One of TIME Magazine's Top 10 Scientific Discoveries of the year is the discovery of kryptonite. But by a strange twist of events, the mineral has been named "jadarite."
Earlier this year, geologists discovered an unknown white, powdery mineral while digging in Serbia. Mineralogist Chris Stanley from the Natural History Museum in London investigated the substance, and found that it had the same chemistry as the fictional mineral kryptonite (sodium lithium boron silicate hydroxide).
The chemistry of kryptonite is known from the 2006 movie Superman Returns, where Lex Luthor writes the formula on a stolen box of rocks. The real mineral is not exactly like kryptonite, as it doesn't emit electromagnetic radiation and is white rather than green. But when exposed to UV light, jadarite glows pink.
However, krypton is already a real element, meaning that the scientists couldn't call the kryptonite "kryptonite." Instead, they had to settle on calling it "jadarite" because it was discovered in the Jadar Valley in Serbia.
Because jadarite contains lithium, one possible use of the mineral might be for making lithium-ion batteries.
via: TIME Magazine