Image: Nautilus Shell and the golden mean mathematic dimensions of its shape
Caption: Illustrated for a website entitled, "Light as Air, Hard as Steel"
Researchers at the Center for Micro-engineered Materials are developing high-technology ceramic materials that are lightweight, heat-resistant and strong.
by Bob Julyan
Visualize a seashell. Hard, iridescent, perhaps in a shape as mathematically complex as the whorls within whorls of a chambered nautilus. Chemically, the shell is little more than calcium carbonate-chalk-yet the biologically primitive mollusk somehow took that soft, crumbly material and created-at sea temperature- a structure of solid, impenetrable beauty, lightweight but strong enough to protect the creature within and perhaps be preserved for generations on our family mantelpiece. The rest of this text can be found on the website.
Source: Illustration By Greg Tucker
NSF Funded: yes
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