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Archive for the ‘sustainability’ category: Page 3

Dec 26, 2019

Longevity escape velocity

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, life extension, Ray Kurzweil, sustainability

In the life extension movement, longevity escape velocity (sometimes referred to as Actuarial escape velocity[1]) is a hypothetical situation in which life expectancy is extended longer than the time that is passing. For example, in a given year in which longevity escape velocity would be maintained, technological advances would increase life expectancy more than the year that just went by.

Life expectancy increases slightly every year as treatment strategies and technologies improve. At present, more than one year of research is required for each additional year of expected life. Longevity escape velocity occurs when this ratio reverses, so that life expectancy increases faster than one year per one year of research, as long as that rate of advance is sustainable.[2][3][4]

The concept was first publicly proposed by David Gobel, co-founder of the Methuselah Foundation (MF). The idea has been championed by biogerontologist Aubrey de Grey[5] (the other co-founder of the MF), and futurist Ray Kurzweil,[6] who named one of his books, Fantastic Voyage: Live Long Enough to Live Forever, after the concept. These two claim that by putting further pressure on science and medicine to focus research on increasing limits of aging, rather than continuing along at its current pace, more lives will be saved in the future, even if the benefit is not immediately apparent.[2].

Dec 26, 2019

Study reveals the Great Pyramid of Giza can focus electromagnetic energy

Posted by in categories: existential risks, nanotechnology, physics, solar power, sustainability

An international research group has applied methods of theoretical physics to investigate the electromagnetic response of the Great Pyramid to radio waves. Scientists predicted that under resonance conditions, the pyramid can concentrate electromagnetic energy in its internal chambers and under the base. The research group plans to use these theoretical results to design nanoparticles capable of reproducing similar effects in the optical range. Such nanoparticles may be used, for example, to develop sensors and highly efficient solar cells. The study was published in the Journal of Applied Physics.

While Egyptian are surrounded by many myths and legends, researchers have little scientifically reliable information about their physical properties. Physicists recently took an interest in how the Great Pyramid would interact with electromagnetic waves of a resonant length. Calculations showed that in the resonant state, the pyramid can concentrate in the its internal chambers as well as under its base, where the third unfinished chamber is located.

These conclusions were derived on the basis of numerical modeling and analytical methods of physics. The researchers first estimated that resonances in the pyramid can be induced by radio waves with a length ranging from 200 to 600 meters. Then they made a model of the electromagnetic response of the pyramid and calculated the extinction cross section. This value helps to estimate which part of the incident wave energy can be scattered or absorbed by the pyramid under resonant conditions. Finally, for the same conditions, the scientists obtained the electromagnetic field distribution inside the pyramid.

Dec 26, 2019

1,000 Starships, 20 Years Are Needed to Build Sustainable City on Mars, Says Elon Musk

Posted by in categories: Elon Musk, space travel, sustainability

Elon Musk shared an update that building a sustainable city on Mars will take at least two more decades, as the planets align only once every two years.

Dec 25, 2019

Free of Heavy Metals, New Battery Design Could Alleviate Environmental Concerns

Posted by in categories: energy, sustainability, transportation

Today, IBM Research is building on a long history of materials science innovation to unveil a new battery discovery. This new research could help eliminate the need for heavy metals in battery production and transform the long-term sustainability of many elements of our energy infrastructure.

As battery-powered alternatives for everything from vehicles to smart energy grids are explored, there remain significant concerns around the sustainability of available battery technologies.

Many battery materials, including heavy metals such as nickel and cobalt, pose tremendous environmental and humanitarian risks. Cobalt in particular, which is largely available in central Africa, has come under fire for careless and exploitative extraction practices.1

Dec 25, 2019

Scientists create thin films with tantalizing electronic properties

Posted by in categories: computing, solar power, sustainability

Scientists have created thin films made from barium zirconium sulfide (BaZrS3) and confirmed that the materials have alluring electronic and optical properties predicted by theorists.

