Let's talk about science: Weir-Fellan foam showed the possibilities of creating a new generation of communications


In the section “Let's talk about science”, a topic is proposed for discussion on how problems formulated by mathematicians can lead to important scientific discoveries in the field of physics with subsequent possibilities for applying these discoveries in technological practice. One of the examples is the Kelvin problem formulated in the 1887 year.


The task was to fill the space with equal polyhedrons so that the ratio of the surface area to the volume of the polyhedron was minimal. Kelvin himself (aka William Thomson) proposed as a solution to his own problem - filling the space with truncated octahedra - geometric bodies with 14 faces (8 regular hexagons and 6 squares).

Almost a century after this, a new version of the solution to the Kelvin problem appeared. In 1993, Denis Weir and Robert Falan proposed filling the space with a set of two types of polyhedra, which (for the same volume) have a different number of faces. It turned out that the ratio of Kelvin to Weir and Fallan was able to improve. The structure, created in the form of a computer model in 1993, was called the Weir-Fellan foam. It is noteworthy that in practice Weir and Fallon did not succeed in obtaining “their” foam. Only after 18 years, it was created by scientists from Dublin Trinity College.

The question arose: for what and where can it be used? Moreover, this question identified itself even before the actual receipt of "foam". The mathematical model was noted by engineers and architects. So, for the Olympic Games in Beijing, using the model of filling the space with isometric polyhedrons, a water sports center was built. The Chinese announced significant savings in building materials during the implementation of the project with an increased share of the useful use of space.

Now, scientists have found that the Weir-Fellan foam has an important property that allows you to make a real breakthrough in physics, namely in optics.

Researchers at Princeton University published a paper in which the production of Weir-Phelan foam was noted, followed by the study of its optical properties. It turned out that when a light beam passes through this foam, certain wavelengths are blocked. In other words, light of a number of frequencies is reflected by foam, while waves of other frequencies of visible light pass through the material. Too simplistic: the "red" part of the spectrum passes, the rest is reflected by foam. This phenomenon is called selective photon blocking (photonic band gaps).

Scientists immediately stated that they knew an industry where this property of Weir-Phelan foam could be applied. We are talking about communications, information transfer, including in coded form. Researchers note that the capabilities of the Weyr-Phelan foam (the structure itself) can be used to create a new generation of information communications tools. For such means of communication, as stated, it will require an order of magnitude less energy than for the usual today. This statement has already aroused interest from the military.

The effect of photonic band gaps is also known in relation to crystals, but the Weir-Fellan foam has an undeniable advantage - its dynamics when interacting with light can be programmed, in contrast to a static crystal. That is, the “foamy” structure can replace a whole set of crystals for implementation in a data transfer project, the creation of global communication devices.
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  1. Svarog 19 November 2019 15: 52 New
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    Weir Fellan foam

    Yes, mankind over the past three decades has gone far in science .. and the pace of discoveries is only increasing, now almost every day there is information about scientific developments / achievements in various fields .. It’s a pity that the names are all Western .. our names are completely no..
    1. Golovan Jack 19 November 2019 15: 57 New
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      Quote: Svarog
      First on !!

      Quote: Svarog
      surnames are all western .. our surnames are not at all ..

      Yours will never be there request Zadolbali already whiners negative

      Of course, you didn’t understand anything from the article. laughing
      1. d1m1drol 19 November 2019 16: 00 New
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        By what principle are we divided into yours and ours?) Either smart, or beautiful?)
      2. Svarog 19 November 2019 16: 01 New
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        Quote: Golovan Jack
        Yours will never be there

        That's right, now all of yours are there ... with English surnames ...
        Quote: Golovan Jack
        Zadolbali already whiners

        I am confused by the mental state of those who, being up to their neck in .... joyfully shout cheers! Breakthrough! Everything is great!
        Agree not a healthy perception of reality laughing
        1. Golovan Jack 19 November 2019 16: 03 New
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          Quote: Svarog
          I am confused by the mental state of those who are up to their neck in ...

          You judge for yourself, probably?

          Quote: Svarog
          now there are all yours .. with English surnames ...

