LED Bulbs for Less

In 2012, there will finally be a first-rate LED bulb you can afford

6 min read
Photo of the The Philips L Prize–winning LED bulb.
Photo: Philips

The Philips L Prize\u2013winning LED bulb

Photo: Philips
Brilliant Idea: The Philips L Prize–winning LED bulb draws one-sixth the power of an incandescent and lasts at least 25 times as long.

The passing of Edison’s bulb has already been decreed, and which of the two alternatives will replace it is at last becoming clear. It will be the LED.

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How to Turn the Lights Back on After a Blackout

Restarting the grid after a total failure is trickier than it may appear

4 min read
​A grid operator works in a control room.
Jacob Hannah/The New York Times/Redux

Restoring power quickly after a major blackout can mean the difference between life and death, but cold starting an entire electrical grid is a complex and delicate process. A hybrid computer model from Sandia National Laboratories that combines optimization, physical simulations and cognitive models of grid operators promises to come up with a fast and reliable plan to get the lights back on.

While power outages are always disruptive, they typically only impact smaller portions of the overall grid. A complete loss of power over the entire network is much more serious, and requires operators to effectively jump start the grid with so-called “black start” generators. This involves a complicated balancing act to avoid mismatches between energy generation and consumption, as different sections of the grid are gradually brought back online. Get it wrong and the grid can collapse again.

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Forecasting the Ice Loss of Greenland’s Glaciers With Viscoelastic Modeling

Researchers at the Alfred Wegener Institute in Germany are developing new models to simulate how glaciers behave

8 min read
Aerial view of Nioghalvfjerdsbræ showing the extensive patterns of the crevasses

This sponsored article is brought to you by COMSOL.

To someone standing near a glacier, it may seem as stable and permanent as anything on Earth can be. However, Earth’s great ice sheets are always moving and evolving. In recent decades, this ceaseless motion has accelerated. In fact, ice in polar regions is proving to be not just mobile, but alarmingly mortal.

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