Tuesday, January 24, 2006

Aerogel

This is a silicon-based solid with a porous, sponge-like structure in which 99.8 percent of the volume is empty space. By comparison, aerogel is 1,000 times less dense than glass, which is another silicon-based solid.
Another photo illustrating the excellent insulating properties of aerogel. The matches on top of the aerogel are protected from the flame underneath.












A 2.5 kg brick is supported on top of a piece of aerogel weighing only 2 grams.





http://stardust.jpl.nasa.gov/tech/aerogel.html

3 Comments:

Blogger James "Almighty" Allan said...

That aerogel stuff is the material they used on that recent comet mission. they stuck a massive pad of it in the tail of a passing comet, loads of stuff stuck to it, and then brought it back to earth. amazing. one thing a very few people realise is that aerogel is elegedly a nazi innvention.

11:06 PM, January 25, 2006  
Blogger Stephen Castleman said...

Does seem amazing, but does any one else think the photo with blow torch is a bit dodgy?

I think that the matches over hanging the gel would probably have caught fire and that the flame from the torch is going of at a funny angle anyway.

Minor point as I guess it's just meant to illustrate the gels properties.

3:18 AM, January 26, 2006  
Blogger Luke Cardew said...

There are a few of us that think that Nasa actually spends most of its budget on graphic designers (basically the makers of Photoshop) to make these impressive images. Look at some of there videos of the shuttle coming back to earth... they cant afford the video equipment to get a descent clip... remember this is so they made it is after affects and made it look really bad to make you think that what they are doing is really hard...but actually is just one guy behind a screen.... not this Indian pictured here.

12:07 PM, January 26, 2006  

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