I've recently become aware of an interesting material called amorphous metal. Metal is usually fairly ordered at an atomic scale (kind of like crystal). In contrast, amorphous metal is disordered at the atomic scale.
Amorphous metal (also known as "liquid metal") has several unique and
desirable properties such as not shrinking when it cools (maybe making it suitable for injection molding), and being very resilient. Amorphous metal is so très chic apparently Apple intends to use it in future products.
One way of making amorphous metal (i.e. disordered at the atomic scale) is to cool it from a molten state very quickly. Cooling metal this quickly is very difficult.
The other way to make amorphous metal is by making an alloy with metal atoms of lots of different sizes. This is called the "confusion effect" because the atoms are so confused when cooling they can't form ordered atomic bonds. Because the atoms of an amorphous metal alloy are of different sizes, there is very little free space between the atoms (i.e. the small atoms fill the gaps around the bigger ones).
I have no idea how metallurgists come up with the recipes for new amorphous metal alloys, but I thought I'd throw them a suggestion (because, you know, experts love unsolicited advice from complete amateurs).
Apollonian packing is a neat geometry curiosity, where the spaces between touching circles is filled with smaller touching circles. Circa 2000, mathematicians discovered some interesting new properties about Apollonian packing. I don't really understand all the details, but basically circles with curvature of certain integer value combinations fit together nicely, whereas most other combinations do not. (Go and read the linked article; it explains it much better than I can). Apollonian packing can also be extended to the third dimension to packing together spheres of different sizes.
Part 1 + Part 2
So I figure, if I were going to design an amorphous metal alloy I'd use the Apollonian packing maths to decide which metals would suitably fit together. (I'm assuming metal atoms have a reasonably well defined radius).
Anyway, not much of an idea, but I thought it just made it over the line of HB worthiness because it brings to people's attention two cool things (and how they could be combined).