Mysterious materials

How can something soft and firm like clay, become fluent with only a gentle touch? This built-in ability to change shape, and the forces that control it, is something we have not yet fully understood.
Mysterious materials

At IFE scientists are working with basic research on clay and other complex materials. These materials include ferrofluids, also called "liquid magnets", nano-carbon, polymers and biopolymers. These materials are characterized by weak bonds between the microscopic sections and great variation in physical shape/form.

Researchers are examining the relations between the microscopic and macroscopic properties of the materials. The main tool is neutron and X-ray diffusion using the JEEP II reactor, and optical microscopes.

By understanding the properties of the materials and how they work, it may be possible to extend the materials usage.