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What Happens When Lightning Strikes a Nuclear Weapon?

Intentionally zapping nuclear weapons with lightning sounds dangerous, but it’s actually a safety precaution. Researchers at Sandia National Laboratories perform tests to ensure that stockpiles of nuclear weapons will remain safe even if lightning directly strikes the weapons.

Toyota Recalls 3.37 Million Vehicles for Air Bag and Emissions Issues

Toyota is recalling 3.37 million cars because of defective air bags and problems with the emissions control units.

Polaris Recalls ROVs for Fire Hazard

Polaris is recalling 43,000 recreational off-highway vehicles (ROVs) because they pose a fire hazard....

HeartWare Ventricular Assist Devices Recalled for Defective Batteries

The batteries in HeartWare Ventricular Assist Devices can lose power prematurely due to faulty cells. This defect could cause serious health consequences or even death.

Clogged Ions Make Batteries Inefficient

Researchers discovered that the ions inside a battery should flow back and forth from one electrode to another, but it turns out that they often get stuck, causing “traffic jams” that reduce capacity. Now that the problem has been identified, several possible solutions could improve batteries in the near future.
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Lasers Create Plasma for Environmental Monitoring

A new technique uses lasers to create plasma that can detect chemicals in the air. This new method could be used for environmental monitoring, since the colors of the plasma filaments can indicate the presence a wide range of molecules, including biohazards and pollutants.

Kenworth W900 Trucks Recalled Because Headlamps Could Turn Off

PACCAR Incorporated is recalling 355 model year 2016 Kenworth W900 trucks because they pose a crash hazard. When the truck’s headlamps are switched from low beam to high beam, the low beams are deactivated and there is a chance that the high beams could also be delayed in activation, leaving the headlamps off.

India’s Record-Setting Satellite Launch

India’s space agency just put 20 satellites into orbit on a single launch—a record number for the agency. Only Russia and the United States have ever launched more satellites in a single mission. The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) is quickly proving to be an inexpensive option for space travel that could possibly rival emerging commercial aerospace companies.

Lasers and Microwaves for Quantum Computing

A new technique from researchers at Penn State University demonstrates that atoms could one day become the building blocks of circuits in quantum computers. The team used a combination of lasers and microwaves to squeeze more quantum computing power into a smaller space and with greater control than ever before.

A Simpler Design Improves Solar Cells

Scientists have developed a new simple design that could lower costs and improve the performance of solar cells. They used alternative, transparent materials that can be deposited at room temperature, which is a huge advantage over traditional chemical doping techniques. Today’s commercially available silicon solar cells are built using doping, a process that increases the cell’s electrical conductivity.
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