Seven ideas that could change the world

This is not fantasy, but almost a reality. By mid-century, all as described herein may be embodied: the cheap diamonds, and digital contact lenses.

Image of Carl Detorres.


1. Electric Aircraft

Tesla. Prius. Volt. Shortage of new cars, which drastically reduce the adverse impact on the environment, no. Aviation industry for many years consistently improves fuel efficiency, but the potential of current technology is almost exhausted, and the designers, whether they like it or not, will have to look towards born crawl. A time for transformation is not enough: by 2031, the number of passengers will double because the population of developing countries will become richer. This circumstance outweighs the environmental successes automotive and power grids.

Deal with the problem in several ways. For example, NASA is sponsoring the new concepts such as D Series MIT: Two fuselage allows the engine in the tail section, and fuel consumption is reduced about 50%. (In addition, these aircraft quieter.) Smarter navigation systems will help straighten routes and thus make them shorter. A light aircraft for short distances and really could become an all-electric: Slovenian company Pipistrel has already developed a four-seater airplane.

2. Micromachines for infinite fuel

In 1982, Harry Gray at the California Institute of Technology (USA) found that the electrons "tunnel" through the protein, that is, how to slip through a long chain of molecules. Apparently, the trick is the "breath of life": in this way the body converts energy into a digestible form: some store energy of sunlight in the cells, while others burn glucose. And all this is possible thanks to the hybrid molecules called metalloproteins in which flexibility is complemented by the ability of conventional protein metals catalyze chemical reactions.

At that time, Mr. Gray was already interested in solar energy. If the generator to create a virtually infinite energy, reasoned scientist, you need a system with metalloproteins like photosynthesis. But he could not. Biological machinery is too fragile and inefficient: it has to be synthesized anew every few minutes.

Efficient and reliable molecular device generates energy, will have to build themselves, says Mr. Gray. He and his colleagues are seen microscopic batteries with metal oxides at one end and at the other silicon arrayed like metalloproteinovym arrays in membranes of plant cells. Metal oxides to absorb solar radiation in the blue part of the spectrum and using this energy to digested sea water into oxygen and protons, and silicon, taking up the red part of the spectrum would be put together protons and electrons. And what is a proton plus an electron? This hydrogen fuel. In short, it is proposed to produce hydrogen using sunlight.

Can happen. Artificial water splitters now on effective natural order, though necessary scale is far from being achieved: chemists are looking for a new catalyst, as the metals that are used for this purpose today, expensive and toxic.

By the way, in between times, saving himself, so we'll save the planet.

3. Wi-Fi-spray

The entire economy is held mobile on the idea that the user can access the network at any time and in any place, and with the increasing data rate. The reality, however, is not so pink: mobile operators (AT & T, Verizon, etc.) refuse to unlimited plans, and the struggle for a broad band of hardened, for livestock tablets and smartphones continues to grow.

Limited access — this is not just an annoying inconvenience, but deadly threat innovation. By 2020, the market for wireless technologies, is expected to reach $ 4.5 trillion. But growth is dependent on our ability to keep up with it. We need access, which corresponds to the number of devices.

The problem can be solved ordinary Wi-Fi-connection. Telephone and Internet companies are beginning to establish small (more precisely, tiny) cell towers, providing Wi-Fi-and 4G-access in densely populated areas. But to cover the rest of the world in a way unlikely to be.

Daring solution offers firm Chamtech Enterprises: Wi-Fi-antenna in a jar with a spray. The company has developed a liquid filled with millions nanokondensatorov which, when deposited on the surface, take a radio signal better than standard metal rod. Add the router's antenna and communicates with a fiber-optic network that receives signals and sets the appropriate satellite daisy with neighboring nodes, creating a mesh network in the future low-cost broadband "vayf." As can be sprayed on any surface, people greets each new mobile phone mast protests did not notice.

