Accidental finding could lead to full-spectrum solar cell

Researchers have found that the electrical properties of the semiconductor indium nitride are different from what been previously thought — by a wide margin. The result is that an alloy incorporating the material can convert virtually the full spectrum of sunlight — from the near infrared to the far ultraviolet — to electrical current. “It’s as if nature designed this material on purpose to match the solar spectrum,” said one researcher involved.

Magnetic processes in space can accelerate electrons to near light speed

A chance observation of high-energy electrons emanating from a tiny region of space where the sun and Earth’s magnetic fields intertwine provides the first solid evidence that a process called magnetic reconnection accelerates electrons to near the speed of light in the Earth’s magnetosphere and perhaps throughout the universe where magnetic fields entangle.