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Tracking the Future
Explore the most important technology and science trends! News, Analysis, Interviews, Presentations, Documentaries. All in one place at Tracking the future magazine
Curated by Szabolcs Kósa
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Magnetic behavior discovery could advance nuclear fusion

Magnetic behavior discovery could advance nuclear fusion | Tracking the Future | Scoop.it

Inspired by the space physics behind solar flares and the aurora, a team of researchers from the University of Michigan and Princeton has uncovered a new kind of magnetic behavior that could help make nuclear fusion reactions easier to start.

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We're One Step Closer to Nuclear Fusion Energy

We're One Step Closer to Nuclear Fusion Energy | Tracking the Future | Scoop.it

Scientists with the National Ignition Facility (NIF) at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory announced today that they have achieved a critical step in fusion research: For the first time, their hydrogen fuel has given off more energy than it took in.

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Stephanie Rudisill's comment, February 18, 4:53 PM
We Are One Step Closer To Fusion Energy // www.wired.com// Adam Mann; 02.12.14// ........... This article is about a new way to harness power- by use of fusion. This new power source could supply the entire grid once harnessed. They are trying to create a 'self sustaining ball of fusion' by using a plastic shell, a gold cylinder and multiple lasers. Until recently this experiment took in much more energy than it gave out, now it gives out more than it takes in. This discovery is actually pretty amazing, considering it relates so much to the sun's way of creating light and heat. This could actually create drama in the science world on how the sun was created.. which is not so bad.. in that state arguing or debating that topic could lead to improvement. Yet, even so, this article doesn't go into enough depth about how fusion happens and should include more detail. While reading this article (which this isn't such a bad thing) the author did not express any personal opinions about this usage of energy.
Austin R Stillwell's comment, February 23, 9:34 PM
{Title of Article}- We're one step closer to Nuclear Fusion Energy. {Author}- Adam Mann. {Main Idea}- Scientists have finally gotten Their hydrogen fuel to give off more energy than consumed. {Summary}- The NIF facility finally got their hydrogen fuel pellet to give off more energy in its fusion than it consumes.-Scientists fire 192 high powered lasers at a small BB like spherical pellet to make this possible.-So far they have managed to make it give off 2.6 times its energy. {Opinion?}-No, this article is based on facts and assumption gathered from data on the topic. {Important Info?}-Yes, this is actually a major breakthrough in the field of nuclear fusion which colud one day be a major energy source. {Sources}- NIF
Celest Ybarra's curator insight, March 29, 8:26 PM

Title: We're One Step Closer to Nuclear Fusion Energy

Author: Adam Mann

Main Idea: Scientists have a breakthrough and have discovered a new way to harness power through the use of fusion.

Summary:

1) The National Ignition Facility (NIF) have achieved a critical step in fusion research: hydrogen fuel has given off more energy than it took in.

2) Nuclear fusion is the energy source of the stars., and can now give off as much as 1.7 times more energy than it had taken in

3) Troubles came when scientists found it was extremely difficult to get their hydrogen fuel to compress in the right way, but  NIF scientists learned from their experiments, and tweaked their designs

Opinion: No, this article was based off of facts, research, and assumptions buy scientists.

Questions: How will nuclear energy effect the environment? Can it be used for war?

Is this article important to science?: Yes, because it was such a big breakthrough in science and can one day be a major energy resource.

Source: http://www.wired.com/wiredscience/2014/02/fusion-power-not-yet/

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Battery Advance Could Help Solve Renewable Energy Intermittency

Battery Advance Could Help Solve Renewable Energy Intermittency | Tracking the Future | Scoop.it

Utilities would love to be able to store the power that wind farms generate at night—when no one wants it—and use it when demand is high during the day. But conventional battery technology is so expensive that it only makes economic sense to store a few minutes of electricity, enough to smooth out a few fluctuations from gusts of wind.

Harvard University researchers say they’ve developed a new type of battery that could make it economical to store a couple of days of electricity from wind farms and other sources of power. 

