Scientists Create Living Crystals: The Key to Self-Repairing Materials

Written by on February 4, 2013 in Science with 1 Comment

Catherine Griffin | Science World Report

Crystals look stunning, and may be more “alive” than we once thought. Scientists have infused life into inanimate chemical compounds by flashing a blue-violet light that prompted them to assemble themselves into a crystal.

crystalsA team of physicists and chemists from New York University wanted to see if they could duplicate and control collective motion in a non-living object. Inspired by the way flocks of birds and schools of fish move as if they’re a single organism, they got to work.

The researchers used objects made of simple chemicals including sodium, iron, chloride, oxygen and hydrogen. They included a piece of the mineral hematite roughly the size of a single bacterium, as well. They then placed hundreds of these particles into a drop of liquid solution on a glass slide.

Then, the magic happened. The researchers exposed the solution to blue-violet light and watched as the hydrogen peroxide in the solution and the hematite began a chemical reaction that propelled the particles forward. At first, the particles moved at random. After 25 seconds, though, the limited space caused the particles to jam against each other and form a crystal. Once the crystals reached a certain size, some of the particles on the edges broke off and grew into other crystals. Once the light was switched off, though, it took only 10 seconds before the crystals dissolved…

…Read the full article

Tags: , ,


If you enjoyed this article, subscribe now to receive more just like it.

Subscribe via RSS Feed Connect on YouTube

1 Reader Comment

Trackback URL Comments RSS Feed

Sites That Link to this Post

  1. Life? - Mutual Spiritual Affinity | February 7, 2013

    Leave a Reply

    Your email address will not be published.

    FAIR USE NOTICE. Many of the stories on this site contain copyrighted material whose use has not been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. We are making this material available in an effort to advance the understanding of environmental issues, human rights, economic and political democracy, and issues of social justice. We believe this constitutes a 'fair use' of the copyrighted material as provided for in Section 107 of the US Copyright Law which contains a list of the various purposes for which the reproduction of a particular work may be considered fair, such as criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching, scholarship, and research. If you wish to use such copyrighted material for purposes of your own that go beyond 'fair use' must obtain permission from the copyright owner. And, if you are a copyright owner who wishes to have your content removed, let us know via the "Contact Us" link at the top of the site, and we will promptly remove it.

    The information on this site is provided for educational and entertainment purposes only. It is not intended as a substitute for professional advice of any kind. Conscious Life News assumes no responsibility for the use or misuse of this material. Your use of this website indicates your agreement to these terms.

    Paid advertising on Conscious Life News may not represent the views and opinions of this website and its contributors. No endorsement of products and services advertised is either expressed or implied.

    Send this to friend