Earth and Energy - New Discoveries, Research, Studies And Breakthroughs
Curious to find out about recent discoveries and breakthroughs related to the earth, our atmosphere, the oceans and our universe? Interested in the latest research findings on the development and conservation of energy and our natural resources? Take a look here for the latest news and updates on our earth, the environment and all of its resources.
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Scientists at Columbia University have shown that changes in atmospheric humidity can actually be used to generate minor amounts of electricity – enough to power small gadgets like children’s toys or environmental sensors. The system relies on bacterial spores that swell and shrink in response to changes in moisture. Adhering these spores to a polymer sheet produces what amounts to an artificial muscle that expands and contracts, much like animal muscle, as the moisture in its environment is cycled.
That question is one of the major challenges facing proponents of fusion energy. Fusion power generation attempts to mimic the processes occurring in center of stars by heating atoms to incredibly high temperatures and pressures such that they slam together with enough force to fuse, thereby releasing energy. The problem is that the temperature required to achieve such a reaction is on the order of 150 million degrees Celsius, ten times hotter than the center of the sun and a heat level that no material on Earth can withstand.