Monday, October 29, 2007

Inventions week - Day 6

Shooting the intellectual rapids with an ideational canoe, and pole-vaulting no-go theorems with Sergei-Bubka agility, here are today's ideas:


  • Piezo-electric sausage rolls: It's a fact that whilst the sausage rolls at buffet lunches are often delicious, they're also, typically, a bit cold. Fortunately, piezoelectric devices can generate electric currents through the application of internal stress forces. Thus, with merely a small twist, a piezo-electric sausage roll is re-heated, returning to its optimally edible state once more.

  • Idea detectors: It's a rarely-known fact that when people have a good idea, the thought ripples across the neural network of the brain faster than the speed of light in the cerebrum. This creates a type of shock wave called Cerenkov radiation. If one were to carefully remove the skull of a really smart person, then one would see a blue glow emanating from the myriad ideas generated by that individual. Cerenkov radiation can be detected by photomultiplier tubes (known as PMTs to those in the business), hence by embedding PMTs inside the head of a smart person we could learn more about the nature of genius.

  • Ignorance flux: In semiconductor physics, just as a free electron can move through an ionic metal lattice, so the absence of an electron can move through the lattice as a so-called 'hole'. Similarly, just as one can have information flows in telecommunications and computer science, one can also have ignorance flows consisting of propagating gaps in knowledge.

  • An ironing-board cover which doesn't rumple-up.

3 comments:

elberry said...

"so the absence of an electron can move through the lattice"? That sounds pretty religious to me, McCabe, are you a closet Christian? Do you worship the absent electron?

Gordon McCabe said...

In fact, the crystal in modern gamma spectrometers is increasing made out of a Christanium rather than Germanium or Sodium Iodide.

elberry said...

Ooooh. There's a book in that, 'The Jesus of Physics', perhaps.