back to article DARPA seeks sticky-goldenballs Casimir forcefields

Rogue Pentagon boffinry overlords have decided to weigh into a hot new crazy-science field: That of the mysterious Casimir Force, the tendency of nanoscopic, barely perceptible spacetime ripples - lapping at the edges of the "quantum vacuum" in which all matter exists - to push things together. Casimir stickiness, at present, …


This topic is closed for new posts.
  1. NRT

    "control and manipulate... repulsive forces.."

    Couldn't they just call them terrorists, like everybody else?


  2. Tom

    Writing Style

    Why is it that whenever you guys write about DARPA you descend into this weird writing style? Is it just because all you're really doing is copying and pasting the report from somewhere else, so you feel you have to pad it out a bit first? Whatever, it's tedious having to read twice as much article to get the same amount of news.

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    @writing style

    Its top-drawer techno-journalism for which you are not charged, and you are even given the opportunity to besmirch it with your very own vapid remarks.

    But you want it to stop.


    (like i care..)

  4. This post has been deleted by its author

  5. RG

    Unlimited Imagination

    > "... the ability to seize control of living creatures from within, allowing soulless mechanoid intelligences to wear their hapless, cored victims like fleshy cloaks."

    I always wondered why the Terminators were machines with artificial skin (or even impossibly difficult to make liquid metal machines), instead of humans with nanobots controlling them from within - surely the latter would be a cheaper and more effective approach - take over a human or animal and pack explosives up his/her/its you-know-what ....

    Mine's the off-smelling, skin-coloured anorak, thanks.

    PS: I'm glad to see some of your smilies/icons have been restored to the old versions, but there's a few more to go .... Linux, Love, Flame and the Skull 'n' Crossbones at least. Please?

  6. Dr. Mouse

    I for one...

    ... welcome our nanoscopic body-wearing robotic overlords

  7. Anonymous Coward

    Tongue-in-cheek is the only way to respond

    I'm waiting for "DARPA" to inevitably become a pejorative appellation.

    For those occasions where a hugely expensive and futile pursuit of a fantasy is undertaken.

    "You total DARPA-wit !"

    "Who's DARPA-headed idea was this?"

  8. Tim
    Thumb Up


    You wouldn't get dialogue like this anywhere else, that's why I love the Reg!

    Imagine how this technology could enhance projectile weapons!

  9. amanfromMars Silver badge

    The Gary Owen Curved Ball ......... Up into AIR and into the Fray

    "Such machinery is expected to offer a host of benefits, not least the ability to seize control of living creatures from within, allowing soulless mechanoid intelligences to wear their hapless, cored victims like fleshy cloaks."


    I doubt they are soulless and would XXXXPect them All Totally Aware..... SMARTer Enabled Led. That makes them Together Randomly Unique and in Flux with Flexible Flow. ....... and Using Unbreakable Cryptography Communication Needs and Feeds for Simple Critical Logistic Supplies.Toys and Hardware.

    Bells and Baubles in Big Picture Red Team Games ...... with Prize Bulls Impeccably Behaved in the China Shop.

    Sometimes it does seem as if DARPA are too busy reinventing the Wheel rather than Using ITs Engines.

  10. Ryan

    So when do I get my

    Zero-Point Energy field manipulator?

    Mine's the orange one with the crowbar

  11. Nano nano

    Sigh ...

    "Leverage" used as verb ... did they mean "use" ?

  12. Jamie
    Thumb Up

    Am I the only one thinking...

    ... hover boards, hover boards, hover boards!!!!

    oh yeah, eat your heart out Marty McFly!

  13. Nano nano

    Not so fast, packet-switch-boy


    "I'm waiting for "DARPA" to inevitably become a pejorative appellation" - well, they /did/ come up with the Internet (or ARPAnet as it once was), so cut them a bit of slack ...

  14. Dave


    the Merkins have been misleveraging language in many areas of human enterprise, viz. finance, politicks, &c &c

  15. Jeff
    Thumb Down

    Since you're all Luddites...

    Maybe your next stop should be the Journal of Natural Sciences...

