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Once Upon a Time in Kamchatka: The Extraordinary Search for Natural Quasicrystals

Event Details

Event Dates: 

Wednesday, March 21, 2012 - 10:00am

Speaker Name(s): 

Paul Steinhardt

Speaker Affiliation(s): 

Princeton
Seminar Type/Subject

Event Details & Abstract: 

A quasicrystal is an exotic state of matter with an atomic structure analogous to a Penrose tiling, exhibiting symmetries forbidden to crystals, such as five-fold symmetry in the plane and icosahedral symmetry in three dimensions. The concept of quasicrystals was first introduced twenty-eight years ago and over a hundred types have been synthesized in the laboratory by now. But could Nature have beaten us to the punch? The campaign to answer that question makes for one of the stranger scientific stories you are ever likely to hear.