7th May, 2001
Or, to be precise, using them to your own advantage. That's what the next two stories are about. First there's NTTC who has an article about how NASA is making great progres in developing intelligent materials that can adjust to changing environments by dynamically changing shape. Very cool. I'd like my next car to be a boat as well...
Then there's the article over at Scientific American about high-speed propulsion under water using a phenomenon known as supercavitation, which is a way of putting your object (a torpedo for instance) inside a thin gas-bubble thus reducing friction to a minimum. It's quite interesting.
Though both of these technologies are being developed for military use, the advantages to the civil world are many. Think high-speed submerged ferries, self-repairing materials, or even an amphibian vehicle that'll be as fast under water as it is on land.