Science group demonstrates uses of fire, ice in hands-on performance

first_imgLucas Masin-Moyer | The Observer Graduate student Craig Reingold performs an experiment using an electric guitar and fire during Tuesday’s “Our Universe Revealed” lecture series installment, which engages audiences with science.Throughout the academic year, Notre Dame’s physics department has brought science to the public with a series of events titled “Our Universe Revealed.”The ExPAND demo team, made up of physics graduate students Adam Clark, Austin Nelson, Craig Reingold and Allan Leishman, presented the next installment in this series, “A Show of Fire and Ice,” on Tuesday evening in Jordan Hall of Science.Clark kicked off the event by starting a massive fire with a few simple ingredients.“[I used] just non-dairy coffee creamer,” he said. “So by spreading it out, it increased the amount of oxygen gas that was available to be burned and we got the spectacular flame. You might have seen this before … the people that do pyrotechnics for [action] movies use principles like this to get that large, satisfying fireball.”The next demonstration of fire was conducted by Nelson, who created what he called a “fire tornado.”“What we do is put this cage on and what that does is swirl the air for us, it gives the air particles spin — what we like to call angular momentum,” he said. “So the air is swirling around inside and the fire has nowhere to go but in and up.”This tornado was the highlight for three children attending the event — Ramon, Thomas and Eleanor Veselik.“[I loved] when they turned the fire green,” Ramon Veselik said.Their mother, Anne Veselik, said the event provided a great learning opportunity.“Science is alway fascinating and it’s cool to get to see it hands-on and things you can’t do at home,” she said.After the fire tornado, Reingold did some further tests with a Ruben tube and a guitar.“What I have here is a long tube filled with propane … there are tiny holes cut in the top,” he said. “However, I have a speaker and play sound waves through [the tube], I can actually visualize the sound wave … as I make the notes lower, the wavelength gets longer — the big pockets of flame move further apart and as the notes get higher, the wavelength will get shorter.”After these experiments with fire, the team moved on to experimenting with ice, particularly with liquid nitrogen — Nelson’s “favorite thing to play with.”“Liquid nitrogen is a lot colder than ice … so we’re going to dip stuff inside of it, because we’re scientists and that’s all science is — dipping stuff in liquid nitrogen,” Reingold said.The demo team proceeded to drop a rose, tennis ball, racquetball, ping pong ball and balloon into the liquid nitrogen.The balloon yielded a particularly interesting result, Nelson said.“What’s happening is that we’re taking all the air inside the balloon and making it very, very cold so it condenses in on itself and if we allow the air to heat up the balloon will re-inflate,” he said. “So if you ever want to have a party and have a lot of balloons, you can save them by just freezing them in liquid nitrogen.”Leishman finished off the event with a demonstration of superconductors, using the magnetic properties of superconductors to levitate a small rock.“A superconductor is — short story — is a material that can conduct electricity without any watts,” he said. “The problem is that, like how ice has to be frozen below 32 degrees to be solid, superconductors have to be really cold to be superconducting … luckily we have material on this stage that can do that. Liquid nitrogen can get down to negative 321 degrees Fahrenheit and so it’ll take us below that threshold.”The next installment of “Our Universe Revealed” will be held May 16 in Jordan Hall and will be a hands-on exploration of particle physics.Tags: ExPAND Demo Team, Our Universe Revealed, Physicslast_img read more

The steep price of the missing affordable “small-dollar loans”

first_img 4SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr Last week, Richard Cordray, director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau told the Wall Street Journal, “I personally believe banks and credit unions can be low-cost providers of small-dollar loans. I think that working with banks and regulators involved, there would and should be an ability for them to offer decent products.”While this move could fuel opposition from the $38.5 billion payday-lending industry, which fears the watchdog agency’s new rule would wipe out much of its business, Cordray believes banks and credit unions should be able to offer small-dollar loans as “rescue products” for their customers.The fact that the CFPB is discussing ways to make it easier for banks and credit unions to offer “small-dollar” loans means the agency has a big interest in reining in high-interest payday loans.  This intrigues us at Filene, as we are in the midst of several years’ research into finding solutions with credit unions to increase access to affordable financial services and providing viable options to predatory practices such as payday lending.The QCash SolutionOn January 5th, in collaboration with QCash Financial, Filene launched a new Pilot for credit unions interested in offering members a fast and easy-to-use alternative to obtain small-dollar loans. continue reading »last_img read more

Pump up your payments revenue

first_img 1SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr Invisible payments, new competitors, and a shifting consumer mindset are threatening payments revenue, which is made up of interchange, interest income, overdraft and other fees.Because of this, preserving—and even growing—payments-related revenue is a top priority for high-performing financial institutions.While payments revenue may not be as high among credit unions as the nation’s major banks, one fact is certain: credit card programs are typically the dominant revenue engine inside a cooperative’s payments programs. At close to 2.5%, they generate the highest return on assets across U.S. retail financial products.Lost income is not the sole worry for credit union leaders strategizing for the future of payments. Just as important is lost data. continue reading »last_img read more


first_imgDonegal TD Pearse Doherty has said that there has been “no clarity was provided on the issue of the state’s legacy debt”.The Sinn Fein Deputy was speaking following today’s finance ministers’ press conference in Farmleigh.The Donegal South West TD also said that “effectively the matter has been parked until the second half of 2013”. Deputy Doherty said “Today’s press conference featuring Minister Noonan and his German counterpart, Wolfgang Schäuble, shed no new light on the issue of legacy debt.“No clarity was provided and no new information was provided. Effectively the matter has been parked until the second half of 2013 and possibly until after the German elections in September.“The German Finance Minister was asked on a number of occasions to state whether he believed a deal on the legacy debt was possible or desirable. On each occasion he declined to comment.“There is no evidence of any shift in the opposition of the German government on the matter of legacy debt. Nothing said at today’s press conference contradicts the clear statement against ESM funds being used to retrospectively recapitalise banks by Angela Merkel on Friday 19 October.” NO CLARITY ON BANK DEAL AFTER MEETING – DOHERTY was last modified: October 29th, 2012 by StephenShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window) Tags:Farmleigh HousemeetingPearse DohertySinn Feinlast_img read more