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medea
Dec 23, 2002, 06:47 PM
http://www.time.com/time/2002/inventions/
Times best of is out with the Inventions article, amazing stuff here this year, such as this Scramjet a rocket powered by oxygen instead of jet fuel.....

medea
Dec 23, 2002, 06:48 PM
sorry the pic didnt work the first time.:rolleyes:

funkywhat2
Dec 23, 2002, 08:38 PM
What, no Segway? However, I like the two vaccum cleaners: Roomba and the Dyson. I'm going to buy both of them soon, actually.

Mr. Anderson
Dec 23, 2002, 08:45 PM
Originally posted by medea
http://www.time.com/time/2002/inventions/
Times best of is out with the Inventions article, amazing stuff here this year, such as this Scramjet a rocket powered by oxygen instead of jet fuel.....

The dog translater was damn funny - I'd love to try one out on my dog :D

rainman::|:|
Dec 24, 2002, 12:45 AM
Gotta love the auto vacuum, i'd seen a prototype similar for mowing lawns (tho it actually learned your lawn and mowed a particular pattern, rather than random movements) that could mulch everything and then automatically recharge and mow again in a few days.... presumably that was too dangerous, and so we have the vacuum version. Only $200, i'm gonna pick one up the next time i'm near a sharper image :)

Also, clothes with teflon are fantastic. I went out and bought these dockers with stain defender, now they're all i wear... water beads off, it's so weird to actually see... Word of caution, don't tell anyone about 'em, you'll have people spraying water at you :) Not amusing when your shirt *doesn't* have it...

And i cannot wait for the Hy-wire cars to become available, tho it'll be a loooong time (if ever)... they just look so friggin' cool! My newspaper's auto section did a story on 'em a few months back, but didn't give estimated time of availability... 8+ years :/

i'm surprised to see molecular computing wasn't on the list... it's barely functional at all, but IBM technically did it, i think it stands to revolutionize things eventually...

:)
pnw

mcrain
Dec 24, 2002, 10:08 AM
Originally posted by medea
Times best of is out with the Inventions article, amazing stuff here this year, such as this Scramjet a rocket powered by oxygen instead of jet fuel.....

Ok, you probably know I'm a lawyer, but my undergraduate degree was in Aerospace Engineering. (I have a sweatshirt that says... "Why yes, I am a rocket scientist.")

Anyway, a lot of rockets are fueled by a mixture of oxygen and another material. Sometimes, it is a mix that gets ignited or sometimes, it ignites on its own (reactionary). Anyway, scramjets aren't revolutionary for using oxygen.

They ARE however revolutionary (or as revolutionary as something can be that's been studies ad nauseum for the last 20 years) because of the way the compression/combustion/expansion cycle takes place.

In a standard jet, the air comes in, gets compressed by a compressor, energy is added in the combustion tubes, and then the air expands through the turbine, and then sometimes through a nozzle (subsonic it can be directed through a funnel like shape, while supersonic, it is a reverse funnel)

Anyway, then you have RAM jets and scram jets which don't have moving parts. They compress the air using the shock waves coming off the inlet and then add energy and then the air expands out a nozzle generating thrust. The difference between a ram jet and a scram jet is that a ram jet compresses the air and slows it down to subsonic speeds, while the air in a scram jet is supersonic.

The biggest problem we had with scram jets was always how do you keep the combustion process in the engine? I mean, the air is moving so fast, that even using a very, very volitile fuel, the process of adding it to the air, igniting it, and it burning took far longer than it took the air to go from one end of the engine to the other. They had many tests fail, and it basically looked like a tube with a flame trailing behind it. The flame has to be in the engine to get any thrust!

Anyway, a scramjet that reliably works is impressive to me because of all the years of research that went into it.

On the other hand, a scramjet has extremely limited usefulness. I mean, what are you going to use it for other than perhaps comventional takeoff/landing aircraft that can travel to space. It's worthless for commercial travel. By the time you take off (with a different type of engine), get up to sufficient speed to use the scram jet, and then reach cruising speed, you're there, and have to slow down!

Mr. Anderson
Dec 24, 2002, 11:28 AM
Originally posted by mcrain

On the other hand, a scramjet has extremely limited usefulness. I mean, what are you going to use it for other than perhaps comventional takeoff/landing aircraft that can travel to space. It's worthless for commercial travel. By the time you take off (with a different type of engine), get up to sufficient speed to use the scram jet, and then reach cruising speed, you're there, and have to slow down!

Limited? You come up with a cheap and successful way to get into orbit, in a single stage, and you'll have the invention of the century. The possibility to open up space travel to the masses is huge.

Personally I can't wait! But I agree, for other purposes it will be limited. Although a NYC to Tokyo flight would be a nice 2-3 hours, and you'd probably spend a little of that time very close to if not in space. :D

D

MacBandit
Dec 24, 2002, 11:48 AM
Originally posted by paulwhannel
Gotta love the auto vacuum, i'd seen a prototype similar for mowing lawns (tho it actually learned your lawn and mowed a particular pattern, rather than random movements) that could mulch everything and then automatically recharge and mow again in a few days....
:)
pnw

There are actually about a half dozen different types/brands of auto mowers on the market. They never went away.

void
Dec 25, 2002, 10:24 PM
If anyone is in NYC, you can see aalot of this kind of stuff at this store called TKNY. It is on ave B between 2nd and 3rd.
-vjv
P.S. This is realllllllllllllllllllly old. I saw this in mid November.

wdlove
Jan 6, 2003, 01:54 PM
For females the biggest medical invention was the birth control patch, which is good for a month. No longer having the anxiety of having to remember to take the daily pill. Much improved compliance!