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What fax machines can teach us about electric cars

Imagine if you could gas up your GM car only at GM gas stations. Or if you had to find a gas station servicing cars made from 2005 to 2012 to fill up your 2011 vehicle. It would be inconvenient and frustrating, right? This is the problem electric vehicle owners face every day when trying to recharge their cars. The industry’s failure, so far, to create a universal charging system demonstrates why setting standards is so important – and so difficult.

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Can lasers make controlled nuclear fusion happen?

Controlled nuclear fusion has been a holy grail for physicists who seek an endless supply of clean energy. Rather than heating atoms to temperatures found inside the sun or smashing them in a collider, say scientists, it might be possible to nudge them close enough to fuse by using shaped laser pulses: ultrashort, tuned bursts of coherent light.

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