Solar power turns over a new leaf

An MIT scientist claims he has achieved “one of the Holy Grails of science”: an artificial leaf that stands up to practical application. The device simulates photosynthesis to generate electricity using just sunlight and water — reputedly doing so 10 times more efficiently than a real leaf. Daniel Nocera acknowledged that his team’s output is […]

Fighting fire with… electricity?

Harvard researchers believe firefighters could one day control and even extinguish fires using a gun that fires electricity. The project, funded by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency and the Department of Energy, investigated what’s said to be a 200-year-old observation that electricity can affect a flame’s shape, a point that hasn’t previously been the […]

Swimming Magnetic Gels [Video]

Professor Miklós Zrínyi of Semmelweiss University in Budapest, Hungary, has invented a magnetic gel which can be shaped in various forms and then moved using magnetism. Soft magnetic materials like this one could be used for artificial muscles in robots, or to replace rigid machine components, such as valves. Other teams are also working on […]

The Photon Torpedo Is a Lie [Video]

photon torpedo

If you’re a science geek and you aren’t watching Dr. Kaku’s Universe, prepare to spend a few hours catching up. Over on Big Think, theoretical physicist at C.U.N.Y. and popular radio host and television personality Michio Kaku answers reader questions about physics and futuristic science. This week he tackles Star Trek’s “photon torpedo” and talks about […]