Category Archives: Science and Technology

Sci-Tech: Lockheed-Martin fusion reactor project

NextBigFuture.com points to an interesting talk given at the Solve for X forum about a Lockheed-Martin  Skunkworks project about which I believe little has been revealed previously. In the video below,  Charles Chase of L-M discusses their compact nuclear fusion reactor design, which he believes could lead to a working 100MW prototype reactor in 5 years and go into commercial production by 2022. Charles Chase on energy for everyone – Moonshots – Solve for X.

He tells what the design does, i.e. it uses tritium-deuterium, creates a high beta configuration, provides very good containment and stability but unfortunately he gives no details on how exactly it does these things. I hope the reason he is now able to discuss this in a public forum is because they are in the process of publishing scientific papers on it but we will just have to wait and see.

Sci-Tech: The SailRocket goes where no sail boat has gone before

Here’s a fascinating article about the Vestas Sailrocket, which broke what was considered a hard limit on sail boat speed:  How a Boat-Plane Hybrid Shattered the Sound Barrier of Sailing – Autopia/Wired.com

When I traveled to Namibia a year before, I had met a daredevil yachtsman with his eyes on a big prize. But now that he has it, all Larsen can talk about is the hydrodynamic frontier. “What we are discovering is that things are not as black-and-white going through this barrier as we thought they were,” he says. The mixture of air, vapor, and very high speed water wrapping itself around a boat at the limit is dynamic and extremely hard to model by computer or even simulate in a high-speed flow tank. To understand it, you must explore it directly, through experimentation. You need SailRocket.

Sci-Tech: Vorbeck graphene speeds up Li-ion battery charging

Vorbeck Materials has used its graphene based material to improve lithium batteries for significantly faster charging: License will lead to faster-charging batteries for phones, electric vehicles – PNL/Phys.Org.

What’s encouraging is that this is already getting out of the lab:

Prototypes of Vorbeck’s battery technologies were already on display earlier this month at the 2013 Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas.