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Motor Made From Liquid Film

CmdrTaco posted more than 5 years ago | from the makes-my-water-spin dept.

Power 241

KentuckyFC writes "Last year, a group of Iranian physicists made a puzzling discovery. They placed a thin film of water in a small cell and bathed it in two perpendicular electric fields. To their surprise this caused the water to rotate. They called their device a liquid film motor and posted on the web a cool set of movies showing the phenomenon. The puzzle is this: the electric fields are static, so what's driving the motor? Now another group of physicists has the answer: a complex interaction between the electric field, the cell container and the liquid causes water to move along the cell wall. Crucially, it moves in opposite directions on opposite sides of the cell and so sets up a circular flow. The phenomenon works only when friction and surface tension are significant forces so the effect is entirely scale dependent. That's probably why we haven't seen it before and also why it could have important implications for microfluidic devices such as lab-on-a-chip."

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Magneto Hydro Dynamics (0)

Iffie (1410897) | more than 5 years ago | (#26998103)

Re:Magneto Hydro Dynamics (1, Funny)

FatdogHaiku (978357) | more than 5 years ago | (#26998779)

Can I use a Beowulf cluster of these to run my car?

at least something (3, Interesting)

roman_mir (125474) | more than 5 years ago | (#26998105)

Nice to see at least something coming out of that region of the world nowadays that has no relation to terrorists or nukes.

As for the actual story: this can be used to build the world's smallest washing machine.

Re:at least something (1)

lord_rotorooter (1482955) | more than 5 years ago | (#26998151)

Not to brag, but I have noticed a similar effect after my morning bagel on a few occasions.

Re:at least something (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26998947)

Indeed and also I say lets bomb those fucktards and take their development, they don't need it, they have camels, thats more than enough for them. Fucking wannabes

Re:at least something (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26999321)

Is there anything interesting in that morning bagel ? For me, spinning room effects tend occur late in the evening.

Re:at least something (1)

Cynonamous Anoward (994767) | more than 5 years ago | (#26999479)

Poppy Seed Bagel, maybe? o_O

Re:at least something (1)

William Robinson (875390) | more than 5 years ago | (#26998173)

this can be used to build the world's smallest washing machine.

Probably not. From TFA,

In larger bodies of water, these effects become insignificant and the rotation stops. Which is why these motors have only ever been seen in thin films.

Re:at least something (1)

PPH (736903) | more than 5 years ago | (#26999139)

This might be useful in nano (obligatory technical buzzword) machines used for biological R&D.

Re:at least something (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26998321)

Jesus Christ. "Nowadays"? Do you know nothing about the history of science, you fatuous idiot?

Re:at least something (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26998819)

You mean, like, the middle ages when the middle east was the center of culture and learning?

Yeah, maybe he was aware of that, hence why he qualified that with "nowadays", dumbass.

Re:at least something (1)

ArhcAngel (247594) | more than 5 years ago | (#26999375)

Jesus Christ

I see what you did there....

Re:at least something (4, Insightful)

N1AK (864906) | more than 5 years ago | (#26998637)

Nice to see at least something coming out of that region of the world nowadays that has no relation to terrorists or nukes.

It is nice to see something that isn't negative about Iran getting into western news. Iran has a population around that of the United Kingdom so I have no doubt that numerous beneficial scientific discoveries are made there.

What a weasel sentence (0, Troll)

SmallFurryCreature (593017) | more than 5 years ago | (#26998697)

"I have no doubt that ..."

This invariably means the person has no evidence for the following statement, isn't looking for evidence and doesn't want to hear any evidence and is sticking his fingers in his ears and going "LALALALALA" against anyone trying to argue his point.

It makes religious freaks look reasonable, you want to believe X and so you put yourself beyond any reasonable doubt and make your total unbased assumption into fact.

Nasty.

Re:What a weasel sentence (5, Insightful)

ad0n (1171681) | more than 5 years ago | (#26998923)

What is worse? N1AK suggesting that out of a population of X size, you might get Y innovations (where X:Y has a common ration across various countries), or your post that suggests N1AK is an unscientific proponent of religious zealots?

I'm left wondering if you would make the same claim if we were talking about a (say..) South American country rather than Iran.

Re:What a weasel sentence (2, Insightful)

IndustrialComplex (975015) | more than 5 years ago | (#26999899)

This invariably means the person has no evidence for the following statement, isn't looking for evidence and doesn't want to hear any evidence and is sticking his fingers in his ears and going "LALALALALA" against anyone trying to argue his point.

Not always. It could also mean that the person does have 'no doubt' but doesn't feel the need to provide immediate evidence for every single statement in a post on a very informal internet forum.

