Archive for the ‘energy’ category: Page 7

May 17, 2022

Dams are engineering marvels that produce massive amounts of energy every day; but how do they really do it?

Posted by in categories: energy, engineering



May 16, 2022

Zero-Carbon Flat Glass Made for the First Time

Posted by in categories: energy, materials

French manufacturer used 100% recycled material, green energy.

May 15, 2022

Explosion on a White Dwarf Star Observed for the Very First Time

Posted by in categories: energy, physics

When stars like our Sun run out of fuel, they contract to form white dwarfs. Such dead stars can sometimes flare back to life in a super-hot explosion and produce a fireball of X-ray radiation. A research team from several German institutes including Tübingen University and led by Friedrich-Alexander-Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg (FAU) has now observed such an explosion of X-ray light for the very first time.

“It was to some extent a fortunate coincidence, really,” explains Ole König from the Astronomical Institute at FAU in the Dr. Karl Remeis observatory in Bamberg, who has published an article about this observation in the reputable journal Nature, together with Prof. Dr. Jörn Wilms and a research team from the Max Planck Institute for Extraterrestrial Physics, the University of Tübingen, the Universitat Politécnica de Catalunya in Barcelona, and the Leibniz Institute for Astrophysics Potsdam. “These X-ray flashes last only a few hours and are almost impossible to predict, but the observational instrument must be pointed directly at the explosion at exactly the right time,” explains the astrophysicist.

“These so-called novae do happen all the time but detecting them during the very first moments when most of the X-ray emission is produced is really hard.” —

Continue reading “Explosion on a White Dwarf Star Observed for the Very First Time” »

May 14, 2022

NASA InSight Still Hunting Marsquakes as Power Runs Down (News Audio + Visuals)

Posted by in categories: energy, space

In November 2018, NASA InSight landed in the Elysium Planitia region of Mars with the goal of studying the planet’s deep interior for the first time by using seismic signals to learn more about the properties of the planet’s crust, mantle, and core. Join us live at 11 a.m. PT (2 p.m. ET/1800 UTC) on May 17 as agency leadership and mission team members highlight the spacecraft’s science accomplishments, share details on its power situation, and discuss its future.

Lori Glaze, director of NASA’s Planetary Science Division at NASA Headquarters.
Bruce Banerdt, InSight principal investigator, NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory.
Kathya Zamora Garcia, InSight deputy project manager, JPL

Continue reading “NASA InSight Still Hunting Marsquakes as Power Runs Down (News Audio + Visuals)” »

May 13, 2022

NASA’s future lunar base will be equipped with a novel microgrid

Posted by in categories: energy, space

Called the Artemis lunar base, it will include a habitation unit (for up to four astronauts) and separate mining and fuel processing facilities. These facilities would be built far away from the base camp and would serve to produce rocket fuel, water, oxygen, and other materials needed for extended exploration of the lunar surface while decreasing supply needs from Earth.

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There will also be an electrical grid for the two units which will be connected during emergencies for resiliency and robustness. Sandia’s researchers note that the electrical system controller for the habitation unit will be very similar to the International Space Station (ISS)’s direct current electrical system with some notable differences.

May 12, 2022

A new guide to extremely powerful light pulses

Posted by in category: energy

The first demonstration of the laser in 1960 was rapidly followed by the birth of a new research field: nonlinear optics. The unique coherence properties of stimulated emission, the fundamental physical process of laser radiation, has enabled intensities that exceed those of incoherent sources by many orders of magnitude. The high intensities drive electrons so strongly that they oscillate with frequencies different from those of the driving light field. The subsequent dipole emission can be extremely colorful. Optical fiber or laser filaments have been used as waveguides for decades to maximize this effect and to generate extremely broadband light pulses.

However, if the laser pulses carry too much energy, fiber suffers from damage and light filaments break-up, such that the unique spatial properties of laser radiation are lost. Researchers from the German Electron-Synchrotron DESY in Hamburg, Germany, and the Helmholtz-Institute Jena, Germany have now reported a new method for guiding light in an energy-scalable manner. Guiding is accomplished by the use of two refocusing mirrors and the careful spacing of thin nonlinear glass windows.

The scientists have reported in a recent publication in Ultrafast Science that gain more than 30 times of their initial bandwidth in such a setup and can be consequently compressed by the same factor. This shortens their duration and considerably increases their peak power. Remarkably, these experiments were performed with that exceed the peak power limit in glass fibers by a factor of 40. However, despite propagation through about 40 cm of glass in total, beam quality and pulse energy remained high. “We have elegantly combined two recent approaches to extend the bandwidth of ultrashort pulses. Nevertheless, the optical setup is really simple. All optics we used in our spectral broadening scheme were stock items. This and the excellent noise properties make our approach widely applicable,” says Dr. Marcus Seidel, lead author of the publication.

May 12, 2022

Check out the first hi-res images from NOAA’s new satellite

Posted by in category: energy

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) has shared the first images from its recently deployed GOES-18 weather satellite.

The stunning captures (below) were obtained by the satellite’s Advanced Baseline Imager (ABI) instrument as it orbited about 22,000 miles above Earth.

The ABI observes Earth via sixteen different channels. Each one detects energy at different wavelengths along the electromagnetic spectrum, enabling it to gather data on Earth’s atmosphere, land, and oceans. According to NOAA, data from ABI’s channels can be combined to create imagery known as GeoColor, which looks similar to what the human eye would see from space. Analyzing the data in different ways enables meteorologists to highlight and examine various features of interest.

May 12, 2022

Photosynthesis used to power a microprocessor for over six months

Posted by in categories: chemistry, energy

System represents a breakthrough in the real-life applicability of biophotovotaic devices.

Microprocessors can be powered using photosynthetic microorganisms in ambient light without the need for an external power source, new research shows. Led by Emre Ozer from Arm and Christopher Howe from the University of Cambridge, researchers in the UK, Italy and Norway introduced cyanobacteria Synechocystis sp. PCC6803 into an aluminium–air battery to create a biophotovoltaic device. The device is a similar size to an AA battery, is made from durable and mainly recyclable materials and does not require a dedicated light source to function. It is the first reported bioelectrochemical system capable of continuously powering a microprocessor outside of laboratory-controlled conditions.

‘We decided that we didn’t want to operate the system with a dedicated source of energy. We needed to prove that we can operate under ambient light, and we were able to do it,’ comments Paolo Bombelli, one of the lead researchers from the University of Cambridge.

Continue reading “Photosynthesis used to power a microprocessor for over six months” »

May 11, 2022

Chipmaker NXP considers Austin for $2.6 billion expansion, up to 800 new jobs

Posted by in categories: employment, energy

In a move that could add even more fuel to the booming Central Texas high-tech sector, chipmaker NXP Semiconductors is considering a $2.6 billion expansion in Austin that would create up to 800 jobs.

The potential expansion is the latest big project for which the Austin area is in the running. Tech firm Applied Materials said in March that it’s considering Hutto for a $2.4 billion research and development center, while chipmaker Infineon Technologies said in February that it’s considering Austin for a $700 million expansion.

NXP Semiconductors, which is based in the Netherlands and has two fabrication plants in Austin, is seeking tax breaks from the Austin Independent School District under the state’s Chapter 313 incentive program for proposed expansion. An initial presentation to the district’s board Tuesday night didn’t specify the amount, but previous incentives agreements from Texas school districts for similar Chapter 313 deals have been for tens of millions of dollars.

Continue reading “Chipmaker NXP considers Austin for $2.6 billion expansion, up to 800 new jobs” »

May 8, 2022

Using Sound To Control Enzymatic Reactions

Posted by in categories: chemistry, energy, physics

Unhackneyed compartmentalization generated by audible sound allows the enzyme reactions to be controlled spatiotemporally.

Spatiotemporal regulation of multistep enzyme reactions through compartmentalization is essential in studies that mimic natural systems such as cells and organelles. Until now, scientists have used liposomes, vesicles, or polymersomes to physically separate the different enzymes in compartments, which function as ‘artificial organelles’. But now, a team of researchers led by Director KIM Kimoon at the Center for Self-assembly and Complexity within the Institute for Basic Science in Pohang, South Korea successfully demonstrated the same spatiotemporal regulation of chemical reactions by only using audible sound, which is completely different from the previous methods mentioned above.

Although sound has been widely used in physics, materials science, and other fields, it has rarely been used in chemistry. In particular, audible sound (in the range of 20–20,000 Hz) has not been used in chemical reactions so far because of its low energy. However, for the first time, the same group from the IBS had previously successfully demonstrated the spatiotemporal regulation of chemical reactions through a selective dissolution of atmospheric gases via standing waves generated by audible sound back in 2020.

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