Engineered Megamaterial: A New Paradigm?
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~Dave Santos 21Nov2011
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The Sky as a Liquid Crystal; MSKA as the Geoengineered Version
Matter in a Liquid Crystal (LC) state is fairly
ordinary. Gelatin is a liquid crystal, as are biomembranes and plasms.
The LC state is an intermediate Mesophase
between liquid and solid characterized by some amount of ordered
patterning of its monomers. Many of our kite fibers are classed
as liquid crystals; Vectran is even commercially billed as such, but
Kevlar and all the other ester-based materials (polyester) are LCs.
Soap solutions are liquid crystals. Any bulk material in mixed liquid
and crystal phases is an LC. MSKA (Mega Scale Kite Aerogel) is a
liquid crystal, and existing condensed matter physics is foundational
to understanding the new science of AWE-inspired megamaterials.
A curious property of mesophase LC materials is a
common milky "Blue Phase" state owing to the characteristic length optical properties
of monomers on the verge of polymerization into the macroscale. We see
this blue in smoke, lab aerogels, and even the blue sky itself. Is
the sky an LC? Considered statistically, we find a definite amount of
ordered patterning of its monomers. There are ice crystals, condensed vapor
spheres (cloud), and molecules that order themselves weakly in
electromagnetic gradients, and sort themselves by density,
temperature, fluidynamics, and so on. Therefore the sky is a
definite liquid crystal, but you can tease an ordinary physicist with
such pronouncements. MSKA should display an added blueness at a
distance, although this will mostly be from its
Its essential, but not enough, to fly kites constantly
and tinker in garages: Real revolutions require a revolutionary
perspective. Now we get to ponder a kite-and-string based planetary-scale
engineered megamaterial with weird properties like Flubber, Ice-Nine,
and the Crystalline Entity.
It can power civilization hundreds of times over, but also do much
more we have not even imagined. We live in interesting times.
You +1'd this publicly. Undo
Liquid crystals (LCs)
are a state of matter that have properties between those of a
conventional liquid and those of a solid crystal.
- Well, "mega" usually refers to size, and "material"
to an amorphous substance . . . I'm surprised they didn't suggest
- "Steel" can be any shape you want, if you are
skilled enough, and any other shape if you are not."
- Robert Persig
~~ Bob Stuart
Bob, Quote marks
constrain a search to be literal, since at least WebCrawler, i think. Google's promptings
are quite often corrupt, and the underlying marketing algorithms do
not help scholars. Advertisers pay Googleto lead
search results with an ever fainter pink box. This is a terrible
Mega prefix in the strict definition means a megameter (1000km),
which scale the Great Wall is, and MSKA can
do in principle. Megascale has
many looser uses- referring to
anything of giant proportions.
Nano, Meso, and Macro
scales and materials have large concept clusters. Clearly we are on to
something MegaCool with
the MSKA engineered megamaterial paradigm. MSKA is
also a newcomer to the short list of known doable megastructures*,