Wednesday, January 11, 2006

Science Lessons Courtesy of Warren Ellis

Iron Man[Dave/Scott]
I routinely check Warren Ellis’ weblog from time to time since he has a knack for posting rather interesting articles every once in a while. Ellis is a comic writer that enjoys grounding his stories with real-world facts or scientific theory. These two articles are a bit hokey, but they were interesting reads.

▫ Israeli Nanotech Armor
Recommended Reading:New Nanotech Armor Called 5 Times Stronger than Steel.” World 9 Jan. 2006.

If this is true, the Palestinians have no chance, at least militarily when this stuff is in full scale production in a couple years. Here’s a snippet:
ApNano has tested armor said to be five times stronger than steel and twice as strong as any impact-resistant material used in protective gear.

Last year, a sample of the ApNano material was subjected to tests in which a steel projectile traveling at a speed of up to 1.5 kilometers per second slammed into the material.
Those crazy Israelis. First they give us the uzi submachine gun, now this?

▫ Make the Jump into Hyperspace
Recommended Reading:Take a Leap into Hyperspace.” New Scientist Space. 5 Jan. 2005.
Star Wars geeks rejoice! Well, it’s only a theoretical paper. Here’s a piece of the article:
Every year, the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics awards prizes for the best papers presented at its annual conference. Last year's winner in the nuclear and future flight category went to a paper calling for experimental tests of an astonishing new type of engine. According to the paper, this hyperdrive motor would propel a craft through another dimension at enormous speeds. It could leave Earth at lunchtime and get to the moon in time for dinner. There's just one catch: the idea relies on an obscure and largely unrecognised kind of physics. Can they possibly be serious?

The AIAA is certainly not embarrassed. What's more, the US military has begun to cast its eyes over the hyperdrive concept, and a space propulsion researcher at the US Department of Energy's Sandia National Laboratories has said he would be interested in putting the idea to the test. And despite the bafflement of most physicists at the theory that supposedly underpins it, Pavlos Mikellides, an aerospace engineer at the Arizona State University in Tempe who reviewed the winning paper, stands by the committee's choice. "Even though such features have been explored before, this particular approach is quite unique," he says.
Those who believe themselves to be scientifically inclined should give the full article a look. It gets somewhat technical about how this idea should work.
Song of the Moment: “Iron Man” by Black Sabbath


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