2011 science frontiers new materials, high-temperature processes, renewable energy, indoor agriculture, advanced electricity storage, new space propulsion, biological pioneering 

2011 - Enabling the Inevitable

Frontiers of Science

a plasma lamp

We live in a anti-entropic Universe

it is expanding instead of running down

expanding in power, capability, freedom, and life 

Science is the gate to infinity

We live on a tiny planet in a vast sea of space that appears empty to the eye, but is in reality a sea of plasma that is electrically charged and is constantly in motion as the plasma sphere illustrates that was once manufactured as a toy. It becomes aglow with dancing streams of flowing electrically charged particles. The same happens in space with a lesser intensity, whereby the electric flow becomes invisible. The flowing energy nevertheless powers the Universe, every galaxy and star within it. Its ever-moving pattern determines our climate on Earth, including the occurrence of the Ice Ages, and also surrounds also our Earth with energy that we have yet to learn to utilize. 

Here science becomes our gateway to that which the eye cannot see. We discover principles, formulate theories, and then discover ways to prove our theories, even to the point of developing technological applications based on our theories. The discovery of the principle of a the wheel is an example of the process of science, by which civilization became enabled. We have achieved great wonders on this platform, but in real terms we have just begun. 

a montage, digitally stitched together from 38 photos 
taken on the Marshall Islands in July 2009 
by veteran eclipse hunter (c) Miloslav Druckmuller/Barcroft.

Sample of a series of stunning pictures available at above link

Science enables us to see our universe more and more the way it is. And as our vision expands we discover more and more of ourselves and of our power as intelligent creators and producers and builders of worlds.

NASA soho image

With science we can even look at the universe in how it appears when seen in different forms of light, like the x-ray image above of the corona surrounding our sun.

An STM image of a single-walled carbon nanotube

With science we can also look deep into the very small domain, at objects that are smaller than light itself. With electron scanning microscopes we can now see the arrangements of atoms in the example above.

Unfortunately science is also abused to support politically motivated lies, such as the global warming hoax and the biofuel hoax, which are used to justify policies that are murdering an estimated 100 million people per year and reap rich profits for a few. Thus, perhaps the greatest and most beneficial advances in science that we can look forward will likely be the development of Truth In Science, without which mankind remains in shekels, and science with it to a large degree.

Since science is an aspect that is exclusive to the human world, the humanist foundation also needs to be developed, and its development be protected against the strangulation of humanity by inhuman doctrines, cultures, politics, and ideologies. I have produced a video on the subject focused on the work of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, especially his opera "The Abduction from the Seraglio," (download low-res educational video). The opera is significant in terms of humanist development, in that it was created during the time of the liberating American Revolution. The exploration video, focused on the opera is: Mozart, Ice Cream, and Wine. 

Energy science 

A huge potential exists here that may some day be developed and utilized. The Universe in its infinite space is made up to 99.999% of electrically 'charged' particles, called plasma. When the particles are drawn to each other by gravitational force, they generate a magnetic field. The field acts on them and causes them to move perpendicular. Thus the currents begin to flow. The currents, in their flow, become magnetically self-confined into filamentary channels that extend throughout the cosmos. They create and power the galaxies and every star within them. 

Our sun, as a star, and the Earth in close orbit around it, is afloat in a sea of electric energy. Like the Sun attracts this energy with its gravity, whereby it is powered, the Earth attracts this energy likewise, though to a lesser degree. NASA discovered two band of electric plasma encircling the Earth near its equator, high up in the ionosphere. The technology does not exist yet to tap into this boundless energy resource. This is one arena where mankind's new frontier lies. Plasma channels (like lightning) can theoretically be created with lasers or particle beams to enable us to connect this infinite electric energy resource with the Earth. It is a resource that becomes self-renewing while it is used. And this resource appears to be immensely vast.

Evidence suggests that the Grand Canyon in Arizona, which lies in an area near one of the plasma bands, was not carved out of the rock over millions of years of water erosion, but was caused by an electric arc discharge of probably a short duration during a period of high electric intensity. Evidence suggests that even the sands of the gigantic Sahara dessert were electrically created by highly charged meteorites entering the ionosphere where they began to disintegrate in electric stress fracturing.

With electric power available of this kind of magnitude, mankind's needs compare as being rather minuscule, including all the needs we will ever have. And this power, that is also powering the Sun is self-renewing. The more we draw from it, the more it replenishes itself. With this kind of resource at out fingertips, the technology will inevitably created to make it available to us. This will happen in future ages or in our age. It is up to us to decide when. But why should we wait for future ages to use a resource we are capable of using right now? Why should we keep on fighting wars over oil, as the masters of empire demand of us?

