Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Once again Star Trek science inspires real life science

It never ceases to amaze me what science fiction writers can come up with and scientists can realize. Like the forth-coming invisibility cloak. The humor website Cracked has compiled a list of the "7 Man-Made Substances that Laugh in the Face of Physics".

The sci-fi connoisseur might be interested in the transparent aluminum. As you know, transparent aluminum was used onboard the Enterprise (among other Federation starships) as windows. After all, Romulan disruptors shatters glass notoriously easy, and the crew can't very well see through duranium, can they? 

Present-day scientists has wisened up to the usefulness of a durable yet transparent material and has figured out how to make it themselves. Aluminium oxynitride is a material made of aluminium, oxygen and nitrogen, it's see-through and as strong as steel. Much like the Federation, the US Air Force is looking to using their "transparent aluminum" as as transperant armor for the windows on armored vehicles. A less glamourous use of aluminium oxynitride is as semiconductors and in retail fixtures. 

I'm still waiting for that Bio-Mimetic gel, though.   

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