Jesse Silverberg from Cornell University and colleagues report how they used origami-based engineering to design and build a new type of lightweight, ultra-tough programmable metamaterial. The researchers explain that metamaterials are constructed out of medium-sized building blocks that are bigger than atoms, but much smaller than the structures they are used to construct and that “by adding structure at this intermediate size, previously unobtainable properties can be engineered with ease.” The researchers studied a specific type of zigzag folding pattern that has been used to efficiently pack solar panels for space missions. They used the pattern to create folded sheets, and then devised a way to structurally alter the sheets so that they could control their mechanical properties. The team, led by Cornell University’s Itai Cohen, presented the research at the Sixth International Meeting on Origami in Science, Mathematics and Education in Tokyo, Japan.
Read more about this research from the 8 August 2014 issue of Sciencehere.
[Images credit: Jesse Silverberg, Arthur Evans, Lauren McLeod, Ryan Hayward, Thomas Hull, Christian Santangelo, Itai Cohen.]
Science at The White House Science Fair
In this video, Elana Simon, a survivor of fibrolamellar hepatocellular carcinoma and co-first author of a research study published in the journal Science, discusses both the research and her personal connection to it with President Barack Obama at The White House Science Fair on 27 May 2014.
Natural gas extracted from a deep shale formation by hydraulic fracturing (“fracking”) technology burns at a well in Bradford County, Pennsylvania. Fracking is enabling a shale gas production boom, remaking energy markets, and stoking environmental concerns. See page 1464.