Physics as we know it.
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Physics as we know it.
Everything from quantum through computational to astro - physics that is!
Curated by Gary Bamford
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60,000 miles up: Space elevator could be built by 2035, new study says

60,000 miles up: Space elevator could be built by 2035, new study says | Physics as we know it. | Scoop.it

Imagine a ribbon roughly one hundred million times as long as it is wide. If it were a meter long, it would be 10 nanometers wide, or just a few times thicker than a DNA double helix. Scaled up to the length of a football field, it would still be less than a micrometer across — smaller than a red blood cell. Would you trust your life to that thread? What about a tether 100,000 kilometers long, one stretching from the surface of the Earth to well past geostationary orbit (GEO, 22,236 miles up), but which was still somehow narrower than your own wingspan?

The idea of climbing such a ribbon with just your body weight sounds precarious enough, but the ribbon predicted by a new report from the International Academy of Astronautics (IAA) will be able to carry up to seven 20-ton payloads at once. It will serve as a tether stretching far beyond geostationary (aka geosynchronous) orbit and held taught by an anchor of roughly two million kilograms. Sending payloads up this backbone could fundamentally change the human relationship with space — every climber sent up the tether could match the space shuttle in capacity, allowing up to a “launch” every couple of days.


Via Dr. Stefan Gruenwald, Szabolcs Kósa
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Laura E. Mirian, PhD's curator insight, March 9, 2014 12:49 AM

Think I will pass on this

Linda Liem's curator insight, March 9, 2014 8:06 AM

Science fiction may be coming true.

Guillaume Decugis's curator insight, March 10, 2014 10:41 PM

Hundreds of challenges remain to be solved but as even NASA struggles to maintain an edge, the pay-off of a Space Elevator has never been clearer. The original idea of Konstantin Tsiolkovsky which Arthur C. Clarke turned into a novel could be the revolution space exploration needs.

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Incredible Technology: How Future Space Missions May Hunt for Alien Planets

Incredible Technology: How Future Space Missions May Hunt for Alien Planets | Physics as we know it. | Scoop.it

NASA's Kepler space telescope revolutionized the study of alien worlds after launching in 2009, and a number of other missions now stand poised to carry the burgeoning field into the future.

Over the next decade, NASA and the European Space Agency (ESA) aim to launch a handful of spacecraft that should discover thousands of additional exoplanets and characterize some of the most promising — the most apparently Earthlike — new finds in detail.


Via Szabolcs Kósa
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11 Emerging Scientific Fields That Everyone Should Know About

11 Emerging Scientific Fields That Everyone Should Know About | Physics as we know it. | Scoop.it

There was a time when science could be broken down into neat-and-tidy disciplines — straightforward things like biology, chemistry, physics, and astronomy. But as science advances, these fields are becoming increasingly specialized and interdisciplinary, leading to entirely new avenues of inquiry. Here are 11 emerging scientific fields you should know about.


Via Szabolcs Kósa
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Graphene - the new wonder material

Graphene - the new wonder material | Physics as we know it. | Scoop.it

The molecule is priceless but it is not a matter of cost – a few hundred dollars per kilo. The value lies in its potential. The molecule in question is called graphene and the EU is prepared to devote €1bn ($1.3bn) to it between 2013 and 2023 to find out if it can transform a range of sectorssuch as electronics, energy, health and construction. According to Scopus, the bibliographic database, more than 8,000 papers have been written about graphene since 2005.

 


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Fusion milestone passed at US lab

Fusion milestone passed at US lab | Physics as we know it. | Scoop.it

Harnessing fusion - the process that powers the Sun - could provide an unlimited and cheap source of energy.

But to be viable, fusion power plants would have to produce more energy than they consume, which has proven elusive.

Now, a breakthrough by scientists at the National Ignition Facility (NIF) could boost hopes of scaling up fusion.


Via Szabolcs Kósa
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