How about this, Iran is a country which is actively seeking to establish a successful nuclear program. Since they do not have immediate access to all the information and technology to accomplish this, it would not be unreasonable to suspect that they are attempting to recreate that information independently. In such an environment, the fact that they would be conducting experiments in non-identical conditions, they may come to different conclusions, or observe the results from a different light. Because of the limitations on information transfer to Iran, this situation is not limited to nuclear technology.

Or he could keep that paragraph to himself, proving TO HIMSELF that he really does 'have no doubts' that Iran would be making discoveries, and that it would be interesting to hear about them in the West.

This is Slashdot, not a science journal.

Re:What a weasel sentence (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27000137)

"This invariably means the person"

This invariably means the person has no evidence for the following statement, isn't looking for evidence and doesn't want to hear any evidence and is sticking his fingers in his ears and going "LALALALALA" against anyone trying to argue his point.

Re:What a weasel sentence (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27000145)

"This invariably means ..."

Umm... right, you present a really convincing argument there.

Re:What a weasel sentence (1)

Chris Burke (6130) | more than 5 years ago | (#27000269)

Or it means they aren't an ignorant dipshit who thinks scientific achievements only occur in places their society approves of, so despite not having any direct proof they can make a reasonable guess because it'd be much more unlikely and require a lot more proof to show them to be wrong.

Iran is a big country, they obviously aren't all religious zealots, they do in fact have research universities, so "I have no doubt" in this context means "I have a fucking clue and two brain cells to rub together".

Re:at least something (1)

Jurily (900488) | more than 5 years ago | (#26999289)

Iran has a population around that of the United Kingdom so I have no doubt that numerous beneficial scientific discoveries are made there.

How is scientific discovery and population related?

http://www.nationmaster.com/encyclopedia/List-of-famous-Hungarians#Math_and_Sciences [nationmaster.com]

Re:at least something (1)

LandDolphin (1202876) | more than 5 years ago | (#27000393)

The link does not really fit into the relation of scientific discovery and population as the people on the list are only required to have had a Grandparent from Hungary. Not having to have been born in, or lived in, hungary, kind of removed the relation to population.

a very tiny yellow bikini comes to mind... (1)

lrohrer (147725) | more than 5 years ago | (#26998805)

a very tiny yellow bikini comes to mind going round and round.

Re:at least something (1)

Benfea (1365845) | more than 5 years ago | (#26999023)

If you think this is the only thing coming out of (or happening in) Iran that doesn't involve terrorists or nukes, you are remarkably uninformed.

Re:at least something (3, Funny)

ptelligence (685287) | more than 5 years ago | (#26999043)

Are you kidding me? This definitely looks like it has WMD potential.

Re:at least something (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26999103)

When somebody gets uppity about Iran in a political newsgroup or so, I sometimes send them pictures of pretty Iranian snow bunnies at a Tehran ski resort. Sometimes it shuts them up. People (Americans, at least) seem to have this idea that they know about a place when in reality they know absolutely nothing about it.

Re:at least something (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26999275)

So are you going to share these pictures with us?

I would really like to have my views broadened this morning.

Re:at least something (1)

msormune (808119) | more than 5 years ago | (#27000117)

Wow, you're right! The story does not mention USA at all

Not Often... (1, Insightful)

Crazy Man on Fire (153457) | more than 5 years ago | (#26998127)

Here's an interesting effect discovered by a group of Iranian physicists at Sharif University of Technology in Tehran, Iran (it's not often we hear from these guys).

Aside from the actual scientific content of the article, I found this lead quote to be interesting with many subtle and not so subtle implications. Discuss.

Re:Not Often... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26998201)

Discuss

No, you.

Re:Not Often... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26998671)

Well, there's your problem. You RTFA. DON'T DO THAT!

Re:Not Often... (3, Funny)

dkleinsc (563838) | more than 5 years ago | (#26998977)

Well, without the scientific content of the article, I thought it was really a dastardly plot to DDOS Iran with the Slashdot Effect, especially with the inclusion of video.

Re:Not Often... (1, Offtopic)

TubeSteak (669689) | more than 5 years ago | (#26998983)

I found this lead quote to be interesting with many subtle and not so subtle implications

Westerners assume that the Middle East is a 14th Century backwater and cannot contribute to the world in meaningful ways.
Ditto for religious fundamentalists and non-capitalists.
Where would they ever get such ideas?
/News at 11

Re:Not Often... (1)

digitalunity (19107) | more than 5 years ago | (#26999201)

I don't care what religious fundamentalists have to offer. I don't want it.

Their ability to make contribute to modern society doesn't undo the harm they cause.

Perspective Shift (1)

djdavetrouble (442175) | more than 5 years ago | (#26999731)

Their ability to make contribute to modern society doesn't undo the harm they cause.

Regardless of who is actually "right", they feel the same way about us.

Re:Perspective Shift (1)

DM9290 (797337) | more than 5 years ago | (#26999995)

Regardless of who is actually "right", they feel the same way about us.

