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Author Topic: Can transparent metal be made?  (Read 32676 times)

Offline neilep

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Can transparent metal be made?
« on: 19/04/2005 12:28:57 »
Is there such a thing as transparent metal ? Is it a thing which industry and the scientific community strive for ?

I think it would be a pretty cool thing to have.
« Last Edit: 22/03/2015 22:27:01 by chris »


 

Offline daveshorts

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Re: Transparent metal ?
« Reply #1 on: 19/04/2005 12:47:30 »
I don't think any of the elemental metals are transparent or that any of their alloys are.

They do use something called Indium tin Oxide as contacts for LCD screens etc, as it is transparent and quite conductive ( a trillion tme worse than copper, but not bad all the same).

 I am sure that people are looking for better transparent conductors as although it doesn't matter much for screens where there isn't much current flowing, when you start building Solar cells which produce lots of current the losses must build up.
 

Offline gsmollin

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Re: Transparent metal ?
« Reply #2 on: 19/04/2005 12:47:40 »
Glass comes close. It's a transparent metal oxide, mostly silicon dioxide, but has boron and other metallic oxides in it.

In their pure metallic phase, I doubt that a transparent metal can be made. Metals have conduction band electrons available, and will react with almost any wavelength of electromagnetic energy, from DC to gamma.
 

Offline neilep

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Re: Transparent metal ?
« Reply #3 on: 19/04/2005 13:35:38 »
Thank you for your answers. I can imagine if ever transparent metal was realised it would have many potential uses.....errhmm !!!..can't think of any right now, but it could make flying a whole new experience.

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Offline DrPhil

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Re: Transparent metal ?
« Reply #4 on: 19/04/2005 15:17:18 »
It's a well known fact that Scotty gave the formula for transparent aluminum to Plexicorp way back in the 20th century. However, there's a huge glass manufacturer/government conspiracy in effect to prevent its development and use.
 

Offline neilep

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Re: Transparent metal ?
« Reply #5 on: 19/04/2005 15:19:43 »
Yes, yes..you're right there Phil....he did didn't he ?...good old Scotty......

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Offline chris

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Re: Transparent metal ?
« Reply #6 on: 19/04/2005 15:53:08 »
What worries me more about that story is that even in 400 years time (when Star Trek is taking place) the Americans still haven't learned how to spell ALUMINIUM !!

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Offline DrPhil

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Re: Transparent metal ?
« Reply #7 on: 19/04/2005 17:05:10 »
What worries me is the false belief  that "aluminium" was the original spelling. It was "aluminum" before somebody went and added the extra i. Check your CRC Handbook of Chemistry and Physics 53rd ed., p. B-5
 

Offline chris

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Re: Transparent metal ?
« Reply #8 on: 19/04/2005 17:28:12 »
...or COLOUR, FAVOUR, FAVOURITE, METER, CENTIMETER, LITER, NEIGHBOUR, or even HUMOUR...and judging by their president, the latter example's a necessity. Then again, at least his wife doesn't look like the wicked witch of the east. Cherie Blair has to be the most minging creature on the earth.

Richard Littlejohn in his Sun column has made a point of reminding readers, on a daily basis, how she took over 100,000 pounds from a children's cancer charity in 'speaking fees'. Amazing what some people will pay for crap these days - at those rates, what goes down my toilet could have more value than gold. It's certainly more interesting than Mrs. Blair.

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Offline neilep

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Re: Transparent metal ?
« Reply #9 on: 19/04/2005 17:31:39 »
quote:
Originally posted by chris

What worries me more about that story is that even in 400 years time (when Star Trek is taking place) the Americans still haven't learned how to spell ALUMINIUM !!

"I never forget a face, but in your case I'll make an exception"
 - Groucho Marx



....and how to pronounce it too !!

Men are the same as women.... just inside out !!
 

Offline chimera

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Re: Transparent metal ?
« Reply #10 on: 20/04/2005 02:12:42 »
I thought the original spelling was bauxite. :)

Anyway, Napoleon had a huge set of cutlery made of it, pots and pans and all, worth millions at the time, since it was so rare.

But, as gsmollin rightly observed, metal has some properties that probably make it impossible to have it transparent and still be a metal proper.

Maybe it would be possible to make a mixture of glasslike substances and metal oxides to produce a hybrid 'glasteel'?
 

Offline gsmollin

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Re: Transparent metal ?
« Reply #11 on: 20/04/2005 02:14:14 »
Well, even though the metal was found in "alum" and there was that "ium" ending for all those metals, they didn't name it "alumium" for some reason either. Its good that the Americans had the sense to choose a name that wasn't a jawbreaker.
 

Offline Quantum cat

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Re: Transparent metal ?
« Reply #12 on: 20/04/2005 03:37:40 »
We were taught that metals were always opaque and translucent (not sure if that's the right word) because of their free electrons and the way they reacted with incoming light, when we were learning about different bonds in chemistry.
 

Offline ADD HAHAHA

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Re: Transparent metal ?
« Reply #13 on: 20/04/2005 03:42:17 »
put a hole in a metal sheet and you'll have what you are looking for :D
 

Offline DrPhil

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Re: Transparent metal ?
« Reply #14 on: 20/04/2005 13:53:47 »
quote:
Originally posted by gsmollin

Well, even though the metal was found in "alum" and there was that "ium" ending for all those metals, they didn't name it "alumium" for some reason either. Its good that the Americans had the sense to choose a name that wasn't a jawbreaker.

