Ever gasped in wonder when you'd watch the funny, almost character-like flying magic carpet in the famous Aladdin – Jasmine tale, Arabian Nights, fly them to lesser known destinations? Despite advancing technologies at our disposal, this concept still remained a distant wonder to most of us, almost impossible to achieve. However, researchers at the Princeton University have given flight to their imaginations, quite literally. Noah Jafferis, the brain behind the success of the concept, is a graduate student, doing his PhD at the Princeton University.
The wondrous concept, is now a reality
While the 'flying carpet' in the famous cartoon series seemed exotic, this one is serious science, and since its a first time attempt, it has its limitations. According to a BBC report, Jafferis's 'flying carpet' is made of plastic, and is a miniature-version of its famous sibling. It is driven by ripple power, i.e. ripples of electric current passing through the sheet send out parcels of air floating underneath the plastic sheet. This movement propels the sheet forward. Also, the carpet, unlike the ones always shown won't fly great heights, in fact, Jafferis' prototype can just lift itself off the ground by a few centimeters, which is as brilliant for a start. Explaining the cause for the same, according to the report, Jafferis stated that the plastic sheet is made to hold on to heavy batteries, by tiny conducting threads. Also that the sheet, Jafferis added needed to be kept as close to the ground, as possible, since only that way the air pumped out by the waves inside would manage to ooze out, keeping the sheet floating.
Jafferis had studied a mathematical paper written by Harvard University's Lakshminarayanan Mahadevan while he was just starting out with his PhD at Princeton. The paper had appeared in 2007 paper in Physical Review Letters. The report further revealed that Jafferis had dropped his original project plans, which would have him print electronic circuits with nano-inks.