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Travel future: hairy-leg stockings and sonoluminescence

June 24, 2013 Corporate, Headline News No Comments Email Email

egtmedia59In coming decades, the amazing world of science is likely to benefit international travellers in all sorts of ways, though not all the applications are immediately apparent.

One new innovation consists of hairy stockings, technically described as “full-leg-of-hair stockings” and featured on China’s Weibo microblogging site.

Skilfully mimicking a hairy leg, the stockings have been designed to deter molesters and perverts, of the type who Full-leg-of-hairoccasionally pester young women on long-haul flights.

The inventors of full-leg-of-hair stockings (also known as anti-pervert stockings) claim that women with hairy legs are not sexually harassed or assaulted. Perverts would be less likely to pester a woman wearing such stockings, they claim. The claim is unverified.

Even more mysterious (and less hairy) is the weird phenomenon of sonoluminescence. This enigmatic conversion of sound into light has baffled physicists for over 60 years. Scientists still can’t work it out.

What is known is that microscopic bubbles emit an eerie blue light when the liquids in which they float are bombarded by Sonoblasts of high-pitched sound. Nobody knows why.

Light in sonoluminescence is generated by the vacuum within the bubble “in a process similar to Hawking radiation, the radiation generated at the event horizon of black holes”, Wikipedia observes.

It seems that a bubble of air in water focuses acoustic energy a trillionfold to spit out picosecond bursts of ultraviolet radiation that heat gas inside the bubbles to temperatures hotter than the sun’s surface.

Scientific speculation postulates that sonoluminescence may one day be used to force hydrogen atoms to fuse and yield immense amounts of energy – powering aircraft, space travel and many other applications.

Passengers of the future may jet non-stop at ultrasonic speed between Sydney and London on planes powered by sonoluminescence, while wearing full-leg-of-hair stockings.

Or perhaps not. Only the future knows the answer.

Written by : Peter Needham

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