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Light


— Science

Super-low loss quantum energy transport could revolutionize sunlight to energy conversion

By - August 24, 2015

The use of sunlight as an energy source is achieved in a number of ways, from conversion to electricity via photovoltaic (PV) panels, concentrated heat to drive steam turbines, and even hydrogen generation via artificial photosynthesis. Unfortunately, much of the light energy in PV and photosynthesis systems is lost as heat due to the thermodynamic inefficiencies inherent in the process of converting the incoming energy from one form to another. Now scientists working at the University of Bayreuth claim to have created a super-efficient light-energy transport conduit that exhibits almost zero loss, and shows promise as the missing link in the sunlight to energy conversion process.

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— Science

Smart light lets you control your environment

By - August 19, 2015 3 Pictures

What if the light in the room could sense you waving your hand as you enter? And what if it responded by introducing minute light changes that instructed your smart coffee machine to switch on? Researchers at Dartmouth College have developed a sensing system called LiSense that aims to make the light around us "smart." Not only does it use light to sense people’s movements, but it also allows them to control devices in their environment with simple gestures, using light to transmit information.

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— Science

Nanoscale device emits light as bright as an object 10,000 times its size

By - July 28, 2015

Amplifying light a few hundred times with magnifying lenses is easy. Amplifying light by altering the resonant properties of light itself is a much more difficult proposition. However, if recent research by engineers at the University of Wisconsin-Madison engineers is anything to go by, the effort is well worth it: They claim to have constructed a nanoscale device that can emit light as powerfully as an object more than 10,000 times its size.

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— Health and Wellbeing

Nox Smart Sleep System offers suggestions to improve slumber

By - June 30, 2015 7 Pictures

Earlier this year, China's Sleepace successfully crowdfunded and shipped a 2 mm thick smart strap that lays on the bed and monitors a user's sleep time, heart rate and breathing, body movement and sleep cycles. The RestOn then sends the collected data to a companion app running on a Bluetooth-paired smartphone for analysis. Now the company has added a smart light to the system called the Nox, which works in conjunction with the RestOn to help monitor, track and improve sleep quality.

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— Space

Massive stars lit up the early universe

By - April 30, 2015
After the Big Bang, it took several hundred million years for all the hydrogen and helium and some other gases floating around to start to coalesce into the first stars to light up the universe. New research shows these ancient suns would have clustered together to form extraordinarily bright groupings of stars. Read More
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