American Institute of Physics

Return of the vacuum tube

Vacuum tubes have been retro for decades. They almost completely disappeared from the electronics scene when consumers exchanged their old cathode ray tube monitors for flat screen TVs. Their replacement – the semiconductor ...

May 18, 2012
5 / 5 (11) 3

Wrangling flow to quiet cars and aircraft

Plasmas are a soup of charged particles in an electric field, and are normally found in stars and lightning bolts. With the use of high voltage equipment, very small plasmas can be used to manipulate fluid ...

Oct 18, 2013
5 / 5 (11) 1 | with audio podcast

New aluminum alloy stores hydrogen

We use aluminum to make planes lightweight, store sodas in recyclable containers, keep the walls of our homes energy efficient and ensure that the Thanksgiving turkey is cooked to perfection. Now, thanks ...

Nov 05, 2013
4.5 / 5 (12) 1 | with audio podcast

Low-priced plastic photovoltaics

Photovoltaic devices, which tap the power of the sun and convert it to electricity, offer a green—and potentially unlimited—alternative to fossil fuel use. So why haven't solar technologies been more ...

Oct 22, 2013
4.5 / 5 (11) 2 | with audio podcast

Harvesting light, the single-molecule way

New insights into one of the molecular mechanisms behind light harvesting, the process that enables photosynthetic organisms to thrive, even as weather conditions change from full sunlight to deep cloud cover, ...

Feb 16, 2014
4.9 / 5 (10) 0