Special Coverage

Technique Provides Security for Multi-Robot Systems
Bringing New Vision to Laser Material Processing Systems
NASA Tests Lasers’ Ability to Transmit Data from Space
Converting from Hydraulic Cylinders to Electric Actuators
Automating Optimization and Design Tasks Across Disciplines
Vibration Tables Shake Up Aerospace and Car Testing
Supercomputer Cooling System Uses Refrigerant to Replace Water
Computer Chips Calculate and Store in an Integrated Unit
Electron-to-Photon Communication for Quantum Computing

Electrical Current Stemming From Algae

Stanford scientists have harnessed a tiny electrical current from algae cells. They found it at the very source of energy production – photosynthesis - and it may be the first step toward generating high-efficiency bioelectricity that doesn't give off carbon dioxide as a byproduct.

Posted in: GDM, News, News, Energy, Energy Efficiency, Energy Storage, Renewable Energy, Solar Power, Green Design & Manufacturing, Greenhouse Gases
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Should human genes be patentable?

This week's question concerns the issue of gene patents. While some in the scientific community believe that human genes should not be exploited for commercial gain, others argue that a patent is a reward for years of expensive research that moves science forward.

What do you think? Should human genes be patentable?

Posted in: Question of the Week
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Moving Toward a Carbon-based Solar Cell

To make large sheets of carbon available for light collection, Indiana University Bloomington chemists have attached what amounts to a 3D bramble patch to each side of the carbon sheet. The scientists say they were able to dissolve sheets containing as many as 168 carbon atoms, which is a first.

Posted in: GDM, News, News, Energy, Energy Efficiency, Renewable Energy, Solar Power
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LED Bulb Replaces Incandescent Bulb

A 40-watt GE Energy Smart® LED bulb from GE Lighting (Cleveland, OH) will be available later this year or early 2011. The new LED bulb is expected to consume only 9 watts, provide a 77 percent energy savings, and produce nearly the same light output as a 40-watt incandescent bulb - while lasting more than 25 times as long.

Posted in: GDM, Products, Products, Energy, Energy Efficiency, Lighting
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LED Edge-Lighting Solution

Global Lighting Technologies (GLT), Inc. (Brecksville, OH) now offers LED edge-lighting solutions that focus light into a high-performance backlight, or light guide. Because the LEDs are located on the edge of the light guide, there is better optical control for color and uniformity, fewer LEDs, better repeatability, and the thinnest possible lighting solution.

Posted in: GDM, Products, Products, Energy, Energy Efficiency, Lighting
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Princeton's Plastics Hold Potential for Lowering Cost of Solar Panels

Princeton University engineers have developed translucent, malleable, and electricity-conducting plastics, which could represent a low-cost alternative to indium tin oxide (ITO) - an expensive conducting material currently used in solar panels.

Posted in: GDM, News, News, Energy, Energy Efficiency, Renewable Energy, Solar Power
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New Path to Solar Energy Via Solid-State Photovoltaics

Berkeley Lab researchers have found a new mechanism by which the photovoltaic effect can take place in semiconductor thin-films. This new route to energy production overcomes the bandgap voltage limitation that continues to plague conventional solid-state solar cells.

Posted in: GDM, News, News, Energy, Energy Efficiency, Renewable Energy, Solar Power
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Using Aspheres To Increase Optical System Performance

In a perfect imaging system, light exists as a spherical wave that converges to form a point image. However, in practice wavefront aberrations act to perturb the wavefront from its ideal spherical shape, which can degrade image quality. The appropriate use of ashperical lenses in an optical system can improve performance with a minimum addition of optical elements.

Posted in: Articles, Optics, Photonics, Calibration, Optics
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Monitoring Carbon Composite Structures With Optical Fiber Sensors

Fiber reinforced polymer composites are revolutionizing the design of large, high-performance structures in the aerospace, marine and power generation industries due to their advantages in areas such as corrosion resistance, specific strength and tailorability. The use of carbon fiber reinforced composites, the most common and lightest of the “non-exotic” composite materials, is now very widespread. The maiden flight of The Boeing Company’s new 787 Dreamliner, the first commercial aircraft to use composites for most of its construction in December of 2009, is a stark example of just how far carbon fiber composite materials have come in the last 50 years: from hockey sticks, tennis rackets and R&D labs, to carrying us from here to there at 500+ mph.

Posted in: Articles, Optics, Photonics, Sensors, Fiber optics, Sensors and actuators, Composite materials, Polymers, Performance tests
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Focusing Light Beams To Improve Atomic-Vapor Optical Buffers

Atomic-vapor optical buffers could be made to perform more nearly optimally.

Specially designed focusing of light beams has been proposed as a means of improving the performances of optical buffers based on cells containing hot atomic vapors (e.g., rubidium vapor). There is also a companion proposal to improve performance by use of incoherent optical pumping under suitable conditions.

Posted in: Briefs, ptb catchall, Physical Sciences, Lasers, Performance upgrades
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