American Institute of Physics

Exotic alloys for potential energy applications

The search for thermoelectrics, exotic materials that convert heat directly into electricity, has received a boost from researchers at the California Institute of Technology and the University of Tokyo, who have found the ...

Jun 27, 2013
4.5 / 5 (8) 0 | with audio podcast

Using fluctuating wind power

Incorporating wind power into existing power grids is challenging because fluctuating wind speed and direction means turbines generate power inconsistently. Coupled with customers' varying power demand, many ...

Mar 25, 2013
3.5 / 5 (6) 8 | with audio podcast

Magnetic shielding of ion beam thruster walls

Electric rocket engines known as Hall thrusters, which use a super high-velocity stream of ions to propel a spacecraft in space, have been used successfully onboard many missions for half a century. Erosion of the discharge ...

Feb 13, 2013
4.9 / 5 (15) 4 | with audio podcast

Sound bullets in water

Sound waves are commonly used in applications ranging from ultrasound imaging to hyperthermia therapy, in which high temperatures are induced, for example, in tumors to destroy them. In 2010, researchers at Caltech led by ...

Nov 19, 2012
5 / 5 (9) 0 | with audio podcast