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 |

Would you like to contribute a story tip? It's easy:
Get the URL of the story, and the related sf author, and add it here.

Comment/Join discussion ( 0 )

Related News Stories - (" Material ")

Self-Healing Material Pulls Carbon Out Of The Air
'... could seal the punctures.' - Raymond Z. Gallun, 1951.

Shapeshifting Materials Transform By Light
'Its lines wavered, flowed, and then painfully reformed.'- Philip K. Dick, 1957.

Superstrong Multilayer Metal-Graphene Composite Material
Negligible increase in weight increased material strength by hundreds of times.

Amphibio 3D Printed Gill Shirt
'... we can descend and live down there at one of those year-round aquatic resorts.' - Philip K. Dick, 1966.

 

Google
  Web TechNovelgy.com   

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.

 

 

 

 

 

Current News

SWEEPER Robot Peter Piper Picking Peppers
'... little machines, that went from plant to plant, apparently on caterpillar tracks, cutting off the ripe fruit.'

Oil from Algae - Can It Be Done?
'We dump everything that's waste into the tanks, pump the oil off the top.'

Moving Whole Planets, Revisited
There was a lot of work done on this idea over the years.

Disney Keeps Backups Of Star Wars Franchise Actors
'She is a personality-construct, a congeries of software agents...'

Farming In Space Starts With Mycorrhiza
'The inner leaves were beginning to curl faster than the outer leaves.'

Jaguar I-Pace Audible Vehicle Alert System For EVs
'Of course not a vehicle moved by means of internal explosions of a derivative of rock oil...'

Autonomous 'Fiberbots' Weave Large Structures
'It extrudes material like a spider.'

Birds Aren't Real - Wake Up, California! (With Bird Watching Guide)
'When he had first built them, they had been crude indeed, flying mechanisms with little more than a reflex-response unit.'

Self-Healing Material Pulls Carbon Out Of The Air
'... could seal the punctures.'

IRL Glasses Block Screens, Limit Vision To Real Life
'If you couldn't see the ads, how would you know what was fashionable?'

Testing The Single-Person Spacecraft
'...the lower part of the suit was simply a rigid cylinder.'

Shapeshifting Materials Transform By Light
'Its lines wavered, flowed, and then painfully reformed.'

Fully Automated Farm Iron Ox Hydroponics
'Had these machines in some incredible fashion been provided with brains?'

BrainNet Social Network Of Brains
'I used my implant to tell MILLIE what we wanted and she took care of it'

Phil Nuyttnn's City Under The Sea
'Under the lower roof there was no water, but a clear and luminous atmosphere...'

IONITY Opens First 10 Fast-Charging Stations
'Recharge the batteries... in almost every town and village...'

More SF in the News Stories

More Beyond Technovelgy science news stories

Home | Glossary | Invention Timeline | Category | New | Contact Us | FAQ | Advertise |
Technovelgy.com - where science meets fiction™

Copyright© Technovelgy LLC; all rights reserved.