Can We Power the World With a Single Energy Grid?

If you look at a map of the US power grid, it looks like a spider web blanketing the entire country. It’s a patchwork that formed after communities that got their power locally were slowly stitched together to create a massive network. So could we scale that up even bigger? Could we connect the entire […]

These Engineers Want to 3D Print an Entire Rocket in 60 Days

Stargate is the world’s largest metal 3D printer entirely built and designed in-house. The core of it includes three robot arms — one of which is doing printing — and the other two are doing post post-processing. This is a six degree of freedom industrial robot arm so it can move anywhere within about a […]

Carbon Nanotubes Might Be the Secret Boost Solar Energy Has Been Looking For

Solar panels are an incredible innovation in energy tech, but they’re way less efficient than they could be, because they have a problem: heat. Specifically, waste heat, or energy that’s lost while converting the sun’s energy into electricity. But a new technology—made possible by carbon nanotubes—may be just the thing that brings solar panels into […]

How Close Are We to Fusion Energy?

Coal is dirty. Nuclear is scary. Solar and wind aren’t always reliable. Hydrothermal and hydroelectric aren’t widely accessible. And we’ll eventually deplete our oil reserves. Okay, yes, this is all a bit of hyperbole, but the bottom line is that we don’t have a perfect source of energy. But, there might be hope. Around the […]

Diamond Nuclear Batteries Are Forever… Sort Of

Since the early 1900s, researchers have been working on ways to turn radioactive material into an electric current that lasts.. for decades. Yeah, that’s right. We’re talking about nuclear batteries! This class of batteries is known as betavoltaics, and they’re powered by the beta-decay of a radioactive material—hence the name. Beta particles are basically just […]

How Voltage Fade Prevents Us From Creating the Perfect Battery

When it comes to consumer electronics or electric cars, lithium-ion batteries are still the technology of choice thanks to their high energy density and decent charge times. But billion dollar tech and auto giants are betting that there’s still room for improvement. One of the most promising upgrades has been mired by a mysterious setback, […]

Scientists Can Implant Fake Memories in the Brain, Here’s How

Human memory is unreliable enough as it is, but researchers interested in better understanding how and where our memories are stored are developing new ways to manipulate them. The search for memory “engrams,” a collection of identifiable neurons that physically represent a memory, has occupied scientists for over a hundred years. Turns out, memory is […]

Why Haven’t Hydrogen Vehicles Taken Over the World Yet?

We were expecting hydrogen cars to take over the world years ago, but so far, we’ve got more Prius’ and Teslas. What happened to the fanfare for the car that runs on water, man? It’s been a while since we’ve heard anything about hydrogen cars, seemingly because the market wasn’t ready to look past it’s […]

How These Bacteria Become Electrical Cables That Could Power Our World

It turns out that bacteria may have figured out the whole electricity thing way before we did, you guys. In fact, there are bacteria deep in the ground and under the ocean right now that are acting as living electric cables, and scientists are coming up with all sorts of cool new ways to study […]

Could Ultracapacitors Realize Their Full Potential…With Laxatives?

Supercapacitors present an amazing opportunity to move away from batteries and into a world where almost instant charging is the norm. But their drawbacks mean we can’t use them widely…yet. Experiments with a new class of materials that are related to soap and laxatives (yes, laxatives) could bring us one step closer to a world […]