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Archive for the ‘physics’ category: Page 216

Apr 15, 2017

Affordable deep space missions using asteroids

Posted by in categories: government, mathematics, physics, space

Phase 1 work demonstrated Optical Mining in the laboratory and performed mission and systems analysis of the application of Optical Mining to human exploration missions. Their mission analysis showed that the most accessible Near Earth Objects (NEOs) can be used to provide NASA with mission consumables for human exploration in deep space with the potential of saving up to $10 billion per year or $150 billion over the 15 year operational life cycle of a human exploration program. This savings alone would be enough to transform NASA’s vision of human exploration from being unaffordable to being affordable within budgets that Congress can approve. Phase 1 technical work included a full scale (8 kW) Optical Mining demonstration using a high fidelity CI-type asteroid simulant in vacuum using sunlight from a 10 meter diameter solar concentrator without mechanical contact or downforce. This work confirmed our physics based mathematical model of the excavation and volatile extraction process and scalability of results from 36 prior, small scale (≈ 1 cm diameter) demonstrations and tests.

Phase 2 work will complete mission and system analysis of the application of Optical Mining to an exciting program of human exploration and we will mature the technology of Optical Mining to the point at which NASA can baseline this approach for an affordable program of human exploration. Our mission studies will address the production via Optical Mining missions to extract and retrieve resources, consumable processing, storage, and application of consumables to human exploration mission in cislunar, NEO and Martian space. The mission studies will be tightly coupled with our laboratory work. Laboratory work will include the development and integration of a 30 kW Optical Mining test apparatus in our laboratory and integration with our high quality vacuum chamber for a test program involving Optical Mining.

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Apr 14, 2017

We May Be Able to Build a Rocket That Can Go 99.999% the Speed of Light

Posted by in categories: mathematics, physics, space travel

Theoretical physics often lifts the sanctions we set on our own imaginations. Whether it’s exploring the possibility of warp drives or understanding the rate of the universe’s expansion, we are quick to explore the unknown on our chalkboards until our tech is ready for our ideas.

In a similar deep-dive into the theoretical, a Norwegian professor argues in the journal Acta Astronautica for the of possibility of photon rockets that can reach 99.999 percent of the speed of light (300,000 km/s [186,000 mph]); asserting that, while humanity can’t do it anytime soon, we could potentially build a spacecraft that falls just short of the ultimate speed limit sometime in the future when the necessary technology is feasible.

*2* A Finance Professor Predicts the Absolute Speed Limit for all Human Spacecrafts

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Apr 13, 2017

Mach Effects for In Space Propulsion: Interstellar Mission

Posted by in categories: cosmology, physics, space travel

NASA is funding Mach effect propulsion in the latest round of advanced concept projects.

Nextbigfuture has covered Woodwards Mach effect propulsion in dozens of articles.

They propose to study the implementation of an innovative thrust producing technology for use in NASA missions involving in space main propulsion. Mach Effect Thruster (MET) propulsion is based on peer-reviewed, technically credible physics. Mach effects are transient variations in the rest masses of objects that simultaneously experience accelerations and internal energy changes. They are predicted by standard physics where Mach’s principle applies – as discussed in peer-reviewed papers spanning 20 years and a recent book, Making Starships and Stargates: the Science of Interstellar Transport and Absurdly Benign Wormholes published recently by Springer-Verlag. These effects have the revolutionary capability to produce thrust without the irreversible ejection of propellant, eliminating the need to carry propellant as required with most other propulsion systems.

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Apr 12, 2017

These ‘waves’ may let us see the Big Bang’s earliest moments

Posted by in categories: cosmology, physics

I wonder if people who were alive when Galileo first turned his telescope to the heavens in 1610, when he discovered the moons of Jupiter, realized that it was a seminal moment in human history. The discovery changed everything. It showed that not all celestial objects orbit the Earth and set the stage for adoption of the Copernican theory, which holds, of course, that the Earth orbits the sun and not the other way around. From that date onward, telescopes aimed at the sky became a staple of cosmology and a constant source of discovery and wonder for humanity.

It’s quite possible that people living in the distant future will view last year’s announcement of the discovery of gravitational waves as a similar turning point in humanity’s ability to observe and understand the cosmos.

Related: Earth-Sized Telescope May Let Us See Black Hole for First Time.

