As legislators discuss major new legislation for moving the United States away from its dependence on fossil fuels, Daniel Yergin, chairman of Cambridge Energy Research Associates, reflects on lessons that can be learned from previous shifts in energy use. Yergin recently released a new edition of his Pulitzer Prize–winning book, The Prize: The Epic Quest for Oil, Money and Power.
A UC Berkeley researcher uses a magnifying glass to focus sunlight onto a small plastic boat. Nanotubes at one end of the boat absorb the sun’s heat, propelling the boat through the water. The second video shows a rotor that works on the same principle. A similar design could be used to make simple solar-powered pumps.