NASA’s budget has been cut. The last space shuttle has yet to take off (boy, is IT late). But, we still hope to send exploratory vessels to other planets. The problem is getting the probes to their destination reliably- when the distance is long. One possibility relies upon Friedrich Zander’s proposition (1924) that we can use the thrust from photons (light energy) and no other fuel. His hypothesis was based upon Einstein’s theory (which was confirmed by Peter Lebedev’s experiments) that photons have momentum, so that when absorbed by or reflected from a surface, there would be “radiation pressure”. A large sail may have very little acceleration, but given long time periods, the sail would generate reasonable speeds; as these sails are further from gravitational fields, their acceleration capability becomes viable.
Drs. Haile (CalTech) and Steinfeld (ETH, Zurich) led a small international team that developed a new solar energy machine.Â Their results, published in Science, employ cerium oxide to break down carbon dioxide and/or water into fuels.
If you live on Timber Branch, you know the bicyclist.Â Round and round (itâ€™s a 1 mile circle, believe it or not).Â Itâ€™s good for you- keeps you fitÂ (but as my blog says, my body may not show it.)Â Some of the folks I know even ride their bikes to work (donâ€™t poo-poo it, until youâ€™ve traveled the DC roads- drivers seem to get their licenses from a Cracker Jackâ€™s box).