A former Los Alamos National Laboratory scientist who pleaded guilty to trying to help Venezuela develop a nuclear weapon was sentenced today to five years in prison and three years of supervised release. According to a 22-count indictment, he told an undercover agent that he could help Venezuela develop a nuclear bomb within 10 years.
Three powerful accidents in recent years show systemic weaknesses in how natural gas providers...
A Kevlar membrane can enable more durable batteries that adapt to various environments. The...
A developer has knocked over the Westinghouse atom smasher east of Pittsburgh but plans to preserve the structure no matter what happens to the property it was on. The brick building at the base of the five-story, light bulb-shaped atom smasher was in too much disrepair to save.
When a person lives on less than $2 a day— as some 2.7 billion people around the world do— there isn’t room for a product like a solar lantern or a water filter to fail. With so many products on the market, how do you choose the right one? Now, researchers have released a report that could help answer that question through a new framework for technology evaluation.
The team behind a solar-powered aircraft that is attempting to fly around the world says the clean-energy plane will stop in India, China and the U.S. in a historic journey. The lightweight Solar Impulse 2, a larger version of a single-seat prototype that first flew five years ago, is aiming to become the first plane ever to circumnavigate the globe using only the power of the sun to drive its four propellers.
Hydrogen fuel cells may be the best option for powering zero-emission vehicles. But these fuel cells require an electrocatalyst— a platinum surface— to increase the reaction rate, and the cost of the precious metal makes it hard for hydrogen fuel cells to compete economically with the internal combustion engine.
A team of chemical engineering researchers has developed a technique that uses a new catalyst to convert methane and water into hydrogen and a fuel feedstock called syngas with the assistance of solar power. The catalytic material is more than three times more efficient at converting water into hydrogen gas than previous thermal water-splitting methods.
Humans are having such a marked impact on the Earth that they are changing its geology, creating new and distinctive strata that will persist far into the future. Scientists have proposed a start date for the dawn of the Anthropocene— a new chapter in the Earth's geological history. It began July 16, 1945: the day of the world’s first nuclear test.
New research helps pave the way toward highly energy-efficient zinc oxide-based micro energy harvesting devices with applications in portable communications, healthcare and environmental monitoring and more. They discovered that inserting aluminum nitride insulating layers into the devices led to a significant improvement in performance.
What would inspire you to cut your electricity use: finding out how much money you could save, or knowing how much cancer-causing air pollution you could eliminate? A multidisciplinary study has shown that eliminating pollution is the more powerful motivator.
One challenge in improving the efficiency of solar cells is that some of the absorbed light energy is lost as heat. So, scientists have been looking to design materials that can convert more of that energy into useful electricity. Now, a team has paired up polymers that recover some of that lost energy by producing two electrical charge carriers per unit of light instead of the usual one.
General Motors plans to start selling an affordable electric car in 2017 that will be able to go 200 miles on a single charge. A concept version of the car is being unveiled today at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit.
Nebraska's highest court threw out a challenge today to a proposed route for the Keystone XL oil pipeline, even though a majority of judges agreed the landowners who sued should have won their case. The decision removes a major roadblock for the $7 billion cross-continental project Republicans have vowed to make a key part of their 2015 agenda in Congress.
From waste generated in the processing of cereals, scientists in Mexico have produced bioenergy in the form of ethanol, and designed a prototype plant that generates 500 liters of bioethanol a day.
A third of oil reserves, half of gas reserves and over 80 percent of current coal reserves globally should remain in the ground and not be used before 2050 if global warming is to stay below the 2 C target agreed by policy makers.
Rapidly growing bacteria that live in the ocean and can manufacture their own food hold promise as host organisms for producing chemicals, biofuels and medicine. Now, researchers are closely studying one of these photosynthetic species of fast-growing cyanobacteria using advanced tools to determine the optimum environment that contributes to record growth and productivity.
Development is booming in tiny Hugoton, a Kansas town of roughly 3,900 people. The town is the site of a new cellulosic ethanol refinery that was funded in part by a loan guarantee from the Department of Energy. The same program funded high-profile flops like Solyndra, the California-based solar company that filed for bankruptcy and led to hearings over the Obama administration's backing of unproven green energy projects.
Numerous factors influence how much power wind turbines generate. Now, researchers have described how much of an effect they believe the crops planted below the turbines matter. Corn, a tall crop, slows down the wind more than soybeans, which are shorter.
Uncork a bottle of champagne, and as the pressure of the liquid is abruptly removed, bubbles immediately form and then rapidly begin the process of "coarsening," in which larger bubbles grow at the expense of smaller ones. This fundamental non-equilibrium phenomenon is also seen in a wide range of scientific systems including spin systems, foams and metallic alloys and can be observed in a power-generating turbine.
People who own all-electric cars where coal generates the power may think they are helping the environment. But, a new study finds their vehicles actually make the air dirtier, worsening global warming. Ethanol isn't so green, either.
Leading conservation scientists from around the world have called for a substantial role for nuclear power in future energy-generating scenarios in order to mitigate climate change and protect biodiversity. In an open letter to environmentalists with more than 60 signatories, the scientists ask the environmental community to weigh up the pros and cons of different energy sources.
North America, once a sponge that sucked in a significant portion of the world's oil, will instead be supplying the world with oil and other liquid hydrocarbons by the end of this decade, according to ExxonMobil's annual long-term energy forecast.
Large-scale storage of low-pressure, gaseous hydrogen in salt caverns and other underground sites for transportation fuel and grid-scale energy applications offers several advantages over above-ground storage.
There is cloud hanging over climate science, but one Cornell Univ. expert on communication and environmental issues says he knows how to help clear the air. Jonathon Schuldt, assistant professor of communication, argues that only by creating a “science of climate diversity” can climate science and the larger climate change movement overcome a crippling lack of ethnic and racial diversity.
Pretty soon, powering your tablet could be as simple as wrapping it in cling wrap. Researchers have just invented a new way to spray solar cells onto flexible surfaces using miniscule light-sensitive materials known as colloidal quantum dots– a major step toward making spray-on solar cells easy and cheap to manufacture.
Taking inspiration from nature, researchers have created a versatile model to predict how stalagmite-like structures form in nuclear processing plants– as well as how lime scale builds up in kettles.
A new electrode design for lithium-ion batteries has been shown to potentially reduce the charging time from hours to minutes by replacing the conventional graphite electrode with a network of tin-oxide nanoparticles.
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