Physics: Scientist, Cynthia Alviso, with two organic aerogels. The cloudy white disc is silica aerogel, whilst the red disc is an aerogel containing fibers of an organic material. Aerogel is a new material, which has very high thermal insulation and extremely low mass. It is made by drying a water-based or alcohol-based gel in a super fluid process that prevents the gel from collapsing. The resulting block of linked microscopic fibers contains about 90% air, so is very lightweight. Aerogel is being studied as a thermal insulator and as a holding medium for nuclear fusion fuel. Photographed at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, USA. MODEL RELEASED .