August 26, 2005
Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory
Half a millenium ago Leonardo Da Vinci made fundamental discoveries about the role of geometric profiles in the strength of friction between materials. Researchers at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory and Ames Laboratory have examined periodicity in friction at the atomic scale using quasicrystals -- materials with amusing (and eerie) echoes in Dan Brown's "The Da Vinci Code," as in the Fibonnaci spacing of rows of some quasicrystal atoms.
Atoms are spaced periodically in one direction on a surface perpendicular to a quasicrystal's 10-fold rotational axis. But at right angles they are spaced in a Fibonacci sequence, in which the ratio of short to long spacings is an irrational number like that of the Golden Mean. Friction is eight times greater in the periodic direction than in the aperiodic direction.
Credit: Image courtesy of DOE/Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory
BERKELEY, CA – The Da Vinci Code, the best selling novel and soon-to-be-blockbuster film, may also be linked some day to the solving of a scientific mystery as old as Leonardo Da Vinci himself — friction. A collaboration of scientists from Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) and the Ames Laboratory at Iowa State University have used Da Vinci's principles of friction and the geometric oddities known as quasicrystals to open a new pathway towards a better understanding of friction at the atomic level.
The above story is based on materials provided by Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.
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Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. "Of Friction And 'The Da Vinci Code'." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 26 August 2005. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2005/08/050826075044.htm>.
Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. (2005, August 26). Of Friction And 'The Da Vinci Code'. ScienceDaily. Retrieved March 10, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2005/08/050826075044.htm
Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. "Of Friction And 'The Da Vinci Code'." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2005/08/050826075044.htm (accessed March 10, 2014).