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Will Liquid Crystals Terminate Sarah Connor?

The first time I heard about liquid crystals I had the initial perplexed look on my face about how this state of mater could exist, what could it look like. I even wondered what it might taste like...I must admit I was a bit hungry.

It wasn't until I remembered the movie Terminator and how the robots where made of a shape shifting liquid (crystal maybe?) that it hit me what this brilliant scientist Giulia Spallanzani, of the Technische Universiteit of Eindhoven in  Netherlands, was actually doing. She was developing crystals that can flow like a liquid and respond quickly to external stimulus.

Ok maybe liquid crystals aren't going to evolve into murdering robots but they certainly will be making waves in robotics, texture-changing surfaces and self-cleaning surfaces. Giulia  might be one of the most humble scientists I ever met, an exceptional experimentalist, she was able to develop an electrical driven Liquid Crystal Elastomer (LCE) driven by Joule heating of a resistive element.

I unfortunately was not able to attend her talk but was lucky to run into her often enough to get a crash course on these LCEs. It was so fun discussing with her and her ability to take complex ideas and explain them to people with no experience was evident. I walked away excited to tell others about LCEs.

This brilliant powerful scientists future is very bright, I am so grateful to have met her. Do yourself a favor and say hello to Giulia, you wont regret it!


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