Bright Future

Let There Be Light, Indeed

 
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PHOTO COURTESY OF GERMAN AEROSPACE CENTER

Let there be light, indeed. In the search for renewable energy solutions, scientists in Jülich, Germany flipped the switch on a giant artificial sun in March. The project team's goal is to master a hydrogen-making technique that could one day be applied to natural sunlight, creating a limitless supply of hydrogen fuel. The element, which is rarely found by itself on Earth, doesn't produce carbon dioxide when burned. The US$3.8 million Synlight project, which involves 149 xenon lamps, produces light that is roughly 10,000 times more intense than natural sunlight. Just don't look right at it.

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