Aerogel is one of the most impressive materials humans have created...so far.
This vial contains 25mL (approximately 1 heaping handful) of silica aerogel particles—the world's lightest known solid material. Commonly called "frozen smoke", it is safe to touch, hydrophobic (repels water), and an outstanding insulator. This is one of our most popular items and essential for any science enthusiast's collection.
Aerogels are a group of materials in which the liquid portion of a gel has been replaced with a gas. It was first created as a result of a bet.
Being the lightest solid material known, aerogels are up to 99.8% air. Its also has the lowest thermal conductivity of any know solid which means it makes a great insulator.
Due to its high porosity, NASA has even used aerogel to collect interstellar dust particles in outer space.
Aerogel is a synthetic porous ultralight material derived from a gel, in which the liquid component for the gel has been replaced with a gas. The result is a solid with extremely low density and extremely low thermal conductivity. Nicknames include frozen smoke, solid smoke, solid air, solid cloud, blue smoke owing to its translucent nature and the way light scatters in the material. Silica aerogels feel like fragile expanded polystyrene to the touch, while some polymer-based aerogels feel like rigid foams. Aerogels can be made from a variety of chemical compounds.
Aerogel was first created by Samuel Stephens Kistler in 1931, as a result of a bet with Charles Learned over who could replace the liquid in "jellies" with gas without causing shrinkage. Aerogels are produced by extracting the liquid component of a gel through supercritical drying. This allows the liquid to be slowly dried off without causing the solid matrix in the gel to collapse from capillary action, as would happen with conventional evaporation. The first aerogels were produced from silica gels. Kistler's later work involved aerogels based on alumina, chromia and tin dioxide. Carbon aerogels were first developed in the late 1980s. Aerogel is not a single material with a set chemical formula; instead, the term is used to group all materials with a certain geometric structure.
Larger container of material than I was expecting! The Stemcell Science Shop never disappoints. Everything is packed carefully, comes as described, and is sent out promptly.
Everything was received wrapped expertly and tidy.