Transparent Aluminum Redux

http://www.wired.com/science/discoveries/news/2007/12/YE_10_breakthroughs
In the top ten breakthroughs listed by Wired magazine is this:
7. Engineers Create Transparent Material as Strong as Steel
Engineering researchers at the University of Michigan have created a material similar to “transparent aluminum,” the fantastic substance described by Scotty in Star Trek IV. In the Oct. 5 issue of Science, Nicholas Kotov showed that clay is good for far more than making bricks and expensive skincare products. The earthen material is made up of phenomenally strong nanometer-sized particles. When arranged neatly between thin layers of a sticky but weak plastic, the tiny bits of dirt act as the ultimate reinforcements — giving the ordinary material extraordinary strength. The sturdy composite could be used in lightweight armor or aircraft.
I first mentioned efforts in this direction a couple of years ago. and in fact based on that, changed one of the taglines of this blog to “Living in the Science Fiction Present.”
I maintain and stand by that statement. We *are* living in a Science Fiction Present.

One thought on “Transparent Aluminum Redux”

  1. Ok.. hate to burst your bubble…..
    Star Trek IV Came out in 1986.
    An earlier reference to this fictional material was made on an episode of Battlestar Galactica (original 1978 series), the episode was “The Hand of God”, aired April 29th, 1979. The reference was to the construction of the last of the ancient battlestar’s astro-navigational domes, Apollo points out to Sheba that the dome was made from transparent aluminum.
    When the story on Alon broke (2003?)the company said they had been working on the product for ” Almost 18 years” 2003 – 18 years is 1985
    And now the kicker. Harve Bennet ( Co writer of Start trek IV)has 4 childeren, his oldest son is a chemical/industrial engineer.
    I can’t link he son to the company that produces Alon but either way, have wasn’t makeing something up, more speculating on what will be from information available.

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