Fantastic! Hooray! Huzzah! The latest, lightest man made material. Now, when will the practical benefits of these types of materials actually be seen? I'm all for the advancement of knowledge through all varieties of research but at some point things like this need to show some form of practicality for the simple reason that, whether it be through government grants/subsidies or through corporate grants/subsidies the people end up paying for something that is of no use to them. Case in point, 82 years of research into aero gels with no appreciable benefit, other than someone being able to claim the "lightest material" title from time to time.
I recall that 5 day coolers use aero-gel as the insulation... They are widely available in stores and are rated to keep ice frozen for 5 days.
Case in point not made, go and a) read Wikipedia to see lots of applications and, b) understand that materials like these are used in many applications, but often not referred to as "aerogel". Another tax ranter, oh dear. Case in point will be that China will overtake all of us "smart-tax-fox" infested western countries in coming decades because instead of whining about every penny of taxes, they just do stuff. "Stuff" being: Renewable energy. High speed rail. Excellence in education at all levels. Space exploration. And we? We are leaning back and pointing fingers at their coal fired power plants and human right abuses until suddenly, even all that magically disappears there, and oups: We'll have coal fired power plants and human rights abuses. Things are on the move...
Elijah Sherv
I would love to see a video of somebody playing with this material. Throwing it in the air. To get us a better idea of how much it really weighs.
Michael Lau
Feels like it is possible to make a airship out of this ultra light material.
if it's less dense than helium, why is it sitting on the grass and not floating away?
@ Michael Lau, I was thinking the same thing. At twice the density of hydrogen and lower than that of helium, shouldn't the thing float in air? If that is the case then it would pretty good to make solid airships (airless airships?) , with no scarcity of helium issues. It would also be great to make lots of energy efficient vehicles that can easily climb up hills, etc.
VERY cool! I'd love to have a piece of this aerogel, just to poke around with and see how light it is.
Jennifer Linsky
I likewise find myself wondering if it could be used as lift mass... if it's between the mass of helium and hydrogen, and not as flamable as hydrogen... and not prone to leaking out of the envelope as both those gasses do....
Gavin Roe
use it in the hulls of oil tankers to prevent spills