Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Homemade Experiments with Aerogel, the World's Lightest Solid [Aerogel]


Jason Wells got to toy around with a few blocks of Aerogel, the fantastically light (and fantastically expensive) material made famous by its use as insulation in NASA spacecraft like the Mars Rover. Using just everyday materials from his house, he managed to test the futuristic product's strength, optical properties, reaction to different liquids and temperatures, and electrical conductivity.

He concludes from the experiments that it should work really well as a fire retardant or insulation, as well as pulling moisture out of pretty much anything (including his finger!). Aerogel weighs only three times as much as air, but is even more effective than your everyday pink insulation. It may only be the world's coolest insulation material, but are you the world's coolest anything? Didn't think so. [Jason Wells via Crunchgear]