Thought for Us

One of the saddest lessons of history is

if we’ve been bamboozled long enough,

We tend to reject any evidence of the bamboozle...

It’s simply too painful to acknowledge, even to ourselves,

that we’ve been taken.

So we’re no longer interested in finding out the truth

Carl Sagan

Recent Press Releases


 Dust alters our observations of what we observe on Earth, but also our understanding of the Universe. Cosmic dust that permeates thje ISM is not considered in Hubble’s law that states the velocity of a receding galaxy is proportional to its distance to the Earth. Hubble’s law is based on Doppler’s Effect whereby the wavelength of light from the galaxy is redshift if the galaxy is moving away from us. Recently, redshift measurements of SN explosions have been taken as proof the Universe is not only expanding, but the expansion is accelerating. SN stands for Supernovae.  
Hubble redshift measurements give galaxy velocities that cannot be explained by Newton’s law of motion unless the existence of invisible mass or dark matter is assumed. Yet, like Hubble's law, the amount of dust between us and the galaxy is also proportional to the distance from Earth, and if cosmic dust can be shown to redshift galaxy light, the implications of Hubble’s law in cosmology are significant. In particular,
The Universe need not be expanding, let alone accelerating; The Higgs boson is not needed to explain dark matter that does not exist.

Don't be bamboozled!

What this means is  Hubble redshift is questionable proof the Universe began in the Big Bang suggesting the notion once proposed by Einstein of a static Universe in dynamic equilibrium is a more credible cosmology. See supporting arguments in: 

 Cosmic Dust in an Expanding Universe?

In summary, all problems in cosmology may be resolved by Newtonian mechanics including, but not limited to the following.  
Sunyaev-Zel’dovich Effect
Black-Hole Mass
Time dilation in Supernovae Light Curves
Tolman Test of Brightness
Galaxy Rotation Problem
ISM Infrared Spectra

Stiffened Nanoparticles

Structural stiffening of NPs is currently not fully explained, say in the oxidation of cubical iron NPs  accompanied by a large amount of strain proceeding many orders of magnitude faster in iron NPs than in micron sized iron particles. Strain induced in the iron NPs was measured at the atomic level with unprecedented resolution using transmission electron microscopy, the  image of the reconstructed strain shown above - the oxide film blue and the iron in red and yellow. However, the rapid oxidation of iron NPs is not consistent with the slow diffusion of oxygen required for complete oxidation.

Another mechanism is at play to explain the rapid oxidation of iron NPs.          
Since any chemical reaction in which electrons are removed from a reactant may be considered oxidation, the photoelectric effect by QED induced EM radiation is proposed as the mechanism for the prompt oxidation of the iron NPs. EM radiation induced by QED is a consequence of QM that precludes atoms in NPs from having the heat capacity to conserve the exothermic heat of oxide film formation by an increase in temperature. QM stands for quantum mechanics. Instead, the iron NPs conserve the heat of oxidation by QED inducing the creation of EM radiation standing between cubical surfaces having half-wavelength λ/2 = nd, where n and d are the respective NP refractive index and characteristic dimension, the latter taken as the distance between cubical surfaces. By the Planck law, the EM confinement to produce short wavelength EM confinement necessary for a vanishing heat capacity is a natural consequence of the high surface-to-volume ratios of nanostructures, i.e., almost all of the heat of oxidation in forming surface films in NPs is confined to their surface.  
Classical MD that assumes the atom always has heat capacity was modified consistent with QM that by precluding atomic heat capacity requires conservation of the heat of formation of the iron oxide to be conserved by creating charge. MD stands for molecular dynamics. The MD model is a quarter of a 2D slice taken through a 5 nm cubical iron NP including the oxide film comprising 169 atoms as shown above. All iron atoms in the oxide film were assumed to be positively charged interacting with each other by Coulomb repulsion while iron atoms in the NP iron core were not charged. MD simulations showed severe 1 % radial compression of the iron NP as exaggerated in the deformation of the oxide film in the absence of the iron NP. Only the oxide film is assumed to produce Coulomb repulsion between iron atoms, i.e., the oxide film with a low dielectric constant acts as an electret that maintains charge over long periods of time while the iron atoms in the iron core if the NP cannot maintain charge because of their high dielectric constant. The Lennard-Jones repulsion for iron atoms in the oxide film was found insignificant to balance Coulomb repulsion, the MD solutions of deformations illustrated above never reached equilibrium. See Press Release
Crystalline materials show an increase in vibration frequencies with pressure, the compression causing  lattice stiffening.  Pair distribution functions show about 1 % lattice shortening, and therefore cannot explain the high Einstein vibration frequency of NPs, e.g., the characteristic vibration frequency obtained for bulk ZnS is 7.12 THz while the characteristic vibration frequency for ZnS nanoparticles is 11.6 THz. Both random-displacement order was observed in which individual atoms are randomly displaced from sites on a single lattice, and strain-driven distortion, in which local structure is maintained, but at larger interatomic distances, so that atoms lie farther from the positions expected for an undistorted lattice. Hence, structural stiffening is proposed caused by the triaxial stress state induced by Coulomb repulsion between charged Zn atoms consistent with strain-driven distortion. The triaxial stress state is significant in enhancing stiffening of nanocomposites as shown for charged NPs in polypropylene as illustrated below on this web page at "Nanocomposites and Quantum Mechanics", 2016.