Electricity-storage science

The storage of electricity for work applications, such as for powering a car, is at the present best accomplished with chemical processes. There are numerous problems associated with this chemical battery technology to enable the introduction of the full electric car, not the least of which is the long charge-up time that is required for a 'fill-up.' There are some promises on the horizon from some breakthroughs in electricity storage. The technology is centered on super-capacitors made with activated carbon that offers an enormously large surface for electron storage. 

Experiments with carbon nanotubes promise a breakthrough here. The nanotubes consist of carbon atoms that become naturally aligned into hexagonal arrays that form tube-like sheets. The resulting tubes are typically 1/50,000th of the width of a human hair, which can be produced up to 18 centimeters in length (as of 2010). They are the strongest material kown (more than 300 times stronger than high carbon steel).

A paper battery has been designed that is a battery engineered to use a paper-thin sheet of cellulose infused with aligned carbon nanotubes. The nanotubes act as electrodes; allowing the storage devices to conduct electricity. The battery, which functions as both a lithium-ion battery and a supercapacitor, can provide a long, steady power output comparable to a conventional battery, as well as a supercapacitor’s quick burst of high energy.

Ultracapacitors have also been developed. Ultracapacitors, which store drastically less energy than a battery but have essentially none of the drawbacks. In any capacitor, there's no battery memory caused by partial discharging and no reduction in capacity with each recharge. They never wear out, they have no electrolyte, they don't have any chemistry taking place in them. It's just an electric field that stores the energy. So you can recharge a capacitor an unlimited amount of times. It's very efficient. The ions cling electrostatically to materials in a capacitor, which also allows for much quicker charge times. 

The current ultracapacitors can store around 5 percent of the energy of the current standard battery of equivalent-size. The addition of carbon nanotubes could bring this up to 25 percent. And the ultracapacitor can operate at a higher voltage with nanotubes, this advantage alone could double the contained energy, so that a 25 to 50 percent of energy containment can be achieved in comparison with standard batteries, and with possibly less weight. At that point the ultracapacitors  become a compelling option for the electric car, and for countless other applications, promising a new portable-energy revolution.

Energy-storage science

Flywheel energy storage (FES) 

It works by accelerating a rotor (flywheel) to a very high speed and maintaining the energy in the system as rotational energy. When energy is extracted from the system, the flywheel's rotational speed is reduced as a consequence of the principle of conservation of energy; adding energy to the system correspondingly results in an increase in the speed of the flywheel.

Most FES systems use electricity to accelerate and decelerate the flywheel, but devices that directly use mechanical energy are being developed.

Advanced FES systems have rotors made of high strength carbon filaments, suspended by magnetic bearings, and spinning at speeds from 20,000 to over 50,000 rpm in a vacuum enclosure.Such flywheels can come up to speed in a matter of minutes — much quicker than some other forms of energy storage.

In the 1950s, flywheel-powered buses, known as gyrobuses, were used in Yverdon, Switzerland and there is ongoing research to make flywheel systems that are smaller, lighter, cheaper and have a greater capacity. It is hoped that flywheel systems can replace conventional chemical batteries for mobile applications, such as for electric vehicles. Proposed flywheel systems would eliminate many of the disadvantages of existing battery power systems, such as low capacity, long charge times, heavy weight and short usable lifetimes.

Flywheels are not as conversely affected by temperature changes, can operate at a much wider temperature range, and are not subject to many of the common failures of chemical rechargeable batteries. Unlike lithium ion polymer batteries which operate for a finite period of roughly 36 months, a flywheel can potentially have an indefinite working lifespan.

Advanced flywheels, such as the 133 kW·h pack of the University of Texas at Austin, can take a train from a standing start up to cruising speed.

The Parry People Mover is a railcar which is powered by a flywheel. It was trialled on Sundays for 12 months on the Stourbridge Town Branch Line in the West Midlands, England during 2006 and 2007 and was intended to be introduced as a full service by the train operator London Midland in December 2008 once two units had been ordered. In January 2010, both units are in operation.

See: Flywheel energy storage

Automobile applications may not be far off. The system is limited by the strength of materials. The current use of high strength carbon fibers limits the flywheel speed by the tensile strength of the fibers, and the cost involved limits the application of the flywheel system. The use of basalt fibers should negate the cost factor. When it becomes possible to manufacture carbon nanotubes efficiently, their immensely greater strength could boost the energy storage capacity of the flywheel system a hundredfold. 

