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Science and Technology "Somewhere, something incredible is waiting to be known." - Carl Sagan.

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Old July 16 2013, 04:52 PM   #1
Ensign_Redshirt
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Bill Gates invents transparent aluminium!

Well, probably not Gates in person, but his company...

http://www.techspot.com/news/53236-r...-aluminum.html
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Old July 16 2013, 05:03 PM   #2
sojourner
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Re: Bill Gates invents transparent aluminium!

Oh hey, a "transparent aluminum invented" announcement. Must be Tuesday.
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Old July 16 2013, 05:18 PM   #3
Pavonis
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Re: Bill Gates invents transparent aluminium!

Corundum is transparent aluminum compound, or aluminium if you're European.
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Old July 16 2013, 05:40 PM   #4
B.J.
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Re: Bill Gates invents transparent aluminium!

Ensign_Redshirt wrote: View Post
Bill Gates invents transparent aluminium!
Inaccurate. The article only said they were using "transparent aluminum" in the watch's construction. Someone else invented it.
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Old July 16 2013, 05:48 PM   #5
MacLeod
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Re: Bill Gates invents transparent aluminium!

Isn't the spelling Aluminium the preferred one by the IUPAC being regonised from 1990, it wasn't until 1993 or so that the alternate spelling was accepted.


http://www.iupac.org/fileadmin/user_...ble-1Jun12.pdf
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Old July 16 2013, 07:04 PM   #6
DarthTom
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Re: Bill Gates invents transparent aluminium!

MacLeod wrote: View Post
Isn't the spelling Aluminium the preferred one by the IUPAC being regonised from 1990, it wasn't until 1993 or so that the alternate spelling was accepted.


http://www.iupac.org/fileadmin/user_...ble-1Jun12.pdf
This mean we can store whales in giant storage tanks now for transport back to the future?
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Old July 16 2013, 07:45 PM   #7
Christopher
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Re: Bill Gates invents transparent aluminium!

Alumina-based glass has been around for ages, and every time someone develops a new application for it, someone in the media screams "Hey, they invented transparent aluminum!" But alumina (aluminum oxide) is not aluminum any more than water is hydrogen or salt is chlorine. It's rock, not metal. And it's not even remotely surprising for alumina (aka corundum, aka emery) to be transparent, because it's the stuff that rubies and sapphires are made of.

And what's bizarre is that one of these stories crops up every few months, and yet somehow people don't remember the multiple previous times this "invention" was "announced."
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Old July 16 2013, 08:09 PM   #8
DarthTom
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Re: Bill Gates invents transparent aluminium!

Christopher wrote: View Post
And what's bizarre is that one of these stories crops up every few months, and yet somehow people don't remember the multiple previous times this "invention" was "announced."
Is it an abundant precious stone? If not, I don't see how Microsoft can mass produce and sell these watches cost effectively to average consumers.
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Old July 16 2013, 09:07 PM   #9
Pavonis
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Re: Bill Gates invents transparent aluminium!

It's not precious, really. Alumina is just aluminum oxide, pretty common stuff. Rubies and emeralds are precious gems that have aluminum compounds in them, but they wouldn't be used in such an application.
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Old July 16 2013, 09:21 PM   #10
Christopher
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Re: Bill Gates invents transparent aluminium!

Like I said, alumina is also called emery. As in emery boards. It's the stuff we use to file our nails. It's a common but very hard substance, and that means that alumina-based glass and ceramics can be much stronger and more durable than silica-based glass and ceramics, which is why it's useful for things like vehicle armor and durable watch faces.
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Old July 16 2013, 09:31 PM   #11
Metryq
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Re: Bill Gates invents transparent aluminium!

Illegitimus non carborundum!
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Old July 17 2013, 02:53 PM   #12
DarthTom
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Re: Bill Gates invents transparent aluminium!

Christopher wrote: View Post
Like I said, alumina is also called emery. As in emery boards. It's the stuff we use to file our nails. It's a common but very hard substance, and that means that alumina-based glass and ceramics can be much stronger and more durable than silica-based glass and ceramics, which is why it's useful for things like vehicle armor and durable watch faces.
Apple is a cheap ass then for not using it on the original iPhone/ iPad. Just think of the number of people with cracked screens that this could have helped avoid if it is as common and old technology as you say.
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Old July 17 2013, 03:05 PM   #13
Christopher
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Re: Bill Gates invents transparent aluminium!

^You misunderstand. The basic material that this type of glass is made from is commonplace, but making it into useful glass with the desired properties still requires finding the right formula. Yes, it's stupid the way the media insists on calling it "transparent aluminum," but that doesn't mean there isn't some real cutting-edge materials science involved in the current research to develop alumina-based ceramics and glasses for new applications.

After all, regular glass is essentially made from sand, but that doesn't mean it's the same thing as sand. It takes skill and knowhow to transform the raw ingredients into the final product.
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Old July 18 2013, 12:28 AM   #14
Data's Cat
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Re: Bill Gates invents transparent aluminium!

DarthTom wrote: View Post
This mean we can store whales in giant storage tanks now for transport back to the future?
My thoughts exactly!
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Old July 18 2013, 12:47 AM   #15
Christopher
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Re: Bill Gates invents transparent aluminium!

Point of order:
NICHOLS: Transparent aluminum?
SCOTT: That's the ticket, laddie.
NICHOLS: It would take years just to figure out the dynamics of this matrix.
McCOY: Yes, but you'd be rich beyond the dreams of avarice.
SCOTT: So, is it worth something to you? Or should I just punch up "clear"?
The whale tank was not made of transparent aluminum, since Nichols would've needed years to figure out how to make it based on the formula. The formula was how Scotty paid for the Plexiglas that was actually used to make the whale tank.
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