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Posts from the ‘Science’ Category

New lithium-air battery design intensifies power output

university-cambridgeResearchers have created a battery design with power capabilities that could compete with gasoline according to the University of Cambridge.  The Lithium-oxygen battery is expected to be 90 percent efficient and recharge more than 2000 times.

Scientists caution that the design has only been developed in the laboratory as a working model and many technical challenges remain.  “A practical lithium-air battery still remains at least a decade away” according to researchers.

For the complete news release visit: University of Cambridge Research

 

Solar cell efficiency may soon triple

Princeton University researchers have  increased the efficiency of organic solar cells 175 percent by using a nanostructured “sandwich” of metal and plastic that collects and traps light.

Two primary challenges cause solar cells to lose energy: light reflecting from the cell, and the inability to fully capture light that enters the cell according to chief electrical research engineer professor Stephen Chou at Princeton.

According to the Princeton School of Engineering and Applied Science news release;

With their new metallic sandwich, the researchers were able to address both problems. The sandwich — called a subwavelength plasmonic cavity — has an extraordinary ability to dampen reflection and trap light. The new technique allowed Chou’s team to create a solar cell that only reflects about 4 percent of light and absorbs as much as 96 percent. It demonstrates 52 percent higher efficiency in converting light to electrical energy than a conventional solar cell.

Professor Chou cautions that research is not yet concluded on inorganic solar cells but that the technology should be applicable to conventional inorganic solar cell production.

 

Did The 2012 Mayan Calendar Get It Wrong?

On November 8th an aircraft sized asteroid whizzed past Earth with enough destructive power to wipe out civilization.

The asteroid known as 2005 YU55 is expected to circle back for another close Earth encounter in 2041 – The exact orbit is unknown because the asteroid will first pass by Venus which will affect it’s orbit.

It’s reasonable to assume that the great and mysterious Mayan civilization wasn’t all that great. . .since it may have calculated that the asteroid would hit Earth next year around the same time.

There are many variables to influence the orbit of such an asteroid. . .possibly including flares from the sun’s surface, other close encounters with planets, moons and asteroids.

Maybe the Mayan’s did not even believe that the earth would end in 2012 – maybe they just stopped for a rest until they needed a new calendar.  At any rate, don’t sell the house or quit the job just yet.