The Birth Of A Pulsar

Like the legendary Phoenix Bird rising from the ashes of its own funeral pyre to soar again through the sky, a pulsar rises from the wreckage of its massive progenitor star–that has recently perished in the fiery blast of a supernova. A pulsar is a newborn neutron star; a dense, rapidly rotating city-sized relic of an erstwhile massive star that has collapsed under the stupendous weight of its own crushing gravity–to the fatal point that its constituent protons and electrons have merged together to form neutrons. Indeed, the fiery explosions of doomed stars as supernovae are sometimes so bright that they out-dazzle–for one brief shining moment–their entire home galaxy. In September 2018, a team of astronomers announced that they are the first to have witnessed the birth of a pulsar emerging from the funeral pyre of its dead parent-star. This came at the very same time that the Selection Committee of the Breakthrough Prize in Fundamental Physics recognized the British astrophysicist Dr. Jocelyn Bell Burnell for her discovery of pulsars–a detection first announced in February 1968.

This Special Breakthrough Prize was given to Dr. Bell Burnell “for fundamental contributions to the discovery of pulsars, and a lifetime of inspiring leadership in the scientific community.” Her discovery of pulsars half a century ago proved to be one of the biggest surprises in the history of astronomy. This discovery elevated neutron stars right out of the realm of science fiction to reach the status of scientific reality in a very dramatic way. Among a large number of later important ramifications, it resulted in several strong tests of Albert Einstein’s General Theory of Relativity (1915), and also led to a new understanding of the origin of heavy elements in the Universe. Called metals by astronomers, heavy atomic elements are all those that are heavier than helium.

The supernovae that give birth to pulsars can take months or even years to fade away. Sometimes, the gaseous leftovers of the fierce stellar explosion itself crash into hydrogen-rich gas and–for a short time–regain their former brilliance. However, the question that needs to be answered is this: could they remain luminous without this sort of interference, resulting in their bright encore performance?

In an effort to answer this nagging question, Dr. Dan Milisavljevic, an assistant professor of physics and astronomy at Purdue University in West Lafayette, Indiana, announced that he had witnessed such an event six years after a supernova–dubbed SN 2012au–had blasted its progenitor star to smithereens.

“We haven’t seen an explosion of this type, at such a late timescale, remain visible unless it had some kind of interaction with hydrogen gas left behind by the star prior to explosion. But there’s no spectral spike of hydrogen in the data–something else was energizing this thing,” Dr. Milisavljevic explained in a September 12, 2018 Purdue University Press Release.

If a newborn pulsar sports a magnetic field and rotates rapidly enough, it is able to speed-up nearby charged particles and evolve into what astronomers term a pulsar wind nebula. This is probably what happened to SN 2012au, according to the new study published in The Astrophysical Journal Letters.

“We know that supernova explosions produce these types of rapidly rotating neutron stars, but we never saw direct evidence of it at this unique time frame. This is a key moment when the pulsar wind nebula is bright enough to act like a lighbulb illuminating the explosions outer ejecta,” Dr. Milisavlievic continued to explain in the Purdue University Press Release.

Lighthouses In The Sky

Pulsars shoot out a regular beam of electromagnetic radiation, and weigh-in at approximately double our Sun’s mass, as they spin wildly about 7 times each second! The beams emanating from brilliant pulsars are so extremely regular that they are frequently likened to lighthouse beams on Earth, and this beam of radiation is detectable when it sweeps our way. The radiation streaming out from a pulsar can only be seen when the light is targeted in the direction of our planet–and it is also responsible for the pulsed appearance of the emission. Neutron stars are extremely dense, and they have brief, regular rotational periods. This creates a very precise interval between the pulses that range approximately from milliseconds to seconds for any individual pulsar. Astronomers discover most pulsars through their radio emissions.

Neutron stars can wander around space either as solitary “oddballs” or as members of a binary system in close contact with another still “living” main-sequence (hydrogen-burning) star–or even in the company of another stellar-corpse just like itself. Neutron stars have also been observed nesting within brilliant, beautiful, and multicolored supernova remnants. Some neutron stars can even be orbited by a system of doomed planets that are utterly and completely inhospitable spheres that suffer a constant shower of deadly radiation screaming out from their murderous stellar parent. Indeed, the first bundle of exoplanets, discovered in 1992, were the tragic planetary offspring of a deadly parent-pulsar. Pulsars switch off and on brilliantly, hurling their regular beams of light through the space between stars. Certain pulsars even rival atomic clocks in their accuracy at keeping time.

