Harvard scientists claim they’ve made Earth’s first metallic hydrogen

January 27, 2017 by  
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For 80 long years, scientists have attempted in vain to produce a metal from hydrogen . A super substance thought to be present on other planets , metallic hydrogen could generate a rocket propellant around four times more powerful than what we possess now, allowing us to make advanced technologies like super-fast computers. Now two scientists at Harvard University say they have achieved the near miraculous. But other scientists are skeptical – the sensational discovery may just be too good to be true. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1qitm5fteL0 Ranga Dias and Isaac Silvera of Harvard University say they’ve been able to create metallic hydrogen in the laboratory by squeezing hydrogen between diamonds inside a cryostat, at a pressure even greater than that at the Earth’s center. The journal Science published their astonishing findings this week. In a Harvard press release, Silvera said, “This is the Holy Grail of high-pressure physics . It’s the first-ever sample of metallic hydrogen on Earth, so when you’re looking at it, you’re looking at something that’s never existed before.” Related: MIT’s new carbon-free supercapacitor could revolutionize the way we store power But other scientists aren’t so sure. A string of failed tries, from scientists around the world, precede the Harvard news. One physicist from France’s Atomic Energy Commission even said, “I don’t think the paper is convincing at all.” The Harvard scientists maintain they were able to polish the diamonds better, to remove any potentially damaging irregularities, and were able to crush the hydrogen gas at pressures greater than others have. Silvera said they produced a “lustry, reflective sample, which you can only believe is a metal .” But that shiny substance could be nothing more than alumina (aluminium oxide), according to geophysicist Alexander Goncharov from the Carnegie Institution for Science in Washington, D.C. That material coats the diamonds’ tips, and could act differently under the pressure. Silvera said they wanted to break the news before starting confirmation tests, which could ruin their sample. Now that their paper is out, they plan to perform more experiments. Stay tuned. Via Scientific American and The Independent Images via screenshot and Isaac Silvera/Harvard University

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Harvard scientists claim they’ve made Earth’s first metallic hydrogen

Futuristic green city design runs like a real rainforest in Malaysia

January 27, 2017 by  
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If money were no object, what would the ideal city of the future look like? Laboratory for Visionary Architecture (LAVA) answered that question with a spectacular design for the Forest City, a proposed masterplan for a new city in Malaysia. This 20-square-kilometer green smart city would be built around a central rainforest and mimic the forest’s ecosystem by adopting a closed loop system that reuses all its resources and controls out-flow. Winner of the second place prize in an international design competition , the Forest City was created for a 24-hectare site and judged on its efficiency of land use, sensitivity to the environment, and inclusion of a landmark building that embodied the notion of a forest city. “Skylines across the world look the same—usually a couple of iconic towers in the center surrounded by lots of lesser quality buildings, which all resemble each other,” said Chris Bosse, director of LAVA. “Here we have designed an inverse city skyline where the icon of the city is a public space, not an object/building. Our central space is a Rainforest Valley and demonstrates the equation: PEOPLE = CITY. From an object to a place.” The proposed city for 700,000 people would be located on reclaimed land between Malaysia and Singapore and include office towers, residential areas, parks, hotels, shopping malls, and an international school. The city is organized around a central public space, the Rainforest Valley, which is surrounded by a waterfall and serves as a visual reminder of the city as a three-dimensional ecosystem. The valley extends like fingers in five directions to represent the five elements—wood, fire, earth, metal, and water—as well as the five pillars of sustainability. Related: LAVA’s Addis Ababa Football Stadium Celebrates Ethiopia’s Ancient Heritage A group of buildings step down towards the green park and are heavily landscaped with roof gardens . A Landmark Tower will house the serviced apartments, hotels, retail and commercial space. As a pedestrian-friendly development, the design separates the circulation types by directing vehicular traffic underground and placing trains on a level above pedestrian walkways. Like a rainforest, the city will be designed as a mostly closed loop system with recycling processes hidden underground and outflow minimized. Local materials would be used in construction and energy generated from renewable sources. + Laboratory for Visionary Architecture

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Futuristic green city design runs like a real rainforest in Malaysia

How Carnegie uses sugarcane to make greener textiles

July 25, 2013 by  
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Carnegie designed the world's first bio-based textile for interior panels, wall coverings and upholstery.

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How Carnegie uses sugarcane to make greener textiles

Amory Lovins’ 3 major energy trends to watch

July 25, 2013 by  
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Keep your eye on fuel efficiency, renewables and distributed power as all three make gains in the U.S.

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Amory Lovins’ 3 major energy trends to watch

Evaporation from Trees Has Global Cooling Effect

September 23, 2011 by  
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Scientists at the Carnegie Institution’s Global Ecology department have published a study that found that evaporation from trees has a cooling effect on the climate. Because water vapor is known to act as a greenhouse gas, scientists were unsure what role evaporation played, but it turns out that evaporation from trees causes low-level clouds to form in the atmosphere, which reflect the sun’s rays.  The scientists created models that showed that not only did cooling occur locally (which was already known), but that the effect was a global one where tree evaporation created more low-level clouds around the world. Trees have proven themselves to be great climate regulators and this new finding just adds to the list of reasons to preserve our forests and plant new trees . via Yale e360

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Evaporation from Trees Has Global Cooling Effect

Harvard Professor Builds Carbon-Sucking Machine

September 22, 2011 by  
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Harvard applied physics professor David Keith is building a machine that can suck carbon dioxide from the air.  Keith has started a company called Carbon Engineering that has attracted venture capitalists that see a future for this technology. The machine uses a three-step process to filter the air and separate and sequester the carbon dioxide.  First, a fan sucks air into the machine where it enters a 31-foot-long chamber filled with wavy plastic material.  A sodium hydroxide solution runs down that plastic and reacts with the CO2 to pull it out of the air and turn it into carbonate solids.  Those solids then go into a 900 degree Celsius kiln where they’re broken down and become a stream of pure CO2.  That pure CO2 is then capture where it can go on to be stored underground or used for other purposes. The machine reuses ash left behind in the kiln to regenerate the sodium hydroxide solution and the process continues. Of course the removal of the CO2 from the air is never the tricky part of these projects, rather it’s what is done with the captured CO2 that leaves people feeling unsure.  The permanence of underground storage is still untested. But the potential for the technology has generated some interest.  Bill Gates and other billionaire investors have given money to Keith’s project and Keith himself hopes that it can be scaled up to a size that could actually make a positive impact on the environment. via NPR    

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Harvard Professor Builds Carbon-Sucking Machine

Laser and Satellite Technology Maps How Much Carbon the Amazon Rainforests Can Hold

September 15, 2010 by  
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Photo via alextorrenegra While we know that deforestation means a loss of carbon storage , it’s difficult to quantify just how much carbon can still be stored in what is left of the Amazon rainforest. Standing in the way is both practicality issues (each tree trunk must be measured to estimate its stored carbon) and the cost of accurate accounting. But, ecologist Greg Asner and a team of scientists from the Carnegie Ins…

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Laser and Satellite Technology Maps How Much Carbon the Amazon Rainforests Can Hold

300 Gallons for $1 of Sugar and Other Hidden Water Use

March 26, 2010 by  
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New research from by Carnegie Mellon University  and his colleagues provides the first industry-specific estimates of annual water use in almost 30 years.

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300 Gallons for $1 of Sugar and Other Hidden Water Use

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