“Successful people are dreamers who
have found a dream too exciting,
to remain in the realm of fantasy.
And who, day by day, hour by hour,
toil in the service of their dreams
until they can touch it with their
hand and see it with their eyes.”
Remember the television show “Cheers” ? Remember Cliff Claven, the know-it-all mailman who hung out at the bar with Norm? Now, imagine Cliff saying….
“It’s a little known fact, Nahmie boy, that television as we know it was invented by a 14 year old farm boy from Utah named Philo T. Farnsworth…”
At which point it should be fairly easy to imagine Norm bursting out in laughter, or Carla the waitress delivering some brilliantly timed wisecrack about the “nerdy name….”
But it’s true. In the summer of 1921, at the age of 14, while plowing a field near Rigby Idaho, 14-year-old Philo T. Farnsworth was struck with an inspiration that is still with us today. In fact, the screen you are looking at is directly descended from that moment in the potato field…
As a young boy growing up on the frontier, Farnsworth marveled at the inventions of Edison and Bell. At the age of 6, he confided in his father his heart’s desire, that he had been “born an inventor.” By 12 he was was demonstrating a natural affinity for all things electrical.
Late one night, hidden away in his attic loft with a stack of old electrical magazines the aspiring inventor encountered the fanciful notion of “pictures that could fly through the air” by radio waves – and imagine that he had stumbled upon a problem that he might be uniquely suited to solving.
As he continued reading, Farnsworth learned of the earliest attempts to transmit moving images: ungainly machines that used spinning disks and mirrors to decompose an image into tiny bits of electrical current. He recognized immediately that these contraptions would never attain the speeds necessary to transmit a coherent moving image.
As he continued his studies, Philo learned about the tiny, subatomic particles called electrons, about how they could be manipulated by magnets, about photoelectric substances that could convert light into electricity and back again, and about a device called a “cathode ray tube” that combined some of these …. and he began to wonder how they could all work together to form a system of television with no mechanical parts at all.
One steamy day in the summer of 1921, Philo criss-crossed an open field atop a horse drawn plowing machine, thinking about television to relieve the boredom, when for a moment, he stopped to survey his day’s work. Noticing the neatly cut parallel rows in the dirt before him, he was struck with a flash of inspiration: just as he plowed the field, back and forth in parallel rows, so could he scan an image, one line at a time, with a magnetically-deflected beam of electrons inside a cathode ray tube.
At that moment, television as we know it – and all its extensions and futher manifestations (like this computer screen) arrived on earth in the mind of this 14-year-old farm boy.
A few months later, as the idea continued to take shape in the boy’s mind, he drew a sketch of it for his high-school science teacher. Four years after that, providence provided some funding for his idea. 20-year-old Farnsworth married his 19-year-old sweetheart and together they set up shop in a loft at the foot of Telegraph Hill in San Francisco. One year later, on September 7, 1927, Farnsworth and his tiny “lab gang” performed their first successul experiments, transmitting the simple image of a straight line; as long as he could see if the line was horizontal or vertical, he knew that information was being transmitted from the bottom of one bottle to the bottom of another – proving the principle that struck him that day in the hayfield.
In 1930, Farnsworth was granted patents for the ideas that still form the very heart of every video system in use in the world today. Throughout the 1930s, he struggled against his most formidable competitors, David Sarnoff and the Radio Corporation of America, to hold on to his patents even as he continued to perfect his invention.In 1939, RCA capitulated, and agreed for the first time in its corporate history to a license that required the company to pay royalties for the use of Farnsworth’s patents.
The introduction of television was stalled while the nation devoted its technical might to winning the Second World War, but by the late 1940s television swept the nation and the world. Ironically, it was just about this time that the name of its principal inventor vanished into obscurity.
Still the achivement cannot be denied. Without Farnsworth’s ingenious, seminal contributions, there might still be no television or video today. As Johnny Carson joked, “if it weren’t for Philo T. Farnsworth, we might still be eating frozen ‘radio dinners’.” But now we have a chance to overcome this unfortunate historical oversight.
September 7, 2002 marks the 75th Anniversary of Farnsworth’s first electronic video transmission (with Real Audio, you can see an reproduction that image here.) The sponsors of this website – which includes family and friends of Philo T. Farnsworth – intend to do all they can to make certain that THIS TIME, Farnsworth is finally afforded the lasting recognition that he so richly deserves.
If you’d like to be part of the celebration, bookmark this website. Here we are going to compile all the best ideas we can come up with about how to make September 7, 2002 nothing short of a national holiday.
As we prepare to launch this site it occurs to us that the intent of this effort can be expressed in one rather simple, if lofty, goal: come September 7, 2002, we want everybody who turns on a television set to know that date is the anniversary of the day the medium arrived on this planet – and to know the name of the man who delivered it. Whether it is accomplished on a grass-roots, or a national-medial level, that’s what we’re here for, and we hope that you, having read all the forgoing, will help us in whatever way you can.
Thanks for stopping by,
webmaster and author of The Boy Who Invented Television!
To Learn More:Philo!
It only took 75 years but….
Finally, at its Emmy Awards telecast on September 22, 2002, the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences (ATAS) recognized Philo T. Farnsworth as “the inventor of electric television.” Farnsworth’s widow, Elma “Pem” Farnsworth was invited to Los Angeles to be present in the Shrine Auditorium, to accept the recognition of the industry that she helped her husband invent.
Imagine a jet engine that doesn’t pollute the atmosphere, flies at seven times the speed of sound and doesn’t carry any fuel. Sound like a blue-sky pipe dream? One day last July, 300 km above the South Australian Desert, that dream became a reality in the form of the HyShot scramjet. A scramjet (that’s top-gun shorthand for “supersonic ramjet”) is a jet engine that is powered by oxygen it scoops out of the air as it flies, so it’s not weighed down by a fuel tank (though it needs an initial boost to get going). This summer’s launch represents the first time a scramjet has flown outside of a wind tunnel. It will take years of work before scramjets are available for practical uses, but they could eventually revolutionize space launches and commercial flights. At Mach 7, New York City to Tokyo is just a two-hour hop.
Availability: Alas, commercial flights are still many years away
To Learn More: Hyper Shot
Why settle for two-wheeled scooters when you can have three? The Trikke may look a little silly, with its oversized polyurethane wheels and its odd, swiveling action. But it’s a serious scooter, made of aircraft-grade aluminum (at the same Chinese factory that manufactures the popular Razor scooter), and it offers exceptional stability and dependable, handlebar-mounted brakes. Trikkes are a surprise hit in Hollywood, where Jennifer Aniston, Timothy Hutton and David Spade have all been spotted riding on them.
Availability: Now, $200 to $300
To Learn More:Trikke Scooter
If you thrill to getting from point A to point B while incurring maximum bodily risk, your ride is here: the Wheelman. Imagine strapping your feet to a clown-sized motorcycle, and you will get the basic idea. You steer with your weight, control the speed with a handheld throttle and pray with all your might.
Availability: Now, from $1,200
To Learn More:WheelMan
On Your Desk Top
Internet Access Speed
With The Use of Software
The Laws of Nature
How To Create a Black Hole On Your Desk Top
“The distinction between the past,
present and future
is only an illusion,
– Albert Einstein
INTRODUCTION: Computers are stupid. Actually, it’s garbage in, garbage out. Computers will do only what we tell them to do. The overall design of software and hardware was never thought out completely using the Rules of Nature as we know them. Computers do not follow the scientific principles of nature (e.g. there is no gravity in Cyberspace) because we ve never told computers about gravity.
PROBLEM: Moving information across the internet is too slow. The two bottlenecks are hardware & software.
CURRENT STATE OF AFFAIRS: Whether we’re talking about cable modems, T1 lines, satellite transmissions or fiber optics, for one reason or another, none of these are totally acceptable to everyone. You’ll drill yourself into the ground trying to predict the future of that debate… Since we’re not in the hardware business, there’s nothing we can do about that. Just get as close as you can to the front row as soon as possible. Even at that, you’ll be sitting in the back row soon enough.
HISTORY: At the turn of the last century, there were over 20,000 automobile manufacturers in America. Just about anyone with a garage and a wrench was building a car. Today, with all the recent mergers, we have perhaps 10 manufacturers building cars. The current state of the computer business is similar to the early 1900’s. Today, anyone with a desk and a plug is designing software with varying degrees of success. Microsoft, among others is snapping them up right and left.
SOLUTION: Implement new ways of condensing information. There are several solutions already in place. SIT, ZIP, MPEG, TIFF, GIF to name a few. These ‘solutions were really only really invented by the early hardcore programmers in an effort to keep their phone bills down.
As long as we’re dreaming, our solution will be based on the way it could be not the way it is . Why not teach the computer the rules of nature as we know them. And while we re creating this brave new world , why not bend the rules a little to our advantage?
Let’s increase the flow of information over the internet by creating an environment within Cyberspace where matter (information) could be condensed into a single strand following the Black Hole Model made popular by Stephen Hawkings.
Create a user interface
that conveys a lot of data very quickly
by condensing fact from a vapor of nuance.
Neal Stepheson’s Snowcrash
A FEW SCIENTIFIC LAWS OF NATURE:
1. Daniel Bernoullie’s Law of Hydrodynamic Pressure:
P + p x 1/2 v2 = CONSTANT
Simply stated, a river’s waters suddenly speeds up when squeezing through a bottle-neck. This is because, as the fluid goes through the bottleneck, it is condensed, if you will, creating a higher pressure.
Coincidentally, this is the same reason airplanes fly. That is, by properly structuring the wing, (curved on the top and flat on the bottom) the air pressure pulling up on the wing is greater than the air pressure pushing down. That is because the wind travelling over the surface on the top has a greater distance to cover. Essentially, the plane is not being pushed up into the air from below but rather sucked up into the air by the lower pressure from above
Computers ‘bottleneck’ because nobody every explained this Bernoullie guy’s to them.
The solution to Internet speed lies in this explanation. Partially, at least.
Most current databases are linear by nature. Even the ‘fancy’, multi-directional ones are only horizontal and vertical. I’m proposing a third dimension as well a fourth.
2. In ‘Fermat’s Enigma’, Pierre de Fermat based his ‘challenge’ on Pythagoras’ Theorem:
X2 +Y2 =Z2, (the formula for all right triangles), stating Xn + Yn = Zn, has no whole number solutions for n greater than 2. This was elegantly proven by Andrew Wiles.
In studying ‘Fermat’s Enigma’, X3 + Y3 = Z3-1, it occurred to me that the cube produced was similar to a Rubix Cube with one corner cube missing.
Now imagine, if you will, a string of rubix cubes where one the corner cubes is missing .
