The computer, an update to the Jaguar system, is operated in Tennessee by Oak Ridge National Laboratory, part of the DOE's network of research labs. Researchers from academia, government labs, and various industries will be able to use Titan -- believed to be one of the two most powerful machines in the world -- to research things such as climate change and … Read more
Stanford R. Ovshinsky, a self-taught scientist who invented the nickel-metal hybrid battery and a new class of semiconductors, died Wednesday at age 89.
The cause of death was prostate cancer, according to his son, Harvey Ovshinsky.
Hailed in 2006 by Economist magazine as "the Edison of our age," Ovshinsky held more than 200 patents on a wide variety of pioneering products, from thin-film solar cells to hydrogen fuel cells. In the 1950s, Ovshinsky upset conventional thinking by rejecting the notion that only well-ordered crystals had useful electronic properties and suggested that so-called amorphous, or disordered, materials could be … Read more
The move makes A123 the latest government-backed energy company to file for Chapter 11. Many of these companies have struggled to make money as demand slows for their products. A123 received more than $250 million in state and federal funding to help it run its operations providing batteries for electric cars and other products. But it has also faced many problems, including defective products.
A123 today said Johnson Controls will help finance the filing by buying A123's automotive business … Read more
Now, less than a year after the first version of the product arrived, bringing Apple style design and user interfaces to what had traditionally been one of the most staid home appliances, Fadell's Palo Alto, Calif.-based company today announced Nest 2.0, a slimmer version of the thermostat that was built to work in more homes and brings new flexibility and features to the … Read more
What do Elon Musk, Leap Motion, Microsoft Surface and Windows 8, Autodesk 123D, and Dow Solar's PowerHouse Solar Shingles have in common?
They are all among the winners of Popular Mechanics magazine's eighth Breakthrough Awards. Awarded each year by a panel of the magazine's editors, the honors go to people and products that are seen to be leading the world of science and commerce forward.
This year's product winners are: The North Face Powder Guide ABS Vest and Backpack; the Lytro camera; Autodesk 123D; Microsoft Surface and Windows 8; Ford's 1-liter EcoBoost engine; Dow PowerHouse … Read more
Brainiacs at Rice University today debuted a spray-on lithium ion battery that they say could be applied to nearly any surface. You read that right -- a paintable battery.
The paint contains layers, each representing a necessary component of a conventional battery -- current collectors made in part from purified single-wall carbon nanotubes, a cathode, an anode, and a polymer separator -- as described in a report published today in Nature authored by Rice graduate student Neelam Singh and her team. Spraying the painted battery is a multilayer process, but when you're done, you have a covered surface that stores energy and discharges it when needed -- that is, a battery. … Read more
Apple's iPad costs precious little for you to charge it each year, according to a new study.
The Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI) conducted a study recently to see how much the iPad costs in electricity if users fully charge it every other day. The research agency, which is funded by electric power companies, found that the iPad will cost owners $1.36 a year, thanks to its consumption of just 12 kWh of electricity each year.
The EPRI assumed that there are now 67 million iPads in the world and applied the average energy use to each device … Read more
On October 4, 2004, the idea of incentive prizes hit the mainstream when Burt Rutan and his team at Scaled Composites launched SpaceShip One into orbit for the second time and won the $10 million Ansari X Prize.
Since then, prizes like that have become more and more common, and though the X Prizes are still the gold standard, there are now similar competitions from medical research to science to business, and beyond.
How does a microbe know how to share electrons with an inanimate object? A wide variety of microbes can send electrons into, or accept electrons from, conducting materials. Witness the fuel cells that rely on different types of bacteria to exchange electrons with graphite electrodes.
But investigators have wondered how that ability arose. Most organisms internally generate energy by coupling the addition of electrons to one molecule with their removal from another. But some microbes find themselves in circumstances where they must cooperate to generate the energy for life, swapping molecules or electrons with other species. Do these microbes enhance … Read more
The Nest Learning Thermostat has found a new home with the folks at Apple.
The company better known for iPhones and iPads is now selling the high-tech thermostat in its online store for $249.95. But the Nest is unlike conventional thermostats.
As befits the term "learning," the Nest can learn and remember your preferred temperatures to automatically keep things cool or warm. It turns itself off when your house is empty. And it taps into the power of remote control, letting you change the temperature from anywhere via your iPhone, iPad, Android device, or Mac.
This is … Read more