Hexbyte Glen Cove Gators fouled by diesel spill get a scrubbing, teeth cleaned

Hexbyte Glen Cove

In this photo provided by the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries, a 6-foot alligator is washed, Thursday, Jan. 13, 2022, at a wildlife rehabilitation facility set up after 300,000 gallons of diesel fuel poured out of a broken pipeline near Chalmette, La. The alligator is among at least 78 rescued since the spill on Dec. 27, 2021. At least 33 have been cleaned up and released in Bayou Sauvage National Wildlife Refuge in New Orleans, about 10 miles from the spill site. Credit: Laura Carver/Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries via AP

Wildlife rehabilitators are decontaminating dozens of alligators, brushing their pointy teeth and scrubbing their scaly hides in the weeks after a pipeline rupture dumped 300,000 gallons (1.1 million liters) of diesel fuel into a New Orleans area wetland.

Diesel poured into the area outside the New Orleans suburb of Chalmette on Dec. 27 after a severely corroded pipeline broke, according to federal records.

Seventy-eight alligators have since been rescued, and 33 of them had been cleaned and released by Friday into a national wildlife refuge located in New Orleans and about 10 miles (16 kilometers) from the spill site in St. Bernard Parish, the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries said.

Cleaning a six-foot-long (2-meter) alligator on Thursday required eight people: four holders, two scrubbers, one person with a hose for hot-water rinses and one to change the wash water, said Laura Carver, who became the department’s oil spill coordinator in February 2010, less than three months before a massive BP oil spill off Louisiana in the Gulf.

Carver said the impact of December’s diesel spill on wildlife was relatively high compared to most spills in Louisiana.

Rehabilitating that many alligators at once “is a new one for us,” Carver said.

She said a hard piece of wood “almost like a really old-fashioned mop handle” is used to hold the alligator’s jaw open while its teeth are scrubbed.

This photo provided by the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries shows an American coot flying in the Bayou Sauvage National Wildlife Refuge in New Orleans on Thursday, Jan. 13, 2022, after being cleaned of diesel fuel from a broken pipeline in nearby St. Bernard Parish. Only three of 23 birds found alive after the spill have survived, but the 78 alligators rescued so far are doing well, and 33 of them had been released in the refuge by the morning of Friday, Jan. 14, 2022. Credit: Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries via AP

The teeth cleaning comes toward the end of a series of body washes using gradually smaller concentrations of Dawn dish detergent to clean off the gunk. “They literally get their mouths washed out with soap. But it’s the only thing that works,” Carver said.

She said nearly all of the spill went into two artificial ponds, and only the smaller pond was completely covered with diesel.

The vast majority has been recovered from the ponds and contractors for operator Collins Pipeline Co. of Collins, Mississippi, are working on plans to deal with contaminated soil, Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality spokesman Gregory Langley said Friday.

Collins Pipeline, a subsidiary of New Jersey-Based PBF Energy, had known about corrosion on the outside of the pipe at the site of the spill since an Oct. 2020 inspection, according to federal records. However, it delayed repairs after a second inspection showed the corrosion was not bad enough to need immediate attention. At the time of the spill the company was awaiting permits for the work and planned to start it later this month, the records show.

The Gulf Coast is in constant danger of spills from corroded oil and , said Dustin Renaud, spokesman for the environmental nonprofit Healthy Gulf.

“It’s time we take a systematic approach to reviewing the vulnerability of our oil and gas infrastructure, and start the process of repairing and removing these rust buckets,” he said in an email.

The spilled fuel killed about 2,300 fish in two pits from which dirt was once excavated for construction. Most were minnows and bait fish, Carver said, along with some shad, gar, sunfish and small bass.

This undated photo provided by the Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality on Wednesday, Jan. 12, 2022, shows cleanup work at the site where more than 300,000 gallons of diesel spilled on Dec. 27, 2021, just outside New Orleans. An October 2020 inspection revealed external corrosion along a 22-foot section of pipe in the same area as the spill. But documents show repairs were delayed after a subsequent inspection indicated the corrosion was not bad enough to require work immediately under federal regulations. Credit: Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality via AP

Noise-making cannons have been set up in the area to keep birds and animals away, the federal records show.

Most of the alligators were brought in within two weeks of the , but seven were rescued this week, Carver said.

More than 100 animals found dead included 39 snakes, 32 birds and nine frogs.

Although 23 live birds were found, only three survived the combination of diesel and cold weather, Carver said. She said two have been released and a third is still being treated.

The department euthanized three alligators more than 8 feet long, Carver said. They were in deep diesel and “in rough shape,” she said.

Birds and smaller reptiles get their mouths swabbed out, often as they’re captured or when they’re brought in, Carver said.

Federal records show that Collins notified authorities the night of Dec. 27, within an hour after going to the site and nearly nine hours after shutting down the pipeline because meters indicated a likely break.

This undated photo provided by the Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality on Wednesday, Jan. 12, 2022, shows cleanup work at the site where more than 300,000 gallons of diesel spilled on Dec. 27, 2021, just outside New Orleans. An October 2020 inspection revealed external corrosion along a 22-foot section of pipe in the same area as the spill. But documents show repairs were delayed after a subsequent inspection indicated the corrosion was not bad enough to require work immediately under federal regulations. Credit: Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality via AP

Langley had no comment about whether the department considers that time lapse a problem, noting the investigation is continuing.

“Once the investigation is complete, the department’s enforcement division may be asked whether any environmental regulations were broken,” he wrote in an email Friday.

Langley said the Louisiana Oil Spill Coordinator’s Office is leading the state investigation. The office did not immediately return a call for comment Friday.

The alligators released in Bayou Sauvage National Wildlife Refuge include 11 babies less than 18 inches (46 centimeters) long.

