planets and tracking asteroid movements.

Iwao found the digits with the help of Google Cloud in the Japanese city of Osaka, some 400km west of Tokyo, where she works as a developer and advocate. The calculation was completed with 25 virtual machines in 121 days and took up 170TB of data. To put that into perspective: 1TB holds about 200,000 songs.

The Guinness World Records certified Iwao’s milestone on Wednesday, making her the third woman to set a world record for calculating pi.

Iwao said she has been fascinated with pi since she was 12, writes Google. “When I was a kid, I downloaded a program to calculate pi on my computer,” she says. “At the time, the world record holders were Yasumasa Kanada and Daisuke Takahashi, who are Japanese, so it was really relatable for me growing up in Japan.”

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Source:: Time – Science


Swedish Teen Climate Activist Greta Thunberg Has Been Nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize

Swedish environmental activist Greta Thunberg has been nominated for a Nobel Peace Prize in recognition of her work leading a youth campaign to halt climate change.

Three Norwegian lawmakers put forth the 16-year-old’s name.

“We have nominated Greta because the climate threat may be one of the most important causes of war and conflict,” parliamentary representative Freddy Andre Oevstegaard told Norwegian media outlet VG.

“The massive movement Greta has set in motion is a very important peace contribution,” he added.

The activist, who was named one of TIME’s Most Influential Teens of 2018, has inspired hundreds of thousands of students at schools around the world to hold strikes in an effort to urge their leaders to act.

According to a U.N. report, global temperatures could rise by 1.5°C, a threshold that scientists say will bring dire consequences to the planet, by as early as 2030 if greenhouse gas emissions continue at the current rate.

In December 2018, Thunberg spoke at the U.N. Climate Change Conference in Poland, where she called out lawmakers and government bodies for their inaction.

At a World Economic Forum meeting in Davos, Switzerland, in January, she ended her speech by telling a silenced room that she wants leaders to “behave like our house is on fire, because it is.”

As part of the #FridaysForFuture movement headed by the activist, tens of thousands of young people around the world will be skipping school this Friday to march for change.

Thunberg said on Twitter that almost 100 countries will be involved.

1325 places in 98 countries. And counting.
2days until 15th of March. Welcome China, Tanzania, Vanuatu, Cuba, Pakistan and many, many more. #FridaysForFuture #schoolstrike4climate

— Greta Thunberg (@GretaThunberg) March 13, 2019

“I think we are only seeing the beginning. I think that change is on the horizon and the people will stand up for their future, Thunberg said in an interview with the Guardian.

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Source:: Time – Science