The first observation of a pulsar was made on November 28, 1967, by Dr. Bell Burnell and Dr. Antony Hewish. The newly-spotted pulses were separated by 1.35 second intervals that originated from precisely the same location in space, and kept to sidereal time. Sidereal time is determined from the movement of Earth (or a planet) relative to the distant stars (rather than in respect to our Sun).

In their efforts to explain these exotic pulses, Dr. Bell Burnell and Dr. Hewish came to the realization that the extremely brief period of the pulses ruled out most known astrophysical sources of radiation, such as stars. Indeed, because the pulses followed sidereal time, they could not be explained by radio frequency interference originating from intelligent aliens living elsewhere in the Cosmos. When more observations were conducted, using a different telescope, they confirmed the existence of this truly odd and mysterious emission, and also ruled out any sort of instrumental effects. The two astronomers nicknamed their discovery LGM-1, for “little green men”. It was not until a second similarly pulsating source was discovered in a different region of the sky that the playful “LGM” theory was completely ruled out. The word “pulsar” itself is a contraction of “pulsating star”, that first appeared in print in 1968.

All stars are immense spheres composed of fiery, roiling searing-hot gas. These enormous glaring stellar objects are mostly composed of hydrogen gas that has been pulled into a sphere very tightly as the result of the relentless squeeze of the star’s own gravity. This is the reason why a star’s core becomes so hot and dense. Stars are so extremely hot because their raging stellar fires have been lit as a result of nuclear fusion, which causes the atoms of lighter elements (such as hydrogen and helium) to fuse together to form increasingly heavier and heavier atomic elements. The production of heavier atomic elements from lighter ones, occurring deep within the searing-hot heart of a star, is termed stellar nucleosynthesis. The process of stellar nucleosynthesis begins with the fusion of hydrogen, which is both the lightest and most abundant atomic element in the Cosmos. The process ends with iron and nickel, that are fused only by the most massive stars. This is because smaller stars like our Sun are not hot enough to manufacture atomic elements heavier than carbon. The heaviest atomic elements–such as uranium and gold–are created in the supernovae explosions that end the “lives” of massive stars. Smaller stars go gentle into that good night and puff off their beautiful multicolored outer gaseous layers into the space between stars. These lovely objects, called planetary nebulae, are so beautiful that astronomers call them the “butterflies of the Universe”. Literally all of the atomic elements heavier than helium–the metals–were made in the hot hearts of the Universe’s myriad stars.

The process of nuclear fusion churns out a monumental amount of energy. This is the reason why stars shine. This energy is also responsible for creating a star’s radiation pressure. This pressure creates a necessary and delicate balance that battles against the relentless squeeze of a star’s gravity. Gravity tries to pull all of a stars material in, while pressure tries to push everything out. This eternal battle keeps a star bouncy against its inevitable collapse that will come when it runs out of its necessary supply of nuclear-fusing fuel. At that tragic point, gravity wins the battle and the star collapses. The progenitor star has reached the end of that long stellar road, and if it is sufficiently massive, it goes supernova. This powerful, relentless, merciless gravitational pulling speeds up the nuclear fusion reactions in the doomed star. Where once a star existed, a star exists no more.

Before they meet their inevitable demise, massive stars succeed in fusing a core of iron in their searing-hot hearts. Iron cannot be used for fuel, and at this point the progenitor star-that-was makes its sparkling farewell performance to the Cosmos–sometimes leaving behind a wildly spinning pulsar.

SN 2012au

Before the new study, astronomers already knew that SN 2012au was an unusual beast inhabiting the celestial zoo. The weird relic was extraordinary and odd in a number of ways. Even though the supernova blast wasn’t brilliant enough to be termed a “superluminous supernova”, it was bright enough to be quite energetic and last for a long time. It finally dimmed in a similarly slow light curve.

Dr. Milisavljevic predicts that if astronomers continue to observe the sites of extremely bright supernovae, they might see similar sea-changes.

