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Archive for the ‘transportation’ category: Page 8

Oct 9, 2019

Flight of an aeroplane with solid-state propulsion

Posted by in categories: energy, transportation

Circa 2018


Since the first aeroplane flight more than 100 years ago, aeroplanes have been propelled using moving surfaces such as propellers and turbines. Most have been powered by fossil-fuel combustion. Electroaerodynamics, in which electrical forces accelerate ions in a fluid1,2, has been proposed as an alternative method of propelling aeroplanes—without moving parts, nearly silently and without combustion emissions3,4,5,6. However, no aeroplane with such a solid-state propulsion system has yet flown. Here we demonstrate that a solid-state propulsion system can sustain powered flight, by designing and flying an electroaerodynamically propelled heavier-than-air aeroplane. We flew a fixed-wing aeroplane with a five-metre wingspan ten times and showed that it achieved steady-level flight. All batteries and power systems, including a specifically developed ultralight high-voltage (40-kilovolt) power converter, were carried on-board. We show that conventionally accepted limitations in thrust-to-power ratio and thrust density4,6,7, which were previously thought to make electroaerodynamics unfeasible as a method of aeroplane propulsion, are surmountable. We provide a proof of concept for electroaerodynamic aeroplane propulsion, opening up possibilities for aircraft and aerodynamic devices that are quieter, mechanically simpler and do not emit combustion emissions.

Oct 8, 2019

Elon Musk: Teslas Will Soon Make “Fart” and “Goat” Noises

Posted by in categories: Elon Musk, humor, transportation

Tesla CEO Elon Musk has a weak spot for potty humor.

First, the carmaker introduced a “fart app” for its electric vehicles, which generates rude bathroom sounds.

Now, Musk says Teslas will soon be getting “customized horn and movement sounds,”— including “goats” and “farts,” according to a emoji-laden Sunday tweet.

Oct 6, 2019

WEB EXTRA: Flying Taxi in Paris

Posted by in category: transportation

SeaBubbles, a ground-breaking flying taxi that operates on water, zoomed across the River Seine in Paris on Wednesday in a demo run.

Oct 4, 2019

This is how India can become the next Silicon Valley

Posted by in categories: government, transportation

If India can continue to develop its urban centres and promote a Silicon Valley spirit of entrepreneurship, it could be in a prime position to achieve global tech hub status. Bengaluru (formerly Bangalore) in the south and Gurgaon in the north are two tech-savvy cities emblematic of India’s rapid urbanization. The country is set to become the largest contributor to the world’s urban population.


India has long branded itself as the world’s leading outsourcing destination for global companies, particularly for those in the technology sector — but in the Fourth Industrial Revolution, the time is ripe for the world’s most populous country to reinvent itself.

There is a burgeoning start-up and innovation culture, as shown by the Global Innovation Index, where India has improved its ranking from 81 to 52 between 2015 and 2019. In addition, the country has improved its reputation in terms of the risk posed to foreign investments and, in 2019, ranked third in the world in terms of attracting investment for technology transactions.

Continue reading “This is how India can become the next Silicon Valley” »

Oct 3, 2019

First-Ever Image of the ‘Cosmic Web’ Reveals the Gassy Highway That Connects the Universe

Posted by in categories: space, transportation

A groundbreaking new image provides direct evidence of a ‘cosmic web’ of gas that links every galaxy in the universe.

Oct 2, 2019

This could be the next gold mine for Tesla and other electric vehicles

Posted by in category: transportation

Charging stations will outnumber gas stations, and batteries will be better and cheaper.

Oct 2, 2019

Designer Dreams up Tesla Motorbike Despite Elon Musk’s Refusal to Create One

Posted by in categories: Elon Musk, sustainability, transportation

Electric motorcycle and scooter design uses two or three wheel layouts outfitted with an electric motor and battery used for long distance travel, commuting and cruising.

an electric motorcycle concept based on dyson’s bladeless fans.

Oct 2, 2019

‘The next era of human progress’: what lies behind the global new cities epidemic?

