Coffee-based colloids for direct solar absorption

Solar energy is one of the most promising resources to help reduce fossil fuel consumption and mitigate greenhouse gas emissions to power a sustainable future. Devices presently in use to convert solar energy into thermal ...

Sponge creates steam using ambient sunlight

How do you boil water? Eschewing the traditional kettle and flame, MIT engineers have invented a bubble-wrapped, sponge-like device that soaks up natural sunlight and heats water to boiling temperatures, generating steam ...

A polar-bear-inspired material for heat insulation

For polar bears, the insulation provided by their fat, skin, and fur is a matter of survival in the frigid Arctic. For engineers, polar bear hair is a dream template for synthetic materials that might lock in heat just as ...

How physics explains the evolution of social organization

A scientist at Duke University says the natural evolution of social organizations into larger and more complex communities that exhibit distinct hierarchies can be predicted from the same law of physics that gives rise to ...

Cutting Bergmann's Rule down to size

(Phys.org)—Matan Shelomi, a doctoral candidate in entomology at the University of California, Davis, is cutting Bergmann's Rule down to size.

New model reveals how huddling penguins share heat fairly

Penguins that face the bitter cold and icy winds of Antarctica often huddle together in large groups for warmth during storms. Mathematicians at the University of California, Merced created a model of penguin huddles that ...

Scientists demonstrate high-efficiency quantum dot solar cells

Research shows newly developed solar powered cells may soon outperform conventional photovoltaic technology. Scientists from the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) have demonstrated the first solar cell with external ...

Skin hair skims heat off elephants

Body hair in mammals is typically thought to have evolved to keep us warm in colder prehistoric times, but a new study suggests that it may do the opposite, at least in elephants. Epidermal hair may have evolved to help the ...

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