Transparent Aluminum?

Anyone seen any recent news pieces on missing whales or UFOs over San Francisco?


On the way to work today, a little guy with a funny accent asked me where the “nuclear wessels” were kept. Man, was he lost.

Looks like the same stuff NASA developed a year ago.


Sorry, alumina is not aluminum. The former is a rock; the latter is a metal. The former contains aluminum in an oxidized state; the latter is the elemental form of aluminum with few impurities. The former is a glass; the latter is crystalline or polycrystalline. The former is an insulator, with a very large gap between valence and conduction bands; the latter is a metal with no gap between valence and conduction bands.

Transparent alumina is not what Montgomery Scott revealed the formula to; it was transparent aluminum.

Even the editors of slashdot fell victim to this error of ignorance. :eek:

But this is The Straight Dope. :cool: :smiley:

Even if it is the Mundane part…

Admiral. There be whales here!

Hello? computer?

Just use the keyboard.

Hnh. How quaint.

Hey, now, people who live in fully crystallized alumina-rare earth oxide ceramic houses shouldn’t throw stones!

Not now Madeleine!
Out of sequence, I know, but no one can see me randomly pecking at keys and running through molecular formulas…

Technically, alumina is a mineral. Rock has a less exact (and often less uniform) chemical composition than a mineral does. Kind of a petty nitpick, but like you said this is the Straight Dope. :wink: