Kryptonite Discovered By Scientist
Dr. Chris Stanley, a minerologist at London's Natural History Museum, was puzzled when mining Group Rio Tinto brought him an unusual specimen.
(Chunk of sodium lithium boron silicate hydroxide)
Discovered in a mine near Jadar, Serbia, the mineral had a known chemical formula - sodium lithium boron silicate hydroxide. Using his own expertise and specialized resources, Dr. Stanley was unable to identify the mineral. Finally, he did what the rest of us would have done at the start - he searched for the formula on the Internet. And got lots of hits.
It turns out that this mineral had already been described - in Superman comic books and movies. The formula is an exact match for Kryptonite, the fictional mineral. Kryptonite, according to DC Comics, was created when the planet Krypton blew up. Dr. Stanley explains:
"Towards the end of my research I searched the web using the mineral's chemical formula - sodium lithium boron silicate hydroxide - and was amazed to discover that same scientific name, written on a case of rock containing kryptonite stolen by Lex Luther from a museum in the film Superman Returns.
"The new mineral does not contain fluorine (which it does in the film) and is white rather than green but, in all other respects, the chemistry matches that for the rock containing kryptonite."
As true fans know, green kryptonite is the most common variety, taking away Superman's powers and eventually killing him. Quick to spot a good plot device ("technovelgy"), writers soon introduced variations like gold, red, white and blue kryptonite. The worst of these is gold kryptonite, which removes Superman's powers permanently.
(Superman Shows Off Kryptonite Collection)
Real "kryptonite" (that is, sodium lithium boron silicate hydroxide) is not a cool, glowing mineral; rather, it is a boring white, harmless substance. Dr. Stanley hastens to add, however, that it fluoresces a pinkish-orange under ultraviolet light.
Scientists are not allowed to use the name "Kryptonite" for the mineral owing to their insistence on following the stodgy, dusty international nomenclature rules that note that "krypton" is a real element. They will call it "jadarite" instead, after the town near the mine where it was found.
If you are interested in unusual real-life materials with science-fictional qualities, take a look at these articles:
Read more about how 'Kryptonite' is discovered in mine.
Scroll down for more stories in the same category. (Story submitted 4/24/2007)
Follow this kind of news @Technovelgy.
| Email | RSS | Blog It | Stumble | del.icio.us | Digg | Reddit |
you like to contribute a story tip?
Get the URL of the story, and the related sf author, and add
Comment/Join discussion ( 0 )
Related News Stories -
3D Printed Damascus Steel Now Possible
'... lined with durite, that strange close-packed laboratory product.' - Robert Heinlein, 1939.
3D Printing Of Metallic Glass
Draw Circuits With Conductive Ink
'It's rewiring things... squeezing silver toothpaste in a ribbon along the printed circuitry.'
How To Encode The 'Memory' Of Materials
'Just jar it, and it falls into that structure like a rubber figure returning to shape.' - Samuel R. Delany, 1966.
Technovelgy (that's tech-novel-gee!)
is devoted to the creative science inventions and ideas of sf authors. Look for
the Invention Category that interests
you, the Glossary, the Invention
Timeline, or see what's New.
Looking Glass Display Good Enough For Science Fiction, Fantasy
'The figure seemed to be swimming toward the surface.'
Do You Need The Entire Fembot? Maybe Just The Hand
'...Men don't want real women anymore. You and I are behind the times...'
3D Printing With Sunlight And Sand
'We made a crude, small cell and were delighted...'
Samsung Gets Transparent Smartphone Patent
The Transparency of Things to Come
Monkey Gets A Bigger Brain, Thanks To Human Gene
'It's a madhouse! a madhouse!'
Solar Power Beamed From Space Studied By Brit Boffins
'Our beams feed these worlds energy drawn from... the Sun.'
Pandemic Entrepreneurs! Consider Robo Esso Robot Barista
'... the perpetual beam carved in the robot face of the bartender, the classic Irish grin.'
Shape-Shifting Robot From MIT
'... the structure of that shape is retained down to the molecules.'
Tesla's 20,000 Superchargers
'To recharge the batteries, which can be done in almost every town and village...'
Smallest Rogue Planet Discovered In Milky Way
'...a swarm of rogue planets chanced by.'
New Technology For Interplanetary Communication
'... sweating, heat-blistered engineers at every interplanetary radiograph station on three planets, stood by their generators.'
First Lunar Water, Then... Monolith?
'It looks brand new, doesn't it?'
Flying Robot Inspired By Hawks
'The dark birdforms dotted the mountaintops...'
Jet-Powered Flying Suits Tested By Navy
'With his motor in operation, he moves like a diver, head foremost...'
Pub Installs Electrified Fence Around Bar
'I start twelve immensely strong wires--naked, not insulated --from a big dynamo...'
What Does A Tesla Full Self-Driving Car See?
'All objects within my panoramic gaze trembled and vibrated like quick motion pictures...'
More SF in the News Stories
More Beyond Technovelgy science news stories