Electricity

Concept art for the final form of NASA's experimental X-57 Maxwell electric plane. The plane is not expected to ever reach this phase, as the program's time and funds are running out.

NASA’s Electric Plane Will Take Flight This Year—but Its Future Is Uncertain

The X-57 Maxwell has removed some barriers to electric flight, but its funding expires soon

The twilight sky as seen in Coonabarabran, Australia

Light Pollution Is Outshining Stars Faster Than Thought

The artificial glow threatens astronomy, migrating birds and human health

Lightning rods can protect from lightning strikes, but they can only shield nearby areas.

Scientists Guide Lightning Bolts With Lasers for the First Time

The technology could one day protect wider areas than metal lightning rods do, perhaps shielding airports and launchpads during storms

The new trains will feature better lighting, improved signage, panoramic windows, outlets and USB ports and other upgrades.

Take a Sneak Peek at Amtrak’s Newest Trains

The Airo trains will have larger windows, newly designed cafe cars and updated seating

A cross-section of a spinal cord at five times magnification.

Researchers Identify Neurons That Might Help Paralyzed People Walk Again

With electrical stimulation and physical therapy, nine people with spinal cord injuries regained the ability to stand and take steps

The top ten toys rated by Purdue University engineers help children build spatial reasoning, problem solving, coding and design thinking skills, among others.

Engineers Pick the Ten Best STEM Toys to Give as Gifts in 2022

Children can build strategy, critical thinking and resilience during expert-approved play

The tunnel opens onto an outdoor platform offering views of Horseshoe Falls.

Wander Through a 2,200-Foot-Long Tunnel Beneath Niagara Falls

The tunnel, which opened to visitors this summer, was once a vital part of a hydroelectric power plant on the Canadian side of the iconic cascades

While swarming, western honeybees can produce an atmospheric electric charge density that's greater than a thunderstorm's.

Honeybee Swarms Can Produce as Much Electric Charge as a Storm Cloud

Denser swarms create more atmospheric electricity, new research suggests

A worker installs a new row of bitcoin mining machines at the Whinstone US Bitcoin mining facility in Rockdale, Texas, the largest bitcoin-mining facility in North America. 

Bitcoin Could Rival Beef or Crude Oil in Environmental Impact

Carbon emissions from mining one coin increased 126-fold from 2016 to 2021, a new study finds

Honolulu, Hawaii, on the island of Oahu

Hawaii Closes Its Last Coal-Fired Power Plant

The state plans to use 100 percent renewable energy by 2045

Under the federal Clean Air Act, other states may follow California's lead in banning gas-powered vehicles by 2035.

Other States May Follow California’s Lead in Banning Gas-Powered Cars by 2035

Washington, Massachusetts, Virginia and others appear likely to adopt the Golden State's ambitious plan for phasing out internal combustion engines

The bill aims to help the nation slash its greenhouse gas emissions.

What the Inflation Reduction Act Hopes to Do About Climate Change

The spending bill aims to spur investment in renewable energy and slash greenhouse gas emissions

None

A Surprisingly High Number of Wildfires Are Caused by Electrocuted Birds

Researchers determined 44 wildland fires were ignited by avian electrocutions in the contiguous United States from January 2014 through December 2018

Smart windows that tint in response to stimuli such as heat or light, or a user’s preference, are becoming more common, but it may be a while before the tech is mainstream.

What Will It Take for Smart Windows to Go Mainstream?

Specialized glass that keeps heat in during winter and lets it out during summer could make buildings much more efficient

The metal gallium becomes a liquid at slightly above room temperature, one of its many remarkable properties that researchers are investigating.

This Liquid Metal Could Transform Soft Electronics

Bend it. Stretch it. Use it to conduct electricity. Researchers are exploring a range of applications that harness gallium's unusual properties

General Motors has previously announced plans to exclusively sell electric vehicles by 2035 with a plan to release 30 new electric cars globally by 2025.

Innovation for Good

Chevrolet's Classic Corvette Is Going Electric

A new hybrid model of the iconic American sports car, rumored to reach up to 1,000 horsepower, will hit the market as early as 2023

Steered by a computer to loop in the wind, this kite converts wind energy into electricity via a tether attached to a generator on the ground. Currently, such kites can generate enough electricity to power 60 average US households.

Planet Positive

Could High-Flying Kites Power Your Home?

Nearly a dozen companies are betting on computer-controlled, airborne wind energy to electrify the future

A vessel nears the commercial wind farm 3.8 miles off the coast of Block Island.

Planet Positive

This Historic Community Is Pushing the Nation Toward a Wind Power Revolution

Block Island, off the New England coast, overcame political strife to lead the way on energy independence

Artist rendering of a solar canal system for California.

California Is About to Test Its First Solar Canals

The innovative project is a win for water, energy, air and climate

Ben Franklin by Joseph-Siffred Duplessis, ca 1785

Ben Franklin Lives in Your Smartphone

The 18th-century inventor discovered concepts that impact modern technology

loading icon