Polgari M.,Eszterházy Károly College |
Hein J.R.,U.S. Geological Survey |
Biro L.,Hungarian Academy of Sciences |
Gyollai I.,Hungarian Academy of Sciences |
And 7 more authors.
Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology | Year: 2016
Toarcian black shale that hosts Mn-carbonate microbialites at Úrkút, Hungary was investigated by mineralogical, inorganic, and organic geochemical methods for characterization and comparison with other European black shales representative of the Toarcian Oceanic Anoxic Event. Based on the authigenic mineral composition, calculations were made to estimate environmental conditions during sediment accumulation and early diagenesis. Geochemical and petrographic results of organic, carbonate, and REE multiple-proxy analyses revealed a strong congruence between the host black shale and the Mn-carbonate ore beds. The Úrkút black shale is really a gray shale with moderate to low TOC contents that accumulated in a starved basin. The organic matter and anoxic characteristics resulted from rapid accumulation of organic matter from microbial booms, accompanied by a geothermally generated hydrothermal circulation system, and a high rate of authigenic mineral formation (clay minerals and proto-ore minerals). The inferred enzymatic Mn and Fe oxidation blocked carbonate formation by decreasing the pH. The system remained suboxic via syngenetic mineral accumulation (Fe-rich biomats), and became anoxic during diagenesis in conjunction with pyrite generation. The separation of black shale beds and Mn-ore beds is not distinct through the section. Instead, a distal hydrothermally induced clay-rich authigenic assemblage (marlstone) best describes the black shale, in which Mn-oxide proto-ore beds (Mn-rich laminae) formed from the beginning of black shale deposition, when the oxygen supply in the sedimentary basin was insufficient for enzymatic Mn(II) oxidation. Mn-oxide proto-ore was transformed to Mn-carbonate ore during microbially mediated processes during early diagenesis. The drivers for Mn-bearing organic matter-rich marlstones were most probably a combination of regional and local processes, with generation of a tectonic rift system that promoted geothermally generated hydrothermal fluids, which initiated microbial blooms. Black shale mineralogy, geochemistry, and organic matter at Úrkút differ from those of the epicontinental shelf black shales of the Tethyan Ocean. © 2016 Elsevier B.V.
News Article | November 23, 2016
Around five years ago, a team led by a physicist from Kiel University, Professor Robert Wimmer-Schweingruber, won the coveted tender for providing instruments to be placed on board the "Solar Orbiter" space probe. This joint mission of the European Space Agency (ESA) and the US space agency NASA is expected to launch in October 2018, and will go closer to the sun than has ever been done before. Now, exactly on schedule, the preparations in Kiel for this mission are entering their final phase. On Monday 21 November the flight instruments from Kiel were handed over to the space probe installation team in England. Instruments on board a space probe must be able to withstand large temperature variations, intense vibrations during the launch of the rocket or voltage surges, without their functionality being affected. In order to ensure this, scientists at the Institute of Experimental and Applied Physics subjected their instruments to extensive tests. Representatives of ESA assessed the results just over two weeks ago, and after a few subsequent improvements, finally certified the solar particle sensors from Kiel for use in space. "Our sensors have passed the tests with flying colours!" said a delighted Wimmer-Schweingruber. "The instruments have been approved. On Monday, our team will personally deliver them to England. It is especially thanks to our excellent team that we have successfully met the tight deadline!" A total of four instruments will be installed in the "Energetic Particle Detector" (EPD) on board the space probe. The sensors measure electrons, protons and ions of all the particles in space, from helium nuclei right through to iron nuclei. They must cover a particularly wide energy range, from approximately 2 kiloelectronvolts up to 200 megaelectronvolts. The results of these measurements will help to better understand sun particle radiation and its effect on the earth. Photos are available to download: http://www. The three sensors from Kiel are ready for space: EPT-HET1 and 2 on the left, and STEP on the right. Photo/Copyright: Jürgen Haacks, CAU http://www. Close-up of the two-in-one-sensor EPT-HET (left), which measures in two directions. STEP (right): due to the magnetic field in the sensor, the installation position in the space probe was changed on the fly during the development process, as there were fears that it could affect other instruments. In spite of the tight deadline, the team from Kiel managed to modify their instrument on time for its new position. Photo/Copyright: Jürgen Haacks, CAU http://www. Experts, including representatives of the ESA, closely examined the test results and the sensors from Kiel on 3 November. Photo/Copyright: Jürgen Haacks, CAU http://www. The team from Kiel delivers: their sensors will be installed in the Solar Orbiter space probe. Photo/Copyright: Jürgen Haacks, CAU In addition