Light Energy, Its Capture, and Photovoltaics

Except for nuclear and geothermal energy, all the energy on earth originally comes from the sun. Oil, coal, natural gas, and other fossil fuels were formed almost entirely by the process of plant photosynthesis—plants' method of capturing solar energy. Solar energy also provides for water evaporation, and therefore indirectly for rain and hydropower. It also continues to warm the world, powering the winds that give us wind power and the production of the biomass that provides food for all creatures. Thus it is clear that light is the major source of energy as well as a means of communication, data storage, and information display. Nanostructures are important for all of these applications.

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