"We were blown away" – researchers eliminate obstacles to fusion energy

November 15, 2017 by  
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Fusion powers the sun, and if we could harness it here on Earth, we could obtain unlimited clean energy . Scientists have been working on that aim for years, and now researchers from Los Alamos National Laboratory , Massachusetts Institute of Technology , and Texas A&M University just made a huge leap forwards. Helium , a byproduct of the process, typically bubbles and weakens the materials comprising a fusion reactor . But inside of nanocomposite solids, instead of the metal of regular fusion reactors, helium doesn’t form into destructive bubbles – it actually tunnels vein-like channels to potentially escape. Fusion energy isn’t easy to generate in part because of the difficulty in finding materials able to withstand the grueling conditions inside a fusion reactor’s core. These researchers may have found an answer by exploring how helium behaves in nanocomposite solids – and the results surprised them. Because while helium doesn’t endanger the environment , according to Texas A&M University, it does damage fusion reactor materials. Inside a solid material, helium bubbles out, akin to carbon dioxide in carbonated water. Related: These mini spherical reactors could help scale fusion energy by 2030 Michael Demkowicz, Texas A&M associate professor, said, “Literally, you get these helium bubbles inside of the metal that stay there forever because the metal is solid. As you accumulate more and more helium, the bubbles start to link up and destroy the entire material.” But inside nanocomposite solids – which Texas A&M describes as “materials made of stacks of thick metal layers” – helium didn’t bubble. Instead, it actually made channels similar to human veins. Demkowicz said, “We were blown away by what we saw. As you put more and more helium inside these nanocomposites, rather than destroying the material, the veins actually start to interconnect, resulting in kind of a vascular system.” And the researchers think the helium could then flow out of the material “without causing any further damage,” according to Texas A&M. The surprising discovery could have more applications than in just fusion reactors. Demkowicz said, “I think the bigger picture here is in vascularized solids…What else could be transported through such networks? Perhaps heat or electricity or even chemicals that could help the material self-heal .” The journal Science Advances published the research this month. Via Texas A&M University and Futurism Images via Wikimedia Commons and Texas A&M University

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"We were blown away" – researchers eliminate obstacles to fusion energy

Scientists discover new Earth-like planet only 11 light years away

November 15, 2017 by  
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Scientists have discovered an Earth-like planet only 11 light years away that may support life. Named after the star around which it orbits, Ross 128b was identified by a team of researchers at the European Southern Observatory as having a projected mass of 1.35 times that of Earth and may have surface temperatures suitable for sustaining life as we know it . Although scientists are withholding their judgement as to whether the planet is habitable, they are nonetheless encouraged by positive signs they have observed thus far. Although Ross 128b is currently 11 light years away, it is moving in Earth’s direction. Within 79,000 years, a blip on the cosmic timeline, Ross 128b will become Earth’s closest Earth-like neighbor, dethroning the current titleholder, Proxima Centauri b. Ross 128b was discovered after European scientists made 157 observations of Ross 128 while working at the HARPS spectrograph in Chile . Through these observations of the star , HARPS was able to confirm Ross 128b’s orbit of 9.9 days, meaning that it is 20 times closer to its star than Earth is to the sun. Related: Scientists say ice may fizz and bubble like champagne when floating in outer space Ross 128b could boast surface temperatures as low as -76 degrees F or as high as 69 degrees F. “It is probably preferable to refer to Ross 128 b as a temperate planet,” wrote the study’s authors . Its proximity to a small star is encouraging for scientists who seek more Earth-like planets, as it is easier to detect these planets near M dwarf stars like Ross 128. “They’re literally all over the place,” said Emily Rice, research associate in astrophysics at the American Museum of Natural History, in an interview with Gizmodo . “It’s so much parameter space that we haven’t explored, like the size of these stars and the size of these planets . You don’t just want one. You want a bunch of them to figure out the general properties of these things.” Via Gizmodo Images via  ESO/M. Kornmesser (1)

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Scientists discover new Earth-like planet only 11 light years away

Inspiring youth village for orphans generates solar power for nearly 10% of Rwanda

