Remember that flying carpet Aladdin and Jasmine escaped from Jaffar on? You know, in that 1992 Disney movie with the blue genie voiced by Robin Williams. That flying carpet is now real!A miniature magic carpet made of plastic has taken flight in a laboratory at Princeton University.
The 10cm (4in) sheet of smart transparency is driven by "ripple power"; waves of electrical current driving thin pockets of air from front to rear underneath.
The prototype, described in Applied Physics Letters, moves at speeds of about a centimetre per second.
Improvements to the design could raise that to as much as a metre per second.
The device's creator, graduate student Noah Jafferis, says he was inspired by a mathematical paper he read shortly after starting his PhD studies at Princeton.
He abandoned what would have been a fashionable project printing electronic circuits with nano-inks for one that seemed to have more in common with 1001 Nights than 21st-Century engineering.
Prof James Sturm, who leads Mr Jafferis' research group, conceded that at times the project seemed foolhardy.
"What was difficult was controlling the precise behaviour of the sheet as it deformed at high frequencies," he told the BBC.
"Without the ability to predict the exact way it would flex, we couldn't feed in the right electrical currents to get the propulsion to work properly."
What followed was a two year digression attaching sensors to every part of the material so as to fine-tune its performance through a series of complex feedbacks.
But once that was mastered, the waveform of the undulating matched that prescribed by the theory, and the wafting motions gave life to the tiny carpet.
In the paper describing the design, Mr Jafferis and his co-authors are careful to keep the word "flying" in inverted commas, because the resulting machine has more in common with a hovercraft than an aeroplane.
"It has to keep close to the ground," Mr Jafferis explained to the BBC's Science in Action, "because the air is then trapped between the sheet and the ground. As the waves move along the sheet it basically pumps the air out the back." That is the source of the thrust.
Built in the 17th century for housing working class immigrants, Jordaan is now an upscale district of Amsterdam. The district has emerged as a posh and happening place for art aficionados with the opening of many art galleries, especially those for modern art. For those who want to browse through specialty shops and restaurants, Jordaan is the perfect place. The area also has many small and intere...
Many years ago, at the Campo San Polo bull races took place, fairs and military parades were held but now only the city’s outdoor cinema is set up here on summer nights. The church located here called the Chiesa di San Polo was restored several times but little remains of the original 9th-century building, and the 19th-century alterations were so expensive that the friars had to sell off many grea...
A very interesting addition to the list of museums in Bucharest is the Natural History Museum in the center of the city. This museum has a collection of over 300,000 exhibits and illustrations that trace the evolution of the earth through history. The exhibits are very impressive and you are guaranteed to be lost in the display for hours. Some exhibits also show how species evolved and have adapte...
It is at this point where Pakistan and India meet. Tourists must visit the Wagah Border where they will be treated to a history lesson in Pakistan-India relations. On either side of the border, the citizens of the two countries sit on concrete steps, singing patriotic songs. Half-an-hour before sunset, a little ceremony takes place where the Pakistani and Indian guards engage in different comp...