It was Sir Humphry Davy, an Englishman, who named the element "aluminum". The "ium" ending was adopted later.
 

Offline gsmollin

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Re: Transparent metal ?
« Reply #15 on: 20/04/2005 15:41:27 »
The ancient Greeks and Romans used alum in medicine as an astringent, and as a mordant in dyeing. In 1761 de Morveau proposed the name alumine for the base in alum, and Lavoisier, 1n 1787, thought this to be the oxide of an undiscovered metal. Wohler is generally credited with isolating the metal in 1827, although an impure form was prepared by Oersted 2 years earlier. In 1807 Davy proposed the name alumium for the metal, and later agreed to change it to aluminum. Shortly thereafter, the name aluminium was adopted to conform with the "ium" ending of most elements, and this spelling is now in use in most parts of the world. Aluminium was also the accepted spelling in the United States until 1925, at which time the American Chemical Society officially decided to use the name aluminum thereafter in their publications.

Handbook of Chemistry and Physics 57th ed.
« Last Edit: 20/04/2005 15:46:18 by gsmollin »
 

Offline chris

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Re: Transparent metal ?
« Reply #16 on: 20/04/2005 18:11:04 »
As I thought, our US colleagues did change it ;)

Typical. They'll be spelling sulphur with an F next.

I wish I was an American - then, when I came across something really exciting I could exclaim how much 'epinephrine' the situation was causing my adrenal glands to secrete :D

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Offline DrPhil

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Re: Transparent metal ?
« Reply #17 on: 20/04/2005 19:27:53 »
The ACS just wanted to honor Sir Davy by using the word he coined... Aluminum. :D

To paraphrase another Englishman, Bill Shakespeare, "a rose by any other name..."
He obviously never visited the US.
 

Offline Corbeille

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Re: Transparent metal ?
« Reply #18 on: 20/04/2005 21:03:55 »
Is "The Sun " a scientific journal?, its a good name for one.
Is Richard Littlejohn an erudite professor?

Is it read by very clever people?





 Nah pop no style, a strictly roots!
 

Offline chris

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Re: Transparent metal ?
« Reply #19 on: 21/04/2005 08:50:56 »
No No Yes

"I never forget a face, but in your case I'll make an exception"
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Offline gsmollin

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Re: Transparent metal ?
« Reply #20 on: 21/04/2005 19:26:52 »
quote:
Originally posted by DrPhil

The ACS just wanted to honor Sir Davy by using the word he coined... Aluminum. :D

To paraphrase another Englishman, Bill Shakespeare, "a rose by any other name..."
He obviously never visited the US.



If that were true, then according to the short story in the CRC handbook, we would be calling it alumium. It is peculiar that the story goes "...he later agreed to change it to aluminum." It begs the question, who did he agree with? I'm guessing it was his graduate assistant, who gets no credit, of course. So the metal aluminum is named in honor of all graduate assistants who got no credit for their contributions to science. [8D]
 

Offline Corbeille

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Re: Transparent metal ?
« Reply #21 on: 21/04/2005 21:20:50 »
Righty-ho old sprout!

I'm going to tell everybody that I am a "sun-reader" and soak up their admiration. They'll know that its full of balanced opinion and long words (is the crossword very difficult?) and is a bastion of liberal thought.

Hooray for England and saint George!

Gawd bless yer queen mother!

 Land of hope and glory - dum de dum de dum,
England thingy dum dum,
and Camilla too....

 Churchill and Diana,
We love Tony Blair,
He's your greatest war leader,
since that John majerrrrrrr.


can I come and live there?  I'm not an asylum seeker - honest!






 Nah pop no style, a strictly roots!
 

Offline DrPhil

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Re: Transparent metal ?
« Reply #22 on: 21/04/2005 22:33:47 »
quote:
Originally posted by gsmollin

...he later agreed to change it to aluminum." It begs the question, who did he agree with? I'm guessing it was his graduate assistant...
A footnote in my 1st edition CRC refers to an exchange student from Alabama named Al UmLmUm, et al. :)
 

Offline Quantumcat

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Re: Transparent metal ?
« Reply #23 on: 26/04/2005 06:30:16 »
quote:
Originally posted by chris

...or COLOUR, FAVOUR, FAVOURITE, METER, CENTIMETER, LITER, NEIGHBOUR, or even HUMOUR...and judging by their president, the latter example's a necessity. Then again, at least his wife doesn't look like the wicked witch of the east. Cherie Blair has to be the most minging creature on the earth.

Richard Littlejohn in his Sun column has made a point of reminding readers, on a daily basis, how she took over 100,000 pounds from a children's cancer charity in 'speaking fees'. Amazing what some people will pay for crap these days - at those rates, what goes down my toilet could have more value than gold. It's certainly more interesting than Mrs. Blair.

"I never forget a face, but in your case I'll make an exception"
 - Groucho Marx



I believe that brits and aussies spell them, MTRE, LITRE and CENTIMETRE, but it's quite possible that I';m wrong!
 

Offline moses lawn

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Re: Transparent metal ?
« Reply #24 on: 04/05/2005 07:42:57 »
Isn't gold leaf transparent?  Probably because it's beaten so very thin.
 

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Re: Transparent metal ?
« Reply #24 on: 04/05/2005 07:42:57 »

 

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