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Choose the word or phrase (A, B, C or D) which best completes each sentence
1. Most young people in the Western world have ________ to a decent education.
A) entrance B) reach C) access D) opportunity
2. We are just going to have to ________ the money from a bank.
A) borrow B) loan C) owe D) lend
3. The tourist ________ is very important to the economies of some countries.
A) trade B) industry C) business D) profession
4. Banks pay you ________ if you leave your money in an account.
A) interest B) profit C) value D) income
5. It can be difficult to get used to the ________ of life in another country.
A) kind B) way C) system D) habit
6. At this airport a plane lands or takes off every two minutes ________ average.
A) at B) with C) by D) on
7. They decided to meet and discuss a ________ range of issues.
A) wide B) plentiful C) lasting D) long
8. My computer developed a virus that I just couldn’t get ________ of.
A) out B) away C) rid D) free
9. Critics of the post office have ________out that there are still long queues in many branches.
À) spoken B) given C) let D) pointed
10. The award was received by the manager on ________ of his staff.
A) account B) behalf C) place D) honour
2.1. ANNOTATION LAYOUT
I. General information about the article
II. The main idea of the article (1 – 2 sentences)
III The body of the article
IV Your opinion of the article
ARTICLES FOR ANNOTATING
NEW SKIN FOR BUILDINGS
Back in 1936 Einstein predicted a phenomenon called gravitational microlensing. It would enable scientists to discover earth-size planets, at extremely long distances. Dr Martin Dominik, Royal Society University Research Fellow at the University of St Andrews, is a leader in this field. ‘In my first degree I got interested in the gravitational bending of light,’ says Dr Dominik, ‘and in 1993 we saw the first gravitational microlensing event.’ Microlensing is based on gravity from a planet or star in the foreground of vision, bending the light of the planet in the background. ‘Contrary to all other techniques that try to detect other planets, microlensing detects planets at large distances,’ explains Dr Dominik. ‘It detects planets right at the centre of the Milky Way, 20,000 light years away from us. It even works detecting planets outside our own galaxy so it’s the only technique that can tell us something about planet population and galactic populations.’
In 2006 it lead to the detection of a planet named OGLE-2005-BLG-390Lb. Dr Dominik was a co-leader of PLANET, one of the collaborative networks involved. Only five times as large as earth, it was at the time the most earthlike planet. Most importantly, ‘it was also the first observation that planets like earth may not be rare in the universe.’ And though now it is not the least massive planet, it still has a place in the Guinness Book of records as being the coldest and most distant from earth. Its temperature is also why Dr Dominik believes the chances of finding life there are so slim. In 2008 Dr Dominik and Professor Keith Horne from St Andrews discovered a planetary system with two new planets resembling in some respects Jupiter and Saturn in our own system.
These discoveries, and the possibility of more, open up big questions. ‘The question of finding another habitable planet,’ says Dr Dominik, ‘or whether we are alone in the universe, and even deeper questions such as “where do you come from? Why are we here?”. To answer these questions we have to bring together all our knowledge of all the sciences, because we are really studying ourselves and our existence. We can’t answer this question by just one single experiment.’
LIGHT ENERGY HARVESTING
Capturing the sun
Their work has highlighted the machinery of natural photosynthesis, where more than 100 million billion photons of light hit a leaf each second. The concept of light energy being transferred and regulated quickly, for the plant to grow, is helping scientists to design molecular ‘circuitry’. It is 10 times smaller than the thinnest electrical wire in computer processors for tiny molecular energy grids to capture, direct, regulate and amplify raw solar energy.
Olaya-Castro has been fascinated by the quantum mechanics of photosynthesis since 2008 and began her collaboration with Gregory Scholes, Graham Fleming and Rienk van Grondelle after meeting them at different conferences presenting their work on light harvesting.
Olaya-Castro explains, ‘we decided to gather all the research of several groups, including ours, trying to understand the photosynthesis machinery and present it as a set of methods to implement in artificial combining systems that can exploit sunlight.’ They are using the principles of quantum mechanics to describe how small particles like electrons and atoms behave in the process of photosynthesis. Working in a nanoscale, where a nanometre is one billionth of a metre, they are studying the pigments, such as chlorophyll whose molecular machinery capture light.
In photosynthesis each pigment in the plant acts collectively to capture more frequencies of light and that energy is transported to a particular molecule where it is converted into the chemical energy ATP (Adenosine triphosphate). Using the image of passing a ball around, Olaya-Castro explains that the theoretical breakthrough is that the energy transfer process is conceived as many hands on the ball at once, hence a sharing process rather than passing from one to the other.
From the technological viewpoint, she says, ‘one can explore this phenomenon to make the transfer of energy a process that is more efficient but also more controlled. This could be the basis of a new innovative energy technology.’ Now they aim to turn this into a blueprint for an artificial light harvesting system.
THE ULTIMATE QUESTIONS
‘My experiment is trying to understand more about anti-matter,’ says Dr Tara Shears, ‘and why there doesn’t seem to be any in the universe any more.’ Dr Shears is a Royal Society University Research fellow at the University of Liverpool, and is also working on an experiment at CERN on the Large Hadron Collider (LHC). There are big questions being addressed. Two of the four experiments, ‘are concentrating on making the big discoveries, they are looking for things like the Higgs Bosun particle, which we have never discovered but our theory predicts must exist and it’s very important because if we can’t find it this means that our understanding of the universe is wrong.’