Bill Dawson is in one cube. Stan Storc is in another so on and so forth. The cubes are joined by what was one ‘the missing cube’ and is now those elements which the individuals hold in common. In other words, all the information they share in common (human, male, Californians, guitar players, social anarchists, etc.) would be held in the new ‘found’ cube. If we link these cubes together without repeating the information contained, we could significantly condense that information and speed up it’s transmission.
This would, in effect, produce something quite similar to James Watson’s DNA Double Helix.
ADDITIONALLY, we can implement other ways to speed up transmission by condensing the information. For example, we could use Michael Drosnin’s EDLS (Equi-Distant Letter Sequencing) made popular in ‘The Bible Code . This would be similar to condensing the information into a crossword puzzle. Our databases can then be condensed simply by varying the starting place, the direction the database heads, and the size of the jump.
QUESTION: Is it possible to use a master list of abstract characters: Let’s start with ASCII (American Standard Code for Information Interchange), for argument’s sake. There are 227 numerical values to choose from. Can we leave those abstract characters in an envelope and refer to them only when needed instead of constantly reusing them? That is, create vectors for the information instead of actually sending the information.
Why can we view cable movies on television without waiting for them to download? Shouldn’t we be able to do that on computers? Why do we accept such nonsense?
Would the download solution lie in streaming in lines/inch (l.p.i.) instead of Dots/inch (d.p.i.). Most viewers will never need the kind of accuracy required for the production aspect. Why can’t we re-program the video stream into l.p.i. to speed up the transmission? After all, that kind of precision is not necessary once the product is finished and hardly anyone will want to zoom in to 300 dpi.
3. Leonardo da Vinci discovered the Law Of Continuity: Water flowing from a wide pipe to a narrower one sped up; water flowing from a narrow pipe to a wider one slowed down.
4. Isaac Newton discovered:
Centrifugal Force = (constant x m x d)/T2
Mathematically, if m stood for the object’s mass, d stood for the rope’s length, and T stood for how long it took to be whirled once around, then the centrifugal force the object felt was described by this equation.
In plain English: A large centrifugal force corresponded to a massive object being whirled around speedily on a long rope in a very short amount of time; that is a large force resulted from multiplying a large m and large d and dividing by the square of a small T
Isaac Newton’s 3 Truisms:
Truism #1: In a world where there are no forces to push things around, an object that is not moving will remain motionless forever, whereas an object that is moving will keep moving forever, along a straight line and at a constant speed.
Truism #2: In a world where there are forces to push things around, an object bullied by a force will always either accelerate or decelerate depending on how the force is applied.
Truism #3: If two objects bump into each other, each will feel the force of the collision equally, but in opposite directions. (Years later, many would paraphrase this by saying For every action there is an equal and opposite reaction. )
F =G x M x m / d2
Bernoulli observed: Slow-moving water (in the wide pipe) always had a higher pressure, he discovered, than fast-moving water (in the narrow pipe). In other words there appeared to be a trade-off between pressure and speed: The smaller the speed, the greater the pressure, or the greater the speed, the smaller the pressure.
Leibniz’s Conservation Principal stated when any object was tossed into the air, there was always a trade-off between its vis viva (Latin for living force that is, it’s energy of motion and it’s altitude. Bernoulli proved that there was a trade-off between a fluid’s vis viva and it’s pressure. When one increased, the other decreased, so that the total of the two never changed:
ALTITUDE + VIS VIVA = CONSTANT
5. Upon studying Daniel Bernoullie’s Law of Hydrodynamic Pressure:
P + p x 1/2 v2 = CONSTANT.
P = Pressure
p (rho) = the density of a fluid
v = speed
This is true for all liquids moving through all channels.
Density is a physical property of a substance. At any given temperature and pressure, the density of a material is constant. Density is related to two attributes: mass and volume. This gives rise to the formula:
Density = Mass per Volume [D = M / V]
THE RIDICULOUS: The escape velocity of a planet or star depends upon its mass and radius. Gravity is a basic force of nature created between objects that have mass.
The speed of light, 300,000 km/s, is the universal ‘speed Limit set by Einstein.
A black hole is the result of runaway gravity that compresses mass into a singularity.
In theory, if you could compress enough Bytes (mass) into a small enough area (230 Megabyte Hard Drive), their combined gravitational pull would be sufficient that the escape velocity would exceed that required by the speed of light. In essence a black hole would be created.
How many Bytes with an average mass of 70 Kilobytes each would be required?.
Information typically moves at 57,600 Bytes Per Second (bps) rounded up to 60,000 bps assume this as velocity. Let’s say, the mass (size) of a typical Byte is 70 Kilobytes. Assume that the Hard Drive is spherical in shape (a stretch, but a useful assumption) with a diameter of 3 Inches. The mass (size) of the Hard Drive is 230 Megabytes.
Find the mass of an object with a radius of 1.5 inches whose escape velocity is equal to the transmittal speed in BPS.
Divide the total mass by 70 Kilobytes to determine the number of Bytes required to equal the total mass. You can ignore the mass of the Hard Drive because it will be negligible when compared with the Kilobyte’s mass.
Speed of light = “c” = 2.99793 ? 108 m/s
Rounded to = 3.0 ? 108 m/s
Gravitational constant = “G” = 6.67 ? 10-11 m3/kb sec2
Mass = “M” = [in Kilobytes]
1. Vescape = c = 2GM / r
2. Mass = rc2 / 2G
3. Mass total= 1.5 m ( 3 ? 108 m/s)2
2 ( 6.67 ? 10 -11 m3 / kb . sec2)
4. Mass total = 1.01 ? 1027 kb
5. Number of Bytes= Mass Total
Mass One Byte
6. Number of Bytes= 1.01 ? 1027 kb
70 Kilobytes / Bytes
7. Number of Bytes = 1.44 ? 1025 = 14,400,000,000,000,000,000,000,000
Voila! A Black Hole. Right on your desktop!
SUMMARY: With the imminent break-up of Microsoft, there will be a void that we can successfully fill with some strategic planning. Although we’re currently talking about a linear database system, there’s no reason why we shouldn’t expand that conversation to include a new, improved operating system for computers that would incorporate the notion of the Hub of a Wheel
FURTHER READING & VIEWING:
Not just another bagless vacuum cleaner, the Dyson DC07 has a brand-new way to take grime out of your carpet. It’s called cyclonic separation. Whirling dirt and air within its eight cylindrical cyclones at speeds up to 600 m.p.h., the machine uses centrifugal force to trap the dirt and expel the air. Because there is no filter to clog, the DC07 never loses its oomph. Its “liquid steel” shell is made from the same plastic-metal polycarbonate as riot shields. And emptying the collected dirt is as simple as pulling the trigger.
Availability: Now, $399
To Learn More: Spin Vacuum
Even the most cautious backyard pilot must eventually preside over a radio-controlled air disaster or two. For some enthusiasts, that’s the best part. For the rest of us, there’s the Power Air Surfer, a new radio-controlled airplane that’s almost impossible to crash, thanks to an innovative design. The Power Air Surfer’s two 80-cm wings and double propellers make it ultrastable at altitudes up to 30 m, and it always glides in for a feather-soft landing no matter how hard you try to make it crash.
Availability: Now, $75
To Learn More:Air Surfer
Scuba divers have always had a soft spot for high-tech accessories. Take, for example, these bizarre-looking fins, designed to let divers fine-tune the position and even the flexibility of their blades. The Oscillating Propulsion System, above right, whips through water like an eel; a little weight inside the tip helps build momentum so you can cover long distances faster without working too hard. The Twin Foils are better for maneuvering in tight spots, reducing the chance that you’ll kick the coral. The two fins share a common foot pocket, so you can quickly swap one for the other.
Availability: Now; $135 for a pair of foot pockets; $150 to $220 for a set of blades
To Learn More: Hi-Tech Scuba
Many of us feel the call of the deep, but few of us are willing to face the cold, wet and occasionally shark-infested realities of scuba diving. That’s why we need Spyfish, a gadget for divers who aren’t quite ready to take the plunge. Spyfish is a battery-powered minisubmarine tricked out with cameras and floodlights and operated by wireless remote control. It trails a slender cable behind it that transmits whatever it sees back to a monitor topside, so you can rummage through Davy Jones’ locker while sunning yourself on deck and sipping a mai tai. The product of years of research and testing, Spyfish is elegant and streamlined but rugged enough to withstand depths of 150 m and conditions too cold or dangerous for a human diver.
Availability: Late in 2003; around $14,900
To Learn More: Mini-Sub
If you’re skiing, you’re probably on vacation, and if you’re on vacation, you’re probably tired of using your head. Why not think with your feet for a change? Head’s new i.C 300 skis are made from a special material that reacts to physical stress by generating electricity. Each i.C 300 ski has a computer chip in it that monitors its electrical output, thus allowing the ski to make an educated guess about the condition of the snow you’re skiing on and how hard you’re turning. The chip then feeds that signal back into the ski, which reacts instantly by either relaxing or stiffening. Result: you get more control and a smoother ride.
Availability: Now, $750
To Learn More: Smart Skis
It’s a plane … It’s a helicopter … Actually, it’s a bit of both. The gyroplane, whose concept was first put forward in 1919 by Spanish inventor Juan de la Cierva, has been revived by two Utah-based brothers, David and Jay Groen. They’ve spent 15 years and some $40 million perfecting a design they hope will provide a cheaper, simpler, safer alternative to the helicopter. No airport is required. Like a helicopter, the gyroplane takes off almost vertically and can fly 330 miles at a cruising speed of 120 m.p.h. Unlike a helicopter, it has a gas turbine-powered propeller that drives the craft forward and provides airspeed to power two asymmetrical overhead blades. These 42-ft. blades rotate only when the wind rushes up through them. They give the aircraft lift, stability and improved safety; in case of engine failure, they continue to rotate and allow a safe, controlled descent. The other thing that makes the gyroplane different from a helicopter is the bottom line: running costs (about $160 per hr.) are almost halved. The gyroplane is in the final stages of FAA testing, and a 13-dealer network is busy targeting tourism and agriculture markets. It might also do service on the homeland-security beat: CEO David Groen says the craft would be ideal for border, pipeline and nuclear-facility surveillance.
Availability: Early 2003, for $749,000
To Learn More: Gyro-Plane
Karl Pope has been searching for the perfect surfboard since he took to the waves in the mid-1950s. In 1964 he introduced the Travelboard, a three-piece model, with partner Tom Morey (who went on to invent the boogie board in 1971). Four years ago, Pope introduced the Bisect, a two-piece board that is even easier to transport; just pull it out of the trunk, snap it together, and head for the water. His latest innovation: the Bisect Hollow Carbon Stealth (as in Stealth fighter). It’s pressure-molded out of a carbon-fiber composite a jet-age fabric woven with graphite and impregnated with epoxy’that’s 20% lighter than conventional foam and-fiber-glass long boards and, Pope claims, “at least 10 times stronger.” It’s also 125% more expensive.