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Ray Kurzweil: This is your future

Ray Kurzweil: This is your future | Tracking the Future | Scoop.it

Acclaimed futurist Ray Kurzweil on the future of human life -- one where we print organs and play in total immersion environments.

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Dmitry Alexeev's curator insight, December 20, 2013 6:03 AM

organs printed
diseases healed in 20yrs time 

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Nanoscale coatings improve stability and efficiency of devices for renewable fuel generation

Nanoscale coatings improve stability and efficiency of devices for renewable fuel generation | Tracking the Future | Scoop.it

Splitting water into its components, two parts hydrogen and one part oxygen, is an important first step in achieving carbon-neutral fuels to power our transportation infrastructure – including automobiles and planes.

Now, North Carolina State University researchers and colleagues from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill have shown that a specialized coating technique can make certain water-splitting devices more stable and more efficient. 
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Stanford study could lead to paradigm shift in organic solar cell research

Stanford study could lead to paradigm shift in organic solar cell research | Tracking the Future | Scoop.it

A new study by Stanford scientists overturns a widely held explanation for how organic photovoltaics turn sunlight into electricity.


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Ambri liquid metal battery: Prototype deployment set for 2014

Ambri liquid metal battery: Prototype deployment set for 2014 | Tracking the Future | Scoop.it

November is a milestone month for Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) spinoff company Ambri, where a ribbon-cutting ceremony in Marlborough, Massachusetts, on November 7 marked its new production facility. Ambri is targeting its liquid metal battery technology for use in the electricity grid. The company believes they have an electricity storage solution that will change the way electric grids are operated worldwide. Ambri's liquid metal battery technology breaks away from other storage options; each cell consists of three self-separating liquid layers, two metals and a salt, that float on top of each other based on density differences and immiscibility, said Ambri. The system operates at elevated temperature maintained by self-heating during charging and discharging.

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The Nuclear Fusion Arms Race Is Underway

The Nuclear Fusion Arms Race Is Underway | Tracking the Future | Scoop.it

Scientists today are much closer to creating fusion energy than they were 40 years ago. And while most large public research projects are still decades from producing a reactor that can compete in the marketplace, a number of private companies have jumped headlong into the fusion race. Propelled by advances in engineering and science, changes in public funding, and tens of millions in high-risk high-tech investment dollars, they’re betting they can create a scalable, sellable reactor in less than a decade.

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Fighting the fuel giants for a fully renewable future

Fighting the fuel giants for a fully renewable future | Tracking the Future | Scoop.it

The viability of a fossil fuel future is rarely connected to the human rights abuses required to sustain it. How often do we think about where oil and gas is obtained? Are the Europeans or Americans any more aware? This deliberate depoliticisation of our energy present, by the vast majority of politicians, journalists and self-described public intellectuals, is leading to an environment that is both unsustainable and dangerous for the planet.

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Fusion milestone passed at US lab

Fusion milestone passed at US lab | Tracking the Future | Scoop.it

Harnessing fusion - the process that powers the Sun - could provide an unlimited and cheap source of energy.

But to be viable, fusion power plants would have to produce more energy than they consume, which has proven elusive.

Now, a breakthrough by scientists at the National Ignition Facility (NIF) could boost hopes of scaling up fusion.

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Return of the steam engine: cheap storage for solar

Return of the steam engine: cheap storage for solar | Tracking the Future | Scoop.it

A group of Australian engineers have “re-invented” the steam engine and combined it with solar thermal energy to deliver a cheap solar storage solution. What’s more, it works on the distributed level and can operate behind the meter, and is far cheaper than PV combined with batteries.

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Nanoparticle Solar Cells May Drive Down Price of Solar Cells

Nanoparticle Solar Cells May Drive Down Price of Solar Cells | Tracking the Future | Scoop.it

A discovery by researchers at the University of Alberta could make solar power cheaper, more accessible by using nanoparticle-based 'ink' to make printable or spray-on solar cells.

