Best of the Week
Most Popular
1. Investing in a Bubble Mania Stock Market Trending Towards Financial Crisis 2.0 CRASH! - 9th Sep 21
2.Tech Stocks Bubble Valuations 2000 vs 2021 - 25th Sep 21
3.Stock Market FOMO Going into Crash Season - 8th Oct 21
4.Stock Market FOMO Hits September Brick Wall - Evergrande China's Lehman's Moment - 22nd Sep 21
5.Crypto Bubble BURSTS! BTC, ETH, XRP CRASH! NiceHash Seizes Funds on Account Halting ALL Withdrawals! - 19th May 21
6.How to Protect Your Self From a Stock Market CRASH / Bear Market? - 14th Oct 21
7.AI Stocks Portfolio Buying and Selling Levels Going Into Market Correction - 11th Oct 21
8.Why Silver Price Could Crash by 20%! - 5th Oct 21
9.Powell: Inflation Might Not Be Transitory, After All - 3rd Oct 21
10.Global Stock Markets Topped 60 Days Before the US Stocks Peaked - 23rd Sep 21
Last 7 days
Why Most Investors LOST Money by Investing in ARK FUNDS - 27th Jan 22
The “play-to-earn” trend taking the crypto world by storm - 27th Jan 22
Quantum AI Stocks Investing Priority - 26th Jan 22
Is Everyone Going To Be Right About This Stocks Bear Market?- 26th Jan 22
Stock Market Glass Half Empty or Half Full? - 26th Jan 22
Stock Market Quoted As Saying 'The Reports Of My Demise Are Greatly Exaggerated' - 26th Jan 22
The Synthetic Dividend Option To Generate Profits - 26th Jan 22
The Beginner's Guide to Credit Repair - 26th Jan 22
AI Tech Stocks State Going into the CRASH and Capitalising on the Metaverse - 25th Jan 22
Stock Market Relief Rally, Maybe? - 25th Jan 22
Why Gold’s Latest Rally Is Nothing to Get Excited About - 25th Jan 22
Gold Slides and Rebounds in 2022 - 25th Jan 22
Gold; a stellar picture - 25th Jan 22
CATHY WOOD ARK GARBAGE ARK Funds Heading for 90% STOCK CRASH! - 22nd Jan 22
Gold Is the Belle of the Ball. Will Its Dance Turn Bearish? - 22nd Jan 22
Best Neighborhoods to Buy Real Estate in San Diego - 22nd Jan 22
Stock Market January PANIC AI Tech Stocks Buying Opp - Trend Forecast 2022 - 21st Jan 21
How to Get Rich in the MetaVerse - 20th Jan 21
Should you Buy Payment Disruptor Stocks in 2022? - 20th Jan 21
2022 the Year of Smart devices, Electric Vehicles, and AI Startups - 20th Jan 21
Oil Markets More Animated by Geopolitics, Supply, and Demand - 20th Jan 21
WARNING - AI STOCK MARKET CRASH / BEAR SWITCH TRIGGERED! - 19th Jan 22
Fake It Till You Make It: Will Silver’s Motto Work on Gold? - 19th Jan 22
Crude Oil Smashing Stocks - 19th Jan 22
US Stagflation: The Global Risk of 2022 - 19th Jan 22
Stock Market Trend Forecast Early 2022 - Tech Growth Value Stocks Rotation - 18th Jan 22
Stock Market Sentiment Speaks: Are We Setting Up For A 'Mini-Crash'? - 18th Jan 22
Mobile Sports Betting is on a rise: Here’s why - 18th Jan 22
Exponential AI Stocks Mega-trend - 17th Jan 22
THE NEXT BITCOIN - 17th Jan 22
Gold Price Predictions for 2022 - 17th Jan 22
How Do Debt Relief Services Work To Reduce The Amount You Owe? - 17th Jan 22
RIVIAN IPO Illustrates We are in the Mother of all Stock Market Bubbles - 16th Jan 22
All Market Eyes on Copper - 16th Jan 22
The US Dollar Had a Slip-Up, but Gold Turned a Blind Eye to It - 16th Jan 22
A Stock Market Top for the Ages - 16th Jan 22
FREETRADE - Stock Investing Platform, the Good, Bad and Ugly Review, Free Shares, Cancelled Orders - 15th Jan 22
WD 14tb My Book External Drive Unboxing, Testing and Benchmark Performance Amazon Buy Review - 15th Jan 22
Toyland Ferris Wheel Birthday Fun at Gulliver's Rother Valley UK Theme Park 2022 - 15th Jan 22
What You Should Know About a TailoredPay High Risk Merchant Account - 15th Jan 22

