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Energy

Professor Discovers How to Rein in Power of Tiny Particles with Potentially Big Effect

The heat generated by smartphones and other electronic devices could be harnessed to also power them, according to compelling research out of the University of California, Merced.

Physics Professor Michael Scheibner’s latest work in the emerging field of phononics – the study of quasi-particles that produce heat – indicates phonons can be harnessed to produce energy.

“Usually, phonons dissipate, but using an electric field, we can keep them in place where they are generated, and make them useful,” he said.

UC Merced Heating Up Mongolia’s Harsh Winter

One of the world’s oldest civilizations – with the worst air pollution and the coldest capital city – will employ cutting-edge technology from the newest UC campus starting in February.

Professor Roland Winston, who leads the UC Merced-based UC Solar Institute, just returned from a trip to Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia’s capital. He met with the owner of Mongolia National University, a 15-year-old institution with about 9,000 students, to discuss installing a solar-thermal unit on one of the campus buildings to generate 3 kilowatts of steam heat for a portion of the campus.

UC Merced Wraps Another Record Year

Between record enrollment and research expenditures, a massive economic impact on the San Joaquin Valley, new buildings and a visit from the new UC president, the University of California, Merced, has had a big year.

Newly appointed University of California President Janet Napolitano chose UC Merced for her first campus visit – in her first week on the job – saying the youngest UC campus is important to the UC system, but also to the Central Valley and the state.

UC Merced Hopes to Use Rooftops to Generate Electricity

UC Merced is doubling down on its solar commitment.

The campus is looking at installing rooftop solar systems on up to 11 main campus buildings and the chancellor’s residence, moving the campus closer to meeting its Triple Zero commitment and saving money.

A request for proposals was issued in October, and campus planners and sustainability leaders will look at what vendors come up with before making any decisions.

Summer Research Takes UC Merced Around the Globe

Just because it’s summertime doesn’t mean research at UC Merced comes to a halt.

Just the opposite.

This summer, professors and students at all levels are conducting a variety of research projects on campus, off campus, in the oceans and forests and around the world.

Up in Yosemite National Park, for example, nine undergraduate students are getting a summer experience to last them a lifetime, conducting research with faculty researchers from UC Merced, scientists from the U.S. Geologic Survey and from the park.

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