Zeolite is actually a family of aluminosilicate ceramics which are porous, leading to their use in filters (air and water), molecular sieves (for separating gases or liquids), desiccants (trapping water and keeping the environment dry), or even molecular storage. I ran across it first looking for alternatives to alcohol distillation since standard distillation can only reach 96.8% purity. Zeolite filters however can be acquired with 3 Angstrom openings as a way to separate alcohol and water since water molecules are 2.5 Angstroms across while Alcohol is 4.5 Angstroms.
Various forms of zerolite are being tapped for the chambers their lattice creates. One potential application is the safe storage of hydrogen (requiring neither excessive pressure or cryogenic temperatures). The DOE is looking at zeolite as well as activated carbon as a mineral carrier for hydrogen. One gram of zeolite (ZSM-5) which is like a spec, has a surface area of 430 square meters (4600 sq feet or 1/10th of an acre).
Its property as an absorbent is used in this cool cryogenic vacuum pump, where by cooling the absorbent material, it literally sucks all the air out of a chamber and traps it in its matrix. By heating it back up, it releases all the gasses trapped inside and can be used again. One of these can easily evacuate a 100 liter chamber, and three can do a 200 liter volume in just under ten minutes (by staging them). No moving parts, no electricity, and under normal operating conditions they'll last forever. Pretty darn cool.
Though if you're into cool, you might also check out this self cooling beer keg.
Operating similar to an icy-ball, the zeolite is used as an absorber for water, letting it boil off and chill the beer in the center of the container. Actually, a zeolite/water chiller might make a great alternative to the salt/ammonia
"How slow do I need to go to make the turn?" I asked.
"Just make the turn and see," he suggested.
I'm not sure what he was thinking I would do, but I decided to see if a toyota pickup could make a hard right turn at about 40MPH. Needless to say this was not a smooth maneuver. Luckily there was flat level dirt beyond the other side of the road so I was eventually able to get the truck back on pavement without incident.
After re-calibrating my leeway, I was able to get further information in response to my questions and I managed to pass my driving test a couple of years later without any serious damage to the truck. (All the damage I inflicted to the truck came later on after I got my license.
Basically when you start putting power through, the coil sucks some of the energy to start building a magnetic field. After the field saturates (if you let it), then the coil just ignores you and just acts like a wire. Until you try and cut the current.
Then the inductors says, "Oh no you don't," throwing itself on its magnetic field in order to maintain the status quo. And it does it with a vengance too. Even if you were only powering it with 12V originally, it can generate infinite voltages in an attempt to keep the current flowing (subject of course to parasitic capatitance and internal resistance). A coil without a path to discharge its current can start breaking down insulation, burning through local semiconductors, or even arcing through the air. Now you don't get anything for free: the current is going to be much smaller that before (so that power is constant), but higher voltages and lower currents are actually very handy for reducing conduction losses, so this can be put to good use.
While these are typically used for short term energy storage (milliseconds), scientists are experimenting with creating giant superconducting versions that can store gigawatts. There's even products for evening out temporary spikes in power use for industrial customers.
A much more boring use is using these things for filtering out high or low frequencies, or creating resonant circuits for radios. I mean who cares as long as my cell phone works.
SanDisk's competitors must be having a fit, cause they just pulled the rug out. Now 2GB is $136, with the same price/mb prices applied down the line to 1GB and 512MB. (The smaller cards go up a little in $/mb just cause you have to pay for the case & handling, etc.) For some reason the same prices haven't hit USB drives (and the 4GB card is still a little pricy), but I'm hoping that given time they'll get cheaper too. A 1GB SD card is a little higher at $98, but that's down quite a bit too (though I'd rather have 2GB for my hoped for Treo 650).
Strangely, this was not driven at the top end, but rather by SanDisk's attempt to make Flash memory so cheap that it replaced film. Their target was a $9 32MB flash card (which would store about 50 pictures). This makes it competitive with film (especially when you consider the ability to erase junk pictures). They're hoping that people will buy these like peanuts, and just toss them in a shoebox or drawer when they're full. Not sure if that's going to happen, but I'm happy to get 2GB for a little more than a hundred bucks.
Tim is grumpy cause flash is now cheaper than DDR RAM.
That just sounds awsome. I'm pretty good about doing what is right, even when its not appreciated. I can also be courageous when I believe in something. But under less than ideal conditions, my discipline is not always what it could be or what it should be for the sake of my customers. Dwayne is going to be speaking at the AYE Conference. I really should get my registration in.
The best thing that can happen to any software project is to have people who know what they are doing and have the courage and self-discipline to do it. Knowledgeable people do what is right and avoid what is wrong. Courageous people tell the truth when others want to hear something else. Disciplined people work through projects and don't cut corners.
Thanks to Niranjani for the quote.
Except that W is next to Q, and ctrl-Q shuts down everything.
Now I was already in the habit of trying to keep bookmarks for open pages and other steps for recovering from a crash, but now I have to worry about shutting everything down on accident when I'm not careful with my fingers.
Its very annoying.
From the Phlox family. (Isn't that the doctor on Enterprise?)
Thanks to: The Geek-Spot which included other great news such as Open-destination quantum teleportation, Solar Jet causalities, Super Lightning Bolts on Saturn, and Caltech breaks the Internet2 land speed record, transfering 859 GB in 17 minutes. With speeds like that, you could transfer the entire seven seasons of Stargate SG1 in less than 60 seconds (its only 53GB).