A diagram of the chemical structure of a newly discovered material that expands under pressure. The material could be used to design things like artificial muscles and highly sensitive touchscreen monitors. (Source: University of Oxford)
Yes, Rob, I agree, sometimes research for research's sake just to invent something new and innovative is refreshing. It seems sometimes that a lot of research happens just to solve a problem, and that is good, of course, because there are good technologies that are developed this way. But I agree that freestyling it and seeing what happens is also a good way forward.
I agree, there have been many cases where the inventions were just made on basis of accidents. Some times it was keen observation (like Newton observing an apple). And sometimes its just the passion and interest for the field that leads people to discover and invent marvelous things.
Definitely a great innovation in the materials world, and it has a great scope in the areas where pressure variations are used as inputs. But I agree, gold is a game spoiler. It will make the products price sky rocket. I hope there exists another material that can replace gold, to form a similar structure and geometry having a similar reaction to pressure.
Fascinating indeed. Materials engineering has always caught my eye and this zinc-based material has a unique property of its own. This will open doors to new avenues and bring out more possibilities. Thanks for sharing.
Fascinating article. I am especially impressed by the innovation and vision that this team has in order to understand the arrangement and behavior of this material on a nanometer scale. Great scientific work.
It always does my heart good to see these projects that work on materials or properties of materials that do not have a specific outcome or application in mind. Necessity is not always the mother of invention.
Researchers working with additive manufacturing have said multimaterial techniques will allow industry “to fabricate materials with combinations of density, strength, and thermal expansion that do not exist [yet].”
The term "multiphysics" is used to describe the simulation of multiple types of physics and their influence on one another -- for example, the investigation of the behavior of a chemical in liquid form will involve both chemistry and fluid dynamics.
Focus on Fundamentals consists of 45-minute on-line classes that cover a host of technologies. You learn without leaving the comfort of your desk. All classes are taught by subject-matter experts and all are archived. So if you can't attend live, attend at your convenience.