Harvard chemists and a McGill computer scientist have animated dissections with chemical processes, which they described in:Chengde Mao, Venkat R. Thallidi, Daniel B. Wolfe, Sue Whitesides, and George M. Whitesides, "Dissections: Self-assembled aggregates that spontaneously reconfigure their structures when their environment changes," Journal of the American Chemical Society, vol. 124, 2002, pp. 14508-14509.
They write: "Here we describe systems of components in which self-assembly is caused by capillary interactions and in which the components have the capability of forming two or more assemblies with different structures. These components---millimeter-scale plates having edges functionalized into hydrophobic and hydrophilic sets---float at the interface between an aqueous solution (to which sodium metatungstate can be added to increase its density) and a hydrophobic liquid (perfluorodecalin, PFD); the structure of the aggregate that is formed depends on the density of the aqueous phase."
- a figure that shows their animation of the hinged dissection of an equilateral triangle to a square. (!)
- an article in Chemical and Engineering News by Pamela Zurer, December 16, 2002.
- an article in Nature's science update website by Philip Ball, December 22, 2002.
- Chemical Dissections, in Ivars Peterson's MathTrek column, January 27, 2003.
Copyright 2003, Greg N. Frederickson.
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Last updated January 29, 2003.