Energy News

Friday, April 26, 2013 - 09:05

An international research team led by astronomers from the Max Planck Institute for Radio Astronomy) used a collection of large radio and optical telescopes in Bonn to investigated in detail a pulsar and its white dwarf companion. The observations revealed a binary stellar system with unusual properties. The pulsar weighs twice as much as the sun, making it the most massive neutron star measure to date. This, in combination with its short orbital period of only 2.5 hours, provides new insights into the emission of gravitational radiation. The system thus serves as a laboratory for General Relativity in extreme conditions.


Monday, April 8, 2013 - 10:41

ETH-Zurich researchers use x-ray tomography to screen lithium ion battery electrodes and can reconstruct the microstructure in high resolution. This helps to understand the discharging and charging process better and develop optimised electrodes.


Wednesday, April 3, 2013 - 11:10

When a current passes between two electrodes — one thinner than the other — it creates a wind in the air between. If enough voltage is applied, the resulting wind can produce a thrust without the help of motors or fuel. This phenomenon, called electrohydrodynamic thrust — or, more colloquially, “ionic wind” — was first identified in the 1960s. Since then, ionic wind has largely been limited to science-fair projects and basement experiments;


Monday, March 25, 2013 - 11:25

Using exotic particles called quantum dots as the basis for a photovoltaic cell is not a new idea, but attempts to make such devices have not yet achieved sufficiently high efficiency in converting sunlight to power. A new wrinkle added by a team of researchers at MIT — embedding the quantum dots within a forest of nanowires — promises to provide a significant boost.


Wednesday, February 27, 2013 - 12:38

Yttria stabilized zirconia, also known as YSZ, is a material of great interest because of its relatively high oxygen-ion based conductivity. In particular, it finds applications in electrochemical devices, such as solid oxide fuel cells and oxygen sensors. In a study published in EPJ B, Kia Ngai, from the University of Pisa in Italy, and colleagues from the Complutense University in Madrid, Spain, devised a model of the oxygen-ion dynamics that contribute to the conductivity of YSZ.


Friday, February 22, 2013 - 10:23

In a breakthrough for the field of particle physics, Professor of Physics Larry Hunter and colleagues at Amherst and The University of Texas at Austin have established new limits on what scientists call “long-range spin-spin interactions” between atomic particles. These interactions have been proposed by theoretical physicists but have not yet been seen. Their observation would constitute the discovery of a “fifth force of nature” (in addition to the four known fundamental forces: gravity, weak, strong and electromagnetic) and would suggest the existence of new particles, beyond those presently described by the Standard Model of particle physics.