The films combine exceptionally strong light absorption with good charge transport—two qualities that make them ideal for applications such as photovoltaics and light-emitting diodes (LEDs).

In , for example, experimental results suggest that BaZrS3 films would be much more efficient at converting sunlight into electricity than traditional silicon-based materials with identical thicknesses, says lead researcher Hao Zeng, Ph.D., professor of physics in the University at Buffalo College of Arts and Sciences. This could lower solar energy costs, especially because the new films performed admirably even when they had imperfections. (Manufacturing nearly flawless materials is typically more expensive, Zeng explains.)

Dec 24, 2019

Solar power from ‘the dark side’ unlocked by a new formula

Posted by in categories: solar power, sustainability

Engineers calculate the ultimate potential of next-generation solar panels

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. — Most of today’s solar panels capture sunlight and convert it to electricity only from the side facing the sky. If the dark underside of a solar panel could also convert sunlight reflected off the ground, even more electricity might be generated.

Double-sided solar cells are already enabling panels to sit vertically on land or rooftops and even horizontally as the canopy of a gas station, but it hasn’t been known exactly how much electricity these panels could ultimately generate or the money they could save.

Continue reading “Solar power from ‘the dark side’ unlocked by a new formula” »

Dec 22, 2019

We’ve just had the best decade in human history. Seriously

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, economics, sustainability

Let nobody tell you that the second decade of the 21st century has been a bad time. We are living through the greatest improvement in human living standards in history. Extreme poverty has fallen below 10 percent of the world’s population for the first time. It was 60 percent when I was born. Global inequality has been plunging as Africa and Asia experience faster economic growth than Europe and North America; child mortality has fallen to record low levels; famine virtually went extinct; malaria, polio and heart disease are all in decline.

Little of this made the news, because good news is no news. But I’ve been watching it all closely. Ever since I wrote The Rational Optimist in 2010, I’ve been faced with ‘what about…’ questions: what about the great recession, the euro crisis, Syria, Ukraine, Donald Trump? How can I possibly say that things are getting better, given all that? The answer is: because bad things happen while the world still gets better. Yet get better it does, and it has done so over the course of this decade at a rate that has astonished even starry-eyed me.

Perhaps one of the least fashionable predictions I made nine years ago was that ‘the ecological footprint of human activity is probably shrinking’ and ‘we are getting more sustainable, not less, in the way we use the planet’. That is to say: our population and economy would grow, but we’d learn how to reduce what we take from the planet. And so it has proved. An MIT scientist, Andrew McAfee, recently documented this in a book called More from Less, showing how some nations are beginning to use less stuff: less metal, less water, less land. Not just in proportion to productivity: less stuff overall.

Dec 21, 2019

London’s electric buses are getting fake noise, and it’s positively psychedelic

Posted by in categories: law, sustainability, transportation

From next year, some of London’s electric buses will play artificial noise while traveling at low speeds, and the specific sound that’s been created for them is an ambient treat for the ears. The noise was created by Zelig Sound, which has been working with Transport for London on the audio over the past year.

The sound is being introduced in response to a new EU law which stipulates that all electric vehicles will eventually need to produce artificial noise while traveling at low speeds, to make up for the lack of noise from their internal engines. If you can’t hear a vehicle, then you’re not as aware of its presence, and research suggests pedestrians are more likely to be hit by electric or hybrid cars as a result.

Wired reports the base note is a soft F#maj7 chord, with a slight pulsing sound in the background. This is what gets played when a bus is stationary:

Continue reading “London’s electric buses are getting fake noise, and it’s positively psychedelic” »

Dec 17, 2019

Scientists Are Working on Spray-On Solar Panels

Posted by in categories: solar power, sustainability

Perovskites have been a hot research topic for the past 10 years, but we think we really have something here that can move us forward.

Dec 16, 2019

JBL says its solar-powered headphones deliver ‘unlimited’ listening

Posted by in category: sustainability

You might never have to plug the Reflect Eternal in for a recharge.

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