Programming bacteria like computers, scientists tap an unexpected labor force.
By Dan FerberPosted 06.03.2004 at 5:00 pm 0 Comments
As the cruiser powers into an enemy harbor the captain, suspecting mines, unleashes a swarm of microbes into the water. By the trillions they sniff out TNT, fluorescing brighter hues of red as they near their quarry and then digest the explosive, rendering it harmless.
GE's Evolution does 0-60 in 45 seconds, unloaded. Braking is a different story: A full-on panic stop takes half a mile.
By Stephan WilkinsonPosted 06.03.2004 at 3:00 pm 1 Comment
They sit on a spur of test track outside General Electric’s locomotive factory in Erie, Pennsylvania, panting and grumbling like two old lions half asleep. The ominous, muttering rumble is the sound of 8,800 horsepower at idle—24 cylinders with pistons big as buckets, turbochargers the size of washing machines, two V12 engines direct-driving alternators five feet in diameter.
Stanford students rev up the electric car with laptop power.
By Michael StrohPosted 06.03.2004 at 3:00 pm 0 Comments
When General Motors and Toyota yanked the plug on their electric-vehicle programs last year, citing high costs and weak demand, many proud owners of gas-guzzlers no doubt nodded smugly: Batteries are for flashlights, not family cars.
By Stephan WilkinsonPosted 06.03.2004 at 2:30 pm 0 Comments
Volvo's YCC concept car, designed entirely by a team of female engineers and stylists, met with snickers and smart-ass comments from the good-ol'-boys club when it debuted at the Geneva Motor Show in March. It's loaded with simplifying features ostensibly designed to attract a female audience. For instance, only mechanics can open the hood, on the assumption that women don't want to mess with what's under it. We got our macho going and confronted Lena Ekelund, a deputy manager of the design team. She did OK.
By Joe BrownPosted 06.03.2004 at 1:00 pm 0 Comments
Every day, Harvard University’s Minor Planet Center (MPC) posts a list of newly identified asteroids and comets on its Web site. NASA telescopes spot the space rocks as part of the agency’s asteroid survey, but with only a few initial sightings, the range of possible paths for each new asteroid is huge. That’s why MPC astronomers post the data on the Web: They enlist amateurs across the world to search for the asteroids, and the additional sightings allow them to refine each object’s orbital path.
A Reader Inquires: I read something recently about physicists who study corporate boards. How is this science?
By Gregory MonePosted 06.03.2004 at 1:00 pm 0 Comments
It’s in the method: Inspired by the recent rash of corporate scandals, scientists Stefano Battiston and Grard Weisbuch of the Ecole Normale Suprieure, in Paris, applied an 80 year-old pillar of statistical physics called the Ising model to big business.
The Ising model was developed to explain the orientation of particles within ferromagnetic materials like iron. When you magnetize iron by
By Bill SweetmanPosted 06.03.2004 at 12:30 pm 0 Comments
Boeing will be working overtime to live up to the high expectations it is creating with the Dreamliner, both among airline customers and their passengers. Though addressing the needs and desires of both are often distinctly separate efforts, the 7E7 engineers are exploiting some interesting overlaps. The use of composite materials in the fuselage, for example, will not only keep the airplane’s weight down, making it more fuel efficient, but will also make the installation of larger, heavier windows less costly.
Toyota's concept MTRC serves up a pretty picture of auto software tech.
By Joe BrownPosted 06.02.2004 at 7:00 pm 0 Comments
Want to take this baby out? You'll need a PlayStation 2. The only place you can drive Toyota's Motor Triathlon Race Cara rig designed to handle a track, street circuit or rally course equally wellis in the forthcoming video game Gran Turismo 4 . That doesn't mean its marquee innovation is pure fantasy.