This history of science is littered with happy accidents, from “Watson, come here!” after Alexander Graham Bell dumped over a beaker in his lab and called to his assistant for help (who heard his call over the first successful telephone transmission) to the discovery of Viagra while developing a a drug for angina. (Yes, doctor, his angina is better, but what the hell is making that bed sheet rise?)
Researchers at the University of Central Florida were researching hypersonic jet propulsion methods when they may have discovered how to create the conditions necessary for the Big Bang—in their lab.
It seems it is possible for turbulence to cause an otherwise passive flame to, well, detonate. Yes, detonate. In the lab. A flame.
Their paper published Friday in the journal Science. Kareem Ahmed, assistant professor of UCF’s Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering who led the team, turned up, to say the least a startling effect. “We explore these supersonic reactions for propulsion, and as a result of that, we came across this mechanism that looked very interesting,” Ahmed said with a dash of scientific understatement. “When we started to dig deeper, we realized that this is relatable to something as profound as the origin of the universe.”
The University might want to promote this guy, right after they move his lab farther out of town.
Richard Authier Lee is an author. Read Free Sample Chapters of his novel, HIGH GROUND here.