November 15, 2017 by  
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More than one million people in a population of over 11 million in Rwanda are orphans . After hearing about this crisis, couple Anne Heyman and Seth Merrin started the Agahozo-Shalom Youth Village (ASYV) to offer a safe community and four-year high school education for at-risk orphans. Today, over 500 teenagers from across Rwanda’s 30 districts call the youth village home — and an on-site solar plant provides clean energy to other parts of the country. After hearing about Rwanda’s orphan crisis, Heyman was reminded of youth villages Israel constructed to house children orphaned after the Holocaust. The couple began ASYV to help teenagers specifically, as they knew of several organizations already working to care for orphaned babies. On 144 acres, hundreds of teenagers now receive an education and a family. Related: This modular orphanage in Thailand was built using local and recycled materials ASYV organizes students into families. Each group has a mama, a Rwandan educator who resides in a house with the teens, and a big brother or big sister or Rwandan guidance counselor who visits once a week. They also have a cousin, a foreign volunteer who comes for a year. ASYV recruits teenagers from around the country, taking in 125 every year. A village Health and Wellness Center provides medical and mental care, with health education on topics like HIV/AIDS, malaria prevention, and diet. Life Enrichment Applied Programs allow students to get involved in athletics or the arts. A farm , where students can get hands-on farming experience, provides around 30 percent of the village’s food. There’s even a 8.5-megawatt solar plant on village grounds. According to ASYV, “It is the first sub-Saharan grid-connected solar project, and provides electricity to nearly 10 percent of Rwanda.” Students of mixed ethnicities live together, as the youth village hopes to express reconciliation in Rwanda. One student, who asked to remain nameless, told National Geographic, “Of course, I know that some of my brothers are born from parents who could have been killers in the genocide. But why should we punish them for crimes they did not commit? I don’t want to know what their parents did. I only see them as my brothers and sisters.” Ten years in, graduates of the youth village have gone on to higher education at universities like Brown University or the University of Pennsylvania. Student Emmanuel Nkund’unkundiye, at ASYV’s first graduation ceremony, said, “Many people call us orphans but this time we are no longer orphans, we have a home.” Check out ASYV’s website for more information on the community, or on how to get involved . + Agahozo-Shalom Youth Village Via National Geographic Images via Agahozo-Shalom Youth Village Facebook

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Inspiring youth village for orphans generates solar power for nearly 10% of Rwanda

These mini spherical reactors could help scale fusion energy by 2030

May 16, 2017 by  
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Scientists have long sought to replicate with fusion reactors the sun’s ability to produce energy through nuclear fusion . But it’s taking too long for Tokamak Energy , a UK-based company that wants to speed up the progress with mini reactors. Their small Spherical Tokamaks makes it possible to accelerate tests, which is difficult in other laboratories because of the specific conditions required; they hope to provide commercially-available fusion energy as soon as 2030. Nuclear fusion is difficult to replicate on Earth because it requires extremely high temperatures and pressures. Scientists have broken records on the path to fusion energy for all, but there’s still a long way to go; a recent record hit only 70 seconds of high-performance plasma operation , and that was still an exciting milestone. But Tokamak Energy thinks they could accelerate us closer to fusion energy with their mini tokamaks. Related: Germany’s massive nuclear fusion reactor is actually working Spherical Tokamaks can “achieve a much higher plasma pressure for a given magnetic field than conventional tokamaks,” according to the company, which they say means their smaller reactors are more efficient. The tokamaks’ small size also offers an advantage in contrast to other fusion reactors being developed around the world, which have cost billions of dollars. At the end of April this year, Tokamak Energy switched on their third reactor in five years. They hope the ST40 will hit 100 million degrees Kelvin – seven times hotter than the Sun’s center and required for controlled fusion – next year. The company is working to be the first to offer commercially viable fusion, in just a little over 10 years. When his company turned on the ST40, Tokamak Energy CEO David Kingham said, “We will still need significant investment, many academic and industrial collaborations, dedicated and creative engineers and scientists , and an excellent supply chain. Our approach continues to be to break the journey down into a series of engineering challenges, raising additional investment on reaching each new milestone. We are already halfway to the goal of fusion energy, with hard work we will deliver fusion power at commercial scale by 2030.” Via the BBC and Tokamak Energy ( 1 , 2 ) Images via screenshot

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These mini spherical reactors could help scale fusion energy by 2030

