Thursday, December 9, 2010
Scientists discover fractal pattern in Scotch tape: "In addition, the scientists were surprised to find that both the rough and smooth surfaces exhibited fractal scaling properties over a wide range of length scales, with a fractal dimension that is typical for surfaces produced by crack propagation. The scientists did not expect this result because of the influence of the surface free energy. That is, elastically soft solids such as the tacky rubber adhesive should deform at short length scales in order to reduce the surface free energy. This should result in a much smoother surface at short length scales (or high magnification) than would otherwise be expected. This effect had already been observed in a different context, but could not be detected on the rubber film of the peeled tape."