“If there truly is a pulsar or magnetar wind nebula at the center of the exploded star, it could push from the inside out and even accelerate the gas. If we return to some of these events a few years later and take careful measurements, we might observe the oxygen-rich gas racing away from the explosion even faster,” Dr. Milisavljevic commented in the September 12, 2018 Purdue University Press Release.

Superluminous supernovae are transient celestial objects of great interest in the astronomical community. This is because they are potential sources of gravitational waves and black holes, and many astronomers also theorize that they might be related to other forms of celestial blasts, such as gamma-ray bursts and fast radio bursts. Astronomers are trying to understand the fundamental physics that is the basis for them, but they are hard to observe. This is because they are relatively rare and are situated very far from Earth.

The next generation of telescopes, which astronomers call Extremely Large Telescopes, will have the technological ability to observe these mysterious events in greater detail.

This new study aligns with one of Purdue University’s Giant Leaps, space, which is a part of Purdue’s Sesquicentennial 150 Years of Giant Leaps.

Dr. Milisavljevic continued to note that “This is a fundamental process in the Universe. We wouldn’t be here unless this was happening. Many of the elements essential to life come from supernova explosions–calcium in our bones, oxygen we breathe, iron in our blood–I think it’s crucial for us, as citizens of the Universe to understand this process.”

Judith E. Braffman-Miller is a writer and astronomer whose articles have been published since 1981 in various magazines, journals, and newspapers. Although she has written on a variety of topics, she particularly loves writing about astronomy because it gives her the opportunity to communicate to others some of the many wonders of her field. Her first book, “Wisps, Ashes, and Smoke,” will be published soon.

Experts’ Forecast on the Future Growth of Coworking Spaces in India

The startup eco-sphere has been continually growing across all the major cities in India and despite the occasional lull, the various global giants in the office space industry have noticeably shown a considerable amount of interest in the co-working segment. A large number of startups are now looking forward to cutting down on the operational costs of owning or renting exclusive office spaces. This cut down on the operational expenses is enabling the startups to invest more funds in the core business like increasing the production or retaining the talented employees by offering them the desirable higher pay packages. The co-working spaces have become highly popular due to the model of pay-as-per-use with reasonable and defined rates for the set of offered services.

Also, these shared office spaces have certain unique amenities like a food court, crèche services, gaming zones, spa, gym, sleeping pods etc. These all extra amenities have made these offices even more popular. All these amenities boost the morale of the staffs very positively which eventually enhances productivity. The presence of the daycare facilities provided by the trained staffs also brings a great relief to the working couples who can focus well on their work without compromising on their responsibilities of parenthood. The office spaces also have a great atmosphere with great aesthetics and interior design. These factors create a un-cluttered and relaxed environment in these office spaces which alleviate the work stress that is being often experienced by the professionals.

Trends in the co-working spaces expected in 2018

These shared office spaces offer a lot of cost savings which is also coupled with the chances to network with the other entrepreneurs operating from the same work space for achieving certain common goals. So, these shared offices are certainly here to stay and evolve in 2018. Irrespective of the high potential that these shared office spaces have, there are also certain factors which can prove to be obstacles in their rapid expansion. These factors include the following:

• Stakeholders’ orthodox attitude- There are few property-owners who are not been able to understand the concept of coworking completely and they are often found to remain wary regarding the leasing of the real estate assets to the co-working operators. Due to lack of proper awareness, they feel that it is safer to rent out their properties to the traditional businesses. Also, this has been witnessed that India has certain faults in the legal system which acts prove to be deterrents for the co-working space operators to opt for judicial battles against the landowners.

• Agreements of exclusivity- As per the exclusivity agreement, only one co-working operator can be accommodated in one specific building. This leads to the non-optimal usage of space. Hence, there is a limitation exercised on the growth potential of the co-working space industry.

In spite of the above hindrances prevailing in the present times, the future of co-working is forecasted to be very bright by the industry experts after witnessing the increased demand for the co-working offices.

Future growth expectations of co-working offices

The co-working operating companies are the hottest startups in India as they are receiving millions of investments from the top investors. The work culture is gradually evolving with the more and more adoption of the co-working spaces. There is an average of 85% occupancy of the available co-working spaces in India at the present times. This has been proven that a minimum of 20-25% of operational costs can be saved by adopting the co-working spaces. At times, it is even higher depending on the nature of your business.

