The root cause of global warming is that more and more of the energy supplied by the sun is captured by the atmosphere because of increased amounts of CO2 and other climate gases. One way of fixing this is to make sure that more of that energy is reflected and never even penetrates the lower atmosphere. Solar geoengineering proposes to put particles into the upper atmosphere to increase its reflectivity and thereby reduce the temperature. In the episode I talk with Harvard’s David Keith about some of the technical aspects, which role this technique can play in the overall fight against climate change, some of the political challenges as well as current avenues of research.
The beam dump is a large graphite block used to take up the energy stored in the LHC beam in case the beam needs to be shut down. Since the energy in the beam can be as high as the kinetic energy of a landing 747-400, designing and operating the dump is challenging. In this episode, Marco Calviani, who heads the group that is responsible for this and other beam dumps at CERN, tells us about how the dump works, and what they have recently changed in order to cope with the higher luminosity in future configurations of the LHC.
In this episode I talk with Paulo Iscold, a professor or aeronautical engineering at Cal Poly about Nixus Nixus, his most recent project. Nixus is one of the most fascinating and ground-breaking research efforts in the space of gliding. It uses advanced manufacturing techniques to support a very thing wing, plus a fly-by-wire system to control the ailerons and the flaps; the latter are automatically adjusted to the current speed.