New shape discovered using rubber bands
Scientists have discovered a new shape called hemihelix when working with rubber bands. This discovery took place when a group of researchers at the Harvard University, were inspecting new springs for supporting an imaging project involving cephalopods.
Knowing the recipe for making the new shape might allow the scientists to imitate the geometrical traits of new molecules that can be used for adding advanced features to modern-day nanodevices like resonators, sensors, electromagnetic wave absorbers and so on.
According to Katia Bertoldi, an assistant professor at Harvard University, after knowing the process of fabricating and controlling this newly discovered complex shape, scientists will have to work to find out whether it possesses any unusual property; for example, Bertoldi said that a study on the effects of hemihelix on the propagation of light can be conducted.
Hemihelix, according to the team of researchers at Harvard, possesses multiple “perversions”. The original direction, in which the helices turn, is referred to as chirality; perversion takes place when there’s a reversal in chirality. A hemihelix is formed when the spiral turns with periodic perversions.
David Clarke, a member of the team of researchers conducting the study on hemihelices informed that the discovery of the new shape took place when the Harvard researchers were trying to create 2D springs. The team was working with two rubber strips of varied lengths; the shorter one was stretched so that it can attain the length of the longer strip and the two strips were attached together.
According to Clarke, the scientists expected the rubber strips to bend to form a scroll. However, what they got was a shape called hemihelix.