The first six hours of world war III

Space Wars by William Scott, Michael Coumatos, and William Birnes, Forge Books (April 17, 2007) describes how the first hours of World War III might play out in the year 2010. While fiction, it’s based on real-world military scenarios and technologies, dramatically highlighting the West’s vulnerability to destruction of its space-based commercial and military communications …

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100% efficient lighting

Researchers have developed an organic lighting device with “100 percent internal quantum efficiency” by employing newly designed host materials coupled with optimized device architecture. What’s particularly significant about the researchers’ work is that their optimized device adopts an even simpler structure than any yet reported by other research groups. “There is no waste of electricity,” …

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High field magnets exponentially better at imaging

Nuclear magnetic resonance, or NMR, generates a true-to-life fingerprint – a unique pattern indicating the presence of specific molecules – for a research sample that is being analyzed. It has been found that a higher power magnet (21.1 tesla) increases the picture’s brightness by a factor of about 10 relative to low-field images (14.1 tesla) …

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Solar sail progress is difficult to assess

Different materials for solar sails with wide variation in capability are all in development. The lighter the sail then the faster it will accelerate. This link has a table which shows the different speeds possible with different accelerations. The carbon nanotube sail has the highest potential. 1 square kilometer 30 kg or 0.03 grams per …

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Comparing modern skeptism about molecular nanotechnology with FPGA in 1957

Chris Pheonix has a though experiment of taking an FPGA chip back in time to 1957. He indicates the problems that would encountered trying to get the engineers of the day to accept that the FPGA could work and to believe in it enough to invest the time, money and effort into making the connections …

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Putting the brakes on laser mirror systems

I have described a bouncing laser mirror system for accelerating space vehicles to very fast speed. How would braking work ? The braking is done with a receiving laser bounce system at your destination (like Mars) OR you would need to carry a good superconducting magnetic sail to slow you down OR you have to …

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Silicon photonics advances

Wired discusses advances in silicon photonics In 15 or 20 years out, electrons will nearly exclusively be the stuff that computes, while photons will nearly exclusively be the stuff that communicates. Paniccia’s group at Intel will announce its fabrication of an optical modulator on a silicon chip that can translate electronic signals to light at …

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New York times discusses better uses for 1.2 trillion dollars

Better uses for the conservative estimate of the Iraq War 1.2 trillion Currently the war is not buying much. A shift should be made to a lower cost approach. Just engage enough to prevent safe havens for terrorists. Redeploy to borders. Occasional sweeps through different cities. Reduce the objectives. Shore up allies Kuwait, Israel, Turkey, …

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Indian President Kalam wants two thirds of nuclear fuel from Thorium

India is targeting 24 GW on nuclear power by 2020 and 50 GW by 2030. Two thirds of the nuclear fuel should be thorium. As per the present plan of the Bhabha Atomic Research Corporation (BARC) and the Nuclear Power Corporation, the capacity by 2020 is expected to be increased to 24,000 MW. ‘There is …

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