News From the Field
Using Magnetic Toys as Inspiration, Researchers Tease Out Structures of Self-assembled Clusters
January 29, 2010
In the Jan. 29 issue of Science, a team from Harvard, led by Vinothan Manoharan and Michael Brenner, presents additional clues as to how and why groups of atoms and molecules may favor less symmetrical and more complex, flexible geometric patterns. The answer relates to a familiar concept in physics--entropy. The researchers literally first caught sight of the link by using magnetic "stick and ball" construction toys.
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