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Google Technology

Google Looked Into Space Elevator, Hoverboards, and Teleportation 98

An anonymous reader writes "Google has a huge research budget and an apparent willingness to take on huge projects. They've gotten themselves into autonomous cars, fiber optic internet, robotics, and Wi-Fi balloons. But that raises a question: if they're willing to commit to projects as difficult and risk as those, what projects have they explored but rejected? Several of the scientists working at Google's 'innovation lab' have spilled the beans: '[Mag-lev] systems have a stabilizing structure that keeps trains in place as they hover and move forward in only one direction. That couldn't quite translate into an open floor plan of magnets that keep a hoverboard steadily aloft and free to move in any direction. One problem, as Piponi explains, is that magnets tend to keep shifting polarities, so your hoverboard would constantly flip over as you floated around moving from a state of repulsion to attraction with the magnets. Any skateboarder could tell you what that means: Your hoverboard would suck. ... If scaling problems are what brought hoverboards down to earth, material-science issues crashed the space elevator. The team knew the cable would have to be exceptionally strong-- "at least a hundred times stronger than the strongest steel that we have," by Piponi's calculations. He found one material that could do this: carbon nanotubes. But no one has manufactured a perfectly formed carbon nanotube strand longer than a meter. And so elevators "were put in a deep freeze," as Heinrich says, and the team decided to keep tabs on any advances in the carbon nanotube field.'"
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Google Looked Into Space Elevator, Hoverboards, and Teleportation

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  • by rtb61 ( 674572 ) on Wednesday April 16, 2014 @05:26AM (#46765233) Homepage

    Once thing they should look at is a city within a single mega-structure. A old idea seemingly long since abandoned but one that incorporates many research oppurtunities and even the possibility of near future development. It allows investigation into waste removal incorporating energy generation, acceptable internal living space design, fire control, sound control, effective heat utilisation and management, network communications, delivery systems, internalised productions, internal transport systems, air control systems, energy management and recovery etc. This kind of major development research project provides great returns because of the large varied range of individual research projects that are incorporated with it.

    Logically crafting an MMO simulation of it allowing in depth investigating of the personal interactions as well as prompting public input into the various research components would be a major part of the modern developmental exercise.

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