9种未来的材料 9 Futuristic Materials

未能成功加载,请稍后再试
0/0

In Star Trek IV: The Voyage Homeever seen it? Came out in 1986?

The crew of the original Enterprise go back in time? To1986?

Anyway, there's a scene where chief engineer Scotty describes a lighter, sturdier, futuristic alternative to plexiglass: transparent aluminum. This stuff is supposed to be so strong that it makes up the viewports of the Enterprise.

The coolest part though, is that this stuff is not just science fiction! Transparent aluminum actually exists, and it pretty much lives up to Scotty's hype.

And it's just one of many cool new materials that seem like they were plucked straight out of science fiction. From invisibility cloaks to self-repairing concrete, the future is now.

Aerogels are one of the lightest solid materials in the world. Gels are mostly liquid, but they act like solids because there's a bunch of molecules in them that link together and hold the liquid in place.

Aerogels are gels where all the liquid has been replaced with gas. Imagine taking your favorite gelatin dessert and sucking out all the water.

But instead of crumbling into a powder, it still keeps its dome-like shape. That's basically how scientists create aerogels: First, they make a gel out of something like silicon or carbon compounds.

Then, they use extremely high temperatures and pressures to blur the line between the liquid and gas phases, creating a supercritical fluid. Then the kinda-liquid-kinda-gas can drift out of the solid molecular structure, and be replaced by air, so you have a porous, lightweight material that retains its shape.

Aerogels are great for insulation, because the air inside doesn't transfer heat very well. So they're mostly being used in spacesuit and spacecraft linings.

下载全新《每日英语听力》客户端,查看完整内容