• Myles Shin

Today I Watched... A Video About the Lightest Solid

I was scrolling through my YouTube feed until I saw this one thumbnail and title that intrigued me. It was titled, "World's Lightest Solid!" and showed some substance that was practically see-through and it even looked like it would be very light in weight. The substance, aerogel, is almost as light as air. How is this possible? It's because it's made up of 99.8% air. It is a great thermal insulator and can withstand high temperatures without melting, even higher than glass. It was created by Samuel Kistler as a bet between him and his friend to try to create a light object. It is almost completely transparent with a white background behind it and a little bit blue with a darker background because the shorter wavelengths are scattered more.

Aerogel may seem like nothing more than just a super light object that is cool to observe, but it holds much more value than that. It used as insulation for the jets on rovers that are sent to outer space. It makes it so that the electronics won't get cold and malfunction.


Veritasium, director. World's Lightest Solid! YouTube, YouTube, 31 May 2019,