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  • The five kinds of nanotechnology

    Eric Drexler
    3 Apr 2014 | 7:56 pm
    Why understanding seems stuck: I count five kinds of nanotechnology, of which only three are called by that name. Of the three, one is a revolutionary prospect, one is a fantasy, and the third is mostly materials science. As for the other two kinds, one is the heart of today’s greatest technological revolution, while the other is the basis for progress toward the revolutionary prospect — but neither of these is called “nanotechnology”. This may seem confusing, and it is. Indeed, people who think they know something about “nanotechnology” often have a lot to unlearn, and would be…
  • Space Based Solar power need robotic assembly in space and reusable rockets for viability

    Next Big Future
    24 Apr 2014 | 12:48 pm
    Aviation Week has a review of Space Based Solar power projects.IEEE spectrum indicates that Japan's Space Agency has a roadmap for a 1 Gigawatt space based solar power system in 2031.All of the old space based solar power designs are not workable. They are too big and too heavy.Reusable rockets and the Spacex Heavy will help make launches cheaper, but it is robotic assembly in space that will have more impact.Spiderfab will use robots to assemble structures in space. Spiderfab on orbit assembly can reduce the mass of space structures by 30 times.Also, the space based power should be used…
  • 'Double-duty' electrolyte enables new chemistry for longer-lived batteries

    Nanowerk Nanotechnology Research News
    24 Apr 2014 | 7:18 am
    Researchers have developed a new and unconventional battery chemistry aimed at producing batteries that last longer than previously thought possible.
  • Atomic switcheroo explains origins of thin-film solar cell mystery

    Nanotechnology Now Recent News
    25 Apr 2014 | 2:28 am
    Treating cadmium-telluride (CdTe) solar cell materials with cadmium-chloride improves their efficiency, but researchers have not fully understood why. Now, an atomic-scale examination of the thin-film...
  • Researchers Build DNA Nanodevices that Survive Body's Immune Mechanism - Nanotechnology News Feed
    23 Apr 2014 | 4:16 am
    It's a familiar trope in science fiction: In enemy territory, activate your cloaking device. And real-world viruses use similar tactics to make themselves invisible to the immune system. Now...
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    Nanowerk Nanotechnology Research News

  • 'Double-duty' electrolyte enables new chemistry for longer-lived batteries

    24 Apr 2014 | 7:18 am
    Researchers have developed a new and unconventional battery chemistry aimed at producing batteries that last longer than previously thought possible.
  • Nanotechnology protects olive oil from counterfeiters

    24 Apr 2014 | 7:12 am
    Just a few grams of the new substance are enough to tag the entire olive oil production of Italy. If counterfeiting were suspected, the nanoparticles added at the place of origin could be extracted from the oil and analysed, enabling a definitive identification of the producer.
  • Nanobubbles are superstable

    24 Apr 2014 | 7:06 am
    Scientists have proven that the stability of nanobubbles is so high they remain stable even at the boiling point of water, triggering microdroplet nucleation.
  • Lithium-sulfur batteries last longer with nanomaterial-packed cathode

    24 Apr 2014 | 6:58 am
    Metal organic framework captures troubling polysulfides that usually cause battery failure.
  • When things get glassy, molecules go fractal

    24 Apr 2014 | 2:22 am
    School children learn the difference between liquids and gases, but centuries of scholarship have failed to produce consensus about how to categorize glass. Now, combining theory and numerical simulations, researchers have resolved an enduring question in the theory of glasses, showing that their energy landscapes are far rougher than previously believed. The new model shows that molecules in glassy materials settle into a fractal hierarchy of states.
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    Nanotechnology News -- ScienceDaily

  • Your T-shirt's ringing: Printable tiny flexible cell phones for clothes?

    24 Apr 2014 | 7:28 am
    A new version of 'spaser' technology being investigated could mean that mobile phones become so small, efficient, and flexible they could be printed on clothing. A spaser is effectively a nanoscale laser or nanolaser. It emits a beam of light through the vibration of free electrons, rather than the space-consuming electromagnetic wave emission process of a traditional laser.
  • Gold nanoparticles help target, quantify breast cancer segments in a living cell

    23 Apr 2014 | 10:26 am
    A way to detect and measure cancer levels in a living cell by using tiny gold particles with tails of synthetic DNA has been developed by scientists. The process uses gold nanoparticles to target and bind to fragments of genetic material known as BRCA1 messenger RNA splice variants, which can indicate the presence and stage of breast cancer. The number of these mRNA splice variants in a cell can be determined by examining the specific signal that light produces when it interacts with the gold nanoparticles.
  • Checking up on crude oil in the ground: Nanoreporters tell 'sour' oil from 'sweet'

    22 Apr 2014 | 10:46 am
    Scientists have created a nanoscale detector that checks for and reports on the presence and concentration of hydrogen sulfide in crude oil and natural gas while they're still in the ground.
  • First size-based chromatography technique for the study of livi

    22 Apr 2014 | 9:12 am
    Using nanodot technology, researchers demonstrated the first size-based form of chromatography for studying the membranes of living cells. This unique physical approach to probing cellular membrane structures reveals critical information that can't be obtained through conventional microscopy.
  • Major advances in dye sensitized solar cells

    22 Apr 2014 | 9:07 am
    Two groups of researchers have recently advanced the field of solar cells with a cheaper and efficient replacement for platinum and better synthesis of zinc oxide. Working on dye-sensitized solar cells -- researchers in Malaysia have achieved an efficiency of 1.12%, at a fraction of the cost compared to those used by platinum devices.
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  • Google+ boss leaving the company

    25 Apr 2014 | 1:40 am
    The executive credited with bringing the Google+ social network to life is leaving the Internet colossus after playing a key role there for nearly eight years.
  • Netflix joining line-up of three US cable-TV services

    25 Apr 2014 | 1:33 am
    Netflix's Internet video service is about to join the programming line-up of three small cable-TV providers in the U.S.
  • Yurok Tribe to release condors in California

    25 Apr 2014 | 1:33 am
    The Yurok Tribe has signed agreements with state and federal agencies that will lead to the first release of captive-bred condors into Northern California's Redwood Coast.
  • Facebook woos journalists with 'FB Newswire'

    25 Apr 2014 | 1:28 am
    Facebook launched Thursday FB Newswire, billed as an online trove of real-time information for journalists and newsrooms to mine while reporting on events or crafting stories.
  • Top 12 ways the world can eliminate agriculture's climate footprint

    25 Apr 2014 | 1:23 am
    Annual carbon emissions from global agriculture can be reduced by as much as 50 to 90 percent by 2030—the equivalent of removing all the cars in the world—according to a comprehensive new report released by Climate Focus and California Environmental Associates. The study highlights twelve key strategies—led by reduced global beef consumption, reduced food waste and better farm nutrient management and production—that can deliver big climate wins while maintaining food security and building resilience.
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    the Foresight Institute

  • Physicists suppress 'stiction' force that bedevils microscale machinery

    Jim Lewis
    19 Apr 2014 | 9:01 am
    Credit: Intravaia et al. Whether or not MEMS (microelectromechanical systems) technology has use as a development path toward productive nanosystems, or atomically precise manufacturing, is unclear (see for example this series of posts on the Feynman Path by J. Storrs Hall), the problem of stiction in microscale mechanical systems has been used as a canard to criticize proposals for mechanical molecular machine systems. (For why this criticism is unfounded, see section 6.3.7 of Kinematic Self-Replicating Machines.) Nevertheless, MEMS is in its own right a very useful technology so it is…
  • US government report highlights flaws in US nanotechnology effort

    Jim Lewis
    1 Apr 2014 | 5:43 pm
    Credit: GAO adapted from Executive Office of the President Here at Nanodot we often report on basic research that may lie on the path to atomically precise manufacturing, and we also frequently report on nanoscale science and technology research that promises near-term revolutionary developments in medicine, computation, energy and other application areas, but we seldom have anything to say about the transition from research to commercial production. The United States Government Accountability Office (GAO) is worried about this same lack, and has identified an important nanotechnology policy…
  • Programmable nanoprocessors integrated into a nanowire nanocomputer

