A few weeks ago I had the pleasure of finally dining at Edmund's Oast. I know, I'm probably the last person in town to try it. While all of the dishes our table tasted were excellent, one was particularly exciting to me on a philosophical level.
You've got a wallet full of cards that'll get you things. They’ll pay the check, get you library books, and snag that tenth sandwich for free. But we found a card that will bring you power. Real power. It’s the ChargeCard, a USB charging cable for your iPod, iPhone or Android phone that fits in your wallet!
This year's Search Ranking Factors Study showed a very strong correlation between Google +1s and higher rankings, and there's a compelling reason why. Google+ was built for SEO, and is far better optimized for search than other platforms.
The quest to harness a broader spectrum of sunlight’s energy to produce electricity has taken a radically new turn, with the proposal of a “solar energy funnel” that takes advantage of materials under elastic strain.
“We’re trying to use elastic strains to produce unprecedented properties,” says Ju Li, an MIT professor and corresponding author of a paper describing the new solar-funnel concept that was published recently in the journal Nature Photonics.
In this case, the “funnel” is a metaphor: Electrons and their counterparts, holes — which are split off from atoms by the energy of photons — are driven to the center of the structure by electronic forces, not by gravity as in a household funnel. And yet, as it happens, the material actually does assume the shape of a funnel: It is a stretched sheet of vanishingly thin material, poked down at its center by a microscopic needle that indents the surface and produces a curved, funnel-like shape.
The pressure exerted by the needle imparts elastic strain, which increases toward the sheet’s center. The varying strain changes the atomic structure just enough to “tune” different sections to different wavelengths of light — including not just visible light, but also some of the invisible spectrum, which accounts for much of sunlight’s energy.
Li, who holds joint appointments as the Battelle Energy Alliance Professor of Nuclear Science and Engineering and as a professor of materials science and engineering, sees the manipulation of strain in materials as opening a whole new field of research.
Strain — defined as the pushing or pulling of a material into a different shape — can be either elastic or inelastic. Xiaofeng Qian, a postdoc in MIT’s Department of Nuclear Science and Engineering who was a co-author of the paper, explains that elastic strain corresponds to stretched atomic bonds, while inelastic, or plastic, strain corresponds to broken or switched atomic bonds. A spring that is stretched and released is an example of elastic strain, whereas a piece of crumpled tinfoil is a case of plastic strain.
The new solar-funnel work uses precisely controlled elastic strain to govern electrons’ potential in the material. The MIT team used computer modeling to determine the effects of the strain on a thin layer of molybdenum disulfide (MoS2), a material that can form a film just a single molecule (about six angstroms) thick.
Unlike graphene, another prominent thin-film material, MoS2 is a natural semiconductor: It has a crucial characteristic, known as a bandgap, that allows it to be made into solar cells or integrated circuits. But unlike silicon, now used in most solar cells, placing the film under strain in the “solar energy funnel” configuration causes its bandgap to vary across the surface, so that different parts of it respond to different colors of light.
In an organic solar cell, the electron-hole pair, called an exciton, moves randomly through the material after being generated by photons, limiting the capacity for energy production. “It’s a diffusion process,” Qian says, “and it’s very inefficient.”
Parents of a South Carolina teen with mental disorders help him turn passion for cartoon-drawing into career that will allow him to support himself one day.
Zack suffers from a laundry list of mental health issues, including both intermittent explosive- and obsessive-compulsive disorders, which make him different from other kids his age and threaten to inhibit his ability to function as an independent adult.
Artistic self-expression through drawing helps to balance Zack's struggles. Together, the Hix family is on a journey to turn a series of Zack's characters into a career as a cartoonist.
Apple and other companies are widely rumored to be working on smart watch devices for debut later this year or in 2014, and that increased interest is set to grow the smart watch segment by a factor of ten.
Economic Times Note to new-age entrepreneurs: Why waiting for good ideas is a bad idea Economic Times First, you have a good idea, then you start to implement it. So it's even more logical to ask: where do great ideas come from?
The discovery of "super-tornadoes" rising above the surface of the sun may help solve the mystery of how our home star heats it wispy outer atmosphere to a million degrees. There is plenty of energy below the 5780° visible surface to do the job, but solar physicists have long argued about how that energy heats the corona, seen as an encircling crown of light that emerges during a total solar eclipse. Now a group reports online today in Nature that, using both spaceborne and ground-based telescopes, it has detected 1500-kilometer-wide swirls of solar atmosphere rising from the surface into the corona. Each lasts 10 to 15 minutes, and there are about 11,000 of them on the sun at a time. Computer simulations (picture) show how similar-looking the twisting magnetic field lines of a solar tornado are to real tornadoes. Now solar physicists must figure out how much energy super-tornadoes deliver compared with other proposed energy sources.
As we mourn Abrams’ macho Star Trek obliteration, it’s a good time to revisit that most Star Trek-ian of accomplishments, Voyager, the most despised object of fanboy loathing in the franchise's history.
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