“About 1.5 billion light bulbs are sold each year in the U.S. today, each one an engine for converting the earth’s precious energy resources mostly into waste heat, pollution, and greenhouse gases. ”—
A powerful statement on the need for basic research into more efficient lighting methods, like solid-state lighting that powers light-emitting diodes (LEDs).
Incandescent lights—the classic bulbs that use glowing wires of tungsten or other metals—convert only about 5% of their energy into visible light, with the rest lost as heat. Fluorescent bulbs, which use a chemical reaction to create light, push that efficiency up to about 20%, still wasting 80% of the electricity needed to keep homes and businesses bright. In both of these instances, light is only the byproduct of heat-generating reactions rather than the principal effect, making the technology inherently inefficient.
Brookhaven researchers are exploring the atomic-level inner-workings of LEDs in order to find cost-effective ways to one day illuminate everything from televisions to traffic lights with near perfect efficiency.
Tennis for Two, Anyone?
by Michael Keller
Xboxers, lay down your controllers! Wii Player, hold that nunchuk to your heart for a moment of remembrance.
On Oct. 25, 1910, Dr. William Higinbotham was born. You might not know this American nuclear physicist who worked on radar displays and became a major voice among scientists advocating to stop the nuclear arms race, but you can thank him for being one of the first inventors of the video game and for that callus on your right thumb.