    You can throw stones at the Physicists and maybe even burn them at the stake for discovering these ideas which you so easily mock.

    Yeah, that's about the IQ level of this crowd.


  16. MYOFB
    Paris Hilton

    GB's ????

    "Casimir stickiness, at present, is so imperceptible and tiny that it can be detected only by the use of special microdetection apparatus featuring solid GOLDEN BALLS"

    So THAT'S why LA Galaxy paid so much for Beckham!!!!

    No wonder he hasn't made much of an impact on the Soccer [sic] pitch . . . DARPA are fiddling with his GB's.!


    / Paris? Cos she's fiddled with more GB's than DARPA ever could.

  17. Chris G

    @ By Jeff

    Bit of a sense of humour shortage there jeff.

    Any way if these guys can , by the use of MEMS provide me with my own Seven of Nine, I won't ever take the piss out of them again.

  18. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    projectile weapons

    I'm not sure it could help projectile wepons much... if you had a low friction bullet, it might just sit in the barrel as the gas blew past it. Actually, getting it to sit anywhere might be a problem. If you did get it moving (rail gun?) wouldn't it just fly through you w/o leaving much energy in you to break stuff? Although it might have a really cool trajectory.

  19. Stephen Huyssoon

    Star Trek Was Never Fiction

    Yeah well, DARPA is in the least making a real attempt at getting somewhere beyond the mediocre understood consensus physics we are bored with in the Universities. They know something is there and are trying to get someone to do something with it.

    No problem amusing us while also bringing such things to the light of day.

  20. Steven Raith

    More realistically...

    ...true frictionless bearings, anyone?

    No more rattly PC fans!

    Steven R

    PS: Another 'ta' for restoring some of the old post icons :-)

  21. Anonymous Coward

    Odin: Photon Space Sailer?

    So we'll have spaceships propelled by giant metal-fabric sails? Cool! "Space-hoist the space-mainsail, space-bosun! Get to the space-mizzentops, ya space-scurvy space-rats! Space it, this space is spacing spaced!"

  22. amanfromMars Silver badge

    Priceless makes money worthless but not useless.

    "Any way if these guys can , by the use of MEMS provide me with my own Seven of Nine, I won't ever take the piss out of them again." ..... By Chris G Posted Tuesday 16th September 2008 20:10 GMT

    Chris G,

    It is no big Secret that that is a CyberIntelAIgents Mission. And you can surely Imagine the Market Value to Any who could Facilitate/Manufacture/Fabricate to Order such Scenarios.

  23. Dr Patrick J R Harkin


    Didn't they run the staions on the island in Lost?

    I for one welcome our new polar bear keeping overlords.

  24. Freddie

    @projectile weapons

    Simply being frictionless doesn't mean it can't impart energy onto something. The high pressure will push the bullet regardless of friction. Similarly, a high speed bullet will slam into something and push it (causing the damaging shockwave) without the effects of friction; much in the same way that a fist, frictionless or not, would crush a nose if applied with enough force.

    Getting the bullet to spin in the barrel might be a tough one though.

  25. Justin

    Goldenballs at dawn

    Run for the Hills! Prepare your particle cannons! Can you luddites not see that messing with Casimir stickiness will rip the fabric of spacetime and cause us all to DISAPPEAR INTO A BLACK HOLE? The universe is doomed.

    </joke class="tabloid">

  26. Joe K
    Thumb Up

    I love these guys!

    Its obvious they sit around all day watching Star Trek/Gate and go "Hey, that'd be cool!"

    I fully support such crazy research.

  27. Anonymous Coward
    Paris Hilton

    @Chris G

    Oh yes... Seven of Nine..........

    (Must be anonymous, since the live-in might see it.)

    Paris, because one must moderate one's aspirations to reality!

  28. Michael Dunn

    Re Photon Space Sailor

    OK, but do they still splice the space mainbrace?

    The one with a bottle of grog in the pocket - though, of course, the idea of grog was that it wouldn't keep, so could not be saved up for a real bender.

This topic is closed for new posts.

Other stories you might like