Hitting semiconductors with a superfast electric pulse massively…

Researchers from Kyoto University have discovered a new technique that could dramatically improve the efficiency of some semiconductors. They took gallium arsenide, and blasted it with a terahertz range electric field pulse for just a picosecond, which lead to a 1,000-fold increase in exciton density. An exciton is a… » 12/22/11 8:30am 12/22/11 8:30am

Ray Kurzweil uses math to prove that we have no energy crisis

Futurist and singularitarian Ray Kurzweil recently told PBS' Lauren Feeney that we don't need to worry about peak oil or carbon emissions. That's a relief. He's applied his "law of accelerating returns," developed to describe the way consumer electronics improve exponentially, to the field of solar power. Kurzweil… » 2/22/11 7:40am 2/22/11 7:40am

Solar-powered hornet is the Superman of the animal kingdom

Plants use photosynthesis to turn sunlight into energy every single day. This ability appeared to be completely unknown in the animal kingdom, leaving the living solar battery that is Superman as the only animal to ever harness the sun's rays for power. But now we've discovered that a type of hornet is doing its own… » 2/13/11 3:00pm 2/13/11 3:00pm

The Next Alternative Energy Solution? Human Hair

Milan Karki, an 18 year-old from a rural village in Nepal, has invented a type of solar panel that replaces expensive silicon with cheap, easily replenished human hair. Melanin, the pigment in human hair acts as a conductor for solar energy, and hair, unlike silicon, can be easily replaced, giving the panels a longer… » 9/10/09 9:30am 9/10/09 9:30am

Scifi's Greatest Space Builders — And How We'll Copy Them

Click to view » 8/18/08 10:20am 8/18/08 10:20amOne day, when you hear someone is a construction worker, you'll have to ask whether he or she wears a spacesuit on the job. We're already assembling massive structures in space - like the International Space Station and Dextre, that got built in space this past spring - but space construction will soon…