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I sent this article to Louis Wu at HBO almost a year ago and he found it interesting, but unfortunately too deep for a front-page post. I figured it would be worth discussing here on this forum. For all of you fellow Halo nerds that love the novels as much as I do, you are probably familiar with the fictional muscle technology mentioned with regard to the Mjolnir suits of power armor. For those of you who don't know, the suits derive their strength not from hydraulics, actuators, or myomer-style muscle fibers, but from "reactive liquid crystals" that amplify force. Well, this futuristic technology (like most of Bungie's wonderfully plausible sci-fi tech that has me so enamored with the Halo Universe) is based on real research and very well may become a reality in the near future:


...makes me want to dish out some righteous beatdowns right now!!!
Cool. It'd be cooler if I could understand what the heck they were talking about. And this is me, I read New Scientists for light reading. But From what I could understand, WOW.
Yeah, it's a lot of scientific mumbo jumbo...the gist of the whole thing is that with liquid crystals, they are now able to amplify force. I think that's a newsworthy tidbit.
Essentially each crystal expands and contracts like a small hydraulic ram or muscle fiber. When lots of the crystals are oriented in the same direction and move at the same time, it amplifies the effect.

The activation and orientation based on an electrical charge is the same basic principle as an LCD screen. Different currents give different orientations of the crystals for different colors.

The current downfall is that they have to pump a large amount of current into the thing to get even sub-par results. This means they need to work on efficiency and control for it to become viable in the future.
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