    Jim Lewis
    30 Mar 2014 | 8:31 pm
    Credit: Yao et al. Proc Nat Acad Sci USA Three years ago we noted “the world’s first programmable nanoprocessor” achieved by a collaboration between Harvard and MITRE [also, see further details here]. This year the same interdisciplinary team has taken further key steps toward a functioning nanoelectronic computer based on integrating several of the tiles that they first reported three years ago. A hat tip to KurzweilAI for reprinting this news release from MITRE “MITRE-Harvard Team’s Ultra-tiny Nanocomputer May Point the Way to Further Miniaturization in…
  • Bigger, stiffer, roomier molecular cages from structural DNA nanotechnology

    Jim Lewis
    29 Mar 2014 | 8:07 pm
    The five cage-shaped DNA polyhedra here have struts stabilizing their legs, and this innovation allowed a Wyss Institute team to build by far the largest and sturdiest DNA cages yet. The largest, a hexagonal prism (right), is one-tenth the size of an average bacterium. Credit: Yonggang Ke/Harvard's Wyss Institute The use of structural DNA nanotechnology to build atomically precise scaffolds for positioning systems of molecular machines and other nanoscale functional elements [see, for example "Advancing nanotechnology by organizing functional components on addressable DNA scaffolds"] took a…
  • Chemists provide new tool for nanotechnology-modifying the right carbon atom

    Jim Lewis
    27 Mar 2014 | 6:05 pm
    Credit: The Yu Lab, The Scripps Research Institute Advancements targeted to improving medical care continue to provide tools that could advance development of high throughput atomically precise manufacturing. In the latest example, chemists have developed a method to add a functional group to a specific carbon atom several atoms away from a given atom. A hat tip to ScienceDaily for reprinting this news release from The Scripps Research Institute (TSRI) “Building New Drugs Just Got Easier“: Scientists at The Scripps Research Institute (TSRI) have developed a method for modifying…
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    Nanotechnology News

  • MRI, on a molecular scale

    24 Apr 2014 | 12:00 am
    A team of scientists, led by professor of physics and of applied physics Amir Yacoby, have developed a magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) system that can produce nano-scale images, and may one day allow researchers to peer into the atomic structure of individual molecules.
  • Biologists develop nanosensors to visualize movements and distribution of plant hormone

    23 Apr 2014 | 12:00 am
    Biologists at UC San Diego have succeeded in visualizing the movement within plants of a key hormone responsible for growth and resistance to drought. The achievement will allow researchers to conduct further studies to determine how the hormone helps plants respond to drought and other environmental stresses driven by the continuing increase in the atmosphere's carbon dioxide, or CO2, concentration.
  • Nanocrystalline cellulose modified into an efficient viral inhibitor

    22 Apr 2014 | 12:00 am
    Researchers at Aalto University and the University of Eastern Finland have succeeded in creating a surface on nano-sized cellulose crystals that imitates a biological structure. The surface adsorbs viruses and disables them. The results can prove useful in the development of antiviral ointments and surfaces, for instance.
  • Nano shake-up

    21 Apr 2014 | 12:00 am
    Researchers in the University of Delaware Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering have shown that routine procedures in handling and processing can have a significant influence on the size, shape and delivery of drug nano carriers.
  • ASU leads new national research network to study impacts of nanomaterials

    20 Apr 2014 | 12:00 am
    The Environmental Protection Agency is establishing a new national research network to assess the potential environmental impacts of the engineered nanomaterials that are increasingly used in consumer products. The agency has awarded a $5 million grant to support the consortium, which will be based at Arizona State University.
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    International Council on Nanotechnology, Rice University - News Digest & Items of Interest

  • EP approves report on proposed Regulation on Medical Devices (SAFENANO News)

