Many of you in the comments remarked that 13-year-old Aidan Dwyer's breakthrough was nothing new. Fair enough. But it'd be different if someone totally disproved it. One blogger claims to have done it. Can I get an expert in here?
The blogger's entry has since been taken down (here's the cached version), but the Capacity Factor seems to categorically debunk Dwyer's claim that his Fibonacci tree could draw more power from solar cells. Which, I suppose, is great for science but sucky for the young scientists in all of us who wanted to change the world just by looking at the world. The entry gets rather technical along the way, but the drift is young Aidan's experiment had holes in it from the start.
For one, Dwyer was mistakenly measuring voltage, which the blogger states is independent of solar output. For another, setting up solar panels at sub-optimal angles — worse than 45 degrees — won't make for more energy output. In the blogger's view, it's a wash.
Image: American Museum of Natural History