What is the most interesting material you can think of?

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Offline The science enthusiast

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What is the most interesting material you can think of? Has to have a known use on earth

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Offline Royboy

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What is the most interesting material you can think of?
« Reply #1 on: 26/10/2011 20:36:14 »
Dark matter is certainly interesting. Is it matter or is it gravitational leakage from another dimension?

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Offline Royboy

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What is the most interesting material you can think of?
« Reply #2 on: 26/10/2011 20:37:08 »
Oops I guess I should read the entire question. Silly putty then.

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Offline Bored chemist

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What is the most interesting material you can think of?
« Reply #3 on: 26/10/2011 21:57:06 »
Water gets my vote.
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Offline CliffordK

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What is the most interesting material you can think of?
« Reply #4 on: 26/10/2011 22:10:45 »
I think I'll stick to the organics...
Skin, Hide, and Leather to name a few...
But not Pleather  [xx(]

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Offline Geezer

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What is the most interesting material you can think of?
« Reply #5 on: 26/10/2011 23:39:51 »
Flubber. We know how to use it; we just don't know how to get it.
There ain'ta no sanity clause, and there ain'ta no centrifugal force ćther.

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Offline neilep

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What is the most interesting material you can think of?
« Reply #6 on: 26/10/2011 23:52:10 »
Anything wifey cooks is pretty interesting for study !
Men are the same as women, just inside out !

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Offline Kryptid

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What is the most interesting material you can think of?
« Reply #7 on: 27/10/2011 03:34:20 »
As Bored Chemist said, water is a very good candidate. Its liquid form is more dense than its (standard) solid form, which we all know is unusual. It has a very high heat capacity. It's a very good solvent and medium for chemical reactions. It has extensive hydrogen bonding which gives it a much higher melting point than many other compounds of similar molecular weight. All known life requires it for existence. I believe it's the most common compound in the Universe as well.

I would also posit helium as a candidate; the second most abundant element in the universe, and is the one with the lowest melting and freezing points (it's the only substance that can't be frozen by lowering the temperature alone; you have to increase the pressure above standard too), potentially the least reactive of all elements, able to enter a frictionless superfluid phase (as far as I know, it's the only element known to do so), and helium-4 is also unusually stable.
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Offline imatfaal

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Offline JP

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What is the most interesting material you can think of?
« Reply #9 on: 27/10/2011 19:00:15 »
Superfluid helium or superconductors, though water is probably the most interesting material we encounter on a regular basis.

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Offline grizelda

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What is the most interesting material you can think of?
« Reply #10 on: 27/10/2011 22:43:15 »
Neurotransmitters. Mmmmmmm - Dopamine.

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Offline Geezer

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What is the most interesting material you can think of?
« Reply #11 on: 28/10/2011 01:12:07 »
I'd think carbon and its many compounds would be pretty hard to beat, which means Sheepy's wifey is probably on the right track.
There ain'ta no sanity clause, and there ain'ta no centrifugal force ćther.

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Offline CliffordK

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What is the most interesting material you can think of?
« Reply #12 on: 28/10/2011 02:43:13 »
I'd think carbon and its many compounds would be pretty hard to beat, which means Sheepy's wifey is probably on the right track.
Then, what about Hydrogen and its many compounds.
Without it, we wouldn't be here!!!

Or Oxygen, for that matter.

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Offline Geezer

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What is the most interesting material you can think of?
« Reply #13 on: 28/10/2011 04:58:18 »
I'd think carbon and its many compounds would be pretty hard to beat, which means Sheepy's wifey is probably on the right track.
Then, what about Hydrogen and its many compounds.
Without it, we wouldn't be here!!!

Or Oxygen, for that matter.

Oh, I don't know. You'd look pretty silly if all your carbon was removed.
« Last Edit: 28/10/2011 16:29:15 by Geezer »
There ain'ta no sanity clause, and there ain'ta no centrifugal force ćther.

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Offline Mazurka

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What is the most interesting material you can think of?
« Reply #14 on: 28/10/2011 12:04:12 »
Chrysoberyl.

It is formed in an interesting way,
It has interesting varieties - particularly Alexandrite and Cymophane,
These varieties display various interesting optical effects including trichroism and chatoyancy.

and it falls into that group of substances that in Mrs Mazurka's "classification of all things" is "shiny" thus highly desireable...

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Offline CliffordK

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What is the most interesting material you can think of?
« Reply #15 on: 28/10/2011 19:58:50 »
I'd think carbon and its many compounds would be pretty hard to beat, which means Sheepy's wifey is probably on the right track.
Then, what about Hydrogen and its many compounds.
Without it, we wouldn't be here!!!

Or Oxygen, for that matter.
Oh, I don't know. You'd look pretty silly if all your carbon was removed.
True,
Whereas if you removed all of your hydrogen and oxygen, you'd be left with a whopping big diamond!!!

