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How Do Solar Panels Work?

We all know that solar photovoltaic (PV) panels transform sunlight into useable electricity, but few people know the actual science behind the process. This week on the blog we are going to get into the nitty-gritty science behind solar. It can seem complicated, but it all boils down to the photovoltaic effect; the ability of …


Boundaries no barrier for thermoelectrical materials

Using a novel optical detection system, researchers at Rice University have found that the electricity generated by temperature differences in nanoscale gold wires doesn’t appear to be affected measurably by grain boundaries placed in its way. Grain boundaries are the planes in materials where misaligned crystals meet, forcing atoms along the edge to adjust as …

Industrial News

The Top 7 CNC Machining Techniques

There are many new and innovative manufacturing processes coming into use these days, including different kinds of 3D printing. But CNC (computer numeric controlled) machining is still by far the most common way to mass produce parts in metal and in many types of plastic. We thought it would be helpful to explain more about the top 7 …


A touch of gold confers novel properties on semiconducting crystals

In a display of modern-day alchemy, researchers at the University of Warwick in the UK have shown that a touch of gold – or another noble metal – can change the structure of a crystal and thus alter its intrinsic properties. As the researchers report in a paper in Nature, they have found a way to …


Low voltage turns liquid metal droplets into streams

Researchers at North Carolina (NC) State University have developed a technique that allows them to produce streams of liquid metal at room temperature. By applying a low voltage to the liquid metal, the researchers were able to tune its surface tension across at least three orders of magnitude. “Liquids want to form droplets, because that …


The wireless device makes clean fuel from sunlight, carbon dioxide and water

Researchers have developed a standalone device that converts sunlight, carbon dioxide and water into carbon-neutral energy without requiring any additional components or electricity. The device, developed by a team from the University of Cambridge, is a significant step toward achieving artificial photosynthesis—a process mimicking plants’ ability to convert sunlight into energy. It is based on an advancedphotoshootet’ …