1. #1
    Warchief Hastings's Avatar
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    Pushed by light!

    Well this came up on my news feed today, researchers from Aoyama Gakuin University have found a new way to provide propulsion for Maglev vehicles (And turbines).

    From the article:
    Magnetic levitation is central to the fastest trains we know today, but it's that dependence on electromagnets and rails that limits how and where it's used for transportation. Aoyama Gakuin University has a unique alternative: changing the material properties themselves. By floating graphite over a bed of circular magnets, taking advantage of its tendency to generate an opposing magnetic field, researchers can move the graphite just by blasting its edge with a laser. The heat skews the magnetic behavior of that area enough to unbalance the graphite, either in a specific direction or a spin. The research team believes it could lead to maglev transportation or even energy converting turbines that are steered solely by light, with no contact or outside guides: maglev vehicle pilots could have much more control over where they go. Getting to that point will require a much larger scale, but successful development could give technology a very literal lift.
    Video from the article:
    Thoughts?
    This seems like a fantastic development to me, if it is more cost effective, and efficient than traditional Maglev propulsion (Traditional maglev propulsion, article 1, article 2, article 2 is more in depth) then it could revolutionize the way we view transportation (Big IF I know, I just would really like to see Maglev rail lines replace old traditional rail lines eventually, and this could provide another way to do that)
    "Then we have found, as it seems, that the many beliefs of the many about what's fair and about the other things roll around somewhere between not-being and being purely and simply." - Plato: Republic

  2. #2
    I'm VERY curious as to the space travel possibilities of this! Nice find! ^_^
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  3. #3
    Warchief Hastings's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mvallas View Post
    I'm VERY curious as to the space travel possibilities of this! Nice find! ^_^
    Ooh, I hadn't thought of that, yeah replace the solar sail (Which sucks for speed) with something like this and it could be interesting.
    Last edited by Hastings; 2012-12-28 at 07:15 AM.
    "Then we have found, as it seems, that the many beliefs of the many about what's fair and about the other things roll around somewhere between not-being and being purely and simply." - Plato: Republic

  4. #4
    Moderator Remilia's Avatar
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    I'm slightly interested in the possibility for use in space, but more interested in the use for energy. Also looks like a fun toy.

  5. #5
    Very interesting!

    I had no idea light could do this.

  6. #6
    If I'm reading/watching this right, in order to be applicable, you'd still need a magnetic track to hover above, so very limited space travel stuff. It removes the need for constant powering and unpowering of of electromagnets though.

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    Mechagnome Guilu's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bergtau View Post
    If I'm reading/watching this right, in order to be applicable, you'd still need a magnetic track to hover above, so very limited space travel stuff. It removes the need for constant powering and unpowering of of electromagnets though.
    Who cares about space travel ? Think of the solar plants we can make with this stuff

  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by Guilu View Post
    Who cares about space travel ? Think of the solar plants we can make with this stuff
    Not sure how efficient they would be when compared to exiting solar plants.

    Bergtau's Law: As an online discussion grows longer, the probability that somebody will mention Godwin's Law approaches 1.
    Hitler wasn't all bad, I mean, he DID kill Hitler.
    An accident is something that you did not mean to do at all. A mistake is something that you regret doing.

  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by Guilu View Post
    Who cares about space travel ? Think of the solar plants we can make with this stuff
    I care about space travel.

  10. #10
    Mechagnome Guilu's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by obdigore View Post
    I care about space travel.
    Look into terraforming instead, it's probably going to be easier dealing with our solar system for a while because the next one would take more than four years to get to. Unless we find a way to make a warp engine of course, but so far we're no better off than we were when they were first theorized.

  11. #11
    Wow....that's freaking amazing. I love when new technology like this stuff sees the light of day!
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