May 11, 2006


This is an irregular feature - both in frequency and oddness - dedicated to a word I came across that I have never previously used.

magnetohydrodynamic - adj.. pertaining to a method of directly generating electricity by passing an ionized gas through a magnetic field at extremely high temperatures.

A magnetohydrodynamic drive (also known as an "MHD propulsor"), is an experimental method for propelling seagoing vessels. Electric currents are passed through seawater in the presence of a massive magnetic field.

The primary drawback with MHD technologies in seagoing vessels is that they are more expensive than a conventional propeller driven by an engine. Some suggest that fuel cell technology may make MHD systems competitive with conventional means of propelling watercraft.

MHD systems are also being considered for the propulsion of spacecraft, using plasma or a thin cloud of ionic gasses. One of the most revolutionary of these systems is the variable specific impulse magnetoplasma rocket, the physics of which are far beyond my capabilities to explain; I'm just a word guy.


Lisa Renee said...

Mike, I know this is off topic, but did you see this?

historymike said...

Too funny. I saw the guy on CNN a few weeks back, but at that time he didn't talk about his plan to study abroad.

Personally I would not be able to stay an undergrad that long. You reach a point where you know it is time to move on.

It's like being a 12th-grader in a class full of third-graders - the other students are so far behind you in terms of experience and knowledge as to seem rearded.

Johnny seems like someone who doesn't want to grow up.

I enjoy teaching young adults (and all students), but the questions that 18-year-olds ask used to grate on my nerves when I went back to get my BA. I couldn't wait to get to grad school, because the level of discourse is so much higher.

Hooda Thunkit said...

Well, now that you've yanked us off topic/thread... ;-)

Lechner must be independently wealthy or he has overprotective parents that can't bring themselves to "cut the cord," so to speak.

Back to the MHD drive for spacecraft.

The MHD rocket is infinitely practical in space; engines similar to this have been proposed for decades.

There's just something about charged particle streams vs. solid (or) liquid fuel propulsion systems...

Lisa Renee said...

I thought the "slacker" tution boost they initiated was interesting.

(Yes it's obvious Lisa has no clue as to magnetic anything)

BrianMaxson said...

Am I the only one seeing a certain six year old future Chief Engineer taking this information to heart and tweaking it until it eventually, 30 years down the road, drives the Warp System on a certain NCC-1701?