Professor describes liquid crystal elastomers

Speaking at the Institute of Physics Condensed Matter and Materials Physics Conference in Warwick, Professor Mark Warner from the University of Cambridge described a new type of elastomer which has rod-shaped projections that interact with light.

Like conventional liquid crystal materials, they can be made to do unusual things, like change colour when stretched, or stretch when light falls on them. Some such materials have been produced in the lab, which change shape within 10 milliseconds of being illuminated. They are, according to the professor, relatively…

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