New heat model may help electronic devices last longer

A University of Illinois-based team of engineers has found that the model currently used to predict heat loss in a common semiconductor material does not apply in all situations. By testing the thermal properties of gallium ...

Forests face climate change tug of war

In a world of rising levels of atmospheric carbon dioxide, plants should be happy, right? Experiments have shown that, yes, increased carbon dioxide does allow plants to photosynthesize more and use less water.

'Self-cleaning' concrete could keep buildings looking new

Building materials that clean themselves could save immense time and labor in homes and businesses, as well as reduce disease risk in settings such as hospitals. Now, researchers reporting in ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces ...

How rising temperatures affect our health

Global warming is accelerating, driven by the continuing rise in greenhouse gas emissions. Australia's climate has warmed by just over 1°C since 1910, with global temperatures on course for a 3-5°C rise this century.

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 ...

Desalinating water in a greener and more economical way

We know that excessive consumption, industrial activity and growth in the global population are some of the factors threatening access to drinking water for an increasing proportion of people around the world. According to ...

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. ...

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