Availability: Now, $1,795
To Learn More: b>Travel Surf Board
Ever since the advent of the Swiss army knife, mankind has sought to fit more and more tools into smaller and smaller devices. The latest triumph of ingenuity over simplicity is the i-Quip, which puts an extraordinary number of traditional gadgets and quite a few new ones into a compact design. The i-Quip is divided into two separate pods: one holds quotidian tools (blades, scissors, screwdrivers, etc.), the other such high-tech necessities as a digital compass, a barometer, a clock, a flashlight and an altimeter.
Availability: Now, $250
To Learn More: Survival Tool
All good things must come to an end but do they have to end so soon? A new bubble-blowing formula called Catch-A-Bubble extends the lifespan of the average soap bubble from a few dozen seconds to about five minutes. The secret of Catch-A-Bubble is a chemical that toughens when it comes in contact with air, producing sturdier, more resilient bubbles that can be touched, handled, tossed and even with the right delicate touch stacked on top of one another.
Availability: Now, $4
To Learn More: b>Ultra-Bubble
A new substance called aerogel, invented in the 1930s but recently refined by NASA, has been certified as the lightest solid in the world yes, it’s in the Guinness Book of World Records. Weighing in at a mere .00011 lbs. per cu. in. (thin air weighs about .00004 lbs. per cu. in.), aerogel resembles smoke that has been frozen into place it’s cloudy, translucent and virtually weightless. It’s also surprisingly tough. Chemically similar to glass, aerogel is used on the space shuttle to trap tiny spaceborne particles traveling at high speed so they can be brought back to Earth for analysis.
Slow, pricey and impractical, electric cars for years have had a bad rap. Ford could start to change all that with its bubble-shaped City car, which hit the streets of Los Angeles, New York City and London this year. Running on 18 NiCad batteries, the City tops out at 65 m.p.h. but can travel only 55 miles between charges. Ford thinks it’s the perfect commuter car as long as you don’t miss your exit.
Availability: Leases for $199 a month
To Learn More: Ford Think Car
Ever want to build a cathedral? Underwater? Change your clothes, your face, your whole body? Fly? You can’t do any of that stuff in real life, but you can do it all and more in Second Life, a startlingly lifelike 3-D virtual world now evolving on the Internet. Unlike other shared online adventures, Second Life isn’t about slaying monsters or zapping aliens. It’s about building things, meeting people and expressing yourself. Even if you already have a life, you may want to get a second one.
Availability: Summer 2003, for a monthly fee
To Learn More: 3-D Onlline Environment
Why is it that snaps taken with a $500 digital camera often aren’t as sharp as those from a $20 disposable? Because unlike the light-sensitive chemicals in ordinary analog film, each sensor on a digital chip saves only one-third of the color data it receives either red, green or blue, but not all three at once. With the new Foveon X3 technology, however, three sensors are stacked on top of one another, so that each pixel absorbs the full color spectrum. Result: a 3.5-megapixel camera using Foveon technology will produce images as clear as today’s 7 MP models.
Availability: December 2002
To Learn More: Camera Chip
The perfect birth control device, when someone invents it, will be totally invisible yet impossible to forget: no pills, no shots, no condoms. This year’s newest entry, OrthoEvra, is not perfect, but it’s close. It’s a patch about the size of a matchbook, but as thin as a piece of tape, that delivers the same estrogen and progestin found in a standard birth-control pill. The hormones pass from the patch through the skin and into the bloodstream. It’s waterproof and won’t fall off; just find a discreet place to stick it on your body, and change it once a week. If only it were invisible.
Availability: Now, $25 to $40 a month
To Learn More: Birth Control Patch
What’s 18 ft. wide, fully automated and open 24 hours a day? Despite its name (which already seems a little out of date), the Shop 2000 is the cutting edge of robotic retail: a vending machine with the inventory of a minimart. The coin- and credit-card-operated vendor carries up to 200 items, from olive oil to computer discs to sandwiches to toothpaste (storing the perishables at a frosty 35 F). There’s no smile with your service, but you do get the fun of watching a robotic arm grab your purchase. With convenience stores reporting a shortage of labor, don’t be surprised if one opens on your block sometime soon.
Availability: So far, only one in the U.S., in Washington
To Learn More: Shop 2000
If you close your eyes, fire a squirt gun around the room and listen carefully, you’ll hear a different noise depending on what was hit (wall, rug, sleeping cat). That’s the principle behind ELADIN, the newest idea in mine detection. By shooting water into a minefield and monitoring sounds, the system can detect and disarm explosives without setting them off. There’s certainly no shortage of targets: tens of millions of mines lie buried in war zones around the world.
Availability: Prototype only
To Learn More: Mines BeGone!!!
Everyone wants to cut car emissions. Sooner or later, someone will find a way to do it. Joe Williams hopes it’s him.
Peter Romaniuk of Innovative Hydrogen Solutions looks over his company’s machine, which the company claims eliminates almost all emissions from gasoline-powered vehicles. The company says it is developing a version of the machine that will be one-eighth the size of the current prototype and that should be ready by next year.
Joe Williams Sr. believes he has the machine that will help save the world. It will make the sky blue, allow everyone to breathe easier, and, in a time of skyrocketing fuel prices, save us all money.
Yes, it’s hard to believe. Williams is a Winnipeg boy who cut his business teeth managing McDonald’s and Burger King franchises. Even now, he employs only 15 people in his Toronto and Manitoba offices. He entered this save-the-world field only 11 years ago and has invested just $7.5 million in his product.
But before you sniff skeptically and skip to the next story, read on.
Because if Joe Williams turns out to be right, “I think Bill Gates and our group will be shaking hands,” he says. “It’s that big.”
“It” is his Hydrogen Generating Module, or H2N-Gen for short.
Smaller than a DVD player – small enough to sit comfortably under the hood of any truck or car – it could be big enough to solve the world’s greenhouse gas emission problems, at least for the near future. In fact, it could make the Kyoto protocol obsolete. Basically, the H2N-Gen contains a small reservoir of distilled water and other chemicals such as potassium hydroxide. A current is run from the car battery through the liquid. This process of electrolysis creates hydrogen and oxygen gases which are then fed into the engine’s intake manifold where they mix with the gasoline vapours.
It’s a scientific fact that adding hydrogen to a combustion chamber will cause a cleaner burn. The challenge has always been to find a way to get the hydrogen gas into the combustion chamber in a safe, reliable and cost-effective way.
Williams claims he has achieved this with his H2N-Gen. His product, he said, produces a more complete burn, greatly increasing efficiency and reducing fuel consumption by 10 to 40 per cent – and pollutants by up to 100 per cent.
Most internal combustion engines operate at about 35 per cent efficiency. This means that only 35 per cent of the fuel is fully burned. The rest either turns to carbon corroding the engine or goes out the exhaust pipe as greenhouse gases.
The H2N-Gen increases burn efficiency to at least 97 per cent, Williams said. This saves fuel and greatly reduces emissions.
It also means less engine maintenance and oil changes. The only thing the vehicle owner has to do is refill the unit with distilled water once every 80 hours of engine use.
Tests show the unit itself should lasts for at least 10 years, Williams said.
It can be attached to any kind of internal combustion engine: diesel, gasoline, propane/natural gas.
Also, because the H2N-Gen manufactures only enough hydrogen to feed the engine at a given time, there is no dangerous onboard storage of hydrogen gas and no hydrogen under pressure.
Williams said his product, if it works as well as he claims, will serve as a bridge between the present and the time when the combustion engine is relegated to the scrap heap of history. The preferred interim solution has been gasoline-electric hybrid cars, which remain expensive.
But Williams doesn’t want you to take just his word for it.
Tired of having to wear a cell phone on your belt wherever you go? In the future, you may not have to. Two British researchers have developed a prototype “phone tooth” that can be embedded in a molar and receive cell-phone calls. The signals are translated into vibrations that travel from the tooth to your skull to your inner ear where only you can hear them. Great for giving instructions to spies and NFL quarterbacks. Not so great for the rest of us, because while our teeth may talk to us, we can’t talk back to them.
To Learn More: The Science Museum
by General Motors
Cars have followed the same design blueprint for so long that it took General Motors’ Auto-nomy concept to remind us that new technology should spur a rethinking of the fundamentals-even in a conservative town like Detroit. Capitalizing on the potential of fuel cells and other new technologies, the Autonomy essentially splits a vehicle into two parts: the mechanicals on the bottom and the usable parts on top. This sounds like a new version of the old chassis/body combination, but it’s more than that. Autonomy pushes the car’s guts-engine, braking and steering elements, fuel storage, computer brain-into a 15-foot-long “skateboard” below the feet, leaving everything above this 6-inch platform free for reconfiguration. “With this system, we have total flexibility,” says Chris Borroni-Bird, GM’s 37-year-old head of design and technology fusion. Whether or not the Autonomy concept leads directly to a production car, it is likely to influence automotive design for years to come.
GM originally proposed that “snap-on” bodies could be sold, allowing an owner to have his skateboard-based vehicle changed from, say, a sedan to a minivan as his needs evolved. The strategy has since changed a bit, though it still emphasizes separate manufacture and sale of bodies for the skateboard.
Electrical drive-by-wire links replace mechanical and hydraulic ones, meaning that even the controls could be moved to different positions. Seats and features could be added or removed to create a rolling office one week, a two-person sleeping vehicle the next.
In September, GM took its first stab at demonstrating the kind of body that would capitalize on Autonomy’s versatility. The company produced a driveable prototype called Hy-wire, a sedan in which the windshield extends to the driver’s feet. With key fuel-storage and electric-motor technology yet to be developed, the Hy-wire’s skateboard is not yet as compact as the Autonomy vision calls for, but GM is thinking long-term. “Autonomy is our vision of the future, let’s say about 2020,” says Borroni-Bird.
General Motors Autonomy
When General Motors looked back on 100 years of motoring, and recognised that just 12 percent of the world has a car, it had a radical rethink. The result is the AUTOnomy: a vehicle designed around a fuel cell propulsion system in a “skateboard chassis” which can have a variety of bodies fitted. AUTOnomy provides a glimpse into GM’s vision for the 21st century: a socially responsible, infinitely adaptable and globally marketable vehicle line that has minimal design constraints.
“We started with the premise, ‘What if we were inventing the automobile today rather than a century ago? What might we do differently? This was how Rick Wagoner, General Motors CEO and President, introduced the AUTOnomy. “AUTOnomy is more than just a new concept car; it’s potentially the start of a revolution in how automobiles are designed, built and used,” he said. AUTOnomy is the first vehicle designed from the ground up around a fuel cell propulsion system and the first to combine fuel cells with x-by-wire technology, which allows steering, braking and other vehicle systems to be controlled electronically rather than mechanically. According to GM, the entirely new vehicle architecture is far greater than the sum of its innovative parts.
