Photo 1 Jun 20 notes wildcat2030:

Researchers Build Miniature Flying Carpet
Bad news: It can’t carry you around. Good news: It might help explore another planet.
We’ve all seen lectures go awry when plastic transparencies slide off projectors, but L. Mahadevan was probably the first to seriously analyze a plastic sheet’s fall from grace. It is even safer to assume he was the first to use it as a model for a flying carpet. Now, due to Mahadevan’s curiosity and an enterprising grad student, scientists have created an electrically powered sheet that propels itself through the air. In 2007 Mahadevan, a mathematician at Harvard University, turned his analysis into a proposal for coaxing a flexible sheet to fly [pdf] just above the ground. His study concluded that a thin sheet rapidly vibrating in a wavelike motion, much like a ray swimming near the seafloor, would stay aloft. Mahadevan never built his flying carpet—he moved on to analyzing how wet paper curls and lilies bloom. But in 2008 Princeton graduate student Noah Jafferis came across Mahadevan’s paper and put the idea into practice. What Jafferis produced last fall isn’t exactly a flying carpet. It is more like a 4-by-1.5-inch plastic transport, but it’s still the first object of its kind to achieve propulsion through the air. (via Researchers Build Miniature Flying Carpet | Gadgets | DISCOVER Magazine)

wildcat2030:

Researchers Build Miniature Flying Carpet

Bad news: It can’t carry you around. Good news: It might help explore another planet.

We’ve all seen lectures go awry when plastic transparencies slide off projectors, but L. Mahadevan was probably the first to seriously analyze a plastic sheet’s fall from grace. It is even safer to assume he was the first to use it as a model for a flying carpet. Now, due to Mahadevan’s curiosity and an enterprising grad student, scientists have created an electrically powered sheet that propels itself through the air. In 2007 Mahadevan, a mathematician at Harvard University, turned his analysis into a proposal for coaxing a flexible sheet to fly [pdf] just above the ground. His study concluded that a thin sheet rapidly vibrating in a wavelike motion, much like a ray swimming near the seafloor, would stay aloft. Mahadevan never built his flying carpet—he moved on to analyzing how wet paper curls and lilies bloom. But in 2008 Princeton graduate student Noah Jafferis came across Mahadevan’s paper and put the idea into practice. What Jafferis produced last fall isn’t exactly a flying carpet. It is more like a 4-by-1.5-inch plastic transport, but it’s still the first object of its kind to achieve propulsion through the air. (via Researchers Build Miniature Flying Carpet | Gadgets | DISCOVER Magazine)

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