Archive for ‘Technology’

September 20, 2012

MP Bulletin Xtra: The Warp Drive Could Become Science Fact

New calculations of the energy required to warp spacetime suggest the Star Trek propulsion favorite could be tested.

A warp drive to achieve faster-than-light travel — a concept popularized in television’s Star Trek — may not be as unrealistic as once thought, scientists say.

A warp drive would manipulate space-time itself to move a starship, taking advantage of a loophole in the laws of physics that prevent anything from moving faster than light. A concept for a real-life warp drive was suggested in 1994 by Mexican physicist Miguel Alcubierre, however subsequent calculations found that such a device would require prohibitive amounts of energy.

About these ads
June 23, 2012

MP Bulletin Extra: Oh NO! The Space Drones are Coming! [video]

The U.S. Air Force’s robotic X-37B space plane finally returned to Earth Saturday (June 16), wrapping up a mysterious mission that lasted more than year in orbit.

The unmanned X-37B spacecraft, also known as Orbital Test Vehicle-2 (OTV-2), glided back to Earth on autopilot, touching down at California’s Vandenberg Air Force Base at 5:48 a.m. PDT this morning. The landing brought to an end the X-37B program’s second-ever spaceflight, a mission that lasted more than 15 months with objectives that remain shrouded in secrecy.

May 31, 2012

The Daily Scoop: Star Trek Sci-Fi Gadgets become Reality

MIT Researchers Create Star Trek-Style Needleless Injections

Read more…

March 18, 2012

MP Bulletin Extra: Why Legos are the most ingenious toy ever

via Slate:
Scientists at Cambridge University prove that in this video, using Lego robots to create artificial bones. Making the bone structures is time-consuming and extremely repetitive, making it a great job for robots. It’s a task that could be done by expensive, specialized bots, but as we see here, robotics doesn’t always have to be so complicated. “The importance in science is the creativity in going forward,” Cambridge lecturer Michelle Oyen says in the video. “It’s not exactly what tools you use to get there.”

January 28, 2012

The Daily Scoop: Microbubbles Cut Cost of Algae-Derived Biofuel

Some positve news on the biofuel front.

Algae naturally produce oil. When it’s processed, that oil can be turned into biofuel, an alternative energy source. There’s just one snag—harvesting the oil from algae-filled water is prohibitively expensive. But researchers have come up with an effervescent solution: bubbles smaller than the width of a human hair can help reduce the costs of collecting algae oil.

So-called microbubbles are already used for water purification—they surround contaminants and float them out of the liquid. Similarly, in water containing algae, bubbles can float the algae to the surface for easy collection and processing.

The research builds on previous work that used microbubbles to grow algae more densely and thus increase production. This time, however, the researchers produced the fizziness with a new method that uses far less energy, and is cheaper to install. The study is in the journal Biotechnology and Bioengineering. [James Hanotu, HC Hemaka Bandulasena and William B Zimmerman, Microflotation performance for algal separation]

Although microbubbles improve algae harvesting in the lab, they still have to work at larger scales. The researchers are planning a pilot program for an algae biofuel plant, in the hope of making really green energy.
60-Second Science from Scientific American

Partha Das Sharma Weblog

From Partha Das Sharma Weblog

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 294 other followers