January 12, 2001

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  Assembly Line Wizardry

In today's typical U.S. automobile manufacturing plant, production components are pulled off the assembly line at regular intervals and torn down for inspection. Not only is this a time-consuming and costly procedure, it is also only a statistical sampling and not an inspection of every component that is manufactured.  Researchers are developing new nondestructive evaluative imaging techniques for the assembly line that will be able to immediately spot component problems and flaws.

 Supernovae On Demand

This spring, the Hubble Space Telescope will observe nearby supernovae in the act of exploding with the target stars to be supplied "on demand" for the first time.  Spectra from these nearby supernovae will be used to calibrate measurements of the accelerating expansion of the universe and to determine what effects their evolutionary history may have on their use as "standard candles" to make fundamental cosmological measurements.


The Plugger, the Light Searcher, the Miniature Hydroelectric Plant, the Beeping Air Conditioner -- these are inventions to be built here by four children who won a nationwide EnergySmart Schools contest.

The Energy 100 Awards: 100 innovations from the Department of Energy that benefit American consumers.

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