Gorgeous solar-powered Colorado home produces almost all its own energy

May 16, 2017 by  
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Sustainability and a love for nature inspired Colorado-based CCY Architects’ design of the gorgeous Starwood Residence. Set on a ridge line, this luxury mountain home with floor-to-ceiling glazing overlooks the Roaring Fork Valley and Elk Mountains. Solar energy powers the energy-efficient Starwood Residence, which is capable of producing 70% of the energy that it consumes. The Starwood Residence lies low on the landscape with a series of sloping rooflines that appear to echo the surrounding mountain landscape. Weathered steel wraps the home to blend the building into the natural backdrop, while exterior sunshades maximize access to natural light and minimize solar heat gain in summer. In contrast to the steel-clad facade, the interior is richly layered with warm textures, from stone accent walls to Clear Vertical Grain (CVG) Douglas Fir siding. Large panoramic windows appear to extend the living areas outdoors. Related: Black Magic home sits lightly in a mountain oasis In addition to daylighting , the architects improved the home’s energy efficiency with exposed concrete floors—used almost exclusively throughout the home—that provide thermal mass to absorb and release passive solar heat in cold months. The nearly energy-sufficient home draws power from a 7-kw solar array , 12 evacuated tubes for solar thermal, and a ground source heat pump for radiant cooling and heating. The weathered steel siding contains a high percentage of recycled material and all the concrete used includes a minimum of 20 percent fly ash. + CCY Architects

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Gorgeous solar-powered Colorado home produces almost all its own energy

School principal uses $22,000 of paint to transform former slum into a rainbow wonderland

