Wednesday, October 29, 2008

The Wonders of Scotch Tape

I had seen various links to this, and finally decided to have a look.

......researchers at the University of California, Los Angeles, have shown that it is possible to produce X-rays by simply unrolling Scotch tape.

This could lead to some immediate applications.

The research opens up the possibility of looking for X-ray emissions from composite materials as they fatigue. Such materials, increasingly used in airplanes and automobiles, do not show the visible weaknesses that metals do before breaking.The tape phenomenon could also lead to simple medical devices using bursts of electrons to destroy tumors. The scientists are looking to patent their ideas.

Then there's this eye-catcher.

Finally, there is the possibility of nuclear fusion. If energy from the breaking adhesive could be directed away from the electrons to heavy hydrogen ions implanted in modified tape, the ions would accelerate so that when they collided, they could fuse and give off energy — the process that lights the sun.

I know enough about the requirements for fusion production to be a bit skeptical, but these aren't the kind of people who talk about such things casually.

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