Scientists invent lightest material on Earth. What now?

Source:  Scientists invent lightest material on Earth. What now? – latimes.com.

This is a fascinating article about a new material. The picture at the right says it all. It sits peacefully on top of a fluffy dandelion.  And proudly it was invented by a U.S. institution at CalTech.  I just hope that some U.S. firm can manage to take this concept into a usable stage. It seems that many of these types of things have to leave the country lately in order to find practical applications.

Being a retired engineer my mind leaps to see all the practical uses.

  • What if the majority of the weight of our cars were the inhabitants instead of the vehicle itself? Couldn’t we make a vehicle that is so energy-efficient the we could rid ourselves of our deadly dependence on non-renewable resources.
  • The basic structure of this material is much like current-day insulation. What if we could make up our living habitats out of a material that is 99.99% air?
  • The article mentions that it has battery making potential. If we could make super lightweight batteries are electric cars not then a sure-thing?

The progress of technology has been an astounding thing during my life.  We have replaced thousands of square feet of computing power down into the size of less than a fingernail. We have increased our food production per acre to many times more than it was at my birth. This list could go on and on.