Bring up the prospect of fusion power, and often eyes glaze over. It's not that it's not a thrilling prospect--cheap and inexhaustible energy would solve a lot of problems here on planet Earth--but it's been such a pipe dream for so long that it's often hard to make people care. But at least one person with a proven track record in recognizing potential when he sees it has taken an interest in a fusion-powered future: Amazon founder and gazillionaire Jeff Bezos has thrown $19.5 million to Canada's General Fusion to fund further research.
Former astronaut, Apollo moonwalker, geologist and former Senator Harrison Schmitt has a modest plan to solve the world’s energy problems. All we need is $15 billion over 15 years and some fusion reactors that have yet to be invented. And we’ll need a moon base.
Regretting having that "one more" scotch last night? This might make you feel a little better: your tipple of choice may soon be providing sustainable energyto 9,000 homes in Scotland, where a new 7.2-megawatt biomass plant will burn the "draff" leftover from the whisky distilling process.
The project, slated to begin operating in 2013, will be located in Rothes in Speyside, the famed whisky producing region that is home to such recognizable labels as the Famous Grouse, Chivas Regal, and Glenfiddich (all of which will contribute biomass to the plant).
Largely thanks to Nintendo’s 3DS portable gaming system, glasses-free 3-D has entered the mainstream. Unfortunately, it has also introduced the world to the technology’s many limitations. But a team from MIT’s Camera Culture Group at the Media Lab is rethinking glasses-free 3-D, and it may have come up with a method that could drastically reduce power consumption, offer more perspectives to multiple users, and expand the viewing angle all without compromising picture quality or brightness.
Scientists working on the Antihydrogen Laser Physics Apparatus (ALPHA) at Cern’s particle physics laboratory had very exciting quarter hour recently. The team conjured and contained atoms of antihydrogen for a full 1,000 seconds--that’s nearly 17 minutes and 10,000 times longer than they were previously able to keep antimatter around before it disappeared in burst of particle-on-particle annihilations.
Those one-way mirrors made famous by cop dramas aren't actually one-way. They simply play off the differences in light on each side. That is, if the lights were equally as bright behind the mirror as in front, that rattled suspect could see right through to the cops on the other side.
Physicists at the University of Geneva in Switzerland have devised a new kind of quantum experiment using humans as photon detectors, and in doing so have made the quantum phenomenon of entanglement visible to the naked eye for the first time.
Residents of New Jersey, a state well known for its elegant aesthetic sense, are unhappy with the solar panels installed on electrical poles in leafy residential neighborhoods by the state's largest utility company. In suburban Bergen County, locals call the panels "ugly," "hideous," and an "eyesore," in addition to protesting their installation with complaints and (possibly) vandalism, according to the New York Times.
Robotic moon bases, chips implanted in our brains, self-driving cars, and high-speed rail linking London to Beijing. According to a dazzling number of technology predictions that single out the year 2020, it's going to be to be one hell of a year. Here, we take a look at some of the wonders it holds in store.
By Pierce HooverPosted 04.26.2011 at 5:34 pm 0 Comments
The goal of our 2011 Popular Science EcoTour is to cross the U.S. on the energy equivalent to that consumed by a single 100-watt light bulb left on day and night--in other words, 2,400 watt/hours per day. That's not a particularly large number when applied to electric vehicles, considering the average golf cart carries 6,000 to 8,000 watt hours in a 400 to 500 pound battery pack, with a best-case range of 30 to 40 miles on a full charge.