Scripture makes it very clear how you are supposed to feel about infidels and heretics. But just because you base your beliefs on scripture that doesn't mean everyone who disagree with you is being equally irrational and nonobjective.

Re:Perspective Shift (1)

IndustrialComplex (975015) | more than 5 years ago | (#27000063)

Scripture makes it very clear how you are supposed to feel about infidels and heretics

Depends on which scripture. I've always 'enjoyed' a good philosophical debate when the person opposing my religion has no clue what my religion even is.

Re:Not Often... (1)

IndustrialComplex (975015) | more than 5 years ago | (#27000017)

I don't care what religious fundamentalists have to offer. I don't want it. Their ability to make contribute to modern society doesn't undo the harm they cause.

I'd offer to lend you a hand so we could build a wall between the two, but you wouldn't take it, and I wouldn't accept it. In the end, I think we can be unhappy in shouting at each other from across the yard.

That'll show em.

Re:Not Often... (1)

gtall (79522) | more than 5 years ago | (#27000133)

Iran is in S. Asia, not the Middle East. And if they didn't want to get labeled as a bunch of religious loonies, they could repeal their stoning laws, stop fomenting anti-semitic hatred, start respecting the rights of women, etc.

"What goes around, come around" is true for the Western Nations as well as the Eastern. Iran will rue the day they decided they needed to attempt a take over of the direction of Islam. The Sunnis will never forgive them for it.

Gerry

Super Anonymous Coward (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26998179)

Ions, Electrons, Electricity is always moving. Nothing is static! This does not surprise me at all.

In fact, it's like saying:
"A magnet is static. What mysterious moving part makes it attract metal?"

Where does the energy come from ? (1)

mbone (558574) | more than 5 years ago | (#26998203)

There is friction, so this requires energy - where does it come from ? My guess is that the electric field is actually lowered, so they are converting E field energy to rotational energy, but that the losses are small enough to make this quasi-static.

Now off to RTFA.

Re:Where does the energy come from ? (5, Funny)

UbuntuLinux (1242150) | more than 5 years ago | (#26998351)

The energy comes directly from the physicist's beards. We all know that Iranians have beards, this is what is powering this device. Unfortunately in nations where beards are less prevalent, this effect will be less pronounced, or maybe not evident at all.

Re:Where does the energy come from ? (4, Informative)

mbone (558574) | more than 5 years ago | (#26998377)

OK, having read the "real" article [arxiv.org] , the best response is that this may explain the observed effects. The major differences

- the depth of the film is an important parameter, but that isn't known for the original experiments, so they can't compare results to theory in a detailed fashion.

- the theoretical work leads to at most one steady vortex in a container, but the experimental results show both one and two. The two vortex results may, of course, be transient.

- the theoretical results have flow speeds largest at the outer boundary. The experimental results have it increasing towards the center. This may be explainable by other effects, such as surface tension, but it is a discrepancy.

And the article says nothing directly about where the energy is coming from, but, reading it, it must be the electric field.

Re:Where does the energy come from ? (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26998659)

From the will of Allah, you insensitive infidel.

Re:Where does the energy come from ? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26998743)

You don't have to read the article, even the pretty pictures show a current is applied, so there's no mystery about where the energy is from.

Re:Where does the energy come from ? (2, Informative)

mbone (558574) | more than 5 years ago | (#26999223)

Well, I don't see it in the pictures, but the original article [arxiv.org] does make this clear - one of the two electric fields is done by putting copper electrodes in the water, so a current is flowing and you are correct.

Re:Where does the energy come from ? (1)

TheRealMindChild (743925) | more than 5 years ago | (#26999761)

Right in the summary: bathed it in two perpendicular electric fields

" a couple of droogs from Russia" ?? (1)

gilleain (1310105) | more than 5 years ago | (#26998357)

(Quote from the arxivblog post)

Is this some physics jargon for lab assistant? Or is it just a clockwork orange referenced insult?

inspiration (1)

ovu (1410823) | more than 5 years ago | (#26998409)

that's a Scottish term, referring to magic mushrooms and ecstasy. Tha droogs ahh a creeativ catalyst! Liquid motors!!!

Re:" a couple of droogs from Russia" ?? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26998505)

It's a transliteration of a Russian word for friend. Which is also where Burgess got it from - some sort of Slavic propaganda thing.

nope (2, Informative)

Reality Master 201 (578873) | more than 5 years ago | (#26998537)

Is this some physics jargon for lab assistant? Or is it just a clockwork orange referenced insult?

"droog" is the Russian word for friend. Also, how come I can't enter UTF-8 chars in a slashdot post without them getting mangled?

Re:" a couple of droogs from Russia" ?? (1)

vertinox (846076) | more than 5 years ago | (#27000429)

Or is it just a clockwork orange referenced insult?

Actually, Anthony Burgess mixed a lot of Russian jargon into his novel of Clockwork Orange for one reason or another.