The experts are of the view that co-working is going to be a dominant trend in India and this is certain that it is not just an ephemeral style which is likely to fade away like mullets and bell-bottom jeans. As per the observations, this is being predicted by several experts that India offers a fertile ground for the immense growth of the co-working spaces. The reasons that account for the high demands of co-working spaces are the booming ecosystem of startups and the large list of flexibility attached to the co-working spaces.

Big investments are already in
India has been witnessing the demand for the co-working spaces not only from the startups and freelancers but also from the major business conglomerates and corporations. The expected funding in the co-working space provider companies is expected to be $400 million in 2018. 70% of the business opportunity is expected from the big corporations.

Crucial statistics related to the Indian co-working phenomenon

Delhi, Mumbai and Bangalore are the cities which are already experiencing a rapid growth when it comes to the demand for the coworking spaces. The expectation is that there would be around 400 shared offices across India by the end of 2020.

In 2018, the experts from this industry are predicting there would be a rise of the exclusivity agreements. This would mean that there would just be one coworking space in a single building. This is proving to temporarily dampen the market of the coworking operators and also lead to the non-optimal usage of the amenities and space. There are big players like Cox & Kings, Sequoia and Paytm already invested in the coworking space market and thus they may face a temporary setback in 2018.

The experts from this industry are forecasting that the co-working spaces would soon do away with the lease-based models which have certain restrictions attached to the same. They are likely to implement a unique ownership model which offers even more flexibility at an even lesser price. The demand for co-working spaces are skyrocketing at the present times and this is a sign that the future growth of the co-working spaces is obviously on the cards.

For sharing your views and experiences regarding the co-working spaces, please feel free to write back to us in the comment box below.

10 Reasons for Trade Show Booth Failures

For exhibitors, generating leads from a trade show booth is a difficult task. Just setting up a booth to make your presence felt in the crowd is not enough. You need to consider other factors such as teamwork, goals and incentives. If your exhibit has failed previously, then it wasn’t your bad luck. Several drawbacks such as lack of planning, professional teamwork and pleasantries might be the cause.

Here is a rundown of reasons that make a trade show booth fail at an exhibition.

Lack of preparation
A trade show requires a lot of preparation without which failure is almost certain. You need to travel to the place of the event before the main event date. This is necessary to chalk out the requirements needed for a successful trade show booth. You also need to ensure that you and your team have enough rest before the main event date to appear fresh and attentive on the show day.

Undefined goals
A trade show without any goals is equivalent to not participating at all. If you don’t know the motive behind your booth then how can you expect the desired result? With a clear objective of the purpose, you will be able to generate leads from it and not go haywire.

Inattentiveness from the team
If your team is careless at the trade show booth then you won’t be successful on the floor. Your team must be enthusiastic, attentive and interactive to generate leads from the show. The audience in your booth should be actively engaged and entertained for the best results.

Missing open-ended questions
If you or your staff fail to ask open-ended questions then you’re bound to fail. Just talking about your own company without engaging the potential customers is a no-no. It makes the customer lose interest and leave the booth. An open-ended question like, ‘How did you learn about our products?’ is a good way to begin a conversation.

Absence of incentives
The attendees look forward to receiving incentives other than brochures. Only having flyers, leaflets and pamphlets talking about the company and products are not enough to interest them. Incentives such as discount coupons, giveaways or free consultation work great in this aspect.

Not following up
If you feel that your job ends with the trade show, then you’re highly mistaken. Your main aim of participating at the event is to convert leads into customers, which should be done after the show is over. Follow up with them by making phone calls or sending newsletters.

Selecting the wrong trade show
The wrong selection of trade show leads can be to a major hit to ROI. For instance, if your company deals with electronic products, then choosing an event of builders is a big no-no. Instead, opt for electronic or home appliances shows for better results.

Not paying attention to promotions
Lack of promotion of your company or products won’t bring you your desired results. You need to advertise well to gain recognition in the crowd. The display banners and other modes of promotion should be well-lit and prominently visible for attracting the potential customers.

