Science paper

Our group’s paper is on the front page of Science!
http://science.sciencemag.org/content/351/6280/1430

Basically, a new variety of solar cells called perovskites can re-use light rather than letting it go to waste. Some light hitting solar cells moves electrons around but does not result in electricity, but in these perovskite cells we find that this electron movement can turn back into light rather than being wasted. These solar cells have already generated enormous interest from researchers and businesses due to achieving high levels of efficiency in a very short time and this research suggests an extra factor that might allow us to improve them further. Their best efficiency has recently overtaken conventionally designed silicon solar cell efficiencies and this trick we’ve learned about is what makes the best simple solar cells (made of gallium arsenide) work so well – they make light tens of times before current is generated. There are a number of problems with implementing the same tricks in current perovskite cells (and it’s nowhere near as efficient as in gallium arsenide), but this is another reason to think there is a bright future for solar energy!

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Oceanic Nutrient Cycles

 

Imagine the ocean, filled with glistening globules, falling,
this slow-mo downpour of snow serenely flows underwater
so I guess we ought to call it marine snow
and I guess you want to know what it is

It’s snot and junk and fishy gunk
gluey poo, dead planton too.
In tiny specks these things can float
but gravity grows as they too bloat
when bits stick to each sticky overcoat.
This is the nutrient link feeds the deep seas
a carbon sink stronger than trees
but if nutrients sink what feeds the heights?
Algae need to drink in more than lights.

Well the rivers are givers but it isn’t enough
some sun-shunning organisms dissolve falling stuff
but one grand brand of creaturea dredges the deeps
and ensures things don’t stay down for keeps:
the whale can go both high and low
and as swimming pools show,
mammal poo often floats
so whales may vent pink fecal plumes
which plankton, algae then consumes
and a new place of life blooms upon the map
come fish – feast – here be whale crap
and their poo too falls and festers,
broken down by micro-digesters
and it snows again.
Christmas on the abyss below
too dark for any plant to grow.

Then sailors became whalers and with slow whale birth
such travesty, this majesty near wiped off earth
and the fauna that adorn an ocean
starve without this marvel’s motion
for so valuable it seems is the iron in their cack
that killing whales, which eat krill, sets krill numbers back
Sure, sharks and squid will eat what’s hid
nearby, but what’s slid
down will not come back.
When these species we attack,
it’s only a biodiversity disaster
if we kill them faster
than they feed and breed
So another occupation that’s alright in moderation is fishing
but some smaller fish are just as nutrish
as one larger fish that makes a whole dish
but will cause the demolition
of the fish’n chip shops
when the fishing just stops
cause the larger fish take longer to grow
and there ain’t that many more in the sea doncha know.
Yet with whale-oiled algae, the whole sea, whole world can feast
But the cycle only spins when the greatest serve the least.

 

Irritable bowel syndrome

I have irritable bowel syndrome
About this condition, not much is known
Is it caused by the germs in my gut,
or a brain too fed up to talk sense to my stomach?
Scientists flummoxed
how yoga and yogurt
both make it not so hurt
how antidepressents its cessance has shown
but fibre can also work fine alone
or nothing.

Sometime I wish my brain could float free of this mess of a body
but its roots run too deep
there’s a billion neurones nested in your gut
that interact with a hundred trillion bacteria
that’s more than all the other cells here
consider this fact and see
it’s incredible that we find anything edible
that only 10% of us feel this resent
when our stomach’s pouring acid on infested intestines
our passages unpackaging the gloop we’ve ingested
it’s hardly surprising digestive unrest
increases our chances of being depressed

but for me
it’s when this disease of my bowel won’t abate
late at night that excitement keeps me awake
to write poetry
see my inspirations
are bowel irritation and sleep deprivation
so any gurgling sounds you hear
are the oozings of ideas
that arise from the writhe of my duodenum’s side
for between my gut and mind we find the source
of this bile, logical style
so why live in denial?
It’s far sweeter revealing how your gut is feeling
in speech and in poem than in growl and gut groan
so for the rest of you
may I suggest that you share your own syndrome?