15-09-2016   -   Physics

Thu 15 Sep 2016. Peculiar metals; Insulator or conductor. The electronic energy states allowed by quantum mechanics determine whether a solid is an insulator or whether it conducts electric current as a metal. Researchers have now theoretically predicted a novel material whose energy states exhibit a hitherto unknown peculiarity. This little known and, so far, not particularly useful solid could be the prototype for a new kind of material with potentially technologically interesting properties. For instance, it is predicted that the electric conductivity of such solids should be influenced by magnetic fields in a characteristic way. This phenomenon is also known as magneto-resistance and plays an important role in modern data storage technologies. More

  28-07-2016   -   Energy

Thu 28 July 2016. New tool calculates emissions impacts and energy benefits from smart grid investments. Power Smart grid technologies significantly reduce greenhouse gases and other emissions resulting from power production and usage. Taken together, smart grid and intelligent buildings mechanisms could reduce US carbon emissions by 12 percent by 2030. The free web-based tool (EQT, Emissions Quantification Tool) enables power utilities and industry to evaluate not only the environmental impacts of adopting smart grid technologies, but can give organizations the operational data to sift through factors to justify the investment. EQT calculates the resulting changes to carbon dioxide, sulfur dioxide and nitrogen oxides, and the energy and financial savings that may be achieved by integrating smart grid technologies. The evaluated technologies include coordinated electric vehicle charging schedules, battery-stored energy, and devices that enable integration of solar generation into the power grid. More

  11-07-2016   -   Medicine

Mon 11 Jul 2016. New microfluidic device offers means for studying electric field cancer therapy. Reseachers observed that a range of low-intensity, middle-frequency electric fields effectively stopped breast and lung cancer cells from growing and spreading, while having no adverse effect on neighboring healthy cells. For the past decade, scientists have been experimenting with the use of electric fields to treat malignant cells, in an alternative cancer treatment called tumor treating field, or TTF. The therapy stems from the interaction between key cellular structures in tumors, and an external electric field. More

  16-05-2016   -   Chemistry

Mon 16 May 2016. Radioactive isotopes reveal age of oil and gas wastewater spills. Spills from oil and gas operations can contaminate local water and soil with high levels of toxic chemicals, salts and radioactivity, but in many cases there is insufficient information to determine how long ago the spill occurred and identify its source. Tests in soils affected by oil and gas wastewater spills verify that the new methods can determine the age of spills and identify their origins, based on the variations of radium isotopes and their decay products found in contaminated soils or sediments. Radium's decay products include thorium and lead isotopes. More

  19-04-2016   -   Energy

Tue 19 Apr 2016. New Perovskite-Silicon Tandem Solar Cell Efficiency Record of 25.5%. Scientists used the novel solar material to create a hybrid solar cell with an efficiency of 25.5 percent the highest level ever recorded. As recently as 2009, perovskite solar cells barely delivered efficiencies above 4 percent. The researchers used a three-tiered approach in creating their hybrid solar cell. The top layer, consisting of light-absorbing perovskite, captures short wavelength photons, while a bottom layer coated with silicon harvests longer wavelength photons. More

  18-04-2016   -   Chemistry

Mon 18 Apr 2016. A new chemical method to clean contaminated groundwater. Researchers ran a series of experiments in a laboratory setting using water containing uranium present in contaminated groundwater at various sites in the United States as a legacy of Cold War-era processing and waste disposal activities associated with nuclear materials production. Calcium and phosphate work together chemically to immobilize uranium, which is shown to lead to increased cancer risk and liver damage in humans when ingested. More

  13-04-2016   -   Physics

Wed 13 Apr 2016. Light and sound waves used to control electron states. Physicists have combined light and sound to control electron states in an atom-like system, providing a new tool in efforts to move toward quantum-computing systems. New research was done on diamond topped with a layer of zinc oxide containing electrical conductors and performed at a temperature of 8 degrees Kelvin, just above absolute zero. The research focused on a goal of quantum-computing researchtaking advantage of defects in diamond known as nitrogen vacancy centers, where a nitrogen atom substitutes for a carbon atom adjacent to a missing carbon atom. These defects are, in effect, artificial atoms that can be used as qubits. More

  21-03-2016   -   Nuclear

Mon 21 Mar 2016. Air Data Can Be Used to Reconstruct Radiological Releases. New research demonstrates that experts can use data from air sampling technology to not only detect radiological releases, but to accurately quantify the magnitude and source of the release. This has applications for nuclear plant safety, nuclear security, and nuclear nonproliferation monitoring. More

  15-03-2016   -   Medicine

Thu 15 Mar 2016. Ultra-fast detection of breast density using MRT helps determine breast cancer risks. Researchers have developed a method for the precise measurement of breast density using magnetic resonance tomography (MRT) examinations with the Dixon sequence for a better assessment of the risk, in addition to an earlier breast cancer diagnosis. A method was developed whereby an objective measurement of breast density, with fully automatic software and higher precision and reproducibility, has been detected, and showed that a prototype currently exists. It works practically at the touch of a button and only takes a few minutes. There is also no need to provide contrast material. More

  06-03-2016   -   Chemistry

Sun 6 Mar 2016. Researchers devise one-step process to convert carbon dioxide and water directly into renewable liquid hydrocarbon fuels. This simple and inexpensive new sustainable fuels technology could potentially help limit global warming by removing carbon dioxide from the atmosphere to make fuel. The process also reverts oxygen back into the system as a byproduct of the reaction, with a clear positive environmental impact. It is the first time light and heat are used to synthesize liquid hydrocarbons in a single stage reactor from carbon dioxide and water. Concentrated light drives the photochemical reaction, which generates high-energy intermediates and heat to drive thermochemical carbon-chain-forming reactions, thus producing hydrocarbons in a single-step process. More

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