|Российская наука и мир|
(по материалам зарубежной электронной прессы)
11 июня в Москве РНЦ "Курчатовский институт" и Европейский центр синхротронного излучения (ESRF) подписали Меморандум о договоренности. Меморандум предусматривает обмен опытом, совместные исследования и программы, проведение конференций.
The Kurchatov Institute in Moscow (Russia) and the European Synchrotron Radiation Facility (ESRF) in Grenoble (France) have made a step towards a closer collaboration between the scientific communities of these two institutes. A Memorandum of Understanding was signed on 11 June 2008 in Moscow to promote the different areas of this collaboration.
The Memorandum foresees a joint research and development programme as well as exchange of scientists and scientific expertise with the aim of pushing forward common projects. In this framework, the two institutes will also organise joint workshops and conferences.
In his speech at the signing ceremony, the Head of the Russian Federal Agency for Science and Innovations, Prof. Sergey N. Mazurenko, emphasised the importance of scientific and technological links between the two laboratories. This statement was echoed by Prof. Michael V. Kovalchuk, the Director of the Kurchatov Institute.
In his reply, the Director General of the ESRF, Prof. William G. Stirling, expressed his admiration for the achievements of Russian scientists using synchrotron light and his desire to see a long-term relationship develop with the Kurchatov Institute and Russian scientists.
The Kurchatov Institute is a Russian national research centre, operating, among others, the Kurchatov Source of Synchrotron Radiation. It also has the role of head organisation on nanotechnologies in Russia.
The European Synchrotron Radiation Facility (ESRF) is an international institute located in Grenoble (France) funded by 18 countries. It operates one of the world's most powerful synchrotron light sources and hosts more than 6000 scientific user visits to 43 beamlines every year.
© Copyright 2006.
* * *
Академики Владимир Игоревич Арнольд из московского и Людвиг Дмитриевич Фаддеев из петербуржского отделений Математического института РАН имени Стеклова стали лауреатами премии Shaw Prize 2008 года по математике.
Премия была учреждена гонгконгским медиа-магнатом Шоу в 2002 году и стала своего рода Нобелевской премией Юго-Восточной Азии. Три награды (астрономия, математика, науки о жизни) по 1 млн. долларов присуждаются за выдающиеся достижения в исследованиях и применении этих исследований, при условии, что они оказали положительное влияние на жизнь всего человечества.
The three categories of Shaw Prize for 2008, each worth a million U.S. dollars, went to six scientists from Germany, the United Kingdom, Japan and Russia, respectively, the Hong Kong-based Shaw Prize Foundation announced Tuesday.
The Shaw Prize is an international award to honor individuals who are currently active in their respective fields and who have achieved distinguished and significant advances, who have made outstanding contributions in culture and the arts, or who in other domains have achieved excellence.
The Shaw Prize for 2008 consists of three annual wards: The Prize in Astronomy, the Prize in Life Science and Medicine, and the Prize in Mathematical Sciences.
The Astronomy category went to Reinhard Genzel, for "his outstanding contribution in demonstrating that the Milky Way contains a supermassive black hole at its center." He was 56 and currently managing director at the Max Planck Institute for Extraterrestrial Physics and a professor in physics at the University of California, Berkeley.
In 1969, Donald Lynden-Bell and Martin Rees suggested that the Milky Way might contain a supermassive black hole. Genzel obtained compelling evidence for this by developing state-of-the-art instruments and observing the Galactic Center for years.
The Life Science and Medicine prize was split between Shinya Yamanaka from Japan and the team of Ian Wilmut and Keith Campbell from the United Kingdom, for their recent pivotal innovations in reversing the process of cell differentiation in mammals.
The scientists were commended because the phenomenon "advances our knowledge of developmental biology and holds great promise for the treatment of human diseases and improvements in agriculture practices," the prize council said in a statement.
Yamanaka, 46, is a professor at the Institute for Frontier Medical Science, the Kyoto University. Ian Wilmut, 64, is currently chair and director of reproductive biology at the Scottish Center for Regenerative Medicine, the University of Edinburgh, while Campbell, 54, is a professor of animal development at the University of Nottingham. Wilmut and Campbell were also known as the creator of cloned sheep Dolly.
Vladimir Arnold and Ludwig Faddeev shared the Shaw Prize in Mathematical Sciences for "their widespread and influential contributions to Mathematical Physics."