    23 Apr 2014 | 10:00 pm
    The European Parliament (EP) has voted in favour of a report [pdf] outlining a proposal for a Regulation on Medical Devices. Initially proposed in October 2013 to the EP, the report was approved with no changes. The document proposes that medical devices shall be divided into classes (I, IIa, IIb and III), taking into account their intended purpose and inherent risks. Within this, it is considered that nanomaterials should be classified as high-risk Class III devices when 'deliberately intended to be released into the human body'.
  • Dutch Food Contact Rules Revision covers Nano-form Substances (SAFENANO News)

    23 Apr 2014 | 10:00 pm
    A revised version of the Dutch Commodities Regulation of Food Packaging and Consumer Products came into force on the 1st April 2014. Aspects of this regulation are relevant to producers of nano-form substances, with specific requirements outlined for packaging such as migration limits and restrictions and requirements relating to compliance of the end product. (Regulation link in Dutch)
  • PETA science consortium to present hazard testing strategy at nanotoxicology meeting (Nanowerk News)

    22 Apr 2014 | 10:00 pm
    PETA International Science Consortium Ltd.'s nanotechnology expert will present a poster titled "A tiered-testing strategy for nanomaterial hazard assessment" (pdf) at the 7th International Nanotoxicology Congress to be held April 23-26, 2014, in Antalya, Turkey.
  • Cloaked DNA nanodevices survive pilot mission (Wyss Institute at Harvard)

    22 Apr 2014 | 10:00 pm
    It's a familiar trope in science fiction: In enemy territory, activate your cloaking device. And real-world viruses use similar tactics to make themselves invisible to the immune system. Now scientists at Harvard's Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering have mimicked these viral tactics to build the first DNA nanodevices that survive the body's immune defenses.
  • Virus-Inspired Coating Protects DNA Nanostructures In The Body (C&EN)

    22 Apr 2014 | 10:00 pm
    Nanomedicines made from self-assembling DNA structures could last longer inside the bloodstream with a lipid bilayer coating similar to the ones worn by some viruses. This protection strategy could make it possible to test new kinds of DNA nanotherapies in animals and bring them to the clinic, the developers say
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    TINC's Posts - The International NanoScience Community

  • Development of bottom-up nanowire based transistors and transducers - TU Dresden

    22 Apr 2014 | 10:49 am
    The Cluster of Excellence 'Center for Advancing Electronics Dresden' (cfaed) at TU Dresden offers a fixed-term Postdoc position (E 13 TV-L ) Topic:Development of bottom-up nanowire based transistors and transducers cfaed Investigators:Prof. Thomas Mikolajick; Dr. Walter M. Weber cfaed research area:Silicon Nanowire Path Terms: 100%, start asap, limited for 1 year The period of employment is governed by the Fixed Term Research Contracts Act ( Wissenschaftszeitvertragsgesetz - WissZeitVG). Position and Requirements We are looking for a talented postdoc scientist to develop bottom-up nanowire…
  • Summer Internship - Chemisty - Baltimore, USA

    22 Apr 2014 | 10:46 am
    Pixelligent Technologies, a Baltimore-based Advanced Materials company, is in search of Summer Chemistry intern. This is an excellent opportunity for enrolled chemistry students to gain experience and knowledge of the nanotechnology industry. The Summer Chemistry Intern will assist senior employees to accomplish Pixelligent’s technical goals, and perform other duties as may be assigned by a supervisor. Responsibilities may include: Complete and document projects in product development environment. Perform laboratory chemical processes. Produce and record accurate data for research and…
  • Smart Materials and Surfaces - SMS Bangkok 2014

    22 Apr 2014 | 10:30 am
    Smart Materials and Surfaces - SMS Bangkok 2014 International Conference and Exhibition Submission Due Date April 30th, 2014 ! Submit Now ! Dear Colleague, The Smart Materials and Surfaces International Conference and Exhibition - SMS Bangkok 2014 is a three days event targeting researchers interested in the design, modification, characterization and applications of Novel Smart & Active Surfaces and Materials. Call for Abstracts Due Date April 30th, 2014. Do not hesitate any longer and submit your abstract (for oral and poster presentations) now online. Click here to submit your abstract.
  • Attend MicroManufacturing – Where Micro Challenges Meet Big Solutions

