10/22/2012 - 06:53

Patterns fascinate. Particularly stripes. Found in nature in zebras, they are also found in the most unlikely places, such as powdered drugs’ mixing vessel walls. In an article about to be published in EPJ E, Nirmal Thyagu and his colleagues from Rutgers University, New Jersey, USA, propose a traffic model to predict the formation of different patterns, ranging from stripes to spots.

08/01/2012 - 10:53

The wrinkles on a raisin result from a simple effect: As the pulp inside dries, the skin grows stiff and buckles to accommodate its shrinking size. Now, a team of researchers at MIT has discovered a way to harness that same principle in a controlled and orderly way, creating wrinkled surfaces with precise sizes and patterns.

06/26/2012 - 10:48

Heat transfer in everything from computer chips to powerplants could be improved through new analysis of surface textures. Researchers at MIT have found that relatively simple, microscale roughening of a surface can dramatically enhance its transfer of heat. Such an approach could be far less complex and more durable than approaches that enhance heat transfer through smaller patterning in the nanometer (billionths of a meter) range.

03/12/2012 - 21:52

When oil started gushing into the Gulf of Mexico in late April 2010, friends asked George Haller whether he was tracking its movement. That’s because the McGill engineering professor has been working for years on ways to better understand patterns in the seemingly chaotic motion of oceans and air. Meanwhile, colleagues of Josefina Olascoaga in Miami were asking the geophysicist a similar question. Fortunately, she was.

07/20/2011 - 14:52

Esses are everywhere. From economic trends, population growth, the spread of cancer, or the adoption of new technology, certain patterns inevitably seem to emerge. A new technology, for example, begins with slow acceptance, followed by explosive growth, only to level off before "hitting the wall." When plotted on graph, this pattern of growth takes the shape of an "S."