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— Motorcycles Feature

Hero's 2WD diesel-electric RNT radically rethinks the motorcycle as an all-purpose utility vehicle

Hero Motocorp’s RNT hybrid turbo-diesel-electric motorcycle prototype might well begin a new phase in the development of the motorcycle as an all-purpose utility vehicle offering life solutions well beyond just mobility, particularly in rural areas and the developing world where the scooter is both the family car and an all-purpose haulage vehicle. Its 150 cc diesel engine produces 35 Nm of torque at just 1600 rpm, with an optional turbocharger which will double both those figures. A 1.3 hp electric front wheel motor gives the bike two-wheel drive. The RNT’s generator can output 1500 W of 230V electrical power continuously, making it ideal as a portable power source, and the LED headlight unclips to offer a portable and powerful light source. Large flat loading surfaces front and rear plus numerous mounting handles indicate a long overdue rethink of how the scooter is used in many parts of the world. Read More
— Architecture Feature

How do you move a city and keep its mining industry alive?

The town of Kiruna in Lapland, Sweden, is known for its Jukkasjärvi Ice Hotel and for hosting the recent Arctic Council summit. It also sits within the Arctic Circle, on one of the world’s richest deposits of iron ore. Now in danger of collapse due to extensive deep mining, the city center is to be relocated in an extensive plan developed by White Arkitekter, which includes a new town hall by Henning Larsen. Read More
— Good Thinking Feature

How solar cells are taking over sea, sky and space

Solar technology has evolved beyond just your grandpa's big, bulky photovoltaic panels on the roof. Advances in flexible, hyper-efficient and nano-scale materials of late has made it possible for solar cells to begin popping up in all kinds of shapes and places you might not expect. Here's a quick rundown of some surprising spots where solar technology dwells – be sure to flip through the gallery to get a full grasp on the scale of the increasingly solar-powered landscape. Read More
— Space Feature

Where no man had gone before: The 45th anniversary of Apollo 8

When the first astronauts landed on the Moon, it wasn’t a straight jump from Earth to the lunar surface on the first try. Instead, the first footsteps only came after a long series of preliminary steps, one of which was a manned orbital mission to the satellite. This December 21st marks the 45th anniversary of the day in 1968 when Apollo 8 lifted off from the Kennedy Space Center in Florida and into history as the first manned mission to orbit the Moon. It not only paved the way for Apollo 11, but is also seen by some as a greater achievement than the Moon landing itself. Read More
— Science Feature

Archaeology vs. Physics: Conflicting roles for old lead

The study of archaeology has long been carried out using tools from the physics lab. Among these are carbon-14 dating, thermoluminescence dating, x-ray photography, x-ray fluorescence elemental analysis, CAT and MRI scanning, ground-penetrating sonar and radar, and many others. What is less well known is that archaeology has also made substantial contributions to physics. This is the story of old lead; why it is important to physics, and what ethical problems it presents to both sciences. Read More