May 16, 2017 by  
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We all know a fresh coat of paint does wonders for a room but what about repainting an entire town? That’s exactly what this small village in Indonesia did and the results are nothing short of spectacular. Armed with just $22,000 worth of paint, Kampung Pelangi transformed their village in Semarang into a multicolored wonderland and Instagrammer’s paradise . Kampung Pelangi was formerly known as Kampung Wonosari and a slum in a prior life. But thanks to the colorful makeover, the village has been skyrocketed into an international tourist destination. #Repost @lutfianaa18 with @repostapp ??? Angel?? #desawisatabejalen #kaliwernobejalen #bejalen #kampungpelangi A post shared by Desa Wisata Bejalen (@desa_wisata_bejalen) on May 15, 2017 at 3:37pm PDT – Rame ya warnanya ? . pict by @septiyan_dwi_cahya . . ? Kampung Pelangi Kalisari, Semarang – . #semarangexplore #kampungpelangi #kampungpelangikalisari #kampungpelangisemarang #eksploresemarang A post shared by EXPLORE SEMARANG (@semarangexplore) on May 9, 2017 at 9:39pm PDT The Kampung Pelangi aka. Rainbow Village. The rainbow village in Indonesia, called Kampung Pelangi, is trending on social media after a government-funded project transformed it into a vibrant Instagram hotspot. The once struggling village, originally named Kampung Wonosari, located in Randusari in the South Semarang district, was considered a slum before the local government officials decided to turn things around. – #6s #kampong #slumarea #kampungpelangi #semarang #blusukanSMG #streetventurejkt #makkiimages2017 A post shared by Safir Makki (@safirmakki) on May 15, 2017 at 4:35am PDT Kampung Pelangi Kota Semarang~ Mantaaaapppp ??? #semarang #kotasemarang #jawatengah #semaranghits #semarangcity #kampungpelangi #semaranghebat #wisatasemarang #semarangexplore #wisata #indonesia A post shared by J Roymond BP (@roymondbp) on May 12, 2017 at 1:55am PDT The stunning transformation was the brainchild of Slamet Widodo, a local high school principal who wanted to beautify his town and attract visitors. Mayor of Semarang, Hendrar Prihadi, secured a budget of Rp 300 million (approximately $22,000 USD) and even helped the villagers with painting. The Indonesian Builders Association in Semarang provided paint and additional help. Hello Semarang, this is featured from @riza_fe taken at #kampungpelangi Want to be the next featured? Tag your best photos with #randomsemarang A post shared by #RANDOMSEMARANG (@randomsemarang) on May 12, 2017 at 3:57am PDT bagus yah? nice picture cute models #kampungpelangi #rainbowvillage #banjarbarupunya #sumberadi A post shared by andini giovalany, southborneo (@lalan_lingling) on May 15, 2017 at 10:01pm PDT Temenan itu kyk AADC = APA AJA DI CANDAIN ?? #ambarawa #ambarawahitz #kampungpelangi #threesecondmoment #lfl #followforfollow A post shared by tortor (@iqbaltoriq06) on May 15, 2017 at 8:38pm PDT Setiap hal nang pian ketujui.Manggambarakan siapa diri pian sebujurnya.Jadi mun pian ketuju lawan hal nang baik, itu artinya ada kebaikan dalam diri pian.Kaya itu jua sebaliknya. #fotografer @rizkiamalia_aya ?? . #kampungpelangi #ngehitz #banjarmasin #like4like #kalian #bumiketupat #kandangan #banjarbarupunya A post shared by Ardy Agata (@anak_singkung) on May 15, 2017 at 7:32pm PDT @Regrann from @isnaininurul51 – Andaiku punya sayap.. ? . #abaikankostumnya #bukansalahkostum #kampungpelangi #bejalen #ambarawa #semarang #semaranghits #dolansemarang – #regrann A post shared by Jan De Hert ?? (@dehertjan) on May 15, 2017 at 3:18pm PDT Related: Indonesia pledges $1 billion annually to tackle ocean pollution problem The freshly painted village is home to 223 rainbow -colored homes and the mayor hopes to extend that number to 390. Each house was painted at least three different colors and some feature artwork . Colorful Indonesia! ?? #colors #colorful #indonesia #village #decouverte #travel #voyage #kampungpelangi A post shared by Open Minded (@openmindedmag) on May 15, 2017 at 8:51am PDT Semarang juga punya…. @semarangexplore #rainbow #kampungpelangi #semaranghebat #semaranghits #semarangcity #kotasemarang #DISTARUHEBAT #pasarkembangkalisari #gunungbrintik #visitsemarang #visitjateng #wisatasemarang #exploresemarang #semarangexplore #photoshop A post shared by Achmad Syarifudin (@jalidin) on May 15, 2017 at 6:55am PDT Pilih lah jalan yang benar untuk masa depan #malangmegilan #malangkotadingin #kampungpelangi A post shared by fian (@ahmadfian14) on May 15, 2017 at 5:59am PDT Benches and bridges also received the colorful treatment. The social project, which was completed last month, is heralded as a success in rejuvenating the town, uniting the community, and stimulating the local economy with an influx of tourists. Via Archdaily Images by Arie Prakman Nek misale urip mu kurang berwarna.. cobo dolano mrene.. ? . . . . . . . . . #kampungtridi #kampungtridimalang #kampungpelangi #visitmalang #exploremalang #goesmalang #malang #malanghits #myexplorer #ootd #mbolang #damnilovemalang #damniloveindonesia #parapetualang #parapejalan #idpetualang #nvlindonesia #nvljatim #yicam #yicamera #warnawarni #indonesiaituindah #instaphotography #instaadict #instaadventure #instagram #like4like #like4follow #likeforfollow A post shared by Rizky ardhyanto (@rizky_ardhy) on May 15, 2017 at 4:46am PDT Kampung Pelangi Semarang…mengubah yang kusam menjadi indah berwarna-warni…#kampungpelangi #kampungtematik A post shared by endang sukarjati (@endangsjati) on May 15, 2017 at 3:56am PDT The Kampung Pelangi aka. Rainbow Village. The rainbow village in Indonesia, called Kampung Pelangi, is trending on social media after a government-funded project transformed it into a vibrant Instagram hotspot. The once struggling village, originally named Kampung Wonosari, located in Randusari in the South Semarang district, was considered a slum before the local government officials decided to turn things around. – #6s #kampong #slumarea #kampungpelangi #semarang #blusukanSMG #streetventurejkt #makkiimages2017 A post shared by Safir Makki (@safirmakki) on May 15, 2017 at 3:23am PDT Nongkrong dulu ..#semarang #semarangan #semaranghits #dolansemarang #kampungpelangi #semarangbaru A post shared by D Mahendra Putra (@mahendra__putra) on May 15, 2017 at 2:55am PDT Kampung pelangi .. Warna warni seperti dirimu … #semaranghits #dolansemarang #semarang #semarangan #kampungpelangi A post shared by D Mahendra Putra (@mahendra__putra) on May 14, 2017 at 10:10pm PDT Musim hujan.. Sedia payung sebelum hujan?????? Payung Kehidupan bersamamu untuk memulai msa depan yg cerah..?? . Ekspresikan gayamu dgn grafiti cantik dan menarik di kampung pelangi?? . Loc: Kampoeng Pelangi, Banjarbaru . . . . #visitkalsel #wargabanua #infobanjar #banjarinfo #seputarbanjar #klikbanjar #instakalsel #instabanjar #shalokalwisatalokerbanjar #kampungpelangi #banjarbaru A post shared by Fahrina Supianida, S.Ars (@rierinryukyu) on May 14, 2017 at 9:02pm PDT Hello hari gini masih fobia menutup aurat??? Fobia kalo dijemput Allah pas lg ngumbar aurat ??? #kampungpelangi #wisatabanjarbaru #gerakanberhijab #pulkadot #monocrome #seputarbanjar #beraniberhijrah #mariberhijab #hijrah #hijabfashion #huntingphoto #hijablover #hijabsyari #huntingfoto #banjarbaru #explorekalsel #explorebanjarbaru #catatanhati #wanitahijab #pinklovers #photoshoot? #photography #muslimah #sahabatsholehah #instakalsel #jalanjalan #weekend #instakalsel #hijabindonesia #muslimahbanua #wanitahijab #gerakanberanisyari A post shared by Ainur Yusridha Jannati (@ai_nezt) on May 14, 2017 at 5:37am PDT #kampungpelangi #ngarames #semarang #semaranghits A post shared by Tyok Br@ndyz (@fuadprastyo25) on May 14, 2017 at 5:38am PDT #wisatadadakan #kampungpelangi #kalisari #explore #wisatasemarang #dolansemarang A post shared by Leo_Zodiak_Ku (@ponco.haryadi) on May 14, 2017 at 1:58am PDT