Sintering of Nanoparticles at Room Temperature

NP self-assembly to superlattices of 3D polycrystalline close-packed atomic arrangements often exhibit defects such as random packed domains, grain boundaries, and vacancies that lack continuous pathways for electron transfer. Recently, PDA is thought to form single crystal-like superlattices of gold NP arrays by high pressure-induced sintering at room temperature. PDA stands for pressure-directed assembly.
PDA is depicted in the above figure. Initially, the NP assembly at room temperature is at point A.  Upon increasing the pressure to 9 GPa, the d-spacing decreases to point B. Upon returning the pressure to ambient, the d-spacing is recovered which means A-B and B-A are reversible, i.e., compressive work is not dissipated by heat.  However, from B-C the pressure increases above 9 GPa, but the d-spacing somehow increases instead of decreasing as would be expected if sintering is caused by pressure alone. Upon returning to ambient from C-D, the d-spacing also somehow increases instead of returning to A.  What this means is beyond B from B-C and C-A, the process is irreversible characterized by the generation of heat, but increased temperature not reported as the sintering is thought to occurs at room temperature.  
But there is a problem: When the pressure is > 9 GPa, sintering of NPs is thought to occur, but this is questionable as the d-spacing increases from B-C instead of decreasing. Another mechanism is at play to explain the increased d-spacing under increased pressure.         
In this regard, the QED mechanism is proposed: Heat generated in the irreversible process B-C cannot be conserved by increasing NP temperature because QM precludes the NP atoms under EM confinement from having the heat capacity necessary to change in temperature. QM stands for quantum mechanics and EM for electromagnetic. Instead, conservation proceeds by the QED induced creation of EM radiation that ionizes the NPs to produce a collection of charged gold atoms that expand upon Coulomb repulsion even under high pressure thereby explaining the d-spacing increase in process B-C and the continued expansion upon returning to ambient ambient pressure in process C-D.  Heat induced ionization of NPs without increased temperature is natural consequences of QM,  not possible in classical physics.
In conclusion, the charging of gold atoms need not rely on heat produced by irreversible compressive deformations in the NP assembly. Indeed, externally supplied heating of the sample during PDA should be provided to enhance charging of NP atoms in the formation of the superlattice. See Press Release  

Evanescent waves in Near-Field Heat Transfer?

