June 25, 2020

Tech Giant Coalitions, Nuclear Thermal Propulsion & 16 Atom Engines

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Episode Details

Tech Giant Coalitions, Nuclear Thermal Propulsion & 16 Atom Engines

Ladies and gentlemen welcome to Future Lens Today.

Today we’re talking about the world’s smallest conceivable engine, the US government and DARPA have announced plans for the first Nuclear Thermal Propulsion systems and a line is drawn in the sand as Microsoft, Facebook, Amazon, and Apple go head to head for dominance in the world of online and mobile gaming.

Apple rejects Facebook’s Gaming platform from the iOS App Store (2 minute read)

Microsoft is shutting down Mixer and partnering with Facebook Gaming (5 minute read)

Over the last week, big names in the tech world have thrown down the gauntlet, dropped multi-million dollar deals, and shifted entire business plans that have been in the works for years. Microsoft has announced that it will be shutting down Mixer. One of the world’s most popular streaming platforms for gaming, however, with good reason, as it’s dwarfed by the viewership sizes of both Twitch.tv, owned by Amazon, Youtube Gaming owned by Google and Facebook Gaming’s new streaming platforms.

Microsoft has decided instead to drop all of its exclusivity contracts and partner up with Facebook in order to take on Amazon’s Twitch.tv which currently stands as the world’s most popular platform, with viewership reaching sometimes absolutely staggering numbers of live viewers. To give you an idea of what I mean, a single live stream channel reached a peak viewership number of over a million viewers, while twitch is a public platform with tens-of-thousands of channels live at any one time, 24/7. 

This also coincides with Apple’s rejecting of Facebook’s Gaming platform on the iOS App Store, for the 5th consecutive time. Microsoft deciding to partner with Facebook is a signal to the world that the battle for viewership dominance and pushing products between the world’s two largest tech giants is still going strong. 

Since the 1970s Microsoft and Apple have be competitors, with each gaining advantages over one another, over the years. 

This week Microsoft took pointers from Amazon’s playbook and decided to simply stop trying to compete and rather just buy into the platforms that already have large market share. 

Well in their case, they decided to partner up with the single biggest social media platform in the world. We’ll have to wait and see what happens, but as an investing man myself, I’d recommend keeping an eye on the markets as things continue to change.

The world’s smallest motor (3 minute read)

Next up let’s talk about the world’s smallest motor, and when I say small, I mean microscopic, so small it actually can’t get any smaller. Swiss scientists have successfully created an acetylene rotor base motor out of exactly 16 atoms. It’s not made of any particular material, as it’s so small it falls into its own category of molecular machinery. There’s a 40-second video that we’ve linked in our sources on the Humanatronix website where you can check it out in action.

One of the scientists behind the project, Oliver Gröning said that “For a motor to actually do useful work, it is essential that [it] allows the rotor to move in only one direction,” which it can do, at an operating temperature of 17 degrees above absolute zero. At that temperature it is said to have 99% directional stability, which distinguishes it from other similar molecular motors,” says Gröning. Code for an absolute breakthrough.

However, they’ve yet to figure out exactly what to do with it. At the scale of which it operates, the motor has great potential, the scientists even say that they could one day use it to harvest the kinetic energy.

The US military is getting serious about nuclear thermal propulsion (4 minute read)

Last but not least for this week’s episode we’re talking about nuclear thermal energy, in the form of incredible amounts of heat and propulsion power being fired out of the bottom of a giant metal cylinder. More commonly known as a rocket.

Nuclear propulsion has long been theorized as the fastest practical means of getting around the Solar System. A nuclear thermal engine would theoretically heat a propellant which in turn would expand through a rocket nozzle and provide thrust. No such engine has ever been successfully developed.

The US military and Darpa have recently announced that it has plans to design, build, and demonstrate a functioning, flyable, nuclear propulsion system by 2025.

Thanks to the recent excitement of space travel due to the work being completed by SpaceX and Nasa, it looks like new interest in the world of space travel has started to surface. Along with technical innovations in the world of propulsion systems, the ability to manufacture refractory metals, and advancements in supercomputing, we may one day see nuclear energy be repurposed to help humanity explore the universe and beyond.

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