As another poster has mentioned, droog is an actually Russian word.

There are plenty others in Clockwork Orange that to westerners seems made up but he is really borrowing from other languages.

Of course you would never know that if you just watched the Stanley Kubrick film (to be fair is fairly faithful to the book's dialog... minus a few scenes) but if you pick up the novel at the store and read the forward or notes in the back of the book, it explains this.

MIrrors please? (1)

The_church_of_funzie (940003) | more than 5 years ago | (#26998407)

Can't download films, slashdoted already.

Re:MIrrors please? (1)

PPH (736903) | more than 5 years ago | (#26998989)

Or the CIA snagged another undersea cable.

good for iran (5, Interesting)

circletimessquare (444983) | more than 5 years ago | (#26998457)

the ayatollah has made science a high priority:

Ali Khamenei has been supportive of scientific progress in Iran. He was among the first Islamic clerics to allow stem cell research and therapeutic cloning.[27] In 2004, Khamenei said that the country's progress is dependent on investment in the field of science and technology. He also said that attaching a high status to scholars and scientists in society would help talents to flourish and science and technology to become domesticated, thus ensuring the country's progress and development.[28]

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ali_Khamenei [wikipedia.org]

he recongizes the truth: iran will be a second rate power unless it leads in the field of science, through which it retains its independence and preeminence. this is why attacking iran's nuclear pursuits is hopeless, since iran attaches so much pride in iranian science and technology exploits. they just launched a satellite too. but all of these advances came from science and technology stolen or borrowed from other countries

but the history of persian science is a rich one, and there is no reason its future shouldn't be bright as well, if only the ayatollah would also realize that the preeminence of the west in science came only after the enlightenment

what else happened in the west during the enlightenment? religion was questioned. this is not a mistake or a coincidence: the questioning of religion is inseperable from being a strong scientific thinker. the probing mind of a scientist must be able to question everything, no taboos, in order to do the best science one can. you train young minds to question everything, and in this way, you make great scientists

so dear ayatollah: i celebrate your desire to reassert persia at the forefront of science and technology. so why don't you further this great goal along by relaxing the stifling theocratic censorship of your society, ensuring bright young minds are trained to their utmost? in order to ensure that persian civilization flowers again, let little discoveries like this thin film motor not by isolated gems, but instead be the beginning of a rich tapestry of persian thought

do that, by relaxing your fundamentalist stranglehold on the mind of the young iranian

Re:good for iran (1)

BarryNorton (778694) | more than 5 years ago | (#26998597)

I almost regret my dashed-off sarcastic comment below when you took the time to write something so much more appropriate and balanced. 5's too low a score for this.

Re:good for iran (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26998683)

Ali Khamenei has been supportive of scientific progress in Iran. He was among the first Islamic clerics to allow stem cell research and therapeutic cloning.

Yes, and this is the man and the country the Yanks so desparately want to kill. Makes you wonder which the truly backward and evil country is don't it ?

it's ok to be anti-american (3, Insightful)

circletimessquare (444983) | more than 5 years ago | (#26998907)

what is not ok is to be so blinded by your hatred of america that you give other countries, some a lot worse, a free pass. iran is a fundamentalist theocracy which is building nuclear bombs and censors its press, jails and tortures political dissidents, and enforces an ultrastrict fundamentalist religious pov, especially on its women. they have actual police brigades in tehran that fine women for wearing clothing that are too risque. you want to defend this as somehow not as bad as what the usa does? please note something i am saying here: the problem is NOT islam, the problem is fundamentalism

again, it is ok to be anti-american. but why do you think that means you have to be pro-iranian? here's a suggestion: why don't you be anti-american AND anti-iranian, at the same time? why would you want to do that?

so that you can say you oppose the usa based on principles, rahter than just blind dumb prejudice. because if you applied your principles, the principles you say you have according to which you say you hate the usa, if you applied those principles uniformly across all world governments, you would find yourself hating a lot more than just the usa

grow a brain. blind america bashing is tired and dull

Re:it's ok to be anti-american (2, Insightful)

BarryNorton (778694) | more than 5 years ago | (#26999051)

I don't like the term 'Anti-American' or 'Anti-Iranian'; I like most American people I've met and most Iranian people I've met. I don't like either of their flawed democracies and I don't like the undue influence of either of their fundamentalist religious movements.

that's fine, but i wasn't talking to you (1)

circletimessquare (444983) | more than 5 years ago | (#26999199)

you're not filled with blind prejudiced hate. notice the ignorant hatred in the comment i was replying to

you can't snap your fingers and enlighten the mind of a hater. to turn the mind of a hater, you have to lay a road out for them, and push them on the first step down that road

the first step is to make the object of their hate more dissolute. notice i told them to go right on hating america... but why don't you hate iran too?

