Category Archives: Material Sciences

Glass, Strong as Steel & Iron

The U.S. Military patented a very expensive form of transparent aluminum back in 1980. In 1986 in Star Trek IV The Voyage Home, Scotty the ship’s Engineer shared a method of creating Transparent Aluminum with  a company dealing with polymers. Here is that video clip:

Since then, there have been several varieties of a Transparent Aluminum and this is one of the most popular demonstrations that circulated the Internet:

Transparent Aluminum
Transparent Aluminum

A research team at the University of Tokyo’s Institute of Industrial Science has created a totally transparent glass, which is as strong as steel! It is much more advanced than what you see in the picture above.

Aluminum is already added to some glass to increase the strength, but the more they add, the more crystallized the glass looks. The breakthrough is that up to 50% aluminum can now be added and the glass is perfectly clear – and is as strong as steel and iron.

Go here for the story by Nature:

Here is a paper on this project by the University (in Japanese):

Longitudinal Light Wave?

An interesting new development allows light to be directed in a unique way.

Using a gold-plated silicon array, light can be made to move at 90 degrees from where it came from and the strange thing is that the light moves in a STRAIGHT LINE instead of in a sinusoidal pattern. That prevents interference between two different phases of light.

This is not a claim that the light is transmitting in some sort of longitudinal way, but it sure sounds like it – especially when it was reported that there was no time delay between the transmission of light from one point to the other. Longitudinal transmission would mean that energy is not lost at 90 degrees from the direction that the light is moving as opposed to a transverse “sinusoidal pattern”.

Another interesting thing is that the original article posted by PBS did state that the light was transmitted instantaneously to the other side instantaneously. Shortly thereafter, they were asked to correct the article so that the laws of physics were not violated.

A previous version of this article mistakenly reported that light hitting the chip was transmitted to the other side instantaneously. That would violate the laws of physics, of course. We regret the error.

Go here for the full article:


Iron-Gallium Magnetoelastic Energy Source

20 years ago, the Navy created a magnetoelastic material that produced efficient electricity. When this material, Galfenol, is physically impacted, it produces a magnetic fields.

Galfenol can produce up to 80 megawatts of power per cubic meter under strong impacts! Not only does this material produce a magnetic field when hit, a magnetic field applied to the material will cause it to change shape – so it works both ways – and at a 70% conversion efficiency.

One of the first things that comes to mind is to possibly use the Galfenol in conjunction with Nitinol – the metal that changes shape with heat. Our Energy Times newsletter has an entire article on Nitinol with some recommended links.

Maybe we have the materials necessary for a perpetual motion machine? Perhaps Galfenol can create electricity that heats a resistor that causes the Nitinol to bend. That bending could in turn impact the Galfenol to create the magnetic field. At that point, the Nitinol cools and goes back to the original shape. The magnetic field can cause electricity to produce heat to warm the Nitinol causing it to bend and repeat the process.

This is obviously not a completely serious suggestion but is food for thought since it seems all the necessary attributes to do something like this is sitting right there in these materials.

You can read the whole article here on the Iron-Gallium material: