energy

NIF’s nuclear fusion with a laser: 1% of the way to Green Energy

NIF’s nuclear fusion with a laser: 1% of the way to Green Energy

You'll be seeing several articles this week about how scientists have suddenly attained nuclear fusion this week for the first time - right here we're going to brief you on how that's not true. Not entirely true, anyway. With some close-up looks at the actual event and reporting - and some rather helpful simplification from Reddit user Restricteddata, we're going to break down this scientific breakthrough.

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Micro-windmills could charge your iPhone with waving

Micro-windmills could charge your iPhone with waving

Forget angels dancing on the head of a pin, recharging tomorrow's mobile devices could be a question of how many micro-windmills can you fit on a cellphone cover, with one team of researchers looking to harness the wind on a tiny scale to keep your iPhone topped up. Smitha Rao and J.-C. Chiao of UT Arlington developed the 1.8mm-wide windmills as a way of working around limits on traditional wind power generation, like size and safety. Instead of one big turbine, the pair envisage devices covered with hundreds of tiny versions.

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Solar cell project creates hydrogen fuel and bypasses batteries

Solar cell project creates hydrogen fuel and bypasses batteries

Batteries are a distraction: the best way to store excess solar energy for nighttime use is using it to create "solar fuels" that rely on energy-dense chemistry, one research team has concluded. The prototype takes a cue from plants and uses a new type of solar cell that relies on the sun's energy to split water into hydrogen and oxygen. The latter is released, but the former can be stored and then later used for power, including potential in fuel-cell cars. Best of all, the system requires no external power source in order to work its hydrogen-generating magic.

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