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Developmetns in Engineering

  1. Jan 5, 2004 #1
    I'm in a high school engineering class. I have to do a project on "a current development in any engineering field". btw current development means that a new innovation is occuring. Any ideas?
  2. jcsd
  3. Jan 5, 2004 #2


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    Anything on nanotechnology,

    big engineering projects which have been proposed like a Straights of Gibraltar bridge,

    construction of the International Space Station

    three which popped into my head
  4. Jan 5, 2004 #3
    ty ty ty

    yea, i wanted to do nanotech but i kinda hit a brick wall on that one. its still in the science stage than in the engineering stage.
    Last edited: Jan 5, 2004
  5. Jan 6, 2004 #4


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    Oh no it isn't.

    Look up nano-storage. They're working on developing nano memory cells which write and rewrite on the nano-scale by melting and unmelting a surface. There was an article in Scientific American a few months back about it.

    People are developing gears for nano-machinery.

    Carbon nanotubes are used in various places in industry

    CPUs are pushing nano-tech scale, if they aren't already.
  6. Jan 6, 2004 #5
    This leads to a question, where is the fine line between nano-tech and non-nanotech? CPUs are attacking 50nm scales, with 80nm going into production now.

    Is pure-optical switching/processing considered nanotech?
  7. Jan 6, 2004 #6


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    To me, just doing stuff at nanoscale isn't the promised nanotechnology. Labs have been working at atomic scales ever since the invention of the scanning tunneling microscope. Bell labs and IBM labs used to be in competition to write the logos of their companies in single atoms.

    What Drexler announced that was new was the nanoassemblers. So that's my key: the demostration of effective nanoassemblers.
  8. Jan 6, 2004 #7


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    To me its simple: nanotech referrs to MACHINES. Electric motors the width of a human hair, etc. Electric circuits are in a different realm.
  9. Jan 7, 2004 #8
    well... my teacher didn't like the international space station. He called it a "jumble of pre-existing engineering" so I'm going to use the nano storage. Thanks enigma!
  10. Jan 7, 2004 #9


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  11. Jan 8, 2004 #10
    thanks enigma :smile:
  12. Jan 10, 2004 #11

    Nano-storage is really cool, thanks enigma :smile: I just have one problem, I've been seeing the term AFM a lot. What does AFM stand for?

    Never mind, i found it. It stands for atomic force microscopy.
  13. Jan 12, 2004 #12
    As an added thought to the above excellent comments: Superconductivity is a developing field with enormous prospect and continued investigation.
  14. Feb 9, 2004 #13
    This is probably coming too late for the original poster, but if others should need a similar subject for a topic to explore, magnetic refrigeration is cool (pun intended).

    It is fairly new technology being developed into commercially viable uses now.

    The way I understand it to work is that a special metal heats slightly when brought in contact with a permanant magnet and when it is removed from the magnet it cools below it's initial temperature. They are trying to make the technology work for very low refrigerant temperatures it is much more efficient than compressors and refrigerant.

    Here is a link:
    http://www.external.ameslab.gov/news/release/2001rel/01magneticrefrig.htm [Broken]
    Last edited by a moderator: May 1, 2017
  15. Feb 9, 2004 #14
    that is really interesting. How much do one of those magnets cost?
  16. Feb 10, 2004 #15
    The way I understand it, the magnet is just a magnet, but the gadolinium powder is a special mixture of rare earth materials, which are available, but Ames' Laboratory has been working on the right combination for quite some time. So you may or may not be able to duplicate the cooling and warming of the metal as it is brought close to and moved away from the magnet.
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