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A Space Based Construction Factory

Habitats for living and other spacecraft will be built in space on site. Building materials will be mined and pre-processed to sort and bundle, then will be “thrown” away from the mining site into a trajectory toward the construction site. When they arrive, they will be “caught” and refined for final processing. Large solar arrays […]

3D Printing a Steel Bridge

3D printing began largely in a fashion similar to ink-jet printers, with extrusion nozzles spraying plastics and resins into three dimensional configurations controlled by detailed computerized drawings. It has advanced to using metals and lasers and welding techniques. A company called MX3D that specializes in using robotic welding machines with additive manufacturing is demonstrating their […]

Thermopower Waves from Nanotubes

Heat produced by burning fuel in a carbon nanotube “wick” can force a wave of electrons down the tube, producing electric current. An engineering lab at MIT has made new progress on this technique. Thermopower Waves (from “Daily Planet”) [youtube.com] A clip from an episode of “Daily Planet” on Discovery Channel Canada featuring the research […]

1953 – MASER

In 1953, Townes, Gordon and Zeiger built the first MASER (Microwave Amplification by Stimulated Emission of Radiation). It worked by stimulating ammonia to produce a coherent beam of microwave radiation. A few years later, the same principle was extended to create the first LASER which emitted coherent light. PRECURSOR: 1917 – quantum radiation theory (Einstein) […]

Microwave Starwisp Sails

Robert Forward was a physicist, an aerospace engineer, an inventor, a science writer and a science fiction author. In 1985, he published an idea to create ultra-light interstellar probes that used microwave beamed power sails for propulsion. Freeman Dyson had pointed out to him that microwaves could use a sail with a much larger grid […]

Super Hard Cubic Aluminum

Aluminum oxide (Al2-O3) in it’s crystalline form is known as corundum and is second to diamond on the hardness scale. When it includes traces of chromium, creating a red color, it is called ruby and with traces of chromium, titanium, iron or other elements creating other colors, it is called sapphire. Creating the Heart of […]

First Printed Aircraft

Laser sintering is a process that uses a high powered laser beam to fuse together powdered particles of glass, ceramic, plastic or metal, in additive layers until a 3D object is created. In this case, laser sintering of nylon was used to create a flying model aircraft known as the SULSA (Southampton University Laser Sintered […]

Raman Optical Amplifiers

Early lasers “pumped” ruby rods with light from flash tubes creating a photon cascade that eventually produced a beam of coherent light. Recently, lasers have been developed that can produce a coherent beam of light from a silicon chip. Raman lasers are a particular type of silicon lasers. Simulations done on supercomputers have shown that […]

SASER

The SASER (sonic laser) is not a new idea and several have been built in recent years. But these always operated in gigahertz frequency ranges and below. Now a tetrahertz frequency SASER has been built by scientists from Nottingham University in the UK and the Lashkarev Institute of Semiconductor Physics in the Ukraine. While a […]

1960 – Laser

In 1960, Theodore Maiman operated the first LASER (Light Amplification by Stimulated Emission of Radiation) using a small ruby rod, a flashlamp from a camera and a power supply. PRECURSOR: 1873 – electromagnetic waves 1888 – microwaves (Hertz) 1913 – quantum theory 1917 – quantum radiation theory (Einstein) 1917 – radar principles (Tesla) 1934 – […]