DNI faculty, Prof. Yury Gogotsi, is featured on website GIZMODO discussing the fictional material Vibranium, as featured in the recent popular Marvel Black Panther Movie.
Prof. Gogotsi states: “We can say that with a high probability no natural material can have those properties. As we know that all the same elements exist in the universe as on our planet earth, no mineral of pure metal is expected to have properties of Vibranium. Some of the properties of vibranium can be achieved, though not at the same scale, by design of material structure and architecture using advanced nanomaterials. Piezoelectric materials transform mechanical pressure and vibrations into voltage. Charge produced by piezoelectric materials can be stored and used. Kids running around in sneakers that lighten up with every step demonstrate this principle. Light advanced ceramic materials, such as boron carbide and silicon carbide, are used as armor in bullet-proof vests. They protect due to their extreme hardness—they are harder than any metal.
Material architectures capable of absorbing blast energy are being developed and can, potentially, protect a person jumping from a high altitude (but, again, this will be a 20-feet rather than a 20-story jump).”
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