« CNN Reporter Spins For Zarqawi's Weapon Incompetence | Main | Rummy's Heckler: Anti-Semitic Conspiracy-Theory Peddler (And Defender of Mary McCarthy, Natch!) »
May 05, 2006

Star Trek Rising: Anti-Matter Fuel, Cloaking Device In Research

Anti-matter fuel:

Warp drives may be the stuff of science fiction, but another Star Trek staple appears to be edging toward science fact.

The energy source that enables the starship Enterprise to boldly go where no one has gone before has, according to one controversial new claim, moved much closer to reality.

A New Mexico company has just completed its initial studies of an antimatter-powered rocket that it hopes will someday take astronauts to Mars in 90 days or less.

...

In the 1950s Austrian engineer Eugen Sänger first suggested using positron-electron annihilations to power spacecraft. But one of the chief problems that dogged his efforts was storage.

...

Positronics' researchers base their novel antimatter rocket design on published studies that an electrically neutral positron atom could be artificially held together for at least several years.

The atoms, called positronium, consist of an electron and positron orbiting each other. Normally positronium can exist for only fractions of a millisecond before the two mirror particles annihilate each other.

However, in a series of papers published in the journals Physical Review Letters and Physical Review in 1997 and 1998, a team of German and U.S. theorists calculated that the right combination of electric and magnetic fields would stretch out the positronium like a barbell and greatly reduce the probability of the electrons and positrons annihilating.

"We've done the calculations," Smith said. "And it's not uncommon to find that the lifetime [of the enhanced positronium] is [practically] infinite."

Cloaking device:

The cloaking devices that are used to render spacecraft invisible in Star Trek might just work in reality, two mathematicians have claimed.

They have outlined their concept in a research paper published in one of the UK Royal Society's scientific journals.

Nicolae Nicorovici and Graeme Milton propose that placing certain objects close to a material called a superlens could make them appear to vanish.

It would rely on an effect known as "anomalous localised resonance".

However, the authors have so far only done the maths to verify that the concept could work. Building such a device would undoubtedly pose a significant challenge.

...

The phenomenon is analogous to a tuning fork (which rings with a single sound frequency) being placed next to a wine glass. The wine glass will start to ring with the same frequency; it resonates.

The cloaking effect would exploit a resonance with light waves rather than sound waves.

The concept is at such a primitive stage that scientists are talking only at the moment of being able to cloak particles of dust - not spaceships.

In this example, an illuminated speck of dust would scatter light at frequencies that induce a strong, finely tuned resonance in a cloaking material placed very close by.

The resonance effectively cancels out the light bouncing off the speck of dust, rendering the dust particle invisible.

One way to construct a cloaking device is to use a superlens, made of recently discovered materials that force light to behave in unusual ways.

And a little bonus from Allah. Not really very Star Trek, but a 30cm high robot is now running at record speeds, 3.5 stride-lengths per second.


digg this
posted by Ace at 12:05 AM

| Access Comments




Recent Comments
BackwardsBoy [/i][/s][/b]: "[I]Here's hoping that the NBA follows the NFL down ..."

Bitter Clinger and All That (Back from the Dead): "So. Shart thread yesterday. Today I had a little " ..."

Anon a mouse...: "Here's something lovely to soothe the Horde's woun ..."

flounder, rebel, vulgarian, deplorable, winner: "Sorry for your loss, Anna Puma. ..."

Witwickian Sage: "well, northam just put out a folksy ass ad on rush ..."

fixerupper: "The GOP is a useless pile of dog shit. Posted by: ..."

Deplorable Male Logic: " 290 Why is a congresswoman wearing a stripper's ..."

Jane D'oh: "Here's something lovely to soothe the Horde's woun ..."

Anon a mouse...: "And the horde is off and running." Depends... ..."

buzzion: "[I]338 332 Samantha Power. I though the anal warts ..."

Sphynx: " 327 >>I think they're putting olestra in them ..."

navybrat: "No one is going to jail, ever. Promotions will b ..."

Recent Entries
Search


MuNuvians
Polls! Polls! Polls!
Frequently Asked Questions
The (Almost) Complete Paul Anka Integrity Kick
Top Top Tens
Greatest Hitjobs

The Ace of Spades HQ Sex-for-Money Skankathon
A D&D Guide to the Democratic Candidates
Margaret Cho: Just Not Funny
More Margaret Cho Abuse
Margaret Cho: Still Not Funny
Iraqi Prisoner Claims He Was Raped... By Woman
Wonkette Announces "Morning Zoo" Format
John Kerry's "Plan" Causes Surrender of Moqtada al-Sadr's Militia
World Muslim Leaders Apologize for Nick Berg's Beheading
Michael Moore Goes on Lunchtime Manhattan Death-Spree
Milestone: Oliver Willis Posts 400th "Fake News Article" Referencing Britney Spears
Liberal Economists Rue a "New Decade of Greed"
Artificial Insouciance: Maureen Dowd's Word Processor Revolts Against Her Numbing Imbecility
Intelligence Officials Eye Blogs for Tips
They Done Found Us Out, Cletus: Intrepid Internet Detective Figures Out Our Master Plan
Shock: Josh Marshall Almost Mentions Sarin Discovery in Iraq
Leather-Clad Biker Freaks Terrorize Australian Town
When Clinton Was President, Torture Was Cool
What Wonkette Means When She Explains What Tina Brown Means
Wonkette's Stand-Up Act
Wankette HQ Gay-Rumors Du Jour
Here's What's Bugging Me: Goose and Slider
My Own Micah Wright Style Confession of Dishonesty
Outraged "Conservatives" React to the FMA
An On-Line Impression of Dennis Miller Having Sex with a Kodiak Bear
The Story the Rightwing Media Refuses to Report!
Our Lunch with David "Glengarry Glen Ross" Mamet
The House of Love: Paul Krugman
A Michael Moore Mystery (TM)
The Dowd-O-Matic!
Liberal Consistency and Other Myths
Kepler's Laws of Liberal Media Bias
John Kerry-- The Splunge! Candidate
"Divisive" Politics & "Attacks on Patriotism" (very long)
The Donkey ("The Raven" parody)
News/Chat
Archives
Powered by
Movable Type 2.64