Mo's moderately interesting sci/tech thread

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thoreau
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Re: Mo's moderately interesting sci/tech thread

Post by thoreau »

This isn't perpetual motion. He's running waste heat through a device that converts temperature gradients into electricity. It only works as long as the waste heat is coming from somewhere, e.g. a building radiating heat away, or hot water from industrial plants. During the day, the solar panels won't be warmer than the sky, but at night they can be, so they can be net radiators of energy instead of net absorbers.

I think the article somewhat overstates what's going on here. It's really integrating two functionalities into the same device, one of them converting sunlight into electricity and the other converting heat flow into electricity. It makes sense to combine these functions mainly because solar panels have to be outside and away from things that might absorb the radiated heat and warm up the immediate vicinity. If the immediate vicinity of the device warmed up then it wouldn't be a net radiator of heat, the amount leaving would equal the amount entering. But as long as the immediate vicinity is unobstructed then heat will just keep radiating away (as long as you're pumping in waste heat from somewhere). The environs that make for a good solar panel location (unobstructed view of the sky to receive light) also make for a good heat radiator location (unobstructed view of the sky to radiate heat upward).
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Re: Mo's moderately interesting sci/tech thread

Post by D.A. Ridgely »

thoreau wrote:
06 Feb 2020, 13:34
This isn't perpetual motion.
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thoreau
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Re: Mo's moderately interesting sci/tech thread

Post by thoreau »

Here's a good article on the subject (though the headline is still a bit of hype):

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Re: Mo's moderately interesting sci/tech thread

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Interesting thing I just learned about nicotine metabolism: one of the main metabolites of nicotine is a chemical called cotinine. It, like nicotine, seems to have some psychoactive properties and there's some research into how much of the effects of nicotine are actually the effects of cotinine.

But the really interesting thing is that it turns out that menthol doesn't just have a flavor and pseudo-cooling effect: it also appears that menthol affects cotinine metabolism, slowing its clearance from the body. That might explain both the continuing popularity of menthol cigarettes and some of the health differences seen between White and Black populations of smokers.
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Re: Mo's moderately interesting sci/tech thread

Post by Aresen »

This has interesting implications WRT the formation of the precursors of life:

Protein discovered inside a meteorite
A team of researchers from Plex Corporation, Bruker Scientific LLC and Harvard University has found evidence of a protein inside of a meteorite. They have written a paper describing their findings and have uploaded it to the arXiv preprint server.

In prior research, scientists have found organic materials, sugars and some other molecules considered to be precursors to amino acids in both meteorites and comets—and fully formed amino acids have been found in comets and meteorites, as well. But until now, no proteins had been found inside of an extraterrestrial object. In this new effort, the researchers have discovered a protein called hemolithin inside of a meteorite that was found in Algeria back in 1990.
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Re: Mo's moderately interesting sci/tech thread

Post by JD »

Waxworms have the ability, via symbiosis with their gut bacteria, to digest polyethylene and excrete ethylene glycol. This is by itself not an answer to plastic pollution, but could help provide new pathways to plastic recycling.
I sort of feel like a sucker about aspiring to be intellectually rigorous when I could just go on twitter and say capitalism causes space herpes and no one will challenge me on it. - Hugh Akston

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Re: Mo's moderately interesting sci/tech thread

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A team of researchers at the University of New South Wales has discovered/rediscovered nuclear electric resonance (i.e., the electric analog to NMR). The surprising thing is that the possibility of this was actually suggested back in 1961, but had been almost forgotten as nobody had been able to make much progress on it, and then Dr. Morello's team at UNSW Sidney accidentally rediscovered it while doing NMR experiments.
I sort of feel like a sucker about aspiring to be intellectually rigorous when I could just go on twitter and say capitalism causes space herpes and no one will challenge me on it. - Hugh Akston

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Re: Mo's moderately interesting sci/tech thread

Post by Warren »

JD wrote:
17 Mar 2020, 09:25
A team of researchers at the University of New South Wales has discovered/rediscovered nuclear electric resonance (i.e., the electric analog to NMR). The surprising thing is that the possibility of this was actually suggested back in 1961, but had been almost forgotten as nobody had been able to make much progress on it, and then Dr. Morello's team at UNSW Sidney accidentally rediscovered it while doing NMR experiments.
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Re: Mo's moderately interesting sci/tech thread

Post by JD »

An interesting piece on the physical nature of glass and what an "ideal glass" would look like: https://www.quantamagazine.org/ideal-gl ... -20200311/
I sort of feel like a sucker about aspiring to be intellectually rigorous when I could just go on twitter and say capitalism causes space herpes and no one will challenge me on it. - Hugh Akston

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