Blog

Archive for the ‘energy’ category

Feb 16, 2019

Gravitational-wave observatory LIGO set to double its detecting power

Posted by in category: energy

A planned US$35-million upgrade could enable LIGO to spot one black-hole merger per hour by the mid-2020s.

Read more

Feb 10, 2019

This tower is a massive battery and it’s fuelled by gravity

Posted by in categories: energy, sustainability

This tower is a massive battery — and it could help solve one of renewable energy’s biggest challenges.

Read more

Feb 9, 2019

Scottish space firm unveils world’s largest 3D printed rocket engine

Posted by in categories: 3D printing, energy, engineering, satellites

Scottish space firm Orbex has unveiled an engineering prototype of a rocket that’s at the heart of plans to develop a UK satellite launch capability.

The company, which is involved in plans to develop the UK’s first spaceport in Sutherland, Scotland unveiled the rocket at the opening of its new headquarters and rocket design facility in Forres in the Scottish Highlands.

Designed to deliver small satellites into Earth’s orbit, Orbex Prime is a two-stage rocket that’s claimed to be up to 30% lighter and 20% more efficient than any other vehicle in the small launcher category. It is also the first commercial rocket engine designed to work with bio-propane, a clean-burning, renewable fuel source that cuts carbon emissions by 90% compared to fossil hydrocarbon fuels.

Continue reading “Scottish space firm unveils world’s largest 3D printed rocket engine” »

Feb 7, 2019

The Future Circular Collider: Can it Unlock Mysteries of the Universe?

Posted by in categories: energy, physics, space

In the early 1990s, I was lucky enough to get some time on a 60 MeV linear accelerator as part of an undergraduate lab course. Having had this experience, I can feel for the scientists at CERN who have had to make do with their current 13 TeV accelerator, which only manages energies some 200,000 times larger. So, I read with great interest when they announced the publication of the initial design concept for the Future Circular Collider (FCC), which promises collisions nearly an order of magnitude more energetic. The plan, which has been in the works since 2014, includes three proposals for accelerators which would succeed CERN’s current big iron, the LHC.

Want to know what’s on the horizon in high-energy physics?

Read more

Feb 6, 2019

Melbourne’s radical engineers storing electricity in ‘2D’ sheets

Posted by in categories: energy, futurism

A team of boffins in Port Melbourne may have the answer to our future energy storage needs.

Read more

Feb 6, 2019

Quantum dots that produce white light could be the light bulb’s successor

Posted by in categories: energy, quantum physics

Circa 2005


Until 1993 LEDs could only produce red, green and yellow light. But then Nichia Chemical of Japan figured out how to produce blue LEDs. By combining blue LEDs with red and green LEDs – or adding a yellow phosphor to blue LEDs – manufacturers were able create white light, which opened up a number of new applications. However, these LEDs tend to produce white light with a cool, bluish tinge.

The white-light quantum dots, by contrast, produce a smoother distribution of wavelengths in the visible spectrum with a slightly warmer, slightly more yellow tint, reports Michael Bowers, the graduate student who made the quantum dots and discovered their unusual property. As a result, the light produced by the quantum dots looks more nearly like the “full spectrum” reading lights now on the market which produce a light spectrum closer to that of sunlight than normal fluorescent tubes or light bulbs. Of course, quantum dots, like white LEDs, have the advantage of not giving off large amounts of invisible infrared radiation unlike the light bulb. This invisible radiation produces large amounts of heat and largely accounts for the light bulb’s low energy efficiency.

Continue reading “Quantum dots that produce white light could be the light bulb’s successor” »

Feb 6, 2019

A New “Solar Paint” Lets You Transform Your Entire House Into a Source of Clean Energy

Posted by in category: energy

Circa 2017


This remarkable new paint generates energy from sunlight and moisture.

Read more

Feb 6, 2019

Experimental plasma generator offers path forward for better use of landfill gas as energy

Posted by in categories: energy, physics

Researchers at the University of South Carolina in Columbia have demonstrated an experimental plasma device capable of cleaning gas samples of D4, one of the most common siloxanes. Drawing on a technique for creating plasma called dielectric barrier discharge, the group was able to significantly reduce the amount of D4 samples after treating it with a helium-based plasma.

The findings point to a new potential solution for accommodating landfill gas rich in siloxanes. They will be presented at the American Physical Society 71st Annual Gaseous Electronics Conference and 60th Annual meeting of the APS Division of Plasma Physics, which takes place Nov. 5–9 at the Oregon Convention Center in Portland.

“This is the first time dielectric barrier discharge has been used to remove volatile organic silicate compounds,” said Malik Tahiyat, one of the researchers involved with the study. “In our case, there’s no wait for removing it or material that has to be thrown out after a certain amount of time.”

Read more

Feb 5, 2019

Is Tesla’s Elon Musk Making Good On Prediction That Capacitors ‘Supersede’ Batteries?

Posted by in categories: Elon Musk, energy, sustainability, transportation

If I were to make a prediction, I’d think there’s a good chance that it is not batteries. But capacitors.”

Today he may be making good on his prediction. The electric vehicle manufacturer confirmed that it has acquired a small San Diego lab that owns ultracapacitor patents and technology.

Maxwell Technologies provides dry electrode manufacturing technology that can be used to make to make batteries that power electric vehicles and renewable energy systems. The company announced that in an all-stock transaction it will merge and become a wholly owned by a subsidiary of Tesla.

Continue reading “Is Tesla’s Elon Musk Making Good On Prediction That Capacitors ‘Supersede’ Batteries?” »

Feb 5, 2019

Scientists reveal true shape of Milky Way: It’s warped & twisted

Posted by in categories: energy, mapping, space

It’s even more fascinating than we thought.


The Milky Way looks nothing like the flat space pancake it is usually depicted as. The newly-created and most accurate 3D map of our galaxy reveals that it’s warped and twisted, and even more fascinating.

A group of astronomers from Australia and China have built their “intuitive and accurate three-dimensional picture” by mapping the so-called “classical Cepheids.”

Continue reading “Scientists reveal true shape of Milky Way: It’s warped & twisted” »

Page 1 of 8512345678Last