Img 1 (above): Human fingerprint patterns are created because basal skin grows faster than surface skin, which then buckles, forming ridges .
Img 2 (below): Kuecken developed a mathematical model that can reproduce fingerprint patterns, like this one.
Shipman found that cactus stickers predicatably align in spiral patterns
Patterns in nature can be seen every day, yet in many cases, little is understood about how and why they form. Now University of Arizona mathematicians have found a way to predict natural patterns, including fingerprints and the spirals seen in cacti.
UA graduate student Michael Kuecken developed a mathematical model that can reproduce fingerprint patterns, while UA graduate student Patrick Shipman created a mathematical model to explain the arrangement of repeated units in various plants. Shipman’s report on his work will be published in an upcoming issue of Physical Review Letters.
Even though the use of fingerprints for identification began more than 2000 years ago in China and they have been studied experimentally for over two hundred years, there is no widely accepted explanation for their occurrence. Likewise, the reasons behind nature’s choice of patterns in plants have been difficult for mathematicians to explain, despite these patterns having been identified centuries ago.
Alan C. Newell | University of Arizona
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19.11.2019 | NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center
Nanooptical traps are a promising building block for quantum technologies. Austrian and German scientists have now removed an important obstacle to their practical use. They were able to show that a special form of mechanical vibration heats trapped particles in a very short time and knocks them out of the trap.
By controlling individual atoms, quantum properties can be investigated and made usable for technological applications. For about ten years, physicists have...
An international team of scientists, including three researchers from New Jersey Institute of Technology (NJIT), has shed new light on one of the central mysteries of solar physics: how energy from the Sun is transferred to the star's upper atmosphere, heating it to 1 million degrees Fahrenheit and higher in some regions, temperatures that are vastly hotter than the Sun's surface.
With new images from NJIT's Big Bear Solar Observatory (BBSO), the researchers have revealed in groundbreaking, granular detail what appears to be a likely...
The Fraunhofer Institute for Manufacturing Technology and Advanced Materials IFAM in Dresden has succeeded in using Selective Electron Beam Melting (SEBM) to...
Carbon nanotubes (CNTs) are valuable for a wide variety of applications. Made of graphene sheets rolled into tubes 10,000 times smaller than a human hair, CNTs have an exceptional strength-to-mass ratio and excellent thermal and electrical properties. These features make them ideal for a range of applications, including supercapacitors, interconnects, adhesives, particle trapping and structural color.
New research reveals even more potential for CNTs: as a coating, they can both repel and hold water in place, a useful property for applications like printing,...
If you've ever tried to put several really strong, small cube magnets right next to each other on a magnetic board, you'll know that you just can't do it. What happens is that the magnets always arrange themselves in a column sticking out vertically from the magnetic board. Moreover, it's almost impossible to join several rows of these magnets together to form a flat surface. That's because magnets are dipolar. Equal poles repel each other, with the north pole of one magnet always attaching itself to the south pole of another and vice versa. This explains why they form a column with all the magnets aligned the same way.
Now, scientists at ETH Zurich have managed to create magnetic building blocks in the shape of cubes that - for the first time ever - can be joined together to...
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