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Lattice Animals

Lattice Animals

Piece description from the artist

There is a branch of science that deals explicitly with the properties of solids and liquids (condensed matter): Condensed Matter Physics, Materials Science, and for a different “flavor”, Solid State Chemistry. In Condensed matter, there are materials that are hard and highly ordered (crystalline), and often electron-rich. These are the metals, semiconductors, and ceramics that drive the high-tech industry. There are other materials that are less ordered, often more complex, and frequently fragile or “soft”. These are the materials of life, Biophysics, colloid science, an Soft Matter Physics.

An important concept in soft matter is the idea that soft bits of “stuff” can often connect up to form more complex larger shapes. If enough of these shapes form connections to each other, and they bridge the entire volume of soft matter, they from a network. The transition from isolated shapes to a network creates changes in the properties of the material.

The isolated shapes that form on the way to this network are called “Lattice animals."