          Cheap, Svarog. What did you understand from the article? The article is about nothing, practically laughing
    2. lwxx 19 November 2019 16: 09 New
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      Quote: Svarog
      Weir Fellan foam

      Yes, over the past three decades, mankind has gone far in science .. and the pace of discovery is only increasing.
      Unfortunately, the increase in the pace of discoveries has decreased, sorry for the pun. "Moore's Law" is no longer valid.
      1. Maki Avellevich 20 November 2019 06: 59 New
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        Quote: lwxx
        Unfortunately, the increase in the pace of discoveries has decreased, sorry for the pun. "Moore's Law" is no longer valid.

        moreover, transistors and the trend of overall technological progress?
        except transistors do not do anything else?
        1. lwxx 20 November 2019 07: 05 New
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          Zach Moore as an example of technology development. You must admit how quickly science and technology developed from the end of the 19th century and the entire 20th. And now the pace has slowed down significantly compared to the last century.
  2. Politruk-m 19 November 2019 16: 05 New
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    I remember cellular communications were a curiosity, but now, by the way of things, by the way, the analogue of cellular communications was first tested in the USSR in 50-60, but something did not take root
    1. UserGun 19 November 2019 16: 46 New
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      Quote: Politruk-M
      An analogue of cellular communication was first tested in the USSR in 50-60 g


      It's even counterpart can not be called. Attempts on zone Well, maybe still. Nobody calls IMTS (Improved Mobile Telephone Service) an analog of cellular communications, although it existed in the same years as Altai and others. And Bell's MTS (Mobile Telephone Service) was generally in 1946.
    2. hydrox 19 November 2019 17: 12 New
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      Why didn't it take root?
      Altai and Urozhay worked quite stably at the level of regional and even district committees: it’s another matter that the party decided to leave this resource to the party’s means of communication - they have been like that since the end of the 60s
      1. Doliva63 19 November 2019 17: 24 New
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        Quote: hydrox
        Why didn't it take root?
        Altai and Urozhay worked quite stably at the level of regional and even district committees: it’s another matter that the party decided to leave this resource to the party’s means of communication - they have been like that since the end of the 60s

        Transgaz also had, along the pipe, for sure. So not a single regional committee, so to speak laughing
      2. UserGun 19 November 2019 17: 31 New
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        Quote: hydrox
        Altai and Harvest


        This is not a cellular connection, this is commonplace radio extenders telephone connection. They did not have and do not have any connection with cellular communication. Well, you can probably declare them, with a stretch of the nose, for cheers "mobile" devices, but nothing more.
    3. rich 19 November 2019 17: 22 New
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      Politruk-m: By the way, the analogue of cellular communication was first tested in the USSR in 50-60, but something did not take root.

      Cellular communication was invented by Archimedes. It has taken root well and for more than two thousand years it’s no wonder yes
  3. Fedorov 19 November 2019 16: 05 New
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    Pythagoras forgot to ask. And then he assumed that the universe was built on the principle of a dodecahedron.
    1. Siberia 75 19 November 2019 17: 32 New
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      Recent observations, as well as mathematical calculations speak more of a toroid.
      This is the only geometric figure that at the moment does not contradict our sum of knowledge.
    2. Reptiloid 20 November 2019 13: 04 New
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      Quote: Fedorov
      Pythagoras forgot to ask. And then he assumed that the universe was built on the principle of a dodecahedron.

