Energy

Creating alternating current with piezoelectrics

By / January 8, 2009

Researchers at the Georgia Institute of Technology have created a micro-scale “flexible charge pump” that produces alternating current by utilizing the piezoelectric properties of cyclically stretched and released zinc oxide wires. “The flexible charge pump offers yet another option for converting mechanical energy into electrical energy,” says project leader Zhong-Lin Wang, director of GIT’s Center…

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Top ceramic videos countdown of 2008

By / January 2, 2009

Everyone else is doing their “tops” list for last year, so who are we to go against the herd? #5 – Aerogel – Solid smoke! — #4 – Nanotube Audio Speakers – what stretches, is nearly invisible and can be worn? — #3 – Chu, scientist and Nobel laureate, tapped for DOE head – Chu’s…

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Video of the week – High-temp superconductivity overview

By / December 31, 2008

Peter Johnson from the Brookhaven National lab explains the basics of high temperature superconductivity and why it can make a profound impact on energy usage and transmission. Yes – it ends somewhat abruptly.

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Last two days for ICACC’10 early-registration discount

By / December 30, 2008

Dec. 31 is the final day to save $100 on the registration fee for the 33rd International Conference and Exposition on Advanced Ceramics and Composites. The meeting is slated for Jan. 18-23, 2009, at the Hilton Daytona Beach Resort & Ocean Center, Daytona Beach, FL USA. This is one of the top ceramics meetings in…

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Leibniz Prize honors three for materials research

By / December 30, 2008

Three of Germany’s top materials scientists, Jürgen Rödel, Jürgen Eckert and Holger Braunschweig, have all been awarded that nation’s highest research prize. The Deutschen Forschungsgemeinschaft presents the Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz Prize annually to 10 (actually 11 in 2009!) outstanding scientists and academicians, with the aim that the laureates use the funds – worth up to…

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Good vibrations lead to ‘smart’ roads and energy

By / December 27, 2008

Some people think the road to tomorrow’s most practical alternative energy source will be embedded with piezoelectric crystals capable of converting the mechanical strain of on-road vehicles into electrical current or voltage. Haim Abramovich, an associate professor of aerospace engineering at Technion, the Israel Institute of Technology, is one of these thinkers. Testing piezoelectrics in…

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ACerS President praises Chu; other scientists named to administration

By / December 26, 2008

Recently we noted that Steven Chu, a real scientist and experienced administrator, has been selected to run the Department of Energy. This week, we got a chance to talk with American Ceramic Society president John Kaniuk, who offered his opinion: “Steven Chu is an admirable choice to lead DOE. As the former director of the…

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Energy harvesting radio-based detection system unveiled

By / December 19, 2008

Kansas State University and Peregrine Semiconductors are demonstrating a battery-free technology that could improve embedded multi-sensor systems such as those that might be used to detect deterioration in busy bridge. “This type of radio technology may exist in your house, for instance if you have a temperature sensor outside that radios data to a display…

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More BAM stuff!

By / December 17, 2008

Readers have expressed significant interest in our Dec. 5 post on the world’s third hardest material – BAM. Currently being tested at DOE’s Ames Laboratory as a nanocoating for machinery, BAM is thought to reduce machine friction and wear and, thus, make machinery operate more smoothly and energy efficiently. Because inquiring minds wanted to know more about…

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Coming soon: self-powered cellphones, PDAs and more

By / December 15, 2008

Cellphones charged by voice sound waves. Drug delivery systems enabled by minute body movements. Military equipment powered by the motion of soldiers walking? Self-powered devices like these are now one step closer to reality thanks to a Texas A&M professor’s discovery that when certain piezoelectric materials are produced at the nanoscale – specifically at about…

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