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Jul 21, 2019

The military’s future body armor could be as thin as 2 atoms

Posted by in categories: military, particle physics, weapons

If you’ve been a grunt, then you probably have a love-hate relationship with body armor. You love having it in a firefight — it can save your life by stopping or slowing bullets and fragments — but you hate how heavy it is — it’s often around 25 pounds for the armor and outer tactical vest (more if you add the plate inserts to stop up to 7.62 mm rounds).

It’s bulky — and you really can’t move as well in it. In fact, in one firefight, a medic removed his body armor to reach wounded allies, earning a Distinguished Service Cross.

Imagine if the body armor were just another part of your clothes, like a light jacket. Imagine not having to haul around those extra 30 pounds. Well, troops may not have to imagine much longer. According to a release from the Advanced Science Research Center at the City University of New York, body armor could soon have the thickness of just two atoms. This is due to how graphene acts under certain conditions.

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