Researchers at Sandia National Laboratories are working to eliminate energy guzzling incandescent and fluorescent lights and replace them with semiconductor LEDs. Lighting is responsible for approximately 20% of electricity consumption and use of LEDs mean big energy savings. "LEDs could be 10 times more efficient than incandescent bulbs and two times more efficient than florescent," says Jerry Simmons, a department manager at Sandia National Laboratories. Although LEDs were first demonstrated in 1962, new LED colors are available that, when combined, form white light. The researchers believe that the development and adoption of solid-state lighting could end up cutting the nation's electrical consumption by 10% if LEDs could be made more efficiently and less costly. "LEDs will need to decrease their cost as well as improve their energy-conversion efficiency and the quality of their white light", says James M. Gee, senior scientist, Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy Technologies at Sandia National Laboratories. "Many observers in the community believe that this can be achieved in 10 years with a concerted, coordinated national effort, which is proposed in the Next-Generation Lighting Initiative that is part of energy policy bills in Congress today." The Sandia researchers are studying the physics of the gallium nitride-based materials from which LEDs are made, to boot photon generation and high light extraction. For more information, go to www.sandia.gov.
Samsung's Galaxy line of smartphones used to fare quite well in the repairability department, but last year's flagship S5 model took a tumble, scoring a meh-inducing 5/10. Will the newly redesigned S6 lead us back into star-studded territory, or will we sink further into the depths of a repairability black hole?
In 2003, the world contained just over 500 million Internet-connected devices. By 2010, this figure had risen to 12.5 billion connected objects, almost six devices per individual with access to the Internet. Now, as we move into 2015, the number of connected 'things' is expected to reach 25 billion, ultimately edging toward 50 billion by the end of the decade.
NASA engineer Brian Trease studied abroad in Japan as a high school student and used to fold fast-food wrappers into cranes using origami techniques he learned in library books. Inspired by this, he began to imagine that origami could be applied to building spacecraft components, particularly solar panels that could one day send solar power from space to be used on earth.
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