Come Sail Away, Sail Away With Nye

The sort of folks who like to poke holes in reasonable arguments are never without ammunition. And one that is leveled against Bill Nye is that he isn't a PhD, he is an engineer. That is the sort of counterpoint that rather screams desperation, one because being an engineer is a valuable (in fact, utterly necessary) branch of physical science. And two, it suggests that because he doesn't have a doctorate, that somehow precludes him from taking part in scientific debate. But anyone who listens to Nye speak for five minutes knows that he's more knowledgeable in a wider area of scientific areas than most, and he is effective and engaging at communicating that knowledge.

But, because he does come from an engineering background, that means that his approach to problems will come first from an engineering perspective. So, it shouldn't be a surprise that the Planetary Society's (of which he is the CEO) project is one of pioneering engineering. Granted, anything put into space is going to be a complex piece of technology, but LightSail is especially ambitious. It proposes to deploy a solar sail, not to provide power, but to provide thrust by allowing the satellite array to ride the momentum imparted to the device by the collision of photons against the sensitive sail material. Which is very cool, and an yet another example of a scientific concept finding it's way into reality.

Via The Mary Sue.
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About MR. Clark

Adopting the descriptor of "successfully unpublished author", MR. Clark began writing things on the internet in 2012, which he believed to be an entirely reputable and civilized place to find and deliver information. He regrets much.


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