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Who would have thought transparent aluminum would ever be a reality? Star Trek has been the inspiration for many technological devices including hyposprays, which are used to give injections by high pressured air instead of needles and tricorders, which detect life signs and were used in the World Trade Center rubble to find survivors. Once again, the credit for another new invention goes to Star Trek when the crew of the Enterprise travels back through time to the latter half of the 20th century to bring back two humpback whales in an attempt to repopulate the species. To carry the whales into the 23rd century, a strong enough tank had to be constructed that could hold two whales and thousands of gallons of water. In order to do this, Scotty and the doctor had to introduce a new type of material into the 20th century, transparent aluminum.
According to the Star Trek Communicator magazine, this Star Trek invention became a reality earlier this year.
"There's one intriguing item on our treknology materials list that we don't have to just imagine anymore: transparent aluminum. ...The real discovery happened a little later and a little farther away than 1986 San Francisco, and there was neither Scotty nor a Dr. Nichols involved. In February of this year, researchers at the Fraunhofen Institute for Ceramic Technologies and Sintered Materials IKTS in Dresden, Germany, led by Dr. Andreas Krell, announced the creation of aluminum oxide (alumina). A ceramic composite that combines the pressure-resistant strength of aluminum with the transparency of glass."
What new invention will be next, warp drive? Or is that jumping too far into the future? One thing's for sure, with Star Trek as our inspiration, we will always be one step ahead of the technological game.
Give me your thoughts!