A lot of the materials we make here at Brookhaven are too small and too precise for traditional tools — good luck trying to hammer atoms into place or screw nanoscale films together. So sometimes we don’t build materials, we grow them.
Case in point: that glowing chamber above is used to grow superconducting crystals. The infrared image furnace focuses infrared light onto a rod, melting it at temperatures of about 4,000 degrees Fahrenheit. Under just the right conditions, that liquefied material recrystallizes as a single uniform structure. One of our physicists, Genda Gu, actually pioneered techniques that grow some of the largest single-crystal high-temperature superconductors in the world.
The clincher is that these sensitive crystals aren’t in a hurry to take shape. The materials grown by those gold-lined instruments typically take a month to form.
The newly discovered planets named Kepler-62e and -f are super-Earths in the habitable zone of a distant sun-like star. The largest planet in the image, Kepler-62f, is farthest from its star and covered by ice. Kepler-62e, in the foreground, is nearer to its star and covered by dense…
University of Washington researchers and scientists at a Redmond-based space-propulsion company are currently building components of a fusion-powered rocket, which could enable astronauts to travel to Earth’s neighboring planet Mars within weeks instead of months, at speeds considerably faster than feasible until now. The current travel speeds using fuel rockets make Mars travel a journey of about four years but the new fusion technology being tested by researchers at the University of Washington promises that in 30 to 90 days.
The lab tests have proven to be successful on each part of the process and the scientists are now planning to combine the sections into a one final and overall test.
“Using existing rocket fuels, it’s nearly impossible for humans to explore much beyond Earth,” said lead researcher John Slough, a UW research associate professor of aeronautics and astronautics. “We are hoping to give us a much more powerful source of energy in space that could eventually lead to making interplanetary travel commonplace.”
The team has developed a technology using a special type of plasma that will be encased in a magnetic field. When the plasma is compressed with high pressure by the magnetic field, nuclear fusion takes place.
The process has successfully been tested by researchers and they plan on having the first full test to be done by the end of this summer.
(Photo : University of Washington) The fusion driven rocket test chamber at the UW Plasma Dynamics Lab in Redmond. The green vacuum chamber is surrounded by two large, high-strength aluminum magnets. These magnets are powered by energy-storage capacitors through the many cables connected to them.
In practice the powerful magnetic field causes large metal rings surrounding the plasma to implode which will compress it to the point of fusion. The process takes only a few microseconds but that will be enough to release heat and ionize the rings that form a shell around the plasma. The super-heated ionized metal, in turn, ejects out from the rocket at a high velocity pushing the rocket forward. Repeating the process in intervals of about 30 seconds or more can propel a spaceship.
The research was funded by NASA in hopes that the technology would ultimately replace rocket fuel and yield to much faster spacecrafts that ever built before. Scientist say that just a grain size of the material from the plasma used can equal to a gallon of rocket fuel. That by itself will reduce the size of the spacecraft and the payload considerably making deep space travel much more cost effective.
In a book coming out next week called The Bonobo and the Atheist, primatologist Frans de Waal argues that morality is built into our species. Rather than coming to us top-down from God, or any other external source, morality for de Waal springs bottom-up from our emotions and our day-to-day social interactions, which themselves evolved from foundations in animal societies.
For 30 years, de Waal has authored books about apes and monkey that open our eyes to the bottom-up origins of our human behaviors, ranging from politics to empathy. In this, his 10th volume, he extends that perspective by writing, “It wasn’t God who introduced us to morality; rather, it was the other way around. God was put into place to help us live the way we felt we ought to.”
The DOE Artificial Retina Project was a multi-institutional collaborative effort to develop and implant a device containing an array of microelectrodes into the eyes of people blinded by retinal disease. The ultimate goal was to design a device to help restore limited vision that enables reading, unaided mobility, and facial recognition.
The device is intended to bypass the damaged eye structure of those with retinitis pigmentosa and macular degeneration. These diseases destroy the light-sensing cells (photoreceptors, or rods and cones) in the retina, a multilayered membrane located at the back of the eye.For more information, see How the Artificial Retina Works.
History The DOE project builds on the foundational work of its leader, Mark Humayun at the Doheny Eye Institute of the University of Southern California. In a breakthrough operation performed in 2002, a team led by Humayun successfully implanted the first device of its kind—an array containing 16 microelectrodes—into the eye of a patient who had been blind for more than 50 years. Since then, more than 30 additional volunteers around the world have had first- or second-generation (60-electrode) devices implanted. These devices enable patients to distinguish light from dark and localize large objects. For more information, read patient stories.
