Egyptian Aisha Mustafa, 19, has dazzled the physics world with a new invention that could launch spacecraft off the Earth’s surface and soaring through space without any fuel. Space is filled with a billowing sea of quantum particles that jump in and out of existence, and Aisha Mustafa proposes using thin silicon panels, spaced closely together, to trap these particles and then move against them, creating a propelling force. This innovation would make space exploration lighter, safer and cheaper than the traditional “blast off” method. Mustafa still has some design work to do, but unfortunately her research is currently limited by lack of state funding for space science departments at the university level, though her school’s science club did help fund her application for a patent.
What a woman.