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These hair-like structures bend when exposed to a magnetic field allowing water to defy gravity (via MIT)

MIT engineers have designed some interesting materials that include a graphite-based foam that converts solar energy into steam and a self-assembling material that can be used for flat semiconductors. Adding to that list is a new elastic material that is coated with microscopic hair-like structures that bend when exposed to a magnetic field.

As strange as it sounds, this allows the material to form channels that would permit water to travel upwards against gravity. The funny thing is, the material wasn’t back-engineered from alien technology or found inside of a meteorite but rather from simple silicon and nickel. The metal hairs are roughly 70-microns tall, 25-microns wide and were fabricated on an elastic transparent layer of silicone. When a magnetic field was applied, the engineers found they could make liquid travel in any direction they wanted depending on the field’s orientation.

Not only that, they also found they could direct the flow of light, much like window blinds. This new material could be applied to vehicle windshields and building windows to manipulate rain and sunlight. Water would bead off to the windows edges and darken depending on the amount of sunlight. It could even be woven into fabric for a type of smart-clothing that would literally wick away moisture (rainproof business suit?).


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