    22 Apr 2014 | 10:30 am
    MicroManufacturing Conference & Exhibits Connecticut Convention Center Hartford, Connecticut May 6-8, 2014 Produced By: SME Co-located with: Mfg4 Co-located with: MMI-Medical Manufacturing Innovations Register Pre-Conference Workshops MicroManufacturing Conference  MMI Conference Floorplan Location & Hours Where micro challenges meet BIG solutions. Whether the challenge is creating micro features on micro parts or on macro parts, participants in this event will be looking for ideas to improve their process. Exploring the many processes available, this conference brings together…
  • Abstract book - NANOPOSTER 2014 - WELCOME!

    13 Apr 2014 | 10:00 pm
    Dear Participants and Visitors, welcome on the 4th Virtual Nanotechnology Poster Conference (14-18 April 2014). Please visit the accepted posters, contact the authors, left comments, and share the science on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn. To left comments under posters please join our event-group. Special thanks to our golden sponsor IZON! Virtual abstract book: Direct preparation of one-dimensional nanostructures in superfluid helium droplets Single walled carbon nanotubes induce peroxidase activity in whole blood Nanodentistry: nanotechnological impact on dental materials and procedures…
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    EDF Health

  • The perverting of prioritization: How a good idea for TSCA reform went bad – and how to save it

    Richard Denison
    22 Apr 2014 | 7:26 am
    By Richard DenisonRichard Denison, Ph.D. is a Lead Senior Scientist. For years, the concept of prioritization as an element of TSCA reform has enjoyed support from a broad array of stakeholders.  The number of chemicals in active commerce is large, if uncertain:  surely less than the 85,000 listed on the TSCA Inventory, but still in the tens of thousands. That sheer number demands that EPA develop and apply a process to decide where to start and how to sequence the enormous task of reviewing the safety of those chemicals.  There has also been widespread agreement that EPA should make an…
  • Report: Staggering amounts of toxic chemicals produced across America

    Alissa Sasso
    15 Apr 2014 | 11:04 am
    By Alissa SassoAlissa Sasso is a Chemicals Policy Fellow.  Richard Denison, Ph.D. is a Lead Senior Scientist. [Cross-posted from EDFVoices blog] Recent spills in West Virginia and North Carolina cast a spotlight on toxic hazards in our midst. But as bad as they are, these acute incidents pale in scope compared to the chronic flow of hazardous chemicals coursing through our lives each day with little notice and minimal regulation. A new report by EDF, Toxics Across America, tallies billions of pounds of chemicals in the American marketplace that are known or strongly suspected to cause…
  • Conflicted West Virginia chemical spill panel is repeating many of CDC’s mistakes

    Richard Denison
    2 Apr 2014 | 2:42 pm
    By Richard DenisonRichard Denison, Ph.D. is a Senior Scientist. Yesterday, the chair of a “Health Effects Expert Panel” convened by the West Virginia Testing Assessment Project (WV TAP) held a press conference to present the panel’s preliminary findings from its review of the “safe” level set by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) for MCHM and other chemicals that spilled into the Elk River in early January and contaminated the drinking water of 300,000 West Virginia residents. A final report from the panel apparently won’t be released until May, but a press release issued…
  • No more just California Dreamin’: First three priority products proposed

    Jennifer McPartland
    13 Mar 2014 | 12:15 pm
    By Jennifer McPartlandJennifer McPartland, Ph.D. is a Health Scientist. Today the California Department of Toxic Substances Control (DTSC) announced its first three draft priority products—the next major milestone in the implementation of its Safer Consumer Product (SCP) regulations to address chemicals of concern in the marketplace.  While we’re still at the start of a long process, today’s announcement is the clearest indicator to date of the impact these regulations may have on consumer products. The release of the draft priority products follows DTSC’s release last September of…
  • House TSCA reform discussion draft: Major problem #2 – Preemption of State authority

