The world as it is

The global economy in a few facts and figures.

5 largest French companies in terms of sales are, in descending order, PSA Automobiles, Airbus, Renault, EDF and Orange.

23,249,425 digits make up the largest prime number (2, 3, 5, 7, 11, 13, 17 . . .) found to date.

Plantes, fleurs

90% of plant species are flowering plants.

Lumiere, usa

A bigger bridge

The English Channel, the North Sea, straits and the teeming landscapes of big ports are a reminder that maritime routes lie at the heart of global trade. Indeed, the terrestrial sight of strips of tarmac intertwining to form knots and inextricable interchanges could almost be transposed to the surface of the oceans. The latest road structure built across the estuary of the Zhujiang River to link Hong Kong, Macao and Zhuhai (a city in southern continental China) is an illustration of this. The largest sea bridge was opened there in March. As many as 20,000 engineers from all over the world were involved in constructing and coordinating this project, which was begun nine years ago. It is actually a succession of bridges extending over 55 km. The structure includes four tunnel sections, including one nearly 7 km long under the sea, and four artificial islands built to support the structure. The authorities estimate that it will be used for 120 years. At the end of which, it might be possible to use one of its six lanes for a bicycle ride.

Etoile, galaxie

1,7 billion stars in the Milky Way have been mapped by the probe Gaia, around 1% of the total estimated number of stars in the galaxy (100 to 400 billion).

Vidéo, temps, youtube

400hours of video are uploaded every minute on YouTube.

600 m3 of plastic garbage will be removed from the sea by sailor Yvan Bourgnon’s future quadrimaran Manta (in reference to the ray) during a clean-up operation.


The invisible center stage

In order to colonize space, the world of the infinitely small can provide an excellent basis to work with. Huge strides have been made in developing tools and scientific methods for observing and manipulating this field. This is the case with molecular biology, with the revolutionary CRISPR-Cas9, and in the field of nanomaterials, which are set to transform our environment. By using processes similar to that of a 3D printer (layer-by-layer assembly), Julia Greer, from Caltech (California Institute of Technology), has managed to create extremely complex nanostructures. Scaffolds are built involving various sophisticated treatments, which can be transformed into ultra-light, hyper-resistant materials with spectacular properties, capable of being deformed and springing back to their initial shape. These very complex, infinitesimally small architectures—measuring around one hundred nanometers (or a few thousandths of a millimeter)—can be created for all materials: ceramics, resin, organic compounds and metal. Researchers are enthusiastic and can foresee the time when the quantity of metal required for the construction of a structure like the Golden Bridge could be held in the palm of the hand.

Canine, music, visuel


Air France Music