Doctor and sage and heard great argument
About it and about, but evermore
Came out by the same door as in I went
as interpreted by Edward Fitzgerald
And then what I want is electrical engineers to solve the world's energy problems, energy distribution problems.
I want mechanical engineers to make better transportation systems.
I want chemical engineers to develop better solar panels, and so on.
Ex cathedra telling one
Just how nothing can be done
If they were less difficult, someone with less ability might have your job.
As for scaling up the size of the martini glass, there obviously would be limits, but they would be surprisingly mild when one calculates them. A 100 metre high martini bowl would present only 10 atmospheres of pressure at the top of the stem, and if the stem also were 100 metres high, it would have to contain 20 atmospheres at the bottom when the bowl is full. That is a very modest figure; in fact barely interesting in power engineering terms. If we double the height of the stem, we roughly double the amount of energy for the same amount of stored water; we could quadruple it for four times the energy, and gain higher pressure and higher efficiency at the same time.
Quadrupling the stem height would nothing like quadruple the building costs, because most of the material would be in the bowl, which as yet we have not considered changing.
Well, what if we double the height and radius of the bowl?
Now things get a little more complicated. Other things being equal, that would double the pressure at the collar of the stem, and the thickness of the bowl would have to double, more or less, again yielding higher pressure and higher efficiency. However, and more importantly, the area of the bowl wall would quadruple and its mass would increase by a factor of eight.
Not so good.
However, the volume of the bowl would increase by a factor of eight as well, and with it the mass of the water and the energy stored, and the centre of mass would be higher.
Increase the size of the bowl by a factor of four, and the pressure still would rise only by a factor of four, very manageable and with a very beneficial effect on efficiency, but the mass and volume of the bowl would increase by a factor of sixty-four, which is sobering, but we could console ourselves with the thought that we also would increase the energy stored by a factor of sixty-four.
Not so bad.
And if we quadrupled the height of the stem as well, we could store 256 times as much at eight times the pressure and with still increased efficiency.
All this is very simplistic, but it certainly makes it clear that one would have great incentive to think very hard about the appropriate scale of our martini glass.
And the quality of our foundations and our building.
consequences that it's had on the environment and
unforeseen problems, but we shouldn't use it as an excuse
to reject our tools; rather, we should decide that we need
to make better tools to solve the problems caused by the
initial tools in a progressive wave of innovation.