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Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Lightest. Thing. Ever.

Aerogel is the lightest substance in the world. Like, ever. It's made of 99.8% air. So it basically doesn't exist. Almost. Apparently it's a good insulator, has a melting point of 1,200 degrees Celsius (that's really hot for you Americans) and can be used for electromagnetic shielding and other such things, but really who cares? Just look at this crazy picture! The flame is holding up the aerogel which is in turn holding up the crayons, neither of which is melting. Awesome.

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6 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

so can we deduce from this picture that crayons are the second lightest substance in the world?

12:53 AM  
Anonymous dave said...

i read about this stuff in the mid 90's in scientific american. it seems they really need to find a use for it.
it's amazing stuff.

5:54 PM  
Anonymous David (that one) said...

Were it not so friable, it would be pretty darn good as a magic carpet ride. But since it crumbles so easy, coming to a stop - landing - would be a one-time experience. But imagine a huge sheet of the stuff setting on top of a cloud...

10:53 PM  
Anonymous Danny Kaye said...

I think the aerogel and the crayons are actually being held up by a peice of glass attached to a rod, and not by the flame.
But still, it is some cool stuff. I wonder if I can buy some for some New England winter body-surfing. (Hey, I figure if it keeps the heat out, it should keep the cold out too, no?)

9:19 AM  
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