Engineers create solar energy collectors grown from seeds

Rice University chemical engineering graduate student Siraj Sidhik holds a container of 2D perovskite “seeds” (left) and a smaller vial containing a solution of dissolved seeds that can be used to produce thin films for use in highly efficient optoelectronic devices like high efficiency solar panels. Credit: Jeff Fitlow/Rice University Rice University engineers have created … Read more

‘Pack ice’ tectonics reveal Venus’ geological secrets

A 1,100 km-wide, false-color radar view of Lavinia Planitia, one of the lowland regions on Venus where the lithosphere has fragmented into blocks (purple) delineated by belts of tectonic structures (yellow). Credit: NC State University, based upon original NASA/JPL imagery. A new analysis of Venus’ surface shows evidence of tectonic motion in the form of … Read more

NASA balloon detects California earthquake—next stop, Venus?

Four “heliotrope” balloons were flown near Ridgecrest, California, after a series of earthquakes rattled the region in July, 2019. By attaching barometers to the balloons, researchers from JPL and Caltech hoped to detect the sound of one of the aftershocks. Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech Between July 4 and July 6, 2019, a sequence of powerful earthquakes rumbled … Read more

Albania holds 1st wind power tender to diversify energy base

Credit: Pixabay/CC0 Public Domain Albania launched a tender Monday for its first onshore wind power program, trying to diversify its water-based energy production. Albania produces more than 99% of its energy from hydropower, with the main plants located on northern Drini River. That has made the country vulnerable to seasonal changes in hydrology and dependent … Read more

A colorful look at fast-flying particles

Andrecia Ramnath defends her dissertation at the University of Jyvaskyla, Finland. Credot: University of Jyväaskyla The strong nuclear force is one of the four fundamental forces of nature, along with the electromagnetic, gravitational and weak nuclear forces. The branch of particle physics that deals with the strong nuclear force is called quantum chromodynamics (QCD). The … Read more

New research into the spreading of infections reveals need for greater collaboration between biology and physics

Model of a social network. There are 150 individuals (the dots), whose social connections are marked by the lines between them. There are three categories: 1. Close contacts, e.g. household (yellow lines), 2. Regular contacts, e.g. work and adult friends (red lines) and 3. School contacts for children and children’s friends (orange lines). The color … Read more

New possibilities for detecting Hawking radiation emitted by primordial black holes

New PBH constraint based on COMPTEL data (dark blue), projections of the discovery reach of future MeV gamma ray telescopes (other colored curves) and existing constraints (shaded grey regions). Credit: Coogan et al. While many physicists have predicted the existence of dark matter, a type of matter that does not absorb, reflect or emit light, … Read more

Top economists call for budget measures to speed the switch to electric cars

Credit: Pixabay/CC0 Public Domain Australia’s top economists overwhelmingly back government measures to speed the transition to electric cars in order to meet emission reduction targets. An exclusive poll of 62 of Australia’s preeminent economists—selected by their peers—finds 51 back measures to boost the take-up of electric cars including subsidizing public charging stations, subsidizing the purchase … Read more

Texas power companies are adjusting residents’ smart thermostats to higher temps. Here’s why.

Credit: Unsplash/CC0 Public Domain Live in Texas and notice your thermostat temperature happened to go up by itself? Some owners of smart thermostats in the Lone Star State found their pre-set temperatures were going up, all done remotely by their power company, according to local reports. It wasn’t devious: The adjustments are being made as … Read more