Nanomaterial is world's lightest

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37 Responses to “Nanomaterial is world's lightest”

  1. Textuality says:

    That is seriously cool.

  2. In the automotive industry of the future, a car will weight as much as its engine and power source; would absorb impact and restore to its original shape with no harm to passenger or driver’s phisical and financial well being. How cool is that added there could be climate control systems inside those tubes?

  3. Blaine says:

    Pour out a 40 for my homey Aerogel… Only god can judge you now.

  4. Cowicide says:

    Shouldn’t we use this kind of stuff for wind energy?

    For example, extremely huge windmill blades that take very little wind to turn them because they don’t weigh shit? 

    • flosofl says:

      That extremely huge blade that don’t weigh shit would probably not be able to handle the stresses involved to rotate the turbine shaft. Most likely tear themselves to pieces. 

      • Cowicide says:

        That extremely huge blade that don’t weigh shit would probably not be able to handle the stresses involved to rotate the turbine shaft. Most likely tear themselves to pieces.

        From what I understand, this material (while light) is also very strong.  Also, it can be reinforced to some extent and still be lighter than current materials.

    • kc0bbq says:

      The weight of the materials isn’t what makes a windmill hard to turn.  The load on it makes it that much harder to turn.  If you have a motor that draws a megawatt including all losses to whatever inefficiencies in the system you need to be able to push the windmill hard enough to create that million watts.  If you cant, no matter how hard the wind is blowing it just won’t turn much.

      • Cowicide says:

        The weight of the materials isn’t what makes a windmill hard to turn.

        Sure it does.  The heavier it is, the more friction at the base, etc. of the low speed shaft; hence, harder to turn.  Lighter means less friction and more efficient use of the energy from the wind.

  5. daneyul says:

    The dandelion hat industry is going to go through the roof!

  6. Summer Seale says:

    Am I the only one who is so incredibly tempted to squish it between two fingers to see how “spongy” it feels…? =)

  7. Charlie says:

    So, it’s a series of tubes?

  8. monkmunk says:

    Very cool, but i doubt that this is the world’s lightest material. It appears to at least be denser than air.

  9. callen says:

    Is it strong enough to build an airplane?

    • rabidpotatochip says:

      I’m not sure I’d trust an airplane built out of this stuff.  It may be irrational but I’m imagining much heavier turbulence in any kind of crosswind if the plane is so much lighter.

  10. bcsizemo says:

    So this will be just like aerogel?  Useful in specific laboratory settings, but cost prohibitive to the real world at large?

    It’s like all the cool stuff I hear about carbon nanotubes and how they will revolutionize the world, except we can’t crank them out easily and cheaply.

  11. cleek says:

    “by designing the 0.01 percent solid at the nanometer, micron and millimeter scales.”

    but write-up makes it sound like they designed at the ever-popular thickness-of-a-human-hair scale.

  12. mercator says:

    Cool.  When can I get a bike made of this stuff?

  13. HahTse says:

    The real question is: can they make enough of it (at sufficient lengths!) for a Space Elevator?

  14. Ambiguity says:

    Makers and DIY-ers who are interested in this kind of thing should check out the open-source aerogel project:

    http://www.aerogel.org/

  15. We are the 99.99% (of air)

  16. SomeGuyNamedMark says:

    It is probably expensive to make right now so it also sets a new record for “getting the least for the most money”

  17. wobinidan says:

    I have no idea what this article is about, so here’s a picture of a dandelion with a wafer on it’s head.

  18. Unanimous Cowherd says:

    “perch atop a dandelion clock” — what is a dandelion “clock”?

    You mean that is what you call a dandelion seed head? Why have I never heard this?

    Mind blown by my own obliviousness — “clock”? Who knew?

  19. Quotes; “…99.99 percent air…”

    Awesome! Where can we get one?

  20. Bubba73 says:

    The potential applications for dandelion clocks with hats are endless.

  21. Nadreck says:

    Is the energy absorption high enough for it to qualify as Vibranium?

  22. David Smith says:

    Looking ahead, to when this stuff is in widespread use…  will there be problems when this material ends up discarded, in the trash, in the environment?  Does the tininess of the particles mean they will slip through water filters or air filters, so we’ll end up breathing this stuff? 

  23. Tom says:

    I made a huge empty box out of plywood. If I measure the amount of wood used vs. the total volume of the outside of the box, I’ve got a material that’s 99.999% air. That’s 10 times better than these guys.

    Can I haz newz artical?

  24. OoerictoO says:

    you are right that the blades need strength, quite a bit of it.  most modern blades are of composite designs (carbon/fibreglass/resin outers).  with some research into collapsing molds for hollow centers (less dense than the above material).  see wikipedia blade design for more info

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