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Protecting self-driving cars from cosmic rays, size limits for wind farms

29 Jul 2021, 15:24 UTC
Protecting self-driving cars from cosmic rays, size limits for wind farms
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As you listen to this episode of the Physics World Weekly podcast, your phone will be struck by particles created by collisions of cosmic rays with atoms in the atmosphere. The vast majority of these particles have no effect on digital electronics, but very occasionally they can flip a bit. While this is usually harmless, it can have dire effects on critical systems such as those in aircraft and driverless cars ā€“ as Physics Worldā€™s Tushna Commissariat explains.

In 2021, 6.1% of electricity worldwide was generated by wind ā€“ and the percentage can be much higher in windy countries like Denmark and the UK. However, as the size and number of wind farms continues to increase, engineers must be mindful that the efficiency of a wind turbine can be reduced significantly by the presence of its neighbours, as Enrico Antonini of the Carnegie Institution for Science, Department of Global Ecology at Stanford University explains.
Also in this episode, we chat about the latest discovery in twistronics; that twisted trilayer graphene may be a rare type of superconductor.
The post Protecting self-driving cars from cosmic rays, size limits for wind farms appeared first on Physics World.

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