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Tsinghua University in China has a team of researchers that have created a liquid metal that can float on water.
The researchers are hopeful that the material can be used to construct very lightweight exoskeletons and shape-shifting “Terminator 2“-style robots, New Scientist reports.
The researchers created a mixture of the metals gallium and indium, which are soft, these metals have a melting point of just 15.7 Celsius (60.3 Fahrenheit). To make the metals float, they stirred microscopic beads of glass, filled with air, into the liquid to create more buoyancy.
In this process, the oxygen combined with the liquid metal were what helped the tiny beads stay suspended. according to Tsinghua University’s Jing Liu, lead author of a paper about the project published in the journal Advanced Functional Materials last month.
Shapeshifting Metal – Could it Be Similar To Element 115?
Despite this metal having extremely low density, the liquid metal material “still maintains excellent conformability, electric conductivity, and stiffness variety under temperature regulation” according to the paper.
One of the best parts about the material is that its hardy enough to be reused “eight times without evident loss in function” by folding it like origami or forcing it into a shape.
The researchers are hoping their futuristic material could be used “for making diverse advanced soft robotics and underwater devices in the near future,” the paper reads.
Could this water be something that is used on USO’s? Could it be closely related to the hard to grasp Element 115?