2B40.u2 - Show and Tell Aerogel
A show and tell of the lowest density solid available today.
A wolfvision is used to display the aerogel to the class.
DO NOT HANDLE THE AEROGEL
The aerogel will be on one of two platforms. First place the empty platform on the digital scale and tare it. Then place the platform with the aerogel onto the digital scale and see that nothing happens. This shows that the aerogel is so not dense that it isn't even heavy enough to trigger a normal scale for a reading.
Classic silica aerogel - Silica aerogel, composed of over 95% air, was used by NASA to help insulate the electronics on the Mars Exploration Rovers!
Silica aerogel is non-toxic and can be disposed of by adding water and burying.
DO NOT HANDLE THE PRODUCT!
**If aerogel begins to yellow, place aerogel in furnace (on aluminum foil) at ~600 degrees F for ~1 hour to bake out the water that has been absorbed by the material. The aerogel should return to its cloud like appearance.**