Imagine a window that could instantly turn into mirror — the possibility is real, thanks to a breakthrough in nanotechnology by researchers at the Australian National University (ANU).

They have developed a material that promises to protect astronauts from harmful radiation, as well as practical uses closer to home. ANU researchers have dubbed their invention a “smart mirror”, and all that is needed for it to change is an adjustment to its temperature.

“Our smart mirror consists of lots of dielectric nanoparticles which are carefully designed and arranged within a single layer,” ANU lead researcher Dr Mohsen Rahmani said.

The layer of nanoparticles are spread so thin that they are just 0.00005 of a millimetre apart.

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