With AUTOnomy, a variety of affordable, all-wheel-drive vehicles could be built from a limited number of common chassis, emitting only water from the exhaust and using renewable energy. “If our vision of the future is correct, and we think it is, AUTOnomy could reinvent the automobile and our entire industry,” said Larry Burns, GM Vice President of Research and Development and Planning. “AUTOnomy is not simply a new chapter in automotive history. It is volume two, with the first hundred years being volume one. The 20th century was the century of the internal combustion engine. The 21st century will be the century of the fuel cell.”
The AUTOnomy also provides a vision of the potential of the coming hydrogen economy.
“With a hydrogen economy, we have a major opportunity for sustainable economic development, which respects the environment and creates a path to non-petroleum and renewable energy without constraining economic growth,” said Burns.
“GM is in an excellent position to lead the race to sustainable mobility.”
“AUTOnomy has the potential to reduce petroleum consumption, decreasing emissions and increasing our energy independence,” Burns said.
Since a fuel cell propulsion system is about twice as efficient as an internal combustion engine, a fuel cell vehicle could provide twice the fuel efficiency of a comparably sized conventional vehicle, and an optimised vehicle would be even more efficient.
The fuel-cell chassis is radically different from current thinking it could even serve as a mobile energy source, providing heat and electricity for the home.
The skateboard design has immense flow-ons to other aspects of the vehicle. With all of its propulsion and control systems contained in the six-inch-thick chassis, the vehicle body is freed from traditional design requirements.
“There’s no engine to see over,” explained Wayne Cherry, GM Vice President of Design. “Drivers wouldn’t have to sit in the traditional location. They could move to the centre of the vehicle or closer to the front bumper or further back.
“It will take a little getting used to, but it’s maximum freedom, maximum space for people and their stuff. There wouldn’t be foot pedals or a steering column. The body shape could be anything you want it to be.”
Customers could have multiple bodies and swap them depending on their needs.
“We’ve chosen this futuristic two-seater, but next, we might do a mobility body that allows a wheelchair user to roll into the driving position, or a 10-seat transit bus. We’ve even talked about a seating position that puts the driver up front, like a helicopter pilot.”
In developing nations, one chassis might be the common base for vehicles as diverse as a bus and a farm vehicle.
AUTOnomy would also dramatically affect the way vehicles are built, distributed and even marketed.
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IF IT HAPPENS, the revolution someday might be traced to the night a decade ago when University of Southern California computer scientist Leonard Adleman lay in bed reading James Watson’s textbook Molecular Biology of the Gene.
‘this is amazing stuff, he said to his wife, and then a foggy notion robbed him of his sleep: Human cells and computers process and store information in much the same way.
Computers store data in strings made up of the numbers 0 and 1. Living things store information with molecules represented the letters A,T,C and G.
‘there were many more intriguing similarities, Adleman realized as he hopped out of bed. He began sketching the basics of DNA computing.
‘those late-night scribbles have long since given way to hard science, backed by research grants from NASA, the Pentagon and other federal agencies. Now a handful of researchers around the world are creating tiny biology-based computers, hoping to harness the powers of life itself.
COMPUTERS IN A TEST TUBE
‘they call their creations machines and devices. Really, they are nothing more than test tubes of DNA-laden water, and yet this liquid has been coaxed to crunch algorithms and spit out data.
‘the problems solved by DNA computers to date are rudimentary. Children could come up with the answers more quickly with a pencil and paper.
But the researchers hope to someday inject tiny computers into humans to zap viruses, fix good cells gone bad and otherwise keep us healthy.
‘they re also pursuing the idea that genetic material can self-replicate and grow into processors so powerful that they can handle problems too complex for silicon-based computers to solve.
Eventually, the scientists aim to create self-sustaining computers that can be used, for instance, on deep-space voyages, to monitor and maintain the health of humans on board.
HOW TO READ DNA
What struck Adleman most that night he jumped out of bed was how a living enzyme reads DNA much the same way computer pioneer Alan Turing first contemplated in 1936 how a machine could read data.
If you look inside the cell you find a bunch of amazing little tools, said Adleman, who made the first DNA-based computation in 1994. ‘the cell is a treasure chest.
Adleman used his computer to solve the classic ‘traveling salesman mathematical problem how a salesman can visit a given number of cities without passing through any city twice by exploiting the predictability of how DNA interacts.
Adleman assigned each of seven cities a different strip of DNA, 20 molecules long, then dropped them into a stew of millions of more strips of DNA that naturally bonded with the cities. That generated thousands of random paths, in much the same way that a computer can sift through random numbers to break a code.
From this hodgepodge of connected DNA, Adleman eventually extracted a satisfactory solution a strand that led directly from the first city to the last, without retracing any steps. DNA computing was born.
REALITY SINKS IN
What these researchers are essentially trying to do is control, predict and understand life itself. So there’s little wonder that their machines are decades away from being anything more than a neat laboratory trick.
Biologists are only now grasping the basics of how and why DNA unzips, recombines and sends and receives information. DNA is notoriously fragile and prone to transcription errors as the world’s cancer rates prove.
‘these realizations and others have tempered initial expectations that DNA would ultimately replace silicon chips. Still, researchers in this field believe they remain on the vanguard of a computational revolution.
After all, a single gram of dried DNA, about the size of a half-inch sugar cube, can hold as much information as a trillion compact discs. adleman senses that can be exploited somehow, some way.
I m just not sure how, he said.
One problem is that setting up DNA computers and extracting results from them can take days, sometimes weeks. Perhaps a bigger obstacle is controlling biological developments to generate accurate calculations. DNA doesn’t always behave like it’s expected to.
Columbia University researcher Milan Strojanovic, using NASA money, is developing a biology-based machine that doesn’t need hands-on human help to compute.
We want to use that technology for astronauts for health maintenance, said NASA scientist Paul Fung, who helps administer Strojanovic’s grant as part of a $15 million program to develop biomechanical sensors for use in space travel.
Ehud Shapiro of Israel’s Weizmann Institute of Science envisions programming tiny molecules with medical information and injecting them into people. He received a U.S. patent in 2001 for a computer within a single droplet of water that uses DNA molecules and enzymes as input, output, software and hardware.
‘this year, researchers in his lab added a power source to the device, capitalizing on the energy created when DNA molecules naturally break apart. In February, Guinness World Records Ltd. called the team’s invention ‘the smallest biological computing device.
‘shapiro also doubts genetics will supplant silicon, but remains optimistic.
I think they will live together happily, he said, and be used for different applications.
A new Dutch invention can make cars, busses and other vehicles no less than 50 percent more efficient and thus more environmentally friendly. Better still, the technology is already available; it all comes down to a smart combination of existing systems.
This winter, in the city of Apeldoorn, a city bus will be used to prove that the claims about the new invention are true. These are quite bold. E-traction, the company that developed the bus, boasts fuel savings of up to 60 per cent, with emissions down to only a fraction of the soot and carbon dioxide an ordinary bus would blow out of its tailpipe.
In addition, the test bus requires no adaptation, its drivers need no extra training and there’ll be no discomfort for passengers. It will simply run on diesel, just like all the other buses, and it should be just as reliable. One thing however will be very different; the Apeldoorn bus hardly makes a sound, hence its nickname “the whisperer”.
All this is made possible by an in-wheel’ electric engine, in fact nothing more than a normal electric engine turned inside out.
The outer wall of a traditional electric engine is a cylinder lined on the inside with copper wire. If electricity is fed into the copper wire, the current will circle the cylinder on the inside at high speed. Cylinder and wire together are called the ‘stator’ (because it doesn’t move).
To change the electricity running along the inner wall of the cylinder into movement, another part of the engine comes into play: ‘the rotor’. This is in fact an axle, mounted in the centre of the cylinder, with permanent magnets attached to it. The electrical current in the stator pulls the rotor magnets along and the axle starts to turn.
The wheel works precisely the other way around. The fixed part of the engine – the stator – is now on the inside. The wire is wrapped around it.
The moving part of the engine the rotor – is no longer an axle fitted with magnets but a ring running on the outside of the stator.
The magnets are fixed on the inside of this ring. If power is fed into the engine the magnets will as before – follow the current, but now it’s the ring on the outside, which will turn.
And that’s what makes ‘the whisperer revolutionary; a ring functioning as a wheel. By just putting a tire on it you can drive a bus, a car, anything with it. Since the wheel is in fact the engine, no axles or any other friction-producing and therefore energy-wasting mechanical parts are needed.
Even the’transmission is unnecessary; if you want to go faster you just run more electricity through the engine. And it works really well while braking, when the in-wheel engine works as a generator, produces electricity to charge the batteries.
Pack of Batteries
The power to drive the Apeldoorn bus is stored in a big battery pack that sits in a’steel drawer under the bus. Changing the batteries every time they’re drained would be impractical, as would be taking the bus out of service for recharging them for hours on end. Instead, a small diesel-powered generator built into what used to be the bus’s engine bay continuously charges the whole battery pack.
Since in-wheel engines are so highly efficient, the generator’s diesel engine can be very small, about the size of the compact city car’s engine. Because charging the batteries is all it needs to do, the tiny engine consumes very little fuel and can run continuously at a speed of 1700 revs per minute, the most efficient rev count.
Clean and quiet
Passengers will find it more important that the bus is quiet and clean. No more roaring buses pulling away from the station in a cloud of diesel fumes. When the whisperer pulls away (and whenever it drives for that matter), the power comes from the batteries, not the diesel engine which simply keeps on purring quietly.
Furthermore, the constant rev count makes the catalyser much more effective, and the small size of the engine makes it possible to completely fill the rest of the engine bay with sound proofing. Being 90 percent quieter than other buses, the whisperer’ really deserves its name.
In the coming six months the bus has’to prove itself in everyday practice. Come summer, the city of Apeldoorn is set to decide whether to use whisperers on a larger scale in public transport. Dr Arjan Heinen, inventor of’the whisperer and director of E-traction, radiates confidence: “This is a practical solution for present-day public transport. Every bus driver can get behind the wheel and do his job as before, only now it’s quiet, clean and energy-efficient.”
The future of’the in-wheel electric engine seems bright. At the recent Tokyo Motor Show, it was the engine of choice in many of the futuristic hydrogen-powered concept cars.
When Leonardo da Vinci sketched out an impossible invention, fifteenth-century scholars probably put him down. Forget it, Leon. If machines could fly, we’d know about it.