to a team of engineers, there are also scientists, doctoral candidates and students from Kiel University involved in the EPD projects. They work together in an international team, with members from Spain, Germany and the USA. Among the total of four instruments in the "Energetic Particle Detector" (EPD) are an Instrument Control Unit (ICU) and the SupraThermal Ion Spectrograph (SIS). This SIS will undertake particle measurements during the voyage to the sun, in an energy range from around 100 kiloelectronvolts to 10 megaelectronvolts. The sensor was developed at the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory (APL) under the leadership of Professor Wimmer-Schweingruber. Three sensors were developed in the Kiel physics cleanroom: The STEP (Supra Thermal Electrons and Protons) sensor measures in the energy range from 2.5 to 65 kiloelectronvolts. If there is an influx of particles in this range, electrons are deflected by means of a magnetic field on the one side of the instrument. Only protons and ions are measured here. On the other side of the instrument, without a magnetic field, the entire flow of particles in the relevant energy range is measured. The difference between the two sides allows determination of the electrons present. The EPT-HET1 and 2 instruments are identical, and each contain two sensors: EPT (Electron and Proton Telescope) and HET (High-Energy Telescope) sensors. Together they measure electrons in the energy range from 20 kiloelectronvolts to 20 megaelectronvolts, as well as protons from 20 kiloelectronvolts to 100 megaelectronvolts. The HET also measures heavy ions up to 200 megaelectronvolts. The EPT-HET1 and EPT-HET2 instruments can each measure in two directions (sun-facing side / dark side or alternatively prograde / retrograde relative to orbit). The Kiel projects are funded by the DLR Space Agency, and the SIS is funded by the ESA.
Sarker K.K.,China Agricultural University |
Wang X.,CAU |
Li H.,CAU |
Xu C.,Harbin Academy of Agricultural science |
And 2 more authors.
AMA, Agricultural Mechanization in Asia, Africa and Latin America | Year: 2015
Tillage, fertilizer placement and water are the most important for sustainable and economical agriculture. Therefore, a zone-till subsurface row fertilizer applicator was developed and evaluated at Harbin, China. The system of the applicator (T1) was compared with traditional rice practices (T2). The performance tests of the applicator were promising. The system (T1) saved water, reduces costs and desired transplanted seedling depth compared to T2. The new system can enrich soil temperature, crop growth rate, yields and increased the residual retention of nutrients (N, P, K) in soil. The applicator and the system could be offered as an alternative for future pattern of rice cultivation.
News Article | September 28, 2016
The conceptualization and deployment of STB was initiated by China Agricultural University (CAU) to test an innovative technology-transfer approach for enabling smallholder farmers. Following the initial success in Quzhou County, more STBs were established by CAU in different farming systems across the country, including large farms in the northeast area (2–20 ha per household, larger than the national average) and the fruit- and vegetable-basket region in southern China. After 2012, other institutions began to adopt the model and establish STBs in their regions. By late 2015, a total of 71 STBs were in place, covering 22 agricultural production systems in 21 provinces (Extended Data Fig. 1). Among these STBs, 25 are overseen by CAU, 26 by other agricultural universities, and the remaining 20 by private enterprises with supervision by academic scientists. The STBs currently cover wheat, maize, rice, soybean, potato, cotton, grape, cherry, apple, strawberry, Chinese date, orange, banana, mango, pineapple, lychee, pitaya (cactus fruit), tomato, garlic, pepper, green onion, and forage production systems. The organizational format and functionalities of all STBs are similar to those in Quzhou, with staff living in the villages year-round and working with farmers to identify yield-limiting factors, revising science-based recommendations for local adoptability, and garnering public and private support. Quzhou is a typical agricultural county (114°50′22.3′′E–115°13′27.4′′E, 36°35′43′′N–36°57′N) situated about the centre of the North China Plain (NCP). The latter is a region with intensively managed cereal production systems, producing 38% of agricultural products in China. Rotation of winter wheat (Triticum aestivum L.) and summer maize (Zea mays L.) is the dominant cropping system. Quzhou has a total population of 433,000 and arable land of 66,700 ha, with 93,074 farming families living in 342 villages within 10 townships26. Per capita arable land is about 0.15 ha; per capita, net agricultural income was US$944 in 2008 in rural households (Extended Data Table 8), which is far below the US$2,290 in urban households26. Quzhou has deep alluvial soils with inherently high salt content, rendering the land barely productive historically. Starting in 1980 s, the saline soil was reclaimed via three measures: (i) deep wells drilled to reach fresh water for irrigation, (ii) deep drainage ditches dug to lower the groundwater table, (iii) crop residue recycled to build up soil organic matter and enhance productivity. Specifically, soil texture comprises light loam, medium loam, sandy loam, clay and salt-affected27. Soil organic matter ranges from 10.3 to 16.0 g kg−1 (mean 13.9 g kg−1), salt content is up to 1.11 g kg−1 at 20–40 cm soil depth28. With steady increases in chemical fertilizer use in the past three decades, soil nutrient content is relatively high: 0.94 g kg−1 for total nitrogen (from 0.70 to 1.06 g kg−1), 23.0 mg kg−1 for available phosphorus (Olsen-P, 1.4 to 50.4 mg kg−1), and 132 mg kg−1 for exchangeable potassium29 (Exc.