My watch list
my.chemeurope.com  
Login  

Hawaiian scientists take their test tubes surfing

24-Sep-2008

Robert Liu

A girl holds the surfboard reactor on a beach in Hawaii.

Chemists have traded their white coats for swim shorts at the University of Hawaii, Honolulu – they've shunned the lab so they can swim out to the breakers with a test-tube built into a boogie-board.

The glorious sunshine and the Pacific Ocean provide the perfect conditions for Robert Liu and colleagues' photochemical reactions, which use the sun's rays to make variants of vitamin A. The excess heat from the reaction is then effortlessly dissipated by the sea, presumably as the highly skilled chemist completes the reaction by riding a huge wave back to the beach.

The team show off their new surf reactor in the RSC journal Green Chemistry, including a few photos of the locals combining two Hawaiian passions – surfing and science.

Liu says the boogie-board reactor has "allowed us to tap the Pacific Ocean as an immense heat sink for the dissipation of the excess thermal energy discharged from the solar reactor, while at the same time it injects 'sun and fun' into our photochemical program."

Scaling up the reaction is easy too – just use a bigger surfboard, says Liu.

Facts, background information, dossiers
More about Royal Society of Chemistry
More about University of Hawaii
  • News

    Newly discovered planet may have water on its surface

    A team of astronomers that includes the University of Hawaiʻi' at Manoa's Nader Haghighipour has announced the discovery of a planet that could have liquid water on its surface. The planet, which is probably 30 percent larger than Earth, was discovered using one of the telescopes of the W. ... more

    Hawaiian scientists take their test tubes surfing

    Chemists have traded their white coats for swim shorts at the University of Hawaii, Honolulu – they've shunned the lab so they can swim out to the breakers with a test-tube built into a boogie-board. The glorious sunshine and the Pacific Ocean provide the perfect conditions for Robert Liu ... more

Your browser is not current. Microsoft Internet Explorer 6.0 does not support some functions on Chemie.DE