Tornadoes and severe thunderstorms kill people and damage property every year. Estimated U.S. insured losses due to severe thunderstorms in the first half of 2016 were $8.5 billion. The largest U.S. impacts of tornadoes result from tornado outbreaks, sequences of tornadoes that occur in close succession. Last spring a research team led by Michael Tippett published a study showing that the average number of tornadoes during outbreaks—large-scale weather events that can last one to three days and span huge regions—has risen since 1954. But they were not sure why.
Yuan Yang, assistant professor of materials science and engineering at Columbia Engineering, has developed a new method to increase the energy density of lithium (Li-ion) batteries. He has built a trilayer structure that is stable even in ambient air, which makes the battery both longer lasting and cheaper to manufacture. The work, which may improve the energy density of lithium batteries by 10-30%, is published online today in Nano Letters.
APAM faculty, including Katayun Barmak, Alexander Gaeta, Michal Lipson, Chris Marianetti, Aron Pinczuk, Vincent Quenneville-Bélair, Michael Weinstein, Francesco Volpe, Shalom Wind, Yuan Yang and Nanfang Yu, are featured in Columbia Engineering News. (Photos by Eileen Barroso & Jeffrey Schifman)