Over a century, the Stefan-Boltzmann law has stated the maximum amount of radiative heat one body can transmit to another to depend only their temperatures. Provided the bodies are black and absorb all the radiation, the upper bound heat is known as the blackbody-limit. Recently, MIT mathematicians have claimed if the bodies are separated by small gaps, the blackbody-limit no longer applies. Indeed, if the gaps are nanoscale, say < 100 nm, the amount of heat transmitted between the bodies exceeded the blackbody-limit by 2 to 3 orders of magnitude. Since heat having wavelengths in the infra-red of a few microns cannot propagate across nanoscale gaps, the MIT claim is based on the assumption QM tunnels radiation across the gap by evanescent waves.  QM stands for quantum mechanics. See MIT Paper

A rebuttal of the MIT claim was made based on the QM argument the atoms in surfaces of nanoscale gaps under EM confinement lack the heat capacity to change in temperature to thermally excite the evanescent waves. EM stands for electromagnetic.  See MIT Press Release

The MIT claim of enhanced near-field heat transfer across nanoscale gaps by evanescent waves implicitly assumes the long wavelength form of the Planck law that depends only on the temperature of the atom. EM confinement is not considered. See Evanescent Theory  However, the above figure shows the Planck energy of the atom at ambient temperature to depend on the wavelength λ of EM confinement. If the atom is in the free surface of a body, the EM confinement is in the long wavelength λ > 100 microns region of the Planck law corresponding to classical physics where the atom does indeed have heat capacity. However, QM differs. At ambient temperature, the heat capacity of the atom by the Planck law depends on EM confinement for wavelengths λ < 100 microns. For gaps of dimension g, the EM confinement corresponds to a standing half-wave, i.e., λ / 2 = g  ≈ 50 microns. Hence, heat transfer by evanescent waves consistent with QM is valid only for gaps g > 50 microns, e.g., evanescent waves on free surfaces having g >> 50 microns.

However, for  gaps g < 50 microns, the figure shows the QM heat capacity of the atom decreases by 2 orders of magnitude for EM confinement  wavelengths λ < 6 microns or gaps g < 3 microns. QM requires atoms in the gap surfaces under EM confinement at nanoscale gaps g to have vanishing heat capacity that precludes the fluctuating temperatures in evanescent waves necessary to relate charges and currents by the FDT of radiative heat transfer. FDT stands for fluctuation dissipation theorem.

What this means is evanescent waves in surfaces of nanoscale gaps do not exist in near-field heat transfer. Therefore, the MIT claim that evanescent waves enhance near-field heat transfer beyond the blackbody limit is highly unlikely. Instead, another QM mechanism tunnels EM energy across nanoscale gaps.

In this regard, radiative heat transfer across nanoscale gaps is proposed to be a natural consequence of QM tunneling by QED induced radiation. See QED Paper. QED stands for quantum electrodynamics. Radiative heat transfer across the gap cannot be conserved by changes in surface temperature because the surface atoms under EM confinement lack the heat capacity given by the Planck law. Instead, the heat is tunneled across the gap by QED creating EM radiation that stands across the nanoscale gaps. Contrary to the MIT claim, conservation of the heat at the blackbody-limit through the nanoscale gap suggests no enhancement  allowing the S-B law to remain valid in the near-field. See Press Release

Superlens by QED Optics

In conventional optics, image quality depends on the diffraction limit. Recently, a superlens is proposed to restore image quality below the diffraction limit – the restoration not possible with conventional optics.  
Superlens experiments using a 35 nm silver film in contact with a 40 nm PMMA spacer under UV illumination at λ = 365 nm are depicted in the  figure above. To test the quality of the superlens, periodic line structures of 60 nm wide slots on a 120 nm pitch are etched in the chromium substrate. The diffraction-limited wavelength P* =  λ / n is controlled by the refractive index n of PMMA at the UV excitation wavelength, i.e., n =1.5 at λ = 365 nm giving P* = 243 nm. Below P* the structures on a 120 nm pitch cannot be resolved, but contrarily the line structures are observed to be very clearly observed.  
What  this means is the superlens surpasses the diffraction limit of conventional optics.

