Lightest Substance On Earth

Lightest Substance On EarthWhat is the lightest human-made substance on Earth? Care to guess its weight?

The answer lies in a lab in China. Scientists from Zhejiang University in Hangzhou, China have created a graphene aerogel that weighs a spritely 0.16 milligrams per cubic centimetre. Zero point one six milligrams.

Although still twice as dense as hydrogen, it’s the first ultra-light material to achieve a mass-to-volume ratio less than helium’s, 0.1786 mg/cm3. It’s super light, and super useful. It can absorb 900 times its own weight in oil (only oil, not water) at a rate of 68.8 grams per second, making it ideal to clean up oil spills, after which both the graphene and oil can be recycled (io9).

This stuff is brilliant. To read more about it, head on over to the original Nature paper (paywalled though), and see some more pictures over at the BBC.

When will we create a lighter substance? Onwards!

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One Response to Lightest Substance On Earth

  1. Pingback: Throwback Thursday #16 – Atoms | Richer Ramblings

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