DailyDirt: Science That's Almost Indistinguishable From Magic

from the urls-we-dig-up dept

Technology must really be getting better because Arthur C. Clarke's quote that "any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic" seems to apply to more and more discoveries. Here are just a few examples of some pretty cool science that is real -- but not so easily explained. By the way, StumbleUpon can recommend some good Techdirt articles, too.
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Filed Under: flux pinning, metallic glass, nobel prize, quantum levitation, quasicrystals, superconductor


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  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 18 Oct 2011 @ 5:07pm

    Transparisteel

    I know the formula for it, but if a give it you now I would be altering the future. And that would be against the Temporal Prime Directive

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 18 Oct 2011 @ 5:22pm

      Re: Transparisteel

      That is ok, we want transparent aluminum anwyway

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • icon
        Michael Ho (profile), 18 Oct 2011 @ 5:36pm

        Re: Re: Transparisteel

        Hmm. I wonder how many metals can be made into nearly transparent thin foils..? Gold films 0.00013 mm thick are see-thru, so maybe there's a metallic glass film that could be made?

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 18 Oct 2011 @ 6:35pm

    Quasicrystals

    There's a nice Math Mutations podcast about these that explain how a substance can have a pattern that repeats in more than 3 dimensions that appears to not repeat in 3 dimensions.

    http://www.erikseligman.com/mm/mm133.mp3

    Transcript:
    http://www.aracnet.com/~esel igma/mm/mm133.txt

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    fogbugzd, 18 Oct 2011 @ 8:31pm

    As the article on quasicrystals notes, implementing practical applications is being hindered by a restrictive patent. I thought patents were supposed to "promote the progress."

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Lawrence D'Oliveiro, 18 Oct 2011 @ 11:08pm

    All Those Who Think There Is Such A Thing As Non-Magical Technology ...

    ... give us an explanation of how a light-bulb works.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 19 Oct 2011 @ 12:15am

      Re: All Those Who Think There Is Such A Thing As Non-Magical Technology ...

      There's a little wire-type thingy inside the bulb, and when electricity goes through it, it gets so hot that it glows.
      That's for old-style lightbulbs anyway. I think the new ones work the same way, except with some kind of gas instead of a wire.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 19 Oct 2011 @ 6:18am

        Re: Re: All Those Who Think There Is Such A Thing As Non-Magical Technology ...

        I always thought that the switch on the wall opened up the chute for the little glow bugs to enter the bulb and do their thing.

        Color me amazed!

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    Josef Anvil (profile), 19 Oct 2011 @ 6:20am

    LOL

    You have to love the article on quasicrystals....

    "However, their low tolerance and a restrictive French patent has limited their practical applications," Thiel said.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    Tim K (profile), 19 Oct 2011 @ 6:26am

    Even better demonstration of Quantum Levitation

    Saw this on Gizmodo yesterday. This video is a WAY cooler demonstration of Quantum Levitation.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=Ws6AAhTw7RA

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    lrobbo (profile), 12 Jun 2012 @ 11:41am

    And a flux capacitor.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    Freemee (profile), 13 Aug 2012 @ 5:28am

    I think that we are barely scratching the surface of what nature has to offer. We can do things know that only a few years ago were deemed impossible, and if things carry on who knows what we will be able to do in 10, 20 years to come? We will probably use these new discoveries to the good like develope a Brand New kind of dirty bomb!! Or find new ways to keep in touch with people that we dont want to keep in touch with :)

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]


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