Physics & Engineering

Science • Physics & Engineering
Ballast stones store energy in the port of Hamburg
Ballast stones store energy in the port of Hamburg
Credit: Courtesy of Siemens

In the Port of Hamburg, ballast stones with electrothermal energy storage systems can store renewable energy from wind or sun in the form of heat. The project, in which Siemens Gamesa and the Technical University of Hamburg, among others, have been involved since June 2019, is called ETES. ETES stands for Electro-Thermal Energy Storage and could be used in the future to become independent of weather conditions. This would make it possible to draw on the energy generated even when the sky is overcast or there is no wind.

Science • Physics & Engineering
Middle school student achieved nuclear fusion in his family playroom
Middle school student achieved nuclear fusion in his family playroom
Credit: Courtesy of Guiness World Records

Hours before his 13th birthday, Jackson Oswalt (USA) fused together two deuterium atoms using a reactor he had built in the playroom of his family home in Memphis, Tennessee. This incredible feat has led him to be one of the stars of this year’s Guinness World Records 2021 edition, alongside other record holders. Now, at 15 years old, Jackson no longer conducts experiments that often, as he’s decided to look for his "next best thing".

Science • Physics & Engineering
CERN approves plans for a €21 billion, 100km long super-collider
View of the LHC tunnel
View of the LHC tunnel Credit: Maximilien Brice, CERN (Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike 3.0)

CERN has approved plans to build the Future Circular Collider (FCC), a €21 billion super-collider 100 km in circumference. The new collider would smash particles together with over 100 TeV of energy to create more of the elusive Higgs bosons first detected by the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) in 2012.

In a press release, the CERN council said: "Such a machine would produce copious amounts of Higgs bosons in a very clean environment, would make dramatic progress in mapping the diverse interactions of the Higgs boson with other particles and [allow] measurements of extremely high precision".

CERN’s strategy envisions 2038 as the beginning of construction for the new collider. Still, before the institution starts building its new machine, it will have to seek new funding beyond the regular budget it receives from European member states. It is expected countries outside of Europe including the United States, China and Japan might need to help fund the project.

Science • Physics & Engineering
US Navy shoots down drone with high-energy laser during military test
Screenshot Youtube
Screenshot Youtube Credit: United States Naval Institute

The US Navy has announced that the test of a high-energy laser has been successful. The transport dock ship USS Portland manage to shoot down a drone from mid-air with a high-energy laser for the first time.