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Examples of a crystal previously thought to be impossible in nature may have come from space, a study shows.
Quasicrystals have an unusual structure - in between those of crystals and glasses.
Until two years ago, quasicrystals had only been created in the lab - then geologists found them in rocks from Russia's Koryak mountains.
Space is a critical laboratory for conducting this research. Most semiconductor components on Earth are formed by melting and then resolidifying the material into the desired form. Any perturbation, impurity, or irregularity in the solidified material can lead to a direct degradation of the performance and utility of the material. These impurities or irregularities are often the result of gravity-driven flows within the melted material, or other gravity-induced effects The formation of the solidified semiconductor material is extremely sensitive to the presence of gravity or other external forces.
In fact on previous flights, investigators have found that characteristics of the samples' growth were noticeably different, depending on factors like the orientation of the experiment with respect to the shuttle's orbit around the Earth. In other words, even the tiny residual gravitational forces due to the shuttle itself, the non-spherical shape of the Earth, movement by the crew and equipment inside the orbiter, thruster firings, and other effects produce noticeable manifestations in the solidified semiconductor material.
Interview with Technion Distinguished Professor Dan Shechtman of the Faculty of Materials Engineering. Prof. Shechtman is the 2011 Nobel Laureate in Chemistry. Prof. Shechtman shares his story of discovery of a new form of matter. Film made by the American Technion Society.
Originally posted by Threegirls
I don't know anything much about crystals nor why this is news worthy but the Israeli researcher who described the finding was awarded a Nobel prize.
Originally posted by zorgon
reply to post by ROYALMARINE1987
Just go up and collect all that space junk... titanium, platinum, gold all refined. Weapons grade plutonium in the batteries... Make a fortune and clean up the mess to boot...
Not to mention all that secret tech
Originally posted by Ghost375
Moldavite is from space. It was formed when a giant comet hit the earth 15 million years ago. It makes sense that there would be other crystals formed from space debris.
Moldavite has excellent metaphysical properties.edit on 3-1-2012 by Ghost375 because: (no reason given)edit on 3-1-2012 by Ghost375 because: (no reason given)