News

Turning Light Into an Electrical Current Using a Golden Nanoscale System

University of Pennsylvania material scientists have demonstrated the transduction of optical radiation to electrical current in a molecular circuit. The array of nano-sized molecules of gold respond to electromagnetic waves by creating surface plasmons that induce and project electrical current across molecules - similar to that of photovoltaic solar cells.

Posted in: GDM, News, News, Energy, Energy Efficiency, Energy Storage, Solar Power

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Is the American auto industry finally headed in the right direction?

This week's question concerns the wonders and the woes of the American auto industry. With falling sales, the somewhat controversial "cash for clunkers" program, and the spate of bailouts that occurred last year for Detroit's "big three", the industry seems to be due for some positive news. And reports from the 2010 North American Auto Show seem to be promising. At the show, Ford, GM, and Chrysler all unveiled new smaller, more efficient, hybrid vehicles prompting comments that American carmakers are finally "getting it." What do you think? Is the American auto industry finally headed in the right direction?

Posted in: Question of the Week

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Crystals for Carbon Dioxide Capture

UCLA chemists have created three-dimensional synthetic DNA-like crystals that have a sequence of information which is believed to code for carbon capture. The discovery could result in a new way to capture heat-trapping carbon dioxide emissions and could lead to cleaner energy.

Posted in: GDM, News, News, Energy, Energy Efficiency, Alternative Fuels, Green Design & Manufacturing, Greenhouse Gases

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Should the Internet be a nominee for the 2010 Nobel Peace Prize?

This week's question concerns a recent Forbes/AP story that reported on the nominees for the 2010 Nobel Peace Prize. These include a Russian human rights group, a Chinese dissident, and, believe it or not, the Internet. Proposed by the Italian version of Wired magazine, which cited the Internet as a tool to advance "dialogue, debate, and consensus through communication,” it is unclear whether an inanimate object would qualify for the prize. What do you think? Should the Internet be a nominee for the 2010 Nobel Peace Prize? Yes or no?

Posted in: Question of the Week

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System Provides Hybrid Electric Autos With Power to Spare

A new PHEV traction drive power electronics system provides more power than typical freestanding portable generators, and can be used in emergency situations such as power outages and roadside breakdowns or leisure occasions such as camping.

Posted in: GDM, News, News, Batteries, Electronics & Computers, Energy, Energy Storage, Transportation

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External Electric Fields and Hydrogen Storage

It has been difficult to find materials that can efficiently and safely store and release hydrogen with fast kinetics under ambient temperature and pressure, but an international research team has developed a process using an electric field.

Posted in: GDM, News, News, Energy, Energy Storage, Alternative Fuels, Green Design & Manufacturing

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Will the iPad be a game-changer in the world of personal electronics?

This week’s question concerns the much-anticipated unveiling of the Apple iPad tablet computer/book reader/music, movie, and video player. At $499, Apple touts the device as a bridge between smartphones and laptops. Tech critics say it’s nothing more than a big iPhone. What do you think? Will the iPad be a game-changer in the world of personal electronics?

Posted in: Question of the Week

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