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We have produced synthetic analogues of cosmic silicates using the Sol Gel method,
producing amorphous silicates of composition
Using synchrotron X-ray powder diffraction on Beamline I11 at the Diamond Light Source,
together with a newly-commissioned gas cell, real-time powder diffraction scans have been
taken of a range of silicates exposed to CO2 under non-ambient conditions. The
SXPD is complemented by other techniques including Raman and Infrared Spectroscopy and SEM
Facilities for studying gas-solid interactions on beamline I11 at the Diamond Light
Source are described. Sample evolution in low and high gas pressure capillary cells
(1 × 10-7 to 100 bar) with non-contact cooling and heating (80 to 1273 K) can
be monitored structurally (X-rays) and spectroscopically (Raman). First results on the
dehydration of MgSO4.7H2O, the formation of CO2 clathrate
hydrate and the reaction of amorphous CaSiO3 grains with CO2 gas to
form CaCO3 are presented to demonstrate the application of these cells to
laboratory investigations involving the processing of cosmic dust simulants and planetary
Extrapolating from a brief survey of the literature, we outline a vision for the future development of time-resolved electron probe instruments that could offer levels of performance and flexibility that push the limits of physical possibility. This includes a discussion of the electron beam parameters (brightness and emittance) that limit performance, the identification of a dimensionless invariant figure of merit for pulsed electron guns (the number of electrons per lateral coherence area, per pulse), and calculations of how this figure of merit determines the trade-off of spatial against temporal resolution for different imaging modes. Modern photonics' ability to control its fundamental particles at the quantum level, while enjoying extreme flexibility and a very large variety of operating modes, is held up as an example and a goal. We argue that this goal may be approached by combining ideas already in the literature, suggesting the need for large-scale collaborative development of next-generation time-resolved instruments.
The emergence of resistance mechanisms to, and revocation of, many insecticides used in the control of the polyphagus aphid pest, Myzus persicae (Sulzer), has increased the pressure to develop novel approaches for the control of the pest in many crops. Kaolin-based particle films provide a physical barrier against insect pests and show considerable potential for controlling M. persicae. We conducted a series of laboratory experiments to investigate the mode of action of kaolin against aphids. The material appeared to have no direct effect on M. persicae; spraying adult aphids with aqueous kaolin suspension had no significant impact on their subsequent survival or reproduction on untreated plants. Similarly, when aphids were placed on kaolin-treated host-plants (Brassica oleracea), their performance (survival, growth rate and reproduction) was not significantly different from aphids on untreated plants. However, when M. persicae were given a choice between kaolin-treated and untreated (or water solvent-treated) leaf areas, both adults and nymphs exhibited a significant preference for non-kaolin-treated host-plant material. Rejection of kaolin-treated plant material occurred very rapidly (within 20 min) and this behavioural effect may be related to the efficacy of kaolin in controlling aphids under field conditions.