Aerogel: The lightest solid known to man



By
mayaz
09 May 16
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This remarkable gel is the world’s lightest solid

Since its invention in 1931 by American scientist Samuel Kistler, it has been used in space missions to collect dust from a comet’s tail, by government agencies for developing insulated tents, and even for manufacturing clothing that protects a person from extreme heat.

NASA has nicknamed it bluesmoke because it kind of looks like a hologram.

What makes this substance so cool lies in its seemingly paradoxical properties. This hard gel is mostly air and therefore extremely lightweight, not unlike a sponge. But it is also very good at repelling heat. As you can see in the image below, it can protect a flower from a strong flame.

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