The end of the twentieth century witnessed a transformation in the power of light. It has already revolutionized communications and promises to do the same for illumination, in both cases resulting in substantial savings in energy.
The microelectronic transformation of the communications infrastructure which occurred over the last two decades is based on the capacity of semiconductors such as silicon to control electric currents. That control depends on a feature called the 'band gap' and it is the characteristics of that gap which determine which electrons are blocked from travelling through the semiconductor.
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The solar Stirling engine is progressively becoming a viable alternative to solar panels for its higher efficiency. Stirling engines might be the best way to harvest the power provided by the sun. This is an easy-to-understand explanation of how Stirling engines work, the different types, and why they are more efficient than steam engines.