Throughout history, experts tell innovators that their inventions are impossible. A few examples:
The English Academy of Science laughed at Benjamin Franklin when he reported his discovery of the lightning rod, and the Academy refused to publish his report.
A gathering of German engineers in 1902 ridiculed Count Ferdinand von Zeppelin for claiming to invent a steerable balloon. (Later, Zeppelin airships flew commercially across the Atlantic.)
Major newspapers ignored the historic 1903 flight of the Wright brothers airplane because Scientific American suggested the flight was a hoax, and for five years officials in Washington, D.C. did not believe that the heavier-than-air machine had flown.
Perhaps in the 21st century the following inventions will be standard science, and a history student may wonder why 20th-century pundits disregarded them.
This class of inventions could wipe out oil crises and help solve environmental problems. More commonly called free energy or fuelless electric generators, they put out more power than goes into them from any previously recognized source. No batteries, no fuel tank and no link with a wall socket. Instead, they tap an invisible source of power. Such unorthodox clean energy-producing devices exist today and were built as far back as the l9th century.
Forget the Rube Goldberg mechanical perpetual motion contraptions; they had to stop eventually. In contrast, new solid-state (no moving parts) energy converters are said to draw from an energy field in surrounding space. This source of abundant power is known by physicists as the zero-point quantum fluctuations of vacuum space. Zero-point refers to the fact that even at a temperature at which heat movement in molecules stops cold, zero degrees Kelvin, there is still a jiggling movement, said to be from interdimensional fluctuations or cosmic energy. Magnetism and vortexian or spin-upon-a-spin motions seem to line up these random fluctuations of space and put them to work, as in the Searl Effect (Atlantis Rising, first issue).
Inventors give various names to their space-energy converters. In the 1930s a scientist in Utah, T. Henry Moray, invented a Radiant Energy device powered from the sea of energy in which the earth floats. This sea that surrounds us, Moray said, is packed with rays which constantly pierce the earth from all directions, perhaps from countless galaxies. Converting this cosmic background radiation into a strange cold form of electricity, his device lit incandescent bulbs, heated a flat iron and ran a motor. His sons say he was thanked with bullets and other harassments, but that’s another story.
A spiritual commune in Switzerland had a tabletop free energy device running in greenhouses for years, but members feared that outsiders would turn the technology into weaponry. Before the commune closed its doors to snoopers, European engineers witnessed the converter putting out thousands of watts. However, most other unorthodox energy technologies are still at the stage of unreliable, crude prototypes. (So was the Wrights first airplane; it only flew about a hundred feet.)
The inventor of AC (alternating current) electrical generating and transmission systems, the genius Nikola Tesla (1857-1943), was said to have run a Pierce-Arrow car on a free energy device in the 1930s. Although that’s difficult to document now, we have his word that it’s possible. It is a mere question of time when men will succeed in attaching their machinery to the very wheelwork of nature, said Tesla.
It may have been done before Tesla’s time. Among the free energy inventions of John Worrell Keely (1827-1898) is the Hydro Pneumo-Pulsating-Vacuo motor that used cavitation (implosion) of water. Although Keely reached an advanced understanding of the science of vibrations, he failed to develop machines which other people could operate. Progress continues from other directions, a company in Georgia is selling water cavitation devices that range from 110 per cent to 300 per cent efficient.
Up in Vancouver, Canada, Tesla researcher John Hutchison says he has a feel for the natural flows of a subtle primal energy. In the spring of 1995 he showed his latest invention to the author and a mechanical engineer. The Hutchison Converter involves crystalline materials and the principle of electrical resonance. He twirls a few knobs to tune it, and the energy flow is amplified until it runs a one-inch diameter Radio Shack motor. The whirring of a small propeller isn’t too impressive until you remember that there are no batteries and the device runs for days at a time.
The garage inventors come from many backgrounds. Wingate Lambertson Ph.D. of Florida, former executive director of Kentucky’s science and technology commission, invented a device which converts the space energy fluctuations into electricity which lights a row of lamps. This dignified former professor took a roundabout route to the free-energy scene. In the mid-1960s he read There Is a River by Thomas Sugree, who writes about the destruction of Atlantis through misuse of a crystal energy collector. Lambertson’s psychic friend later offered to collaborate on replicating the first Atlantean energy converter, but Lambertson eventually turned to his own knowledge of ceramics and metals to develop an energy converter. Neither his nor other known zero-point energy conversion methods of today are based on the first Atlantean crystal method, because the researchers found better methods. Also, the concept of a central power station providing electric power to a nation is obsolete, says Dr. Lambertson. Small energy converters will follow the path of the personal converter.
In Japan, cold fusion is called New Hydrogen Energy, and that oil-dependent nation welcomes successful experiments. In contrast, two pioneering experimenters were hounded out of North America. David Lewis described this scene as Heavy Watergate in Atlantis Rising, issue two.
Update: A successful experiment was served up in Monte Carlo in April, at the Fifth International Conference on Cold Fusion. Clean Energy Technologies Inc. of Florida demonstrated a cold fusion cell with energy output as much as ten times more than input. Other companies are also gambling on this new source of heat energy which could drive electric generators.
What exactly causes atomic nuclei to fuse, and release energy, without extreme high temperatures and pressures? A Romanian physicist writing in Infinite Energy magazine, Dr. Peter Gluck, wonders if it could be only partly a catalytic nuclear effect, and partly a catalytic quantum effect providing the capture of the zero-point energy, The ubiquitous z-p energy.
Another variation on the water-fuel theme relies more on vibrations than on chemistry. At more than 100 per cent efficiency, such a system produces hydrogen gas and oxygen from ordinary water at normal temperatures and pressure.
One example is U.S. Patent 4,394,230, Method and Apparatus for Splitting Water Molecules, issued to Dr. Andrija Puharich in 1983. His method made complex electrical wave forms resonate water molecules and shatter them, which freed hydrogen and oxygen. By using Tesla’s understanding of electrical resonance, Puharich was able to split the water molecule much more efficiently than the brute-force electrolysis that every physics student knows. (Resonance is what shatters a crystal goblet when an opera singer hits the exact note which vibrates with the crystal’s molecular structure.)
Puharich reportedly drove his mobile home using only water as fuel for several hundred thousand kilometers in trips across North America. In a high Mexican mountain pass he had to make do with snow for fuel. Splitting water molecules as needed in a vehicle is more revolutionary than the hydrogen-powered systems with which every large auto manufacturer has dallied. With the on-demand system, you don’t need to carry a tank full of hydrogen fuel which could be a potential bomb.
Another inventor who successfully made fuel out of water on the spot was the late Francisco Pacheco of New Jersey. The Pacheco Bi-Polar Autoelectric Hydrogen Generator (U.S. Patent No. 5,089,107) separated hydrogen from seawater as needed.
A pioneer in breaking down water into hydrogen and oxygen without heat or ordinary electricity, John Worrell Keely reportedly performed feats which 20th-century science is unable to duplicate. He worked with sound and other vibrations to set machines into motion. To liberate energy in molecules of water, Keely poured a quart of water into a cylinder where tuning forks vibrated at the exact frequency to liberate the energy. Does this mean he broke apart the water molecules and liberated hydrogen, or did he free a more primal form of energy? The records which could answer such questions are lost. However, a century later, Keely is being vindicated. One scientist recently discovered that Keely was correct in predicting the exact frequency which would burst apart a water molecule. Keely understood atoms to be intricate vibratory phenomena.
Look, Mom Earth, no power lines!
Tesla may have wanted to voice such a boast, but it didn’t turn out that way; the world is crisscrossed with transmission lines for the electrical power grid. His invention for sending electrical power wirelessly wasn’t too popular on Wall Street.
Before the power brokers figured out what he was up to, Tesla built a tower-topped laboratory near what is now Colorado Springs. He filled the mountain air with thunderous manmade lightning bolts and pounded the earth with electrical oscillations as he tested ideas about electrical resonance. Then he returned to New York to build Wardenclyffe, a complex wooden tower on Long Island from which he planned to send both communications and power wirelessly. When banker J. Pierpont Morgan realized Tesla could make it possible for anyone to stick an antenna in the ground anywhere and get electrical power, the banker cut off the inventor’s funding and blocked other financial deals that Tesla tried to make. Wardenclyffe tower was torn down and sold for scrap.
In recent years, scientists such as James Corum Ph.D. have learned that Tesla did successfully test a wireless system in Colorado. For example, Tesla knew specific frequencies associated with the earth-ionosphere waveguide, knowledge he could not have had in the nineteenth century unless he had sent electrical oscillations wirelessly.
In 1923 Townsend T. Brown’s simple flying discs demonstrated a connection between electricity and gravitation. Working along these lines for twenty-eight- more years, Brown patented (U.S. Patents 2,949,550, 3,018,394 and others) an electrostatic propulsion method. Starting with two-feet-in-diameter suspended discs flying around a pole at seventeen feet per second, he increased the size by a third, and the discs flew so fast that the results were highly classified, said an international aviation magazine in 1956. Before the end of his life Brown had apparatus that could lift itself directly when electricity was applied. He died in 1985.
The bottom line: if electrogravitics is developed, we could have an electric spacecraft technology which does not obey known electromagnetic principles. The craft would thrust in any direction, without moving engine parts. No gears, shafts, propellers or wheels.
Coupling effects between electricity or magnetism and gravity are shown by other experimenters, including David Hamel of Ontario and Floyd Sparky Sweet of California. At a 1981 symposium in Toronto, Rudolf Zinsser of Germany demonstrated a device (U.S. Patent 4,085,384) that propelled itself, according to credible witnesses such as professional engineer George Hathaway. Zinsser claimed his specifically shaped pulses of electromagnetic waves altered the local gravitational field.
Hathaway collaborated in the mid-1980s with John Hutchison on action-at-a-distance experiments in which heavy pieces of metal levitated and shot toward the ceiling when put in a complex electromagnetic field, and some metal samples shredded anomalously. Visitors to the laboratory came from Los Alamos and the Canadian department of defense. (The military is a quantum leap ahead of the academics in spooky science.)
Read the first issue of Atlantis Rising for a fascinating antigravity story, John Searle’s levity disk generator.
The superconducting Magnetically-levitated Linear Motor Car is a most promising high speed transportation system in the 21st century.
It is a vehicle befitting the requirements of the high speed and massive transportation age, as it operates at a stunning 500 Kmph, and has the transportation capacity equivalent to the existing shinkansen.
It is a most advanced traffic system, which has less noise and vibration and promises a safe and comfortable ride.
What is Superconductivity?
When certain metals are cooled below a specific temperature,their electric resistance vanishes. This phenomenon is known as “superconductivity”. Once current is applied to a coil made of superconductive metal, it continues to flow permanently and without loss. This coil can generate dozens of times stronger magnetic field than that of permanent magnets. For the Maglev, a bundle of extremely fine niobium-titanium alloy (superconductive metal) wire is embedded in a copper matrix in order to improve the stability of superconductivity. This wire is cooled with liquid helium (ca-269(I_(BC) to be superconductive state.