Gators have to wait for their cleaning until all polluted food has made it through their digestive systems, Carver said.

Though the babies, all found near each other, shared a kiddie pool, each of the others has its own kiddie pool within a plywood enclosure.

“We’ve found that cyclone fencing really doesn’t work because the larger gators really like to climb,” Carver said.



© 2022 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed without permission.

Citation:
Gators fouled by diesel spill get a scrubbing, teeth cleaned (2022, January 15)
retrieved 15 January 2022
from https://phys.org/news/2022-01-gators-fouled-diesel-teeth.html

This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no
part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only.

% %item_read_more_button%% Hexbyte Glen Cove Educational Blog Repost With Backlinks — #metaverse #vr #ar #wordpress

Hexbyte Glen Cove Researchers develop a new way to control and measure energy levels in a diamond crystal

Hexbyte Glen Cove

Caption:Instrumentation setup in the Quantum Engineering Group at MIT to study dynamical symmetries with qubits in diamond crystals Credit: Guoqing Wang/MIT

Physicists and engineers have long been interested in creating new forms of matter, those not typically found in nature. Such materials might find use someday in, for example, novel computer chips. Beyond applications, they also reveal elusive insights about the fundamental workings of the universe. Recent work at MIT both created and characterized new quantum systems demonstrating dynamical symmetry—particular kinds of behavior that repeat periodically, like a shape folded and reflected through time.

“There are two problems we needed to solve,” says Changhao Li, a graduate student in the lab of Paola Cappellaro, a professor of nuclear science and engineering. Li published the work recently in Physical Review Letters, together with Cappellaro and fellow graduate student Guoqing Wang. “The first problem was that we needed to engineer such a system. And second, how do we characterize it? How do we observe this symmetry?”

Concretely, the quantum system consisted of a diamond crystal about a millimeter across. The crystal contains many imperfections caused by a next to a gap in the lattice—a so-called nitrogen-vacancy center. Just like an electron, each center has a quantum property called a spin, with two discrete . Because the system is a quantum system, the spins can be found not only in one of the levels, but also in a combination of both energy levels, like Schrodinger’s theoretical cat, which can be both alive and dead at the same time.

The energy level of the system is defined by its Hamiltonian, whose periodic time dependence the researchers engineered via microwave control. The system was said to have dynamical symmetry if its Hamiltonian was the same not only after every time period t but also after, for example, every t/2 or t/3, like folding a piece of paper in half or in thirds so that no part sticks out. Georg Engelhardt, a postdoc at the Beijing Computational Science Research, who was not involved in this work but whose own theoretical work served as a foundation, likens the symmetry to guitar harmonics, in which a string might vibrate at both 100 hertz and 50 Hz.

To induce and observe such dynamical symmetry, the MIT team first initialized the system using a laser pulse. Then they directed various selected frequencies of microwave radiation at it and let it evolve, allowing it to absorb and emit the energy. “What’s amazing is that when you add such driving, it can exhibit some very fancy phenomena,” Li says. “It will have some periodic shake.” Finally, they shot another laser pulse at it and measured the visible light that it fluoresced, in order to measure its state. The measurement was only a snapshot, so they repeated the experiment many times to piece together a kind of flip book that characterized its behavior across time.

Dynamical symmetries, which play an essential role in physics, are engineered and characterized by a cutting-edge quantum information processing toolkit. Credit: Image courtesy of the researchers.

“What is very impressive is that they can show that they have this incredible control over the ,” Engelhardt says. “It’s quite easy to solve the equation, but realizing this in an experiment is quite difficult.”

Critically, the researchers observed that the dynamically symmetry of the Hamiltonian—the harmonics of the system’s energy level—dictated which transitions could occur between one state and another. “And the novelty of this work,” Wang says, “is also that we introduce a tool that can be used to characterize any quantum information platform, not just nitrogen-vacancy centers in diamonds. It’s broadly applicable.” Li notes that their technique is simpler than previous methods, those that require constant laser pulses to drive and measure the system’s periodic movement.

One engineering application is in quantum computers, systems that manipulate qubits, bits that can be not only 0 or 1, but a combination of 0 and 1. A diamond’s spin can encode one qubit in its two energy levels.

Qubits are delicate: they easily break down into simple bit, a 1 or a 0. Or the qubit might become the wrong combination of 0 and 1. “These tools for measuring dynamical symmetries,” Engelhardt says, “can be used to as a sanity check that your experiment is tuned correctly—and with a very high precision.” He notes the problem of outside perturbations in quantum computers, which he likens to a de-tuned guitar. By tuning the tension of the strings—adjusting the microwave radiation—such that the harmonics match some theoretical symmetry requirements, one can be sure that the experiment is perfectly calibrated.

The MIT team already has their sights set on extensions to this work. “The next step is to apply our method to more complex systems and study more interesting physics,” Li says. They aim for more than two energy levels—three, or 10, or more. With more energy levels they can represent more qubits. “When you have more qubits, you have more complex symmetries,” Li says. “And you can characterize them using our method here.”



More information:
Guoqing Wang et al, Observation of Symmetry-Protected Selection Rules in Periodically Driven Quantum Systems, Physical Review Letters (2021). DOI: 10.1103/PhysRevLett.127.140604

This story is republished courtesy of MIT News (web.mit.edu/newsoffice/), a popular site that covers news about MIT research, innovation and teaching.

Citation:
Researchers develop a new way to control and measure energy levels in a diamond crystal (2021, October 28)
retrieved 29 October 2021
from https://phys.org/news/2021-10-energy-diamond-crystal.html

This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the

Read More Hexbyte Glen Cove Educational Blog Repost With Backlinks —