Thermo Electric Uses

power from car tailpipe

We put lot of sweat and engineering to produce energy which runs our lives, but as much as two thirds of this energy gets dissipated as waste, particularly in the form of heat. Recent reports show that a new material can bridge the gap between energy produced and wastage through heat. An international team of researchers has developed a new material which generates charges from the temperature variations across its two ends. These thermo electric materials, when commercialised, will find their place in a variety of applications. Let’s take a simple example. A car drinks a lot of energy to… read more

Solar Fish

Solar Fish

The oceans and seas of our planet are still a mystery for humans, and yet contain millions of creatures. New species are regularly being discovered under the waves and scientists are curious to explore the deepest and furthest reaches of this frontier to better understand our planet and to gain inspiration for our future. The Sunfish, is an enormous, flat looking fish. It is become the inspiration for the designers at AeroVironment to craft an ocean swimming robot, Mola, which is driven only by solar energy. The locomotion of this robot is similar to the sunfish which periodically comes to the surface… read more

Dyson Sphere Anomaly

Dyson Sphere

A group of University of California and Berkeley scientists were recent recipients of a combined $4 million grant from the New Frontiers in Astronomy and Cosmology International Grant by the University of Chicago. Their project goal is to study a theoretical phenomenon in space, known as a Dyson Sphere. Named after the theory’s founder, Freeman Dyson, a Dyson Sphere is a hypothetical structure centimeters to kilometers in thickness created near a star. These spheres would generate massive amounts of renewable energy inside their “atmosphere”, theoretically creating a perfect system in which to harness energy from the sun. There are multiple… read more

Dissolvable Electronics

Soluble electronics

In Lewis carroll’s Alice in Wonderland, Alice comes across the famous cat from Cheshire which discusses philosophy with Alice. After the talk the cat grins and disappears. The cat is gone but the grin stays. Electronic devices like Integrated circuits and CMOS have become an important part of life but what do we do once we are done with them? Throw them away? But this causes e-waste piles and it is estimated that these kinds of e-waste alone account up to 70% of toxic wastes currently found in landfills and a good percentage in the sea too. Electronic devices like pacemakers and… read more

Life On Mars?

Life On Mars

With the recent scientific expedition to Mars by NASA’s ‘Curiosity’ rover, many new questions and theories on future missions have been brought forth by experts in the field. Since human colonization of our closest planetary neighbor is imminent, the steps to achieve this monumental production will need to be finalized soon. One unanswered question is the topic of creating a permanent habitat, with the idea of adapting Mars into a “Second Earth”. Since the Martian atmosphere is 95.3% carbon-dioxide, and only 0.2% oxygen, compared to Earth’s 0.1% carbon-dioxide and 20.9% oxygen, future colonization efforts will face some obstacles before achieving… read more

Zeppelins Aloft!

Zeppelins Aloft

In the early 20th century, the innovative zeppelin airships were hailed as the future of flight, and made traversing the skies an exciting adventure for the masses. Then, following the tragic 1937 Hindenburg disaster, the industry all but vanished for 75 years. Today, a few airship companies are attempting a glorious comeback, and have transformed the tired old image of the zeppelin into something wonderfully new. Most are designed for cargo, others for pleasure. However, the newest variation of dirigibles are nothing like the iconic zeppelin we’re used to seeing. These hybrid airships are bigger, stronger, faster, and have more… read more

The Biosphere Project

Biosphere 2 - University of Arizona

In Santa Catalina, Arizona, the largest eco-research system on Earth rests near the mountains just north of Tucson. It’s called ‘Biosphere 2’, and its goal is to educate the public on the importance of conserving Earth’s ecosystem through smarter living and researching climate change. Built in 1986 by Space Biospheres Ventures, and now owned and maintained by the University of Arizona, Biosphere 2 is roughly the size of two and a half football fields, and is elevated 4,000ft above sea level. The glass facility has several biomes, each one unique to different Earth terrains. There’s a 1,900m rainforest, an 850m… read more

The Hamburger Issue

Issues with the meat industry

The food industry is a notorious contributor to global warming. The process for many mainstream meat suppliers can be a system diluted with inefficiencies. For example, genetically modified crops fed to animals which are often also genetically modified to grow and mature faster, and are given large doses of antibiotics which are never naturally present in their biological systems. Sometimes the animals are kept in deplorable conditions (as seen in the popular documentary “Food, Inc.”, which the author highly recommends for further information, as it was one of the main sources for this article.).  In the documentary, cows were seen… read more

A Step Forward in Space

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It was a cloud nine moment for all scientists and people around the globe when NASA’s curiosity rover landed safely in planet Mars. This is a milestone in space exploration after decades old Armstrong’s visit to the moon. This news topped all the media headlines and had a viral spread through the internet. At the same time a “green” spacecraft which is one of its kind, failed during its test launch at Kennedy Space centre. Morpheus, the spacecraft which was being tested with “green” fuel was unsuccessful due to some hardware problem. The propellant (spacecraft fuel) used in Morpheus was… read more

Flying Wind Farms

Flying wind farms

Can you imagine a balloon fitted with turbines and long tubes flying at over 30,000 feet in the air? This just might be the wave of the future in wind energy. According to NASA , at 30,000 feet turbines can tap into the jet stream which could conduct 20,000 to 40,000 watts per meter of energy. This is an abundance more than the normal 500 watts in which ground turbines can produce. Flying wind farms additionally can be reeled in during storms and will take up less space than the normal ground turbines. There are several ideas for the structure… read more