A better understanding of anti-matter, Shears argues, will enable us to explore the universe at a deeper level, to understand how the universe has evolved from the Big Bang to where we are today. As she says, anti-matter sounds like something out of Star Trek but it is real; you get it in radioactive decay. ‘We think half the universe was made from it in the Big Bang, and we might expect half the universe were made of it now. But there is no evidence of a large amount of it anywhere.’ Its signature, she says, would be massive annihilation.
ENERGY FOR ALL SEASONS
Siores describes how the hybrid fibre is made up of two parts. The core is made out of piezoelectric material, which comes from the Greek word, meaning applying pressure. When pressure is applied, or the material is vibrated, the vibrations are converted into voltage that can be stored as energy in a rechargeable battery or used immediately. The outer coatings are an organic photovoltaic material. The core is made from of polymer material, avoiding the more efficient but lead-containing ceramic material, and the production costs are low. Also, as they are in a fibre format they can be made in different diameters, and can be weaved, knitted and processed like any other fibre into textile structures.
Siores is excited about the possibilities, ‘the fibre can be used for wearable applications, for charging mobiles while on the move. For more power hungry applications, these fibres can be chopped into a needle size. For example, a pine tree structure, made with these hybrid fibres. The tree structure does not have to track the sun, the sun goes around the tree and harnesses enough energy for the home from sun wind and rain.’
Power generating trees
For now, Siores and his team are busy picking up awards for energy innovation and in discussions with industry to see their device commercialised. ‘It will be good to see this fibre in an application very soon. We want to enhance the properties of the piezoelectrical and organic photovoltaic material. We want it to remain low cost. If it’s possible to implement it in a tree-like structure, you could have your own power generating tree next to your home!
The first theory of the origin of the earth based upon astronomical observation was proposed by the French astronomer Laplace in 1796. It was probably suggested by the rings now present about the planet Saturn. According to this hypothesis our solar system was originally a vast nebula of highly heated gas, extending beyond the orbit of the outermost planet and rotating in the same direction as the planets now revolve. As this nebula, which was more than five billion miles in extent, lost heat, it contracted. Due to contraction the speed of rotation in-creased and resulted in flattening at the poles and a bulging at the equator. As further contraction continued, the speed of rotation increased until the centrifugal force at the equator of the spheroid was equal to the force of gravity and a ring of particles was left behind. The process continued until 10 successive rings were formed and the central mass became the sun. Each ring revolved as such for a time and then broke up to form a planet and its satellites. From one ring the 1200 or more planetoids between Mars and Jupiter were supposed to have formed.
According to the hypothesis the earth was first a globe of highly heated gas, then it became liquid and with further cooling a crust formed over the liquid interior. From the gas of the original nebula an atmosphere collected around the earth and vapours condensed to form the water of the oceans.
For more than one hundred years this was accepted as the most satisfactory explanation of the earth's origin, regardless of the increasing number of objections arising against it with advance in knowledge of Astronomy and Physics. Many of the objections cannot be stated here, but a few will suffice to show the nature of the difficulties that this simple theory presents.
Laws of Physics indicate that the separation from the gaseous nebula would take place as individual molecules and not as rings. But, granted that rings could form, it is a mystery how contraction of a ring could produce a spheroid or yield other rings to form satellites. Since the parent and its satellites were travelling at the same speed and in the same direction at the time of separation and the parent kept on increasing its rotation by cooling, all the satellites should have a velocity slower than their parents. Some of the satellites move with a velocity too rapid or too slow and one in a direction opposite to that called for by the theory.
Even more serious difficulties are encountered when the moment of momentum is calculated for each stage at which a planet separated or for the entire solar system expanded as a gas beyond the orbit of Pluto. Not only are the masses of the planets out of proportion to the moments of momenta, but also the original nebula with the momentum of the present solar system would not have a rapid enough rotation or a centrifugal force sufficient to form a ring until it had contracted within the orbit of the innermost planet.
TENTATIVE TOPIC LAYOUTS
My Bachelor’s Thesis
1) What is the theme of your bachelor’s thesis? Which branch of physics does it belong to?
2) When did you take up this theme? Does it relate to your earlier yearly papers?
3) Give a brief description of your research
a) What was your hypothesis?
b) Which methods did you use to prove it?
c) Did you manage to prove your hypothesis?
d) Say a few words about your research findings. Can they be applied practically? Did you find out anything unexpected?
4) Did you use any English language literature when preparing your research?
5) Do you feel that your bachelor’s thesis has contributed to your professional or personal development? In which way?
6) Are you going to proceed with this research during your master’s course? Or would you prefer to take up something completely different? Do you have any ideas regarding your master’s thesis?
Why Have You Decided to Apply for the Master’s Course?
1) When did you receive your bachelor’s degree?
2) What is your specialization as a bachelor? Are you going to have your master’s degree in the same specialization?
3) Do you know which subjects will be taught at your master’s course? Which of them are you particularly interested in?
4) In which ways do you think your master’s course will be different from your bachelor’s course?
5) Do you have a job? If you do, are you going to keep it while studying for your master’s degree?
6) Do you have any ideas as to how your master’s degree might improve your employment opportunities?
7) What other advantages do you expect your master’s degree will give you compared to bachelors?
8) What would you like to do after graduation?
a) Are you planning on entering a post-graduate course?
b) Have you ever thought of continuing your education abroad?
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