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Apr 12, 2017

Physicists Say They’ve Created a Fluid With ‘Negative Mass’

Posted by in categories: cosmology, physics

Researchers in the US say they’ve created a fluid with negative mass in the lab… which is exactly as mind-bending as it sounds.

What it means is that, unlike pretty much every other known physical object, when you push this fluid, it accelerates backwards instead of moving forwards. Such an oddity could tell scientists about some of the strange behaviour that happens within black holes and neutron stars.

But let’s take a step back for a second here, because how can something have negative mass?

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Apr 6, 2017

Mystery of How Black Holes Collide and Merge Starting to Unravel

Posted by in categories: cosmology, physics

Once upon a time, two black holes collided, releasing energy which undulates across the universe. Little is known about these reverberations — dubbed “gravitational waves” — including how they were formed in the first place. However, a University of Birmingham astrophysicist told Sputnik science may now have the beginnings of an answer.

It’s believed that around 1.3 billion light years away from Earth, two black holes cataclysmically collided, releasing energy — gravitational waves — which undulates across the universe like ripples in a pool.

Gravitational waves had long been speculated upon, and were a major prediction of Albert Einstein’s 1915 general theory of relativity, but the existence of these wrinkles in the fabric of space-time was only confirmed in September 2015.

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Apr 6, 2017

If an AI Doesn’t Take Your Job, It Will Design Your Office

Posted by in categories: food, information science, physics, robotics/AI, space

Arranging employees in an office is like creating a 13-dimensional matrix that triangulates human wants, corporate needs, and the cold hard laws of physics: Joe needs to be near Jane but Jane needs natural light, and Jim is sensitive to smells and can’t be near the kitchen but also needs to work with the product ideation and customer happiness team—oh, and Jane hates fans. Enter Autodesk’s Project Discover. Not only does the software apply the principles of generative design to a workspace, using algorithms to determine all possible paths to your #officegoals, but it was also the architect (so to speak) behind the firm’s newly opened space in Toronto.

That project, overseen by design firm The Living, first surveyed the 300 employees who would be moving in. What departments would you like to sit near? Are you a head-down worker or an interactive one? Project Discover generated 10,000 designs, exploring different combinations of high- and low-traffic areas, communal and private zones, and natural-light levels. Then it matched as many of the 300 workers as possible with their specific preferences, all while taking into account the constraints of the space itself. “Typically this kind of fine-resolution evaluation doesn’t make it into the design of an office space,” says Living founder David Benjamin. OK, humans—you got what you wanted. Now don’t screw it up.

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Apr 5, 2017

Earth-sized telescope may let us see a black hole for the first time ever

Posted by in categories: cosmology, physics

Using eight telescopes scattered across the globe, astronomers will collect data at a scale never attempted before in physics as they attempt to peer into a black hole for the first time. Event Horizon Telescope.

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Apr 1, 2017

Killing Science and Culture Doesn’t Make the Nation Stronger

Posted by in categories: government, physics, science

Scientists throughout the country across a wide spectrum of fields, from biochemists to physicists, are bemoaning the potentially devastating impact on science and technology in the United States of President Trump’s proposed budget request to Congress.


Massive funding cuts in the president’s proposed budget could be more devastating than any threat posed by illegal immigrants.

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Mar 24, 2017

Gravitational waves pushing a supermassive black hole around its galaxy at about 8 million km/h

Posted by in categories: cosmology, physics

Meanwhile, the Hubble image offered a clue about what dislodged the black hole from its galaxy’s centre. The host galaxy bore faint, arc-shaped features called tidal tales, which are produced by the gravitational tug-of-war that takes place when two galaxies collide. This suggested that galaxy 3C 186 had recently merged with another system, and perhaps their black holes merged too.

What happened next, scientists can only theorize. Chiaberge and his colleagues suggest that as the galaxies collided, their black holes began to circle each other, flinging out gravity waves “like water from a lawn sprinkler,” as NASA described it. If the black holes had unequal masses and spin rates, they might have sent more gravitational waves in one direction than the other. When the collision was complete, the newly merged black hole would have then recoiled from the strongest gravitational waves, shooting off in the opposite direction.

“This asymmetry depends on properties such as the mass and the relative orientation of the back holes’ rotation axes before the merger,” Colin Norman of STScI and Johns Hopkins University, a co-author on the paper, said in the NASA news release. “That’s why these objects are so rare.”

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