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Over Easy: Monday Science

Hi! The name is Flip

You learned language from me! Except Brooklyn, I cannot explain Brooklyn


Multijunction solar cells take a step forward. Basic idea is to build a sandwich where each layer absorbs one band, while letting the others pass through. This is a step forward toward  predicting available sunlight. One of Solar’s rarely mentioned flaws is the inability to say how much they’re be generating in the near future. Generation MUST match desired load. And another step towards bringing the cost down

I’m not generally a fan of coal for energy. Clean coal seems largely a myth at this point, and even if we could do it we’d still have to deal with the CO2. Ohio state has come with with a generator that uses coal, doesn’t actually burn it, and traps the CO2. No word yet on what we’d do with the trapped Co2. The idea about using salt caverns (WARNING: 2M pdf) seems to have flaws.

It’s important to continue looking for non-nuclear alternatives. Hanford is where we’ve been tossing stuff, and now 6 old tanks are leaking. There are many more tanks of about the same age, but I’m sure they’re fine. Fukushima  was worse than thought, earlier on than thought. Radiation of that magnitude before venting means fuel rods were breached that early.

Yet some folks continue to promote nuclear fission, conveniently glossing over the issue of waste.

I remain neutral on the concept of fusion energy. It’s costly, generates radioactive waste though not nearly in the quantities or degree of nastiness that fission does. That said, I agree we should continue to investigate the pellet approch.

Mercury is certainly turning interesting. When I was a kid, it was described in the same terms you’d use to describe a cinder. Now we have water, ICE even. And a magnetic field . Oh, and the young earth folks consider Mercury’s magnetic field support for their theory. Exercise for the reader: take this apart in the comments.

Man to Mars at this stage is not a good idea, but I doubt this will get off the ground.

The colossal squid is the largest known squid. Now we’re going looking for it in the wild. This squid hunts the entire water column, and likes toothfish. Toothfish are roughly the size and shape of a swimming human, so it’s good these are only found around Antarcticia.

Having learned that there are wordsmiths and linguists here, consider that our language may have evolved from birdsong. Or maybe it was beer.

When I was a kid, superconductivity was only possible near absolute zero. Top temprature is now 35c! Your computer will likely have heatstroke before then. Now, this material is not suitable for anything other than lab work being strongly hygroscopic. Which means it becomes worthless quickly just from the water in dry air.

Is there a 5th force?

Boxturtle (If a quark can be split, many bets will have to be paid)


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