Wade Crum

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I'd like to create a way to negatively charge the surface of our roadways. And in turn create a vehicle that produces a negative charge.

This would create a zero coefficient of friction and require low energy to tansport vehicles from point A to point B.

  • Jul 26 2012: While it may create zero net friction in the x direction, it would require an ENORMOUS amount of energy to negate friction. To have zero friction, you would not be touching the ground, which is the effect of a superconductor at room temperature, which hasn't been found yet to be naturally occuring in this galaxy. What we need now is intelligent pavement, asphalt that is quieter by trapping less air bubbles between the tire and the road surface, which helps improve mileage in gas-powered vehicles.

    That or we make electric cars practical by the average westerner.
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      Jul 26 2012: Wow! That's the first I've heard of creating intelligent pavement to improve gas mileage. I wonder why that isn't a more vocalized part of the conversation.
      • Jul 27 2012: I'm trying to find the source for that now. There was some research done on how to create quieter pavement for our highway systems (since the majority of the noise is from the compression and expansion of air), but they also found that caused less frictional resistance, improving gas mileage.
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    Jul 26 2012: Just a thought, let's pretend the earth emmits a constant electrical field. We could then design our transportation vehicles to produce enough repelling charge to "hover" if you will. I would imagine a series of electron channels that make up the base of the vehicle. We could control the flow and direction of the electrons to control the vehicle pitch, and speed.
  • Jul 26 2012: Don't plan on pulling that much energy from the grid.

    This might work if you could harness the electric energy from lightning.
  • Aug 1 2012: Think super conductors.
  • Aug 1 2012: Electrical charges don't repel each other (well they do but on a microscopic scale) so this won't help. Opposing magnetic fields repel each other but generating the fields costs a lot. I think a better solution to reduce friction would be to use rails instead of pavement and rubber tires. Then you can have wheels that are steel on steel and require much less friction. The problem is that friction from the road costs a small fraction of your overall energy loss. Most of your loss is from friction from air. They are already working on getting around this by using massive vacuum sealed tubes for inter-city train rides (and I think mag rails are a part of the design too). That way you can go as fast as you want without the resistance. Also, after you seal the tube, keeping out the air (or at least 99% of it) wouldn't be that expensive.
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      Aug 1 2012: I like that idea. Isn't Japan building one like that now? It reminds me of when you go to the bank drive through teller and you send your deposit through the tube in a capsule. Always thought that would be a wild way to travel. I think I'd lose my lunch on the g-forces though.
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    Jul 31 2012: I'd imagine we'd have to have flexible road materials. Unless we scale the turbines down where only a little weight is required to activate them. Great post Paul. I'm going to google smart roads to see what I can dig up on those subterrainian turbines. I'll post it if I find it.

    May not be the same one but looks very similar and promising.
  • Jul 31 2012: I believe an inventive interim solution using roads for power are turbines which generate power under the surface above which there are road panels that are depressed when autos pass over thereby pinning the turbine. This technology is in deployment now however I can not remember by whom or where sorry it was a while ago. Neat stuff though. Good luck!
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    Jul 31 2012: You can't use static charge for levitation because as soon as it rains the charge will dissipate. Thats why powerlines buzz in the rain. You use maglev for friction reduction and flux pinning to stop the vehicle running off the road. Requires lots of power though. Wheels will always be more efficient, just like fixed wing will always be more efficient than helicopters.
  • Jul 30 2012: Might it be best that instead of paving the path with leather we just put on a pair of shoes?

    Good idea though, love the premise.
  • Jul 30 2012: Nice idea, but how do you stop? Also speed would increase and add more carnage on the roads. Would rather have reduced efficiency than be hit by a vehicle going 300 mph driven by a drunk.
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      Jul 30 2012: Actually technology exists for smart sensors that control distances between vehicles. Slowing down would be controlled by polarity of the vehicle base. I'm hoping technology will advance enough to inhibit drunks from operating a motor vehicle. Kind of like KIT "your judgement is imparied....powering down". I beleive that technology exists today as well.
      • Jul 31 2012: Hello Wade Yes the tech does exists, am a retired electronics tech, computers, software, radios... But would add to the cost and today cost trumps human safety, a sad fact. Maybe when we grow up things will change, but not any time soon.
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          Jul 31 2012: Very true. I was listening to Peter Diamondis last week talk on abundance. He really got me thinking and inspired me to work out some ideas I had in the back of my mind. Things I never bothered to share with anyone...well because they seemed a bit "out there". So I started this thread to see if there were others out there who had an interest in defying gravity. I was always fascinated about how we can impose a charge on objects and give them magnetic properties. I hypothysise that this is how gravity works for the earth but I don't think we've solved for that yet. It could be universal forces acting upon the earth or it could be internal forces or a combination of both. I'd be willing to bet once we solve that, my hover car well be elementary.
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          Jul 31 2012: Wade, there are currently four fundamental forces in physics, electro-magnetism, The strong nuclear force, the weak nuclear force and gravity, Gravity is seperate to electro-magnetism as at a sub-atomic level it affects different particles to gravity. Electrro-magnetic force only interacts with partcles that have electric charge. Gravity only interacts with particles that have mass. Look up "the standard model" on wikipedia
      • Aug 1 2012: There is a model for the physical universe based on electromagnatism, named something or other similar to the force name, and it attributes gravity to electromagnatism directly. There was a lengthy video online outlining if I recall. Try searching "electromagnetic universe" on google. I think is is a fringe theory.
  • Jul 28 2012: We already have ways to reduce fricion in the movement of p;roducts - from trains to bullet-trains, etc. Let's put this with the idea of a space elevator.