CAN NAN­OTECH­NOL­OGY STOP A BUL­LET?

iD magazine - - Smarter In 60 Seconds -

The bul­let flies at the po­lice officer at about 3,300 feet per sec­ond. At this speed even a Kevlar vest would be pierced, mak­ing the shot deadly. But the officer does not die— in­stead, the pro­jec­tile merely bounces off of his chest and falls to the ground. This was made pos­si­ble by nan­otech­nol­ogy: Re­searchers at the Mas­sachusetts In­sti­tute of Tech­nol­ogy (MIT) are de­vel­op­ing a bul­let­proof fab­ric that’s just 20 nanome­ters thick and can even with­stand heavy ma­chine-gun fire. The ma­te­rial is hard as steel, yet it’s con­sid­er­ably lighter than reg­u­lar body ar­mor. If a bul­let does pen­e­trate the suit, the nanolay­ers will au­to­mat­i­cally re­lease medic­i­nal sub­stances.

IN­DE­STRUC­TIBLE Fibers just nanome­ters thick are wo­ven into an ex­tremely sta­ble ma­te­rial that pro­vides soldiers with per­fect pro­tec­tion from gun­shot wounds. The light suit also pro­tects against ex­treme heat or cold. MED­I­CA­TION The nanolay­ers in the fab­ric

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