Archive for September, 2011

Fun Facts

1. While sitting at your desk, lift your right foot off the floor and make clockwise circles.
2. Now, while doing this, draw the number “6” in the air with your right-hand. Your foot will change direction or be distorted in its rotation.

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Levitation by Electromagnetism and Superconductivity

Have you ever dreamt of levitating or having things levitate around you? Although not exactly levitating, superconductivity brings us very close to it. Superconductivity is a phenomenon displayed by certain conductors that demonstrate no resistance to the flow of an electric current. Superconductors also exhibit strong diamagnetism; that is, they are repelled by magnetic fields.

The small cylindrical  magnet in the video floats above a high temperature superconductor. The vapor is from evaporating liquid nitrogen, which takes  heat and keeps the superconductor in a zero-resistance state. As the magnet is lowered toward the superconductor, it induces an electric current, which creates an opposing magnetic field in accordance with Ampere’s law. Because the superconductor has no electrical resistance, this induced current continues to flow, keeping the magnet suspended indefinitely. This levitation has been existent since the 1980s, and is used in cable trains due to its loss energy loss.

Some rumors go round that this mechanism my be employed in the making of levitating building in future; like in the Jetsons. This concept has already been used in making wireless levitating light bulb for exotic interior design, as the balance in electric and magnetic field can be used to induce a current in the but and light it. (A more elaborate  and interesting explanation is given in this video)

.: SOS Science Club MMXI :.

Fiction To Reality

For avid fans of Star Wars, Tatooine is a familiar name; being home to Luke Skywalker. The planet of Tatooine, in Star Wars, orbits twin stars (suns) called Tatoo I and Tatoo II. This is significant because of the newly discovered planet, Kepler-16b, which shares Tatooine’s main characteristics; it orbits too suns. This is of interest to me and  I would like to examine how science fiction and other literature have translated to scientific realities over the years, such as this, and see their accuracy in predicting its nature.

 Antimatter Storage

Have you read Dan Brown’s Angels & Demons book or watched the movie, in which symbologist Robert Langdon tries to stop a legendary secret society Illuminati from destroying Vatican City with the newly discovered power of antimatter stored in a canister? Just last year scientists and C.E.R.N. (also another parallel to the book) have managed to capture and store antihydrogen.

PDA or Pocket Computer

In 1974, when most computers were large enough to fill whole rooms, Larry Niven envisioned a pocket-sized version in The Mote in Gods Eye. The pocket computers are mostly used for mathematical calculations and note taking, but with their communication functions, Niven might as well be describing a Blackberry or an iPhone. [1]

Space travel

Jules Verne published “From the Earth to the Moon” in 1865. In 1901, H.G. Wells’ “The First Men in the Moon” was published, and the two inspired the first science fiction film, Georges Melies’ “A Trip to the Moon.”

In the 14-minute film, made in 1902, six astronomers build a bullet-shaped ship and shoot themselves to the moon — out of a cannon. In the film the moon watches the ship approach, hitting it straight in the eye. [1]

Submarine

Submarines have been around since the Civil War and have even used in combat. However, it wasn’t until Jules Verne published his classic 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea in 1870 that engineers began to envision more advanced submersibles that could probe even deeper into the ocean. [1]

 Computerized Language Translation (Hitchhikers Guide)

Babel Fish wasn’t just a random name AltaVista came up with for their web translation software. This was actually an alien species from The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy that could translate any language after being put into a person’s ear. [1]

Cell Phones

When the first flip phones were produced, many people commented that they looked like the communicators in Star Trek. That’s no coincidence. Martin Cooper, the inventor of the first handheld mobile phone, has credited Captain Kirk’s nifty gadget with inspiring the whole concept of the portable phone. [1]

.: SOS Science Club MMXI :.

Sources

[1] :  http://blog.reflexstock.com/2009/12/15-inventions-inspired-by-science-fiction/

Scientist Of The Day

Frederick Soddy (Chemist):

Although this is belated, The SOS Science Club would like to recognise the anniversary of a well renowned English chemist, Frederick Soddy. Born on the 2 September 1877, in EastbourneEngland, Soddy is well known for explaining the cause of radioactivity [1]. Frederick explained that the transmutation of elements was the cause of radioactivity, what is now known as nuclear reaction. “He also proved the existence of isotopes of certain radioactive elements.”[1] In 1921, he received the Nobel Prize for Chemistry, “and has a crater named for him on the far side of the Moon.”

The English Chemist

Footnote:

[1]: Wikipedia. Frederick Soddy. 3 September 2011. 04 September 2011 <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Frederick_Soddy&gt;.

By Editors, Maxine Ankora and Randall Gyebi

.: SOS Science Club MMXI :.

Welcome

On behalf of the entire Executive Body of the Science Club of SOS Hermann Gmeiner International College, I would like to welcome you to the official blog of The S.O.S H.G.I.C Science Club. Hope you come back many more times to read the subsequent articles and posts and broaden your perspective on Science. Have a pleasant day and a productive week.

By Editors, Maxine Ankora and Randall Gyebi

.: SOS Science Club MMXI :.