STAR TREK IV Finally Comes True
No, not the part about all the whales being dead. Yet. The part about the transparent aluminum. You’ll remember in Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home when the crew travels back in time to San Francisco to recover whales to save the future they need the material to make a tank. But it turns out the material they need - tough, lightweight glass called transparent aluminum, hadn’t been invented yet. So Scotty showed up at a manufacturing plant and invented it for the owner*. When Dr. McCoy expressed concern that they were fucking with the timeline, Scotty simply said ‘Maybe he’s the one who invented it.’
But he isn’t, because something a lot like transparent aluminum has been invented now. But it was invented very near where the crew of the Enterprise touched down in the 80s - it came from Berkeley! Says Science Daily:
Glass stronger and tougher than steel? A new type of damage-tolerant metallic glass, demonstrating a strength and toughness beyond that of any known material, has been developed and tested by a collaboration of researchers with the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE)‘s Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab)and the California Institute of Technology. What’s more, even better versions of this new glass may be on the way.
You can read all about this glassteel (a D&D term!) at Science Daily. You can enjoy Scotty trying to use a Mac below.
* Which is exactly what Mr. Spock would do with transwarp beaming in the Star Trek reboot.