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Dan Shechtman interview: What can quasicrystals be used for?

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Practical applications – there are several important ones. But I will expand on that. Let me give you one example of use from here, from Sweden. The company Sandvik had created a steel, which is stainless and precipitation hardened. It is very strong and it is a wonderful steel, one of the best in the world. The properties are due to tiny quasicrystalline particles that are in this alloy, and which make this alloy so wonderful and so strong. Other applications depend on other properties. If there is an extraordinary property in any material, and the combination of properties of that material fits some use, then it is being used. For instance, many quasiperiodic materials have low surface energy, and they are non-stick materials. You can coat a frying pan with a quasicrystal... ...and it will serve like Teflon... ...and unlike Teflon, it does not wear out. It is very hard. If you find a property which is unique, and the other properties fit, and the prize is OK, and the appearance is OK, and you can deposit it... ...or build it in some way that is useful, then you can find uses. But let’s expand on this a little bit. When quasiperiodic materials were discovered, the mathematics of quasiperiodicity started to develop very fast, and the mathematicians took the field deep into the future. So the field of mathematics developed. And there were other fields that developed in certain directions. For instance, you don’t have to make materials to create... ...a quasiperiodic array of some kind. Penrose tiles is an example of an array. It is not a material, it is a shape. Then, you can create antennas... broadcast and receive information based on quasiperiodicity... ...and there are some advantages to that. There are interesting optical properties to such arrays... ...and there is very serious research to find applications for... ...quasiperiodic arrays.and their interaction with light or with other radiations. So the field is really developing and growing out of materials. Quasiperiodicity became a serious subject of research in many fields. That’s another important contribution.

Video Details

Duration: 3 minutes and 7 seconds
Country: Sweden
Language: English
Producer: MoleCluesTV
Director: Per Thorén
Views: 950
Posted by: locumele on Jan 23, 2012

Nobel Prize winner Dan Shechtman interviewed for MoleClues. Entire interview available on

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