How does it advance forwards ?(Propulsion System)
By passing current through propulsion coils on the ground, a magnetic field (north and south poles) is produced, thus the train is propelled forward by the force fo attraction between opposite poles and the repulsive force of same poles acting between the ground coils and the superconducting magnets built into the vehicles.
How is it levitated ? (Levitation System)
When the superconducting magnets on the vehicles pass through at high speed current flows through levitation and guidance coils on the ground producing electrodynamic levitating force to the vehicles.
Why doesn’t it collide with the wall ?(Guidance System)
The levitation and guidance coils on either side are connected with electric power cables. They keep the vehicles in the center of the guideway at all times by exerting an attractive force on the further side of the vehicle and a repulsive force on the nearer side should the train move off center to either side.
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by Jeane Manning
Changing atomic elements or making elements appear mysteriously? It sounds like impossible alchemy, but experimenters recently did this, without Big Science particle accelerators. These scientists learned from a metaphysician, Walter Russell (1871-1963). During vivid spiritual experiences, Russell had seen everything in the universe, from the atom to outer space, being formed by an invisible background geometry. Russell not only portrayed his visions in paintings, he also learned science. He was so far ahead that in 1926 he predicted tritium, deuterium, neptunium, plutonium and other elements.
Recently, professional engineers Ron Kovac and Toby Grotz of Colorado, with help from Dr. Tim Binder, repeated Russell’s 1927 work, which was verified at the time by Westinghouse Laboratories. Russell found a novel way to change the ratio of hydrogen to oxygen in water vapor inside a sealed quartz tube, or to change the vapor to completely different elements. Their conclusion agrees with Russell: the geometry of motion in space is important in atomic transmutation. Kovac shorthands that idea to geometry of space-bending.
These modern shape-shifters speak of Russell’s feats such as prolate or oblate the oxygen nucleus into nitrogen or hydrogen or vice versa. To change nuclei, they change the shape of a magnetic field. Although they used expensive analyzing equipment, it is basically tabletop science. No atom-smashing cyclotron needed; just a gentle nudge using the right frequencies. Focus and un-focus light-motion, create a vortex and control it.
Cold fusion researchers are also running across strange elements popping up in their own electrified brews. No one is proposing to make gold and upset world currencies, but some experimenters aim to clean up radioactive waste by their novel processes.
As Wilhelm Reich, M.D., (1897-1957) moved from Europe to Scandinavia to America, he left a trail of angry experts in every field he explored, from psychiatry to politics to sexology, biology, microscopy and cancer research. His work all led toward one unifying discovery, a mass-free pulsating life-force energy he named orgone, because he discovered it in living organisms before finding that it also permeates earth’s atmosphere.
Reich’s life ended in prison after prolonged conflict with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. His books and papers were burned by federal officials because the FDA had gathered a case against use of his orgone accumulator for therapy. The accumulator is a box made of layered organic and inorganic materials; experiments with it show anomalous results. An unusual temperature rise inside the accumulator indicates limitations of the second law of thermodynamics. Whether or not concentrated orgone can help with health problems, the accumulator does defy standard science.
In 1952 Wilhelm Reich invented a method of rainmaking that doesn’t involve cloudseeding with chemicals. Cloudbusting, otherwise known as etheric weather engineering, invokes principles that are hard for the conventionally trained mind to accept. The technology is low-tech; point some hollow metal pipes at the sky and connect their lower ends into running water. But unless you know both meteorology and orgonamy, please don’t try this at home, on our planet.
Among the properties of the primordial energy, orgone, Reich observed, are its absorption into water, its role in controlling weather and its dangerous state when excited by radioactivity. The planet doesn’t need any more mad-scientist experimenters manipulating natural systems, but it may need a more advanced understanding of what nuclear power plant emissions do to the atmosphere. (Reich’s followers warn that the planet’s life-force is disturbed by the excess radioactivity.)
In the late 1920s Royal Raymond Rife of San Diego invented a high-magnification, high-resolution light microscope. This meant that he could see unstained living cells, unlike the dead specimens seen under an electron microscope. Basically, he developed an electromagnetic frequency generator which he could tune to the natural frequency of the micro-organism under study. Further, he learned that certain electromagnetic frequencies could kill specific bacterial forms.
New discoveries in biophysics not only shed light on the illumination process of Rife’s microscope, they also explain how he could selectively explode viruses. His concept of shape changing bacteria indicates that traditional germ-theory dogma is incomplete. Despite documented cures, his non-drug, painless electrical treatment of diseases was not welcomed by a powerful medical union.
When Patrick Flanagan was a teenager in the early 1960s, Life magazine listed him as one of the top scientists in the world. Among his inventions was the Neurophone, an electronic instrument that can program suggestions into a person directly through skin contact. He made the first Neurophone at age fourteen, out of kitchen junk, his electrodes were scouring pads made of fine copper wire and insulated with plastic bags. He then wired the electrodes to a special transformer attached to a hi-fi amplifier. Holding the pads on his temples, he could hear, inside his head, music from the amplifier. Later models automatically adjusted the signal to resonate with the human subject’s skin as part of a complex circuit. Patent officials said it was impossible for a sound to be heard clearly without vibrating bones or going through a crucial nerve of the ear, and refused for 12 years to patent it. The file was re-opened when a nerve-deaf employee at the patent office did hear with a Neurophone.
At one time Flanagan researched man/dolphin language, on contracts with the U.S. Navy. This led to a 3-D holographic sound system that could place sounds in any location in space. He then perfected a Neurophone model which could be used for subliminal learning that would go into the brain’s long-term memory banks. But after he sent in a patent application on a digital Neurophone, the Defense Intelligence Agency slapped on a Secrecy Order and he was unable to work on the device or talk to anyone about it for five years. This was discouraging, since the first patent took twelve years to get.
Having helped certain deaf people to hear, Flanagan’s next miracle could be to help the blind to see. All we have to do is stimulate the skin with the right signals.
With public acceptance of inventions such as space-energy converters and super-learning devices, perhaps today’s innovators will pull the establishment, kicking and scoffing, into a new world view before the 21st century. However, figure that there will always be experts to say Forget it: such things are impossible.
This is a web site (still under construction) for young students – and
anyone else – who are (like me) thrilled by the challenges posed by real science,
and who are – like me – determined to use their brains to discover new things
about the physical world that we are living in. In short, it is for all those who decided
to study theoretical physics, in their own time.
It so often happens that I receive mail – well-intended but totally useless –
by amateur physicists who believe to have solved the world. They believe this,
only because they understand totally nothing about the real way problems are
solved in Modern Physics. If you really want to contribute to our theoretical
understanding of physical laws – and it is an exciting experience if you
succeed! – there are many things you need to know. First of all, be serious
about it. All
necessary science courses are taught at Universities, so, naturally, the first
thing you should do is have yourself admitted at a University and absorb
everything you can. But what if you are still young, at School, and before being
admitted at a University, you have to endure the childish anecdotes that they call science there? What if
you are older, and you are not at all looking forward to join those noisy crowds
of young students ?
It should be possible, these days, to collect all knowledge you need from the
internet. Problem then is, there is so much junk on the internet. Is it possible
to weed out those very rare pages that may really be of use? I know exactly what should
be taught to the beginning student. The names and topics of the absolutely
necessary lecture courses are easy to list, and this is what I have done below.
It is my intention to search on the web where the really useful papers and books
are, preferably downloadable as well. This way, the costs of becoming a
theoretical physicist should not exceed much the price of a computer with internet
connection, a printer, and lots of paper and pens. Unfortunately, I still have
to recommend to buy text books as well, but it is harder to advise you here;
perhaps in a future site. Let’s first limit ourselves to the absolute minimum. The subjects listed below
must be studied. Any omission will be punished: failure. Do get me right: you
don’t have to believe anything you read on faith – check it. Try alternative
approaches, as many as you can. You will discover, time and again, that really
what those guys did indeed was the smartest thing possible. Amazing. the best of
the texts come with exercises. Do them. find out that you can understand
everything. Try to reach the stage that you discover the numerous
misprints, tiny mistakes as well as more important errors, and imagine how you
would write those texts in a smarter way.
excellent teachers around me. That helps one from running astray. It helped me
all the way to earn a Nobel Prize. But I didn’t
have internet. I am going to try to be your teacher. It is a formidable task. I
am asking students, colleagues, teachers to help me improve this site. It is
presently set up only for those who wish to become theoretical physicists, not
just ordinary ones, but the very best, those who are fully determined to earn
their own Nobel Prize. If you are more modest than that, well, finish those lousy schools
first and follow the regular routes provided by educators and specialized -gogues
who are so damn carefully chewing all those tiny portions before feeding them to
This is a site for ambitious people. I am sure that anyone can do this, if one
is gifted with a certain amount of intelligence, interest and
Theoretical Physics is like a sky scraper. It has solid foundations in
elementary mathematics and notions of classical (pre-20th century) physics.
Don’t think that pre-20th century physics is "irrelevant" since now we have
so much more. In those days, the solid foundations were laid of the
knowledge that we enjoy now. Don’t try to construct your sky scraper without
first reconstructing these foundations yourself. The first few floors of our
skyscraper consist of advanced mathematical formalisms that turn the
Classical Physics theories into beauties of their own. They are needed if
you want to go higher than that. So, next come many of the other subjects
listed below. Finally, if you are mad enough that you want to solve those
tremendously perplexing problems of reconciling gravitational physics with
the quantum world, you end up studying general relativity, superstring
theory, M-theory, Calabi-Yau compactification and so on. That’s
presently the top of the sky scraper. There are other peaks such as
Bose-Einstein condensation, fractional Hall effect, and more. Also good for
Nobel Prizes, as the past years have shown. A warning is called for: even if
you are extremely smart, you are still likely to get stuck somewhere. Surf
the net yourself. Find more. Tell me about what you found. If this site has
been of any help to someone while preparing for a University study, if this
has motivated someone, helped someone along the way, and smoothened his or
her path towards science, then I call this site successful. Please let me
know. Here is the list.
Note that this site NOT meant to be very pedagogical. I avoid texts with
lots of colorful but distracting pictures from authors who try hard to be
funny. Also, the subjects included are somewhat focused towards my own
LIST OF SUBJECTS, IN LOGICAL ORDER (not everything has to be done in
this order, but this approximately indicates the logical coherence of the
various subjects. Some notes are at a higher level than others).
Statistical Mechanics and Thermodynamics
Atoms and Molecules
Solid State Physics
Advanced Quantum Mechanics
Quantum Field Theory
The .ps files are PostScript files .
