Researchers have found a way around what was considered a fundamental limitation of physics for over 100 years. They were able to conceive resonant systems that can store electromagnetic waves over a long period of time while maintaining a broad bandwidth. Their study opens up a number of doors, particularly in telecommunications.
Fusion power has the potential to provide clean and safe energy that is free from carbon dioxide emissions. However, imitating the solar energy process is a difficult task to achieve. Two young plasma physicists have now taken us one step closer to a functional fusion reactor. Their model could lead to better methods for decelerating the runaway electrons, which could destroy a future reactor without warning.
In a proof-of-concept study, engineers have designed a flexible thermoelectric energy harvester that has the potential to rival the effectiveness of existing power wearable electronic devices using body heat as the only source of energy.
By using suitable systems, more than 80 percent of heating energy for Finnish households could be produced using solar energy with competitive prices. This result is also valid for Sweden, Norway, Alaska, northern Canada and other locations at the same latitudes.
Heavy-duty trucks will soon be driving around in Trondheim, Norway, fueled by hydrogen created with solar power, and emitting only pure water vapor as “exhaust”. Not only will hydrogen technology revolutionize road transport, it will also enable ships and trains to run emission-free.
It is crucial that mobile phones and other wireless devices -- so prevalent today -- have accurate and traceable measurements for electric fields and radiated power. Until recently, however, it wasn't possible to build self-calibrating probes that could generate independent and absolute measurements of these. To address this, researchers have developed a method to measure electric fields and a probe to carry out such measurements.
Corn is grown not only for food, it is also an important renewable energy source. Renewable biofuels can come with hidden economic and environmental issues, and the question of whether corn is better utilized as food or as a biofuel has persisted since ethanol came into use. For the first time, researchers have quantified and compared these issues in terms of economics of the entire production system to determine if the benefits of biofuel corn outweigh the costs.
A recent discovery could lead to a new, more sustainable way to make ethanol without corn or other crops. This promising technology has three basic components: water, carbon dioxide and electricity delivered through a copper catalyst.
Modern batteries power everything from cars to cell phones, but they are far from perfect -- they catch fire, they perform poorly in cold weather and they have relatively short lifecycles, among other issues. Now researchers have described a new class of material that addresses many of those concerns in a new article.
Engineers have developed new electrolytes that enable lithium batteries to run at temperatures as low as -60 degrees Celsius with excellent performance -- in comparison, today's lithium-ion batteries stop working at -20 degrees Celsius. The new electrolytes also enable electrochemical capacitors to run as cold as -80 degrees Celsius -- their current limit is -40 degrees Celsius.
Researchers have provided new insight into piezoelectrics materials, a smart material used in ultrasound technology. While forming the most thorough model to date of how these materials work, they found striking similarities with the behavior of water. A more complete understanding of why these materials behave the way they do can unlock new materials design, leading to higher quality piezoelectrics that may revolutionize smart material applications.
Using femtosecond visible and terahertz (THz) pulses as external perturbations, scientists have investigated the second harmonic generation effect in photoexcited BiCoO3. Driven by the THz pulse, this research highlights the importance of orbital excitation in the Co3+ ion and provides clues for improving the performance of nonlinear optical phenomena in nonlinear crystals on the femtosecond time scale.
Electrical engineers have invented a printed sensor made of metallic carbon nanotubes that can monitor the tread of tires in real-time. In its first demonstration, the cheap, simple innovation shows it can measure tire thickness down to the millimeter while surviving the harsh conditions of the interior of a tire.