Arnold, 71, presently the chief scientist at Steklov Mathematical Institute in Moscow and a professor at the Universite Paris at Dauhpine, France, made fundamental contributions to the study of stability in dynamical systems.
Faddeev, 74, director of the Euler International Mathematical Institute, Petersburg Department of Steklov Institute of Mathematics, made many important contributions to quantum physics, including finding the right way to quantize the non-Abelian theory.
Past winners for the increasingly influential prize included Shiing-shen Chern, Richard Doll, P.James E. Peebles, Andrew John Wiles, David Mumford, among others. The award presentation ceremony will be held in September.
Copyright © 2008 Guangzhou Interactive Information Network Company All rights reserved.
* * *
Пояс вечной мерзлоты, протянувшийся по Сибири до Аляски и Канады, может начать таять в три раза быстрее, чем предполагалось, поскольку растет скорость таяния льда в Северном Ледовитом океане. В сентябре 2007 года таяние морского льда в Арктике более чем на 30% превысило средний уровень, а температура воздуха выросла на 2 градуса по сравнению со среднегодовым показателем за 1978-2006 годы.
Таяние вечной мерзлоты создает опасность разрушения дорог, нефтепроводов и зданий, построенных в расчете на постоянно мерзлый грунт. Под угрозой окажется и местная фауна.
The permafrost belt stretching across Siberia to Alaska and Canada could start melting three times faster than expected because of the speed at which Arctic Sea ice is disappearing.
A study found that the effects of sea-ice loss - which reached an all-time record last summer - extend almost 1,000 miles inland to areas where the ground is usually frozen all year round.
The smaller the area of sea ice, the less sunlight is reflected and the more heat is absorbed. That means scientists expect a tripling in the rate of warming over the continental land mass surrounding the Arctic. "Our study suggests that, if sea ice continues to contract rapidly over the next several years, Arctic land warming and permafrost thaw are likely to accelerate," said David Lawrence of the US National Centre for Atmospheric Research in Boulder, Colorado.
Last September, the sea ice of the Arctic shrank to more than 30 per cent of its average extent for that time of the year. Meanwhile, air temperatures over the Arctic region rose by about 2C° above the long-term average for the period 1978 to 2006.
Melting permafrost threatens to undermine the roads, oil pipelines and buildings that are built on the permanently frozen ground. It will also endanger the region's wildlife as well as triggering the possible release of the greenhouse gases locked in the soil, which would exacerbate global warming.
Dr Lawrence and researchers at National Snow and Ice Data Centre used computer models to analyse how the loss of sea ice could influence rising air temperatures and the melting of permafrost. They looked in particular at the creation of "taliks", which are patches of unfrozen ground sandwiched between layers of permanently frozen soil lower down and a seasonally frozen patch of soil above.
"Taliks form when the downwelling summer heating wave extends deeper than the corresponding winter cooling wave, thereby preventing the talik from refreezing in winter and permitting heat to accumulate at depth as soil ice melts," the scientists said in their study to be published in the journal Geophysical Research Letters.
Taliks allow heat to build up more quickly in the soil which increases the rate at which permafrost is subjected to a long-term thaw. "Taken together, these results imply a link between rapid sea ice loss and permafrost health," the scientists warned.
Dr Lawrence said that about a quarter of the northern hemisphere's land contains permafrost and the Arctic region's soils are believed to hold about 30 per cent of all the carbon stored in the world's soil. "An important, unresolved question is how the delicate balance of life in the Arctic will respond to such a rapid warming," he said. "Will we see, for example, accelerated coastal erosion, or increased methane emissions, or faster shrub encroachment into tundra regions if sea ice continues to retreat rapidly?"
Andrew Slater, a co-author of the study, said: "The rapid loss of sea ice can trigger widespread changes that would be felt across the region."
Claire Parkinson of Nasa said the consequences of the loss of the permafrost were unknown. "They could be significant, both on the climate through release of greenhouse gases and on the local communities through damage to roads and buildings as the frozen ground underneath thaws and destabilises".
* * *
Первым инвестиционным проектом корпорации Роснанотех станет производство "асферических оптических элементов на станках с использованием нанопозиционеров".
The first investment project of the Rosnanotekh state corporation has become the production of "aspherical optical elements on machine tools with the use of nanopositioners." The Nanotekh company will get 8.66 million euros of the R130 billion that has been allocated by the state for development of nanotechnologies. Sources in Rosnanotekh assure us that they have worked through the passage of the documents, and that they expect approval of several more large-scale projects in the nearest time.
