I was stopped in my tracks this evening while perusing my daily TechJournal South news update that I receive via email (powered by iContact of course). The headline mentioned something about flying saucers and plasma power so I had to check it out.
As it turns out, researchers at the University of Florida have completed a design for a sort of flying craft powered by a new way to create the movement of air which ultimately creates lift.
If it wasn't enough already to win back-to-back national basketball championships (although that never upset me too much because it took some of the honor away from Duke who did it over fifteen years ago when they were good :)) and the football and basketball national championship within the same year, now they have to go and invent a flying saucer.
I seriously need to pay this place a visit. Share the love Florida! This has to be one of the most creative things I've ever seen. Apparently by sending current or a magnetic field through a conductive fluid the surrounding air is turned into plasma and through this process creates swirling of the nearby air which creates lift.
They also claim that this movement of air is stable enough to properly support the weight of the craft even with some regular wind turbulence. The next step will be to build a small prototype of their design (about six inches in diameter) which I guess will help them figure out if their idea is actually possible in practice.
The good news, with all of the electromagnetic interference that this thing will be creating there's absolutely no reason you'll need to turn your cell phone off during takeoff. Not that there's any decent reason now.