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American Science News for 20 Nov 2017

Glass microparticles enhanceScientists from ITMO University have suggested a new solar cell coating that combines features of an electrode and those of a light-trapping structure. The coating enabled researchers to cut down on... reflected light and avoid solar cell overheating, thus increasing its overall efficiency by 20 percent. Moreover, the suggested method may be attractive for industrial applications due to its relatively low cost and simplicity. The results of the research were published in Optics Letters.
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A curious quirk brings organicSince their invention in 1962, semiconductor diode lasers have revolutionized communications and made possible information storage and retrieval in CDs, DVDs and Blu-ray devices. These diode lasers... use inorganic semiconductors grown in elaborate high vacuum systems. Now, a team of researchers from Penn State and Princeton University have taken a big step toward creating a diode laser from a hybrid organic-inorganic material that can be deposited from solution on a laboratory benchtop.
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Chemistry of 'Wine Legs'A team of engineers from the East China Normal University in Shanghai may have found a solution: They've developed a chemical motor for lightweight robots that can glide along the surface of a body of... water.
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Physicists unify quantum(Phys.org)--Physicists have demonstrated that two independently developed concepts--quantum coherence and the nonclassicality of light--both arise from the same underlying resources. The ability to... explain seemingly distinct phenomena within a single framework has long been a fulfilling aspiration in physics, and here it may also have potential applications for quantum information technologies.
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Reusing waste energy with 2-D electron gas

Phys.org - 20 Nov 2017 16:20
Reusing waste energy with 2-DMore than 60 percent of the energy produced by fossil fuels is lost as heat. Thermoelectric energy conversion has attracted much attention as a way to convert waste heat from power plants, factories... and cars into electricity. However, currently available technologies need improvement to become viable on industrial scales.
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Spin current from heat--newElectronic devices such as computers generate heat that mostly goes to waste. Physicists at Bielefeld University have found a way to use this energy: They apply the heat to generate magnetic signals... known as 'spin currents." In future, these signals could replace some of the electrical current in electronic components. In a new study, the physicists tested which materials can generate this spin current most effectively from heat. The research was carried out in cooperation with colleagues from the University of Greifswald, Gießen University, and the Leibniz Institute for Solid State and Materials Research in Dresden. Their findings are being published today (20.11.2017) in the research journal Nature Communications.
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Physics forecasts for fracking and fuels

Phys.org - 20 Nov 2017 16:10
Physics forecasts for frackingSociety's demand for energy relies mainly on oil and gas, which are finite resources. Future technologies could reduce the consumption of energy, but until then, existing resources must be carefully... managed. Director of the Ali I. Al-Naimi Petroleum Engineering Research Center at KAUST Tadeusz Patzek is using physics to tackle this challenge by modeling the production of gas from fracking.
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Scientists make firstStudies at the Department of Energy's SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory have made the first real-time observations of how silica - an abundant material in the Earth's crust - easily transforms into... a dense glass when hit with a massive shock wave like one generated from a meteor impact.
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Separate experiments show no(Phys.org)--Two teams of researchers working independently of one another have conducted experiments designed to test Lorentz invariance; both report no violations. One of the teams used decades of... data from lunar lasing experiments, the other data from experiments conducted over several years using superconducting gravimeters. Both teams have published papers in the journal Physical Review Letters describing their work and their findings.
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In Photos: Treasures FromArchaeologists in China have discovered two 800-year-old tombs belonging to Hu Hong and his wife née Wu.
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800-Year-Old Tombs Tell theThe tombs, belonging to a man and his wife called Lady of Virtue, hold an intriguing inscription, meant to last "as long as heaven and Earth."
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'Explosive' hot oil dropletsCooking in a frying pan with oil can quickly become dangerous if "explosive" hot oil droplets jump out of the pan, leading to painful burns. But these droplets may be doing something even more... damaging: contributing to indoor air pollution.
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After its visit to Pluto, the New Horizons spacecraft is travelling through the Kuiper belt towards what seems to be one rock - but what if it's actually two?
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The steep decline in sperm counts is an opportunity to finally dispel the idea that fertility is primarily a women's issue
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The latest poop from the turkey coop

EurekAlert! - 20 Nov 2017 07:00
(American Associates, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev) Treated excrement from turkeys, chickens and other poultry, when converted to combustible solid biomass fuel, could replace approximately 10... percent of coal used in electricity generation, reducing greenhouse gases and providing an alternative energy source, according to a new study by Ben-Gurion University of the Negev (BGU) researchers.
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(University of Toronto Faculty of Applied Science & Engineering) A new catalyst created by U of T Engineering researchers brings them one step closer to artificial photosynthesis -- a system that,... just like plants, would use renewable energy to convert carbon dioxide (CO2) into stored chemical energy. By both capturing carbon emissions and storing energy from solar or wind power, the invention provides a one-two punch in the fight against climate change.
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(Penn State) Since their invention in 1962, semiconductor diode lasers have revolutionized communications and made possible information storage and retrieval in CDs, DVDs and Blu-ray devices. These... diode lasers use inorganic semiconductors grown in elaborate high vacuum systems. Now, a team of researchers from Penn State and Princeton University have taken a big step toward creating a diode laser from a hybrid organic-inorganic material that can be deposited from solution on a laboratory benchtop.
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(University of Edinburgh) Life on Earth might have originated from tiny organisms brought to our planet in streams of fast-moving space dust, according to a new study.
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(Deutsches Elektronen-Synchrotron DESY) The first observation of a super-hydrated phase of the clay mineral kaolinite could improve our understanding of processes leading to volcanism and affecting... earthquakes. In the lab, scientists created conditions similar to those in subduction zones where an oceanic plate dives under the continental crust. Transport of water with subducting plates causes volcanic activity. The team led by scientists from Yonsei University in the Republic of Korea presents its results in the journal Nature Geoscience.
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