if they see the logic that hating the usa for crimes iran does as well is hypocritical, and so they agree to hate iran as well, then their hate begins to become diffuse, not pointed, and then it eventually dissipates further down the road

and then they approach the mellow mature mindset towards iran and the usa that you embody

Re:it's ok to be anti-american (1)

DNS-and-BIND (461968) | more than 5 years ago | (#26999681)

Dude, Iran is most certainly not a democracy. It is, to borrow a phrase, a "functional fascist theocracy". They have real religious police. See http://viewfromiran.blogspot.com/ [blogspot.com]

Re:it's ok to be anti-american (1)

dotancohen (1015143) | more than 5 years ago | (#27000373)

wiran is a fundamentalist theocracy which is building nuclear bombs and censors its press, jails and tortures political dissidents,

So far this sounds a lot like USA 2000 - present.

Re:good for iran (1, Offtopic)

Ash Vince (602485) | more than 5 years ago | (#26998885)

He also said that attaching a high status to scholars and scientists in society would help talents to flourish and science and technology to become domesticated, thus ensuring the country's progress and development.[28]

Now if only we in the west would catch up and do the same.

I now earn more than my friend doing vital scientific research into the human brain and the effects of ageing. He has a PhD and has just published his first paper. I flunked out of uni while studying a Physics BSc. Go figure.

The fact is that in our society the main status symbol is how much you earn, yet we pay people like teachers or university lecturers a pittance compared to the people who cause global financial disasters with an excess of greed. Yet our governments are throwing money at a thoroughly broken capitalist system that to me seems grossly unfair by design and also on the brink of collapse due to its bias towards the people at the top of the tree.

absolutely wrong (0, Troll)

circletimessquare (444983) | more than 5 years ago | (#26999107)

you SHOULD earn a pittance as a university researcher. because you haven't found anything yet. we shouldn't just pay people a lot of money just because they sit in front of a microscope or a chromatograph

however, when you DO find something of value, guess what: you cash out and become a millionaire

scientific research is like being a prospector. actually it is EXACTLY the same thing as being a prospector: you go out in to a strange unexplored land, you follow your nose and your knowledge of geology, and, with some luck, some good preparation, you make a gold strike. with science, the strange unexplored land is the edges of human knowledge. where is the next big discovery? if your mind is keen enough, and you are lucky to be right at the edge of something huge, you cash out with fame and fortune

plenty of other prospectors meanwhile, go out in the wilderness, and starve to death. why should we pay prospectors up front to go prospecting? some of them might not be very good, some of them might be really good, but are just unlucky to be exploring the wrong land

so it is with university researchers: let them live on ramen noodles and live in tiny apartments. if they find something huge, they will be living the good life soon enough

and there is absolutely nothing wrong with this arrangement. every great scientist, no matter how well they are paid (and some ARE paid well, for example: pharmaceutical researchers or petrochemists), knows well enough their value as a scientist, their self-value, pretty much rests on this allegory of the prospector. they can toil in obscurity for decades, and find nothing of substance. or they can pick the one right avenue at a young age, and be known as the next einstein, and be handed a nobel in middle age

this is the nature of science

Re:absolutely wrong (4, Insightful)

dargaud (518470) | more than 5 years ago | (#26999399)

you SHOULD earn a pittance as a university researcher [...] however, when you DO find something of value, guess what: you cash out and become a millionaire

No. That will lead to people only working in fields where they can 'make it big' and leave all the rest which, as history has taught us again and again, is where the discoveries of tomorrow are to be made. Basically it would push technology and drop fundamental research. You think like a bean counter.

Disclaimer, I work in research. And not everybody who does 'discovers' things. I design instrumentation; as such I'll never 'discover' anything and I'm rarely associated in publications. So for you it means I should earn a pittance with no hope of anything better.

Well, if that's any consolation for you, I do earn a pittance already.

2 things: (1)

circletimessquare (444983) | more than 5 years ago | (#26999617)

1. was there ever a time in history, in any culture, in which scientists made the money you think they deserve? i'm not counting the rich gentleman scientists from the 1800s and 1700s. their income was not derived from their research anyways, and their science was more hobby than vocation

2. if you are paid a pittance, and you are not in raw research, you ARE being underpaid, and my words above about being a prospector don't apply to you. your job description sounds more like engineering, and you deserve a high income and respect for that, simply because you have the capacity to migrate to industry from university, or, if you've done that already, to another company that is willing to pay you for your rare abilities and the commensuration such rare abilities deserve. in which case, kick yourself in the ass and migrate to the better pay you should be getting. you can't hold it against your current employer that you don't have the gumption to demand the respect you deserve. if a chick is dating a guy who beats her, she's a fool to stay and think she can turn him into a better man. far better to just leave the loser and find that better man. likewise, for you, go out and find that better paying job. or sit and sulk like a beaten wife who unwisely accepts an unjust fate

what you deserve in life is not just handed to you on a silver platter. you have to go out and fight for what you deserve

Re:absolutely wrong (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26999771)

they will be living the good life soon enough

You mean like the guy who invented the mass-producible GaN diode that sued when the invention he was paid a few hundred bucks for earned billions of dollars, and everyone went nuts on him?

