1. PLANTS. Are we exploring synthetic photosynthesis? Plants convert sunlight into sugar in a remarkably efficient manner, and using a variety of leaf macro-structures. Can a solar cell be developed out of protein instead of silicon?
2. BACTERIA. I still think the bacteria which glow inside aqueous cells inside animal/piscine hosts could be adopted and adapted to live in synthetic environments which need low level light. Consider the new materials -- for example, synthetic peptides developed by Shuguang Zhang (MIT). If we imbed the cells in plant hosts, we would have trees that provide shade in daylight and moonlight at night.
3. PROTEIN. Photosynthetic proteins from spinach and Rhodobacter sphaeroides imbedded in a peptide cell membrane on a silicon surface coated with indium tin oxide and an organic semiconductor topped with a silver electrode, create a current. Marc Baldo (MIT 2004). The beauty of this is the sandwich could be manufactured in a continous assembly line--a complex film. Even without solar cells, could be protein-based electronic devices. Protein may not degrade and could be self-repairing or replenishing.
4. NATURE. Solar energy collection and conversion has been optimized over a very long time by nature. We seem to understand this, yet we are so obsessed with burning carbon fuels we seem to overlook the model Nature presents. Nothing in Nature is burning fossil fuel for its energy source. Why do we?
- Did Socrates say "Know Thyself", or was he misunderstood, as all are. Show Thyself is all we can do. The knowing is unknowable. I am filled with joy. It can't be helped.
Became a Farmer, Builder, Musician, Tank Commander, Librarian, Lawyer and Minister. I have failed at many things. And now retired. Filled, just filled, with Joy.