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Archive for the ‘energy’ category: Page 129

Aug 3, 2015

World’s first “aqueous solar flow battery” outperforms traditional lithium-iodine batteries

Posted by in categories: energy, solar power, sustainability

The scientists who last year revealed the world’s first solar battery that essentially combines a battery and solar cell, are now reporting its first significant performance milestone. Tested against traditional lithium-iodine batteries, the researchers are claiming energy savings of 20 percent.

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Aug 3, 2015

Microsoft Works Out How to Upgrade Online Encryption to Protect Against Quantum Computers

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, computing, encryption, energy

Call it an abundance of caution. A Microsoft research project has upgraded the encryption protocol that secures the Web to resist attacks from quantum computers—machines that are expected to have stupendous power but have never been built.

Governments and computing giants like IBM, Microsoft, and Google are working on quantum computers because tapping subtle effects of quantum physics should let them solve in seconds some problems that a conventional machine couldn’t solve in billions of years (see “Microsoft’s Quantum Mechanics”). That might allow breakthroughs in areas such as medicine or energy. But such machines would also be able to easily break the encryption used to secure information online.

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Aug 2, 2015

From cameras to computers, new material could change how we work and play

Posted by in categories: computing, energy, life extension, physics

Serendipity has as much a place in science as in love. That’s what Northeastern physicists Swastik Kar and Srinivas Sridhar found during their four-year project to modify graphene, a stronger-than-steel infinitesimally thin lattice of tightly packed carbon atoms. Primarily funded by the Army Research Laboratory and Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, or DARPA, the researchers were charged with imbuing the decade-old material with thermal sensitivity for use in infrared imaging devices such as night-vision goggles for the military.

What they unearthed, published Friday in the journal Science Advances, was so much more: an entirely new material spun out of boron, nitrogen, carbon, and oxygen that shows evidence of magnetic, optical, and electrical properties as well as DARPA’s sought-after thermal ones. Its potential applications run the gamut: from 20-megapixel arrays for cellphone cameras to photo detectors to atomically thin transistors that when multiplied by the billions could fuel computers.

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Jul 30, 2015

Solar Now Cheaper Than Fossil Fuels for Many Small Businesses

Posted by in categories: energy, sustainability

SolarCity is expanding its services to small and medium-sized businesses. This move allows local businesses to save money with renewable energy. Going solar.

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Jul 29, 2015

Researchers build bacteria’s photosynthetic engine

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, energy

“Furthermore, the chromatophore project marks a shift in computational biophysics from analyzing the individual cell parts (e.g., a single protein) to analyzing the specialized systems of the cell (e.g., hundreds of proteins working together to carry out an autonomous function). This is a significant step toward the long-term goal of simulating an entire living organism.”


Nearly all life on Earth depends on photosynthesis, the conversion of light energy into chemical energy. Oxygen-producing plants and cyanobacteria perfected this process 2.7 billion years ago. But the first photosynthetic organisms were likely single-celled purple bacteria that began absorbing near-infrared light and converting it to sulfur or sulfates about 3.4 billion years ago.

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Jul 29, 2015

Hanging Underneath A Bridge Is A Great Place To Put Wind Turbines — By Charlie Sorrel | Fast Company

Posted by in categories: energy, science

3049024-poster-p-1-viaducts-are-great-places-to-put-wind-turbines

One problem with wind power is that it’s expensive to build and hard to find the space. Problem solved.

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Jul 29, 2015

Researchers demonstrate the world’s first white lasers

Posted by in categories: energy, futurism

More luminous and energy efficient than LEDs, white lasers look to be the future in lighting and light-based wireless communication.

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Jul 28, 2015

How to Use a Black Hole’s Spin to Harvest Energy

Posted by in categories: cosmology, energy

A black hole isn’t the energy sink you might think it is. By hurling matter towards a black hole, it might be possible to get energy out of it. Learn how a spinning black hole could be an energy turbine for an entire civilization.

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Jul 28, 2015

When Machines Can Do Most Jobs—Passion, Creativity, and Reinvention Rule

Posted by in categories: employment, energy, health, robotics/AI

Not long ago, schoolchildren chose what they wanted to be when they grew up, and later selected the best college they could gain admission to, spent years gaining proficiency in their fields, and joined a company that had a need for their skills. Careers lasted lifetimes.

Now, by my estimates, the half-life of a career is about 10 years. I expect that it will decrease, within a decade, to five years. Advancing technologies will cause so much disruption to almost every industry that entire professions will disappear. And then, in about 15–20 years from now, we will be facing a jobless future, in which most jobs are done by machines and the cost of basic necessities such as food, energy and health care is negligible — just as the costs of cellphone communications and information are today. We will be entering an era of abundance in which we no longer have to work to have our basic needs met. And we will gain the freedom to pursue creative endeavors and do the things that we really like.

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Jul 24, 2015

Phosphorene could lead to ultrathin solar cells

Posted by in categories: energy, solar power, sustainability

Scientists at Australian National University (ANU) have used simple transparent sticky (aka “Scotch”) tape to create single-atom-thick layers of phosphorene from “black phosphorus,” a black crystalline form of phosphorus similar to graphite (which is used to create graphene).

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