For all you Jackie Chan fans out there, here’s some interesting news. In this month’s journal of Nature Communications, scientists confirmed that the action movie star’s film, Police Story 3: Supercop, had a role to play in a scientific breakthrough!
Scientists from Northwestern University were studying light in photovoltaic panels, hoping to figure out how to better order the photons in the panel. You see, the photon lights stimulate the silicon components in the photovoltaic panel, a process which eventually generates electricity. The problem was that the photons were often ordered incorrectly, resulting in a loss of energy and a beneath-optimal capacity.
But the researchers would have a genuine ‘eureka’ moment when they decided to bake the ripples of a Blu Ray disc into the base of the generating unit. Surprisingly, the Blu Ray disc’s surface ordered light in a much more efficient way. Utilising the surface texture, they might be able to more efficiently stimulate the silicon. Re-purposing a nearby copy of Police Story 3, a favourite film of the group, they decided to experiment with the idea. And suddenly the photovoltaic panel lit up!
In a stroke of good humour, the researchers went on to state that any Blu Ray disc can be used, not just Jackie Chan’s films. The findings are being hailed as a solution to the common problem of solar panel efficiency. Recent discussions have centred on the relative difficulty in conducting electricity and the sometimes inefficient methods used within the panels.
As the world becomes more scientifically capable, it’s amazing that it’s still possible to stumble upon a great invention while inspired by the most rudimentary inclinations. This heartening study highlights the benefits of thinking outside of the box and embracing the tried-and-tested spirit of innovation. Thanks to a handy copy of Police Story 3: Supercop, we may yet find a salient solution to the problem of photons in photovoltaic panels!
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