In a set of recent experiments, scientists have tamed a damaging plasma instability in a way that could lead to the efficient and steady-state operation of ITER, the international tokamak experiment under construction in France to demonstrate the practicality of fusion power.
The 1987 Montreal Protocol and the 1997 Kyoto Protocol called for countries around the world to phase out substances that deplete the ozone layer, but many HVAC systems still use synthetic refrigerants that violate those international agreements and inflict environmental damage. Recently, researchers investigated how natural refrigerants could be used in geothermal heat pumps to reduce energy consumption and operating costs.
400 kilometers above Earth, researchers examined waves in complex plasma under microgravity conditions and found that the microparticles behaved in nonuniform ways in the presence of varying electrical fields. They report some of the first findings from the Plasma-Kristall 4 experiment.
Engineers have created a smart wristband with a wireless connection to smartphones that will enable a new wave of personal health and environmental monitoring devices. Their technology could be added to watches and other wearable devices that monitor heart rates and physical activity.
Scientists have addressed one of the major disadvantages of all-solid-state batteries by developing batteries with a low resistance at their electrode/solid electrolyte interface. The fabricated batteries showed excellent electrochemical properties that greatly surpass those of traditional and ubiquitous Li-ion batteries; thereby, demonstrating the promise of all-solid-state battery technology and its potential to revolutionize portable electronics.
Scientists have discovered a behavior in materials called cuprates that suggests they carry current in a way entirely different from conventional metals such as copper. The research adds new meaning to the materials' moniker, ''strange metals.''
Researchers have discovered how to power simple robots with a novel substance that, when heated, can expand more than 10 times in size, change its viscosity by a factor of 10 and transition from regular to highly irregular granules with surprising force. You can also eat it with a little butter and salt.
In perovskite solar cells, charge carriers are mainly lost through recombination occurring at interface defect sites. In contrast, recombination at defect sites within the perovskite layer does not limit the performance of the solar cells at present. Teams from the University of Potsdam and the Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin (HZB) were able to reach this interesting conclusion through extremely accurate quantitative measurements on 1 cm2 perovskite cells using photoluminescence.
This study is the first to use heavy water (D2O) - a form of water that contains deuterium (D) instead of hydrogen - in the field of transmission electron microscopy (TEM). This approach significantly delays sample damage, which is one of the major impediments for broader application of liquid-phase TEM to fragile biological samples.
New research suggests that electric vehicle drivers could face longer charging times when temperatures drop. The reason: cold temperatures impact the electrochemical reactions within the cell, and onboard battery management systems limit the charging rate to avoid damage to the battery.
Wind and solar farms are known to have local effects on heat, humidity and other factors that may be beneficial -- or detrimental -- to the regions in which they are situated. A new climate-modeling study finds that a massive wind and solar installation in the Sahara Desert and neighboring Sahel would increase local temperature, precipitation and vegetation. Overall, the researchers report, the effects would likely benefit the region.
Hydropower can generate electricity without emitting greenhouse gases but can cause environmental and social harms, such as damaged wildlife habitat, impaired water quality, impeded fish migration, reduced sediment transport, and diminished cultural and recreation benefits of rivers. A new River Research and Applications study considers these issues as they relate to a hydropower project undergoing relicensing in California.