Researchers at the National University of Singapore have developed a “shadow effect energy generator” which can make the most of the contrast between bright and dark. Plus: many kickboxers can’t compete or even train together now, so some have been taking part in a virtual shadow-kickboxing competition online.

A new device can produce electricity using shadows (Science News)

Moroccan Maria Oudghiri Wins Arab Shadow Kickboxing Virtual Championship (Morocco World News)

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“Some podcasts seemed to get all sunshine, and some all shadow.” – not Louisa May Alcott

It seems like every time I check my inbox these days there’s research showing how we can get energy from some surprisingly mundane source, and here’s one more.

There’s a study out that says we can generate power using shadows!

The full name of the device is “shadow-effect energy generator,” and the word “effect” is key here.

This isn’t about making energy out of the shadow the way that solar cells can do it with sunlight.

What it does do, as designed by a team at the National University of Singapore, is make the most of the contrast between bright and dark.

Light causes the system’s electrons to become energized (that part is like a solar panel).

When some of the device is illuminated and some is in shadow, the electrons flow through a superthin coating of gold toward the dark areas.

The device captures that flow efficiently enough to provide a usable electric current.

Right now it’s only able to power very small items, like LEDs and watches.

But if we were able to take our growing ability to generate solar power and add into that ways to put out electricity where there are shadows?

Well that would cover a lot of ground, wouldn’t it?

Here’s another bit of shadow-related news for you today: many kickboxers aren’t having competitions or even training sessions together these days.

So the Arab Kickboxing Union held a virtual competition, in which participants showed off their skills at shadow kickboxing.

You can find some of the competitors’ videos online, though I admit that as I watched them do their moves, even knowing it was virtual, I kept scooting further and further away from the screen.