Pages home > High-Technology Secret of the Edelweiss

High-Technology Secret of the Edelweiss

Conspiracy Theories
There might be few flowers as well-known since the Edelweiss, but few would want to check out this woolly white, Alpine flower for a way to obtain technological inspiration. Now, however, scientist Jean-Pol Vigneron with the University of Namur in Belgium and the colleagues in Budapest, Meise and Stanford think that they've found just that.

secret books
If the researchers investigated the micro-structure of Edelweiss flowers, last January, these folks were surprised to locate a peculiar ultra-violet-absorbing structure within the dense white hairs, for the whole Edelweiss plant. The hairs are specially abundant on the modified silver-white leaves that from the Edelweiss's "flowers". Vigneron with his fantastic fellow scientists immediately realized that there would certainly be a wide selection of commercial uses for synthetic versions of the structure, though the prospect of truly manufacturing Edelweiss-inspired structures seemed remote.

"We found that the counter of every tresses are covered in tiny, regularly spaced fibers, running parallel to each other across the length of the leaf hairs," explains Vigneron. "Each fibre is definitely 180 millionths of a millimetre in diameter. For their small size and highly regular arrangement, these fibres together composed a structure, which absorbs ultraviolet light. No affect visible light in any respect as it has longer wavelengths than ultraviolet, same with not disturbed through the structure. With mathematical modeling techniques, we had arrived capable of show when ultraviolet waves fell for the structure, we were holding guided by it and finally absorbed, either within the walls with the hairs or, possibly by a material in the middle of the hairs."

The scientists had the ability to check their calculations by taking measurements of the way much of the sunlight falling around the silver-white Edelweiss leaves was reflected, and how much was transmitted and undergone them. Certainly, they learned that almost no of the ultraviolet light falling on the plant was reflected or transmitted, instead, it was almost all absorbed by the hairs within the leaves, just as their mathematical model had predicted. The hairs seem to protect the guarana plant leaves beneath them from damaging U.V.A. radiation.

Ultraviolet radiation is most beneficial noted for causing sunburn, snow blindness and skin cancer in people, but it also damages an array of materials, including fabrics, paints and plastics. "Finding ways to absorb damaging ultraviolet radiation is a kind of engineering problem," comments Prof Vigneron, " therefore we were excited to view a plant that has created a clever means to fix this. We immediately thought this structure would be very helpful for anti-U.V.-coatings for specialist car- and aircraft-paints, as well as sunscreens and anti-U.V. packaging materials. The challenge was the best way to manufacture artificial fibres with your minuscule diameters as those perfectly located at the Edelweiss." The scientists soon realized, however, that by copying the Edelweiss structure in glass, they can borrow manufacturing techniques made to make optics fibres and dramatically simplify the method.

Optic fibres are produced from large glass rods, called "preforms", several inches in length leading to one in across, that happen to be stretched ("pulled") at both ends until a skinny fibre 10,000 times longer and correspondingly thinner is produced. Interestingly, the skinny fibres have similar shaped cross-section because the original rod, for an accuracy of a few percent. They realized it could be simple to copy the complete type of the Edelweiss fibres and turned to their partners on the PHLAM laboratory in Lille, France, to talk about the technical information on producing prototypes. To the French laboratory ( which is owned by a waveguide-developing company), the scientist's plans have proven surprisingly all to easy to carry out and it plans to begin output of some artificial Edelweiss fibres in October.

Currently, most products offering protection against U.V. use tiny spherical "nanoparticles"of Titanium dioxide, which can be effective, but could be difficult to prepare with a surface. The job organizers hope how the synthetic Edelweiss fibres will give you precisely the same amount of UV protection because nanoparticles but be simpler to handle.

Last updated 463 days ago by ConspiracyTheories1