-K, 67.1 to 190 mg kg−1). The mean annual temperature is 13.1 °C; average annual precipitation is about 500 mm with a variation of 27.5% between years. The area has a distinct wet season from late June to late October with 60% of the annual precipitation falling in those months, and a dry season from November to early June in the semi-arid monsoon climate. The ground water table has been falling by 0.8 m annually in recent decades owing primarily to agricultural irrigation30. The first STB was established in Beiyou village in 2009 (631 households farming 272 ha). Six additional STBs were established around the end of 2009 and beginning of 2010 in separate villages (Extended Data Fig. 1). Of the seven STBs, four were focused on wheat and maize rotation systems and the remaining three were targeting other cash crops. Staffing included one faculty member and two graduate students per STB. The current paper reports the results based on the four STBs for the wheat and maize rotation systems. Quzhou Experimental Station was established by CAU in 2007. Located in the northern part of the county and about 20 km from Beiyou village (the first STB village), the Experimental Station occupies 20 ha of cropland. The soil type is Cinnamon (salt-affected, sandy clay loam) with 14.0 g kg−1 organic matter, 0.97 g kg−1 total nitrogen, 16.0 mg kg−1 Olsen-P, and 179 mg kg−1 Exc.-K in the 0–30 cm soil layer31. Soil conditions are similar to those in the STB village area and about average in Quzhou County. The main field study at the Experimental Station relevant to this article was aimed at developing the best management practices applicable in Quzhou on the basis of high-yield, high-efficiency technologies (integrated soil-crop system management, ISSM)32. Plot size was 1800 m2 with four replications. Management practices (treatments) included land preparation, crop variety, sowing date, seeding rate, fertilizer management and harvest date (left column in Extended Data Table 4). During the 5-year span (2009–2014), some practices were modified to incorporate better management options developed in other regions (for example, an improved wheat planter was introduced in 2012), which contributed to the overall trend of yield increase (Fig. 3, Supplementary Table 1). As the field study implemented best management practices according to ISSM guidelines, yields from these studies were used as the de facto attainable yields (which would be lower than potential yields but served our purpose, Supplementary Discussion). Accordingly, yield gaps are operationally defined as the differences between farmers’ yields (through survey and single- and multi-factor experiments, discussed below) and the de facto attainable yields. A questionnaire survey was conducted in October 2009 to determine the prevailing practices regarding the price of seed, variety selection, fertilizer, manure, irrigation, and pesticide use, machinery services and labour, as well as farmers’ information sources and knowledge base. We selected 10 villages from the high, medium, and low (per capita income) village groups in Quzhou County; 150 farmers randomly selected from the 10 villages were interviewed. The interviews were conducted by STB staff plus additional CAU students, each interview took about 40 min with detailed information on quantitative (for example, fertilizer rate, yields) and qualitative parameters (for example, variety and source of seeds, access to information). Survey results were summarized (Extended Data Fig. 2, Extended Data Tables 2, 3, 7) and examined to identify farmers’ practice and factors constraining their performance. To quantify yield-gap contribution from each of the main factors, farmers in the four STB villages were solicited to carry out single-factor (paired) experiments (Extended Data Table 1). Selection of participating farmers was based on two considerations. First, his or her field practice was one of the major yield-gap contributing factors. Second, the farmer was willing to try different management per STB recommendations. Each paired experiment was carried out by the farmer, who devoted a parcel of land in which two treatments were laid out side-by-side, one representing the farmers’ practice and the other following STB recommendation. All management remained the same except for the single factor tested. In some cases, participating farmers allocated the least-productive parcel of their fields for the experiment in order to minimize risks. This helps to explain the wide variation shown in Extended Data Table 1. Meanwhile, the substantial yield increase derived from following recommended practices, even on poor land, provided a better service in convincing otherwise-reluctant farmers. Each yield-gap contributing factor was tested in at least three farmers’ fields, which served as the de facto replication. A total of 55 paired experiments were conducted during 2009–2011; plot size ranged from 300 to 600 m2 depending on the individual parcels of land. STB staff provided on-site assistance to make sure that the recommended practice, whether it was sowing date or fertilizer application time or rate, was implemented correctly by the farmers. STB staff measured crop yields and recorded data. Description of treatments and the results are summarized in Extended Data Table 1. Leading farmers are those who were, through daily interactions between STB staff and the villagers, recognized leaders in the farming community. Their participation in STB-related work was by volunteering and/or by request. In addition to the critical role in helping STB staff revise the recommended management practices to conform to local farming practises (described in main text), leading farmers also carried out multi-factor experiments in their selected fields, in which all 10 recommended practices were simultaneously implemented. The number of leading farmers participating in multi-factor experiment varied from 45 to 71 per crop-season in 2009–2014 (Supplementary Table 1). Plot size ranged from 600 to 1,200 m2, depending on individual fields. The pool of fields (that is, 45 in 2009, 71 in 2014) served as replications. STB staff provided technical guidance and consultation and recorded yields and relevant data. After harvest, on-farm performance of the improved technologies tried by leading farmers was summarized and the information communicated to the Experimental Station for further innovation. The trend of yield increases during 2009–2014 (Fig. 3) may be attributed to progressive improvement of leading farmers in mastering the recommended technologies. A variety of methods were used to disseminate the advanced management practices to the farming communities. Mechanisms corresponding to the four key elements summarized are outlined below: Raising awareness. The single- and multi-factor experiments served as live exhibits. Field days were held each month during the growing season, with leading farmers answering questions and outlining which practices they adopted, why, and the attained or expected benefits. Furthermore, the workshops were offered in winter months to consolidate the outcomes and discuss which practises worked (or did not work). Yield contests were held to engage members of the farming community. Readily available information. Science-based technologies were presented in eye-catching and comprehensible formats. For example, waterproof posters were erected along the main road, highlighting information on wheat and maize production with graphic illustrations. Customized calendars showing recommended practices were distributed to villagers. Engaging farming community members. As well as production-oriented events, a variety of social–cultural activities were organized, such as tea gatherings, folk singing and dancing in winter months or around traditional holidays. These events helped build a relationship between STB staff and farmers, while strengthening the community as a whole. Enabling change. During busy field operations, STB staff were to travel and provide advice on-site when needed. Briefing sessions were offered before each crop-management stage. Reminders were sent via cell phone texting and/or the village’s intra-broadcasting system at the time of important field tasks. See Extended Data Table 6 for photo illustration and Supplementary Table 2 for more details regarding location and service target. Regarding CLUP (combining land for uniform practice), farmer-members elected a leader who coordinated field tasks and took charge in decision-making with the consultation of STB staff. Uniform cultivation favoured the adoption of deep tillage and eased irrigation schedule (with 20–25% increased efficiency). Furthermore, STB staff designed a fertilizer formula for each CLUP based on soil-test results and crop data, and solicited fertilizer suppliers to blend and deliver the products accordingly; we also helped CLUP determine seed variety and supplies, thus lowering their production cost by about US$100 ha−1 (Extended Data Table 5). Government officials were interested in strengthening their support and improving services. As the yield was enhanced by deep tillage, the county subsidized the cost of deep-plough purchases and provided US$75 ha−1 to farmers who adopted the tillage method. In addition, two full-time agricultural technicians were added to each township in Quzhou County, starting in 2010, to promote countywide adoption of STB recommendations. They also issued special logos on the packages of trusted seeds or fertilizer products as a measure of protecting farmers from inferior products. In the private sector, seed and fertilizer companies donated money and/or production material (for example, seeds, fertilizers) to farmer yield contests and field demonstrations; they sent their field representatives to STB-organized events. Their service model started to shift from farmers only being able to offer available stock, to being able to supply specific produce on demand. Learning which products are most suitable for a given region, as per STB findings, fertilizer companies began to make crop/region-specific products with improved