Care for a ride on a flying carpet?

Published on December 14th, 2011
Care for a ride on a flying carpet?

Excluding Harry’s Invisibility Cloak, a flying carpet is probably one of the coolest objects found in fairy tales. Who remembers Aladdin?

But can we look forward to buying one from the local Toys’R Us store any time soon? Well, science investigates…

According to a paper published in the Physical Review Letters, there are certain conditions under which a carpet could fly. Basic laws of physics show that a small, thin carpet could fly if the air was vibrating at the right frequency (think of a tissue floating softly to the ground).

The three scientists, who wrote the paper, calculated that small waves of air in repeated fast pulses could steer a carpet at a speed of around one 30cm per second.

Even though these scientists believe that the conditions for a fully fledged carpet ride are within the realm of possibilities in nature and in technology, it will remain a mythical and magical object for the time being…

All aboard!