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Graham_of_Rainham
14th February 2016, 12:02 PM
Science needs funding, so what better way than to announce yet another "Great Discovery" :rolleyes:

Back in the late seventies, I worked at Woolwich Arsenal, during which I experimented with a HeNe laser. I bounced the beam off two front silvered mirrors to increase the length of the beam travel, such that the vibration effects would be magnified at the detector.

I got it to the point where I could see the effect, on the oscilloscope, of people walking along the corridor outside the room. I easily detected the lull in traffic vibrations at the junction, 250yds away, when the pedestrians were crossing. A strange vibration occurred every 20 to 30 mins, that was eventually attributed to the HGVs unloading from Woolwich Ferry.

Years later we had several Laser Interferometers, that measured to sub micron levels. We could measure the effect of tides in the Thames and the effect of the moon on co-planer surface tables.

All of this was done for actual practical purposes that had some value.

Is there any more to this than just an excuse for a cake. :cool:

Imageryone
14th February 2016, 12:19 PM
Don't they use something similar in seismology to predict eruptions and earthquakes, Graham. Did this come from your original research ?

Ricoh
14th February 2016, 12:48 PM
Further evidence for general relativity, should it be required, and vindication for A.E.

It also opens up 'imaginging' opportunities, rather than relying solely on the electromagnetic.

What they've captured is something approximating the displacement between the Earth and the Sun to the diameter of a proton.

Graham_of_Rainham
14th February 2016, 12:52 PM
Don't they use something similar in seismology to predict eruptions and earthquakes, Graham. Did this come from your original research ?

I think most seismographs use a Tri-axial geophone sensor.

My research was just "Proof of Principle". Back then, when there was something new, we would try and reproduce results.

With interferometry, we got to the stage where we would "discuss differences" with the NPL laboratories... :cool:

Internaut
14th February 2016, 01:00 PM
In the long term, I suspect the pay off may be interesting sources of abundant energy. But it's all terribly speculative. Then again, doesn't much of what we take for granted, today, have roots in scientific pay offs that came out of nowhere?

Ricoh
14th February 2016, 01:08 PM
If the energy from gravitational waves came anywhere close to having a useful effect, well god help us. Right now gravitation offers abundant energy on a twice daily basis - we should harness it better. Our best chance however comes from nuclear fusion, and dilithium crystals.

Graham_of_Rainham
14th February 2016, 02:19 PM
Is it just coincidence that the "X Files" have been re-booted?

Or does this just prove the existence of the first 9 series... :rolleyes:

Ricoh
14th February 2016, 02:53 PM
I don't know about rebooted, but booted into touch makes more sense. :)

birdboy
14th February 2016, 02:53 PM
Didn't this stuff belong to the Research and Development arm of organisations, something we hardly hear of these days. I started work back in the early 70's in the Research and Development Center for Ilford film not far away was the Research and Development Center for Fords at Dunton now called a Technical Centre. I remember the work being fascinating but not very rewarding you could work on a project for a year or more making it work only for it to be dropped and not go into production. I have often thought that I would have got more job satisfaction if I had been a bricklayer and if I had built a long wall back in the 70's I could still see it today and say I built that.

Graham_of_Rainham
14th February 2016, 04:05 PM
Didn't this stuff belong to the Research and Development arm of organisations, something we hardly hear of these days. I started work back in the early 70's in the Research and Development Center for Ilford film not far away was the Research and Development Center for Fords at Dunton now called a Technical Centre. I remember the work being fascinating but not very rewarding you could work on a project for a year or more making it work only for it to be dropped and not go into production. I have often thought that I would have got more job satisfaction if I had been a bricklayer and if I had built a long wall back in the 70's I could still see it today and say I built that.

Visited both Ilford Films and Fords Dunton, great places; full of interesting things to play with. I've not built any walls, but have planted quite a few oak trees. :)

Miketoll
14th February 2016, 04:28 PM
The thing is you never know what uses these things lead to. I think it was Faraday who had problems raising funds so he could continue his research into electricity because no one could see any use for electricity.....
I have read that in industry if research can't show a high likelihood of turning the research into profit within 5 years it is dropped?

wornish
14th February 2016, 04:53 PM
Pure research for research sake is pretty much only done by government funded bodies these days. Students doing PhD's in universities is one example of where its still done but even they are biased towards a potential commercial pay back.

I remember when IBM did it but not sure if they still do.

Ricoh
14th February 2016, 05:03 PM
I worked in R&D, however we did more development than anything else. Any R was applied research, applying concepts to a particular need.

PeterBirder
15th February 2016, 12:03 AM
Universities and Government/international research institutions carry out pure research which expands human knowledge of the basics of everything.

Industry (and often Universities funded by industry) carry out applied research which uses that knowledge to develop technologies with aplications for products etc. which enhance human life. Universities often start companies to exploit the results of their research when no one else grasps the significance of the results of their research.

Our current understanding of the nature of light which was previously thought to be "waves" but which is now known to be particles (Photons) which can appear to behave like waves is the result of pure research. This and related knowledge derives from the work of Einstein and others and without it we would not have digital cameras. The detection of "Gravity Waves" is the final proof of Einstein's "General Theory of Relativity" which predicted them and will lead to further discoveries.

At another level pure researchers frequently have to develop their own "tools" to pursue their line of research as they are working in areas never before explored.The development of these tools can themselves frequently lead to major applications in other fields. The classic example of this is the invention of the World Wide Web by Sir Tim Berners-Lee. He was working for CERN the European Particle Physics Lab who needed a means of exchanging huge amounts of data around the world as part of their research for which no solution existed. The WWW now impinges on the life of everone on the planet.

Regards.

Naughty Nigel
15th February 2016, 09:43 AM
Science needs funding, so what better way than to announce yet another "Great Discovery" :rolleyes:

Back in the late seventies, I worked at Woolwich Arsenal, during which I experimented with a HeNe laser. I bounced the beam off two front silvered mirrors to increase the length of the beam travel, such that the vibration effects would be magnified at the detector.

I got it to the point where I could see the effect, on the oscilloscope, of people walking along the corridor outside the room. I easily detected the lull in traffic vibrations at the junction, 250yds away, when the pedestrians were crossing. A strange vibration occurred every 20 to 30 mins, that was eventually attributed to the HGVs unloading from Woolwich Ferry.

Years later we had several Laser Interferometers, that measured to sub micron levels. We could measure the effect of tides in the Thames and the effect of the moon on co-planer surface tables.

All of this was done for actual practical purposes that had some value.

Is there any more to this than just an excuse for a cake. :cool:

I can remember visiting the Royal Arsenal back in the 1970's as the company I worked for produced paint for aircraft, and the Royal Arsenal carried out certain testing work for us and other manufacturers. It was certainly a fascinating place. Does it still exist?

Graham_of_Rainham
15th February 2016, 10:32 AM
I can remember visiting the Royal Arsenal back in the 1970's as the company I worked for produced paint for aircraft, and the Royal Arsenal carried out certain testing work for us and other manufacturers. It was certainly a fascinating place. Does it still exist?

The "Paint, Rubber & Adhesive" Labs were in the East site, which is now where Bellmarsh Prison is. The rest of the East site became the Thamesmead Estate...

I worked in the West site, which is now mostly converted into "apartments".

http://firepower.org.uk/explore/history-of-the-royal-arsenal/