How Artificial Intelligence Will Revolutionize the Energy Industry

by Franklin Wolfe figures by Franklin Wolfe and Kimia Mavon Earlier this year, Bill Gates, founder of Microsoft and the richest man on Earth, wrote an essay online at “The blog of Bill Gates,” to college students graduating worldwide in 2017. He stated, “If I were starting out today… I would consider three fields. One is artificial intelligence (AI). We have only begun to tap … Continue reading How Artificial Intelligence Will Revolutionize the Energy Industry

Charging your cell phone through your shirt

Modern society is built on portable electronics, and with these power-hungry pieces of technology comes the need for convenient charging. To mitigate the need to find power outlets, a team at the University of Central Florida, lead by Jayan Thomas, created a ribbon which both harvests solar energy and stores it within a single unit. Remarkably, the technology is able to be woven with other … Continue reading Charging your cell phone through your shirt

Reconsidering the Risks of Nuclear Power

by Jordan Wilkerson figures by Shannon McArdel The United States emits an immense amount of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. According to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, it is extremely likely that the rising global temperature trends since the mid-20th century is dominantly due to human activity. No scientific organization of national or international standing disputes this. Furthermore, the US Department of Defense has … Continue reading Reconsidering the Risks of Nuclear Power

An InFusion of hope : Towards a cleaner planet Earth

In November 2015, Germany switched on the WX7 stellarator, their billion dollar nuclear fusion machine and produced stable helium plasma for the very first time. Just 3 months after their initial success, the German physicists were able to produce and sustain hydrogen plasma for the first time. The generation of hydrogen plasma is an important step towards carrying out nuclear fusion, a process where two … Continue reading An InFusion of hope : Towards a cleaner planet Earth

Solid-oxide Fuel Cells: Using familiar fuel in a new way

by Michael R. Gerhardt Our climate is rapidly changing, and many countries are beginning to take action. In the United States, President Barack Obama has announced the Clean Power Plan to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from electric power generation, while Chinese president Xi Jinping has announced economic incentives to reduce emissions [1,2]. Even oil companies have publicly acknowledged the challenges we face and have voiced … Continue reading Solid-oxide Fuel Cells: Using familiar fuel in a new way

The Light of Elendil in Shelob’s Lair

By Andrew Wong, a second year graduate student in the Applied Physics program at Harvard University.       The increase in global energy demand and subsequent carbon dioxide emissions has driven advancements in renewable energy generation technologies such as wind turbines and solar cells. However, these technologies are inherently intermittent, and require robust energy storage devices. Inexpensive, large-scale energy storage systems such as aqueous … Continue reading The Light of Elendil in Shelob’s Lair

The Winds of Change are Blowing: New Kite-Like Wind Turbine Promises to Revolutionize Wind Energy

by Erin Dahlstrom Almost two years after its May 2013 purchase of alternative wind energy company Makani, Google X, Google’s semi-secret “moonshots” lab announced at SXSW that they will be starting to test full-scale models of Makani’s kite-like wind turbines in April 2015 [1,2].  While wind turbines have generally been trending bigger and more expensive in order to increase energy output, Makani has taken the … Continue reading The Winds of Change are Blowing: New Kite-Like Wind Turbine Promises to Revolutionize Wind Energy

A View inside the LHC

Giant Particle Smasher Returns

Two weeks ago, the world’s largest particle accelerator, the Large Hadron Collider, returned after two years of extensive upgrades. The Large Hadron Collider (LHC) is part of particle physics, a branch that examines the tiny particles that constitute everything in the universe. Two years ago, the LHC provided evidence for the existence of the Higgs Boson. After such a monumental achievement, what do particle physicists hope to discover with the upgraded LHC? Continue reading Giant Particle Smasher Returns

Thrills and Spills: The Keystone XL Pipeline

Turning on the tap for a clean glass of water is a luxury many Americans take for granted. Though TransCanada Corporation promises minimal spillage and environmental impact through improved safety features in its plans to install a 1169-mile-long, 36-inch-wide pipe through the grasslands of Canada and the United States, risking this natural resource is one of the many considerations President Obama examined before vetoing the … Continue reading Thrills and Spills: The Keystone XL Pipeline

An easier way to break down Cellulose for energy?

Humans can’t digest cellulose. Similarly, we’ve found it hard to efficiently break down cellulose in biomass for energy applications, until now. Researchers show a more efficient breakdown of cellulose than current methods that require energy-intensive pretreatment steps to separate the parts that can be easily broken down from those that cannot, consuming more energy than they yield. Here, no pretreatment steps are required. In this … Continue reading An easier way to break down Cellulose for energy?