The Oriental Hornet Harvests … Solar Energy

flegel-hornetGeorg Flegel 1566-1638
Narcissus, Iris, Fritillaria, and Hornet



In the process of photosynthesis, plants take the sun’s energy and convert it to electrical energy.
“The interesting thing here is that a living biological creature does a thing like that,” says physicist Prof. David Bergman of Tel Aviv University‘s School of Physics and Astronomy.

The brown and yellow stripes on the Oriental Hornet abdomen can absorb solar radiation, and the yellow pigment transforms that into electric power.
The brown shell of the hornet is made from grooves that split light into diverging beams. The yellow stripe on the abdomen is made from pinhole depressions, and contains a pigment called xanthopterin. Together, the light diverging grooves, pinhole depressions and xanthopterin change light into electrical energy. The shell traps the light and the pigment does the conversion.

Researchers plan to refine the model to see if this bio-mimicry can give clues to novel renewable energy solutions.

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