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    Aerogels: The Materials Science of Empty Space. It looks like frozen smoke. And it’s the lightest solid material on the planet. Aerogel insulates space suits, makes tennis rackets stronger and could be used one day to clean up oil spills, (read more):

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    NASA scientist Peter Tsou, holding an aerogel cube

  • Francois Lotter

    Aerogels are non-toxic nanoporous materials that have the highest thermal insulation value, the lowest density, the highest specific surface area, the lowest refractive index, the lowest speed of sound and the lowest dielectric constant of any solid. Aerogels consist of a foam-like network of molecules that is 99.8% air. At just three times the density of air, aerogel is the lightest solid ever produced. When produced in a gravitational field, like on the surface of the earth, it has a slight bluish haze, hence the nickname "blue smoke." The slight haze is due to occasional larger pores which detract from its transparency. NASA scientists have produced aerogels in space with the StarDust mission in an attempt to make them transparent. Transparent aerogels, also having the lowest refractive index of any solid, would be nearly invisible in air. This would open up a whole host of new product opportunities, including one inch thick windows with an insulation value equivalent to 15 panes of air-separated glass!

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Aerogel or frozen smoke: The lightest solid material on the planet. [VIDEO] ~ Amazing World Online

Aerogel is a synthetic porous ultralight material derived from a gel, in which the liquid component of the gel has been replaced with a gas. The result is a solid with extremely low density and thermal conductivity. Nicknames include “frozen smoke”, “solid smoke”, “solid air” or “blue smoke” owing to its translucent nature and the way light scatters in the material; however, it feels like expanded polystyrene(styrofoam) to the touch. In fact, Aerogel is 99.8 percent empty space.

Aerogel, also known as frozen smoke, is one of the world's lightest solids but it is also very strong. Most gels have liquid but this one uses gas. It has many applications including use in batteries, robotic surgery and insulation.

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aerogel is basically "frozen smoke"... made up of 96% air! practically impossible to see or feel if you hold a small piece in your hand!

Aerogel, also know as frozen smoke, is the world’s lowest density solid, only three times denser than air. If you hold a small piece in your hand, it’s practically impossible to either see or feel, but if you poke it, it’s like styrofoam. It supports up to 4,000 times its own weight and can withstand a direct blast from two pounds of dynamite. It’s also the best insulator in existence.

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"Yup, that’s a brick. It’s sitting on Aerogel, “frozen smoke,” the world’s lowest-density solid. The stuff is 99.8% air but can support 2,000 times its own weight, and it holds 15 entries in the Guinness Book of Records. Most amazingly, it was first created in 1931 by Dr. Samuel Kistler."