In 2002, nuclear engineers Rusi P. Taleyarkhan of Purdue University and Richard T. Lahey Jr. of Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute announced that they had produced thermonuclear fusion by imploding tiny deuterium-rich gas bubbles with sound waves and neutrons. The news about their fusion method--dubbed sonofusion--made headlines worldwide. Yet many skeptics greeted it with scoffing. Now, after repeating the experiments with an improved apparatus, Taleyarkhan and Lahey have more convincing evidence.
In the May 2005 issue of IEEE Spectrum, they discuss their latest experiments in detail and also explain how they plan to turn their tabletop apparatus into a full-scale electricity-generating device. "If this proves possible--and its still a big if--sonofusion could become a revolutionary new energy source," they write.
They also say that other groups may soon have new findings to confirm that sonofusion works. "Now at least five groups--three in the United States and two in Europe--are working on reproducing our sonofusion results," they write. "Some have apparently already succeeded and are now preparing to publish their findings."
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Researchers from the University of Hamburg in Germany, in collaboration with colleagues from the University of Aarhus in Denmark, have synthesized a new superconducting material by growing a few layers of an antiferromagnetic transition-metal chalcogenide on a bismuth-based topological insulator, both being non-superconducting materials.
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Among the general public, solar thermal energy is currently associated with dark blue, rectangular collectors on building roofs. Technologies are needed for aesthetically high quality architecture which offer the architect more room for manoeuvre when it comes to low- and plus-energy buildings. With the “ArKol” project, researchers at Fraunhofer ISE together with partners are currently developing two façade collectors for solar thermal energy generation, which permit a high degree of design flexibility: a strip collector for opaque façade sections and a solar thermal blind for transparent sections. The current state of the two developments will be presented at the BAU 2017 trade fair.
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