science tech power electricity batteries electronics wearable_technology engineering nanotechnology
Turning The Wires That Carry Power Into Batteries, Too

by Marsha Lewis, Inside Science

Every day, millions of Americans rely on electronic devices that have one thing in common: they must be charged. The process is pretty simple, but it does require a bit of time and forethought.

But what if there were a better way to store and create the power needed to run these gadgets?

Now, scientists have created a better way using a simple electrical cable wire.

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Ideas Are Scary And Surprising

by Txchnologist staff

“To invent, you need a good imagination and a pile of junk,” Thomas Edison said. Many of Edison’s quotes are about the importance of inspiration and work. With these two ingredients, the optimistic tinkerer can shape raw materials into brand new things.

Of course, this is a significant oversimplification of the process of innovation. Turning imagination into something fully realized is not a simple or clear-cut task, with the journey to many great advances looking a lot like stumbling around in the dark blindly.

From medicine and physics to the creation of new appliances, the process at the heart of changing the world may not often be beautiful, but the final result is. Here are six game-changing discoveries in which chance, curiosity and an open mind played a huge part:

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Smell Of Money Could Pinch Smugglers

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by Txchnologist staff

That enticing smell of dollars might be the undoing of smugglers who move billions out of the country every year.

Researchers at a California-based company called KWJ Engineering say they are building a machine that detects the vapors given off by U.S. currency. 

“We’re developing a device that mimics the function of trained dogs sniffing out concealed money, but without the drawbacks, such as expensive training, sophisticated operators, down time and communication limitations,” said the company’s Suiqiong Li in a statement.

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A Drop Of Power Makes Hydrogen Fuel Cheaper

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by Michael Keller

**Editor’s Note: There seems to be some confusion based on readers’ comments that this post is about researchers discovering electrolysis of water. That process has been known since the 18th century. This article is about research looking to make industrial-scale hydrogen gas from water using novel electrodes that diminish the amount of electricity and precious metals needed during electrolysis.**

Scientists have made a breakthrough in generating hydrogen gas fuel more efficiently by splitting water with smaller amounts of electricity. 

Stanford University researchers report that they have disassembled water molecules into gaseous hydrogen and oxygen with the electromotive force of a single AAA battery. Both gaseous products are flammable and hydrogen is considered a viable power source for electricity production and vehicles. In fact, the first hydrogen fuel cell cars will be available for purchase in the US beginning in 2015.

The Stanford group also accomplished the low-power water splitting, a process called water electrolysis, without the expensive precious metals typically used. They put two electrodes in a beaker of water and sent current through them, which broke the liquid into the two gases.

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