New Electrochemistry Knowledge Base

After 30 years of research at Argonne National Laboratory, ECS's Zoltan Nagy edits and updates his Electrochemistry Knowledge Base and serves as the Society's Historian.

After 30 years of research at Argonne National Laboratory, ECS’s Zoltan Nagy edits and updates his Electrochemistry Knowledge Base and serves as the ECS Historian.

What is electrochemistry? Why should society as a whole care?

Long time ECS member, Zoltan Nagy, is partnering with The Electrochemical Society in an attempt to answer these questions with the relaunch of his Electrochemistry Knowledge Base.

Since the late 90s, Nagy has been compiling this huge network of electrochemical knowledge in order to showcase why electrochemistry is so vital to the growth and nourishment of society.

“It may sound selfish, but I think electrochemistry is very important for society and people know very little about it,” says Nagy.

He began compiling the site during the infancy of the internet – around the second half of the 90s.

“I decided to put together a website for the education of the public,” Nagy says. “The articles are written in every simple language so that people can understand and see what electrochemistry does for society.”

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The Art of Dried Whiskey and Microscopy

The image to your right may look like a fine art print of an ocean scene at night, but it’s actually just a close-up of some dried Glenlivet 162, or for those of you who aren’t avid alcohol connoisseurs – it’s simply a photo of whiskey.

Maybe “simple” is not the best word to describe the chemical process that takes place, but the discovery that whiskey can make these beautiful images had a humble beginning.

Professional artist and photographer Ernie Button started creating photos of the patterns formed after letting a drop or two of whiskey dry at the bottom of a glass, which resulted in these clear and rhythmic images.

Though he loved the aesthetic value, Button wanted to understand why the images looked the way they looked.

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Celebrate Giving Tuesday with ECS

givingtuesday2Today, families, businesses, charities and communities around the world are joining together to celebrate generosity and to give support through #GivingTuesday.

Join ECS and organizations around the world in celebrating #GivingTuesday
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With your help, ECS will remain committed to fostering the growth and development of electrochemistry and solid state science among the next generation of researchers, scientists and engineers.

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From inventing renewable energy technologies to disposing of toxic wastes and keeping our water clean, the scientists that support ECS hold the keys to solving global challenges in energy, waste and water. Your Giving Tuesday gift will help ECS continue a legacy of scientific recognition, innovation and education.

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Your donations make it possible for ECS to support students and scientists in the field of electrochemical and solid state science and technology. Thank you for your generosity!

Everybody Poops

WorldToiletDayHere at The Electrochemical Society, we give a crap about sanitation. With our recent partnership with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation – which awarded $210,000 in seed funding to innovative research projects addressing critical gaps in water and sanitation – we’ve spent a great deal of time these past few months talking about poop.  We plan to keep that trend alive, which brings us to World Toilet Day.

Two and a half billion people – 36 percent of the world’s population – don’t have access to a toilet, according to UNICEF. Globally, more people have mobile phones than toilets. Most people in developed countries think of access to adequate sanitation as a right rather than a privilege.

For this reason, ECS hosted the Electrochemical Energy and Water Summit, where some of the brightest minds in electrochemical and solid state science came together to brainstorm innovative ways to address the global sanitation crisis. We’re not just flushing and forgetting, we’re attempting to make adequate sanitation a basic human right.

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ECS Is Ready for Halloween

IMG_4562Here at the ECS Headquarters, we’re celebrating Halloween with a pumpkin decorating contest! Take a look at some of the staff’s creations while we send some interesting Halloween facts your way.

And don’t forget to take a look at the list we’ve compiled of Halloween-themed scientific experiments that are sure to make your holiday just a little bit more eerie.

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IMG_4560Where It All Began
Halloween can be traced back about 2,000 years to a Celtic festival called Samhain. In Gaelic, “Samhain” translates to “summer’s end.” Though the exact nature of this festival is not quite understood, it is thought to have been a time of communing with the dead. Most experts believe that Samhain and All Saints’ Day – due to their close proximity on the calendar – influenced each other and combined into the modern day Halloween.

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Top Halloween-Themed Scientific Experiments

All Hallows’ Eve. Dia de los Muertos. All Saints’ Eve. Day of the Dead. Halloween.

The name and celebrations may change throughout different parts of the world, but the mystery and thrill remain consistent. Here at ECS, we’re drumming up some ways to apply science to this holiday to make it even more eerie.

For kids or just kids at heart, here are some Halloween-themed experiments that are sure to get you in gear for this chilling time of year.

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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.

IBM Contracts Company to Take Chip Unit

IBM reported that they will be getting out of the chip making business in order to give more attention to cloud computing and big data analytics.

The company will pay Globalfoundries $1.5 million over the next three years to take control of chip operations.

“They need to narrow their focus, get their A-game on, and any distractions from a core business perspective, such as this deal, need to be put in the rear-view mirror,” FBR Capital Markets analyst Daniel Ives told Reuters.

This is not the first notion of IBM reducing its presence in the hardware industry. Earlier this month, the company sold its x86 server business to Lenovo Group Ltd. For $2.1 billion.

This from Reuters:

Globalfoundries Chief Executive Sanjay Jha said the company would invest $10 billion between 2014 and 2015 to develop 10 nanometer, 14 nanometer and radio-frequency technologies.

Read the full article here.

What does the future hold for IBM? Connect with us to join us in the discussion.

The dolphin 'breathalyzer' will analyze the for health problems and aid in wildlife conservation.Credit: American Chemical Society

The dolphin ‘breathalyzer’ will analyze the for health problems and aid in wildlife conservation.
Credit: American Chemical Society

While breath analysis is most commonly known for its ability to detect alcohol consumption, it has the potential to extend far beyond that use. Breath analysis has the ability to diagnose a wide range of human conditions, and is now being utilized to aid the bottlenose dolphin.

Engineers from the University of California, Davis have developed a device for collecting dolphin breath for analysis. Because invasive techniques such as skin biopsies and blood sampling are difficult to perform on wild dolphins, this device will make it easier to check the health of the marine animals, study their biology, and aid in wildlife conservation.

This from UC Davis:

The researchers designed an insulated tube that traps breath exhaled from a dolphin’s blowhole and freezes it. They analyzed samples to create profiles of the mix of metabolites in breath, established baseline profiles of healthy animals and were able to identify changes in the breath of animals affected by disease or other factors. The researchers concluded that breath analysis could be used to diagnose and monitor problems in marine mammals – and, by extension, in ocean health as well.

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Self-Driving Cars by next Year?

With new technology and scientific breakthroughs in the automobile industry, everyone is waiting for the first car that will be able to run autonomously. Now, it may be closer than we expected.

Tesla Motors’ CEO and chief product architect, Elon Musk, made a prediction in September of 2013 stating that Tesla automobiles would operate autonomously for “90 percent of miles driven within three years.” Musk has now revised his statement and has proponents of autopilot capable cars hopeful for the future.

This from IEEE Spectrum:

One year later, he’s revised his estimate a bit, now saying that “a Tesla car next year will probably be 90 percent capable of autopilot. Like, so 90 percent of your miles can be on auto. For sure highway travel.” Although he didn’t go into any detail (besides some suggestion of an obligatory sensor fusion approach), Musk seems confident that this is something that Tesla will make happen, not just sometime soon, but actually next year.

Read the full article here.

While there is still much ambiguity on what Musk’s statement actually entails, we will be waiting to see what technology Tesla puts forward within the next year.

Want to find out more about the future of the automobile? Take a look at what our scientist are researching via our Digital Library.

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