      The dodecahedron, as you know, refers to the bodies of Plato, or regular polyhedra. And the truncated octahedron mentioned in the article --- to the bodies of Archimedes (semi-regular polyhedra)! It is interesting why the Author did not mention the ROMBODODECAEDR, which refers to the bodies of Catalan (also semi-regular polyhedra)? After all, he is uniquely a parallelohedron (i.e., a body with which you can fill the Euclidean 3-dimensional space without gaps and overlays)! And the parallelohedra are also called ... the bodies of Fedorov laughing wink !
  4. Mountain shooter 19 November 2019 16: 25 New
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    A rather "unclear" explanation of the application prospects. I'm not new to physics, but the use of such structures as optical filters? And to form this structure with what? This is all of the order of the wavelength, that is, a fraction of a micron! And accuracy, too, an order of magnitude, at least stiffer tolerances. It seems that this is still a "mathematical model" ... That's when they will learn how to form it ...
    1. ltc35 19 November 2019 17: 32 New
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      I also immediately thought about the implementation problem. Immediately came up with the analogy with the transparency windows in the fiber. But there are three of them and the largest in the infrared range.
    2. vadimtt 20 November 2019 07: 10 New
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      Moreover, this "foam" is made using fractal transformations in an infinite number of alternative options. bully
      And fractals have long occupied their niche in radio engineering, but I’m going into optics tightly and precisely because I can count as many as I like, but realizing in “iron / glass / crystal” is a problem, because you won’t work much on atomic force microscopes .
  5. Thrifty 19 November 2019 16: 44 New
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    Is it a cable connection, or on the principle of ordinary radio stations, but with selective purity, so to speak? Have you tried to go further than theory? ??
  6. gridasov 19 November 2019 17: 07 New
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    Just everything is clear from the text that, depending on the dimension of the local spatial body, be it a dodecahedron cube or any Platonic solid, etc. The physical properties of this macrostructure change. But this is evident when using the function of a constant value of the number. In this case, everything is based not on theoretical justifications, but on experiment.
    1. vadimtt 20 November 2019 07: 11 New
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      Gridasov, fractals do it better, even experiments are not needed to confirm laughing
      1. gridasov 20 November 2019 11: 27 New
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        Theoretical modeling with the absolute identity of the confirmed experimental results is the criterion that both science and engineering strive for. If someone does not understand this, then it is useless to talk.
  7. Polymer 19 November 2019 17: 30 New
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    Only 18 years later, it was created by scientists from Dublin Trinity College

    And from WHAT created?
    Too simplistic: the "red" part of the spectrum passes, the rest is reflected by foam

    Maybe the matter is not only and not so much in the structure of the material, but in its composition? The conclusions from the article are not obvious.
    We are talking about communications, information transfer, including in coded form

    In outer space or through fiber? In atmospheric conditions, the transmission of information by light waves is not a good idea.
  8. rocket757 19 November 2019 17: 36 New
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    Scientific research uses more advanced methods and tools. Qualitative leap on the face. It has always been that way.
  9. faterdom 19 November 2019 20: 31 New
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    So far, only the Chinese are in the black from this foam. At least what they will earn or save.
  10. Ax Matt 19 November 2019 21: 39 New
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    Many thanks to the author! Very interesting topic!
  11. cat Rusich 19 November 2019 23: 47 New
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    "... Significant material savings during the implementation of the project ..." - an "experienced" foreman can do this without the "Weir-Felon foam." "... Increasing the share of usable space ..." - sleeping on the ceiling ...
  12. Dart 20 November 2019 00: 23 New
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    I read somewhere that a similar data transmission technology in the red segment of the spectrum is already working, and at decent distances ... it seems like there are infrared emitters with modulators, they penetrate the atmosphere quite well with less loss even compared to lasers ... I read it a long time ago. If anyone knows what I’m talking about, write more about technology, it will be interesting to compare with the information from the article .. I still need to read the original.
    1. Dart 20 November 2019 00: 29 New
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      Oh, found an excerpt: "...And, probably, the main advantage is the absence of fundamental difficulties in IR technology with a transmission speed limit. If in RF systems to use a reasonable transmission bandwidth you have to use sophisticated coding, which also reduces other characteristics of the system (for example, the signal-to-noise ratio in the receiver), then all these difficulties have nothing to do with infrared systems. The speed characteristics of the transmission channel in IR systems are mainly determined by the technical characteristics of the modulating amplifiers and the frequency properties of the photodiodes! But technology, as you know, is developing at a very rapid pace. Already, when the oldest commercial wireless infrared system is unlikely to be 12 years old, the speeds have reached 2.5 Gbit / s, and with wavelength multiplexing, up to 10 Gbit / s. And this is not the limit. Unbelievable speeds for radio access !..... "
      If this foam is used in the heads of emitters and receivers, then you can achieve even more significant increase in performance ....
      1. vadimtt 20 November 2019 07: 26 New
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        And how speed will increase in the ultraviolet. In addition, according to some studies, the near UV abnormally penetrates the atmosphere with condensed water and fine dust.