Posted by in categories: business, economics, energy, government, sustainability, transportation

This new breed of city takes various different forms, from government initiatives, to public-private partnerships, to entirely private enterprises. Many are being used to jump-start economies in the developing world, with masterplans carefully calibrated to attract foreign investors and treasuries looking to sink their funds into something concrete. They provide a powerful means for wealthy countries to expand their strategic influence abroad, with the construction of new cities acting as a form of “debt-trap diplomacy”, tying host nations into impossibly burdensome deals. They are billed as a panacea for the world’s urban ills, solving overcrowding, congestion and pollution; yet, more often than not, they turn out to be catalysts for land dispossession, environmental degradation and social inequality.


The feature Kim enjoys most is a small touchscreen display on his kitchen wall that allows him to keep track of his and his wife’s consumption of electricity, water and gas and, most important, compare it against the average statistics for the building. Flicking between the screens of bar charts and graphs, a broad grin spreads across his face: for yet another day running, they are more energy-efficient than all their neighbours.

From their living room window at the top of one of the city’s new residential towers, a panorama of downtown Songdo unfolds. Across an eight-lane highway lies Central Park, a broad swath of trees surrounding an ornamental lake, flanked by rows of glass towers with vaguely jaunty silhouettes. Armies of identikit concrete apartment blocks march into the hazy distance beyond, terminating at a Jack Nicklaus-designed golf course. It looks a lot like many other modern Asian cities, a place of generic towers rising above a car-dominated grid. Public life is mostly confined to the air-conditioned environments of malls and private leisure clubs.

Continue reading “‘The next era of human progress’: what lies behind the global new cities epidemic?” »

Oct 1, 2019

Are You Developing Skills That Won’t Be Automated?

Posted by in categories: education, employment, robotics/AI, transportation

The jobs that are likely to be automated are repetitive and routine. They range from reading X-rays (human radiologists may soon have much more limited roles), to truck driving, to stocking a warehouse. While much has been written about the sorts of jobs that are likely to be eliminated, another perspective that has not been examined in as much detail is to ask not which jobs will be eliminated but rather which aspects of surviving jobs will be replaced by machines.


The future of work looks grim for many people. A recent study estimated that 10% of U.S. jobs would be automated this year, and another estimates that close to half of all U.S. jobs may be automated in the next decade. The jobs that are likely to be automated are repetitive and routine. They range from reading X-rays, to truck driving, to stocking a warehouse. In this context, employers say that they’re seeking candidates who have other sorts of “soft skills,” such as being able to learn adaptively, to make good decisions, and to work well with others. These sought-after abilities, of course, fit perfectly with the sorts of things that people can do well, but are and will continue to be difficult to automate. All of this suggests that our educational systems should concentrate not simply on how people interact with technology (e.g., by teaching students to code), but also how they can do the things that technology will not be doing soon. These are the skills that are hardest to understand and systematize, and the skills that give — and will continue to give —humans an edge over robots.

Oct 1, 2019

Beyond Einstein: Physicists solve mystery surrounding photon momentum

Posted by in categories: particle physics, transportation

Albert Einstein received the Nobel Prize for explaining the photoelectric effect: in its most intuitive form, a single atom is irradiated with light. According to Einstein, light consists of particles (photons) that transfer only quantised energy to the electron of the atom. If the photon’s energy is sufficient, it knocks the electrons out of the atom. But what happens to the photon’s momentum in this process? Physicists at Goethe University are now able to answer this question. To do so, they developed and constructed a new spectrometer with previously unattainable resolution.

Doctoral student Alexander Hartung became a father twice during the construction of the apparatus. The device, which is three meters long and 2.5 meters high, contains approximately as many parts as an automobile. It sits in the experiment hall of the Physics building on Riedberg Campus, surrounded by an opaque, black tent inside which is an extremely high performing laser. Its photons collide with individual argon atoms in the apparatus, and thereby remove one electron from each of the atoms. The momentum of these electrons at the time of their appearance is measured with extreme precision in a long tube of the apparatus.

The device is a further development of the COLTRIMS principle that was invented in Frankfurt and has meanwhile spread across the world: it consists of ionising individual , or breaking up molecules, and then precisely determining the momentum of the particles. However, the transfer of the photon momentum to electrons predicted by theoretic calculations is so tiny that it was previously not possible to measure it. And this is why Hartung built the “super COLTRIMS.”

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