Solar explosions 'inside' a computer: Understanding solar flares to improve predictionsTue, 23 Sep 2014 10:22:31 EDT
Strong solar flares can bring down communications and power grids on Earth. By demonstrating how these gigantic eruptions are caused, physicists are laying the foundations for future predictions. The shorter the interval between two explosions in the solar atmosphere, the more likely it is that the second flare will be stronger than the first one. Magnetic fields make the excitons go 'round: New way to improve efficiency of solar cellsSun, 21 Sep 2014 14:51:08 EDT
A major limitation in the performance of solar cells happens within the photovoltaic material itself: When photons strike the molecules of a solar cell, they transfer their energy, producing quasi-particles called excitons -- an energized state of molecules. That energized state can hop from one molecule to the next until it's transferred to electrons in a wire, which can light up a bulb or turn a motor. Fracking's environmental impacts scrutinizedSun, 21 Sep 2014 09:29:38 EDT
Greenhouse gas emissions from the production and use of shale gas would be comparable to conventional natural gas, but the controversial energy source actually fared better than renewables on some environmental impacts, according to new research. Solar-cell efficiency improved with new polymer devicesFri, 19 Sep 2014 14:28:43 EDT
New light has been shed on solar power generation using devices made with polymers. Researchers identified a new polymer -- a type of large molecule that forms plastics and other familiar materials -- which improved the efficiency of solar cells. The group also determined the method by which the polymer improved the cells' efficiency. The polymer allowed electrical charges to move more easily throughout the cell, boosting the production of electricity -- a mechanism never before demonstrated in such devices. Superabsorbing ring could make light work of snaps, be ultimate camera pixelFri, 19 Sep 2014 10:08:50 EDT
A quantum effect in which excited atoms team up to emit an enhanced pulse of light can be turned on its head to create 'superabsorbing' systems that could make the 'ultimate camera pixel'.