In 2007, Lakshminarayanan Mahadevan, a mathematician at Harvard University, has transformed the work of analysis in an attempt to determine a flexible sheet that may fly above the ground. From his study it appeared that a thin film that rapidly vibrates and undulates can remain suspended in air.
Mahadevan has not ever put this theory into practice, he continued to explore the mathematical point of view, how wet paper curls and the phenomenon of flowering lily. However, in 2008, Noah Jafferis Prnceton University has implemented his idea Mahadevan. What Jafferis last year managed to produce not just a “flying carpet” is just a small piece of 10 to 4 cm, able to float above the ground. However, his invention Jafferis is the first object of its kind carried out by air propulsion. It is made of two sheets of plastic attached to one another.
Each sheet is divided into four sections. When a voltage is applied, parts of the surface to contract while others expand, causing the wave movements of the carpet. These movements push of air and ground sheet in one direction, propelling the same time, the plastic in the opposite direction. For now, “carpet” is powered by a 10 cm metal wire attached to an external battery, but Jafferis hopes to install a power supply even small “aircraft”.
Unfortunately, the plan will not resemble what we would imagine thinking of “Arabian Nights”: “To carry a man I need a plastic sheet with a length of 15 meters and that for the at only one millimeter off the ground, “he said. However, think it is interesting to create such a carpet to fly over areas covered by the dust of Mars.
Source: Discover Magazine