The largest ground-based optical telescopes of today use mirrors that are 10m (33ft) diameter. The next generation of optical telescopes could be up to 100m diameter (330ft), the size of a sports stadium. This "quantum leap" in size has important implications, since astronomers want to capture every photon of light that comes their way. A 100m mirror has a collecting area up to 100times greater than existing instruments.
The reflective coatings used on the astronomical telescope mirrors feature a base layer of pure Aluminium deposited by evaporation/condensation – chosen because of its highly reflective properties. The Aluminium coating is critical to the development of larger and ever more complex instruments.
BATTING FOR CHANGE
During a Test at the WACA in December 1979 between Australia and England, Australian Dennis Lillee went to the crease with an Aluminium bat (seen here holding it up to Allan Border). There were no rules against using such a bat, but trouble began when Lillee hit a ball that went for three runs. Australian captain Greg Chappell thought that the ball should have gone for four runs, and demanded he use a wooden bat.
English captain Mike Brearley (then complained to the umpires that the bat was damaging the ball. Lillee only faced four balls with the Aluminium bat.
In a fit of pique, Lillee threw the aluminium bat 40 yards towards the pavilion and grudgingly took the wooden bat. After the game, sales of the bat skyrocketed before the laws of the game were amended, specifying that bats had to be made from wood.
A CELEBRATION OF MARRIAGE
In the medieval times only milestone anniversaries of 25 and 50 years were celebrated. To mark the occasion a husband would crown his wife with a precious wreath. By the middle-to-late 1930’s people began to celebrate the 1st, 10th, 20th and 70th anniversary. The 10th anniversary is recognised as a celebration of Aluminium. The logic of presenting gifts was that stability deserves a reward and the more the stability the greater should be the reward.
It is a time for couples to think about the durability of their commitment. The beauty and shine of polished aluminium is a fitting tribute to the celebration of marriage. The marriage, like the metal, is durable and resistant, strong yet flexible.
The infinite recyclability of Aluminium could also be epitomized in ‘Eternity rings’.
A PLACE TO WATCH THE MATCH
This iconic building at Lords Cricket Ground was the first all-aluminium semi-monocoque building, winning the RIBA Stirling Prize in 1999. The architects were Future Systems, who have a long history of great aluminium architecture. The building was put together in a West Country ship yard and was brought to London in five pieces by road. The structure was assembled on site, the aluminium pieces being welded together. The combination of the aluminium structure and the glass front show off both materials and provide a fantastic view of the ground for the media.
ALUMINIUM ARMOUR PLATING
With the need for speed and manoeuvrability, as well as top-class armour protection, military armoured vehicles make extensive use of aluminium.
The CVR (Combat Vehicle Reconnaissance) has historically adopted aluminium-intensive armour solutions, traceable from 1967 up to present day. The Warrior variants used today in Afghanistan are built in the UK, with UK-produced aluminium armour systems.
The photos show aluminium clad Warrior Vehicles.