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Thorium nuclear reactor trial begins, could provide cleaner, safer, almost-waste-free energy

Thorium nuclear reactor trial begins, could provide cleaner, safer, almost-waste-free energy | Tracking the Future | Scoop.it

At a test site in Norway, Thor Energy has successfully created a thorium nuclear reactor — but not in the sense that most people think of when they hear the word thorium. The Norwegians haven’t solved the energy crisis and global warming in one fell swoop — they haven’t created a cold fusion thorium reactor. What they have done, though, which is still very cool, is use thorium instead of uranium in a conventional nuclear reactor. In one fell swoop, thorium fuel, which is safer, less messy to clean up, and not prone to nuclear weapons proliferation, could quench the complaints of nuclear power critics everywhere.

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Monica S Mcfeeters's curator insight, July 19, 2013 3:01 AM

NEW, SAFER WAY TO GO NUCLEAR! Thank you Norway! Hope this proves out well.

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Nanotechnology may be key to solar energy and energy storage

Nanotechnology may be key to solar energy and energy storage | Tracking the Future | Scoop.it

A new study from the IEC (International Electrotechnical Commission) and the Fraunhofer Institute for Systems and Innovation Research ISI has found that nanotechnology will bring significant benefits to the energy sector, especially to energy storage and solar energy. Improved materials efficiency and reduced manufacturing costs are just two of the real economic benefits that nanotechnology already brings these fields and that’s only the beginning. Battery storage capacity could be extended, solar cells could be produced cheaper, and the lifetime of solar cells or batteries for electric cars could be increased, all thanks to continued development of nanotechnology.

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Michael Ravensbergen's curator insight, March 2, 7:59 AM

For sure it Will be a role in storage!!

aanve's curator insight, March 2, 9:36 PM

www.aanve.com

 

mariam tounkara's curator insight, March 3, 1:04 PM

Brèche radicale ! Nos autos seront-elles plus légères ? 

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Kugelblitz! Powering a Starship With a Black Hole

Kugelblitz! Powering a Starship With a Black Hole | Tracking the Future | Scoop.it

An interstellar spacecraft could conceivably be powered by the radiation emitted by a tiny, manmade black hole. Here's a look at what it would take to turn this ambitious idea into reality.

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Testing on revolutionary marine energy device begins

Testing on revolutionary marine energy device begins | Tracking the Future | Scoop.it

The Whatever Input to Torsion Transfer (WITT) transmission system collects chaotic movement in water, wind, human, animal or vehicle motion and turns it into useable power.

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Could this be future of renewable energy?

Could this be future of renewable energy? | Tracking the Future | Scoop.it

A Japanese construction firm is proposing to turn the moon into a colossal solar power plant by laying a belt of solar panels 250 miles wide around its equator and beaming the energy back to Earth by way of lasers or microwave transmission.

The “Luna Ring” that is being proposed would be capable of sending 13,000 terawatts of power to Earth - more than three times more than the United States generated throughout the whole of 2011.

Shimizu is reluctant to put a price tag on the construction costs involved but, given adequate funding, the company believes construction work could get under way as early as 2035.

Robots and automated equipment would be developed to mine the moon’s natural resources and produce concrete and the solar cells required for the scheme.

Shimizu believes that “virtually inexhaustible, non-polluting solar energy is the ultimate source of green energy”.

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Samer Hamadeh's comment, December 3, 2013 7:05 AM
In effect you are pumping more solar energy from outside earth's atmosphere to earth's surface. If this works and becomes the future, would this increase or reduce global warming?
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Nanotechnology for self-powered systems

Nanotechnology for self-powered systems | Tracking the Future | Scoop.it

There is an almost infinite number of mechanical energy sources all around us – basically, anything that moves can be harvested for energy. These environmental energy sources can the very large, like wave power in the oceans, or very small, like rain drops or biomechanical energy from heart beat, breathing, and blood flow. With the increasing use of nanotechnology materials and applications in energy research, scientists are finding more and more ways to tap into these pretty much limitless sources of energy.
The continued miniaturization of portable electronics is increasingly challenged by the reliance on conventional battery technology. But for the near future, micro- and even nanoscale devices will be widely used in health monitoring; infrastructure and environmental monitoring; internet of things; and of course defense technologies. In these application areas, battery design will have to go way beyond today's typical lithium-ion batteries. Rather than relying on stored power, nanodevices will probably rely on novel, also nanoscale, power sources.