No creativity
A pale and boring trade show booth will never attract visitors, no matter how well you train your staff. With proper creative efforts such as catchy taglines, proper presentation of products and interesting souvenirs you can make an impact on the visitors.

Unable to handle the audience
If too many clients end up in your booth and your team is unable to cope, then your event won’t be a hit. You need to be able to handle as many clients as possible without getting derailed. If you’re well prepared, then nothing can stop you from having a successful trade show.

The Benefits of Virtual Meetings and Web Conferencing Services

Web conferencing services have become common and have replaced the phone call to most of the people, as some of the web conferencing application provide video calling at affordable costs than a regular phone call.

Virtual meeting, better known as web conference or digital conference, gives you a platform to communicate with other people with the help of internet connectivity and computer. Web conference services used to be complicated and ineffective around 4 – 5 years back, but the current technology has given a lot of options for people to web conferencing service effectively and freely.

Here are four imperative benefits of using online web conferencing programs services on a day-to-day basis

1. Cost effective compared to physical meeting

Web conference services are cost effective in every possible angle, as the services would be in need of a computer or a mobile along with internet connectivity. To a physical conference, you have to spare time, money to travel, cost to stay and so on. A digital connectivity has given huge benefits regarding using web conference option on a regular basis.

2. Easy connectivity from every place in the world

The online conferencing is not a baby technology anymore, where the connection was never stable. The web conferencing technology has improved to a great extent and provides flawless connectivity from any part of the world. You can use the online conferencing services for both official and personal purposes, as there are multiple numbers of applications that you can use to initiate a virtual meeting.

3. Best to use in different devices and gadgets

You can do online conferencing both on the computer and on mobile phones. Most of the smartphones give out an option for users to have a web meeting on a regular basis without paying any cost. As technology is advancing at a rapid speed, some of the applications are available free of cost both in mobile and in the computer, which can be used to make long distance calls without paying a dime.

Industrial Applications of GPS Trackers

Heavy Vehicle Guidance

The mining and constructions industries today rely very heavily on GPS monitoring, tracking and navigational data and this is primarily because highway constructions, surveyors and marker pegs have been replaced with in-cabin vehicle guidance and control systems for excavators, graders, bulldozers and road paving machines.

These modern and advanced specialty vehicles enable their highly trained drivers to program their vehicles to respond to pre-programmed site plans, thereby enabling the vehicles to achieve close tolerance parameters for position, level and gradient. GPS technology is specifically integrated for high-precision applications in open-cut mines such as vehicle and equipment tracking and mine asset management. In such hi-technology integrational applications, GPS critical data is acquisitioned and decoded by sophisticated IT systems and meshed with other engineering applications to provide multifunction guidance and control. Companies that have integrated their vehicles and mine management systems include Leica Geo-systems, Topcon Positioning Systems and Trimble / Caterpillar.

Surveying, Mapping and Geophysics

Advanced GPS survey-grade technology utilize L1 and L2 signal frequencies to position survey markers, buildings, bridges, airports, harbors, railway stations and various other large infrastructures. This technology is also used to determine aerial mapping, terrain data, through the Geographical Information System (GIS) applications.

GPS is widely used in the acquisition of terrain and aerial mapping data, sensitive physical formations such as volcanoes and earthquake fault lines and the tracking / monitoring of seismic and incipient activities. This important seismic data is transmitted to TV and other news channels for early warnings to the public so that adequate precautionary measures are taken well in time.


One of the major highlights in the characteristics of GPS satellite technology is the accuracy, reliability and stability in the synchronicity of its technology and this has proven to be very compatible for telecommunications applications. It has been observed that GPS synchronized technology enables adequate synchronization of Coordinated Universal Time (UTC) time through the resolution of signals from discrete atomic clocks at specified locations. Although ground-based Chip Scale Atomic Clocks (CSAC) are quite accurate for this purpose, the synchronization of the CSACs is rather problematic without the GPS satellite technology.

Financial Services

As the local and international markets are fast globalizing, the global finance system that enables, governs, schedules and prioritizes digitalized monetary transactions, funds transfers and audit trails is becoming more and more contingent upon high precision time systems. Today, 80% of the millions of daily global retail transactions are done through credit and debit cards. GPS satellite technology integrates perfectly with on-board atomic clocks in order to allow high-speed and high precision local and global transactions.