By Robin WhitlockSeptember 17, 2015Although the sun emits over 50 percent of its light as ‘near-infrared’ light, solar cells can only absorb visible light, which means that solar panels only really get to about 20 percent efficiency. However, a team of chemists at the University of California Riverside have now found a way to increase solar panel efficiency by combining inorganic semiconductor nanocrystals with organic molecules, thereby successfully ‘upconverting’ photons in the visible and near-infrared regions of the solar spectrum.
March 30, 2014Whilst it may look like a scene straight out of a sci-fi movie, this is Earth without any editing. The photos are from a test flight of NASA& 39;s Morpheus project which took place at the Kennedy Space Center& 39;s Shuttle Landing Facility. Image Source: NASA Project Morpheus has developed, and now tested, a prototype planetary lander that features vertical take off and landing (VTOL).
April 02, 2014There is now a new way to get a glimpse of the high life in Las Vegas and this is courtesy of the world’s tallest observation wheel. The wheel is 550 feet tall and has been given the name of the High Roller. It is 9 feet taller than the Singapore Flyer, which was the previous record holder.
Here are some of the greatest feats of engineering that we think are worth a mention.April 16, 2014Palm JumeirahAround the globe, there are many feats of engineering that make people stand back in awe. From the Palm Islands in Dubai, built of islands that had to be constructed from rock and sandstone to stepping out onto an oval glass ring above the Grand Canyon.
April 13, 2014The team behind the first ever solar-powered aircraft to fly around the globe has announced the follow up, the Solar Impulse 2. The aircraft has a wingspan equivalent to the 747, is just slightly heavier than the average car at 2,300 kg and will attempt to fly full-circle around the globe.
April 16, 2014NASA has said that the Amazon rainforest has been the victim to forest fires that have claimed around 33,000 square miles of the forest over the last decade. In order to tackle this, a group of designers who entered the eVolo 2014 Skyscraper competition, and who got an honourable mention, have come up with an idea.
May 01, 2014In a world where skyscrapers are forever popping up into our skies and as the saying goes, & 39;time is money& 39;, decreasing time wasted in a lift has its bonuses. Plus, we all know how awkward being in a lift full of strangers can be, especially with the cheesy music, so the quicker the ride the better.
May 16, 2014Everyone wants superpowers and I& 39;m sure some of you may have wished for Moses& 39; ability to part water and cross to the other side, but you thought it was impossible huh? That is unless you fancy taking a stroll over the Moses Bridge in the Netherlands. Image Source: RO&AD Arch.
April 30, 2014Marshall Cox was studying for his Pd.D. in electrical engineering when he moved into an apartment building in Manhattan that was around 90 years old. As is the case of many old buildings, Cox was to find out that the middle of winter was more akin to a hot sweltering summers day thanks to a radiator that was boiler fed and which continually sent out a great deal of heat, even on the coldest of winter nights.
May 03, 2014There is just something that is so cool about robots and the robots in this story are even cooler as they are roaming micro robots that scuttle around and make things, taking on the appearance of small ants working. The micro robots have been made by a company called SRI International, who seems to have been inspired by colonies of worker ants that come together as one to get things done.
May 25, 2014Solar Roadways, a small US company, are in the midst of developing a road surface with a difference, which may change the way we use energy, the road surface is constructed of solar panels. If the solar road is installed nationwide it would have the ability, potentially, to produce more renewable energy than what is used by the entire country.
May 20, 2014If you are travelling to Spain you might want to consider zipping over to Portugal for a visit. We don’t mean using the typical transport methods though; you can literally zip down from Sanlucar de Guadiana, in Andalucia, Spain, to Alcoutim, in Algarve, Portugal via the steel cable of 720 meters in length on the only zip line in the world that will take you over an international border.
May 21, 2014An astrophysicist from the University of Colorado for Astrophysics and Space Astronomy by the name of Webster Cash has had an idea that would allow the shading of space telescopes from the starlight, which would allow them to be able to see more accurately than even and even further than before.
May 22, 2014Many children love to construct things and Lego is often one of the favourites of choice for toys. Children also like to make pretend forts, boats and houses, often using cardboard boxes, blankets and anything else they can lay their hands on. Now there is an alternative for all the budding engineers and architects out there in the form of the Buildies system.
A company called Jet Pack International (JPI) showed off their latest offering last weekend at the Ronald Reagan Building in Washington, D.C.May 29, 2014If you were to ask any futurist before the millennium just how life on Earth would be in the future then there was a big chance that there would be a mention of everyone flying around on jetpacks.
May 23, 2014Anyone with a nervous disposition might want to avoid the latest attraction at the John Hancock Observatory aka 360 Chicago. The Tilt requires people to stand up against any of the eight panels of glass which then tilt out and downwards at an angle, giving you an excellent view of the city and down to the sidewalk which is situated around 1,000 feet below.
June 03, 2014So Japanese researchers have developed a robotic glove like device that can simulate the sensation of touching someones boobs. Now, before you knock it off as an invention of lonely scientists, there& 39;s a serious side and good use to this device. The researchers hope that the device can be used as a training device for medical students to become skilled in breast examinations among other exams that require feeling body parts.
June 04, 2014There& 39;s a load of sci-fi technology from Back to the Future that people are still eagerly awaiting, such as the self lacing Nike shoes or a time travelling DeLorean. But definitely on top of the list is the hoverboard, and although this version is limited to water use, it& 39;s still gunna blow your mind.
June 04, 2014The world’s biggest and most elaborate shopping mall has to be the Dubai Mall, in Dubai (obviously) and it is situated at the foot of the tallest building in the world, the Burj Khalifa. The mall is home to more than 1,200 stores and cost more than $20 billion to construct. Image Source: Dubai Mall The shopping mall is four times the size of the Westfield Centre in London and it opened in 2007 after the opening had to be delayed twice.
August 05, 2014Nuclear fusion is one of the most desirable goals not just for nuclear scientists but the world as whole. If the goal sees fruition, the world would have a limitless amount of free energy as they use abundant sources of fuel. The reactors will not leak radiation above normal background levels and they will produce less radioactive waste than current fission reactors.
June 17, 2014The Bristol, England, based Blodhound SSC project is looking to break the land speed world record by a further 240 mph and breach the 1000mph barrier. The project is the effort of years of hard work of a team of formula 1 and aerospace experts, with ex-RAF pilot Andy Green ready to get behind the wheel.