Yeah, I think that sound is your idea crashing against the reality of people being assholes.

(To be fair, he did end up settling for about $7 million and went on to work on blu-ray diodes.)

well yeah (1)

circletimessquare (444983) | more than 5 years ago | (#27000043)

just study edison and tesla, or farnsworth and rca, if you want a good contrast of what can happen to an innovator whose ideas are coopted

but you can't fight and lose your right to your rightful share of the bounty if you haven't even made a discovery in the first place. in other words, demanding that scientists make millions before they even discover something is absurd. you let them struggle in poverty, and when they make that amazing discovery, they have to start a new struggle: getting their fair share

but there's no struggle for a fair share up front, before a discovery is even made

Re:absolutely wrong (1)

DM9290 (797337) | more than 5 years ago | (#27000123)

however, when you DO find something of value, guess what: you cash out and become a millionaire

who defines what has value and who is going to pay the millions?

please don't say the free market. You'll make yourself look like a religious nut.

this is the nature of science

wait... that sounds remarkably like the following phrase "God wills it!"

uh, what? (1)

circletimessquare (444983) | more than 5 years ago | (#27000471)

"please don't say the free market. You'll make yourself look like a religious nut"

what, exactly, in your mind is the "free market"?

the free market is nothing other than a group of people placing whatever value they want on a number of concepts. for example, such a group might place a higher value on say, the invention of television, than say, the flowbee vacuum powered hair cutter. but i could be wrong. because i don't know the real value is of either, amd more importantly, no one else does either. only the market knows, where the "market" is nothing more than an emergent phenomenon outside the control of any one individual or group. the market value of something is entirely bound to the behavior of the group en masse, under no ones dogmatic control

it is a mechanism for valueing opposed to say, some group of "specialists" attaching what they percieve the value of a discovery to be according to some sort of agenda. this top-down approach, like communism, really is a dogmatic, quasi-religious approach: that some "spcial" group of people have arcane unique knowledge for valueing things

in other words, the free market is about as undogmatic and unreligious a way to value discoveries as you can get

therefore, that you should equate the free market with religious dogma is beyond absurd, it is directly contradictory to the concepts you are involving yourself in

you're either profoundly incoherent and ignorant about the subject matter, or you are a really good troll, i can't decide which

Re:good for iran (3, Interesting)

jambox (1015589) | more than 5 years ago | (#26998963)

Its true that the enlightenment was crucial in putting western science where it is today. OTOH the situation the middle east faces today is very different from Europe in the dark ages, mainly because there is already a more advanced (no offense but the amount of research done and stuff actually invented in the west dwarfs the middle east and asia) culture outside their borders. Iranians would love to recapture the scientific power they held in times gone by but presumably are terrified their culture will be destroyed by western influence, with orthodox religion being their only defence. So It's not just as simple as calling up the Ayatollah and shouting "Hey! Do the enlightenment already!".

well said (5, Insightful)

circletimessquare (444983) | more than 5 years ago | (#26999895)

pride has an upside and a downside, and one downside of pride is you would rather retain your identity even though it also means being in a weaker position

the muslim world sees elements of the west that alternately repel and attract. unfortunately, some of those elements of the west aren't things unique to the west, but are actually more accurately described as elements of simple humanity. such that a lot of the fighting of westernization that goes on in the name of pride in the middle east are actually wars against humanization

for example: women's rights. when you fight that, because it's "western", you are actually retarding the development of your own societies on a human level. if the west never existed, one can imagine the fight for women's rights continuing in the middle east, because such a fight does not depend upon the west as some sort of example, but is a fight valid within itself in islamic societies. that is, the fight for women's rights is not some sort of decadent western influence betraying traditional identity, but is instead a humanist, organic struggle native to the middle east. but humanist struggles always entail a bit of the strange and unknown, to breakway from traditional ways, and so it is easy to confuse two sources of conflict: westernization and humanization. and so, in the name of fighting the west, muslim societies subjugate their own women, and wind up hobbling the development of half their societies. for doing that, the middle east can never hope to be as powerful and as influential as the west, with half their population treated like cattle

there's plenty of things the islamic world says it hates about the west that are shared by the west and, for example, the far east. such that to describe these concepts they say threatens the middle east as some sort of western thing is false: they are human concepts. the islamic world, in the name of retaining an identity distinct from the west, are embracing agendas that are not really anti-western, but are actually anti-human

Re:well said (1)

jambox (1015589) | more than 5 years ago | (#27000097)