Integrating revolutionary DOE technologies for useful vision Achieving the quantum improvements in resolution needed for useful vision requires the integration of revolutionary technologies such as those developed at DOE national laboratories. In 1999, the Doheny group began collaborating with researchers at DOE’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory, who also were working on approaches for restoring sight to the blind. Shortly thereafter they began to evaluate technologies at several other national laboratories as well.
To speed the design and development of better models, in 2004 Doheny and DOE (including six of its national laboratories), two additional universities, and Second Sight™ Medical Products, Inc. (a private-sector company), signed a Cooperative Research and Development Agreement. Under the agreement, the institutions jointly share intellectual property rights and royalties from their research. This spurs progress—freeing the researchers to share details of their work within the collaboration.
Argus™ I is pictured above. A retinal prosthesis contains a small implantable chip with electrodes. These electrodes stimulate the retina and help people regain limited vision.
Three models in testing and development Model 1 (Argus™ I) The Model 1 device [developed by Second Sight™ Medical Products, Inc. (SSMP)] was implanted in six blind patients between 2002 and 2004, whose ages ranged from 56 to 77 at time of implant and all of whom have retinitis pigmentosa. The device consists of a 16-electrode array in a one-inch package that allows the implanted electronics to wirelessly communicate with a camera mounted on a pair of glasses. It is powered by a battery pack worn on a belt. This implant enables patients to detect when lights are on or off, describe an object’s motion, count individual items, and locate objects in their environment. To evaluate the long-term effects of the retinal implant, five devices have been approved for home use.
Model 2 (Argus™ II) The smaller, more compact Model 2 retinal prosthesis (developed by SSMP with DOE contributions) is currently undergoing clinical trials to evaluate its safety and utility. This model is much smaller, contains 60 electrodes, and surgical implant time has been reduced from the 6 hours required for Model 1 to 2 hours.
Model 3 The Model 3 device, which will have more than 200 electrodes, has undergone extensive design and fabrication studies at the DOE national laboratories and is ready for preclinical testing. The new design uses more advanced materials than the two previous models and has a highly compact array. This array is four times more densely packed with metal contact electrodes and required wiring connecting to a microelectronic stimulator. Simulations and calculations indicated that the 200+ electrode device should provide improved vision for patients.
DOE role and funding DOE supported the design, construction, and some preclinical (nonhuman) testing of the devices. Funding was for research in the following areas:
Neuroscience imaging studies on Model 1
Some preclinical animal studies of Model 2
Design and fabrication studies of Model 3
During the funding period, the DOE Office of Science project grew from a pilot funded at $500,000 (FY 1999) to a full-scale effort with support of roughly $7 million per year. DOE funding for the project ended in FY 2011.
Synergies with others Doheny also receives other federal funding to support and extend the work on the retinal and other neural prostheses. The National Eye Institute of the National Institutes of Health, for example, supports fundamental and applied research related to the prosthesis.
Additionally, the National Science Foundation provides funding for the longer-term goals of further enhancing the retinal prosthesis and adapting the technologies to treat a wide range of other neurological disorders. For example, researchers are studying how the foundational concepts used to create the retinal prosthetic can be used to reanimate paralyzed limbs and even restore short- and long-term memory for stroke and dementia (as in Alzheimer’s disease). For more details, see Biomimetic MicroElectronic Systems.
Worldwide projects Other retinal prostheses projects are under way in the United States and world-wide, including Germany, Japan, Ireland, Australia, Korea, China, and Belgium. These programs pursue many different designs and surgical approaches. Some show great promise for the future, but have yet to demonstrate practicality in terms of adapting to and lasting long-term in a human eye. Thus far the projects that have progressed to clinical (human) trials are the collaborative DOE effort, a project at the now-defunct Optobionics (Chicago), and two efforts in Germany at Intelligent Medical Implants AG and Retinal Implant AG. [For more information on worldwide projects, see Science312, 1124-26 (2006).]
Nikola Tesla vs Thomas Edison. Epic Rap Battles of History
I was given the challenge to make something that will shoot, and make it fully printable. I settled on making a printable crossbow. In the 3rd century to make a crossbow required a team of skilled artisans and weeks of time. I figured using 21st century technology I should be able to do about the same in about a day.
The bow design was basically designed by eye by what looked good. I choose the 2mm wall thickness for it after a few test prints of strips at different thicknesses. The 2mm wall thickeness gave me what looked to be the best flexibility and durability.
