How the knowledge and ideas produced during research can translate into applications that would ultimately have an impact on people and society

Getting closer to fusion power

Fusion power is one step closer to becoming a reality now that a new phase of construction has begun at the site of ITER, the world’s largest experimental fusion reactor. Twenty five years after the first talks of an international fusion energy project, the new works at the site in the south of France mark the beginning of preparations for the tokamak, the core part of the reactor. Sabina Griffith at ITER told the Euroscientist that after waiting for a year for this construction to start, it has had a great effect on the staff on site. "We can finally see ITER taking shape," she said Read more [...]

The airplane of the future

A simple white paper napkin depicts the future: at an informal dinner with aviation professionals the lead technical design engineer of Boeing sketches his personal vision of the airplane of the future, which is so futuristic that it even outranges the companies conceptual airplane. Any minute when a plane is not flying is a waste of money – the goal is to minimise the downtime. Leading airline companies already try to have their birds in the air around the clock. What still takes time is passenger boarding and de-boarding from an aircraft. Since there is no way to beam the humans aboard, the creative engineer found another solution to save time. In his futuristic vision, an airplane consists of a movable compartment, a 'container', where all passengers can be seated in a comfortable way before the plane has even landed. After embarking, while the passengers already enjoy their welcome drink, the whole compartment will be safely moved and secured to the fuselage, which consists mainly of one big airfoil with the engines. Read more [...]

Why scientists are waiting for Web 3.0

The Web in the 1990s, Web 1.0 you might call it, was all about content as everyone from shopkeepers to spectroscopists scrabbled to get online. The major scientific journals began their slow but steady adoption of the new access tools and community sites like ChemWeb and BioMedNet sprang up, endlessly mashing together capitalised prefixes and suffixes. Read more [...]