The future is here! A scientist has driven an automobile (“car,” for you young ‘uns) across country on… water! He used solar power to rip the hydrogen out of water and thus have power for the car.
In terms of history, it was not that long ago that scientists were adamant that water could not possibly be made of two gasses. Those who claimed otherwise, that water is indeed made of hydrogen and oxygen, were ridiculed and ostracized by the Academy. One has to wonder… what is it today that we are so sure of that will one day be proven wrong? To think THAT is impossible is just as wrong-headed as thinking that, well, that water is not made of hydrogen and oxygen. It is always worth remembering that science is a method and not a religion.
Was Hydrogen REALLY The Culprit? Scientists Say “NO”!
Along those lines, and to tie this together, scientists now believe that hydrogen did NOT destroy the airship Hindenburg back on Thursday, May 6, 1937. The explosion spelled the end of hydrogen as a fuel. Lingering doubts about the safety of hydrogen, which we can trace directly to the Hindenburg Disaster, are at the bottom of fears about hydrogen powered transport to this day. One major concern about using Hydrogen as fuel is the potential danger of moving it in tankers around the country. Whenever this is discussed, visions of the long-ago explosion of the hydrogen-powered airship cast a frightening shadow over the issue. But is this justified? Uh, maybe not… Seems that everyone was wrong about that as well:
“Contrary to popular belief — and the findings of two official investigations — the material used to coat the “skin” of the airship, not hydrogen, was the cause of the disaster, said William D. Van Vorst, professor emeritus of chemical engineering at UCLA and Addison Bain, former manager, Hydrogen Programs Kennedy Space Center, NASA,” according to a May 1998 press release from UCLA.
And to explode another Hindenburg myth: The disaster was not the first catastrophe broadcast live over radio. While announcer Herb Morrison recorded his famous, emotional description of the blast as it happened, the recording was not aired till the next day. The routine landing of an airship was not considered news-worthy enough for a live network hook-up. The shocking recording – by now familiar to almost everyone in the world – is believed to have been the main reason that radio listeners so easily bought into the Orson Welles War of the Worlds Halloween broadcast, done in graphic, radio news style, a year and a half later. At least, that’s what people believe now. Just like they believed that water could not be made of hydrogen and oxygen…