Flux capacitors are not new. They were first introduced by Emmett Lathrop “Doc” Brown, Ph.D, in the 1985 film, “Back to the Future.” Doc originally conceived the idea for the flux capacitor on November 5, 1955 when he slipped and hit his head on the bathroom sink. A similar, but more primitive, steam-powered flux capacitor is also seen in the chimney headlamp of Doc’s second time machine, the Time Train, at the end of Back to the Future Part III.
According to Doc, the flux capacitor is a rectangular-shaped compartment with three flashing tubes arranged in a “Y” configuration and is what makes time travel possible. The device is the core component of the modified DeLorean time machine. As the time machine nears 88 mph, light coming from the flux capacitor begins pulsing more rapidly until it becomes a steady stream into the future.
Flux capacitor requires 1.21 gigawatts of electrical power to operate, which is roughly equivalent to the power produced by 15 regular jet engines. The instruction manual for the DeLorean with flux capacitor says: “Because the car’s stainless steel body improves the flux dispersal generated by the flux capacitor, and this in turn allows the vehicle smooth passage through the space time continuum.”
Doc and his companion, Marty McFly, landed the DeLorean on October 21, 2015 so there has been a lot of recent activity commemorating the event. New York City dwellers could summon Lyft (like Uber) to get a free 15-minute ride in a DeLorean without a flux capacitor so your journey would be confined to present time. Ford Motor Company even got involved. From October 21 to 26, customers were able to visit the Ford “build & price” online tool and select the flux capacitor option for the additional price of $1.21 million. Wonder how many were ordered?
In case you don’t remember the DeLorean history….John Z. DeLorean designed a number of highly popular and iconic vehicles throughout his GM career, including the Pontiac GTO, Firebird, Grand Prix and Chevrolet Vega. He left GM 1n 1973 to start his own sports car company carrying his name. The manufacturing plant to build the new car was in Dunmurry, Northern Ireland. The DeLorean used a unique stainless steel body and featured gull-wing doors. It was powered by a V6 engine developed by Peugeot, Renault and Volvo. The engine was made by Renault, while Lotus designed the chassis and bodywork details.
Production problems and dwindling sales forced DeLorean into receivership in 1982 and John DeLorean was arrested, tried and convicted on drug charges. The “new” DeLorean Motor Company is now located in Houston, Texas and has introduced a prototype electric DeLorean without the flux capacitor option (www.delorean.com).