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7 Man-Made Substances that Laugh in the Face of Physics

#4.
Elastic Conductors

Odds are pretty good that some of you are reading this on an LCD screen while the rest of us are trying to make it out on the 13-inch monochrome monitor that came with our garage sale Commodore 64. But even with the LCD, some laptops still weigh over 10-pounds. And while that doesn't seem like much, the level of muscle atrophy experienced by the average Warcraft addict makes that weight a thousand times heavier. However, elastic conductors could fix that and make smuggling your porn collection into church even easier.


Also, oooohhh.

Elastic conductors are made of "ionic liquid" mixed with carbon nanotubes. We shrugged when we read that too, but scientists are very excited about it because you can run a current through it and it will stretch to double its original length, and snap back into place as if nothing happened. The point being you can wind up with the roll out, paper thin computer pictured above.

What the Hell is it Used For?

In addition to making screens that can be rolled up and stuck in our back pocket, a lot of scientists and doctors want to use elastic conductors to make flexible-lensed cameras... to be fitted to the back of the eyeball.

Girlfriends the world over will actually start recording their boyfriend's every word and guys at urinals will become infinitely more paranoid if they catch another guy's eye. On the plus side, the market for hidden camera porn will probably experience an unprecedented explosion in content.

#3.
Non-Newtonian Fluids

A non-Newtonian liquid, in practical terms, is a liquid that turns solid when sufficient stress is applied. Like, say, the impact of feet:

They have the power to make dorks walk on water like Jesus (which is exceptionally cool for about the first 30 seconds of the video, and then sad for the remainder).

What the Hell is it Used For?

Our friends in the military want to use them for body armor. The idea is that the fluids will allow fabrics to be soft and supple, but harden on the impact of a bullet. It would be like wearing a Jell-O sweater that doubles as a bulletproof vest.

#2.
Transparent Alumina

You may remember from Star Trek IV that Scotty orders some transparent aluminum so that they can steal whales for the future (it made a lot more sense at the time). Anyway, in the movie the material baffled the present-day engineers he described it to, since it's a miracle substance from centuries in the future.

In reality, transparent alumina has been around for a while. Originally, it was just boring old sapphires and rubies (both are transparent aluminum crystals), but as we have seen, mankind is not happy to let nature have the last laugh and we are now able to make transparent alumina, which is a clear metal that is as strong as steel. Our dreams of building Wonder Woman's invisible jet have taken another glorious step toward reality.

What the Hell is it Used For?

The military (again) wants it for see-through armor, probably so that every time a soldier standing behind a clear wall gets shot at and flinches in life-flashing-before-the-eyes terror, his buddies are justified for punching him and calling "two for flinching."


Also, something with lasers.

Transparent alumina could usher in a new world where windows deflect bullets, or airplane windows don't shatter when they hit a goose at Mach 4. The downside being that if they make car windows out of it, people who don't wear their seat belts will no longer live the dream of being "thrown clear" of the accident, and more likely wind up as "that guy whose nose shot out his ass."

#1.
Carbon Nanotubes

These things are a miracle material that will someday power our homes, launch us into space, and make love to us whenever and wherever we want. That last one isn't planned yet, but it better be. Carbon nanotubes were the accidental leftovers of an arc-welder experiment, and they have nerds and scientists foaming at the mouth with their possible uses.

They are the strongest material ever found by mankind. Ever. Even stronger than Lou Ferrigno and he was the fucking Hulk, man. A hair-thick strand can bear the weight of an entire car, assuming it wouldn't cut straight through the chassis. Although that would possibly be even cooler than lifting a car with artificial hair.

There is the small, some might say major, issue that carbon nanotubes are only microns long, and pasting them together end to end has so far proven impossible. But physics can't hold back mankind, and recently a New Hampshire based company made a man-sized blanket out of nanotubes, showing that science will always say "Fuck you" to Mother Nature when she sets boundaries.

What the Hell is it Used For?

So far, they have managed to make super-small computer processors and low-resistance circuitry. In the future, all bets are off. Everything from tiny supercomputers to even tinier, super-efficient batteries, to more efficient solar panels to paper-thin materials that can stop a bullet, to freaking space elevators.

Sunglasses hinges that never break, toasters that get the toast right every time, TV remotes where the numbers don't wear off the buttons, ceiling fans that don't vibrate. Bags of chips that never get stuck in the vending machine. Carbon nanotubes will fucking solve it all.




Find more from David at Associated Content.

For more reasons to burn scientists at the stake, check out 6 Valuable (And Disgusting) Ways They're Reusing Human Waste and 9 Real Life Mad Scientists.

And stop by the Top Picks to see how we slap physics in the face (with our dicks).

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