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Offline ahmadbhai14

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What is the most interesting material you can think of?
« Reply #16 on: 28/10/2011 21:04:22 »
Nope.  Sorry, spam isn't very interesting. -mod
« Last Edit: 28/10/2011 22:33:35 by JP »

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Offline Bored chemist

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What is the most interesting material you can think of?
« Reply #17 on: 29/10/2011 00:29:39 »
I'd think carbon and its many compounds would be pretty hard to beat, which means Sheepy's wifey is probably on the right track.
Then, what about Hydrogen and its many compounds.
Without it, we wouldn't be here!!!

Or Oxygen, for that matter.
Oh, I don't know. You'd look pretty silly if all your carbon was removed.
True,
Whereas if you removed all of your hydrogen and oxygen, you'd be left with a whopping big diamond!!!

Or a pile of soot.
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Offline Bored chemist

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What is the most interesting material you can think of?
« Reply #18 on: 30/10/2011 19:39:51 »
Well, that's everything or nothing depending on what wavelengths you happen to be able to see.
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Offline CliffordK

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What is the most interesting material you can think of?
« Reply #19 on: 31/10/2011 02:52:34 »
As a closet Trekkie.....
There is always the somewhat ill-defined transparent aluminum.

Which could be:
Synthetic Sapphire (Al2O3)
Aluminium oxynitride (AlON)
Spinel (MgAl2O4)
or
Aluminium oxynitride spinel (Al23O27N5)

These aluminum compounds are finding their way into high temperature, or scratch resistant transparent windows, and even into lightweight bullet-proof windows.

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Offline diverjohn

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What is the most interesting material you can think of?
« Reply #20 on: 31/10/2011 06:31:19 »
I like water, but in ice form. More specifically, one of the ices produced under high pressure and low temperatures, such as ice VIII or ice X, where the crystalline structure is compressed into a lattice different from the regular ice I we see daily.
 

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Offline Royboy

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What is the most interesting material you can think of?
« Reply #21 on: 31/10/2011 12:36:03 »
Water is indeed a good bet. It has a huge coefficient of expansion which is why steam heating works so well and why, although it holds a huge amount of latent heat, it doesn't cut it as a mechanical refrigerant.

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Offline CZARCAR

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What is the most interesting material you can think of?
« Reply #22 on: 31/10/2011 22:16:43 »
sperm

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Offline cheryl j

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What is the most interesting material you can think of?
« Reply #23 on: 01/11/2011 15:47:55 »
I'd say water, too, especially since its such a tiny molecule and has so amny weird properties. If ice didntfloat, lakes would freeze from the bottom up and we wouldnt be here.

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Offline CliffordK

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What is the most interesting material you can think of?
« Reply #24 on: 01/11/2011 18:38:00 »
One of the not so talked about aspects of water is that it has a very light molecular weight.

H2O: 16+1+1 = 18.

Oxygen and Nitrogen both form dimers (also important for life to flourish on the continents).

O2: 16+16 = 32
N2: 14+14 = 28

What that means is that gaseous water is actually lighter than air.

This causes water to tend to rise when it evaporates. 

However, when it gets cold, it gets very "sticky", and falls back to earth in the all too familiar RAIN.  Without which life on the continents would be very boring.

(oops, see I had used the atomic numbers, rather than the atomic mass.  fixed).
« Last Edit: 29/02/2012 02:45:57 by CliffordK »

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Offline wolfekeeper

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Re: What is the most interesting material you can think of?
« Reply #25 on: 29/02/2012 00:33:45 »
DNA!

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Offline Nizzle

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Re: What is the most interesting material you can think of?
« Reply #26 on: 29/02/2012 11:37:45 »
Antihydrogen as a gateway to the next generation of rocket propellant and perhaps the fuel that allows us to conquer at least our own solar system
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Offline Don_1

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Re: What is the most interesting material you can think of?
« Reply #27 on: 29/02/2012 11:47:27 »
Chocolate bunnies.
If brains were made of dynamite, I wouldn't have enough to blow my nose.

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Offline peppercorn

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Re: What is the most interesting material you can think of?
« Reply #28 on: 29/02/2012 16:35:43 »
Antihydrogen as a gateway to the next generation of rocket propellant and perhaps the fuel that allows us to conquer at least our own solar system

How about the Bussard Ramscoop? When's that arriving?

I'm just waiting for the antihydrogen economy to kick in!  .....
It probably will arrive sooner than the hydrogen economy anyway [::)]

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Offline Geezer

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Re: What is the most interesting material you can think of?
« Reply #29 on: 29/02/2012 23:37:31 »

It probably will arrive sooner than the hydrogen economy anyway


We already have a hydrogen economy. All we need to do now is get rid of the carbon bit.
There ain'ta no sanity clause, and there ain'ta no centrifugal force ćther.

