News Picks

Physics Today’s online staff summarize the most important and interesting news about science from the world's top media outlets.

There are 4 posts for the selected month (April 2015).
April 1, 2015 1:50 PM

Green energy investment grows globally, particularly in solar and wind

New Scientist: According to the 2015 Global Trends in Renewable Energy Investment report prepared by the United Nations Environment Programme, in 2014 global investment in green energy rose 17% and the percentage of electricity generated using renewable sources increased to 9.1%, up from 8.5% the previous year. China was first in renewable energy investments, at $83.3 billion, followed by the US and Japan. Increased investment in renewables by developing countries, however, accounted for much of the rise in global green energy use. Solar power in Asia and wind turbines in the North Sea also contributed greatly.
April 1, 2015 1:50 PM

LHC restart imminent

Nature: Scientists at CERN believe they've fixed the short circuit that last week delayed the Large Hadron Collider's restart. The bit of metal causing the short was removed by sending a pulse of electricity through the circuit, much like deliberately blowing a fuse. Subsequent tests suggest that the short is gone, and beams are expected to be fully circulating by this weekend.

April 1, 2015 1:45 PM

US pledges carbon-emissions cut of 26–28% by 2025

BBC: As a follow-up to a previous agreement with China and as a step toward the United Nations' climate plan to be agreed on in Paris later this year, the US has announced a plan to cut its carbon emissions by more than one quarter by 2025. The US announcement increases the current goal of a 17% cut of 2005 emissions levels by 2020. As part of the UN's effort to reach a climate plan in December, wealthy nations were expected to submit their own goals by 31 March. The European Union had previously announced its goal of a 40% reduction from 1990 levels by 2030. China has not formally announced its plans, and several other countries, such as Canada, also failed to announce plans by the target date.
April 1, 2015 1:00 PM

NASA’s flying saucer passes first test

Los Angeles Times: Yesterday at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in California, NASA demonstrated the spinning capability of its Mars test vehicle. During the test, the 4.5-m-wide, 3200-kg saucer-shaped craft was spun up to 30 rpm to check its balance. The next test will come after the vehicle is shipped to Hawaii, where it will be hoisted to an altitude of 36 km by a giant balloon and then shot high into the stratosphere by a rocket. There, its two-step landing apparatus will be deployed: A large doughnut-shaped tube will inflate, and then a gigantic parachute will be released. Because the density of Earth's stratosphere is similar to that of Mars's atmosphere, it serves as a testing ground for new technologies.
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Scitation: News Picks - Blog