This is called a bolometer, or a “dark matter detector”, and it’s just one of coolest-looking things I’ve ever seen.
The concept of an infinite source of power being drawn from the polar reverse of the very matter that composes our universe, essentially drawing energy from an “alternate universe”, is just a fascinating concept. Think of the implications! The near-infinite reaches of our own universe, which is constantly expanding theoretically, would mean that an anti-matter world is similarly reacting. After all, said antimatter source is the same as our world, it’s just a different base energy polarity or something like that.
That would make dark matter an infinite energy source.
And to top it off, how cool does this look? It’s like straight out of Steampunk nerd-dom or from the set of Stargate SG-1 or The Golden Compass. But it’s real. The exterior is hyperchilled lead, and the interior crystal is apparently sensitive to energy generated by particle acceleration, straining the dark matter out of the stream of energy, or something like that.
I grew up a nerd. To me, science was cool. Technology was cool. Technology and science are still cool to me, but not just consumer technology like touchscreen smartphones or shit like that, but things like this too. Just look at how aesthetically pleasing this looks, it’s almost fantastic to look at. And yet, it’s a purely functional and scientific piece of machinery, not meant for visual beauty at all.
But it is beautiful. And that’s what’s so cool about it.
ISN’T SCIENCE FUCKING AWESOME?!