The first day of the 2010 EuroSpaceward Conference has ended and it’s been an excellent first day. There is just so much going on in the CNT world – hearing about new research from the people who are doing it is intellectually very stimulating.
For a Space Elevator fan such as me, listening to the presentations about the development of CNTs is both exciting and depressing. It’s depressing hearing about all of the problems that the researchers are running into in trying to create the “long strong tubes” that we need to build an SE, but it’s exciting to hear about the new approaches being tried, advances being made and real, undeniable progress (though not fast enough for me ?).
I have a couple of photos to share with you. The first is a ‘formal picture’ of, from left-to-right, Markus Klettner (Executive Director of EuroSpaceward – the person principally responsible for these conferences), Dr. Boris Yakobsen of Rice University and Dr. Vessilin Shanov of the University of Cincinnati. Dr. Yakobsen and Dr. Shanov are at the absolute forefront of CNT research.
The second picture is a more informal one of Dr.’s Yakobsen and Shanov comparing notes during a break in the proceedings.
And the third picture is kind of neat. It is a screenshot of the cover of the issue of American Scientist magazine where Dr. Yakobsen and the late Dr. Smalley published their article talking about CNTs and Space Elevators (I blogged about that issue here). However, this is a cover that never made it to publication. Dr. Yakobsen talked about how difficult it was for the artist to get the concept right. When he finally had something to Dr. Yakobsen’s satisifaction, he requested one more change – putting in a couple of 5-7 (Stone-Wales) defects in the nanotube structure to make it a bit more realistic. The artist did so and the cover you see in this post is the result – if you look carefully, you can see the defects. However, the magazine editors decided to run with the cover with the perfect nanotubes (no defects) and that was the issue which was printed.
I’m looking forward to today’s sessions very much…
(As always, click on any photo thumbnail to see a full size version of the picture)