The Role of Next Generation Solar Panels in Powering Up Our Cities

“One of our research goals is to create transparent solar cells with a natural appearance so that they can be used as windows that generate solar power.” For solar window applications, a perovskite film with a thickness of no more than 600 nm is sufficient to achieve maximal light absorption. But reduced thickness also reduces potential power conversion efficiency.

Eclipse Chasers

When the Moon passes between Earth and the Sun, thereby totally or partially obscuring our view of the Sun, we witness a solar eclipse. It happens due to ‘crazy coincidence: the Moon is 400 times smaller than the Sun, but it’s also 400 times closer.’ This means that, from Earth, the Moon appears large enough to block our view of the Sun. The Moon does not cast a shadow over the entire Earth at once, but rather, is seen over a particular spot.

“Silver Buckshot” for Energy Transition

Australia had installed more renewable generation infrastructure in the three years leading up to 2020 than the thirty years prior. While these are positive steps, Australia also has the highest per-capita greenhouse gas emissions of any other advanced economy, and is nowhere near close to reaching its Paris Agreement goals. Victoria’s Gas Substitution Roadmap is a step in the right direction.

In Lieu of Laughing Gas: STEMM Comedy Shows

Scientific research is a largely publicly funded endeavour, yet often made less accessible by jargon, academic journal paywalls, and other forms of gatekeeping. Good communication of science is imperative for evidence-based policy and a well-informed general public. Why not take it on through comedy? Both science and comedy require a willingness to adapt and tinker with ideas until things work.

Cracking the Code

While initiatives to increase the number of women studying STEM are important, it is equally important to create employment opportunities where these women can apply their learning in real-life environments. “You can’t be what you can’t see” – so if we encourage our girls to study STEM but they cannot see their mothers or other female role models working as scientists, technologists, engineers, or mathematicians, then what exactly is the point?