Posts Tagged ‘Engineering’

How to Build a Dyson Sphere

December 22, 2018

The sun has all the energy we could ever conceivably need, but we haven’t been all that efficient in harvesting that energy …yet. One way to capture the sun’s energy is to build a Dyson sphere, or a megastructure surrounding the sun. See …

Video Of The Accident That Almost Killed Neil Armstrong

June 13, 2014

US Navy pilot, war veteran, aerospace engineer, astronaut and first man on the moon Neil Armstrong was also an incredible test pilot, with 900 flights in experimental aircraft including the dangerous Lunar Landing Testing Vehicle. On 6 May 1968, he almost died flying one. This is the video of the crash.

The controls on his Lunar Landing Research Vehicle started to go crazy at an altitude of 30m, and the vehicle started to bank dangerously. Armstrong ejected and landed safely, but, according to the post-accident investigation, he would have died had he ejected only half a second later. Learn more here.

How a Key Works

May 23, 2013

A key is an instrument that is used to operate a lock. A typical key is a small piece of metal consisting of two parts: the blade, which slides into the keyway of the lock and distinguishes between different keys, and the bow, which is left protruding so that torque can be applied by the user.

This animation makes everything so clear, in a way that would be so difficult to explain in words.

How a Key Works

Evolution of container ships

April 6, 2013

The computer, tablet, or smart phone you’re reading this post on comes from a factory in Asia on a cargo ship. In fact, most things you buy come on such ships – and because of rising global demand, cargo ships get bigger and bigger. How big?

Well, what is blue, a quarter of a mile long, and taller than London’s Olympic stadium?

The answer – this year’s new class of container ship, the Triple E. When it goes into service this June, it will be the largest vessel ploughing the sea.

Evolution of container Ships

Each will contain as much steel as eight Eiffel Towers and have a capacity equivalent to 18,000 20-foot containers (TEU). Inside those containers, you could fit 36,000 cars or 863 million tins of baked beans. Learn more here.

World’s biggest wind turbine

March 29, 2013

Why do people say “don’t look down”? Just imagine what you would be missing if the photographer who took this picture had had similar qualms.

World's biggest wind turbine

The ants on the ground are working on a Siemens SWT-6.0-154 offshore wind turbine, a giant new machine that is being put through its paces at a wind turbine testing facility in Østerild, Denmark.

The turbine boasts the world’s largest rotor with blades 75 metres long, each as big as the wings of the world’s largest aircraft, the Airbus 380. The machine’s ground-to-tip height is 197 metres, more than twice that of the Big Ben clock tower in London.

The rationale for building bigger turbines is simple: longer blades harvest more energy from the wind. Siemens says the new turbine can generate 6 megawatts, enough to power 5500 households. That is 1000 times more energy per year than the firm’s first generation of wind turbines, which it built 30 years ago with rotor blades just 5 metres long. Learn more here.

How to build the Perfect Sandcastle

January 18, 2013

Everyone knows the secret to building sandcastles is a little water. But while too little leaves the sand useless, too much makes it heavy enough to cause disastrous landslides. Fortunately, scientists have unravelled the secrets behind sandcastle building for you.

While it might sound flippant, building the best structures out of sand is a tricky civil engineering problem. That’s why a team of scientists set to a complex series of experiments involving theoretical and practical modelling of sand castles.

By testing different levels of sand wetness, they studied how columns of sand buckled as they were built higher and higher. Eventually, they found that there’s an optimum sand wetness: you should be aiming to have a liquid volume fraction of 1 per cent. That means that, by volume, you need to combine 99 parts of perfectly dry sand with 1 part water to build the ultimate castle. Learn more here or here.

How rope is made

December 30, 2012

The process from start to finish, with some testing too …

Engineering Flowchart

October 3, 2012

Engineering is the science, skill, and profession of acquiring and applying scientific, economic, social, and practical knowledge, in order to design and also build structures, machines, devices, systems, materials and processes.

It can be summarised as:

How to move an entire tree

September 17, 2012

It’s called a tree spade — a piece of heavy equipment previously unknown to me but apparently widely available. A truck mounted tree spade is used to dig out the root ball and tree, lifting and tilting each tree onto the back of the truck for safe transportation to its new location.


How Does Your Smartphone Know Up From Down?

August 29, 2012

You probably take for granted the fact that turning your phone on its side automatically puts the display into landscape mode. But do you really know how the tiny accelerometer inside your device can detect those changes in orientation? After watching this video you will.