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World's Lightest Solid Takes Inspiration From Eiffel Tower
Live Science via Yahoo News ^ | 18 Nov 2011 | Charles Choi

Posted on 11/18/2011 10:04:41 AM PST by edpc

A metallic lattice of hair-thin pipes is now the lightest solid yet created — less dense than air, scientists revealed.

The strategy used to create these intricate structures could lead to revolutionary materials of extraordinary strength and lightness, including ones made of diamond, researchers added.

Ultra-lightweight materials such as foams are widely used in thermal insulation and to dampen sounds, vibrations and shocks. They can also serve as scaffolds for battery electrodes and catalytic systems.

(Excerpt) Read more at news.yahoo.com ...


TOPICS: Miscellaneous; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: chemistry; physics; science

Not really my field of expertise, but I thought it was cool, anyway.

1 posted on 11/18/2011 10:04:43 AM PST by edpc
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To: edpc

Thanx ! A good story for once amidst a sea of Occupy nonsense.


2 posted on 11/18/2011 10:08:26 AM PST by major-pelham
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To: edpc
I've been a big fan of aerogel from the time it was the world's lightest solid.

3 posted on 11/18/2011 10:09:21 AM PST by Jack Hydrazine (It's the end of the world as we know it and I feel fine!)
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To: edpc

Talk about “A picture is worth 1000 words.” Balanced on
a dandelion stem of nearly weightless seeds. WOW!
Now that is light material.


4 posted on 11/18/2011 10:13:38 AM PST by cliff630
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To: edpc

Less dense than air. Shouldn’t it be on the ceiling?


5 posted on 11/18/2011 10:20:15 AM PST by Cold Heart
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To: Cold Heart

Yes.....and dancing.


6 posted on 11/18/2011 10:24:14 AM PST by edpc (Wilby 2012)
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To: edpc

Engineering materials on a molecular level is going to create things with properties we can’t even imagine.

For one, I think superconductivity will prove to be ridiculously simple.


7 posted on 11/18/2011 10:25:00 AM PST by djf (http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-chat/2801220/posts)
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To: edpc

Yes, but if it’s actually lighter than air, it should be floating like a helium balloon.


8 posted on 11/18/2011 10:26:28 AM PST by Oberon (Big Brutha Be Watchin'.)
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To: edpc
Uuuummmm. How hard is it to take a digital photo and rotate it 180 degrees?
9 posted on 11/18/2011 10:33:39 AM PST by mosaicwolf (Strength and Honor)
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To: Jack Hydrazine

But will Peeps also be safe on this material? :-)


10 posted on 11/18/2011 10:36:43 AM PST by Larry Lucido
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To: Cold Heart
Less dense than air. Shouldn’t it be on the ceiling?

The article didn't even explain this very well. I think they mean that the volume that the lattice takes up weighs less than a similar volume of air, but the material still weighs more than the air it displaces so it will still fall to the ground.

Of course I'm assuming this, and you know what happens when we assume........

11 posted on 11/18/2011 10:38:11 AM PST by Brett66 (Where government advances, and it advances relentlessly , freedom is imperiled -Janice Rogers Brown)
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To: Brett66

I use “figured” instead of assume. Keeps me free from “assume” critics:)

I figured the same thing:)


12 posted on 11/18/2011 10:42:52 AM PST by Cold Heart
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13 posted on 11/18/2011 11:02:30 AM PST by TheOldLady (FReepmail me to get ON or OFF the ZOT LIGHTNING ping list)
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To: Cold Heart

Less dense than air. Shouldn’t it be on the ceiling?


Presumably, it’s less dense than air when in a vacuum (and without it’s spaces filled with air).

If you could seal it with infinitely lightweight foil, and suck down a vacuum without crushing it, it would float like a blimp.


14 posted on 11/18/2011 11:04:29 AM PST by Atlas Sneezed (Author of BullionBible.com - Makes You a Precious Metal Expert, Guaranteed.)
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To: Oberon
but if it’s actually lighter than air, it should be floating like a helium balloon.

It's not lighter than air, it's less dense than air. Big difference.

15 posted on 11/18/2011 11:05:15 AM PST by Lurker (The avalanche has begun. The pebbles no longer have a vote.)
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To: edpc

The researchers began with a liquid photopolymer — a molecule that changes its properties when exposed to light. They shined patterns of ultraviolet light on this photopolymer, generating a three-dimensional lattice, and coated this structure with a thin film of metal — in this case, nickel-phosphorous alloy.

Next, Schaedler and his colleagues etched away the photopolymer with lye, leaving behind a lattice of hollow nickel-phosphorus struts each 100- to 500-microns wide, or one-to-five times the width of a human hair. The walls of these tubes ranged from 100 to 500 nanometers or billionths of a meter thick, or up to 1,000 times thinner than a human hair.

These lattices are even airier than aerogels, with a density of 0.9 mg per cubic centimeter, “The lattice is 99.99 percent open volume,” Schaedler said. “It’s about 200 times lighter than Styrofoam.”

In experiments, these metal lattices proved very springy, bouncing back to their original shape even after being compressed to less than half their size.


16 posted on 11/18/2011 11:07:06 AM PST by Atlas Sneezed (Author of BullionBible.com - Makes You a Precious Metal Expert, Guaranteed.)
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To: Lurker
It's not lighter than air, it's less dense than air. Big difference.

Not for buoyancy purposes there's not. Density is mass per unit volume. If this stuff is less dense than air, it should be up on the ceiling.

17 posted on 11/18/2011 11:16:57 AM PST by Oberon (Big Brutha Be Watchin'.)
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To: edpc
I stand corrected.

I thought the world's lightest solid was Nancy Pelosi's brain.

18 posted on 11/18/2011 11:29:07 AM PST by pocat (In order to become the master, the politician poses as the servant)
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To: edpc

How’d they manage to make it in the shape of a dandelion?


19 posted on 11/18/2011 11:50:56 AM PST by Erasmus (I love "The Raven," but then what do I know? I'm just a poetaster.)
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To: Larry Lucido

I pretty sure Peeps are safe.


20 posted on 11/18/2011 11:55:14 AM PST by Jack Hydrazine (It's the end of the world as we know it and I feel fine!)
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To: Erasmus

With Wonder Twin powers.


21 posted on 11/18/2011 11:55:37 AM PST by edpc (Wilby 2012)
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To: pocat
I thought the world's lightest solid was Nancy Pelosi's brain.

That's not a solid: it's gas.

22 posted on 11/18/2011 11:56:15 AM PST by andy58-in-nh (America does not need to be organized: it needs to be liberated.)
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To: Beelzebubba
“It’s about 200 times lighter than Styrofoam.”

I assume that he means 1/200th the weight of Styrofoam.

23 posted on 11/18/2011 11:59:32 AM PST by Onelifetogive (I tweet, too... @Onelifetogive)
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To: Beelzebubba
“It’s about 200 times lighter than Styrofoam.”

I assume that he means 1/200th the weight of Styrofoam.

24 posted on 11/18/2011 11:59:45 AM PST by Onelifetogive (I tweet, too... @Onelifetogive)
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To: Beelzebubba

I couldn’t spell derigable dirigible but knew it technically wouldn’t be a blimp, which I could spell, so just I changed my premis:)


25 posted on 11/18/2011 12:35:13 PM PST by Cold Heart
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To: Onelifetogive

Dude, I hate it when they show their innumeracy by using that expression!


26 posted on 11/19/2011 1:13:50 PM PST by stormhill
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