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A New Kind of Ice That Bends Like a Noodle Without Breaking

Jul 08, 2021   |   The New York Times

"Ice is rigid and brittle — it would be astonishing to bend an icicle around a softball and have it spring back to its original straight shape. But that’s what researchers have now done, although on a much smaller scale," reports The New York Times.

..."This structural perfection, paired with the microfibers’ relative lack of microscopic defects — such as tiny cracks, pores and missing atoms or molecules — renders them much more flexible than naturally occurring ice, said Erland Schulson, an ice scientist at Dartmouth College, who was not involved in the research.

"'There are no grain boundaries, no cracks, no features that otherwise limit how much elastic strain a body can experience.'

"To demonstrate that flexibility, [the researchers] used microscopic tools to push on the microfibers. They showed that the ice could be bent like a cooked noodle into almost complete circles before returning, unchanged, to its original rodlike shape. 'There was no permanent deformation,' said Dr. Schulson, who wrote a perspective article that accompanied the study in Science."

Similar coverage in: Gizmodo and Chemical & Engineering News

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