Metamaterial inspired by Islamic art
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The switchable sheet inspired by ancient architecture

Physicists at McGill University in Canada have created a new "metamaterial" based on repeating motifs found in Islamic architecture.

Metamaterials have properties that don't occur naturally, such as getting wider when stretched instead of just longer and thinner.

These perforated rubber sheets do just that - and then remain stable in their expanded state until they are squeezed back again.

One day, the team says, such designs could help make expandable stents or spacecraft components.

Footage: Ahmad Rafsanjani and Damiano Pasini, McGill University

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  • 16 Mar 2016