New shape dis­cov­ered

Down to Earth - - SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY -

A new three-di­men­sional shape, hemi­he­lix, has been dis­cov­ered. The dis­cov­ery, which was made dur­ing a project to cre­ate two di­men­sional springs, made re­searchers won­der if the shape got cre­ated ran­domly or were their fac­tors which con­trol its for­ma­tion. Us­ing rub­ber strips and nu­mer­i­cal sim­u­la­tions, it was found that there is a crit­i­cal value of the dif­fer­ence in the width to height ra­tio of the rub­ber strips be­yond which they took hemi­he­lix­i­cal shape. Be­ing able to re­pro­duce the shape at the molec­u­lar level could lead to ad­vance­ments in sev­eral nano de­vices. PLoSOne,April23

A helix (left), a hemi­he­lix with one perver­sion (mid­dle), and hemi­he­lix with mul­ti­ple per­ver­sions

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