Subscribe to our free daily newsletters
. 24/7 Space News .




Subscribe to our free daily newsletters



Please, Do Disturb

"Noise might be essential to maintaining the stability and the persistence of marine ecosystems," Zhou says. This research might therefore help environmental scientists predict or even prevent toxic plankton blooms by observing the natural noise that affects them.
Potsdam, Germany (SPX) Feb 01, 2005
Noise is usually nothing more than a disturbance, but sometimes it can be useful. Researchers have discovered that noise could bring order to chaotic systems, protect and maintain entire marine ecosystems, and even make the chemical industry greener.

This research is reported today in a special Einstein Year issue of the New Journal of Physics published jointly by the Institute of Physics and the German Physical Society (Deutsche Physikalische Gesellschaft).

Changsong Zhou and a group of physicists at the University of Potsdam, Germany, are studying chaotic systems, known as excitable media. The firing of neurons in the brain is an example of such a system, as is the growth and receding of blooms of plankton in the sea.

Such systems do not become excited by small signals but if they are stimulated above a threshold amount, then they give it their all: neurons fire and plankton blooms.

"Similarly, excitable non-linear behaviour is also found in chemical reactions", explains Zhou, "where an external pressure or light can push a reaction down one route instead of another."

Zhou and his colleagues have found that the key to this sort of excitation is chaotic mixing and noise. The researchers demonstrated how a non-linear system can be controlled to become synchronized even when its stimulus is below the threshold by the addition of noise to the system.

The results based on their model study imply that oscillatory behaviour in many natural systems, rather than being disturbed by noise, is thus sustained by it.

For instance, the "noise" in a marine ecosystem due to temperature changes, ocean currents, wind-driven waves, fluctuations in nutrient levels, the movement of schools of fish, and wind-driven waves affect how plankton blooms grow and recede.

If the conditions are below an optimum the plankton do not grow, but they can be forced into action by noise, and once they are stimulated the whole system is activated and a marine landscape is quickly blanketed by the bloom.

Zhou's results suggest that without noise such blooms might be physically unable to flourish in some areas or might not follow the usual seasonal cycles.

"Noise might be essential to maintaining the stability and the persistence of marine ecosystems," Zhou says. This research might therefore help environmental scientists predict or even prevent toxic plankton blooms by observing the natural noise that affects them.

Zhou and his colleagues also suggest that noise might usefully be used to control chemical reactions. They explain that random disturbances in industrial mixing tanks could be promoted to make a reaction proceed more efficiently and so reduce chemical waste, making the chemical industry a little more environmentally friendly.

Related Links
Institute of Physics
New Journal of Physics
SpaceDaily
Search SpaceDaily
Subscribe To SpaceDaily Express

Moss In Space Project Shows How Some Plants Grow Without Gravity
Columbus OH (SPX) Jan 27, 2005
Experiments on moss grown aboard two space shuttle Columbia missions showed that the plants didn't behave as scientists expected them to in the near-absence of gravity.


Thanks for being here;
We need your help. The SpaceDaily news network continues to grow but revenues have never been harder to maintain.

With the rise of Ad Blockers, and Facebook - our traditional revenue sources via quality network advertising continues to decline. And unlike so many other news sites, we don't have a paywall - with those annoying usernames and passwords.

Our news coverage takes time and effort to publish 365 days a year.

If you find our news sites informative and useful then please consider becoming a regular supporter or for now make a one off contribution.

SpaceDaily Contributor
$5 Billed Once


credit card or paypal
SpaceDaily Monthly Supporter
$5 Billed Monthly


paypal only






Memory Foam Mattress Review
Newsletters :: SpaceDaily :: SpaceWar :: TerraDaily :: Energy Daily
XML Feeds :: Space News :: Earth News :: War News :: Solar Energy News








The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2016 - Space Media Network. All websites are published in Australia and are solely subject to Australian law and governed by Fair Use principals for news reporting and research purposes. AFP, UPI and IANS news wire stories are copyright Agence France-Presse, United Press International and Indo-Asia News Service. ESA news reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. Advertising does not imply endorsement, agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by Space Media Network on any Web page published or hosted by Space Media Network. Privacy Statement All images and articles appearing on Space Media Network have been edited or digitally altered in some way. Any requests to remove copyright material will be acted upon in a timely and appropriate manner. Any attempt to extort money from Space Media Network will be ignored and reported to Australian Law Enforcement Agencies as a potential case of financial fraud involving the use of a telephonic carriage device or postal service.