“How can we prevent automotive parts from wearing out?”
Automotive vehicles are some of the most powerful machines in the world, with a multitude of mechanisms moving at blinding rates. However, if objects move fast with friction, then wear will have to be induced. So how can we prevent these machines from wearing down? Well, let’s use our engineering mindset to find out. We know that if we apply a fluid interface between two objects, then the resulting lubrication will result in much less wear. Because of this, car engines use something called motor oil to increase a vehicle’s lifespan! Most motor oils are derived from crude oil, which can be of links between 18 and 34 carbon atoms per molecule, being completely unsustainable. Electric vehicles, not possessing internal combustion engines, do not require motor oil.
Carbon Film Resistors
“What are the most common types of resistors?”
Resistors come in many shapes and forms. However, what is the most common type of resistors? Well, if you look hard enough, then you will find that Carbon Film Resistors make up the majority of resistors in use today. Carbon film resistors are cheap, plentiful, and have a wide operating range. However, they also are very prone to temperature fluctuations, which could prove disastrous in critical applications.
The Water-Food-Energy Nexus
“What is the link between food, water, and energy?”
Although commonly thought of as separate issues, our use of food, water, and energy are actually highly interrelated. For example, agricultural produce is the largest consumer of freshwater resources and takes up to a quarter of energy use, while outdated energy generation techniques such as fracking consume a voluminous amount of water during operation. Because of this, the United Nations has created the concept of The Water-Food-Energy Nexus to educate people about this phenomenon. This problem will become more apparent with the advent of an increasing population.
Defective Device Bypass
“How can a circuit continue to operate even in the presence of a defect?”
Circuit defects happen all the time. And commonly, one of the things that occur is a short-circuiting between two elements, which can cause a whole circuit to break down. So how can we use our engineering mindset to protect against such a situation? Well, what if we were to create an alternate path of low resistance, such that the current would be able to go around it without inducing too much of a voltage drop? This is known as the Defective Device Bypass and can be found in appliances everywhere from festive lights to solar panels.
“How can we charge a device without a cord?”
When we think about charging electrical devices, we typically think of using a huge power supplying power cord. However, is it possible to charge without having any physical connection? Well, let’s use our engineering mindset to figure it out. We know that if we were to take two inductive coils, put them close together, and send an electric coil to one, then a current will be induced in the other. So what if we were to have a station with one inductive coil, and a device with another, every time the electromagnetic activity of the station can induce a current in the other? Well, this is known as wireless charging and is a very rapidly developing technology, with voluminous implications for both electric vehicles and cell phones.
“How can Neuroscience impact economic theory?”
Neuroscience is one of the fastest expanding fields of science. And its findings have serious implications for other fields of research, far and wide. And one of these includes something not usually thought of as being related, economics. Since economics is becoming increasingly driven by how humans make decisions, one of the factors is must consider is the operating framework of the mind. As a result, the field of neuroeconomics has been born, which has serious implications for the future of the study of human behavior.
Distributed Energy Resources
“How can we have true localized energy generation?”
In the past, most energy was generated through large, expensive and environmentally intensive engineering projects such as nuclear power plants and steam boiler systems. But with the advent of renewable energy, such infrastructure can now be rendered obsolete. Since Renewable energy sources can work with a few separated units and does not cause drastic environmental harm, they can be positioned close to homes and offices. As such we can realize something known as Distributed Energy Resources, which will explode in the coming years!