German boffins at the Fraunhofer Institute say they are working on an "almost frictionless" lubricant made from liquid crystals like those used in flat-panel displays. They think that the LCD lube could be ready for market as soon as 2011. As any fule kno, liquid crystal molecules can be made to point the same way under the …
The old in-out
This would be handy if you were stuck on the London Underground, or in the queue to get into a new branch of Ikea. Just coat yourself with the stuff and then dive in. You would pop straight through like a greased seal coming out of a cannon. Or the severed spider head from "The Thing".
If you could coat an satellite with this, you could make it orbit the Earth only a few hundred feet off the ground.
First the uphill dyke pumping, now this..OK, who's in charge of Lewis's meds?
nearly perpetual motion machine ahoy
nearly zero friction means you could build a machine that was in motion nearly perpetually doesn't it?
i can't think of any usefull applications for such a device but there might be some good toys in it.
im looking forward to getting a mouse & mat combo with zero friction though.
Pretty slick stuff
<--------<< 'nuff said
Crystals around the (bearing) balls?
One heck of a STD, I'd say!
"In contrast to normal liquids ... liquid crystals have a certain orientation"
I am sure Durex might be interested
Paris.. Well.. Take a guess!
very good, but...
Have they worked out how to make a frictionless liquid stay where they want it? If it's truly frictionless (which I don't believe), it would have to be on an absolutely level, vibration free surface, or in some form of dip/bowl, which limits it's usefulness!
the water-saving frictionless toilet mentioned in "The Mote in God's Eye"?
Mine's the one that's just slid off the peg.
Trust the Germans...
... to find something very slippery. Vorsprung durch technik and all that. Whatever will those clever Teutons think of next? Poisonous gas?
Instead of spraying oil out the back of his car, he could spray this stuff. The goodies can drive over it safely but when the baddies get there, he cunningly applies a small charge, the liquid crystals line up and whammo.
/Paris 'cos she probably once wanted to be in a Bond movie
Instant banana peel
How long before Plod tries to use this stuff for crowd control?
Will they license it to Pjur?
Sounds like it would make a wonderful sexual lubricant, esp. where the tighter orifices are involved. I want a liter of the stuff, please.
Sorry to rain about your parrade about poison gas, but the first one who advocated using chlorine gas (you know, the same that would later be actually used in WW1) against the enemy was... John Doughty, a school teacher from New York, during the American Civil War. Later at the Hague Conference in 1899, guess who voted against forbidding shells filled with asphixiating gas? Right, the USA, on grounds that, "the inventiveness of Americans should not be restricted in the development of new weapons."
So, sad to say,
1. Germany didn't invent that idea. That merit goes to the "inventiveness of Americans".
2. The idea was actually applied some decade and a half after the whole world was already seriously aware of the possibility.
(And just so I don't bash the USA alone, other countries had their own apologists of poison gas attacks. I seem to remember some French utopianism (or dystopianism) where future wars would be won by massive poison gas attacks and cavalry charges on bycicles.)
Or do you mean Gas Chambers? You know who invented that one? The USA again. Execution by gas chamber was first used in the 1920's in the USA.
So again, Germany sadly can't claim to have invented that one, and merely copied the fruits of the good ol' "inventiveness of Americans." When it comes to killing each other, you can trust America to have the good ideas first. Kudos, and all that.
May not be a good idea as many liquid crystals are toxic. Best to stick to KY!
Good points, well made. And, of course, we British also used gas as a weapon in WW1.
My comment was less a treatise on the history of poison gas than the obligatory Armistice Day reminder of who started the two world wars. But having a pop at the Yanks is nearly as much fun as dissing Germany - so respec' to you, Hans.
@Hans Mustermann: Poison gas.
Can I just add that the Germans weren't even very good with it, the allies killed many
more Germans with poison gas in WWI than the hun did.
I'm sure it's a British idea somewhere along the line, the krauts are very efficient and
all, but not really inventive.
You can't let the yanks claim everything. We brits have invented our fair share of good ideas on the Warfighting front as well you know!
And seriously Lewis, there was less innuendo in todays The Sun (not my copy I hasten to add...)
At least it was us British that invented Concentration Camps! (Boer War)
surely a product for them
- Product round-up Coming clean: Ten cordless vacuum cleaners
- Worstall @ the Weekend BIG FAT Lies: Porky Pies about obesity
- 'Snoopers' Charter IS DEAD', Lib Dems claim as party waves through IP address-matching
- 'New Stuxnet': Government-grade SOFTWARE WEAPON 'Regin' described
- The next big thing in medical science: POO TRANSPLANTS