Building A Sun On Earth

Switching on the Sun.

What will our cars and planes and trains run on when petroleum runs out? Hydrogen, obtained from the Sun, is a green fuel.

Researchers at a research facility in Jülich, Germany, have built a faux Sun—Synlight—inside a three-story building, made of 149 souped-up Xenon lamps, which produce light about 10,000 times the intensity of natural sunlight on Earth.

In essence, it’s made of light bulbs so powerful that when focused on a single point, they can raise the temperature to 6,000 degrees Fahrenheit–and cause a burn if you entered the room when they’re on.

To create clean energy, the experiment guzzles a lot of energy. Four hours of operation consumes as much electricity as a four-person household in a year. But researchers hope to harvest it from the Sun one day.



Paper That Needs No Ink To Print (Not E-Paper)

A team of researchers has developed a new type of paper that can be reprinted more than 80 times and doesn’t require a drop of ink. When exposed to ultraviolet light, it—ordinarily, blue due to a coating of nanoparticles—turns colorless, rendering the text in blue.

The document has a shelf-life of about a week, after which it slowly fades back to a sheet of solid blue. For faster erasure, the paper can be heated to 250 degrees Fahrenheit.