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Transparent aluminum is real! Just like 'Star Trek'

Transparent aluminum is real! Just like 'Star Trek'
Photo courtesy of Shutterstock

The fourth Star Trek movie, "The Voyage Home," gave us quite a few classic moments, but my favorite is when Scotty is trying to use a 1980s Apple computer by talking to it. "Hello, computer."

The reason he's using the computer is because he's typing up the formula for "transparent aluminum." This futuristic substance is what the Federation uses instead of glass in the 23rd century.

Like many things predicted in Star Trek, this one turns out to be real, more or less. The actual name for it is "spinel." It's been around for a while, but it had a major obstacle that just got solved.

Next page: How spinel could change everything
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