Laser May Guide Space Ships
GREATLY amplified light beams may provide optical lane” navigation systems to guide planes or spaceships of the future, using a newly-developed material.
Scientists at the IBM Research Center, Yorktown, N. Y., have announced a laser (Light Amplification by Stimulated Emission of Radiation) that gives the first continuous beam of amplified light. It uses uranium ions in a cylindrical 1-1/2-in. crystal instead of the ruby in a previously-announced laser (see p. 94, Nov. ’60 S&M). The earlier amplifier could transmit light only in widely-spaced pulses of about .001 second and needed about 500 times as much power as the uranium type. IBM says future refinements now depend on improved optical design rather than advances in materials research.
New Projector Throws Illustrations Behind Speaker’s Back
FACING the audience as he talks, a speaker may now illustrate his lectures on a screen behind him without turning around with the aid of a novel optical projector recently perfected by a well known German firm.
The speaker, directly facing his audience, illustrates his talk by writing or drawing horizontally on a sheet of cellophane lying on a glass table before him, and the script is projected, ten to fourteen times enlarged, on the wall screen behind him.
Underneath the glass table, the light of a 500-watt bulb is condensed and reflected through the transparent cellophane. The lines then pass through a lens to the mirror and -are projected onto the screen.
MYSTERY RAYS “SEE” Enemy Aircraft
AMERICAN and German War Departments announce simultaneously new rays capable of “seeing” enemy aircraft through fog, clouds, or dark, at distances of up to fifty miles. First tests in this country are being held at the Lighthouse Station near Highlands, N. J., by the War Department, the details of the invention being closely guarded by military police.
No larger than a penny match box is the German mystery ray machine, a highly-perfected ultra-short wave radio transmitter.
Groups of these transmitters, mounted along the border of a country and adjusted to send their “feeler” beams into the sky at a fixed angle, could be used for air defense. The 5 to 15 centimeter long beams act much like invisible light rays, and are reflected back to earth by aircraft.
Groups of ultra-short wave receivers stationed some distance from the transmitters would pick up one or more of the beams reflected. With each transmitter sending out a different type of signal, something like the interrupted signal produced by a dial telephone, and each receiver connected to the central switchboard, the distance and height of the plane could be calculated automatically and almost instantly by a machine built to interpret optical and trigonometrical formulas. With this data, air defense guns could be aimed accurately at the unseen targets.
Machine Supplants Soda Jerkers
NOW comes the mechanical soda jerker. Drop your money in the slot, punch the button for the flavor you want, and the machine, shown below, does the mixing and shaking, delivering soda in a package.
And PETA was born.
Test Lip-Stick On Guinea Pig
IN THE photo below, Max Factor, Hollywood make-up specialist (left) and Dr. J. R. Pratt, chemist, are testing a new lipstick on a shaven guinea pig (circle). A baby guinea pig is used for the test because its under skin is ten times more sensitive than that of a human being.
This is one of the earliest I’ve seen that uses magnetic tape and not wire.
Sound Recording Machine Perfected
OUT of the laboratories of a German firm comes the Magnetophon, a novel instrument for recording sound on narrow strips of film which can be preserved indefinitely. The bands resemble strips of talkie film. The Magnetophon records speeches and conversations, however fast, without difficulty. It uses the simple magnet-sound process. The recording bands are inexpensive.
Pickup Tool Grasps, Inserts Bolts
A NEW tool has been designed for picking up and inserting bolts, screws or other small objects in places too small for the hand to operate. The tool consists of four fingers operated by a plunger within a tube. When pressure is applied, the fingers open; when it is released, they grasp the desired object.
My favorite quote: “The British jet plane, Gloucester, played an important part in turning back the robot attack on London.”
Damn those robots!
THE JET PLANES ARE HERE!
THE thrilling story of how the jet-propelled plane was developed in this country in almost complete secrecy was revealed recently. The beginnings go back to 1941.
In the fall of that year, the employees of the Statler Hotel in Boston were puzzled by the behavior of a mysterious English guest named Whitely. He ate his meals in his room, had a private telephone installed which did not go through the hotel switchboard, and asked that all his errands be handled by one bellboy. After a week, he left the hotel.
Invents Wrist Watch Camera
A WRIST watch camera is the brain child of Jujiro Ichiki, Japanese inventor. It takes real pictures, making 36 exposures with one loading, and is equipped with an f .4.5 lens. The focusing scale graduates from one foot to infinity. What a wonderful device this would be for a spy!
Clock Wakes Sleeper with Music
THE violent hatred which humanity has for alarm clocks, especially around the hours of daybreak, may be mitigated somewhat by the invention of a combination phonograph and clock which awakens a sleeper with the strains of music from his favorite orchestra or singer.
Both phonograph and clock motor is contained in a box the size of a large camera, and the hour for the morning serenade is set by knob as in an alarm clock. When out of use the case is folded up to make a neat and attractive table or mantel ornament.