Switzerland Current Affairs

World’s fastest, shortest laser pulse created

Scientists from ETH Zurich in Switzerland have successfully created the world’s shortest X-ray laser pulse with duration of just 43 attoseconds (1×10−18 of a second). This laser pulse is the shortest controlled event that has ever been created by humans.

Laser

Laser is an acronym for Light Amplification by Stimulated Emission of Radiation. It is highly coherent, unidirectional beam of perfectly monochromatic light. It has greater energy than normal light. It is used in range of application like sensors, optical communication sources etc.

Applications

Using this laser pulse, researchers can now observe in high detail how electrons movement within molecule and fully understand dynamics during chemical reaction. This laser can also help in attosecond spectroscopy, by contributing development of more efficient solar cells by observing the process of excitation through sunlight up to the generation of electricity step by step.

Moreover, a detailed understanding of charge transfer pathway using it can also help in optimizing the efficiency of next generation of photosensitive elements. Using this laser pulse, chemical reactions can also be directly manipulated by altering course of reaction even chemical bonds can be broken by stopping charge shift at certain location in molecule.

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India ranks 40th in 2017 Global Competitiveness Index

India was placed at 40th spot among 137 countries in World Economic Forum’s (WEF) Global Competitiveness Index (GCI) 2017-18. India has slipped by one position compared to 39th spot in 2016 GCI.

Global Competitiveness Index

WEF’s GCI assesses competitiveness of countries to provide insight into drivers of their productivity and prosperity. GCI scores are calculated on basis of 12 categories called ‘pillars of competitiveness which covers both business and social indicators. It includes pillars such as institutions, infrastructure, health and primary education, labour market efficiency, financial market development, technological readiness and market size.

Key Highlights of 2017 GCI

Top 5 Countries: Switzerland (1st), United States (2nd), Singapore (3rd), Netherlands (4th) and Germany (5th).

BRICS Countries: China (27th), Russia (38th), India (40th), South Africa (61st) and Brazil (80th).

India related facts: India remains most competitive country in South Asia. It has improved across most pillars of competitiveness, particularly infrastructure (66th, up by 2), higher education and training (75th, up by 6), and technological readiness (107th, up by 3) reflecting recent public investments in these areas. The report has lauded India’s efforts in information and communications technology (ICT) sector as it can boost internet economy.

Global Challenges: According to 2017 GCI, there are risks from uncertain global economic conditions. Since 2008 global financial crisis, prospects for sustained economic recovery remain at risk due to widespread failure on part of leaders and policymakers to put in place reforms necessary to underpin competitiveness.

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