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 ...

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 ...

Supercomputing more light than heat

Solar cells can't stand the heat. Photovoltaics lose some energy as heat in converting sunlight to electricity. The reverse holds true for lights made with light-emitting diodes (LED), which convert electricity into light. ...

NASA's new shape-shifting radiator inspired by origami

Japan's ancient art of paper folding has inspired the design of a potentially trailblazing "smart" radiator that a NASA technologist is now developing to remove or retain heat on small satellites.

One radiator to heat a whole floor

Saving energy from building highly insulated homes—often called passive homes or zero-emissions homes—makes sense for the climate and for the homeowner's pocketbook. But what happens if your efficient home is a little ...

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 ...

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