haha, isn't it a dumb name? Unobtanium? :D
- "...Pandora is blessed with a naturally occurring susbstance a million times more precious than gold. Its joke name of "unobtanium" has stuck, over the years." AVATAR Scriptment, p. 13. 
Unobtanium appears not to be the scientific term for the material. --NivikLiriak 08:33, December 31, 2009 (UTC)
Unobtanium is an affectionate name for the material. It's not what it's actually called. It is actually a long standing tropism. 220.127.116.11 18:40, October 16, 2011 (UTC)
Yes, we are aware of that: it is stated in the Trivia section of the Unobtanium article. I believe it is implied that in the Avatar universe, someone jokingly referred to the material as "unobtanium" soon after its discovery (a reference to the trope), and that the name stuck. OZZY 11:01, October 17, 2011 (UTC)
Hard to pronounce Edit
Unobtainium is hard to pronounce. I usually call it oobotainium.
quite easy actually ;) -Avatar- 08:29, December 31, 2009 (UTC)
The name was given to the material needed for Matter-antimatter reactors. Because they couldn't find this material they dubbed it Unobtainium (Unobtainable). They found Pandora, and this material and the Unobtainium name stuck. Later it was changed to Unobtanium to conform to the scientific naming for elements. --IWantheUltimateChange 09:07, January 20, 2010 (UTC)
I think its quite easy but Im a native english speaker so it might just be me Tsmukan
TVtropes calls it a MacGuffin.
The correct spelling according to both the scriptment linked above and at least one official site (see p3 of "Alison Boyd"'s documentary) is unobtanium, yet presently that redirects to this page rather than the other way round. Is there any good reason not to move this page to Unobtanium? OrbFu 16:32, January 2, 2010 (UTC)
No. --IWantheUltimateChange 10:50, January 3, 2010 (UTC)
- Moved. OrbFu 20:20, January 4, 2010 (UTC)
unobtanium expensive? Edit
Economically speaking is it really expensive? How does anyone make a profit?
- It sells for 20 mill a kilo, and you can see by the size of their equipment, they are bringing in more than a few kilos. Now everything on earth now just about, runs off of tech dervied form unobtainium. So the whole world is willing to buy. JayBo Talk IRC 01:58, January 20, 2010 (UTC)
- And inflation may have played a part, so 20mil might not be mind blowing "for a little grey rock" as it would be now. IWantheUltimateChange 09:07, January 20, 2010 (UTC)
Atomic Number Edit
I appear to have found the atomic number of Unobtanium on pg 19 of the Activist Survival Guide and I included it in the article. If someone has a magnifying glass and has a look at the bottom of the page at the picture of the mine, someone may be able to find a little bit more about the element which we can include in the article. --IWantheUltimateChange 02:40, July 9, 2010 (UTC)
I'm pretty sure that the number in the brackets on the upper-left side (I think that's the atomic mass) of the Unobtanium element picture is 299. As for the box of really small writing next to the element picture, I couldn't tell what it said even with a magnifying glass. Ozzyjalo94 05:03, July 9, 2010 (UTC)
- Yes, that's what I see there, too. Between the "Unm" and "Unobtanium" line seems to be the electron configuration. I think it's ??5f?6d?7s? where ? are some characters I cannot identify. Maybe someone who is into chemistry has more luck. Faern. 3D-HD-Pics 16:26, July 9, 2010 (UTC)
- The thing is that unobtanium is a compound, not an element. Page 17 in the Activist Survival Guide: "the spelling was later changed to unobtanium to conform to chemical element naming, although unobtanium is a compound, not an element". My guess is that the Unm-120 is a mistake on the artists' part and isn't actually true. HKT 01:10, October 26, 2010 (UTC)
Energy needs? Edit
"Unobtanium is not only the key to Earth’s energy needs in the 22nd century, but it is the enabler of interstellar travel and the establishment of a truly spacefaring civilization."
Is there a canonical source for this? I ran the numbers using the UN highest-case estimate of population growth, assumed much higher per-capita energy consumption growth than occurred historically over the past 150 years, and started with a baseline of everyone today consuming as much as the country with the highest per capita consumption. I made reasonable assumptions about starship engine efficiency and very optimistic ones about the efficiency of converting energy to antimatter. The result was that one starship to Pandora could run civilization for decades.
