Topic Review
In precise timekeeping, ΔT (Delta T, delta-T, deltaT, or DT) is a measure of the cumulative effect of the departure of the Earth's rotation period from the fixed-length day of atomic time. Formally it is the time difference obtained by subtracting Universal Time (UT, defined by the Earth's rotation) from Terrestrial Time (TT, independent of the Earth's rotation): ΔT = TT − UT. The value of ΔT for the start of 1902 was approximately zero; for 2002 it was about 64 seconds. So the Earth's rotations over that century took about 64 seconds longer than would be required for days of atomic time. As well as this long-term drift in the length of the day there are short-term fluctuations in the length of day (Δτ) which are dealt with separately.
  • 30
  • 01 Nov 2022
Topic Review
The zodiac is a belt-shaped region of the sky that extends approximately 8° north or south (as measured in celestial latitude) of the ecliptic, the apparent path of the Sun across the celestial sphere over the course of the year. The paths of the Moon and visible planets are within the belt of the zodiac. In Western astrology, and formerly astronomy, the zodiac is divided into twelve signs, each occupying 30° of celestial longitude and roughly corresponding to the following star constellations: Aries, Taurus, Gemini, Cancer, Leo, Virgo, Libra, Scorpio, Sagittarius, Capricorn, Aquarius, and Pisces. These astrological signs form a celestial coordinate system, or more specifically an ecliptic coordinate system, which takes the ecliptic as the origin of latitude and the Sun's position at vernal equinox as the origin of longitude.
  • 269
  • 31 Oct 2022
Topic Review
ZnO Nanostructures
Zinc oxide (ZnO) nanostructures are structures with at least one dimension on the nanometre scale, composed predominantly of zinc oxide. They may be combined with other composite substances to change the chemistry, structure or function of the nanostructures in order to be used in various technologies. Many different nanostructures can be synthesised from ZnO using relatively inexpensive and simple procedures. ZnO is a semiconductor material with a wide band gap energy of 3.3eV and has the potential to be widely used on the nanoscale. ZnO nanostructures have found uses in environmental, technological and biomedical purposes including ultrafast optical functions, dye-sensitised solar cells, lithium-ion batteries, biosensors, nanolasers and supercapacitors. Research is ongoing to synthesise more productive and successful nanostructures from ZnO and other composites. ZnO nanostructures is a rapidly growing research field, with over 5000 papers published during 2014-2019.
  • 22
  • 07 Nov 2022
Topic Review
Zisman Plot
The Zisman plot the graphical method of the Zisman theory or the Zisman method for characterizing the wettability of a solid surface , named for the American chemist and geophysicist, William Albert Zisman (1905–1986). It is a prominent Sessile drop technique used for characterizing liquid-surface interactions based on the contact angle of a single drop of liquid sitting on the solid surface.
  • 21
  • 24 Nov 2022
Topic Review
Zeta Ursae Majoris
Mizar is a 2nd magnitude star in the handle of the Big Dipper asterism in the constellation of Ursa Major. It has the Bayer designation ζ Ursae Majoris (Latinised as Zeta Ursae Majoris). It forms a well-known naked eye double star with the fainter star Alcor, and is itself a quadruple star system. The whole system lies about 83 light-years away from the Sun, as measured by the Hipparcos astrometry satellite, and is part of the Ursa Major Moving Group.
  • 75
  • 29 Sep 2022
Topic Review
Yield (Engineering)
In materials science and engineering, the yield point is the point on a stress-strain curve that indicates the limit of elastic behavior and the beginning of plastic behavior. Below the yield point, a material will deform elastically and will return to its original shape when the applied stress is removed. Once the yield point is passed, some fraction of the deformation will be permanent and non-reversible and is known as plastic deformation. The yield strength or yield stress is a material property and is the stress corresponding to the yield point at which the material begins to deform plastically. The yield strength is often used to determine the maximum allowable load in a mechanical component, since it represents the upper limit to forces that can be applied without producing permanent deformation. In some materials, such as aluminium, there is a gradual onset of non-linear behavior, making the precise yield point difficult to determine. In such a case, the offset yield point (or proof stress) is taken as the stress at which 0.2% plastic deformation occurs. Yielding is a gradual failure mode which is normally not catastrophic, unlike ultimate failure. In solid mechanics, the yield point can be specified in terms of the three-dimensional principal stresses ([math]\displaystyle{ \sigma_1, \sigma_2 , \sigma_3 }[/math]) with a yield surface or a yield criterion. A variety of yield criteria have been developed for different materials.
  • 286
  • 17 Oct 2022
Topic Review
Yellow Supergiant Star
A yellow supergiant (YSG) is a star, generally of spectral type F or G, having a supergiant luminosity class (e.g. Ia or Ib). They are stars that have evolved away from the main sequence, expanding and becoming more luminous. Yellow supergiants are smaller than red supergiants; naked eye examples include Polaris. Many of them are variable stars, mostly pulsating Cepheids such as δ Cephei itself.
  • 30
  • 03 Nov 2022
Topic Review
A year is the orbital period of a planetary body, for example, the Earth, moving in its orbit around the Sun. Due to the Earth's axial tilt, the course of a year sees the passing of the seasons, marked by change in weather, the hours of daylight, and, consequently, vegetation and soil fertility. In temperate and subpolar regions around the planet, four seasons are generally recognized: spring, summer, autumn and winter. In tropical and subtropical regions, several geographical sectors do not present defined seasons; but in the seasonal tropics, the annual wet and dry seasons are recognized and tracked. A calendar year is an approximation of the number of days of the Earth's orbital period, as counted in a given calendar. The Gregorian calendar, or modern calendar, presents its calendar year to be either a common year of 365 days or a leap year of 366 days, as do the Julian calendars; see below. For the Gregorian calendar, the average length of the calendar year (the mean year) across the complete leap cycle of 400 years is 365.2425 days. The ISO standard ISO 80000-3, Annex C, supports the symbol a (for Latin annus) to represent a year of either 365 or 366 days. In English, the abbreviations y and yr are commonly used. In astronomy, the Julian year is a unit of time; it is defined as 365.25 days of exactly 86,400 seconds (SI base unit), totalling exactly 31,557,600 seconds in the Julian astronomical year. The word year is also used for periods loosely associated with, but not identical to, the calendar or astronomical year, such as the seasonal year, the fiscal year, the academic year, etc. Similarly, year can mean the orbital period of any planet; for example, a Martian year and a Venusian year are examples of the time a planet takes to transit one complete orbit. The term can also be used in reference to any long period or cycle, such as the Great Year.
  • 91
  • 14 Oct 2022
Topic Review
X-ray Absorption Near Edge Structure
X-ray absorption near edge structure (XANES), also known as near edge X-ray absorption fine structure (NEXAFS), is a type of absorption spectroscopy that indicates the features in the X-ray absorption spectra (XAS) of condensed matter due to the photoabsorption cross section for electronic transitions from an atomic core level to final states in the energy region of 50–100 eV above the selected atomic core level ionization energy, where the wavelength of the photoelectron is larger than the interatomic distance between the absorbing atom and its first neighbour atoms.
  • 28
  • 18 Oct 2022
Topic Review
Working Fluids
Heat engines, refrigeration cycles and heat pumps usually involve a fluid to and from which heat is transferred while undergoing a thermodynamic cycle. This fluid is called the working fluid. Refrigeration and heat pump technologies often refer to working fluids as refrigerants. Most thermodynamic cycles make use of the latent heat (adventages of phase change) of the working fluid. In case of other cycles the working fluid remains in gaseous phase while undergoing all the processes of the cycle. When it comes to heat engines, working fluid generally undergoes a combustion process as well, for example in internal combustion engines or gas turbines. There are also technologies in heat pump and refrigeration, where working fluid does not change phase, such as reverse Brayton or Stirling cycle. This article summarises the main critera of selecting working fluids for a thermodynamic cycle, such as heat engines including low grade heat recovery using Organic Rankine Cycle (ORC) for geothermal energy, waste heat, thermal solar energy or biomass and heat pumps and refrigeration cycles. The article addresses how working fluids affect technological applications, where the working fluid undergoes a phase transition and does not remain in its original (mainly gaseous) phase during all the processes of the thermodynamic cycle. Finding the optimal working fluid for a given purpose – which is essential to achieve higher energy efficiency in the energy conversion systems – has great impact on the technology, namely it does not just influence operational variables of the cycle but also alters the layout and modifies the design of the equipment. Selection criteria of working fluids generally include thermodynamic and physical properties besides economical and environmental factors, but most often all of these criteria are used together.
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  • 04 Nov 2022
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