Last week, the Rosnanotekh Oversight Council approved the corporation's first investment project. The project is based on the application of a unique nanopositioner, developed by the deputy director for science of the Nanotekh company, Doctor of Physical-Mathematical Sciences Vadim Rakhovskiy, for the manufacture of high-quality aspherical optics. The project provides for two stages of implementation: At the first (2008-2010), several machine tools will be developed, with processing precision of up to 10 nm, and small series production of optical elements will be launched. Then (2010-2012), industrial production will follow. The overall volume of investments by the year 2010 will comprise 13 million euros, not counting the assets contributed by the developers. Rosnanotekh will contribute 8.66 million euros, and will get 50 per cent minus two shares. Another 4.3 million euros (25 per cent plus one share) will be contributed by the co-investor (not disclosed). The share of the developers (Vadim Rakhovskiy and his company, Nanotekh), will be contributed not in money, but in other assets, including intellectual property. It was appraised by an independent appraiser.
At the first stage, implementation of the project will be performed by a specially created project operations company. Then, it will go under foreign jurisdiction. A company registered in the Netherlands will own the assets, including the patents and other intellectual property. As the managing director of Rosnanotekh, Dionis Gordin, explained to Kommersant, the co-investor and developer insisted on placing the project under foreign jurisdiction. "We are speaking out in favour of having projects and money in Russia, but our task is to go to those projects where investors want to earn not on the process, but on the result. Therefore, when people insist on foreign jurisdiction, we must at least listen to this. We do not have the right to stop the investment process merely because the legislation does not keep up with the realities of the innovations market," Mr Gordin told Kommersant, noting that this is not the standard variant and that Rosnanotekh will not always place assts under other jurisdiction.
"The procedure was rather complex, especially since we were the first project and served to fine-tune everything," Vadim Rakhovskiy told Kommersant, noting that, all told, the procedure of the application's passage took around 3 months. He noted that Rosnanotekh became the first structure in Russia that is prepared to invest into technology. Up until now, in his words, Russian scientists could implement such a project only abroad. "Rosnanotekh is an extremely interesting organization. Fellows from the venture business went there, and they take an entirely different view of everything," the scientist noted.
A positioner is a device that makes it possible to reposition macro-objects, as for example a machine tool cutting instrument, with high precision. Professor Rakhovskiy's nanopositioner is based on the principle of magnetostriction (expansion of a rod made of rare earth metal alloy under the effect of an external magnetic field), and makes it possible to reposition macro-objects with a step of 0.01 nm. In this case, we are talking about aspherical optics, or aspherics-optical systems whose detail surfaces are not spherical. Aspherics make it possible to eliminate most of the traditional shortcomings of ordinary optics and to eliminate distortions, specifically spherical aberration. Aside from that, one aspherical lens replaces three or four ordinary ones. Up until now, the widespread application of aspherics was hindered by complexity of its computation and difficulties in manufacture. However, already in 2007, the volume of the world market in aspherical optics surpassed 7.5 billion euros.
Vadim Rakhovskiy's team and his company, Nanotekh, are already producing nanopositioners. "One of their positioners is mounted at Goznak, making printing plates for large bills, so that we see Mr Rakhovskiy's products every day," they explained to us at Rosnanotech.
Rakhovskiy's nanopositioner has not yet been used for production of precision optics. For implementation of the project, it is necessary to tie in several technological chains, and therefore individual work will be performed by subcontractors. At Rosnanotekh, they specified that these companies have already been selected, but refused to name them. "We are obligated to consider the interests of the developer, even if he has a manic fear that someone will reproduce his technology," they said in the corporation, noting that, judging by the name of the contractor company, one could determine "what kind of linear drive there would be, for example."
Sources in Rosnanotekh say that one should not be put off by the insignificant volume of investments. After launch of mass production, it may drastically increase. Soon, Rosnanotekh will approve several more projects, the volume of investments into which will be an order greater.
"This is the first project. It was achieved through adversity, but our goal was to hone all of the teamwork, including within the corporation. We moved towards this for a long time, and finally it has begun to work," Mr Gordin told Kommersant, noting that the "project conveyor" that Rosnanotekh chief Leonid Melamed was ordered to launch has finally been launched.
