If They Fire The Nukes, Will They Even Work?

2022 was a harrowing year in a long line of harrowing years. A brutal war in Europe raised the prospect of nuclear war as the leaders behind the invasion rattled sabers and made thinly veiled threats to use weapons of mass destruction. And all this as we’re still working our way through the fallout of a global pandemic.

Those hot-headed threats raise an interesting question, however. Decades have passed since either Russia or the United States ran a live nuclear weapons test. Given that, would the nukes even work if they were fired in anger?

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Finding Paths With Water Is A-Mazing

We aren’t sure if it qualifies as fluidic logic, but [Steve Mould] was inspired by a simulation of water flowing through a maze and decided to build some actual mazes and watch water flowing through them. It turns out there are several physical effects in play, and you can see [Steve] discuss them in the video below.

The maze, of course, has to be oriented so that water flows into the top and flows out of the bottom. Without much thought, you’d think that the water just goes to the bottom and then fills up. Eventually, the part that is open at the bottom will have water coming out, right? Turns out it isn’t that simple.

A combination of air pressure and surface tension conspire to make the water do better than expected. Not that it perfectly solves it, but it doesn’t just fill up the entire maze, either. Even more interesting is that once the water has found the bottom, changing the water color will clearly show the path through the maze since nearly all of the new colored water will follow the flow path.

Practical? We can’t think of why. But it is a great think piece on how water flows and what sort of forces can affect it.

[Steve] is no stranger to making water work out algorithms, something called fluidic logic.

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Printing Antennas On Circuit Boards

Yagi-Uda antennas, or simply “Yagis”, are directional antennas that focus radio waves to increase gain, meaning that the radio waves can travel further in that direction for a given transmitter power. Anyone might recognize an old TV antenna on a roof that uses this type of antenna, but they can be used to increase the gain of an antenna at any frequency. This one is designed to operate within the frequencies allotted to WiFi and as a result is so small that the entire antenna can be printed directly on a PCB.

The antenna consists of what is effectively a dipole antenna, sandwiched in between a reflector and three directors. The reflector and directors are passive elements in that they interact with the radio wave to focus it in a specific direction, but the only thing actually powered is the dipole in the middle. It looks almost like a short circuit at first but thanks to the high frequencies involved in this band, will still function like any other dipole antenna would. [IMSAI Guy], who created the video linked above which goes over these details also analyzed the performance of this antenna and found it to be fairly impressive as a WiFi antenna, but he did make a few changes to the board for some other minor improvements in performance.

The creator of these antennas, [WA5VJB] aka [Kent Britain] is an antenna builder based in Texas who has developed a few unique styles of antennas produced in non-traditional ways. Besides this small Yagi, there are other microwave antennas available for direction-finding, some wide-band antennas, and log-periodic antennas that look similar to Yagi antennas but are fundamentally different designs. But if you’re looking to simply extend your home’s WiFi range you might not need any of these, as Yagi antennas for home routers can be a lot simpler than you ever imagined.

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