Surfing big breakers is cool and all, but wouldn’t catching lazy rollers be more fun at speeds topping Mach One? A CalTech researcher and a few colleagues put together a few videos showing that it is indeed possible to shred shock waves. Well, in theory anyhow. Using nylon balls, one larger than the other, the researchers demonstrated how one object can ride on the shock waves given off by another.
The military’s new wingless plane is set to make its first hypersonic test flight Tuesday, after it is released from a B-52 bomber off the California coast.
The X-51A WaveRider, which sort of resembles a shark, will fly for about five minutes, powered by a scramjet engine. It should reach about Mach 6 and transmit data to ground stations before splashing down in the Pacific Ocean, according to the Air Force Research Laboratory.
Disaster film director Roland Emmerich must be quaking in his boots knowing that his movies may soon have to be a little less destructive. With the invention of an "invisibility cloak" for buildings, earthquake damage could be significantly minimized. Using a series of concentric rings in the foundation of a building, this "cloak" directs seismic waves around a building, rather than destructively against and through it.
Five amazing, clean technologies that will set us free, in this month's energy-focused issue. Also: how to build a better bomb detector, the robotic toys that are raising your children, a human catapult, the world's smallest arcade, and much more.