Researchers have found that the band gap of semiconductor indium nitride is not 2 eV as previously thought, but a much lower 0.7 eV. Scientists from the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, Cornell University, and Japan's Ritsumeikan University have discovered that a single system of alloys incorporating indium, gallium, and nitrogen can convert virtually the full spectrum of sunlight to electrical current. Such a discovery could eventually lead to the delivery of the most efficient and relatively inexpensive solar cells. For more information, go to www.lbl.gov/science-articles/archive.
The amount of plastic clogging the ocean continues to grow. Some startling, not-so-good news has come out recently about the roles plastic is playing in the ocean, as well as more heartening news about efforts to collect and reuse it.
Some of our culture's most enduring robots appeared in the 80s. The Aliens series produced another evil android, and we saw light robot fare in the form of Short Circuit. Two of the great robots of all time also showed up: The Terminator and RoboCop.
Focus on Fundamentals consists of 45-minute on-line classes that cover a host of technologies. You learn without leaving the comfort of your desk. All classes are taught by subject-matter experts and all are archived. So if you can't attend live, attend at your convenience.