Scientists make thin material that acts as air conditioner

Newly engineered material can cool roofs, structures with zero energy consumption, The team with their glass-polymer hybrid Material. (University of Colorado)
Updated 10 February 2017
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Scientists make thin material that acts as air conditioner

MIAMI: Scientists have invented a new kind of thin material that can cool a surface against the heat of the sun without using energy or typical air conditioning, a study said Thursday.
The glass-polymer hybrid material measures just 50 micrometers thick — slightly more than aluminum foil — and can be manufactured cheaply, researchers said in the journal Science.
“We feel that this low-cost manufacturing process will be transformative for real-world applications of this radiative cooling technology,” said researcher Xiaobo Yin, an assistant professor at the University of Colorado, Boulder.
Uses for the product could include keeping buildings and other objects cool, as well as extending the life of solar panels.
In the case of thermoelectric power plants, which need massive amounts of water and electricity to maintain the operating temperatures of their machinery, such a film could save resources and money.
Researchers found the material could cool objects by dissipating the sun’s thermal energy in the form of infrared radiation.
In field tests, the material showed a cooling power roughly equivalent to the electricity generated using solar cells for a similar area, and could cool continuously both day and night.
“Just 10 to 20 square meters (yards) of this material on the rooftop could nicely cool down a single-family house in summer,” said co-author Gang Tan, an associate professor in the University of Wyoming’s Department of Civil and Architectural Engineering.
While not on the market yet, researchers said the material is lightweight, easy to fit to curved surfaces, and fairly simple to mass produce.


Massive diamond cache detected beneath Earth’s surface

Updated 18 July 2018
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Massive diamond cache detected beneath Earth’s surface

  • “This shows that diamond is not perhaps this exotic mineral..."
  • These naturally occurring precious minerals are located far deeper than any drilling expedition has ever reached

WASHINGTON: There’s a load of bling buried in the Earth.
More than a quadrillion tons of diamonds to be exact — or one thousand times more than one trillion — US researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology reported this week.
But don’t expect a diamond rush. These naturally occurring precious minerals are located far deeper than any drilling expedition has ever reached, about 90 to 150 miles (145 to 240 kilometers) below the surface of our planet.
“We can’t get at them, but still, there is much more diamond there than we have ever thought before,” said Ulrich Faul, a research scientist in MIT’s Department of Earth, Atmospheric, and Planetary Sciences.
“This shows that diamond is not perhaps this exotic mineral, but on the scale of things, it’s relatively common.”
Using seismic technology to analyze how sound waves pass through the Earth, scientists detected the treasure trove in rocks called cratonic roots, which are shaped like inverted mountains that stretch through the Earth’s crust and into the mantle.
These are “the oldest and most immovable sections of rock that lie beneath the center of most continental tectonic plates,” explained MIT in a statement.
The project to uncover deep Earth diamonds began because scientists were puzzled by observations that sound waves would speed up significantly when passing through the roots of ancient cratons.
So they assembled virtual rocks, made from various combinations of minerals, to calculate how fast sound waves would travel through them.
“Diamond in many ways is special,” Faul said.
“One of its special properties is, the sound velocity in diamond is more than twice as fast as in the dominant mineral in upper mantle rocks, olivine.”
They found that the only type of rock that matched the speeds they were detecting in craton would contain one to two percent diamond.
Scientists now believe the Earth’s ancient underground rocks contain at least 1,000 times more diamond than previously expected.
Still, very few of these gems are expected to make their way to the jewelry store.
Diamonds are made from carbon, and are formed under high-pressure and extreme temperatures deep in the Earth.
They emerge near the surface only through volcanic eruptions that occur rarely — on the order of every few tens of millions of years.