(In this initial phase this page is still incomplete!)
English is a prerequisite. If you haven’t mastered it yet, learn it. You
must be able to read, write, speak and understand English, but you don’t
have to be perfect here. The lousy English used in this text is mine. That’s
enough. All publications are in English. Note the importance of being able
to write in English. Sooner or later you will wish to publish your results.
People must be able to read and understand your stuff.
French, German, Spanish and Italian may be useful too, but they are not
at all necessary. They are nowhere near the foundations of our sky-scraper,
so don’t worry. You do need the Greek alphabet. Greek letters are used a
lot. Learn their names, otherwise you make a fool of yourself when giving an
oral presentation. Now, here begins the serious stuff. Don’t complain that
it looks like being a lot. You won’t get your Nobel Prize for free, and
remember, all of this together takes our students at least 5 years of
intense study (at least one reader was surprised at this statement, saying
that (s)he would never master this in 5 years; indeed, I am addressing
people who plan to spend most of their time to this study). More than
rudimentary intelligence is assumed to be present, because ordinary students
can master this material only when assisted by patient teachers. It is
necessary to do exercises. Some of the texts come with exercises. Do them,
or better, invent your own exercises. Try to outsmart the authors, but
please refrain from mailing to me your alternative theories until you have
studied the entire lot; if you do this well you will discover that many of
these authors were not so stupid after all.
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Now, first things first :
Are you comfortable with numbers, adding, subtracting, square roots, etc.?
- Natural numbers: 1, 2, 3, …
- Integers: …, -3, -2, -1, 0, 1, 2, …
- Rational numbers (fractions): , , , 23791 / 773, …
- Real numbers: Sqrt(2) = 1.4142135… , pi = 3.14159265… , e=
- Complex numbers: 2+3i, eia= cos(a) +
isin( a), … they are very important!
Set theory: open sets, compact spaces. Topology.You
may be surprised to learn that they do play a role indeed in physics!
Algebraic equations. Approximation techniques. Series expansions: the
Taylor series. Solving equations with complex numbers. Trigonometry: sin(2x)=2sin
x cos x, etc.
Infinitesimals. Differentiation. Differentiate basic functions (sin, cos,
exp). Integration. Integrate basic functions, when possible. Differential
equations. Linear equations.
The Fourier transformation. The use of complex numbers. Convergence of
The complex plane. Cauchy theorems and contour integration (now this is
The Gamma function (enjoy studying its properties).
Gaussian integrals. Probability theory.
Partial differential equations. Dirichlet and Neumann boundary
This is for starters. Some of these topics actually come as entire
lecture courses. Much of those are essential ingredients of theories in
Physics. You don’t have to finish it all before beginning with what follows
next, but remember to return to those subjects skipped during the first
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- Static mechanics (forces, tension); hydrostatics. Newton’s Laws.
- The elliptical orbits of planets. The many-body system.
- The action principle. Hamilton’s equations. The Lagrangean. (Don’t
skip – extremely important!)
- The harmonic oscillator. The pendulum.
- Poisson’s brackets.
- Wave equations. Liquids and gases. The Navier-Stokes equations.
Viscosity and friction.
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- fraction and reflection.
- lenses and mirrors.
- The telescope and the microscope.
- Introduction to wave propagation.
- Doppler effect.
- Huijgens’ principle of wave superposition.
- Wave fronts.
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Statistical Mechanics and Thermodynamics:
- The first, second and third laws of thermodynamics.
- The Boltzmann distribution.
- The Carnot cycle. Entropy. Heat engines.
- Phase transitions. Thermodynamical models.
- The Ising Model (postpone techniques to solve the 2-dimensional
Ising Model to later).
- Planck’s radiation law (as a prelude to Quantum Mechanics)
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(Only some very basic things about electronic circuits)
- Ohm’s law, capacitors, inductors, using complex numbers to calculate
- Transistors, diodes (how these actually work comes later).
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Maxwell’s Theory for electromagnetism
- homogeneous and inhomogeneous
Maxwell’s laws in a medium. Boundaries. Solving the equations in:
- vacumm and homogeneous medium (electromagnetic waves)
- in a box (wave guides)
- at boundaries (fraction and reflection)
The vector potential and gauge invariance (extremely important)
emission and absorption on EM waves (antenna)
light scattering against objects.
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Computational Physics :
Even the pure sang theorist may be interested in some aspects of
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Quantum Mechanics (Non-relativistic):
- Bohr’s atom.
- DeBroglie’s relations (Energy-frequency, momentum-wave number)
- Schr dinger’s equation (with electric potential and magnetic field).
- Ehrenfest’s theorem.
- A particle in a box.
- The hydrogen atom, solved systematically. The Zeeman effect.Stark
- The quantum harmonic oscillator.
- Operators: energy, momentum, angular momentum, creation and
- Their commutation rules.
- Introduction to quantum mechanical scattering. The S-matrix.
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Atoms and Molecules:
- Chemical binding
- Atomic and molecular spectra
- Emission and absorption of light.
- Quantum selection rules
- Magnetic moments.
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Solid State Physics:
- Crystal groups
- Bragg reflection
- Dielectric and diamagnetic constants
- Bloch spectra
- Fermi level
- Conductors, semiconductors and insulators
- Specific heat
- Electrons and holes
- The transistor
- Hall effect.
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- Fission and fusion
- Droplet model
- Nuclear quantum numbers
- Magic nuclei
- Yukawa theory
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- Group theory, and the linear representations of groups
- Lie group theory
- Vectors and tensors
- More techniques to solve (partial) differential and integral
- Extremum principle and approximation techniques based on that
- Difference equations
- Generating functions
- Hilbert space
- Introduction to the functional integral
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- The Lorentz transformation
- Lorentz contraction, time dilatation
- E = mc2
- 4-vectors and 4-tensors
- Transformation rules for the Maxwell field
- Relativistic Doppler effect
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Advanced Quantum Mechanics:
- Hilbert space
- Atomic transitions
- Emission and absorption of light
- Stimulated emission
- Density matrix
- Interpretation of QM
- The Bell inequalities
- Towards relativistic QM: The Dirac equation, finestructure
- Electrons and positrons
- BCS theory for supraconductivity
- Quantum Hall effect
- Advanced scattering theory
- Dispersion relations
- Perturbation expansion
- WKB approximation, Extremum principle
- Bose-Einstein condensation
- Superliquid helium
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subatomic particles (mesons, baryons, photons, leptons, quarks) and
cosmic rays; property of materials and chemistry; nuclear isotopes; phase
transitions; astrophysics (planetary system, stars, galaxies, red shifts,
supernovae); cosmology (cosmological models, inflationary universe theories,
microwave background radiation); detection techniques.
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- The metric tensor
- Space-time curvature
- Einstein’s gravity equation
- The Schwarzschild black hole
- Reissner-Nordstr m black hole
- Periastron shift
- Gravitational lensing
- Cosmological models
- Gravitational radiation
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Quantum Field Theory:
Classical fields: Scalar, Dirac-spinor, Yang-Mills vector fields.
Interactions, perturbation expansion. Spontaneous symmetry breaking,
Goldstone mode, Higgs mechanism.
Particles and fields: Fock space. Antiparticles. Feynman rules. The
Gell-Mann-L vy sigma model for pions and nuclei. Loop diagrams. Unitarity,
Causality and dispersion relations. Renormalization (Pauli-Villars;
dimensional ren.) Quantum gauge theory: Gauge fixing, Faddeev-Popov
determinant, Slavnov identities, BRST symmetry. The renormalization group.
Solitons, Skyrmions. Magnetic monopoles and instantons. Permanent quark
confinement mechanism. The 1/N expansion. Operator product expansion.
Bethe-Salpeter equation. Construction of the Standard Model. P and
CP violation. The CPT theorem. Spin and statistics connection.
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lecture notes to be found on the web.
There are numerous good books on all sorts of topics in Theoretical Physics.
Just to name a few:
- Classical Mechanics – 3rd ed. – Goldstein, Poole & Safko
- Classical dynamics: a contemporary approach – Jorge V. Jos , Eugene
- Classical Mechanics – Systems of Particles and Hamiltonian Dynamics
– W. Greiner
- Mathematical Methods of Classical Mechanics, 2nd ed. – V.I. Arnold
- Mechanics 3rd ed. – L. Landau, E. Lifshitz
- L. E. Reichl: A Modern Course in Statistical Physics, 2nd ed.
- R. K. Pathria: Statistical Mechanics
- M. Plischke & B. Bergesen: Equilibrium Statistical Physics
- L. D. Landau & E. M. Lifshitz: Statistical Physics, Part 1
- S.-K. Ma, Statistical Mechanics, World Scientific
- Quantum Mechanics – an Introduction, 4th ed. – W. Greiner
- R. Shankar, Principles of Quantum Mechanics, Plenum
- Quantum Mechanics – Symmetries 2nd ed. – W. Greiner, B. Muller
- Quantum Mechanics – Vol 1&2 – Cohen-Tannoudji
- J.J. Sakurai, Advanced Quantum Mechanics, Addison-Wesley
- J.D. Jackson, Classical Electrodynamics, 3rd ed., Wiley & Sons.
- Electromagnetic Fields And Waves – lorrain and corson
- Classical Electrodynamics – W. Greiner
- Introduction to Electrodynamics – D. Griffiths
- Quantum Electrodynamics – 3rd ed., – W. Greiner, J. Reinhardt
- Principles of Optics – M.Born, E. Wolf
- Principles Of Nonlinear Optics – Y. R. Shen
- Thermodynamics and an Introduction to Thermostatistics 2ed – H.
- Thermodynamics and statistical mechanics – Greiner, Neise, Stoecker
Solid State Physics:
- Solid State Physics – Ashcroft, Neil W, Mermin, David N
- Introduction to Solid State Physics 7th edition- Kittel, Charles
- Classical Mechanics – Point Particles And Relativity – W. Greiner
- Introduction to the theory of relativity and the principles of
modern physics – H. Yilmaz
- J.B. Hartle,
Gravity, An Introduction to Einstein’s General Relativity,
Addison Wesley, 2003.
- T.-P. Cheng, Relativity, Gravitation and Cosmology, A Basic
Introduction, Oxford Univ. Press, 2005.
- Introduction to Elementary Particles – D. Griffiths
- Fundamentals in Nuclear Physics – From Nuclear Structure to
Cosmology – Basdevant, Rich, Spiro
- B. de Wit & J. Smith, Field Theory in Particle Physics,
- C. Itzykson & J.-B. Zuber, Quantum Field Theory, McGraw-Hill.
- Barton Zwiebach, A First Course in String Theory, Cambridge Univ.
