The strangest and cra­zi­est ma­te­ri­als

Wangaratta Chronicle - North East Regional Extra - - Northeast Jobs - WITH CHRIS FEBVRE,

SOME­TIMES sci­ence can be every bit as stu­pen­dous and un­be­liev­able as magic, de­fy­ing our ex­pec­ta­tions and our per­cep­tion of re­al­ity as we know it.

Of­ten the cra­zi­est and most in­ter­est­ing stuff, like the in­tri­ca­cies of quan­tum physics, is too dif­fi­cult to com­pre­hend for we mere lay­men.

But some­times sci­ence pro­duces re­sults that, while we might not fully un­der­stand them, we can at least ap­pre­ci­ate how awe­some they are.

One of the most apt ex­am­ples of this comes in the form of bizarre ma­te­ri­als.

Hy­dropho­bic ma­te­ri­als

Hy­dropho­bic ma­te­ri­als, as the name im­plies, re­pel liq­uids.

An ob­ject coated with the sil­i­con diox­ide and ti­ta­nium spray will defy the be­hav­ior you’d nor­mally ex­pect when com­ing into con­tact with water and other liq­uids - even mud.

If you were to wear cloth­ing coated in a hy­dropho­bic spray, some­one could douse you with a bucket of water and your clothes will mirac­u­lously re­main com­pletely dry.

You can check it out here: watch?v=BvTke­fJHfC0.


Hex­aflu­o­ride is an in­vis­i­ble gas that be­haves like a liq­uid. You can ‘pour’ it into a con­tainer, and even float ob­jects on top of it.

As an added bonus, in­hal­ing hex­aflu­o­ride deep­ens your voice dra­mat­i­cally (the op­po­site ef­fect of helium), so you can sound like Darth Vader.

Check it out here: https:// watch?v=DzLX96VWTkc.

Mem­ory Metal

Mem­ory metal, an al­loy of­ten com­prised of cop­per, alu­minium and nickel or nickel-ti­ta­nium, has a very spe­cial prop­erty.

Of­ten man­u­fac­tured in the form of wire, mem­ory metal can be bent and shaped, just as nor­mal wire can be, but un­der cer­tain tem­per­a­tures it will spring back to it’s orig­i­nal shape.

Some mem­ory metal can even be ‘pro­grammed’ in both a hot and cool state, mean­ing it can take on a dis­tinct, pro­gram­mable pat­tern at both tem­per­a­tures.

Shape-mem­ory al­loys have ap­pli­ca­tions in robotics and au­to­mo­tive, aero­space and bio­med­i­cal in­dus­tries.

Check it out: com/watch?v=JKBM9my5eOA.

Self-heal­ing poly­mers

When you get a cut or a scrape on your skin, your body kicks in and heals your dam­aged tis­sue.

Self-heal­ing poly­mers act the same way.

Their se­cret lies in the mi­cro­cap­sules of bac­te­ria con­tained within them which are ac­ti­vated when dam­aged, fill­ing cracks in their struc­ture with their own life­sus­tain­ing sub­stances.

One day, it’s hoped that these sub­stances will even be used to make road sur­faces.

Check it out here: https:// watch?v=1i3y­oK0C9Ag.

PHYSICS-SHMISICS: These ma­te­ri­als defy nor­mal ex­pected be­hav­iour.

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