When it comes to supermaterials, spider silk has got it goin' on. It's got the tensile strength of steel and can stretch nearly twice its length without breaking, putting manmade materials like Kevlar to shame. So why aren't we making stuff out of it? Because creating artificial spider silk in useful quantities has proven exceedingly difficult — but we're getting really close.
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One of the lightest solid materials in the world, aerogels are gels where the liquid has been replaced with gas. They’re great for insulation because the air doesn’t transfer heat very well, and they’re almost transparent, so they could be good for insulating windows. 00:42
In 2015, scientists designed an 80-nanometer-thin material that uses tiny gold antennas to counteract light reflecting off of any objects it wraps around, hiding the fact that either the material or the object is even there. 01:37
Self-healing concrete contains limestone-creating bacteria that can repair any cracks that form. The bacteria can live for up to 200 years. 07:17
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