- M.B. Green, J.H. Schwarz & E. Witten, Superstring theory, Vols. I &
II, Cambridge Univ. Press
- An Introduction to cosmology, 3rd Ed – Roos
- Relativity, thermodynamics, and cosmology – Tolman R.C.
- J.B. Marion & W.F. Hornyak, Principles of Physics, Saunders College
Publishing, 1984, ISBN 0-03-049481-8
- H. Margenau and G.M. Murphy, The Mathematics of Physics and
Chemistry, D. v.Nostrand Comp.
- R. Baker, Linear Algebra, Rinton Press
Find lists of other useful textbooks here:
Physics (most of these are rather for amusement than being essential for
understanding the World),
or a little bit more seriously:
There already is some response. I thank: Rob van Linden, Robert Tough, Thuy
Nguyen, Tina Witham, Jerry Blair, Jonathan Martin, David Cuthbertson, Trent
Strong, and many others.
Mr. Hisham Kotry came with an important question:
"…You sketch the path for potential students through the forest of
college level physics… Two years ago I decided to self-study theoretical
physics by following the syllabus of a renown university and the advice from
your page and now I’m half-way through the journey but I was wondering about
what happens next? Quoting you from the former page "In short, it is for all
those who decided to study theoretical physics, in their own time.", Do you
know of anyone who got tenure at a physics department or any research
institute based on studies he did in his own time without holding a
This is not so easy to answer, unfortunately. What I can say, is:
Eventually, whether you like it or not, you will have to obtain some
University degree, if you wish a self-supporting career in theoretical
Physics. One possibility is to follow a
Master course such as the one offered by our University. I don’t know
about your qualifications, but I suspect that, with enough determination,
you may be able to comply.
This is not a burocratic argument but a very practical one. It is also
advisable not to wait until you think your self-study is completed. You must
allow your abilities to be tested, so that you get the recognition that you
may well deserve. Also, I frequently meet people who get stuck at some
point. Only by intense interactions with teachers and peers one can help
oneself across such barriers. I have not yet met anyone who could do the
entire study all by him/herself without any guidance. If you really think
you have reached a professional level in your studies, you can try to get
admitted to schools, conferences and workshops in topics of your interest.
3/04/06: Message received from John Glasscock, Bloomington, IN:
The only one I know of currently is John Moffatt at U Toronto, who was a
student of Abdus Salam at Imperial College, London. He started life as a
painter in Paris, had no undergraduate degree, taught himself, corresponded
with Einstein, and was admitted, based on his demonstrated original work, at
IC. (Source: Jo o Magueijo, _Faster than the Speed of Light_. Perseus
Publishing, Cambridge, MA. 2003.)
Suggestions for further lecture notes from Alvaro V liz:
The archimedeans webpage: It has a lot of lecture notes in Physics
and Mathematics from Part I and II from Cambridge.
Uranga’s lectures in String Theory._
5. I found also extremely helpful
MIT’s OpenCourseWare: Lewin’s lectures in basic Physics are terrific
Want cheap, green electricity? The Australians have a simple answer. First, build a 20,000-acre greenhouse to trap and heat air. Then build a colossal tower 1 km (.62 miles) tall in the middle of it. The warm air from the greenhouse will rise through the tower as it would through a chimney, turning turbines and generating enough electricity to power 200,000 Australian homes. It may sound like science fiction, but the project is on track to get approved by the Australian government. If completed, the $800 million solar tower will be the tallest man-made structure in the world.
To Learn More: Solar Tower
These stylish shelters were a big hit at the Burning Man festival this summer, but they’re not just for fun. Fashioned from a single piece of laminated paperboard (plus a floor and a door), they are sturdy, wind resistant, waterproof, well insulated and require no special skills or tools to assemble perfect, according to their inventor, for use as temporary housing in a war or a natural disaster. The Shade Pod, an open-air version with legs, is just right for lawn parties.
Availability: Next summer, starting at $745
To Learn More: Icopod
Wonder what your dog is really thinking? Japanese toymaker Takara claims it can get you in touch with your inner canine through its new Bowlingual. A radio microphone attaches to Fido’s collar, and a handheld receiver “translates” his yelps, growls and whines into such phrases as “I can’t stand it,” “How boring” and “I’m lonely.” How does it work? Samples of dog noises were collected, interpreted by animal behaviorists and stored in a doggie database. When your dog barks, the sound is beamed to the handheld and matched to the database. When in doubt, take him for a walk.
Two years ago, IBM researcher Ismail Haritaoglu found himself at a Tokyo train station, unable to make heads or tails of the kanji lettering in the posted routes and timetables. Next time he’ll be ready. His InfoScope snaps a picture of a street sign and ships it over a wireless network to a remote computer that extracts the text and beams back a translation all in less than 15 seconds. Haritaoglu is working on a similar service for GPS-equipped cell phones that would offer travel tips.
To Learn More: InforScope
The car of the future looks something like this: It has no engine, no steering column and no brake pedal. It requires no gasoline, emits no pollution (just a little water vapor) and yet handles like a high-performance Porsche. It might sound like an environmentalist’s fantasy, but there it was on display at the Paris Auto Show last September: the Hy-wire, a politically correct, fully functional prototype that General Motors claims could be road ready by 2010. Other car manufacturers including Toyota, Honda and Ford are working on post-fossil-fuel automobiles, but only GM has rethought the car from the ground up, adopting an impressive array of advanced technologies invented both in Detroit and very far from it. Instead of an internal-combustion engine, for example, the Hy-wire is powered by fuel cells like those used in the orbiting space station. Power is generated by an electrochemical reaction of hydrogen and oxygen that yields as its by-product only heat and H2O. No smelly exhaust, no smog, no greenhouse gases.
Gone too are the cables and mechanical links that have held together cars since the dawn of the automobile age a century ago. Instead, the steering and braking are fully electronic, using techniques pioneered in fly-by-wire aircraft cockpits. In place of the steering column is a small color screen and two handgrips. To accelerate, you twist the grips. To apply the brakes, you squeeze them. To turn left or right, you move the grips up or down.
Instead of a rearview mirror, there’s a camera that projects an image of the road you have traveled, along with such driving data as speed and hydrogen-fuel levels. Because the car is fully programmable, drivers can set their performance preferences. (Brakes: soft or hard? Engine: sporty or fuel conserving?)
Eliminating all the mechanical controls frees up the space where an engine would normally reside; in the Hy-wire prototype you can see straight through the front of the car. Without a steering column, designers can place the controls anywhere in the car for maximum comfort and safety even in the backseat.
The heart of the Hy-wire, however, is the aluminum, skateboard-like chassis that runs the length of the vehicle. Nestled within it are the fuel cells, an electric motor, tanks of compressed hydrogen and all the electronics. Because the fiber-glass body is basically a shell, different models can be swapped like cell-phone covers. So you could in theory drive a sports car on the weekends and change it into a minivan to haul the kids to school.
Of course, the Hy-wire is just a prototype, and getting the first production units on the road by 2010 would require the notoriously sluggish auto industry to shift gears a lot faster than usual. For one thing, the roadside infrastructure that fuels and services today’s gas guzzlers would have to be redesigned to dispense hydrogen and reprogram faulty control systems. But if the result were a fleet of safe, fuel-efficient, nonpolluting cars and trucks that reduced or eliminated the world’s dependence on fossil fuel, it would be worth the effort.
A Definition of Acceleration. Amazing stats!!
* One Top Fuel dragster 500 cubic inch Hemi engine makes more horsepower than the first 4 rows at the Daytona 500.
* Under full throttle, a dragster engine consumes 1-1/2 gallons of nitromethane per second; a fully loaded 747 consumes jet fuel at the
same rate with 25% less energy being produced..
* A stock Dodge Hemi V8 engine cannot produce enough power to drive the dragster supercharger.
* With 3000 CFM of air being rammed in by the supercharger on overdrive, the fuel mixture is compressed into a near-solid form before ignition.
Cylinders run on the verge of hydraulic lock at full throttle.
* At the stoichiometric (stoichiometry: methodology and technology by which quantities of reactants and products in chemical reactions are determined)
1.7:1 air/fuel mixture for nitromethane the flame front temperature measures 7050 degrees F.
* Nitromethane burns yellow. The spectacular white flame seen above the stacks at night is raw burning hydrogen, dissociated from atmospheric water vapor by the searing exhaust gases..
* Dual magnetos supply 44 amps to each spark plug. This is the output of an arc welder in each cylinder.
* Spark plug electrodes are totally consumed during a pass. After * way, the engine is dieseling from compression plus the glow of exhaust
valves at 1400 degrees F. The engine can only be shut down by cutting the fuel flow.
* If spark momentarily fails early in the run, unburned nitro builds up in the affected cylinders and then explodes with sufficient force to blow cylinder heads off the block in pieces or split the block in half.
* In order to exceed 300 mph in 4.5 seconds dragsters must accelerate an average of over 4G’s. In order to reach 200 mph well before half-track, the launch acceleration approaches 8G’s.
* Dragsters reach over 300 miles per hour before you have completed reading this sentence.
* Top Fuel Engines turn approximately 540 revolutions from light to light!
* Including the burnout the engine must only survive 900 revolutions under load.
* The redline is actually quite high at 9500rpm.
* The Bottom Line; Assuming all the equipment is paid off, the crew worked for free, and for once NOTHING BLOWS UP, each run costs an estimated $1,000.00 per second.
The current Top Fuel dragster elapsed time record is 4.441 seconds for the quarter mile (10/05/03, Tony Schumacher). The top speed record is 333.00 mph. (533 km/h) as measured over the last 66′ of the run
(09/28/03 Doug Kalitta).
Putting all of this into perspective:
You are driving the average $140,000 Lingenfelter “twin-turbo” powered Corvette Z06. Over a mile up the road, a Top Fuel dragster is staged and ready to launch down a quarter mile strip as you pass. You have the
advantage of a flying start. You run the ‘Vette hard up through the gears and blast across the starting line and past the dragster at an honest 200 mph. The ‘tree’ goes green for both of you at that moment.
The dragster launches and starts after you. You keep your foot down hard, but you hear an incredibly brutal whine that sears your eardrums and within
3 seconds the dragster catches and passes you. He beats you to the finish line, a quarter mile away from where you just passed him. Think about it, from a standing start, the dragster had spotted you 200 mph
and not only caught, but nearly blasted you off the road when he passed you within a mere 1320 foot long race course.
As a result of ‘the work of Edwin Powell Hubble – The man who discovered the cosmos, our perception of mankind’s place in the Universe has changed forever: Humans have once again been set aside from the centre of the Universe. When scientists decided to name the Space Telescope after the founder of modern cosmology the choice could not have been more appropriate.
I believe most of you have broadband, so please take a look at this
To Learn More: b>Hubbel Slide Show