labelling, for example, specifying target crops and providing instructions by linking application rate with yield. To assess the effectiveness of education-extension efforts and the outcomes of STB interventions, a follow-up survey was conducted in 2012. Twelve villages were strategically selected, including (i) the four STB villages in which farmers had full access to all STB services, (ii) four neighbouring villages that are adjacent to the STB villages, and (iii) four control villages that are about 10 km away from any of the STB villages. The neighbouring and control villages had similar demographics and cropping systems as STB villages (Extended Data Table 2), but received no direct on-site services by STB staff (no single- or multi-factor experiments), although public events such as training workshops or field demonstrations were open to all. From each of the 12 villages, 30 or more farmers were randomly selected and interviewed. There were a total of 575 households as survey participants (Extended Data Table 2). Survey items were the same as for the 2009 survey. Survey entries of quantitative nature (for example, grain yield, fertilizer rate) were farmers’ self-reporting, that is, not measurements taken by STB staff. Results of the 2012 survey were summarized and examined to assess the efficacy of knowledge and technology transfer. Clearly, farmers in the STB villages had better understanding of key agronomic parameters and higher adoption of recommended practices than their counterparts (Extended Data Tables 3, 5, 7). The survey results also suggest ‘spill over’ of knowledge and improved management practices from the centres of action (STB villages and STB organized events) to the neighbouring villages as compared to control villages (Extended Data Tables 3, 5, 7). The outcome of STB intervention can be quantitatively evaluated by comparisons among the three groups of villages in terms of land-use efficiency (crop yield), resource-use efficiency (nutrients and water), and investment and labour productivity (Table 1, Extended Data Table 5, Supplementary Table 5). Partial productivity of nitrogen, calculated as grain yield per kg of chemical nitrogen fertilizer input, was used to provide an estimate of nutrient use efficiency. Water-use efficiency was calculated as grain yield per cubic meter of irrigation water input. Labour productivity was expressed as grain yield per hour labour input (self as well as hired labour). The benefit:cost ratio was the parameter used to evaluate the economic effect of farmers’ practices. Cash expenditure for seeds, fertilizers, machinery, irrigation, and farmers’ labour input were components of the operating costs. Quzhou smallholder farmers rarely rent land, borrow money from the bank, or buy crop insurance (wheat and maize), therefore these were not included in the total costs. Net profit (benefit) was calculated as the product of the grain yield and the market price minus the operational costs. For all field experiments and farmer surveys, data was analysed by one-way analysis of variance in SAS33. To distinguish STB villages from neighbouring and/or control villages in terms of production and economic performances, two-tailed t-tests were performed. The results were compared using least significant difference at a 0.05 level of significance for grain yield, fertilizer use efficiency, water-use efficiency, labour productivity and the benefit:cost ratio (Table 1, Extended Data Table 5, Supplementary Table 5). In addition, linear regressions of yields over time (2008–2014) were run for the Experimental Station and leading farmers, with statistical significance determined using the F-test (Supplementary Table 4). Also, annual yield comparison between the Experimental Station and leading farmers was made by two-tailed t-test for each year (Supplementary Table 4).
Kirsch R.,LLUR SH |
Wiederhold H.,LIAG |
Rabbel W.,CAU |
Erkul E.,CAU |
And 4 more authors.
Near Surface Geoscience 2015 - 21st European Meeting of Environmental and Engineering Geophysics | Year: 2015
On the sports ground in the village of Münsterdorf small scale (about 2 m wide) sinkholes occur in a regular time interval of about 2 years. Origins of the sinkholes are cavities formed in a Cretateaous chalk layer covered by about 20 m of unconsolidated sediments. Geophysical investigations were carried out to delineate the area of sinkhole risk. Criteria were established to define sinkhole risk following the "dropout sinkhole" theory of Waltham and Fookes": a) weakened chalk surface with fissures, b) sandy layers covering the chalk surface, c) cohesive layer in the sedimentary cover leading to a "soil cavity" after sandy material is washed into the fissures of the chalk. Seismic, resitivity and GPR methods were applied in this area. In the area of sinkhole occurance reduced s-wave velocities and a diffuse reflection image of the chalk surface were found (in contrast to the clear chalk reflections outside the sinkhole area). Resistivity measurements (2D ERT and AEM) verified a sandy layer (high specific resistivity) on top of the chalk layer and a low resistivity layer (till or clay, cohesive) in the sedimentary cover. A 3D GPR survey covering the sports ground found evidence of former sinkholes in the area. © (2015) by the European Association of Geoscientists & Engineers (EAGE).
