- Jul 4, 2015
- Reaction score
- London, United Kingdom
That timeline would seem probable - before I read your Wikipedia citation I was thinking the term must have originated in the 1940s / 50s as an 'in-joke' amongst scientists. Considering the surge in research in that period into the wilder reaches of the Periodic Table, fission/fusion and metals capable of withstanding supersonic stresses, it figures. If it was possible to make use of the term in a serious peer reviewed journal by 1958, my guess is it would probably have entered common parlance as a running gag in labs and drawing offices quite a while before then.If you can believe Wikipedia, the first written reference to unobtainium was in a glossary article printed in the Journal of the USAF, Air University, in 1958. Which sounds about right - I recall reading it in science fiction stories from the 60s - usually used in a comic manner.
Frankly I laughed out loud when I read Cameron was using it for the “McGuffin” in Avatar - I thought it was a joke…