Market Oracle FREE Newsletter

How to Protect your Wealth by Investing in AI Tech Stocks

Beryllium - Even Sexier than it Sounds

Commodities / Metals & Mining Aug 31, 2011 - 08:52 AM GMT

By: George_Maniere

Commodities

Best Financial Markets Analysis ArticleThe young Marine sniper lays motionless in a shallow bed of sand and broken rock on the mountainside in Afghanistan. The sun blazes down, and he’s sweating. He’s spent the morning scanning a valley for Taliban fighters who keep a low profile in their maze of spider holes.

After a while, another Marine – the spotter – says, “I’ve got him. He’s just next to the tree, to the left of that stone house.”


The sniper stares down through the optics of his rifle. Yes, indeed. The image is perfect from over 1,000 meters away. There’s a very shallow footprint in the dirt, and next to it is a telltale cigarette butt. This Taliban has just smoked his last one.

The sniper turns a small knob on the gun sight. The image holds steady. There’s no vibration at all. THE Marine has a clear view, his eyeballs on target, and a confirmed bad guy. He is given his order - fire at will. He squeezes the trigger, and… Wham! One terrorist has been eliminated. 

Later that day, an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) flies over the site of the morning’s activities. The pilot is a long way away in a “cockpit” in Nevada, USA, where he’s linked by satellite communications to the battlefield.

In a routine maneuver, the pilot sets the UAV in a circling pattern. The aircraft is so high up that no one on the ground even knows that it’s there. The pilot slews a camera on the bottom of the UAV, down toward that stone house. The image is crystal clear. It’s like the pilot is looking out of a plate glass window next door.

Down below, the pilot sees about a dozen Taliban assembling and wiring bombs. He wonders to himself, “Why are they still there, next to that house? Didn’t they learn anything when their buddy got shot this morning? Oh, well. Those bombs they’re building will soon find their way to sites along roads in the nearby valley. We need to do something, and do it now.”

The UAV pilot, assisted by a backup team of observers in Nevada and Afghanistan quickly alerts the chain of command. There’s a well-drilled procedure in this circumstance. Signals flash between orbiting satellites, linking people in Nevada with a command center near Kandahar.

Numerous sets of eyeballs review the imagery. There’s no doubt on this one. Heck, you can positively identify some of the Taliban men based on facial features. There’s simply no vibration in the camera on the UAV. It’s a positive ID – enough to satisfy even the staff of flinty lawyers who look over every shoulder these days.

The order is given, “Take them out, authorization granted, all weapons clear.”

The pilot in Nevada has by now positioned the UAV into a firing position. He makes his attack run. With numerous witnesses in attendance, the UAV pilot hits a red button on the control stick. He feels nothing, but half a world away, a rocket motor ignites inside a Hellfire missile. The weapon slides effortlessly off a lightweight rail, accelerates like greased lightning and moves down out of the sky, toward the aim point.

The missile moves so fast, in fact, that it strikes the ground before its sound reaches the eardrums of any of the Taliban fighters. When it hits, there’s a sudden flash and a blast wave moving at over 25,000 feet per second engulfs the area. Within a few thousandths of a second, several of the bombs that the Taliban were building cook off as secondary explosions.

The operational commander requests that a nearby Navy aircraft, an F/A-18F Super Hornet, fly over the site. She needs an independent battle damage assessment to determine if a follow-up strike is necessary.