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Energy harvesting chips: The next big thing for a connected world

Energy harvesting chips: The next big thing for a connected world | Tracking the Future | Scoop.it

Sensors are everywhere, but if we can build a generation of more efficient energy-harvesting chips, sensors could go in even more places. Here’s how researchers are trying to make that happen.

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Solar Cell Efficiency Records: Which Solar Cells Are Really the Most Efficient

Solar Cell Efficiency Records: Which Solar Cells Are Really the Most Efficient | Tracking the Future | Scoop.it

A number of new solar cell efficiency records has been set just recently. How do they compare to one another?

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Joe Stafura's curator insight, November 4, 2013 9:50 AM

This is the race that matters the most, of we have cheap energy that is locally produced then the cost of living drops tremendously, along with reasons to plunder as the sun fall around the world.

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ASU collaboration creates breakthroughs for solar cell efficiency

ASU collaboration creates breakthroughs for solar cell efficiency | Tracking the Future | Scoop.it

Research into making better crystals with high crystalline quality, light emission efficiency and luminosity is also at the heart of studies being done at Arizona State University by research scientist Alec Fischer and doctoral candidate Yong Wei in professor Fernando Ponce’s group in the Department of Physics.

In an article recently published in the journal Applied Physics Letters, the ASU group, in collaboration with a scientific team led by professor Alan Doolittle at the Georgia Institute of Technology, has just revealed the fundamental aspect of a new approach to growing InGaN crystals for diodes, which promises to move photovoltaic solar cell technology toward record-breaking efficiencies.

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Natural deep-sea batteries

Natural deep-sea batteries | Tracking the Future | Scoop.it

Exploring the deep oceans presents huge technical challenges, many of which could be overcome if there were some cheap and efficient way to deliver power to machines while at depth. To tackle this problem, a collaborative research team including Ryuhei Nakamura from the RIKEN Center for Sustainable Resource Science has now demonstrated a remarkable system that uses natural hydrothermal vents on the sea floor to generate electricity.

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Math matters: how big data is building the future of everything

Math matters: how big data is building the future of everything | Tracking the Future | Scoop.it

A huge number of atomic combinations and arrangements may have useful properties. However, most arrangements won't be useful, or even able to be synthesized. Trying to explore the vast world of potential materials in a lab would be both impractical and just plain impossible. So to map out that enormous number of possible materials, several research groups working on the Materials Genome Initiative are using computers to model known and unknown materials. They mine the resulting data to find areas that deserve a more careful examination.

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Gary Bamford's curator insight, September 30, 2013 2:36 PM

Quntum mechanics in action - Material DNA - Data Now Available? ;)

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Nuclear Fusion Within Grasp, Scientists Say

Nuclear Fusion Within Grasp, Scientists Say | Tracking the Future | Scoop.it

Nuclear fusion, the engine that drives the sun, could potentially transform human society if we could harness it. But researchers at a U.S. government laboratory working toward producing fusion energy are finding that a tiny little component of their apparatus is throwing a very big wrench in the works.

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Solar And Electric Vehicles Will Kill Industry Dinosaurs

Solar And Electric Vehicles Will Kill Industry Dinosaurs | Tracking the Future | Scoop.it

Several years ago, Tony Seba, an energy expert from Stanford University, published a book called Solar Trillions, predicting how solar technologies would redefine the world’s energy markets and create an investment opportunity worth tens of trillions of dollars.

Most people looked at him, he says, as if he had three heads. That was possibly because the book was written before the recent plunge in the cost of solar modules had taken effect, and before most incumbent utilities had woken up to the fact that solar – even with minor penetration levels – was turning their business models upside down.

Seba is now working on a new book, with even more dramatic forecasts than his first. His new prediction is that by 2030, solar will make the fossil fuel industry more or less redundant. Even more striking is his forecast that electric vehicles will do the same thing to the oil industry by around the same date.

 
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