Copyright © 2008: PennWell Corporation, Tulsa, OK; All Rights Reserved.
* * *
На XII Международном экономическом форуме, проходившем в Санкт-Петербурге 6-8 июня, был представлен стенд ГК "Роснанотех" с новейшими разработками в сфере нанотехнологий.
Dans le plus grand pays du monde, l'avenir de l'économie tient dans des objets mesurés en milliardièmes de mètre. C'est en tout cas ce qu'affirme le gouvernement russe, qui affiche des ambitions quasiment dignes de la Silicon Valley.
"Je crois que nous pourrons bientôt donner au monde autre chose que les technologies militaires, la vodka, les satellites et la perestroïka", a solennellement annoncé le chef du groupe public russe de nanotechnologies Rosnanotekh, Leonid Melamed, lors du Forum économique de Saint-Pétersbourg le week-end dernier.
"Ces inventions vont partir à la conquête du monde", a-t-il affirmé.
De fait, la Russie s'est mise à déverser des milliards de dollars dans les nanotechnologies dans l'espoir de se hisser au tout premier rang dans ce secteur en plein boom, et concurrencer le Japon et les Etats-Unis.
Créé en 2007, Rosnanotekh s'est vu attribuer un budget de 5 milliards de dollars (3,2 milliards d'euros), un niveau de financement sans précédent pour la science russe depuis la chute de l'URSS. Son rôle est de rendre les inventions des scientifiques russes commercialement viables et d'encourager l'investissement privé.
Le projet est fermement soutenu par Vladimir Poutine, l'ancien président devenu Premier ministre: selon lui, les nanotechnologies sont un "vecteur-clé du développement de l'industrie et de la science".
Le terme nanotechnologies regroupe les technologies utilisant des structures minuscules, mesurées en nanomètres, c'est-à-dire en milliardièmes de mètre.
Dotée d'un gigantesque stand au Forum de Saint-Pétersbourg, Rosnanotekh a pu présenter aux investisseurs plusieurs innovations comme une caméra thermique capable de détecter des cancers ou un détecteur conçu pour repérer les fuites sur les oléoducs.
La réussite de ce secteur sera une épreuve-clé pour une Russie décidée à réduire sa dépendance envers les hydrocarbures et retrouver son excellence scientifique de jadis.
Motivés à la fois par les consignes du régime et par leur idéalisme, les savants soviétiques avaient été à la pointe dans nombre de domaines dont celui de l'espace, mais leurs travaux avaient toujours eu une orientation plus militaire que civile.
Face à la suppression du financement public lors de la chute de l'URSS en 1991, des centaines de milliers des savants russes avaient émigré à l'étranger, notamment dans la Silicon Valley aux Etats-Unis. Abandonnés, leurs instituts de recherches ont pour la plupart végété.
Malgré l'enthousiasme officiel de rigueur aujourd'hui, certains investisseurs demeurent pourtant sceptiques: ils soulignent que l'Etat ne fait toujours pas mine de vouloir accroître son financement à la science et qu'à ce rythme la remise à niveau du secteur scientifique pourrait prendre des décennies.
"La science a besoin du soutien de l'Etat. Pour le moment, cela ne se produit tout simplement pas", déplore Mikhaïl Chtcherbakov, directeur de l'Institut des Sciences de Moscou.
D'autres redoutent que l'argent ne soit gaspillé: "C'est un peu comme une voiture. Il faut que les roues, le châssis et le moteur travaillent ensemble. Puis, quand vous mettez du carburant, ça marche", souligne Kirill Gogolinski, chercheur à l'institut de recherche TISNUM, dans les environs de Moscou.
"Le constraste avec l'industrie énergétique est évident. Les technologies exigent un investissement à long terme, tandis que l'investissement dans l'énergie donne très vite des résultats: il suffit de creuser un trou et d'ouvrir le robinet".
Copyright © 2000-2008 Cyberpresse Inc., une filiale de Gesca. Tous droits réservés.
* * *
The Times / June 12, 2008
Russian President: let the web work in Cyrillic
Dmitry Medvedev has said he will make it a personal priority for web addresses to be able to be written in Russian
Российский президент Дмитрий Медведев считает необходимым, чтобы Интернет принял кириллицу, дабы повысить важность русского языка.