Lalrintluanga K.,CAU. Selesih |
Deka B.C.,Assam Agricultural University |
Nath K.C.,Assam Agricultural University |
Bhuyan D.,Assam Agricultural University |
Indian Journal of Animal Research | Year: 2012
A total of 56 farrowings comprising 26 and 30 farrowings of Large White Yorkshire (LWY) sows from organized and indigenous systems of rearing respectively were studied for different parameters on farrowing. It was revealed that LWY sows reared in organized and indigenous systems exhibited similar pattern of occurrence of different preparturient behaviours viz., mammary gland enlargement, swelling of vulva, colostrums in teat, reddish vulvar mucosa, pawing at the floor and vaginal discharge. The parturient behaviours viz. paddling of legs, switching of tail, complete lateral recumbency and both ventral and lateral recumbency were also similar in both the systems. However, during the entire period of farrowing, 61.54 and 36.67 per cent of sows under organized and indigenous systems of rearing respectively were lying down continuously whereas 38.46 and 63.33 per cent of sows respectively stood up in between expulsion of piglets.
Lalrintluanga K.,CAU |
Deka B.C.,Assam Agricultural University |
Nath K.C.,Assam Agricultural University |
Bhuyan D.,Assam Agricultural University |
And 2 more authors.
Indian Journal of Animal Research | Year: 2012
A total of 24 ejaculates obtained from 7 Large White Yorkshire (LWY) boars were used by split sample technique for studying the effect of four extenders on the extracellular activity of transaminases in boar semen during preservation at 18°C for 72 hours using Beltsville Thaw Solution (BTS), Androhep, Fructose Egg Yolk (FEY) and Glucose Potassium Sodium tartrate Sodium citrate edate extender (GPSE) extenders. The mean extracellular activity of aspartate aminotransferase (AST) in BTS, Androhep, GPSE and FEY extenders at 18°C. were 15.51 ± 1.42, 14.60 ± 1.38, 14.56 ± 0.99 and 15.73 ± 1.51 unit/ml, respectively at 0 hour and 29.16 ± 2.39, 28.75 ± 1.97, 31.40 ± 1.62 and 33.11 ± 2.37 unit/ml respectively at 72 hours. The mean extracellular Alanine aminotransferase (ALT) activity were 3.64 ± 0.70, 3.60 ± 0.67, 4.31 ± 0.81 and 4.09 ± 0.59 unit/ml respectively at 0 hour and 13.24 ± 1.61, 12.25 ± 1.22, 14.61 ± 1.77 and 16.03 ± 1.95 unit/ml respectively at 72 hours. The AST and ALT activity did not vary significantly between extenders. However, the AST and ALT activity varied significantly (P<0.01) between preservation periods but not due to interaction between extender and preservation period.
10th Annual International Systems Conference, SysCon 2016 - Proceedings | Year: 2016
A practical methodology for dealing with complex systems in a socio-technical engineering sense is offered. This is a significant improvement over previous descriptions whose techniques have been successfully applied in highly technological systems involving many key stakeholders. Additional application of this updated methodology is encouraged as well as the preparation and publication of future case studies addressing bigger world problems which may show how well it really works in practice. © 2016 IEEE.
News Article | October 11, 2016
An international team of scientists from Los Alamos National Laboratory, Imperial College London (IC), and Kiel University (CAU), headed by Professor Michael Bonitz of the Institute of Theoretical Physics and Astrophysics at CAU and Professor Matthew Foulkes of the Department of Physics at IC, has achieved a major breakthrough in the description of warm dense matter – one of the most active frontiers in plasma physics and material science. This exotic state of matter is characterized by the simultaneous presence of strong quantum effects, thermal excitations, and strong interaction effects, and differs completely from the usual solid, liquid, gas and plasma states commonly found on Earth. A full understanding of the interplay of these three effects has been lacking until now. The tri-national team of scientists published their research findings in the current edition of Physical Review Letters.