Compressed air energy storage

Energy stored in compressed air to power is not a new invention. Cars can be powered with compressed air stored in a tank at high pressure, typically 4500 psi .. Rather than driving an engine's pistons with an ignited fuel-air mixture, compressed air cars use the expansion of compressed air in a similar manner, like the expansion of steam in a steam engine. There have been prototype cars operating since the 1920s. However, compressed air is also a relatively space-inefficient way of storing energy when compared to conventional gasoline. Air, at 4,500 psi, contains only about 50 Wh of energy per liter, while gasoline contains about 9411 Wh per liter. (See: Compressed Air Cars)

For short-distance (100 Km) and low-cost applications (the cost of a bicycle), the compressed air vehicles will likely come into use where the energy content relative to space is not a big issue. Such short range low cost cars will likely become common place in the coming 'basalt age' when inexpensive manufacturing of the components can be achieved in automated production, and unlimited electric energy resources become available to replace petroleum for transportation energy. The bulk of the present personal daily transportation requirements falls within the short-distance category where the air car may serve society well.

Science develops the technologies, and the technologies produce the products

And  the products will be made of basalt. Knowing that we have a material that 10 stronger than steel and half the weight, the doesn't corrode and is nearly as hard a diamonds, wouldn't one expect a vast array of products becoming possible with the scientific development of the necessary processes. Apart from manufacturing complete houses, it could replace steel in many areas to produce products that no longer rust, like automobiles, ships, train cars, where rust and corrosion is a currently a major problem. Basalt could also find application in aircraft manufacturing and the production of space vehicles.

Science for new electric transmission systems

When space-drawn electric power comes on line and automobiles and train transportation becomes electrified, large scale long distance power transmission becomes a necessity. The development towards this end has already begun with pioneering efforts in producing 'high temperature' super conducting cables and the development of extremely high-voltage DC transmission lines in the range of a few mega-volt. Science will continue to play a role in this development.

Science for large-scale CO2 production.

Plant growth depends on CO2 in the air. The world's current atmosphere is CO2 deficient. Greenhouse operators can achieve a 50% increase in plant growth by simply doubling the CO2 concentration. Increasing it five fold may well give us 250% increase. With the optimization of moisture, lighting, CO2, nitrogen, and other nutrients, for the different food plants, a ten-fold increase in product yield over current agriculture might become possible. If the indoor facilities are stacked 30 stories high, a 300-fold food-production increase per land area would thereby become possible, whereby outdoor farming would become a thing of the past, enabling a smooth transition towards the next Ice Age glaciation cycle that is already on the near horizon.

Science for long-distance global water development

Quality drinking water is increasingly becoming a rare commodity as the natural aquifers are becoming depleted and the climate is becoming dryer as we are entering the boundary zone towards increasing glaciation, long distance water transport for drinkable water may become a requirement in the not-so-distant future, possibly from under the ice of Greenland and Antarctica. The development of a global network of thin-wall arteries made of woven basalt and or Kelvar, submerged into the oceans, for water transport in the oceans, will likely be on the horizon in the near future. Global freshwater management will likely soon become a highly beneficial science.

Floating-bridge science

The science for the elimination of wave motions on the oceans, for the laying down of floating bridges across the oceans connecting the continents will soon on the horizon for the rapid and efficient movements of goods and people between the continents. Global economic development requires the kind of mobility that direct railway connects across the oceans can enable, with the bridges themselves serving as transportation channels to support floating agriculture in patches across the tropical waters.

Food sciences - the new biology

A scientific breakthrough is needed to develop plant products that enable us to create plant species that efficiently produce all the needed amino acids that are necessary for human nutrition, especially those for which we presently depend on animal proteins. We shouldn't need to grow animals so that we can eat them, which is presently the most efficient means to meet our nutritional requirements. Eliminating the need for animal proteins would go a long way towards mankind feeding itself with a large population on the planet during the coming Ice Age glaciation when much of the world's agriculture becomes disabled.

Spacecraft sciences

To develop the moon as a space port, and Mars as a biological laboratory for increased biological diversity in a more cosmic-ray dense environment, and also for Mars to serve as an exploration base for reaching into the outer solar system, more efficient space propulsion is required. A shuttle to the moon may begin its journey not in the fire of might rockets, but might begin on top of  a magnetically levitated sled that takes on the ground to speeds when a nuclear powered ram jet can take over and carry it heights at which ion engines can operate. From the moon, electric propulsion may take us Mars in a few days.

Plasma science for the molecular separation of rocks

Just as the chlorophyll molecule in plants acts as an electric engine that breaks the molecular bond of CO2, freeing up carbon for its use, an oxygen for the air, other molecular bonds might also be broken in order to get access to the metals that are tied up on molecular bonds. If plants can separate molecules, why shouldn't we be able to do the same? If so, we would furnish ourselves with a boundless source of all the metals and minerals we would want. The science than can accomplish that would be one of the most useful sciences we've ever developed, like the science for getting electricity from space.



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 Rolf Witzsche, author of books and novels on Christian Science, politics, science, and, love, and economics

Rolf Witzsche

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