Within a few moments, there’s the crackling sound of powerful jet engines above the mountains. A haze-gray aircraft takes its vector from the air controllers and moves toward the target scene. The flight officer in the back seat of the Super Hornet slews a camera that’s part of an imagery pod hanging from one of the wings.

The gimbal system of the imagery pod tracks down to the exact global position on the ground where the missile hit. There’s no vibration in the camera, none at all. Again, a crystal-clear image transmits from the aircraft and bounces off a series of satellites and back to command centers across Afghanistan, to ships at sea and to Nevada.

The imagery indicates that the first strike by the Hellfire missile did the job, with the secondary explosions delivering any necessary coup de grace. The final decision for the battlefield commander is whether or not to send in a team of Special Forces to pick up the pieces.

The fictional story I just recounted is based on the facts of modern warfare. These kinds of things happen out on the modern battlefield.

How is it that things work so well in a complex battle space? Why doesn’t that gun sight vibrate? Why do those UAV cameras work so nicely? Why does that missile rail shoot so straight? And what about those satellite systems that bounce the signals between Afghanistan and Nevada?

The short answer is rare earths. The longer answer is a specific rare earth known as beryllium, the magic metal. Beryllium is a silvery white metal, No. 4 on the periodic table of elements. Beryllium is one of the lowest-density metals there is. It is very lightweight. Yet beryllium has six times the specific stiffness of steel. Here are some more impressive points about beryllium: beryllium resists oxidation, even at high temperatures, beryllium has a high melting point, beryllium holds its mechanical properties up to extremely high temperatures and at the same time, you can freeze beryllium to incredibly low temperatures and maintain its strength and stiffness. Beryllium has high thermal conductivity, plus the highest specific heat of any metal.

Beryllium has what is called superior thermal diffusivity, so it radiates heat away. It has superb acoustic damping characteristics and it has the highest X-ray transparency of any metal material.

So what does all this mean? It means that beryllium has an incredible combination of properties that occur in no other metal and it means that some very smart people have figured out how to use beryllium in all sorts of applications.

Beryllium goes into satellites and space structures, aircraft, optical systems, semiconductors, medical imaging and nuclear systems. And as the story up top demonstrates, there’s beryllium in gun sights, rocket launch rails, camera systems and more. When designers have to come up with products that work at the extreme edges of performance, from the dirt of a mountainside sniper position to the depths of outer space,  they specify beryllium.

The robust and growing demand for beryllium has been hampered by the cut in exports from China. In the article that I wrote yesterday, August 30th 2011, I cited that China has cut its exports of these rare earths by up to 50%. Beryllium is but one example.  There are 17 others with names like lanthanum, dysprosium, praseodymium, ytterbium and neodymium to name a few.  The point of my essay is that we don’t need PR firms hawking companies that will never deliver the rare earths that we need. What we need are projects like Quest Rare Minerals (QRM) and Tasman Rare metals (TASXF). These two companies will free the world from the stranglehold that the Chinese who have put on our ability to not only to defend our nation but continue to innovate to create a better life for all mankind.

By George Maniere

http://investingadvicebygeorge.blogspot.com/

In 2004, after retiring from a very successful building career, I became determined to learn all I could about the stock market. In 2009, I knew the market was seriously oversold and committed a serious amount of capital to the market. Needless to say things went quite nicely but I always remebered 2 important things. Hubris equals failure and the market can remain illogical longer than you can remain solvent. Please post all comments and questions. Please feel free to email me at maniereg@gmail.com. I will respond.

© 2011 Copyright George Maniere - All Rights Reserved
Disclaimer: The above is a matter of opinion provided for general information purposes only and is not intended as investment advice. Information and analysis above are derived from sources and utilising methods believed to be reliable, but we cannot accept responsibility for any losses you may incur as a result of this analysis. Individuals should consult with their personal financial advisors.


© 2005-2019 http://www.MarketOracle.co.uk - The Market Oracle is a FREE Daily Financial Markets Analysis & Forecasting online publication.


Post Comment

Only logged in users are allowed to post comments. Register/ Log in