    Richard Denison
    6 Mar 2014 | 8:22 am
    By Richard DenisonRichard Denison, Ph.D. is a Senior Scientist. The House’s discussion draft of the Chemicals in Commerce Act (CICA) issued last week was accompanied by statements from both its sponsor and the American Chemistry Council (ACC) claiming that it represents a “balanced” approached to reform of the Toxic Substances Control ACT (TSCA). Despite the rhetoric, however, the draft is anything but balanced, and instead pegs the needle far to one side of the dial.  My earlier post describes the massive requirements EPA must meet in order to regulate a dangerous chemical and how far…
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  • Physics Quiz: Standard Model Answers

    Eric Drexler
    19 Apr 2014 | 10:44 am
    Last week’s Physics Quiz asked about errors in Wikipedia’s current diagram of the Standard Model. Here’s the diagram with corrections; answers follow: What do the arcs represent? The Standard Model interactions between particles: the boson-mediated strong, weak, and electromagnetic forces. Which of the arcs is incorrect? [And a question that got lost: Where is an arc is missing?] The arc linking charged and uncharged leptons is spurious: It does not represent a force. The arc representing the Higgs-neutrino interaction was omitted (see also #4). Extra credit, Wikipedia history…
  • Physics Quiz: The Standard Model

    Eric Drexler
    16 Apr 2014 | 1:37 pm
    The Wikipedia page on the Standard Model currently includes the diagram below: What do the arcs represent? Which of the arcs is incorrect? Extra credit, Wikipedia history department:   How did one correction lead to both errors? Added: Where is a second arc missing? (This makes question 3 ambiguous.) 17 April update: added question 4 after contemplating weak interactions and checking the literature
  • The five kinds of nanotechnology

    Eric Drexler
    3 Apr 2014 | 7:56 pm
    Why understanding seems stuck: I count five kinds of nanotechnology, of which only three are called by that name. Of the three, one is a revolutionary prospect, one is a fantasy, and the third is mostly materials science. As for the other two kinds, one is the heart of today’s greatest technological revolution, while the other is the basis for progress toward the revolutionary prospect — but neither of these is called “nanotechnology”. This may seem confusing, and it is. Indeed, people who think they know something about “nanotechnology” often have a lot to unlearn, and would be…
  • Rise of the robots (per the Economist)

    Eric Drexler
    1 Apr 2014 | 6:59 am
    In the Economist: “Rise of the robots: Prepare for a robot invasion. It will change the way people think about technology”. The robotics revolution is, of course, riding the exponential wave of today’s leading nanotechnology, digital nanoelectronics, and today’s robots give only a taste of what nanomechanical technologies will enable through radical improvements in the cost and performance of physical products. We really need to think about the real future — how to manage a world with pervasive robotics, pervasive surveillance, and radical material abundance (there’s a book about…
  • The end of the thermodynamics of computation?

    Eric Drexler
    29 Mar 2014 | 9:20 am
    In a recent post, the always intelligent and provocative Cosma Shalizi notes John D. Norton’s argument against (nearly) thermodynamically reversible computation, but Norton’s argument is mistaken. In his paper “The End of the Thermodynamics of Computation: A No-Go Result,” Norton correctly states that “In a [nearly] thermodynamically reversible process, all component systems are in [nearly] perfect equilibrium with one another at all stages,” and then discusses systems in which “Fluctuations will carry the system spontaneously from one stage to another [and as] a result, the…
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    Soft Machines

  • New Dawn Fades?

    Richard Jones
    23 Apr 2014 | 12:31 am
    Before K. Eric Drexler devised and proselytised for his particular, visionary, version of nanotechnology, he was an enthusiast for space colonisation, closely associated with another, older, visionary for a that hypothetical technology – the Princeton physicist Gerard O’Neill. A recent book by historian Patrick McCray – The Visioneers: How a Group of Elite Scientists Pursued Space Colonies, Nanotechnologies, and a Limitless Future – follows this story, setting its origins in the context of its times, and argues that O’Neill and Drexler are archetypes of a distinctive…
  • What’s the best way of harvesting the energy of the sun?

