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S.T.E.M. Store of Canada

Aerogel (NASA) (Lightest Known Solid to Exist)

Regular price $9.25

What is Aerogel?  Developed by NASA, Aerogel is the lightest solid known to exist!

Aerogel is silicon dioxide, the same material as ordinary glass; only it is 1,000 times less dense. A positively remarkable substance, it holds an incredible 15 entries in the Guinness Book of World Records, including best insulator and lowest density solid.

Aerogel was used by NASA in the 1999 Stardust mission, to collect comet & interstellar dust samples & return them to Earth. NASA also used Aerogel in the Pathfinder Rover to insulate its components from the harsh temperatures found on the surface of Mars.

    For a fun demonstration of Aerogel's incredible insulating properties, check out an amazing YouTube video made by one of our customers (below).

    Due to its extreme light weight, Aerogel is sold by volume and not weight.

    For a sense of how incredibly light Aerogel is, check out our photos that balance Aerogel in a plastic weigh boat with an average paper-clip (less than half a gram)*.

    Our granulated silica Aerogel (sourced from the U.S.) is available in quantities from 75 ml to 500ml. Particle size averages about 2 mm.

    Recommended for Age 14 & Up (with adult supervision)

    Note:  Due to its microstructure, Aerogel is a powerful desiccant, rapidly absorbing any moisture in your fingertips when held. This usually leaves some dry spots on the skin that disappear in a short time.

    * Per our Acculab VIC-303 digital scale balance, the paperclip shown weighs about 0.429 grams.

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