I also looked at the energy consumption vs cost and to show a 20 percent profit on a 350 ton load of unobtanium at 20 million a kilo energy has to cost something like 1/100 what it costs today, suggesting that it is plentiful.
Further, it's canonical that fusion was available prior to the first starship being sent to Pandora, and there's enough hydrogen available in our solar system to run civilization for several times the age of the Universe.
So the notion that there is an energy shortage on Earth doesn't pass the giggle test.
If there is canonical support for this assertion, canon overrides physics and economics, but I can't find one, and if there is not such support I believe that mention of unobtanium being necessary for energy production should be removed.
The film makes no mention of any crisis on Earth and that the sole purpose for mining unobtanium is to make $20000 a kilo, stated by Parker Selfridge himself. Other than a comment made by Jake Sully at the Tree of Souls that humans have "killed their mother, and they're gonna do the same here", what sources indicate that Earth is in any form of decline? --Revan4000 17:32, October 14, 2011 (UTC)
- Apparently, our nitpicker-in-chief does not know about the ASG and pandorapedia.com. Btw, Google yields about half a million occurences of Earth's energy crisis. Faern. 3D-HD-Pics 17:54, October 14, 2011 (UTC)
No, I did not know about that site, and please don't attack me with sarcasm, it is hardly the most mature approach to a question, you are an admin after all, so let's keep this civil, please, the last thing I want is an argument. I have checked out the site and it mentions nothing about Earth being in any kind of doomed state in the film which, as I stated earlier, gives no indication that Earth is in any crisis. --Revan4000 21:06, October 14, 2011 (UTC)
- I didn't say you would find something there. Pandorapedia.com is more or less a compacted version of the ASG with many omissions and some additions. I think it is in the ASG where it is explained that there is an energy crisis due to natural resources being mostly depleted, which was the reason to travel to Pandora, which's discovery came in just handy. The other sentences you removed can be found word by word on pandorapedia.com. Generally, you can safely assume that our wiki does not contain complete nonsense anymore. The major part of work on articles was done before your registration, and most articles are fairly complete as far as information is available. So, if you doubt something, better triple check sources, and if you cannot find anything useful, assume your own ignorance and leave it at that or ask. Faern. 3D-HD-Pics 22:50, October 14, 2011 (UTC)
But really, any "source" regarding an energy crisis on Earth does not count if it was not included or even mentioned in passing in the film. Nowhere at any moment of the film was an energy crisis alluded to, so unless James Cameron himself has officially stated that there is a crisis on Earth in the film, the ASG is incorrect. --Revan4000 15:20, October 15, 2011 (UTC)
- Except that ASG has been acknowledged as an official source. Many of our articles have information that's taken from ASG. The movie is not our only source as Faern hinted. --LuckyMan 15:44, October 15, 2011 (UTC)
By whom? --Revan4000 15:46, October 15, 2011 (UTC)
- The ASG consists of images and descriptions created during production by various people, including from Weta Workshop. The two authors were hired to gather all the facts and stories and compile the book. Faern. 3D-HD-Pics 17:04, October 15, 2011 (UTC)
Which is merely an interpretation of the film from the author's point of view, that is all. The fact is, only two truly reliable sources exist, the film itself, and the words of James Cameron, the man who wrote the Avatar story and directed the picture, not an author's take on it. Any references to an "energy crisis on Earth" are not presented in the movie, therefore potentially non-canon. Perhaps it would be best to remove all energy crisis related references that came from another man's vision of the film. --Revan4000 17:36, October 15, 2011 (UTC)
- It has been established here over the past two years that all official material is considered as canon as long as there are no contradictions. You may not like it, but you will have to accept it or otherwise create a new wiki with whatever you believe to be canon. Faern. 3D-HD-Pics 18:34, October 15, 2011 (UTC)
It is a misconception from an author's interpretation on the backstory of the film. The RDA did not need unobtanium to save Earth from any form of decline. There is not a single moment in the film that states that unobtanium will do anything beneficial for the survival of Earth. When the unobtanium is actually spoken of in the film, it is only reffered to as a way for the RDA to get filthy rich, nothing else, contradicting the ASG's statement that unobtanium is needed due to an energy crisis on Earth. --Revan4000 19:00, October 15, 2011 (UTC)