Actually a lot of people are starting to think that, while women's rights should of course be equal to men's, having both parents out to work leads to nothing like twice the productivity as the traditional worker/homemaker model still enjoyed in most of the rest of the world. Obama talks about this at some length in his second book and I tend to agree that it's possibly a side-effect of rising prices and greater investment pressure on real-estate. So in effect a growing upper-middle class sh1ts on everyone below them.

huh? broken thinking (1)

circletimessquare (444983) | more than 5 years ago | (#27000297)

i see your point a: the value of the tradional female homemaker

and i see your point b,c,d: inflation, real estate, the upper middle class sucks

how those are all related completely escapes me, and i think it completely escapes you too

make a coherent argument, or say nothing at all

Re:good for iran (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26998973)

Yes, indeed ancient greeks developed all their maths questioning their religion. Indeed, pythagoras questioned Zeus for the famous theorem: "Oh Zeus, can you give me a theorem please?".

ben franklin did the same thing (2, Funny)

circletimessquare (444983) | more than 5 years ago | (#27000179)

in fact, he even tricked god. he said "god, i doubt you exist" while flying a kite

god naturally threw a thunderbolt at him for the insubordinance, giving franklin the electricity he was investigating

thus, did a scientist outwit god

Iranian scientists? (1)

BarryNorton (778694) | more than 5 years ago | (#26998467)

[confused]I thought they were only a cover for nuclear weapons development[/confused]

Two perpendicular electric fields? (3, Interesting)

frankie (91710) | more than 5 years ago | (#26998543)

It's been about 20 years since I took E&M Physics, but... How exactly would "two perpendicular electric fields" be different from one diagonal electric field equal to the vector sum? Mathematically, you can only describe two things as "perpendicular" if they are reasonably linear and uniform.

Re:Two perpendicular electric fields? (1)

gardyloo (512791) | more than 5 years ago | (#26999071)

Exactly. Additionally, I just skimmed their paper, and if the external fields are truly static, then I don't see any way to break the symmetry about the z-axis (their rotational axis). Since all of their little film-cells rotate in the same direction, this says to me that there is an unaccounted-for field which is breaking the symmetry and starting the effect. Alternatively, they could have shown a subtle coupling in which one cell starts its rotation one way, and through interactions with the other cells, they all start going in the same direction.
      And, as someone else has already noted, frictional effects are important here. It would be interesting for them to measure the current needed to feed their electrodes in the steady state, since, if there is work being done w/in the cells, the fields have to supply the driving power.

Re:Two perpendicular electric fields? (3, Interesting)

snoop.daub (1093313) | more than 5 years ago | (#26999283)

The two perpendicular fields are not identical. One of the fields is external, the other was applied as an electrode potential. So one of them is applied in air and gets screened at the interface, the other is applied directly to the cell and is not screened in the same way. I'm not sure what the consequences of this are, but I'm sure the difference is important.

Re:Two perpendicular electric fields? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26999935)

Two perpendicular fields with the same frequency but different phase will produce a rotating field.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Circular_polarization

This is an act of war!!! (4, Funny)

alta (1263) | more than 5 years ago | (#26998549)

By posting links to MOVIES hosted in IRAN you have used the /. effect to saturate that entire country's available bandwidth. This is terrorism sponsored by the capitalist west! You have fired the first shot, but I ran WILL retaliate. You knew we had nukes, now we will prove it to the doubters. Kiss your precious Israel goodbye!

It'll take us a while to get the nukes into launch position though. The servos are these really cool little motors made out of water and electricity. They have to be really small, so we have a whole lot of them working together.

Micropropeller? (1, Interesting)

tjstork (137384) | more than 5 years ago | (#26998775)

I wonder if you could use this effect to make a sort of a propulsion system for a small submarine. If you don't have a propeller at all, and were just spinning water around, it could be very quiet.

Re:Micropropeller? (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26999169)

I wonder if you could use this effect to make a sort of a propulsion system for a small submarine. If you don't have a propeller at all, and were just spinning water around, it could be very quiet.

Since you didn't bother actually reading the article, I'll provide an answer:

No. It can't be used to make a propeller.

Caterpillar Drive (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26999521)

The thingsh in thish shell do not reshpond well to bulletsh.

Re:Micropropeller? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26999671)

Well, Red October style "caterpillar drive" actually exists ... [wikipedia.org] , it's not uber-stealthy like the film claims though.

Not impressive. (1)

boyko.at.netqos (1024767) | more than 5 years ago | (#26998801)

Call me when they have a motor made from liquid video...