Веб-страницы распознают разные языки, однако адреса, отражающиеся в строке URL, всегда должны были писаться латиницей. ICANN, орган, который контролирует Интернет-адреса, в настоящий момент испытывает систему, которая позволит печатать доменные имена на 15 языках, включая русский, китайский, арабский и японский, но когда система начнет работать - неизвестно.
The Russian President, Dmitry Medvedev, has called for the internet to accommodate the Cyrillic alphabet as part of a drive to highlight the importance of the Russian language.
The Kremlin is concerned that Russian, which was once spoken throughout the Soviet Union, may be losing ground to local languages. Russian is also suffering from the growing creep of English, particularly on the web.
Mr Medvedev said that making the web more Russian-friendly would help to restore the language's global profile. More than 300 million people worldwide used Russian media, he said, adding that he would make the ability to write web addresses in the Cyrillic alphabet a personal priority.
"We must do everything we can to make sure that we achieve in the future a Cyrillic Internet domain name," Mr Medvedev told the International Congress of Russian Press in Moscow. "It is a pretty serious thing. It is a symbol of the importance of the Russian language and Cyrillic and it is not a bad sphere of co-operation. And I think we have a rather high chance of achieving such a decision in the Internet world."
Web pages themselves have long been able to incorporate foreign scripts, but the internet address or "domain name" which appears in the URL line has always had to be written in the roman alphabet. Russian pages have typically been designated by the code ".ru".
ICANN, the body which oversees internet addresses, is currently trialling a system which would allow domain names to be written in 15 languages - including Russian, Chinese, Arabic and Japanese - but has given no guidance on when it will be implemented.
Mr Medvedev has often sought to portray himself as a technologically savvy head of state, and has said, for instance, that he surfs the web for news every morning. He has even been known to use his mobile phone to connect to the internet.
Russian is the sixth most widely spoken language in the world after Mandarin, English, Hindi/Urdu, Arabic and Spanish. According to the Dictionary of Languages, there are an estimated 175 million people who speak it, mainly in Russia, Ukraine, Belarus, Estonia, and other former Soviet states.
© Copyright 2008 Times Newspapers Ltd.
* * *
26-28 июня в Красноярске прошла всероссийская научная конференция, посвященная 100-летию падения Тунгусского метеорита.
Scientists will gather in Siberia to mark the 100th anniversary of the Tunguska Event June 26-28, one of the world's most mysterious explosions which flattened 80 million trees but largely went unnoticed at the time. The massive blast, equivalent to around 15 megatons of TNT, occurred approximately 7-10 km (3-6 miles) above the Stony Tunguska River in a remote area of central Siberia early on June 30, 1908.
The explosion, which was estimated to measure up to 5 on the Richter scale, knocked people off their feet 70 km away and destroyed an area of around 2,150 sq km (830 sq miles).
And if the explosion had occurred some 4 hours and 47 minutes later, due to the Earth's rotation it would have completely destroyed the then Russian capital of St. Petersburg.
However, despite the fact that the night sky was lit up across Europe and Asia and the shock waves were detected as far away as Britain, the Tunguska Event largely went unnoticed eclipsed by global events leading up to World War I, the Russian Revolution and subsequent civil war and it was not until almost 20 years later in 1927 that any scientific expedition managed to visit the remote site.
The 1927-expedition led by Leonid Kulik, a leading meteorite expert at the Academy of Sciences, discovered the massive destruction left by the blast and gathered witness statements from locals living in the area. It was assumed that a huge meteorite had hit the area, although Kulik failed, during his research in Siberia, to find an obvious crater.
And around 33 years later another expedition was also unsuccessful in its search for the elusive crater and scientists were faced with the Tunguska mystery - an explosion, 1,000 times more powerful that the WWII atomic bomb at Hiroshima, but which had left no trace as to its cause.
Although there have been dozens of theories since, from UFOs, antimatter, doomsday events and black holes, the most likely being an airborne explosion of a 10-30-meter wide meteorite or comet, none of them has provided conclusive evidence which has merely fuelled the speculation surrounding Tunguska.
At the Tunguska conference in the Krasnoyarsk Territory in Siberia scientists from all over Russia will gather to discuss, using the latest computer technology, as well as less traditional methods, what actually caused the destruction in the remote Siberian region.
As part of the anniversary, in the Evenki autonomous area, a statue of the Evenki god of Thunder, which reflects eyewitness testimony to the events 100 years ago, will be erected at the site believed to be the meteorite crash location.
Copyright © 1995-2007 - SpaceDaily.
* * *