August 5th, 2008

Fives, chaos, and quasi-crystals
Jules Mikhael and his colleagues didn’t set out to make a material with a structure that had never been seen before, much less one that combines order and irregularity in a whole new way, one that Archimedes hinted at 2,000 years ago, one bound together by the Fibonacci sequence. They just wanted to understand a quasicrystal.

Even that wasn’t such a modest goal, because quasicrystals are pretty odd critters. Slice one in half, and there is a sort of mosaic with repeating shapes like tiles, much like a crystal. But here’s the bizarre part: Spin the resulting mosaic a fifth of a turn and often its tiles will line up exactly as they were before you spun it.

Link thanks to theweaselking.