“One of the most beautiful of modern inventions is aerogel. This eerie stuff is a jelly made with air instead of water. A sheet of it can support 4,000 times its own weight. It is one of the great insulators, as well as a great soundproofer. It is uncannily light. It looks like frozen smoke. And pretty much its only use so far is aboard a spacecraft called Stardust, which is preparing to sail through the tail of a comet and catch its dust with a trap made of the stuff. Aerogel sounds like the last word in materials science, but in reality it has been around since 1933.“
The article itself is focussed on LED technology, which is cool… but not as cool as AeroGel. For instance, here’s some AeroGel art by April Debra Tsui.