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The Tracking and Tracing Books Prize Competition seeks innovations to track books destined for early-grade classrooms and learning centers in low-income countries and allow stakeholders, ranging from parents to Ministries of Education and donor agencies, to quickly and easily access tracking information. There are three phases to this Prize Competition. The first phase requires a written description of the proposed innovation and the expertise and experience of the Solver. There is a prize pot of a least $20,000 for this phase. Entrants successful in Phase 1 will be invited to refine and/or develop their innovation and work with the ACR GCD partners to pilot it in Phases 2 and 3, with a further prize of $100,000 awarded at the completion of Phase 3. By submitting, you are providing ACR GCD with a non-exclusive license to use any information contained in your submission (excluding personal identifying information), irrespective of whether your submission receives an award.

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How to Make a Metamaterial that Expands Under Pressure and Contracts In Tension Compress a material and it will deform in the direction of the applied force: in other words, it becomes squashed. Similarly, a material under tension will stretch. But what of the opposite idea, that a compressed material will stretch and substance under tension will become squashed?

Asteroid 2012 DA14 will pass very close to Earth in 2013 A near-Earth asteroid swept safely past Earth on February 15, 2013, and astronomers in many parts of the world were ready with cameras and video equipment. At its closest to us, asteroid 2012 DA14 was within the orbit of the moon (which averages about a quarter million miles away), and closer than some high-orbiting communications satellites. Its closest point was about 17,200 miles (27,680 kilometers) away. The asteroid was not visible to the eye as it sped harmlessly past, but earthly cameras captured it, and millions watched online in real time. The image below is from Bareket Observatory in Israel, which had a live webcast of the asteroid passage on February 15.

Loop quantum gravity More precisely, space can be viewed as an extremely fine fabric or network "woven" of finite loops. These networks of loops are called spin networks. The evolution of a spin network over time is called a spin foam. The predicted size of this structure is the Planck length, which is approximately 10−35 meters. According to the theory, there is no meaning to distance at scales smaller than the Planck scale. Therefore, LQG predicts that not just matter, but also space itself has an atomic structure.

World Peace, Global Politics and the Hydrogen Bomb The Real Nuclear Threat by Dan Eden for viewzone.com In 2009, the following story escaped most news outlets but was widely reported on the Russian and European press: Hidden portals in Earth's magnetic field A favorite theme of science fiction is "the portal" -- an extraordinary opening in space or time that connects travelers to distant realms. A good portal is a shortcut, a guide, a door into the unknown. If only they actually existed... It turns out that they do, sort of, and a NASA-funded researcher at the University of Iowa has figured out how to find them. "We call them X-points or electron diffusion regions," explains plasma physicist Jack Scudder of the University of Iowa.

'Paint-on' batteries demonstrated 29 June 2012Last updated at 04:16 ET The authors painted batteries onto standard bathroom tiles, steel, glass and even a beer stein Researchers have shown off a means to spray-paint batteries onto any surface. Their batteries, outlined in Scientific Reports, are made up of five separate layers, each with its own recipe - together measuring just 0.5mm thick. All-carbon solar cell harnesses infrared light About 40 percent of the solar energy reaching Earth’s surface lies in the near-infrared region of the spectrum — energy that conventional silicon-based solar cells are unable to harness. But a new kind of all-carbon solar cell developed by MIT researchers could tap into that unused energy, opening up the possibility of combination solar cells — incorporating both traditional silicon-based cells and the new all-carbon cells — that could make use of almost the entire range of sunlight’s energy. “It’s a fundamentally new kind of photovoltaic cell,” says Michael Strano, the Charles and Hilda Roddey Professor of Chemical Engineering at MIT and senior author of a paper describing the new device that is being published this month in the journal Advanced Materials.

A Better Way to Get Hydrogen from Water An experimental approach to splitting water might lead to a relatively cheap and clean method for large-scale hydrogen production that doesn’t require fossil fuels. The process splits water into hydrogen and oxygen using heat and catalysts made from inexpensive materials. Heat-driven water splitting is an alternative to electrolysis, which is expensive and requires large amounts of electricity. The new approach, developed by Caltech chemical-engineering professor Mark Davis, avoids the key problems with previous heat-driven methods of water splitting. It works at relatively low temperatures and doesn’t produce any toxic or corrosive intermediate products.

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