Hmmm, the next bison tube material?
- (I have a feeling it's transparent only to UV, not full spectrum....)----- Forwarded Message -----From: Sally SpringettDate: Sat, 01 Aug 2009 11:01:27 -0400Subject: [BR2] Scotty Would Be Proud
Scotty Would Be Proud
Scientists claim to have created a form of aluminum that previously only existed in science fiction. In this week's Nature Physics, an international research team led by Oxford University scientists report that they have created "transparent aluminum" by bombarding the metal with the world's most powerful soft X-ray laser.
"Transparent aluminum" was featured in the movie Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home, wherein Chief Engineer Montgomery Scott shares the chemical formula in exchange for acrylic glass.
The scientists report that a short pulse from Germany's FLASH laser produced extremely brief pulses of soft X-ray light each one more powerful than the output of a power plant that provides electricity to a whole city which "knocked out" a core electron from every aluminum atom in a sample without disrupting the metal's crystalline structure. This turned the aluminum nearly invisible to extreme ultraviolet radiation, according to Oxford University press materials (via PhysOrg.com).
"What we have created is a completely new state of matter nobody has seen before," Professor Justin Wark of Oxford University Department of Physics, one of the paper's authors, said.
Star Trek technical manuals indicate that transparent aluminum is used in various fittings in starships, including exterior ship portals and windows. The real scientists believe their finding will lead to further work relevant to planetary science and nuclear fusion.
Related: Real-Life Star Trek Devices and Mind-Boggling Materials
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