Amazing Inventions By Egyptian, Dutch Students
By James Donahue
about the point when we were beginning to believe there was no hope for our dying planet, three teenagers in various parts
of the world have dreamed up workable ideas for solving what we perceived as unsolvable problems.
Using quantum physics formulas that literally boggle this writer’s
mind, Aisha Mustafa, 19, of Egypt has invented a way to utilize the Casimir effect to create a Quantum Space Propulsion System
that may be able to propel spacecraft through the vacuum of space without using a drop of conventional fuel. A patent on her
invention has been applied for by Sohag University. Mustafa and a team of participating physicists are studying her concept
in hopes of soon testing it on a real space craft.
The Casimir effect involves physical forces arising from a quantized field, which, for example, can be created
by placing two uncharged metallic places a few micrometers apart within a vacuum. While in this position, the plates affect
photons that exist between them and thus they generate a “net force” that can either be an attraction or repulsion,
depending on the way the plates are arranged.
effect is named for Dutch physicist Hendrik Casimir who discovered it in 1947.
Another young Egyptian student, Azza Abdel Hamid Faiad, 16, has discovered an inexpensive catalyst that can be
used to turn tons of discarded plastic into an economically efficient way of producing hydrocarbon fuel. Her discovery has
the potential of allowing companies all over the world to profit from the tons of recycled plastic now piling up in landfills
or being dumped into the open sea. Faiad has been awarded the European Fusion Development Agreement award at the 23rd European
Union Contest for young Scientists. She is applying for patents.
And in Holland, another science student Boyan Slat, 19, is studying the feasibility of an idea he has developed
for removing tons of plastic waste from the world’s oceans. He conceives of an anchored network of floating booms and
processing platforms that might span garbage patches, separating plastic from plankton and storing it for recycling.
Slat’s paper on this project has won several prizes, including
Best Technical Design 2012 at Delft University of Technology. Slat also has founded The Ocean Cleanup Foundation, a non-profit
organization working to develop his proposed plastic collection device. If successful, the project has the potential of saving
thousands of endangered aquatic animals, reducing pollutants in the food chain and going a long way toward cleaning up the
world’s polluted oceans.
is something gratifying about realizing that today’s youth is not sitting around wringing their hands about the terrible
state of the world and the apparent inability or unwillingness of national and international leadership to do anything about
it. They are taking matters into their own hands and solving problems that many researchers have been saying are insolvable.