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Offline damocles

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Re: What is the most interesting material you can think of?
« Reply #30 on: 01/03/2012 11:30:53 »

It probably will arrive sooner than the hydrogen economy anyway


We already have a hydrogen economy. All we need to do now is get rid of the carbon bit.

... and the oil companies are waiting there, knowing that they can produce the carbon-free hydrogen cheaper and in larger quantity than anyone else! Of course there is a small side-effect of 6 gram of CO2 per gram of hydrogen produced, but hey -- at least 10 gram of CO2 is produced in an electrolysis process. This even applies to nuclear generation of electricity if you calculate the CO2 emissions on a dawn-to-dust basis
1 4 6 4 1
4 4 9 4 4     
a perfect perfect square square
6 9 6 9 6
4 4 9 4 4
1 4 6 4 1

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Offline damocles

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Re: What is the most interesting material you can think of?
« Reply #31 on: 01/03/2012 12:31:21 »
In 1994 I attended a day-long symposium at University College London to celebrate the centenary of the discovery of argon in those laboratories by William Ramsay. One of the speakers there was talking about noble gas chemistry. He showed some beautiful slides of noble gas compounds, including one of beautiful white/transparent crystals inside a sealed flask that was sitting on the ground.

These crystals were, he claimed, one of the oxides of xenon. Apparently you seal a mixture of xenon and oxygen into a quartz flask (it must be ultraviolet transparent) and put it in the middle of a cricket field on a (British standard) very sunny day. You wait an hour or two, examine and photograph the crystals that form, and then step a long way back and throw stones at the flask until you break it with a mighty explosion. Apparently this is the safest means of disposal of the product (I do not remember anything about a procedure for collecting shattered quartz afterwards). This was, of course, 18 years ago, and I may not remember some of the details. But I think I have the story pretty right.

I am fascinated by the noble gas compounds -- particularly by the fact that some of them are very easy to make (given some rather unpleasant starting materials), but they were completely overlooked for nearly a century because every professor and schoolmaster and textbook said that the noble gases simply did not form compounds.

They have a fairly modest claim, but they get my vote as "the most interesting materials".
« Last Edit: 01/03/2012 12:33:22 by damocles »
1 4 6 4 1
4 4 9 4 4     
a perfect perfect square square
6 9 6 9 6
4 4 9 4 4
1 4 6 4 1

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Offline peppercorn

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Re: What is the most interesting material you can think of?
« Reply #32 on: 01/03/2012 14:16:53 »
... and the oil companies are waiting there, knowing that they can produce the carbon-free hydrogen cheaper and in larger quantity than anyone else! Of course there is a small side-effect of 6 gram of CO2 per gram of hydrogen produced, but hey -- at least 10 gram of CO2 is produced in an electrolysis process. This even applies to nuclear generation of electricity if you calculate the CO2 emissions on a dawn-to-dust basis
Do you mean to say that I might have been the tiniest bit naive to think the petro giants were simply doing their best to save the planet?  And there was me thinking how pleasantly altruistic it was for them to devise the perfect stepping-stone technology!

....
Sorry OP. Very off-topic now [:-X]
uhum,

....
Most interesting material would have to be:
Soylent Green
[xx(]

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Offline CZARCAR

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Re: What is the most interesting material you can think of?
« Reply #33 on: 01/03/2012 16:28:13 »
teflon?

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Offline Geezer

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Re: What is the most interesting material you can think of?
« Reply #34 on: 01/03/2012 21:06:59 »
teflon?

I have a teflon suit if anyone is looking for one. No use for it since I retired.
There ain'ta no sanity clause, and there ain'ta no centrifugal force ćther.

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Offline CliffordK

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Re: What is the most interesting material you can think of?
« Reply #35 on: 02/03/2012 00:26:24 »
teflon?
I have a teflon suit if anyone is looking for one. No use for it since I retired.
Now, what do you use that for?  I could imagine using teflon coveralls around the shop.  Perhaps I would have a chance of keeping them clean!!

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Offline Geezer

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Re: What is the most interesting material you can think of?
« Reply #36 on: 02/03/2012 02:50:22 »

Now, what do you use that for?


My job title was "Senior Vice President of Engineering". Our customers were little outfits like IBM, HP, EMC, Hitachi, Bull, etc etc.

I might as well have had a dartboard tattooed on my forehead.

There ain'ta no sanity clause, and there ain'ta no centrifugal force ćther.

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Offline CZARCAR

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Re: What is the most interesting material you can think of?
« Reply #37 on: 02/03/2012 13:40:59 »
SAW TV WHERE POST TEFLON INVENTATION a scientist tried stretching it by slow stretch & it kept ripping. Frustrated, scientist yanked it with fast pull & it stretched! Whats that about?