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Lightest Material On Earth Invented (VIDEO)

First Posted: 11/18/11 04:17 PM ET Updated: 11/18/11 04:20 PM ET

Scientists have concocted what they say is the lightest material on the planet.

The Los Angeles Times reports that the material, called "ultralight metallic microlattice," is 100 times lighter than styrofoam.

Scientists at UC Irvine, Caltech and HRL Laboratories published their findings in the Nov. 18 issue of Science

The BBC explains that the material is made of "tiny hollow metallic tubes arranged into a micro-lattice - a criss-crossing diagonal pattern with small open spaces between the tubes."

"The trick is to fabricate a lattice of interconnected hollow tubes with a wall thickness 1,000 times thinner than a human hair," lead author Dr Tobias Schaedler said in a release obtained by the BBC which says those lattices consist of 99.99% air and only 0.01% solids.

In their article, scientists suggest the new substance could be used in thermal insulation, batteries or sound proofing.

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Filed by Simon McCormack  |