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The Future is going to be awesome!

April 4, 2008

Ok so I was browsing around the internet today I was on digg and found some articles that lit my imagination on fire. The first one was so popular that the first server crashed and it is hosted on a mirror set up to alleviate the “digg effect” that is common especially to WordPress.

The list is about futuristic materials and I have to say that three really catch my mind. I have to be up front and say that the excerpts below are straight up copies from the list so go and support those guys who wrote it originally if they can get their server back up.

Aerogel – holds 15 entries in the Guinness Book of Records, more than any other material. Sometimes called “frozen smoke”, aerogel is made by the supercritical drying of liquid gels of alumina, chromia, tin oxide, or carbon. It’s 99.8% empty space, which makes it look semi-transparent. Aerogel is a fantastic insulator — if you had a shield of aerogel, you could easily defend yourself from a flamethrower. It stops cold, it stops heat. You could build a warm dome on the Moon. Aerogels have unbelievable surface area in their internal fractal structures — cubes of aerogel just an inch on a side may have an internal surface area equivalent to a football field. Despite its low density, aerogel has been looked into as a component of military armor because of its insulating properties.

Transparent Alumina – Three times stronger than steel and transparent. The number of applications for this are huge. Imagine an entire skyscraper or arcology made largely of transparent steel. The skylines of the future could look more like a series of floating black dots (opaque private rooms) rather than the monoliths of today. A huge space station made of transparent alumina could cruise in low Earth orbit without being a creepy black dot when it passes overhead. And hey… transparent swords!

Bulk Diamonds – We’re starting to lay down thick layers of diamond in CVD machines, hinting towards a future of bulk diamond machinery. Diamond is an ideal construction material — it’s immensely strong, light, made out of the widely available element carbon, nearly complete thermal conductivity, and has among the highest melting and boiling points of all materials. By introducing trace impurities, you can make a diamond practically any color you want. Imagine a jet, with hundreds of thousands of moving parts made of fine-tuned diamond machinery. Such a craft would be more powerful than today’s best fighter planes in the way an F-22 is better than the Red Baron’s Fokker Dr.I.

Also there is an article here about a system to think speech into a computer. It is in its early stages of development and can only detect about 150 words right now but this could explain all of those aliens in scifi movies that can seem to communicate with each other by thinking it is really just a cell phone for your brain and an appropriate receiver in you ear…totally sick.

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