Energy, Environment, and Smart Systems

Physics Professor Shawn-Yu Lin Breaks New Ground in Thermal Radiation Revolutionary discovery could advance solar energy conversion

Troy, N.Y. - Nano-photonics expert and physics professor Shawn-Yu Lin has discovered a new type of thermal radiation—in between the two extremes of blackbody radiation and laser light—that could contribute to a cheaper, easier solution for converting sunlight to electricity.

RPI Lighting Experts Study Safer European Headlight Technology

The disconcerting and often dangerous sensation of being blinded by an oncoming driver who failed to turn down high-beam headlights may become a thing of the past, if European headlight technology can pass muster in the U.S. Some testing on the lights is being done at the Lighting Research Center at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, where senior researcher John Bullough is examining the so-called "matrix lights" on an Audi A7 luxury sedan.

To sleep, perchance

Screens before bedtime harm sleep. The effect is biggest for teenagers. Mariana Figueiro and her colleagues at the Lighting Research Center at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in Troy, New York, studied people aged 15 to 17. Melatonin levels were 23% lower after an hour of looking at a screen. After two hours, they were 38% lower.

Babbage: LEDtime

The latest light & health study by Rensselaer Professor Mariana Figueiro of the Lighting Research Center is presented in this audio piece that was featured on the homepage of



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About Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute

Founded in 1824, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute is America’s first technological research university. Rensselaer encompasses five schools, over 30 research centers, more than 140 academic programs including 25 new programs, and a dynamic community made up of over 6,800 students and 104,000 living alumni. Rensselaer faculty and alumni include upwards of 155 National Academy members, six members of the National Inventors Hall of Fame, six National Medal of Technology winners, five National Medal of Science winners, and a Nobel Prize winner in Physics. With nearly 200 years of experience advancing scientific and technological knowledge, Rensselaer remains focused on addressing global challenges with a spirit of ingenuity and collaboration. To learn more, please visit