December 24, 2014

World’s most complex crystal simulated at U-Michigan

The most complicated crystal structure ever produced in a computer simulation has been achieved by researchers at the University of Michigan. They say the findings help demonstrate how complexity can emerge from simple rules.

Their "icosahedral quasicrystal" (eye-KO-suh-HE-druhl QUAZ-eye-cris-tahl) looks ordered to the eye, but has no repeating pattern. At the same time, it's symmetric when rotated, like a soccer ball with five-fold and six-fold patches.