I'm as big a solar energy enthusiast as anyone — it is, literally, our best chance of preventing dangerous climate change — but I can understand the fact that some people find solar panels unsightly. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder — where I might see the bright, shiny energy source of the future, others will see an ugly metallic carbuncle. That means that not everyone wants to position panels on the roof of their home.
The obvious solution for those who don't like the look of solar panels (aside from less obvious solutions like giant solar crystal balls) are solar roof tiles. They look more or less like regular roof tiles.
But there's a new option for the aesthetically demanding: special windows that can capture the light that hits them.
Researchers at Los Alamos National Laboratory and the University of Milano-Bicocca have created a transparent solar window. They embedded quantum dots (nanocrystals made of semiconducting materials already used in solar panel systems to capture energy) into a transparent polymer. And because solar cells don't absorb all the light that hits them, light still comes through the window.
The real test, of course, will be whether these new window materials ever become cost competitive in the way that solar panels — and solar tiles, which use the same materials — are rapidly becoming. Because the technology is still being pioneered, it's still impossible to say. But considering how invisible solar windows would be in comparison to rooftop panels, this is almost certainly something lots of people will want, creating a large potential market. John Aziz
President Donald Trump was sworn into office Friday in Washington, D.C., and after being administered the presidential oath by Chief Justice John Roberts he delivered his inaugural address to the nation. Standing on the West Front of the U.S. Capitol Building, Trump struck a populist tone reminiscent of the themes of his campaign. "This moment is your moment. It belongs to you," he said. "Jan. 20, 2017, will be remembered as the day the people became the rulers of this nation again."
Trump lamented the state of U.S. education and manufacturing while sending a nationalist economic message, saying, "Protection will lead to great prosperity and strength." He also echoed his campaign slogan, promising that America would "start winning again — winning like never before," and he vowed to bring jobs and wealth back to the U.S.:
— Fox News (@FoxNews) January 20, 2017
Standing in front of a dais full of elected officials, Trump criticized do-nothing politicians while simultaneously calling for unity around his movement. But observers noted his speech was notably angry for an inaugural address, which new presidents typically use to espouse themes of hope and bipartisanship:
Trump has not mentioned "unity,""bipartisanship" or "working together," usual inaugural themes
— John Bresnahan (@BresPolitico) January 20, 2017
A combative inaugural address, true to Trump's campaign tenor & the vision he projected all along. American carnage or American greatness.
— Daniel McCarthy (@ToryAnarchist) January 20, 2017
Trump also called the state of gangs and drugs in the nation akin to "American carnage." But "that was the past. Now, we are looking only to the future," Trump said. "From this day forward, a new vision will govern our land. From this day forward, it's going to be only: America first." Kimberly Alters
Moments after he was sworn into office, President Donald Trump declared Jan. 20, 2017, his Inauguration Day, "the day the people became the rulers of this nation again." Reviving the populist themes of his presidential campaign in his inaugural address, Trump said, "The forgotten people of this country will be forgotten no longer."
— Good Morning America (@GMA) January 20, 2017
Trump declared that what "truly matters" is not whether the government is controlled by the Republican Party or the Democratic Party, but by "the people." The nation, Trump said, exists to "serve its people." Becca Stanek
President Donald Trump painted an apocalyptic picture of the United States during his inaugural address, describing factories "scattered like tombstones across the land" and the ravages of "drugs" and "gangs."
"This American carnage stops right here and stops right now," Trump vowed.
— POLITICO (@politico) January 20, 2017
If you had been mulling over "American carnage" for a band name, you're going to want to get on that pretty quick. Jeva Lange
President Donald Trump vowed to "rebuild our country and restore its promise for all of our people" in his first words after being sworn in as commander-in-chief.
— ABC News (@ABC) January 20, 2017
Trump stressed that "we are transferring power from Washington, D.C., and giving it back to you, the people."
"This is your country," Trump said. "What truly matters is not what party controls the government, but if our government is controlled by the people." Trump additionally thanked former President Obama and former first lady Michelle Obama for their "gracious aid throughout this transition." Jeva Lange
Both President-elect Donald Trump and Vice President-elect Mike Pence have now officially been sworn in as the United States' president and vice president, respectively. Watch Trump and Pence take their official oaths of office below. Becca Stanek
— Fox News (@FoxNews) January 20, 2017
— BuzzFeed News (@BuzzFeedNews) January 20, 2017
On Friday, Donald Trump was sworn in as the 45th president of the United States on the steps of the Capitol Building in Washington, D.C. Minutes after Mike Pence was sworn in as vice president, Trump was administered the presidential oath of office by Chief Justice John Roberts, officially replacing Barack Obama as the nation's commander in chief. Trump then began his inaugural address at the West Front of the Capitol Building.
Earlier Friday, Trump attended a prayer service at St. John's Episcopal Church before heading to the White House, where he was welcomed by Barack and Michelle Obama at the North Portico.
Trump's inauguration drew thousands of supporters to the National Mall, though fierce protests broke out on the streets of D.C. and across the country. Kimberly Alters
President-elect Donald Trump has arrived at his inaugural ceremony. Watch America's next president make his grand entrance — and fail to greet former President Bill Clinton and Hillary Clinton along the way. Becca Stanek
— CNN Politics (@CNNPolitics) January 20, 2017