In another step toward a cleaner energy future, scientists in the US have found a way to sustainably generate hydrogen using just water and bacteria. Using a process called reverse electro-dialysis, researchers an Penn State university have extracted the gas from water by breaking up its molecules.
The rumbling you feel driving along a bridge may soon serve a purpose beyond just waking you up behind the wheel. Researchers at MIT have developed a tiny energy-harvester that is able to harness low-frequency vibrations like those made by a bridge or pipeline and converting them to electricity for wireless sensors.
Masayoshi Son, entrepreneurial founder of Softbank, Japan's third-largest mobile network, and according to Forbes, the nation's richest man, unveiled a vague but undeniably ambitious plan to completely change Japan's energy infrastructure. His plan, which relies heavily on wind and geothermal power and abandons nuclear, would, he says, shift the majority of Japan's energy sources to renewable energy by 2030.
After years of playing such numbers extremely close to the vest, Google today released figures spelling out exactly how much electricity the company's massive computing resources consume. Its data centres continuously draw 260 million watts - roughly a quarter the output of a nuclear power plant, says the NYT-to keep services like Gmail, search, Google Ads, and YouTube up and running around the clock and around the globe.
IBM and 3M are collaborating on a new kind of semiconductor glue that will bind together future generations of 3-D semiconductor chips. The idea is to create a whole new kind of adhesive that hold things tightly together while also conducting heat and insulating at the same time.
Fermilab's Tevatron collider runs out of money and time at the end of this month, but physicists there say that they are on track to establish whether the Higgs can exist within the most likely predicted mass range before their September 30 deadline. That's not the same as actually finding the Higgs boson of course, but physicists say they'll either rule out the possibility of its existence or not by month's end.
The term "suitcase nuke" hasn't enjoyed a particularly popular connotation in recent years, but researchers convening at the 242nd National Meeting and Exposition of the American Chemical Society this week think such a concept is the future of interplanetary space travel. Scientists supporting a joint NASA/US Department Of Energy project to develop future power plants for space colonists envision the first such power supplies being suitcase-sized fission reactors that future space explorers could deploy quickly and reliably in the harsh environs of another planet like Mars.