If some people get impatient waiting for a soft-boiled egg to cook, that's nothing compared to a group of theoretical physicists at the Imperial College London. They've come up with a new method that could allow lasers to heat certain materials to temperatures hotter than at the Sun's core in 20 quadrillionths of a second. The new technique would reportedly be 100 times faster than the world's most energetic laser system at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, California, and may one day have applications in future fusion research.
Most piston-driven helicopters use aviation-grade gasoline or avgas, but as part of the European Clean Sky initiative, Airbus Helicopters has begun flight testing of a new high-compression engine that burns widely-available kerosene aviation fuel. Installed in an H120 demonstrator aircraft, the advanced lightweight V8 piston engine promises to be a more efficient, cleaner alternative to turbine powerplants in high-performance rotorcraft.
Technology, from satellites to drones, has dramatically increased the amount of imagery being gathered by military intelligence, posing a daunting task for the analysts that must look at and and evaluate it. Researchers at the US Army's Mission Impact through Neurotechnology Design (MIND) Lab at the Aberdeen Proving Ground, Maryland are looking to speed things up by leveraging the power of the human brain.
The latest and most powerful variant of the Rolls-Royce Trent engine has taken to the air for the first time. Billed as the "world’s most efficient civil aircraft engine," the Rolls-Royce Trent XWB-97 replaced one of the four Trent 900 engines on an Airbus A380 flying testbed aircraft during the flight over Toulouse, France.
One of only ten surviving Kenbak-1 personal computers from 1971 has sold at auction for €34,000 (US$36,500). Judged the "first commercially available personal computer" in 1987 by a panel at the Boston Computer Museum that included Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak, it's a fascinating piece of history that sheds a light on the chaotic early days of the desktop computer.
Auroras are common spectacles in Earth's Arctic and Antarctic regions, but on Mars they're rare and not nearly as attention grabbing. Visible only in the ultraviolet, they may not be as entertaining as their earthly counterparts, but after a decade of measurements by ESA’s unmanned Mars Express orbiter, the rare Martian auroras are telling scientists a lot about the local vestigial magnetic fields of the Red Planet.
What turned Mars from the warm, wet planet that space scientists believe it was in the distant past into the cold, dessicated world of today? NASA’s Mars Atmosphere and Volatile Evolution (MAVEN) is providing part of the answer, as it measures how fast the Martian atmosphere is being lost today. According to the space agency, the culprit is the solar winds, which are slowly stripping away the atmosphere of the Red Planet atom by atom at a rate of roughly 100 gm (3.5 oz) per second and even more during solar storms.
They call functions on mechanical watches "complications" for a reason, but sometimes things get so complicated that it's time to start over. That's the reasoning that led MB&F and Irish watchmaker Stephen McDonnell to produce the Legacy Machine Perpetual – a wristwatch that includes a perpetual calendar with a reinvented movement that's more compact and reliable than conventional designs.
A Lockheed Martin F-35A Lightning II fighter aircraft has fired its machine guns for the first time while airborne. The three bursts from the internal Gun Airborne Unit (GAU)-22/A 25mm Gatling gun system mark the second phase of testing to certify that the machine gun configuration is functional in all parts of the F-35A Conventional TakeOff and Landing (CTOL) variant's configurations and flight envelope.
Amazon may be taking to the skies for robotic deliveries, but former Skype co-founders Ahti Heinla and Janus Friis are taking to the pavements. Their new startup, Starship Technologies, hopes to change the way local goods are delivered by introducing fleets of self-driving delivery robots that will short circuit the last mile.