molecular FSM

Published January 15th, 2009 by Bobby Henderson
Microscopic fibers coil together – photo cred. Aizenberg/Harvard. click for more.

What at first resembles a sea anemone clasping two pearls is really a micrometer-scale construct created through a new technique devised at Harvard University.

To make these objects, materials science professor Joanna Aizenberg, applied math professor L. Mahadevan, and colleagues fabricate an array of hairlike, epoxy fibers poking up from a substrate, which they then submerge in a liquid such as ethanol or tolulene. As the liquid evaporates, capillary forces cause the flexible hairs to clump and then twist together.

The ropelike structures formed can themselves twine with other ropes. “The process is similar to the formation of dreadlocks” from wet, curly hair, Aizenberg explains.

Sea anemone clasping pearls?

The above photo/excerpt came from Chemical & Engineering News.

16 Responses to “molecular FSM”

  1. vr0n says:

    AND… his noodlyness even combed his tendrils for the pic. I like a god with pride (but not so much that he feels the need to smote a lot).

    May Pesto be upon you.

  2. omfsm says:

    I saw this and I found the almighty FSM. THIS IS EVIDENCE HE EXISTS. If anyone tries to dispute me i will suicide meatball them.

    I’m so happy and enlightened that i now know the truth IM CRYING. omfsm. FSM PRAISE YOU!!!

  3. Jazzman says:

    mmmmmm. ethanol!

  4. saturn says:

    Not much of a god if he can be replicated in a labratory.

  5. ATX says:

    Not much of a comment if you can’t spell laboratory.

  6. Buccaneer Banzai says:

    Replicated, but never duplicated…there is but one FSM, and this is proof of his existence! I’ve never seen microfibers form themselves into a replication of the Zombie Jew or the Bearded Sky-Daddy.

    Sauce be upon His Noodly Worshipfulness. RAmen.

  7. Unsolved Mysteries Forum says:

    Very interesting topic!

  8. american nylon flag says:

    Its like you read my mind! You appear to know a lot about this, like you wrote the book in it or something. I think that you could do with some pics to drive the message home a bit, but other than that, this is wonderful blog. A fantastic read. I will definitely be back.

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