4. Desert plants

Sahara and other lifeless wasteland can become virtually infinite sources of clean energy. During the six hours of the day the earth desert absorb more than mankind consumes in a year. And a consortium of politicians, scientists and economists from around the Mediterranean is going to take advantage of it. Desertec project involves thousands of square miles of wind and solar power in the various deserts of the world from a reliable, renewable, cheap energy will be fed into a shady country. The first thing the designers intend to establish a line from North Africa to Europe. By 2050, an estimated 3350 km? North African desert will provide 20% of European demand. On the technical side there is no problem, but with the political … The leaders of the countries of North Africa have seen in this project solution to the problems of unemployment, but the Arab Spring has led investors to think about. Here podospel European financial crisis also revealed that Europe is a tangle of inconsistent electricity and laws. Yet Desertec still breathing. 90% of the world's population lives within three thousand miles of desert. Chinese cities can power the Gobi, South America Atacama enough. While the lights on, hope is not extinguished.

5. Digital displays in the eyes

Smartphones have given us instant access to information. But for this it is necessary to include all the same gadget and poking around in it, so that the price — Accidents and irritated the sides. Can I get the data you need without risking life and friendship?

The founders of "Google" talk about it since 2002. But all that is at the moment — it points to the display prototypes, which supplied the required, and the information is visible only to the owner. Professor at the University of Washington (USA) Babak Parviz, Founder Project Glass, is going to step even further — to get rid of their glasses and implement displays the size of a human hair in contact lenses. Thus, in his opinion, will be the need for mobile phone screens, computers and televisions. The task of such displays is to project an image on a certain area of the retina. At the same time, they could play the role of sensors that analyze the health of cells in your eyes.

6. War asteroids!

The film "Armageddon" did two very important things. First, to show that we are not ready to meet with an asteroid. Second, he suggested an effective solution. "Bruce Willis has made a significant contribution to the defense of the planet" — serious Bu Bong (Bong Wie) at Iowa State University (USA). In general, "Armageddon" popularized the idea of the subsurface explosions. And Mr. Wee's even a missile capable to perform such work, — Hyper-Velocity Asteroid Intercept Vehicle: Front — "kinetic interceptor" behind — nuclear weapon. The first part allows the missile to penetrate the rock, while the other carries all to pieces. NASA project contributed $ 100 thousand, and here's why. If you just pick up and drop an atomic bomb on the asteroid, fissile material melts before could detonate. And if you make an explosion inside the target, there will be underground shock waves, which will increase the force of the explosion time in twenty. The tests are scheduled for 2020, but Mr Wee says that in case of sudden danger, he can make the missile within a year, and only for some $ 500 million, a very small price for the salvation of mankind, is not it? By the way, "Armageddon" grossed $ 50 million more.

Image of Victoria Ling.



7. Skyscrapers of diamonds

This is one of the hardest materials in the universe. He is impeccably clean, hardly produces friction, chemically inert and has an amazing thermal conductivity. And he made from one of the most common elements — carbon. Diamond — yes, just a carbon crystal — extremely useful in many areas, from microelectronics to water treatment. Unfortunately, large diamonds are extremely rare. But Stephen Bates believes that once this material, we will not be less than steel.

64-year-old scientist and has worked at NASA, and Princeton, and General Motors managed to build a transparent sapphire piston engine with a great view of the processes taking place inside. After that, the expert thought about diamonds, because they would come out with even better if they get the right amount.

Mr. Bates threw himself into the study of synthesis of crystals in thin films by vapor deposition. The result was the development of a similar method for diamonds. The idea is simple: lay the diamond crumbs (product, by the way, cost) in a mold with Buckminster fullerene C-60
(Bars in the shape of a soccer ball, consisting of sixty carbon atoms). Includes laser. Fullerenes are broken, and the carbon is deposited between the diamond particles, merging them in a relatively solid mass.

Even if the method will be technically and economically feasible, the material is porous, and no one knows what properties can be such a diamond. But worth a try. Mr. Bates wants to buy a pulsed laser for $ 100 thousand him to remove the foundations of houses diamond, diamond beams skyscrapers, diamond bone broken legs, diamond parts of aircraft and space vehicles. Just do not think that the walls will also be made of diamond — when this man's heat.

Prepared according to Wired.

Category: Technology

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