    Richard Jones
    6 Apr 2014 | 11:09 pm
    This is another post inspired by my current first year physics course, The Physics of Sustainable Energy (PHY123). Calculations are all rough, order of magnitude estimates – if you don’t believe them, try doing them for yourself. We could get all the energy we need from the sun, in principle. Even from our cloudy UK skies an average of 100 W arrives at the surface per square meter. Each person in the UK uses energy at an average rate of 3.4 kW, so if we each could harvest the sun from a mere 34 square meters with 100% efficiency, that would do the job. For all 63 million of us,…
  • On universities and economic growth

    Richard Jones
    21 Mar 2014 | 6:37 am
    I wrote this short piece for the online magazine The Conversation as a comment on the government’s response to the Witty Review on universities and economic growth. It was published there as Budget 2014: cash for research set against an overall story of long-term decline; as the new title suggests it was edited to give more prominence to the new science-related announcements in the Budget. Here’s the original version. Current UK innovation policy has taken on a medieval cast; no sooner do we have “Catapult Centres” for translational research established, than there is…
  • What should we do about climate change? Two opposing views, and they’re both wrong

    Richard Jones
    6 Mar 2014 | 5:53 am
    In the last 250 years, humanity has become completely dependent on fossil fuel energy. This dependence on fossil fuels has materially changed our climate; these changes will continue and intensify in the future. While uncertainty remains about the future extent and consequences of climate change, there is no uncertainty about the causal link between burning fossil fuel, increasing carbon dioxide concentrations in the atmosphere, and a warming world. This summarises my previous two long posts, about the history of our fossil fuel dependence, and the underlying physics of climate change. What…
  • Climate change: what do we know for sure, and what is less certain?

    Richard Jones
    2 Mar 2014 | 12:19 pm
    In another post inspired by my current first year physics course, The Physics of Sustainable Energy (PHY123), I suggest how a physicist might think about climate change. The question of climate change is going up the political agenda again; in the UK recent floods have once again raised the question of whether recent extreme weather can be directly attributed to human-created climate change, or whether such events are likely to be more frequent in the future as a result of continuing human induced global warming. One UK Energy Minister – Michael Fallon – described the climate…
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    Next Big Future

  • Google and NASA will make smarter flying spheres with kinect sensors

    25 Apr 2014 | 12:37 am
    Remember in "Star Wars" when Luke Skywalker deflects lasers from a floating orb with his lightsaber? Google and NASA are planning a floating sphere.The floating robots, or SPHERES (Synchronized Position Hold, Engage, Reorient, Experimental Satellites) will roam around the International Space Station equipped with Google’s Project Tango technology.There are three SPHERES currently aboard the ISS, each one with its own propulsion and power systems contained in a free-flying satellite about the size of a volleyball.Right now, they use ultrasound and infrared technology to navigate…
  • Solar power has a long way to go to be a cheap environment savior

    24 Apr 2014 | 5:54 pm
    Paul Krugman declares that environmental salvation will be cheap. This is based upon the IPCC saying that estimated reduction in economic growth would be around 0.06 percent per year [IF all nations began following IPCC energy, transportation and efficiency recommendations immediately, All of the countries of the world begin mitigation immediately, there is a single global carbon price, and all key technologies are available].The National Review shows more of the flaws. Between 2007 and 2012, the same period during which solar capacity grew tenfold, global coal consumption rose by the…
  • Lawrenceville Plasma Physics Presentation

    24 Apr 2014 | 5:25 pm
    Lawrenceville Plasma Physics (LPP) should be launching their crowdsourcing effort in May, 2014. They need to get their Tungsten electrode and then later switch to a berrylium electrode.If successful with their research and then commercialization they will achieve commercial nuclear fusion at the cost of $400,000-1 million for a 5 megawatt generator that would produce power for about 0.3 cents per kwh instead of 6 cents per kwh for coal and natural gas.LPP’s mission is the development of a new environmentally safe, clean, cheap and unlimited energy source based on hydrogen-boron fusion and…
  • Space Based Solar power need robotic assembly in space and reusable rockets for viability

