Thank Newton It’s Over

Abstract: I created a video detailing the theories behind creating a maglev car. More specifically, the levitation part of the car. I begun the project with no other motivation other than because flying cars are cool, defying gravity is cool, and who doesn’t like hover cars? Over the course of my research though, I started getting invested into the project since I was a tad skeptical going into the project as well. (I mean…cool idea on paper, can’t be possible right?) But I found that the technology is probably closer to us than we realise, the problem is implementation. My main finding and realisation from the project is that most, if not all of the technology we need to create cities like we see in science fiction already exists to some degree. The major reason why they’re not available commercially is because of the layers of bureaucratic and economic barriers in the way. It was a bit of a brutal strike when I realised that no country can magnitise every single road in a single city by themselves and that probably means we won’t see hovering cars in our lifetime.

Challenges: There were several, although none from the lack of research. I had as many articles and papers to choose from as there are ideas of hover cars (and there were hundreds). The issue as I had detailed before was my lack of scientific knowledge on such matters. Then, after I had bothered to actually spend several afternoons looking at formulas and theories I came to understand that if it took me over 20 hours to understand, I probably can’t and won’t be able to explain it well enough over a six minute video. Also, considering that my targeted audience is going to be students around my age with the same very general amount of knowledge to physics as I have, I realise that they’re not going to want to know the numbers behind making a car fly (drag force and fluid calculation is horrible), they just want to know (like I did in the beginning), can we make it happen, and when. So, my project, inserted below goes only into the general idea and gives a brief overview on all the possibilities.

Product Below:

Research Citation

Video Citation

Hovercars More Tedious Than Expected

I am, unfortunately, falling a bit behind my predicted schedule as I did not expect there to be quite so much research I had to do. Following up from last time, I have decided to make a video since this topic is so complex I want to be able to pick what is presented. Also, I have also chose to remove the section about environmental effects as there is far too many things to cover. So far, I have over ten pages of condensed research and I will begin writing the script over the weekend.

Doing this project, I have learnt a variety of information regarding creating hover cars, but my research can largely be divided into two sections; the practical and the abstract. The practical research includes current technology, financial costs (11 million per kilometer of magnetic road seems ridiculous), and seeing generally what ideas companies have for hover cars.

Most designs of hover cars actually don’t resemble traditional cars. This design from Renault uses maglev technology.

Then, my other part of my research is largely abstract and about the scientific aspects. Specifically, I started by investigating the possible ways that we can create hovering cars. Since this idea bridged from free-flying cars, I begun with seeing if something like using air as a cushion would work, and I found that while there were actual cars design that way (I’m as surprised as you are), those designs are impractical and really loud (like an entire construction going on kind of loud).

A design from 1959 (or 1962 depending on which sources you believe in) the Ford Glideair uses a cushion of air to allow the vehicle to float six to seven centimetres above ground.

Since that research was useless, I searched for an alternative and fell on the use of magnetic levitation (maglev). The problem was that the science behind magnetic levitation proved beyond my level of science understanding so in the time it would take me to understand a short research paper, I could’ve finished a short book. Knowing this much, I have decided to take a step backwards and look at the topic broadly. Maybe I will just introduce the basic concept of magnetic levitation and suggest some ideas of implementation in the video without going too far into the math as I intended to. Specifically, I learnt about that magnetic power decrease cubically as the distance of the two objects increase instead of quadratically. I learnt that magnetic power can be amplified by use of the halbach array and that magnetic levitation is most possible in the presence of a superconductor (aka. metal cooled to 7-40 kelvins).

Some minor calculations…the theories are harder

 

Flying Cars – A Coming Reality

My research question is whether or not flying (hovering) cars can be made a reality and how beneficial would it be to cities. Honestly, who doesn’t think that flying cars would be cool? I mean, no sci-fi in this generation is complete without flying vehicle of some kind. Since I were young, I would ask my father if it were possible to create a city for flying vehicles and being the practical civil engineer he is, he’d shoot me down every time. As such, this has become an opportunity to explore whether it would be possible/practical to design a city for levitating vehicles.

As for my project, I want to either make a video detailing a project proposal for a new utopia or making a introductory website for the city. Because the two options are not mutually exclusive, I can afford to decide later on in my research phrase. Also, I’ve taken a page of programming and divided my research into modules. The first module is going to be about the creation possibility of cars. The second module is going to be on the implementation of said cars in cities. The third module is going to be on the environmental benefits of switching to levitating cars and the final module is going to be on the financial aspect of the project.

 

What I need to do By this date
Clarify the Question 28th April
Divide the Research into Modules 29th April
Finish Researching Module 1 1st May
Finish Researching Module 2 3rd May
Finish Researching Module 3 5th May
Finish Researching Module 4 7th May
Compose the Script 10th May
Finish the Video 12th May
Edit the Video 15th May
Finish the Website 15th May

In the above chart I have labelled the specific dates detailing the plan, with two days allotted to research and the rest to completing the project. Since I am unsure on whether to do the website or the video, I have listed the completion time for both in case I decide it.

