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    • Scientists have discovered a new type of quasicrystal in the Sand Hills of north central Nebraska, USA.


    • Physicists believed every crystalline arrangement of atoms had a repeating pattern, until material scientist Dan Shechtman discovered crystal structures that are mathematically regular but don’t repeat themselves in 1982.
    • The first two quasicrystals were found in a meteorite in Russia and debris from the world’s first nuclear explosion in New Mexico, both subjected to extreme high-pressure and high-temperature events
    • The latest discovery is only the third time scientists have come across a quasicrystal in nature and was created by a lightning strike in a wind-created dune.
    • The discovered quasicrystal has a dodecagonal or 12-sided atomic structure, which is unusual compared to previously found and lab-grown quasicrystals with five-fold symmetric patterns.


    • A quasicrystal is a crystal-like substance where atoms are arranged in a pattern that doesn’t repeat itself regularly.
    • Unlike crystals, which have a repeating pattern of atoms, quasicrystals have a more complex and non-repeating arrangement of atoms, which makes them difficult to synthesize.
    • Its properties are sensitive to impurities, so it is important to maintain a high level of purity during the manufacturing process.
    • Quasicrystals can be easily produced in labs and possess novel electrical, photonic, and mechanical properties, making them attractive for materials scientists.
    • These have been used in manufacturing non-stick frying pans, acupuncture needles, dental instruments, and razor blades.

    Source: TH