Where the Most Important Part of Your Battery Comes From

Lithium's kind of a big deal. It powers everything from our gadgets to our cars—really our entire modern world. And that's not changing any time soon; some analysts estimate that demand could grow up to 25% over the next several years. But how does one harness the power of a metal that bursts into flame every time it… » 7/02/13 3:57pm 7/02/13 3:57pm

What Biofuel Is (And Where It Comes From)

Cars didn't always run on gasoline. Henry Ford envisioned his Model T's puttering along with tanks fully of ethanol. Early diesel engines ran on peanut oil. Of course, the discovery of massive petroleum reserves at the turn of the 20th century quickly put the brakes on that notion—why bother creating biofuel when… » 6/12/13 4:07pm 6/12/13 4:07pm

How Much Would It Cost to Build the Starship Enterprise?

So you want to build the Enterprise. Don't we all! Well good news: according to some quick, messy, napkin math, it's possible. Kind of. The bad news? It's going to be stupid expensive. But not unfathomably so! Start scrounging up your space-pennies. » 5/17/13 11:14am 5/17/13 11:14am