Most prototypes of flying cars involve wings of some form.

 

Done at Last…Huzzah!

In the climate change project, I studied the effects of climate change on collegiate life in the United Kingdom. This subject was of a particular fascination to me because I have plans to study there in the future. My interest stems beyond the security of my future however, because I am also particularly enamoured by the atmosphere of England and would probably pursue a scientific career there or another European country in the future.

Because it would’ve been lackluster to include only Physics behind this multidimensional issue, I wanted a way to communicate all aspects that I’ve researched, sociopolitical, geographical, and scientific knowledge to the reader, and in such a way that it would feel personal to them. As such, I decided on creating a 2050 edition student handbook which gave a general outline of possible university choices while describing the situation in the UK. I believe I have created a versatile piece of work where people who wish to be informed about the science can be, but it isn’t a website created simply for science sake. However, because it would’ve been odd to include too much science in a student handbook, I had to create a separate page on which I could exposition dump all the specific scientific facts.

Through my rather broad and extensive research, I have uncovered a multitude of information that has allowed me to construct my project. Specifically, I began with researching sea level increases in Europe and how the UK would be affected. From there, I branched out, and found that the Fens contained a bit over 50% of Grade A agricultural land in England, and with the lowest elevation that would be lost first. Adding on to the fact that the heating of the British Isles would increase the strength of storms and typhoons, the UK is ripe for a humanitarian crisis in the future. With my specific topic though, I also found that Oxbridge has been able to maintain such high rankings is because of generous donations from alumnus and government support. These were the only facts that I could gain from provided information. Due to the nature of this topic, I had to make a lot deductions and inferences to actually present my information in a way that makes coherent sense to my audience.

Finally, as I’ve mentioned before, one of my main challenges has always been centering and focusing my topic down. As my plan before suggested, I decided to conduct research before fully formulating a direction to travel in. I found that it worked well this time because I found out the as an island nation, the United Kingdom’s greatest concern would be the fact that it wouldn’t exist in a couple of decades. So, I was able to formulate my research topic about that. To be honest, one of my strengths was that once I got into the project, it was pretty easy to get it done. Because my English abilities aren’t bad and I’ve had a wide variety of experiences with websites, both designing and programming, I played to my strengths when it came to creating this project. My weakness was that I was very easily distracted and it was hard for me to actually get into the project in the first place. Because this project came at a time when many other teachers were handing out assignments and projects, it was difficult for me to focus. In regards to the project, I did not really have any other weaknesses.

Final Product Here

 

Progress; What a Nice Word…

The houses pretty much describe how I felt after a week of tests and projects.

As of December 6th, at the time of writing, I have made considerable progress on my research. However, I am plagued by a lack of specific direction to my research question. Additionally, I am finding that an inquiry on life conditions of a British college student in the future to be too wide, as it requires covering both the physics and sociopolitical aspects of the problem. As such, my research is so broad that it’s hard for me to create a cohesive piece with the information I’ve collected. To illustrate, I have information not only on general tuition of English college students but also coastal erosion, flooding, water shortages, natural environmental effects, food shortages, and heatwaves. I believe now the clear step forward before putting the information together is to refocus on my subject matter. That is to say, the most amount of difficulty I’ve had was the constant need to check whether or not my information is relevant. To that end, I’ve decided to just throw everything I have onto a single document and then sift out the important information when I actually begin the writing process. As for a timeline update, the attached table describes my current progress. As can be seen, I have decided to move the general deadline backwards; moving most of the writing to the weekend will allow me to focus on the project without distractions while I finish up the research over the week.

What I need to do By this date Comments
Research Complete Dec 3 Late, now Dec 7
Writing Portion Complete Dec 5 Will be done alongside research due to nature of an article.
Image Finding Complete Dec 7 Will be done over Dec 7-10
Project time Dec 7 – 10
Finish Project Dec 10

My new timeline looks like the following;

What I need to do By this date Comments
Research Complete Dec 7
Writing Portion Complete Dec 7-10
Image Finding Complete Dec 7-10
Project time Dec 7 – 10
Finish Project Dec 10

Cost of Living – UK College Student

My research question is how climate change would influence college student life in the United Kingdom. This matters personally because I’ve always had been looking for potential colleges in the country. A key part of this examination would be to compare all aspects of an average student and to identify how many variables there are that can be manipulated by climate change. In regards to the final project, I can create and design a yearbook spread for a student in a future or I could create a satirical article based on it. In terms of timeline, I have set a goal to have everything finished by December 9th, meaning that I have to actually start on the project next week. I will dedicate this week to finish researching everything related.

 

What I need to do By this date
Research Complete Dec 3
Writing Portion Complete Dec 5
Image Finding Complete Dec 7
Project Time Dec 7 – 10
Finish Project Dec 10