The new study also opens the door to identifying other molecules floating in space.Image: NASA/JPL

The new study also opens the door to identifying other molecules floating in space.
Image: NASA/JPL

Buckyballs—or buckminsterfullerenes, named for their structural similarities to the designs of Buckminster Fuller—have just answered the 100-year-old question of odd variations in light coming through interstellar space.

Astronomers once assumed that this cosmic-light was the result of dust or other tiny space detritus, but a team of chemists have now determined that it is actually the result of buckyballs floating around in space.

Though this isn’t the first time that buckyballs were found in far-off locations. In 2010, researchers spotted the first ever buckyballs in space using the Spitzer telescope.

ECS Podcast – “A Word About Nanocarbons”
Listen as some of the world-leading scientists in nanocarbon and fullerene research discuss the monumental role buckyballs have played in science.

However, the spotting in 2010 proved that buckyballs can indeed exist in space, whereas the current buckyball spotting solve a nearly century-long question that has troubled astronomers globally.

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Until now, the motor and the inverter, which converts the battery's direct current into alternating current for the motor, were two separate components.Credit: Siemns

Until now, the motor and the inverter, which converts the battery’s direct current into alternating current for the motor, were two separate components.
Credit: Siemens

A team of engineers at Siemens’ has developed a way to save space, reduce weight, and cut the cost of electric car production. The team’s solution revolves around integrating an electric car’s motor and inverter, which have always been two separate components prior to this development.

This from Siemens:

The solution’s key feature is the use of a common cooling system for both components. This ensures that the inverter’s power electronics don’t get too hot despite their proximity to the electric motor, and so prevents any reduction in output or service life.

Read the full article here.

Accordingly, the weight of the vehicle is reduced due the integration of the inverter into the motor, which will now only need a single housing. Additionally, the development produces added installation space that can be used for a charging unit.

For more information on current and future developments in the electric car industry, check out some of our past coverage or head over to the Digital Library to see what our scientists are working on.