Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Scientist Find the Sorcerer's Stone: Turning Liquid Cement into Metal

Ancient Alchemist were in search of the great sorcerer's stone, today, using electron strapping, scientist have found a way to convert ordinary cement into metal. Not only are scientist able to convert liquid cement into liquid metal, but also take a non-electrically conductive material, and turn it into one that his highly conductive. This phenomenon of trapping electrons and turning liquid cement into liquid metal was recently discovered, but not fully understood until now. By knowing how this process takes places, scientist now know the conditions needed to create and trap electrons in materials, and by doing this, they are able to develop and test other materials to find out if we can make them conduct electricity using this method.

“This new material has lots of applications, including as thin-film resistors used in liquid-crystal displays, basically the flat panel computer monitor that you are probably reading this from at the moment,” said Chris Benmore, a physicist from the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE).
The results were reported May 27 in the journal the Proceeding of the National Academy of Sciences in the article "Network topology for the formation of solvated electrons in binary CaO-Al2O3 composition glasses."

“The team of scientists studied mayenite, a component of alumina cement made of calcium and aluminum oxides. They melted it at temperatures of 2,000 degrees Celsius using an aerodynamic levitator with carbon dioxide laser beam heating. The material was processed in different atmospheres to control the way that oxygen bonds in the resulting glass. The levitator keeps the hot liquid from touching any container surfaces and forming crystals. This let the liquid cool into glassy state that can trap electrons in the way needed for electronic conduction.”

Scientist discovered that if the conductivity was created when the free electrons were trapped in the cage-like structures that formed in the glass. Then the trapped electrons provided a mechanism for conductive conductivity similar to the mechanism that happens in meals.

FUTURE IMPLICATIONS:
The method could possibly one day be applied directly to 3D printers. Giving engineers the ability to print intricate electronic designs that could be used in everyday electronics. However, this scientific development not only applies on earth. But also in space – the compounds and elements that are found in cement can also be found on the moon.

By applying the same method that we use on earth, we could possibly build large enough 3D printers that use this process to help build and establish a moon colony. If this method could be perfected, by 2023 when we hope to send people to Mars to establish a permanent Mars colony, this method could be one of the biggest economical driving forces of expanding the mars colonies without requiring substantial financial support from earth.

Not only could this method be used in the development of space colonies, but also transforming readily available resources into precious metals and other rare resources. This method in the years to come could change the way that we view global resources and our ability to access them. Opening and door to global development, and hopefully world peace.


Source: http://www.anl.gov/articles/formula-turning-cement-metal