Wait a minute... (2, Funny)

Gastrobot (998966) | more than 5 years ago | (#26998839)

Doesn't Microsoft hold a patent on this?

oblig (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26998843)

1. Make water spin
2. ...
3. Profit!
4. Also, Fuck you.

This reminds me.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26998921)

This reminds me of when I was a kid, and built an electric motor completely wrong, yet when I applied the power, it worked anyway. I quickly figured out the motor was built so that it should not spin, but yet it spun. It spun because the elmers glue and aluminum foil contacts were not perfectly round and so caused the hand held wire 'brushes' to bounce off them rhythmically so that power was applied through part of a revolution only, making what would have been a system that would find equilibrium at a stand still, an electric motor.

new submarine propulsion on its way (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26998967)

wow, we will soon have caterpillar drive on submarines then, just like in 'The hunt for Red October'

just need to scale it up and use shed loads of nuc power. problem sorted.

wicked !

Souther Hemisphere ? (1)

karvind (833059) | more than 5 years ago | (#26998991)

But will it spin other way round in other hemisphere (sorry had to say it).

In Soviet Russia, water spins electric field !

Military Application (1)

jlebrech (810586) | more than 5 years ago | (#26999101)

I can see a military application for this.

You mix radioactive material into a liquid, then get it to spin in that film state and it could act a centrifuge to seperate uranium and plutonium. and that would be just the size of a washing machine and could be easily hidden from satellites.

Perpendicular Electric Fields (3, Interesting)

Markrian (931172) | more than 5 years ago | (#26999135)

I don't understand. They seem to be setting up two static, plane electric fields at some angle to one another. Surely the resultant field is just another field at a different angle? Say the two fields are E and J , with
E = ( E , 0 , 0 )
J = ( 0 , J , 0 )
Then you've just got the resultant field, E' = E + J , where
E' = ( E , J , 0 )
which is just another static, plane electric field. So, given that two fields are really equivalent to one, if you set up just the resultant field in the first place, would this motor effect still occur?
What am I missing?

Glycerin and water? (2, Interesting)

gardyloo (512791) | more than 5 years ago | (#26999263)

I'd love to know how they got stable films, showing thin-film optical interference, of thicknesses on the order of several millimeters (stated a couple of times in the paper). They specifically call it a "suspended liquid film" and say that the z-boundaries are considered "free", so I don't think these films are sitting in a little box with just the top open.

Maxwell's Demon is rotary and not linear. (1)

Maintenance Goof (1487053) | more than 5 years ago | (#26999269)

Who knew? Explains a lot.

Electroosmotic flow (2, Interesting)

blueish yellow (838971) | more than 5 years ago | (#26999377)

This sounds awfully close to electroosmotic flow [wikipedia.org] a phenomenon that has been known about for 200 years. Maybe someone better informed in this field could clarify the difference.

Re:Electroosmotic flow (1)

snoop.daub (1093313) | more than 5 years ago | (#27000079)

Electroosmosis works on ionic solutions. You set up a potential gradient and ions go to either the negative or positive ends, dragging the solvating fluid along. There are no ions in the rotating film experiment.

Now, there is a similar phenomenon called dielectrophoresis, which works on polar molecules, not just ions, and that may be close to the sort of thing going on here (water dipoles are perturbed by the fields near the interface, etc.), but in dielectrophoresis the frequency of the AC field is a crucial parameter. What really makes this weird is the fact that a static DC field is causing the rotation.

Re:Electroosmotic flow (1)

Cassini2 (956052) | more than 5 years ago | (#27000419)

I think you are on the right track. They have built something not all that different from an induction motor. Essentially, there are two different types of electrodes. The first pair is in the solution, and a current is going to be established. Given this is water, the current will be established by lining up positively charged hydrogen sides of the atoms with the negative electrode (the electron source). The negatively charged oxygen side of the water molecule will line up with the positive electrode (electron sink). A small current will flow, forcing the water to move. Initially, this motion won't be circular, to get circular motion you need a second set of electrodes.

The second set of electrodes develops a electro-static field. This set of electrodes isn't actually in contact with the water. The current carrying water molecules will try to align with this second set of electrodes, while carrying current. Of course, the fields are in two different directions, so static alignment isn't possible. As such, the motor starts to spin.

There are probably a bunch of other effects happening. Motors involving electro-statics tend to be very friction sensitive and fickle beasts. However, if you have a current, a dipole, and either a magnetic or an electro-static field, you will get torque. It is just in this case, the dipole is the water molecule, and as such the torque causes the water to spin.

For the poster wondering why the water at the center spins faster, the reason is likely due to the available torque and energy. Chances are the torque is proportional to the field strength (which is constant.) The water at the center has less distance to travel, and less drag. Thus it can spin faster. It would be quite unexpected for a liquid to behave like a solid, and travel at the same rotational rate at all diameters.

Finally, some posters have wondered how the motor is being powered. The power to spin the liquid is coming from the current flow between the two electrodes in the solution, and the corresponding voltage drop.

yummy (1)

n3tcat (664243) | more than 5 years ago | (#26999387)

phenomnomnomnom [omnomnomnom.com]

Self Flushing Toilets?!?! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26999593)

I never thought I'd live to see the day...

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