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Harvard physicists propose a device to capture energy from Earth’s infrared emissions to outer space. Image: Steven J. Byrnes
When the sun sets on a remote desert outpost and solar panels shut down, what energy source will provide power through the night? A battery, perhaps, or an old diesel generator? Perhaps something strange and new.
Physicists at the Harvard School of Engineering and Applied Sciences (SEAS) envision a device that would harvest energy from Earth’s infrared emissions into outer space.
Heated by the sun, our planet is warm compared to the frigid vacuum beyond. Thanks to recent technological advances, the researchers say, that heat imbalance could soon be transformed into direct-current (DC) power, taking advantage of a vast and untapped energy source.
Their analysis of the thermodynamics, practical concerns, and technological requirements will be published this week in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
“It’s not at all obvious, at first, how you would generate DC power by emitting infrared light in free space toward the cold,” says principal investigator Federico Capasso, the Robert L. Wallace Professor of Applied Physics and Vinton Hayes Senior Research Fellow in Electrical Engineering at Harvard SEAS. “To generate power by emitting, not by absorbing light, that’s weird. It makes sense physically once you think about it, but it’s highly counterintuitive. We’re talking about the use of physics at the nanoscale for a completely new application.”
FIGURES OF LORE | saraswati, hindu mythology
↳ requested by anon
Saraswati (Sanskrit: सरस्वती, Sarasvatī) is the Hindu goddess of knowledge, music, arts and nature. She is a part of the trinity of Saraswati, Lakshmi and Parvati. All the three forms help the trinity of Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva in the creation, maintenance and destruction of the Universe. The Goddess is also revered by believers of the Jain religion of west and central India.
The Sarasvati River is an important river goddess in the Rigveda. The Sanskrit name means “having many pools”. In the Telugu language, Sarasvati is also known as Chaduvula Thalli (చదువుల తల్లి), Sharada (శారద). In Konkani, she is referred to as Sharada, Veenapani, Pustaka dharini, Vidyadayini. In Kannada, variants of her name include Sharade, Sharadamba, Vani, Veenapani in the famous Sringeri temple. In Tamil, she is also known as Kalaimagal (கலைமகள்), Kalaivaani (கலைவாணி), Vaani (வாணி), Bharathi. She is also addressed as Sharada (the one who loves the autumn season), Veena pustaka dharani (the one holding books and a Veena), Vaakdevi, Vagdevi, Vani (all meaning “speech”), Varadhanayagi (the one bestowing boons).
Saraswati is strongly associated with flowing water in her role as a goddess of knowledge. She is depicted as a beautiful woman to embody the concept of knowledge as supremely alluring. She possesses four arms, and is usually shown wearing a spotless white sari and seated on a white lotus or riding a white swan.
Healers are Spiritual Warriors who have found the courage to defeat the darkness of their souls. Awakening and rising from the depths of their deepest fears, like a Phoenix rising from the ashes. Reborn with a wisdom and strength that creates a light that shines bright enough to help, encourage, and inspire others out of their own darkness.
~ Melanie Koulouris
Star Sign Quotes
Melanie Koulouris(via astrolocherry)
Gravity remains the dominant force on large astronomical scales, but when it comes to stars in young star clusters the dynamics in these crowded environments cannot be simply explained by the pull of gravity.
Hubble Space Telescope image of the young star cluster NGC 1818 in the Large Magellanic Cloud. KIAA researchers found to their surprise an increasing fraction of binary systems as they looked at increasingly larger distances from the cluster center, as illustrated graphically in the inset. Image: Peking University
After analyzing Hubble Space Telescope images of star cluster NGC 1818 in the Large Magellanic Cloud, a satellite galaxy of the Milky Way, researchers at the Kavli Institute for Astronomy and Astrophysics (KIAA) at Peking University in Beijing found more binary star systems toward the periphery of cluster than in the center – the opposite of what they expected. The surprising distribution of binaries is thought to result from complex interactions among stars within young clusters.
The team’s finding will be published in the March 1 print issue of The Astrophysical Journal and is now online.
In the dynamic environment of a star cluster, high-mass stars are thought to gravitate toward the center of a cluster when they give a ‘kick’ to lower-mass stars and lose energy, explained KIAA Prof. Richard de Grijs, who led the study. This leads them to sink to the cluster center, while the lower-mass stars gain energy and might move to orbits at greater distances from the cluster core. Astronomers call this process “mass segregation.”
However, when the Kavli researchers looked closely at binary star systems within NGC 1818, they found a much more complex picture.
Most stars in clusters actually form in pairs, called “binary stars,” which initially are located so close to one another that they interact, resulting in the destruction of some binary systems. Other binaries, meanwhile, swap partners. Astronomers had expected that the same process that leads a cluster’s most massive stars to gravitate toward the center would also apply to binaries. This is because together, the stars that make up binaries have more mass on average than a single star.
When the astronomers discovered that there were more binaries the farther from the core they observed, they were initially baffled by this unexpected result. They concluded that so-called “soft” binary systems, in which the two stars orbit each other at rather large distances, are destroyed due to close encounters with other stars near the cluster’s center. Meanwhile, “hard” binaries, in which the two stars orbit one another at much shorter distances, survive close encounters with other stars much better, all throughout a cluster. This is why more binaries were seen farther out than close in.
Mapping the radial distribution of binary systems in dense star clusters had never been done before for clusters as young as NGC 1818, which is thought to be 15-30 million years old. This is difficult to do in any case, because there are no young clusters nearby in our own Milky Way galaxy. The new result provides new insights into theoretically predicted processes that govern the evolution of star clusters.
“The extremely dynamic interactions among stars in clusters complicates our understanding of gravity,” team member Chengyuan Li said. “One needs to investigate the entire physical environment to fully understand what’s happening in that environment. Things are usually more complex than they appear.”
Being engaged with your angels doesn’t mean bad things won’t happen or life won’t be harsh - or else we wouldn’t have bothered leaving home. But angels will shield you like a protective force from harm and use their wings to lift you above your shattered pieces so you don’t cut your feet walking over them
Life goals: remake this dress and make the green one next year
Howl is Alicia
Sophie is Hola-Ladies (me)
Photo by Eurobeat Kasumi Photography
A wild raven perches himself on the fence of a human’s farm and squawks for help because he has three porcupine quills stuck in the side of his face. The kind humans who find him attempt to take the quills out, but not without some “lip” from the raven.
(Really. It is a baby! Its mouth is still pink.)
Clearly this bird is a magic user in disguise. Because of these humans’ kindness, they will surely receive some kind of gift in the future. Perhaps the bird/witch has decided to bless them with internet fame!