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EUROPA - Research and Innovation: What's New in Innovation

Saturday, December 13, 2014

Fast Company,Wikipedia Galaxy video: Fall Through A Wormhole Into This Stunning Wikipedia Galaxy | Co.Design | business design

Wikipedia does indeed merit a rousing three cheers or should I say Four million-six hundred and sixty eight thousand-one-hundred and seventeen (4,668,117) CHEERS! This brought to us by  Owen Cornec, a French computer science student who also deserves a huge round of applause.

View the Video (format mp4)

Quote from Fastcompany :

"There are a 100 billion stars in the Milky Way galaxy alone, and the Milky Way is relatively small on the cosmic scale. Luckily, there aren't nearly as many Wikipedia articles: with only 4,668,117 entries published to the English Wikipedia as I write this, stars outnumber those Wikipedia entries 1,867 to 1. From that perspective, Wikigalaxy—a beautiful new visualization of Wikipedia that transforms Wikipedia into a virtual galaxy and maps every entry to a star in a distant nebula—isn't exactly a one-to-one mapping. But when your core idea is this cool, it doesn't need to be."

I have also siezed upon this work to bring readers attention to the impressive approach to Innovation by Fastcompany

REFERENCE Fall Through A Wormhole Into This Stunning Wikipedia Galaxy | Co.Design | business design:

'via Blog this'

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

And now the weather, featuring climate change blame - environment - 28 August 2014 - New Scientist

And now the weather, featuring climate change blame - environment - 28 August 2014 - New Scientist

Weather forecasting will soon give us predictions about the role of Climate Change on our periodic meteo bulletin" 
This could prove a strong tool to bring environment & economics finally into line? 

Best regars all.

Top 10 Things You Didn't (may not) Know About Concentrating Solar Power_(CSP) provided by the US Department of Energy

Be sure to check-out the interactive presentation of CSP-Concentrating Solar Power provided by the USA's Depart of Energy, part of the series "Top Things You Didn't Know About...also from the Department.

As a metallurgist, high-temperature physical chemist and materials scientist I have undelined  the use of molten salts for thermal energy storage, cf N°6 in the list below.

Top 10 Things You Didn't(or may not) Know About Concentrating Solar Power | Department of Energy: "

"'via Blog this'


10. Concentrating solar power (CSP) technology involves using mirrors, sometimes in the hundreds of thousands, to reflect sunlight and collect solar heat to generate electricity. A single CSP plant can generate enough power for about 70,000 homes -- making it a major player of the utility-scale solar market. For more CSP technology basics, watch our video Energy 101: Concentrating Solar Power.
9. Legend has it that the Greek scientist, Archimedes, first made use of concentrated sunlight by employing the reflective properties of bronze shields to set fire to Roman ships during the battle of Syracuse in 212 BC. While experimental recreations have proved such a feat is possible, much doubt still surrounds this story.
8. There are four types of demonstrated CSP technologies. Parabolic trough and linear Fresnel systems focus sunlight onto a linear receiver. The other two technologies -- dish/engine and power tower -- focus sunlight to a point. All of these technologies involve converting sunlight into thermal energy for use in a heat-driven engine.
7.  How can solar-generated electricity be consistently available when the sun doesn’t shine around-the-clock? The answer lies in thermal energy storage -- the ability to store the sun’s heat in the form of thermal energy for use when the sun isn’t shining. By incorporating thermal energy storage systems, the cost of power from a CSP plant can actually be reduced and can provide solar power on demand -- even when it’s cloudy or at night.
6. As early as the 1980s, the Energy Department has made strategic investments to demonstrate that large-scale concentrating solar power tower systems are viable. The Solar One project near Barstow, California, paved the way for Solar Two, the world’s first large-scale molten salt power tower facility, launched in 1996. Today, molten salt thermal energy storage technology is widely commercialized in the CSP industry, and both direct steam and molten salt power tower technology are currently being deployed at a global scale.
5. More than 800 megawatts of CSP plants currently operate in the United States. Four new CSP plants will soon increase the total CSP capacity in the United States to 1.8 gigawatts. These new CSP plants will provide enough electricity for nearly half a million homes. Check out our interactive map of America’s CSP plants -- both up-and-running and under-construction.
4. In a CSP system, heat transfer fluids move thermal energy from the solar receiver to the power block, where the heat is used to drive a turbine that generates electricity. The Energy Department is funding research projects to develop new heat transfer fluids that can operate at incredibly high temperatures, of up to 2,350 degrees Fahrenheit, to increase efficiency and decrease costs.
3. The Energy Department’s SunShot Initiative has set aggressive targets to lower the cost of CSP by the end of the decade. The CSP research and development projects funded under SunShot focus on exploring technological innovations for CSP components that will help achieve this goal.
2. The CSP supply chain is overwhelmingly domestic. Most, if not all, materials necessary to build a CSP plant can be found and manufactured here in the United States -- creating job opportunities and driving economic growth. As an example, the supply chain for Abengoa’s Solana recently commissioned project covers 27 states and 90 U.S. companies.
1. Between 11 and 21 gigawatts of CSP could be built and integrated into existing fossil fuel plants in the United States – enough to power to between 3 million and 6 million homes. These hybrid systems improve the efficiency and performance of both resources and help cut carbon pollution -- mitigating the effects of climate change.

Saturday, August 16, 2014

Making AFM probes 20 times more sensitive - Materials Today &

  • Detecting and characterizing single nanoparticles and airborne viruses are of paramount importance for disease control and diagnosis, for environmental monitoring, and for understanding size dependent properties of nanoparticles for developing innovative products. Although single particle and virus detection have been demonstrated in various platforms, single-shot size measurement of each detected particle has remained a significant challenge.  (ref.1)

  • Recently laser physicists have found a way to make atomic-force microscope probes 20 times more sensitive and capable of detecting forces as small and light as the weight of an individual virus.

    The technique, developed by researchers in the Quantum Optics Group of the Research School of Physics and Engineering, hinges on using laser beams to cool a nanowire probe to minus 265 degrees Celsius. 

    The development is thought to be of use in improving the resolution of atomic-force microscopes, which are the state-of-the-art tool for measuring nanoscopic structures and the tiny forces between molecules.(refs 2-3)


    1. Single virus and nanoparticle size spectrometry by whispering-gallery-mode microcavities

    2. Making AFM probes 20 times more sensitive - Materials Today

    3. Australian National University,

    LINK_Copper foam turns CO2 into useful chemicals -ref. Materials Today

    “Copper has been studied for a long time as an electrocatalyst for CO2 reduction, and it’s the only metal shown to be able to reduce CO2 to useful hydrocarbons,” said Tayhas Palmore, professor of engineering and senior author of the new research. “There was some indication that if you roughen the surface of planar copper, it would create more active sites for reactions with CO2.”

    LINK to post in Materials Scienceand Engineering Defined

    Read and Share, credit to Materials Today for bringing this information to my attention