Physics prints by Justin VanGenderen
Numberphile- Infinity is bigger than you think
Sometimes infinity is even bigger than you think… Dr James Grime explains with a little help from Georg Cantor.
Videos by Brady Haran
Minute Physics video on this topic http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A-QoutHCu4o (somewhat more fast-paced… but we did film ours BEFORE his was uploaded, so similarities are coincidental… well actually, no they are not… we are all building upon Cantor’s work!!)
Scientists from MIT have designed a next-generation spacesuit that acts practically as a second skin, and could revolutionize the way future astronauts travel into space. (Photo : Jose-Luis Olivares/MIT)
Astronauts are used to climbing into conventional bulky, gas-pressurized spacesuits, but this new design could allow them to travel in style. Soon they may don a lightweight, skintight and stretchy garment lined with tiny, muscle-like coils. Essentially the new suit acts like a giant piece of shrink-wrap, in which the coils contract and tighten when plugged into a power supply, thereby creating a “second skin.”
"With conventional spacesuits, you’re essentially in a balloon of gas that’s providing you with the necessary one-third of an atmosphere [of pressure,] to keep you alive in the vacuum of space," lead researcher Dava Newman, a professor of aeronautics and astronautics and engineering systems at MIT, said in astatement.
"We want to achieve that same pressurization, but through mechanical counterpressure - applying the pressure directly to the skin, thus avoiding the gas pressure altogether. We combine passive elastics with active materials. … Ultimately, the big advantage is mobility, and a very lightweight suit for planetary exploration."
Newman, who has worked for the past decade on a design for the next-generation spacesuit, describes the new garment in detail in the journal IEEE/ASME: Transactions on Mechatronics.
The MIT BioSuit’s coils, which are a main feature of the outfit, are made from a shape-memory alloy (SMA). At a certain temperature, the material can “remember” and spring back to its engineered shape after being bent or misshapen.
Skintight suits are not a novel idea, but in the past scientists have always struggled with the question: how do you get in and out of a suit that is so tight? That’s where the SMAs come in, allowing the suit to contract only when heated, and subsequently stretched back to a looser shape when cooled.
Though the lightweight suit may not seem at first like it can withstand the harsh environment that is outer space, Newman and his colleagues are sure that the BioSuit would not only give astronauts much more freedom during planetary exploration, but it would also fully support these space explorers.
Newman and his team are not only working on how to keep the suit tight for long periods of time, but also believe their design could be applied to other attires, such as athletic wear or military uniforms.
"An integrated suit is exciting to think about to enhance human performance," Newman added. "We’re trying to keep our astronauts alive, safe, and mobile, but these designs are not just for use in space."
Scuse you, Dava Newman is a FEMALE professor at MIT.
(fyi, I passed out in a vacuum chamber wearing an earlier version of this suit. =D)
On the 29th August 1831 Michael Faraday achieved one of his greatest successes, discovering how to make electricity from magnetism.
Faraday’s first ‘Electromagnetic Induction Ring' is made from 2 sections of wire insulated with cotton and then coiled around opposite sides of an iron ring. When Faraday passed an electric current through one coil he induced an electric current in the other coil, which flowed for a very brief period of time and caused the needle on a galvanometer to move.
He wrote in his scientific notebook:
Aug 29th 1831
1. Expts on the production of Electricity from Magnetism, etc. etc.
2. Have had an iron ring made (soft iron), iron round and 7/8 inches thick and ring 6 inches in external diameter. Wound many coils of copper wire round one half, the coils being separated by twine and calico – there were 3 lengths of wire each about 24 feet long and they could be connected as one length or used as separate lengths. By trial with a trough each was insulated from the other. Will call this side of the ring A. On the other side but separated by an interval was wound wire in two pieces together amounting to about 60 feet in length, the direction being as with the former coils; this side call B.
3. Charged a battery of 10 pr. plates 4 inches square. Made the coil on B side one coil and connected its extremities by a copper wire passing to a distance and just over a magnetic needle (3 feet from iron ring). Then connected the ends of one of the pieces on A side with battery; immediately a sensible effect on needle. It oscillated and settled at last in original position. On breaking connection of A side with Battery again a disturbance of the needle.
4. Made all the wires on A side one coil and sent current from battery through the whole. Effect on needle much stronger than before.
5. The effect on the needle then but a very small part of that which the wire communicating directly with the battery could produce.
From this experiment Faraday would go on to develop the first ever generator a few months later.
Faraday’s Ring and scientific notebook can be found within the museum and archival collections of the Ri.