Subscribe free to our newsletters via your
. 24/7 Space News .




TECH SPACE
Cooking up altered states
by Staff Writers
Okinawa, Japan (SPX) Aug 05, 2015


The changing color is a visualization of changing experimental conditions that give rise to the different bulk properties of a liquid, as aggregates are formed in different degrees. Image courtesy OIST. For a larger version of this image please go here.

Churning raw milk sufficiently creates butter. Squirting lemon juice coagulates it into curd. These two phenomena are not as straightforward as they sound on the molecular level. When milk is churned, the fat molecules in it come closer to form aggregates. Lemon juice increases milk's acidity and creates similar molecular lumps.

Yet butter and curd are not solids because in both cases, the aggregated molecules still maintain consistent distances from each other, behaving as if they are part of a liquid.

There are similar liquids, both natural and man-made, where molecules pack together like a solid in certain localized regions of the bulk material. Gels and shaving cream are industrially crafted examples. Recipes for creating such materials exist, but scientists do not always understand why they work. Creating new types of functional materials from existing ones, therefore, depends on educated guesses and involves trial and error.

Joint research by the Okinawa Institute of Science and Technology Graduate University (OIST) and the Los Alamos National Laboratory has discovered a way to predict the emerging structures and bulk properties of new materials of this kind as they are crafted from variations of existing recipes. The researchers published their findings in Soft Matter. The discovery has significant technological implications in manufacturing new functional materials.

Just as a cook working with a known recipe alters the flavor of a dish by varying the amount of its constituents, adding new ones, and changing the amount of cooking time, experimental scientists do similar things with materials to try and discover fundamental laws. They crowd control molecules within a given space under different conditions.

Adding a new constituent, stirring the pot or changing the temperature influences how much molecules can move around and the closest they can come to each other, by altering the attractive and repulsive forces operating at the molecular level. Only in specific cases are changes to the material irreversible.

The OIST researchers have found the golden combination among these attractive and repulsive forces, that is, they have uncovered a previously unknown mathematical interrelationship among them that allows the structure and bulk properties of the resulting material to be predicted.

"What we found was a simple ratio that weighs the overall attractive forces against the overall repulsive forces in a material. Its value, under different experimental conditions, corresponds with the degree of molecular aggregation. From the existing mathematical tangles, the simplicity that emerged surprised us," said Tamoghna Das, the paper's lead author and a postdoctoral scholar in the OIST Collective Interactions Unit.

In real life bulk systems, it is the degree of molecular aggregation that defines the resulting material's eventual properties. The OIST researchers ran 2D simulations involving tens of thousands of particles. To govern the simulated particles, they fed existing equations of intermolecular crowd control into their system and plugged in values that would lead to the formation of aggregates. They tinkered with their numbers so that aggregation occurred in differing degrees.

Variables like external temperature and overall density of distribution of the resulting aggregates were kept constant for each set of values. While searching for a relationship, between the changing values of the parameters controlling their simulation and the changing degrees of aggregation, they made the important discovery. Their findings can easily be adapted to three dimensions, in accord with real life situations.

The discovery will allow experimentalists to bypass mathematical details of reorganizations occurring at the molecular level in these special materials. It will allow them to predict their emergent bulk properties using the minimum possible information, about external conditions manipulable via experiment. In pragmatic terms, this means it is not always necessary to know why a whole is greater than the sum of its parts.

Practical applications aside, this is also a major scientific advance considering the same mathematical parameters have been used to describe intermolecular forces inside materials since the turn of the 19th century.


Thanks for being here;
We need your help. The SpaceDaily news network continues to grow but revenues have never been harder to maintain.

With the rise of Ad Blockers, and Facebook - our traditional revenue sources via quality network advertising continues to decline. And unlike so many other news sites, we don't have a paywall - with those annoying usernames and passwords.

Our news coverage takes time and effort to publish 365 days a year.

If you find our news sites informative and useful then please consider becoming a regular supporter or for now make a one off contribution.

SpaceDaily Contributor
$5 Billed Once


credit card or paypal
SpaceDaily Monthly Supporter
$5 Billed Monthly


paypal only

.


Related Links
Okinawa Institute of Science and Technology (OIST) Graduate University
Space Technology News - Applications and Research






Comment on this article via your Facebook, Yahoo, AOL, Hotmail login.

Share this article via these popular social media networks
del.icio.usdel.icio.us DiggDigg RedditReddit GoogleGoogle




Memory Foam Mattress Review
Newsletters :: SpaceDaily :: SpaceWar :: TerraDaily :: Energy Daily
XML Feeds :: Space News :: Earth News :: War News :: Solar Energy News





TECH SPACE
Researchers predict material with record-setting melting point
Providence RI (SPX) Jul 29, 2015
Using powerful computer simulations, researchers from Brown University have identified a material with a higher melting point than any known substance. The computations, described in the journal Physical Review B (Rapid Communications), showed that a material made with just the right amounts of hafnium, nitrogen, and carbon would have a melting point of more than 4,400 kelvins (7,460 degre ... read more


TECH SPACE
NASA Could Return Humans to the Moon by 2021

Smithsonian embraces crowdfunding to preserve lunar spacesuit

NASA Sets Sights on Robot-Built Moon Colony

Technique may reveal the age of moon rocks during spaceflight

TECH SPACE
Buckingham astrobiologists to look for life on Mars

NASA Mars Orbiter Preparing for Mars Lander's 2016 Arrival

New Website Gathering Public Input on NASA Mars Images

Antarctic Offers Insights Into Life on Mars

TECH SPACE
Japanese firm to mature whisky in space

Start-ups in spotlight at new Hong Kong tech meet

Third spaceflight for astronaut Paolo Nespoli

Solar weather reports key to safe space travel

TECH SPACE
Chinese earth station is for exclusively scientific and civilian purposes

Cooperation in satellite technology put Belgium, China to forefront

China set to bolster space, polar security

China's super "eye" to speed up space rendezvous

TECH SPACE
Space Kombucha in the search for life and its origin

Political Tensions Have No Impact on Space Cooperation- Roscosmos

RED epic dragon camera captures riveting images on space station

Launch, docking returns ISS crew to full strength

TECH SPACE
Payload fit-check for next Ariane 5 mission

SMC goes "2-for-2" on weather delayed launch

China tests new carrier rocket

Arianespace inaugurates new fueling facility for Soyuz upper stage

TECH SPACE
Microlensing used to find distant Uranus-sized planet

NASA's Spitzer Confirms Closest Rocky Exoplanet

Finding Another Earth

Kepler Mission Discovers Bigger, Older Cousin to Earth

TECH SPACE
Auburn and NASA sign Space Act Agreement on additive manufacturing

Twin discoveries, 'eerie' effect may lead to manufacturing advances

Cages offer new direction in sustainable catalyst design

Controlling phase changes in solids




The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2014 - Space Media Network. All websites are published in Australia and are solely subject to Australian law and governed by Fair Use principals for news reporting and research purposes. AFP, UPI and IANS news wire stories are copyright Agence France-Presse, United Press International and Indo-Asia News Service. ESA news reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. Advertising does not imply endorsement, agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by Space Media Network on any Web page published or hosted by Space Media Network. Privacy Statement All images and articles appearing on Space Media Network have been edited or digitally altered in some way. Any requests to remove copyright material will be acted upon in a timely and appropriate manner. Any attempt to extort money from Space Media Network will be ignored and reported to Australian Law Enforcement Agencies as a potential case of financial fraud involving the use of a telephonic carriage device or postal service.