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School principal uses $22,000 of paint to transform former slum into a rainbow wonderland

Princeton experimental fusion reactor breaks after $94 million upgrade

October 3, 2016 by  
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After a $94 million upgrade that took around four years to complete, a Princeton experimental fusion reactor recently broke. Scientists shut down the National Spherical Torus Experiment Upgrade (NSTX-U) after they discovered a malfunctioning coil. Since the NSTX-U shut down, only one fusion reactor is currently working in the United States. Fusion power could be a source of clean energy that ” could power the world indefinitely .” But US fusion researchers are struggling after the upgraded reactor at the Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory (PPPL) broke. As one other Department of Energy-funded fusion reactor at MIT was scheduled for safe shutdown at the end of September, as of now only a San Diego facility is operating. Related: Germany’s Wendelstein 7-X stellarator passes new test, bringing us closer to nuclear fusion energy NSTX-U began operating last December at low power, and provided ” high quality data ” for 10 weeks before scientists realized they’d need to shut the reactor down. At first PPPL told Nature they were investigating the faulty coil, but later said even as the coil was being made there were questions “about the strength of the copper ” in the coil. They said they investigated those questions at that time. Non-profit research foundation Fusion Power Associates President Stephen Dean told Nature , “Mistakes like this do sometimes get made, but with all of the experience the fusion program has, it should not have happened this way.” He says it’s possible the problem could have been prevented through more analysis when questions over the copper’s strength were first raised. Although scientists shut down the fusion reactor in July, the fact of the shutdown became known the end of September after the resignation of PPPL director Stewart Prager, who said he had considered leaving before the shutdown and will now step down so new leadership can fix the fusion reactor. Jonathan Menard, program director of NSTX-U, said the faulty coil satisfied specifications of the laboratory and that a similar coil made with copper of the same grade functioned properly. The faulty coil could have malfunctioned through a flaw in the design or manufacturing process, but the scientists don’t yet know which explanation led to the malfunction. It’s not yet known how much it will cost to fix the fusion reactor but it will likely be around a year before it will work again. Via Nature Images via PPPL Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory on Flickr ( 1 , 2 )

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Princeton experimental fusion reactor breaks after $94 million upgrade

World’s largest nuclear fusion reactor set to go online later this month

November 10, 2015 by  
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It looks like a piece of technology straight out of science fiction, but the Wendelstein 7-X (W7-X) stellarton fusion reactor is totally factual and set to come online in late November – when it will become the world’s largest nuclear fusion reactor. Stellarton reactors such as the W7-X produce energy by using massive coiled superconductors to create powerful magnetic fields that contain hydrogen gas superheated to the point that its atoms fuse. According to Gizmodo , the W7-X takes the stellarton design to a whole new scale, featuring a 16-meter-wide ring covered in 250 access ports that contain 50 6-ton magnetic coils. Read the rest of World’s largest nuclear fusion reactor set to go online later this month

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World’s largest nuclear fusion reactor set to go online later this month

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