did you know that transparent aluminium is a thing that exists? it’s kind of amazing.

@zens That's /very/ cool. It looks exactly like glass but I wonder how it compares mechanically.

@jbauer it’s actually a plot point in Star Trek: Save The Whales. they need the transparent aluminium for the whale tank they’re building. scotty “invents” it 10 years early.

it’s very strong i understand. kind of a wonder material, with the very big drawback that it is difficult and energy intensive to make

@jbauer @zens I would very much like to death-test some of that for kicks and giggles.

@jbauer @zens Aluminium oxynitride and it's considered a "ceramic composite".

Good for certain spectrums it seems. [All things laser-y are fun.]

@zens Yeah, the instructions on how to manufacture it were given by starfleet some decades ago:

(Image from that article)

@fabianhjr I see I don't have to make that reply...

I am not disappointed ;)


@stephen if you have a few hundred grand burning a hole in your pocket, sure!

@zens I saw something similar over yt... maybe a little stupid to ask but does have similar property as aluminum. Looks cool though

@sunsetmoth it basically acts just like aluminum. just transparently

do you have a link to a paper or something which describes how this stuff is made?

@xj9 Only what I can google.

the way that it is made is that it is oxidised in a very precise way using specialised lab equipment. The oxygen atoms bond in a way that keeps the alumnium crystals the same, but effectively turning the material into a ceramic with… quite different optical properties that were discovered by accident.

@xj9 rereading the wikipedia article, the summary seems to be extremely high heat in a carefully controlled atmosphere, presumably according to a proprietary recipe.

oh ok, yeah i've seen this principle demonstrated with foil before. cool that they figured out how to retain the strength of the material and go fully transparent.

@xj9 @zens here's a summary that covers some basics, and should have some DOIs to feed to sci-hub

Looks like most of the research so far is motivated by armor and weapons applications (yuck)

@zens sure, Montgomery Scott invented it in a time paradox while traveling to save the whales.

@zens Hmmm... How would one test this?

By heating? Microwaving?

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