electricity

Pouring Saltwater Over Graphene Generates Electricity

A team of Chinese scientists did an impossible-sounding thing. They created electricity simply by dragging a droplet of saltwater across a layer of graphene. No big fires, no greenhouse gases, no fuss. They created energy with just a miracle material and one of the most plentiful substances on Earth.


The Cool Promise Of Machines That Run On Body Heat

The human body at rest radiates 100 watts of heat — heat that does nothing other than make crowded rooms stuffy. But body heat can be converted to electricity, and new technology is always improving the process. With the rise of wearables, the body heat-powered device becomes an ever more tantalising promise.


Why Is My Laptop On?

Why is my laptop on? To answer this question sufficiently, I found a four-year-old boy, and now every time I think I have the answer to the question, he’ll ask “Why?” — because that’s what four-year-olds do — and that will force us to get to the real answer. We’ll call him George. Everyone say hi.


Listen (And Watch) An Arc Of Electricity Play Music

Electricity is just great. From powering your toaster to frying Allied tanks at 100 yards, the uses for the humble electron are countless. One of those includes transforming digital data into music… but not through regular speakers. No, we’re just going to use electricity itself — raw and unshielded — to bust out some phat tunes.


Scientists Can Now Herd Cells Like Cattle Using Electrical Fields

We’ve known that flesh wounds create disturbances in the skin’s bioelectric field since Emil du Bois-Reymond first placed an injured hand in a galvanometer in 1843. Thanks to a new discovery from a team at the University of Berkeley, we might soon be able to harness those currents to heal ourselves with electricity.


Moss-Covered Table Uses Photosynthesis To Power An FM Radio

As an electricity source, what could be greener than plants? That’s the idea behind this rig, the world’s first system that powers an FM radio using nothing more than the photosynthetic powers of moss. And creators Fabienne Felder and Dr Paolo Bombelli are just getting started.


The Cartoonist Of The Future's Dynamo Drawing Machines

The cartoonist of the future wouldn’t have to lift a finger, thanks to tomorrow’s wonderful machines. At least that was the idea behind this 1923 cartoon by H.T. Webster.


Pomegranate-Inspired Batteries Hold 10x The Juice

A team of Stanford scientists recently made a breakthrough. After years of trying to create a new generation of lithium-ion batteries that use energy-efficient silicon to hold a charge, they found the secret to the winning design in an unlikely place: pomegranates.


Tapping Into Wave Power With A Gigantic, Artificial 'Seafloor Carpet'

Scientists have known for decades that muddy coastal sediments absorb the power of waves as they roll toward beaches. The result is a free service courtesy of soft ocean bottoms that diminishes the sea’s energy before it reaches the communities living beyond them.


Nuclear Fusion Just Got More Energy Out Of Its Fuel Than It Put Into It

It’s one of science’s ultimate goals, and perhaps the only thing that could prevent humanity’s ultimate depletion of the Earth’s resources — the ability to create more energy than is used to make it. Now, a new nuclear breakthrough has brought that feat even closer to becoming a reality.