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The world's lightest solid! It may seem thin but it is very useful

2019-09-11
The heaviest liquid in the world is mercury, which is also 13.5 times heavier than water. The lightest liquid in the world is pentane, which weighs about 60 percent as much as water. And the world's heaviest solid has been controversial, some people say osmium, the same volume than iron weight 3 times, but some people say that the existence of the theory of matter "supersolid", only the size of a ping-pong ball supersolid mass is more than 1000 tons. And the next thing we're going to look at is the world's lightest solid, aerogel.

Aerogel by Guinness certification for the world's lightest solid, the minimum density of 0.16 milligrams per cubic centimeter, only one 7 of the air, so light, ordinary people will think it useless, in fact, it's very amazing, especially on the thermal insulation performance, employee will be two pieces of the rabbit model of chocolate on the alcohol lamp burning, together through the glass, under the other together across the aerogel, the glass didn't insist on long lost.

 

To further prove the aerogel's thermal insulation, the next step was to bake it with their hands directly over the thin aerogel.

Then the experimenter hit upon the idea of crushing the aerogel to see if it could still be so insulated. Water droplets are known to evaporate easily on a heated pan, but when the experimenters coated them in aerogel "powder" and placed them on the hot pan surface, the result was a "happy dance".

Why is aerogel so light? So good insulation? Scientists in the invention, it is actually inspired by jelly, jelly can be regarded as a combination of liquid and solid, and if the jelly liquid drained, while maintaining solid framework does not change, then it will be light, the weight of the aerogel is using this principle, but the raw material is not the jelly, but materials such as silicon and carbon.

Because the gaps in aerogel are nanoscale in size, heat transfer is very difficult, and so is cold air. Therefore, clothes made by aerogel are not only light and thin, but also can be damaged by liquid nitrogen at minus 196, and the inside of the clothes can still maintain a temperature of 32, which is extremely cool.

 

Of course, the disadvantage of aerogel material is quite obvious. It is expensive, so it can be used in combination with traditional materials to maximize economic benefits. In addition to its excellent insulation, NASA is also using it to capture comet particles that could one day be used as protective clothing for our planet.