Thursday, December 13, 2012

Crystal Growth Under Zero Gravity

This is a rather interesting report on the growth of He4 crystal with and without gravity. They even have a video of the growth, which obviously occurs in a very short time.

Here's the synopsis accompanying the video:

There are several limitations to growing crystals on Earth, which is why a group of researchers from Japan have taken to the skies to grow them under zero gravity.

They have successfully grown helium crystals 10 times larger than can be achieved on Earth with ordinary materials and it took just a matter of seconds -- ordinary, classic crystals can take up to a thousand years to reach their final shape.

This was achieved using high pressures, extremely low temperatures (-270oC) and by splashing the crystals with a superfluid.

From 13 December, the paper can be downloaded from


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