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Posted by never_ask_why333 (Member # 6340) on January 18, 2007, 05:57:
 
Well, to explain the inspiration for my inquiries, let me first say that I am a Star Wars fan (to the hardcore max extreme, as kids this day would put it [Big Grin] ). Therefore, this question revolves around that, to a point...

For anyone who has seen the movies, you know what I am referring to when I say a 'speeder'.

If anyone has not, look here:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Airspeeder

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Landspeeder

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Speeder_bike

Anywho, so to the question:

When (if ever) do you think we will actually create those, or something similar? Or let me better state that: With the rate technology is going, how long will it take before we reach this point?

Or, if we have already, please do tell! Or is it even possible, etc.

Also-

I remember in a class not too long ago, we were experimenting with 'magnetic levitation'. We were told to create some sort of object that represented a car, and we had to take aerodynamics, etc, into account. After making them, we applied a magnetic strip on the bottom of it.
Then there was a test ramp. It was a long slanting ramp, with raised edges and a magnetic strip down the middle of it. We then put our 'cars' onto them and let them go, recording the results, etc.

If we go into hovercraft type autos, and the like, do you think we would start with magnetic levitation, or entirely skip this step?

Anyway, any thoughts/facts/opinions on anything remotely relevant to this subject is welcome.
 
Posted by Ashitaka (Member # 4924) on January 18, 2007, 06:12:
 
Though I believe we have the technology to build "speeder" type flying vehicles it is just not practicle. Things that fly need so much more energy. Fuel costs would be astronomical. We will stay with wheeled vehicles until energy becomes free. It is not a question if we will have teh ability to make such things. It is a question of fuel efficiency.
 
Posted by Steen (Member # 170) on January 18, 2007, 06:33:
 
Today:
An idiot on a speeder of some sort, cell phone clapped to his head with one hand, donut in the other, trying to steer with his ring and pinky fingers but failing as he swerves all over the road.

The mid-future:
The same idiot going at twice the speed with brakes that take ten times longer to stop the vehicle. Lawyers rejoice in the flood of lawsuits that they can file because, obviously, it's the manufacturer's fault for not providing a crash free vehicle.

The late future:
Everyone who ever thought of making a speeder type of vehicle has been sued into financial oblivion. All manufacturers are long since out of business. Even the heirs to Lucas' money are in litigation because they have money and there are lawyers who will try to take it no matter how tenuous the connection.

...

Gee, I have such an optimistic view of society [Roll Eyes]
 
Posted by uilleann (Member # 1297) on January 18, 2007, 07:06:
 
Part of the progress of science and technology is realising that things we felt were completely impossible, most definitely are not. It's common and normal to form one's belief of what can and cannot be done based on a current understanding of science, including all the arbitrary limitations involved.

I am sure most of us here are aware of Scotty's claim that he "cannae change the laws of physics", but what are the laws of physics? It mustn't be forgotten that we don't have any real proof of what we consider laws, and we have to keep revising them and seeing them in a new light as our understanding changes.

It's very easy and tempting to claim that any given idea such as faster-than-light travel, invisibility or levitation is "impossible" or merely prohibitively costly in energy or financial terms, but we still base these claims on an understanding of science as we know it now, regardless of how reliable this is.

We have to keep an open mind. There is no way to predict what may and may not be possible without knowing the complete and total truth and depth of the make-up of the universe, and that might be a very long way off.

When will we get levitating cars? Will such machines ever exist? It's anybody's guess, but it would be pretty cool if it were to happen within my lifetime.
 
Posted by TheMoMan (Member # 1659) on January 18, 2007, 07:33:
 
never_ask_why333_____________________Just to answer part of your question, Ashitaka is right on the fuel use. I have a Hovercraft, My buddy has a boat twice as big and just as fast. Now to cross the Saginaw Bay and back takes him about three gallons of fuel I will have used most of twelve gallons in the same distance. But I can cross in the winter when the Bay is frozen and his boat can't but his Snowmobile will still get better mileage than my hovercraft
 
Posted by Astronomer Jedi (Member # 4699) on January 18, 2007, 07:48:
 
quote:
Originally posted by never_ask_why333:
Well, to explain the inspiration for my inquiries, let me first say that I am a Star Wars fan (to the hardcore max extreme, as kids this day would put it [Big Grin] ).

Why am I just finding out about this now? [Wink]
Oh well, you're not a noob any more so I can't hit on you. Lucky for you. [Razz]

On the matter at hand, I'm with uilleann. You never can tell what developments in science and technology will happen. Way back when, who would have thought we'd be in space like today? So who's to say what will come from areas like nano-tech and string theory?

I only got into physics because I wanted to invent the warp drive...
 
Posted by never_ask_why333 (Member # 6340) on January 18, 2007, 09:23:
 
quote:
Originally posted by Astronomer Jedi:
quote:
Originally posted by never_ask_why333:
Well, to explain the inspiration for my inquiries, let me first say that I am a Star Wars fan (to the hardcore max extreme, as kids this day would put it [Big Grin] ).

Why am I just finding out about this now? [Wink]
Oh well, you're not a noob any more so I can't hit on you. Lucky for you. [Razz]

On the matter at hand, I'm with uilleann. You never can tell what developments in science and technology will happen. Way back when, who would have thought we'd be in space like today? So who's to say what will come from areas like nano-tech and string theory?

I only got into physics because I wanted to invent the warp drive...

I'm not sure whether to be diappointed or thankful [Razz] [Big Grin] [Wink]

Anyway, back on track.

Indeed. This is what I feared; another dream crushed.

Although I really didn't expect this to happen anytime soon, anyway, if it all. Oh well, I'll just have to keep working on a lightsaber then.

[Razz]
 
Posted by uilleann (Member # 1297) on January 18, 2007, 09:32:
 
Dream crushed? Why?
 
Posted by TheMoMan (Member # 1659) on January 18, 2007, 15:11:
 
never_ask_why333___________________Solve the fuel problem, I'll get in line, isn't that what the younger students are supposed to do solve the problems that us old farts couldn't. Now develope a light sabor and I would have to get into shape again, kind of like the gunfighter in Cat ballue
 
Posted by Callipygous (Member # 2071) on January 18, 2007, 15:42:
 
I would hope that if we take global warming and sustainability seriously, that the future might be more to do with actual bicycles for the mass of us peons. Personal Rocketry Inc's clients will be only be the mega rich. In actual fact I would find a world with half the amount of cars we have now, and proper train services much pleasanter and more interesting to live in. So the next revolutionary travel device should be in the field of public rather than private transport, though sadly this is unlikely to be the case.
 
Posted by Astronomer Jedi (Member # 4699) on January 18, 2007, 17:46:
 
quote:
Originally posted by never_ask_why333:
quote:
Originally posted by Astronomer Jedi:
quote:
Originally posted by never_ask_why333:
Well, to explain the inspiration for my inquiries, let me first say that I am a Star Wars fan (to the hardcore max extreme, as kids this day would put it [Big Grin] ).

Why am I just finding out about this now? [Wink]
Oh well, you're not a noob any more so I can't hit on you. Lucky for you. [Razz]

On the matter at hand, I'm with uilleann. You never can tell what developments in science and technology will happen. Way back when, who would have thought we'd be in space like today? So who's to say what will come from areas like nano-tech and string theory?

I only got into physics because I wanted to invent the warp drive...

I'm not sure whether to be diappointed or thankful [Razz] [Big Grin] [Wink]


You should be very disappointed. [Razz]
 
Posted by never_ask_why333 (Member # 6340) on January 20, 2007, 00:54:
 
quote:
Originally posted by TheMoMan:
never_ask_why333___________________Solve the fuel problem, I'll get in line, isn't that what the younger students are supposed to do solve the problems that us old farts couldn't. Now develope a light sabor and I would have to get into shape again, kind of like the gunfighter in Cat ballue

Well, i once had a dream about this, but I am not sure if it would ever work.
There are tons of landfills with mass amounts of waste that is harming the environment. I wonder if we could take that waste, perhaps somehow compress it, melt it, etc, and turn it into useable fuel. If so, that would be killing two birds with one stone.
 
Posted by TheMoMan (Member # 1659) on January 20, 2007, 03:00:
 
never_ask_why333_________________Actually you are very close. There are three pilot operations that, do some what that at one the out gas mostly methane is capured and compressed for steam generators. Two waste is burned in boilers to run generators, Three the poop from a big pig farm is digested in a huge septic tank and the methane is compressed and sold. So miss never_ask_why333 refine the process.
 
Posted by Astronomer Jedi (Member # 4699) on January 20, 2007, 03:51:
 
I live just around the corner from what used to be landfill about 25~30 years ago. The stadium next door to this uses methane collected from the landfill to supply all it's electricity and sells the excess to the main grid.
 
Posted by Ashitaka (Member # 4924) on January 20, 2007, 04:05:
 
I interned at a waste water treatment facility. While we collected all and fed the power grid to the plant with the collected methane, it does not give that much power. Only half af what we needed.
 


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