When printing this bow I set Slic3r to infill the material in a concentric pattern. What this did is made the flexible in the dimensions I needed it also helped with the trigger. The bow was printed with the handle side up and with support material. The part under the trigger needed support material.
The trigger design stumped me for a while. I was originally going to steal some design from google images. All of the designs I found had far too many moving parts. I wanted the bow to be simple and not have much assembly. After drawing every trigger out, I figured I can just use the plastic as a spring, which worked great.
Concentrated solar power has the potential to generate immense amounts of energy — but it can also be amazingly destructive. American student Eric Jacqmain has assembled over 5,800 mirrors into his own parabolic ‘solar Death Ray’, which can reportedly melt through…
Bullshit. Mythbusters already busted the “solar death ray” myth.
that time Mythbuster researchers were idiots. The used flat mirrors, when archaeological evidence shows that had concave and convex mirror technology. It changes the game completely. It could still be myth, but in any case, even if the weapon could not attain the temp required to combust tar painted wood (even thoguht they did it in earlier experiements), I imagine it would have been very effective as a weapon when you bring humans’ onboard skin and armor up to high temp. background below
The 2nd century AD authorLucianwrote that during theSiege of Syracuse(c.214–212 BC), Archimedes destroyed enemy ships with fire. Centuries later,Anthemius of Trallesmentionsburning-glassesas Archimedes’ weapon.The device, sometimes called the “Archimedes heat ray”, was used to focus sunlight onto approaching ships, causing them to catch fire.
This purported weapon has been the subject of ongoing debate about its credibility since the Renaissance. René Descartes rejected it as false, while modern researchers have attempted to recreate the effect using only the means that would have been available to Archimedes. It has been suggested that a large array of highly polished bronze or copper shields acting as mirrors could have been employed to focus sunlight onto a ship. This would have used the principle of the parabolic reflector in a manner similar to a solar furnace.
A test of the Archimedes heat ray was carried out in 1973 by the Greek scientist Ioannis Sakkas. The experiment took place at the Skaramagas naval base outside Athens. On this occasion 70 mirrors were used, each with a copper coating and a size of around five by three feet (1.5 by 1 m). The mirrors were pointed at a plywood mock-up of a Roman warship at a distance of around 160 feet (50 m). When the mirrors were focused accurately, the ship burst into flames within a few seconds. The plywood ship had a coating of tar paint, which may have aided combustion. A coating of tar would have been commonplace on ships in the classical era.[d]
In October 2005 a group of students from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology carried out an experiment with 127 one-foot (30 cm) square mirror tiles, focused on a mock-up wooden ship at a range of around 100 feet (30 m). Flames broke out on a patch of the ship, but only after the sky had been cloudless and the ship had remained stationary for around ten minutes. It was concluded that the device was a feasible weapon under these conditions. The MIT group repeated the experiment for the television show MythBusters, using a wooden fishing boat in San Francisco as the target. Again some charring occurred, along with a small amount of flame. In order to catch fire, wood needs to reach its autoignition temperature, which is around 300 °C (570 °F).
When MythBusters broadcast the result of the San Francisco experiment in January 2006, the claim was placed in the category of “busted” (or failed) because of the length of time and the ideal weather conditions required for combustion to occur. It was also pointed out that since Syracuse faces the sea towards the east, the Roman fleet would have had to attack during the morning for optimal gathering of light by the mirrors. MythBusters also pointed out that conventional weaponry, such as flaming arrows or bolts from a catapult, would have been a far easier way of setting a ship on fire at short distances.
In December 2010, MythBusters again looked at the heat ray story in a special edition featuring Barack Obama, entitled President’s Challenge. Several experiments were carried out, including a large scale test with 500 schoolchildren aiming mirrors at a mock-up of a Roman sailing ship 400 feet (120 m) away. In all of the experiments, the sail failed to reach the 210 °C (410 °F) required to catch fire, and the verdict was again “busted”. The show concluded that a more likely effect of the mirrors would have been blinding, dazzling, or distracting the crew of the ship.
Concentrated solar power has the potential to generate immense amounts of energy — but it can also be amazingly destructive. American student Eric Jacqmain has assembled over 5,800 mirrors into his own parabolic ‘solar Death Ray’, which can reportedly melt through metal and concrete.
Kid after my own heart. Nothing truly innovative here, but his process was certainly innovative. He used inexpensive parts and methodology to eliminate much of the expense and skill required to make such a device. He surmised (correctly) that RF(radio frequency) concentrators (satellite dishes) work the same way as photon concentrators. I wonder what the cost is between a reused sat dish, abd tiny mirros compared to a real concentrator dish