Modeling sunlight harvesting in nanostructures

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To create the next generation of solar panels, scientists must model how complex interactions occur. Modeling across different scales provides needed insights. In a review article, scientists assessed the state of the art for calculations used to model electronic states in very thin films.

A new leaf: Scientists turn carbon dioxide back into fuel

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Researchers have found a way to convert carbon dioxide into a usable energy source. Produced by the burning of fossil fuels in power plants and car engines, carbon dioxide continues to accumulate in the atmosphere, warming the planet. But trees and other plants do slowly capture carbon dioxide from the atmosphere, converting it to sugars that store energy.

Quantum theory and Einstein’s special relativity applied to plasma physics issues

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Among the intriguing issues in plasma physics are those surrounding X-ray pulsars — collapsed stars that orbit around a cosmic companion and beam light at regular intervals, like lighthouses in the sky. Physicists want to know the strength of the magnetic field and density of the plasma that surrounds these pulsars, which can be millions of times greater than the density of plasma in stars like the sun. Researchers have developed a theory of plasma waves that can infer these properties in greater detail than in standard approaches.

Scientists identify immunological profiles of people who make powerful HIV antibodies

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People living with HIV who naturally produce broadly neutralizing antibodies (bNAbs) that may help suppress the virus have different immunological profiles than people who do not, researchers report. While bNAbs cannot completely clear HIV infections in people who already acquired the virus, scientists believe a successful preventive HIV vaccine must induce bNAbs. Defining how to safely replicate these attributes in HIV-uninfected vaccine recipients may lead to better designed experimental vaccines to protect against HIV.