Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Researchers find the macroscopic Brownian motion phenomena of self-powered liquid metal motors

02.07.2015

Classical Brownian motion theory was established over one hundred year ago, describing the stochastic collision behaviors between surrounding molecules. Recently, researchers from Technical Institute of Physics and Chemistry, Chinese Academy of Sciences discovered that the self-powered liquid metal motors in millimeter scale demonstrated similar Brownian like motion behaviors in alkaline solution. And the force comes from the hydrogen gas stream generated at the interface between liquid metal motor and its contacting substrate bottom.

Ever since the irregular motions of suspended grains in water was observed by Brown in 1827, tremendous efforts have been made on establishing a theory to characterize the Brownian motion. After almost a half century later, the kinetic theories of heat developed by Maxwell, Boltzmann and others were merging as a possible explanation.


This video shows hydrogen bubble tails generated from a swarm of self-powered liquid metal tiny motors which were distinguished through high contrast optical images. It indicates that these tiny motors kept swiftly traveling here and there, just like a fairy.

Credit: ©Science China Press

In 1905, Einstein published a theoretical paper interpreting the stochastic process using particle diffusion constant and the fluid viscosity. This relationship bridges the microscopic dynamics with the macroscopic phenomenon, which inspired many subsequent works regarding both thermodynamics and statistical physics. Such theory was later demonstrated by the well-known Perrin's experiments.

So far, most of the classical Brownian motions refer to the molecules activities that occur in microscale. There are very limited reports to investigate such phenomena in macroscale. And the ever tackled phenomena are mainly focused on the particle motions caused by the surrounding liquid molecules.

In this study, researchers disclosed that macroscopic liquid metal motors in millimeter scale showed similar Brownian motion behavior in alkaline solution. The authors dispersed the premixed liquid metal and Al (mass percentage 1%) alloy into a glass Petri dish. It was observed that each tiny motor in millimeter scale began to move swiftly and randomly on Petri dish glass.

Contrary to the classical Brownian motion behavior, the main driving force of such motion comes from the hydrogen bubbles generated at the bottom of the tiny motors. Such tiny motor differs in moving mechanism with its counterpart large size self-fueled liquid metal machine which was mainly driven by the electrochemically induced surface tension.

Further, an optical platform with high image contrast, which works somewhat like the Wilson Cloud Chamber, was introduced to clearly depict the hydrogen bubble stream left behind the running motors.

The present findings add important new knowledge to the liquid metal motor as well as the classical Brownian motion phenomenon. The established optical image contrast method also provides an important experimental tool for further investigations along this direction.

###

This research was partially supported by the Research Funding of the Chinese Academy of Sciences (No. KGZD-EW-T04-4).

See the article:

B. Yuan, S. Tan, Y. Zhou, J. Liu, "Self-powered macroscopic Brownian motion of spontaneously running liquid metal motors," Sci. Bull. (2015) 60(13):1203-1210. http://link.springer.com/article/10.1007%2Fs11434-015-0836-6

Liu Jing | EurekAlert!

More articles from Physics and Astronomy:

nachricht From rocks in Colorado, evidence of a 'chaotic solar system'
23.02.2017 | University of Wisconsin-Madison

nachricht Prediction: More gas-giants will be found orbiting Sun-like stars
22.02.2017 | Carnegie Institution for Science

All articles from Physics and Astronomy >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Breakthrough with a chain of gold atoms

In the field of nanoscience, an international team of physicists with participants from Konstanz has achieved a breakthrough in understanding heat transport

In the field of nanoscience, an international team of physicists with participants from Konstanz has achieved a breakthrough in understanding heat transport

Im Focus: DNA repair: a new letter in the cell alphabet

Results reveal how discoveries may be hidden in scientific “blind spots”

Cells need to repair damaged DNA in our genes to prevent the development of cancer and other diseases. Our cells therefore activate and send “repair-proteins”...

Im Focus: Dresdner scientists print tomorrow’s world

The Fraunhofer IWS Dresden and Technische Universität Dresden inaugurated their jointly operated Center for Additive Manufacturing Dresden (AMCD) with a festive ceremony on February 7, 2017. Scientists from various disciplines perform research on materials, additive manufacturing processes and innovative technologies, which build up components in a layer by layer process. This technology opens up new horizons for component design and combinations of functions. For example during fabrication, electrical conductors and sensors are already able to be additively manufactured into components. They provide information about stress conditions of a product during operation.

The 3D-printing technology, or additive manufacturing as it is often called, has long made the step out of scientific research laboratories into industrial...

Im Focus: Mimicking nature's cellular architectures via 3-D printing

Research offers new level of control over the structure of 3-D printed materials

Nature does amazing things with limited design materials. Grass, for example, can support its own weight, resist strong wind loads, and recover after being...

Im Focus: Three Magnetic States for Each Hole

Nanometer-scale magnetic perforated grids could create new possibilities for computing. Together with international colleagues, scientists from the Helmholtz Zentrum Dresden-Rossendorf (HZDR) have shown how a cobalt grid can be reliably programmed at room temperature. In addition they discovered that for every hole ("antidot") three magnetic states can be configured. The results have been published in the journal "Scientific Reports".

Physicist Dr. Rantej Bali from the HZDR, together with scientists from Singapore and Australia, designed a special grid structure in a thin layer of cobalt in...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Booth and panel discussion – The Lindau Nobel Laureate Meetings at the AAAS 2017 Annual Meeting

13.02.2017 | Event News

Complex Loading versus Hidden Reserves

10.02.2017 | Event News

International Conference on Crystal Growth in Freiburg

09.02.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Stingless bees have their nests protected by soldiers

24.02.2017 | Life Sciences

New risk factors for anxiety disorders

24.02.2017 | Life Sciences

MWC 2017: 5G Capital Berlin

24.02.2017 | Trade Fair News

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>