Aerospace and defense systems developer Sir Charles Shults discussed his investigations into new energy sources, as well space exploration and the search for ET life. On the horizon for energy, there's "real progress steps being taken in the generation of fusion power," with test reactors using hydrogen or possibly Helium 3, he noted. Also being explored is random thermal energy, which takes the random motion of molecules and extracts a little bit of energy from them. This might be realized through nanotechnology inside the form of a battery, he explained.
New types of fuel cells that consume a simple mixture of methanol and water are coming down in price and could run a laptop for a week, and a radio for up to a year, he detailed. Also, research is currently being done to create wireless electricity systems, such that we could eliminate power wires and towers across the country. He said he's had some success creating prototypes of this type of system, which Tesla first experimented with a century ago. "One of the projects I'm working on is to give away some of the technologies I've developed, and I need to be contacted by people who are seriously interested in producing this stuff," Shults shared.
Regarding Mars, NASA is finally admitting that the planet was once covered in oceans, and "they are tentatively saying there may have been life," he reported. When it comes to the search for ET signals, he suggested that we be looking for broadband rather narrow signals, "and at mathematical constants, not the water-hole frequencies."
Last hour guest, author and engineer Mat Stein talked about the need for disaster preparedness. People should have a "Grab-And-Run Emergency Kit," which contains such things as water treatment chemicals in case clean drinking water is not available, he suggested. There are six scenarios that could lead to a disaster emergency-- climate change, peak in world oil, the collapse of the world's oceans, deforestation, food crises, and overpopulation, he outlined.
Charles Shults shares two images from his new book, The Living Galaxy: The first depicts 'Roche Worlds'-- double planets so close together that they deform each other through gravity into egg shapes. "We have already found double asteroids in space, and we could find double worlds soon," he writes.
The second image portrays a world near an exotic magnetar star. "Salt water in the oceans might sprout spikes from the powerful magnetic fields," Shults explains.
Bumper music from Tuesday May 11, 2010