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"[Science fiction] is the only kind of writing that allows you to look at the world we live in and change one piece at a time."
- Frederik Pohl

Leybyrdite  
  Extremely tough crystalline metal.  

"What would you think of an alloy that had a yield point -- not ultimate tensile, mind you, but yield -- of well over a million pounds, and yet an elongation of better than five percent?"

Deston whistled. "I would have said it was a pure pipe dream. What else is in it?"

"Mostly tungsten. A lot of tantalum. Rhenium around ten percent. The research isn't done yet, but they're far enough along to know that they'll have something utterly fantastic. The problem, Byrd tells me, is to determine the optimum formula and environment for the growth and matting of single crystals of metal-tungsten 'whiskers'"

From Subspace Explorers, by E.E. 'Doc' Smith.
Published by Not Known in 1965
Additional resources -

Thanks to Winchell Chung for the quote.

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Additional resources:
  More Ideas and Technology from Subspace Explorers
  More Ideas and Technology by E.E. 'Doc' Smith
  Tech news articles related to Subspace Explorers
  Tech news articles related to works by E.E. 'Doc' Smith

Leybyrdite-related news articles:
  - Rhenium Diboride Like Metal, Crystal

Articles related to Material
MIT Self-Assembling Reprogrammable Materials
Tiny Mining - Extract Precious Industrial Minerals From Your Own Body
Polyaramide Is Stronger Than Steel, Light As Plastic
Trinitite, Pentagrams And Isaac Asimov

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