 But what is the superlens mechanism?  
Currently, Transformative Optics is proposed as the superlens mechanism. Based in evanescent waves, Transformative Optics depends on the thickness of the silver film and the condition the permittivity of the silver film and that of the adjacent PMMA are equal and of opposite sign. A delicate balance of permittivities is essential to ensure the evanescent enhancement across the silver film, but it is difficult to verify the sensitivity of permittivity to the quality of enhanced image quality. Indeed, the sub-diffraction-limited imaging observed with the superlens may have nothing to do with evanescent enhancement, but rather on a simpler mechanism.
In the alternative, QED Optics is proposed as the sub-diffraction-limited imaging mechanism in the super lens. Super quality images are a natural consequence of QED induced EM radiation in the silver film. For PMMA illuminated with UV at 365 nm, the diffraction-limited wavelength P* = 243 nm. Prior to reaching the photoresist, the EM radiation constituting the diffraction-limited image P* is absorbed in the silver film and induced by QED to create EM radiation at wavelength  λ = 2 nd, where d and n are the silver film thickness and the refractive index at the wavelength P*. For d = 35 nm and n = 1.28, QED allows sub-diffraction-limited resolution at  λ = 89 nm which is sufficient to resolve the 120 nm spacings.
In summary, QED Optics induces enhancement of diffraction-limited images in superlens thicknesses < 100 nm. Noble metals are not required. Any metal or dielectric film that is absorptive at the diffraction-limit of the PMMA  is acceptable. More importantly, QED does not rely on evanescent fields - there is no need to match the permittivity of the thin film with the PMMA. QED is a consequence of the size effect of QM that precludes conservation of EM radiation from the diffraction-limited image in the PMMA at wavelength P* by an increase in thin film temperature. Simply put, QED conserves the EM radiation from the diffraction-limited P*image to shorter EM radiation at wavelengths < P* that enhance the quality of the diffraction-limited image. See PressRelease

Quantum Mechanics in the Validity

of Molecular Dynamics

Modern physics in the form of QM was born in the beginning of the twentieth century from the collapse of classical physics relating to light as EM waves described by Maxwell’s equations, the consequence of which led to the ultraviolet catastrophe that required the atom to have infinite energy at high frequency or short wavelengths. QM stands for quantum mechanics. In 1900, Planck departed from the concept of light as a deterministic wave phenomenon described by Maxwell’s equations to a statistical description of light as particles or quanta of energy called photons. Planck’s derivation of blackbody radiation therefore returned light to Newton’s corpuscular theory previously rejected by Maxwell’s wave theory. Light by the Planck law was then consistent with the new particle statistics of thermodynamics developed by Boltzmann.

Today, the emphasis on nanotechnology has renewed the controversy between classical physics and QM thought resolved by Planck a century ago. Indeed, classical physics is still used in heat transfer analysis of nanostructures by assigning macroscopic heat capacity to the atoms. But by the Planck law, the heat capacity of the atom vanishes under EM confinement in nanostructures, a natural consequence of their high surface-to-volume ratio that concentrates almost all of the absorbed energy in the nanostructure surface, thereby placing interior atoms under high EM confinement. Since absorbed EM energy cannot be conserved by the usual increase in temperature, conservation proceeds by QED inducing the creation of photons in the manner of standing waves from atoms under EM confinement between nanostructure surfaces. The Planck energy of the QED standing wave photons is sufficient to ionize the atoms that charge the nanostructure as the distance between nanostructure surfaces is < 100 nm.  But the creation of the QED induced standing wave photons depletes the surface energy forming the EM confinement, and if ionization does not occur, the standing wave QED photons are free to escape to the surroundings. QED induced EM radiation is a consequence only possible in QM as charge is not created in classical physics.

Applications include nanotechnology in general and discrete MD specifically.  MD stands for molecular dynamics. For QM in the validity of MD by classical physics, see:
Prevenslik T., Quantum Mechanics: Validity of Classical Molecular Dynamics. In: Saleem Hashmi (editor-in-chief), Reference Module in Materials Science and Materials Engineering. Oxford: Elsevier; 2016. pp. 1-6. ISBN: 978-0-12-803581-8 Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Inc.

QED: The Fourth Mode of Heat Transfer?

Heat transfer proceeds by three modes: conduction, radiation, and convection. Conduction and radiation depend on the thermal properties of the material. Convection differs in that heat transfer depends on the properties of the fluid adjacent the material surface.  However, heat transfer may also proceed by a fourth mode. Like convection altering the surface of the material, the fourth mode of heat transfer requires coating the surface of the material with a nanoscale layer of a material having a higher refractive index. Unlike conduction, radiation, and convection that find basis in classical physics, the fourth mode is based on QM with the heat transferred to the surroundings by EM radiation. QM stands for quantum mechanics and EM for electromagnetic.

Classical physics that requires the atom to always have heat capacity does not predict any heat transfer enhancement for nanoscale coatings. But QM by requiring the heat capacity of the atom in nanoscale coatings to vanish precludes the conservation of EM energy by the usual increase in temperature. Instead, the heat into the coating under EM confinement is induced by QED to create non-thermal EM radiation that produces excitons (holon and electron pairs) that upon recombination ionize and charge the coating or emit the EM radiation to the surroundings. QED stands for quantum electrodynamics. QED heat transfer is illustrated the disinfection of Ebola and drinking water in the developing world using hand-held nan-coated aluminum bowls that by QED convert body heat to UVC radiation. No electricity is needed. In the UVC, QED is 100% efficient surpassing the 1-2 % efficiency of LEDs. See Abstract and Presentation A MP3 audio file of the presentation including comments from attendees is available at Audio, but requires manual synchronization with the PPT presentation.

Topic: Near Field Enhancement

Recently, much attention is directed at the thermal properties of materials at the nanoscale, but most of this effort has been based on classical physics that assumes the heat capacity of the atom is the same as at the macroscale. Indeed, classical calculations on the near field show enhanced heat transfer by 2 to 3 orders of magnitude above that predicted by  the Stefan Boltzmann law. But this assumes the atoms in the surfaces of the nanoscale gap illustrated above have the same heat capacity as at the macroscale. In effect, the Planck law under EM confinement at long wavelengths is assumed where the atom does indeed have heat capacity. EM confinement of the atoms in the gap surfaces is not considered. In nanoscale gaps, the EM confinement wavelength λ  =  2 d is short wavelength radiation that by the Planck law requres the heat capacity of the atoms to vanish. Hence, thermally excited evanescent waves thought to cause the near field enhancement do not exist. What this means is heat transfer in the near field is not enhanced and simply remains as that given by the Stefan Boltzmann law.  See Paper 

Nanocomposites and Quantum Mechanics

Nanocomposites with uniform dispersion of NPs offer significantly enhanced mechanical properties. However, fabricating composites with a uniform NP dispersion is almost impossible. But in the future, material sceintists are likely to determine the process by which unifrom NP dispersions are formed in composites.  
To assess the advantage of composites with uniform dispersion in  enhancing the mechanical properties of polymers, a simple down-up process of formng macroscopic materials from a large number of preformed NPs is considered. The NPs have a metal core < 100 nm enclosed in a polymer shell of thickness less than a few 100 nm. The NPs are placed in a 3D mold of the desired macroscopic shape and thermally processed thereby melting the NP shells without mixing to form a composite that upon solidification form a nearly uniform NP spacing in polymer matrix, the mechanical properties of which are enhanced as a consequence of QM. QM stands for quantum mechanics.  
In classical physics, the NP atoms have heat capacity allowing the atoms to increase in temperature during thermal processing.  QM differs.  By the Planck law, QM precludes the atoms in NPs from having the heat capacity to increase in temperature. Instead, conservation of heat during processing proceeds by QED inducing the NPs to create non-thermal EM radiation that charges the NPs by the photoelectric effect. QED stands for quantum electrodynamcis and EM for electromagnetic.  The QED induced EM radiation wavelength is, λ = 2 nd, where n and d are the refractive index and diameter of the NP. Coulomb repulsion between the charged NPs produces a triaxial stress state that increases the stiffness of the composite.  
MD simulations are presented to show that mechanical properties and specifically the Young’s modulus of PP are significantly enhanced with a uniform dispersion of  NPs. MD stands for molecular dynamics and PP for polypropylene. Unlike typical MD simulations, the PP atoms are not included. See above MD model of NPs alone. Under axial load, stability of NPs provided by the PP is simulated by specifying zero lateral displacements of the NPs in the specimen cross-section. Absent uniform NP spacing, triaxiality throughout the specimen is lost and mechanical properties are not significantly enhanced. See Paper and Presentation

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