Aerogel is a synthetic porous ultralight material. This chunk can balance on a post-it note


Aerogel is a synthetic porous ultralight product. This chunk can balance on a post-it note


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13 Comments

  1. While this is impressive, I have a hard time thinking of a practical application. Have any been proposed? Is this just a proof of concept which will be further developed? To what end?

  2. Is this the same material that they tried to use as insulation in jackets on an Everest expedition and the climbers were over heating?

  3. Videos in this thread:

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    VIDEO|COMMENT
    -|-
    [The sound of aerogel](http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CqqYU7joTyw)|[+26](https://www.reddit.com/r/physicsgifs/comments/6ilmwq/_/dj7eh6c?context=10#dj7eh6c) – Here’s a video I made that I think helps you understand what this stuff is really like.
    [Hydrophobic Aerogel Makes Hands Waterproof](http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=12QJKET1Dq8)|[+7](https://www.reddit.com/r/physicsgifs/comments/6ilmwq/_/dj7ux3p?context=10#dj7ux3p) – That’s the crazy thing though. This stuff can be formulated to make it hydrophobic or hydrophilic and electrically conductive or insulative depending on the base material and manufacturing process. This guy rubs it on his hands and makes his hands w…
    [Aerogel Demonstration](http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kz95RnIG0NY)|[+6](https://www.reddit.com/r/physicsgifs/comments/6ilmwq/_/dj87vlb?context=10#dj87vlb) – I’ve personally used aerogel quite a bit as an insulation material during my PhD research. It can withstand incredible heat (bonus video). It’s thermal conductivity is approximately the same as stagnant air, making it about two or three times as good…
    [Space Shuttle Thermal Tile Demonstration](http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Pp9Yax8UNoM)|[+2](https://www.reddit.com/r/physicsgifs/comments/6ilmwq/_/dj8de1o?context=10#dj8de1o) – Are you thinking of the below video? This isn’t aerogel, it’s the thermal ties from the space shuttle. Equally impressive though.
    [ASMR ♥ Playing with Floral Foam Satisfying](http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OH3ImOGRftU)|[+1](https://www.reddit.com/r/physicsgifs/comments/6ilmwq/_/dj8nxxx?context=10#dj8nxxx) – I’ve heard it crumbles somewhat like green floral foam when crushed… is that true?
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  4. When I was in 3rd grade some people from Aerojet came to my class. Quite interesting even at that age. They brought some aerogel and I had several small pieces for many years. Really cool stuff

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