In cities and large-scale manufacturing plants, a water leak in a complicated network of pipes can take tremendous time and effort to detect, as technicians must disassemble many pieces to locate the problem. The American Water Works Association indicates that nearly a quarter-million water line breaks occur each year in the U.S., costing public water utilities about $2.8 billion annually.(more…)
ANN ARBOR — Despite widespread concern about potential human health impacts from hydraulic fracturing, the lifetime toxic chemical releases associated with coal-generated electricity are 10 to 100 times greater than those from electricity generated with natural gas obtained via fracking, according to a new University of Michigan study.(more…)
ANN ARBOR — Researchers have engineered a material that could lead to a new generation of computing devices, packing in more computing power while consuming a fraction of the energy that today’s electronics require.(more…)
Researchers at Yale have developed a new technology that could make energy from the low-temperature wasted heat produced by industrial sources and power plants, tapping into a widely available — and mostly unused — resource. (more…)
‘Inverse spin Hall effect’ works in several organic semiconductors
By showing that a phenomenon dubbed the “inverse spin Hall effect” works in several organic semiconductors – including carbon-60 buckyballs – University of Utah physicists changed magnetic “spin current” into electric current. The efficiency of this new power conversion method isn’t yet known, but it might find use in future electronic devices including batteries, solar cells and computers.(more…)
Electrical Images Show Upward Flow of Fluids to Magma Chamber
By measuring how fast Earth conducts electricity and seismic waves, a University of Utah researcher and colleagues made a detailed picture of Mount Rainier’s deep volcanic plumbing and partly molten rock that will erupt again someday.
“This is the most direct image yet capturing the melting process that feeds magma into a crustal reservoir that eventually is tapped for eruptions,” says geophysicist Phil Wannamaker, of the university’s Energy & Geoscience Institute and Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering. “But it does not provide any information on the timing of future eruptions from Mount Rainier or other Cascade Range volcanoes.” (more…)
Berkeley Lab Study Reveals Origins of an Exotic Phase of Matter
Understanding superconductivity – whereby certain materials can conduct electricity without any loss of energy – has proved to be one of the most persistent problems in modern physics. Scientists have struggled for decades to develop a cohesive theory of superconductivity, largely spurred by the game-changing prospect of creating a superconductor that works at room temperature, but it has proved to be a tremendous tangle of complex physics.
Now scientists at the U.S. Department of Energy’s Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) have teased out another important tangle from this giant ball of string, bringing us a significant step closer to understanding how high- temperature superconductors work their magic. Working with a model compound, the team illuminated the origins of the so-called “stripe phase” in which electrons become concentrated in stripes throughout a material, and which appears to be linked to superconductivity. (more…)