EmDrive. Q drive. Cannae drive. All of these are a class of devices known as resonant cavity thrusters, and for the past few years they've been popping up in the media from time to time. What's the big idea? Take an ordinary household magnetron (you'll find one in every microwave oven). Use it to pump... Continue Reading →
It's the year 2015... a year that seemed to be the distant future when I was a kid. We partied like it's 1999. We survived The End Of The World As We Know It™ in 2000. We made it! We're living in the future! We have smart phones, smart TVs, smart appliances. So... why hasn't... Continue Reading →
Years ago, when I was a young American engineering student, I was taught to believe that the metric system is some kinda filthy hippie Euro-commie anti-freedom plot. Sorta like water fluoridation, the JFK assassination, and Crocs. One thing I always liked about the metric system (or technically SI, the Système International d'Unités) was its usage... Continue Reading →
Today's A-to-Z Challenge is brought to you by the letter W. W is for Wireless. Today, the term wireless conjures up thoughts of smartphones, tablets, Bluetooth headsets, and the IEEE 802.11a/b/g/n/ac protocol. Wireless is the technology that lets us live our lives unburdened by a tangle of ethernet cables and curly telephone cords. Wireless freed... Continue Reading →
On Quaoar, Kuiper Belt Objects, and the controversial demotion of Pluto. Quaoar arrived on the astronomical scene during a period of turmoil. You see, it was not alone...
For day fifteen of the A-to-Z challenge, I thought I would take a brief break from fiction and take a look at a type of space station. O is for O'Neill Cylinder, which some may know it as "Island Three," where Island One and Island Two are the comparatively much smaller Stanford Torus and Bernal Sphere. Interior... Continue Reading →
So you want to leave Earth, but the idea of traveling business class on Virgin Galactic just doesn't appeal to you... Here are five science fictional ways off the planet, without the need for a spaceship.
Judging by the summer blockbuster movies, people love intense action and big explosions... It should be no surprise that there are plenty of interesting (and dangerous) weapons to be found within the science fiction genre.
The Moon holds a special place in our imaginations -- and why not? Along with the Sun and the five classical planets, the Moon is one of the few celestial objects whose apparent motion in the night sky can be seen. You can even see its disk with the naked eye -- and unlike the... Continue Reading →