Science Makes It Possible (Nov, 1931)

Science Makes It Possible

$2.00 For Each Idea THE word “impossible” has no longer a meaning in scientists’ and mechanics’ vocabulary; the most impossible things are made possible these days. On this page we have shown eight examples of so-called “impossible possibilities.”

Each year science and mechanics bring out new wonders and it is the purpose of this page to introduce them to the public.

We will pay $2.00 for every idea accepted and printed on this page. The rules are simple: The ideas must be of a scientific or mechanical trend. They must be, not mere natural phenomena, but MAN MADE. The idea need not necessarily be brand new, because most ideas are really old.

Submit ideas to us with a short description, of not more than 50 words. In case of a tie, the best description will be used.

All entries must be received by the first of each month, for the next month’s issue. Each idea will be paid for upon publication at the rate of $2.00.

Address all entries to “Editor, Science Paradoxes”, Everyday Science and Mechanics.

Ice Boiling Hot.
Over ten years ago, Professor P. W. Bridgman of the Carnegie Institute demonstrated that sufficient pressure makes water solidify into ice, even while its temperature is above the ordinary boiling point.

Eggs Fried on Ice.
The eggs in the metal frying pan, which is heated by high-frequency currents, will be cooked even though a cake of ice is interposed between the induction coil and the frying pan.

Flour Runs Engine.
Flour is combustible and, in fact, it is explosive when mixed with sufficient air. In Germany an engine has actually been run on flour in the manner shown for hours, just as it would be with oil.

Cold = Air Heating.
The air drawn from outdoors, heated by compression, gives up part of its warmth to the room within; and returns through the exhaust, to the outdoors, colder than when it was drawn in.

Hear Silent Sounds.
Over about 16,000 cycles, no ordinary person can hear a sound; but two tones of different pitch, both too high to be heard, may “heterodyne” and produce “beats” within the range of the ear.

2 + 2 = 3.86.
While it is said positively “Two bodies cannot occupy the same space”, nevertheless water and alcohol mixed lose 4% volume as shown here. (Do not drink the liquid during the test!)

Plumb Bob Not Plumb.
The plumb bob points to the direction from which the pull of gravity is greatest. When it is placed near the mountain, the latter pulls upon it and draws it to one side. By this fact, the earth is weighed.

Water Runs Uphill.
“Water seeks its level,” they say, but the “hydraulic ram” seems to disprove this. Water descending a short distance is caused to pump a portion of itself to a higher level; sometimes as high as 1,000 feet.

  1. Hirudinea says: April 27, 201112:20 pm

    Induction heater, induction heating, hydraulic ram, I didn’t know know thye had these in the 30’s (except mabye the hydraulic ram), neat.

  2. Dave Hurley says: April 27, 201112:27 pm

    Of course all the hipsters think that frying eggs on ice is a modern fad–this’ll show ’em.

    On the other hand, it’s a shame that Rye Flour engines never took off. Methinks we’d be in better shape today if we lived in a Rye Flour-based economy.

    Good item.

  3. Jari says: April 27, 201112:44 pm

    Cold air heating seems to be very inefficient and complicated when compared to resistor heating.

    Hearing silent sounds: That’s how some bat detectors work.

  4. Richard says: April 27, 20111:34 pm

    “Cold air heating” is a simple form of a heat pump. If the difference between indoor and outdoor temperatures is fairly small, it can be very efficient, because each joule of electrical energy given to the compressor/motor can cause more than one joule of heat to be released into the heated indoor room (the additional heat is extracted from the outside air). But if the outside air is much cooler than inside, the efficiency drops off rapidly.

    These days, a more efficient variation on the heat pump theory is practical in places like Florida, where the outside temperature rarely falls too far, and where most of the machinery is already there because it’s doing dual-duty as an air conditioner in the summer.

    I don’t know of any place where ordinary air is used as the working fluid in a heat pump for indoor heating, though.

  5. Jari says: April 27, 20112:06 pm

    Richard: Possibly because it’s difficult to make air liquefy in vapor-compression cycle with everyday compressors and temperatures.

  6. jayessell says: April 28, 201111:13 am

    Richard… So that’s why heat pumps also have resistive heating coils?

    About the hydrulic ram water pump….
    You can imangine a waterwheel powering a much smaller water pump.
    10 gallons of water might lift 1 gallon of water above the level of the water source.
    Perpetual motion? Not yours.

    How does the water/alcohol volume reduction work?
    The distance between the molecules is reduced?

  7. LightningRose says: April 28, 20112:47 pm

    jayessell, the molecules of water and alcohol are of different sizes so parts of the smaller molecules can fit in the “crevices” of the larger molecules.

    A not quite accurate simile would be mixing marbles and bee-bees.

  8. Jari says: April 28, 20113:10 pm

    LightningRose, jayessell: If I recall correctly, when 100% ethanol is exposed to air, it immediately absorbs some moisture from the air resulting a mixture of 96% ethanol and 4% water (or something around that). Maybe that’s the reasoning behind that science fact?

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