    24 Apr 2014 | 12:48 pm
    Aviation Week has a review of Space Based Solar power projects.IEEE spectrum indicates that Japan's Space Agency has a roadmap for a 1 Gigawatt space based solar power system in 2031.All of the old space based solar power designs are not workable. They are too big and too heavy.Reusable rockets and the Spacex Heavy will help make launches cheaper, but it is robotic assembly in space that will have more impact.Spiderfab will use robots to assemble structures in space. Spiderfab on orbit assembly can reduce the mass of space structures by 30 times.Also, the space based power should be used…
  • Japan will boost GPS accuracy to about 1-3 centimeters of error instead of up to 10 meters currently

    24 Apr 2014 | 10:17 am
    Mitsubishi Electric is ready to launch the first commercial, nationwide, centimeter-scale satellite positioning technology. The Quazi-Zenith Satellite System (QZSS), will augment Japan’s use of the U.S.-operated Global Positioning System (GPS) satellite service. By precisely correcting GPS signal errors, QZSS can provide more accurate and reliable positioning, navigation, and timing services.To correct the errors, a master control center compares the satellite’s signals received by the reference stations with the distance between the stations and the satellite’s predicted location.
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    Boston Business News - Local Boston News | Boston Business Journal

  • Advocates lobby state lawmakers to replenish the brownfields fund

    Jon Chesto
    24 Apr 2014 | 8:54 pm
    A year ago, the state’s brownfields redevelopment fund ran dry, stalling or delaying roughly two-dozen projects across the state. But the bulldozers and backhoes are going to start moving again, now that lawmakers have approved $15 million for the fund. Advocates, led by the Massachusetts Smart Growth Alliance, aren’t going to stop there. They say that injection of cash in a supplemental budget that became law last month is nowhere near enough to address the pressing backlog. The group sent…
  • Mass. small businesses get extra year to comply with ObamaCare rating factors

    Jon Chesto
    24 Apr 2014 | 7:52 pm
    It’s not the victory that the Patrick administration and the local business community had sought. But at least it’s something, right? Gov. Deval Patrick says he was told today by the U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius that the state has been given an extra year to comply with the rules for “rating factors” under ObamaCare. The state’s health insurers may now continue to use their rating factors — such as breaks tied to a low-risk industry — to help determine…
  • UMass Lowell gets $1 million in state funds for innovation center

    Mary Moore
    24 Apr 2014 | 7:32 pm
    University of Massachusetts Lowell will expand its existing medical device incubation space and also create a new innovation space in a building at 110 Canal St. in Lowell. The Patrick administration just committed $1 million to help renovate the building, bringing the total to $5 million in state money that UMass Lowell will have available to build out the space. Earlier this month, the Massachusetts Life Sciences Center awarded UMass Lowell $4 million to expand the university’s Massachusetts…
  • Dunkin' Donuts is testing ways to improve sandwich-making speeds

    Jon Chesto
    24 Apr 2014 | 7:06 pm
    The workers at Dunkin’ Donuts might be fast. But they’re just not assembling those egg sandwiches quickly enough for Nigel Travis. The CEO of parent company Dunkin’ Brands told analysts today that the Canton-based coffee shop chain is experimenting with a new sandwich station. The initiative is aimed at significantly boosting a typical Dunkin’ shop’s efficiency. Travis says the company has hired two unnamed universities to study the issue and look for ways to pick up the pace. He also…
  • Motorists beware: Pru tunnel work recommences Saturday night

    24 Apr 2014 | 2:23 pm
    For those of you who have to drive into Boston from the west this weekend, there's good news and there's bad news. First the bad news: The work on the Prudential Tunnel that has necessitated lane closures and long tie-ups for east-bound traffic is back, starting Saturday night. The good news is this is the last weekend of the repair work, and the Department of Transportation has proudly announced that restrictions won't be as severe as the three previous weekends periods of work (the last stretch…
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