University of Chicago Big Ideas Generator


Big Question: Harnessing Complexity: Disorder-based Design

University of Chicago Big Questions

Principal Investigator: Sid Nagel, Physics

Funding Type: Seed

Focus Area: Complexity

Big Idea: Disordered materials can have highly unusual elastic response to external stimuli. This flexibility in response can lead to exciting opportunities to create materials with new properties. Most recent activity has been devoted to elucidating these newly discovered laws but there has been much less effort in trying to understand how to use these properties of disordered matter to produce structures with unique and tunable responses. Our goal is to show that materials and structures based on disorder can be tuned to create new functional designs that can be used for material assemblies on all length scales - from biology all the way to architectural scales. 

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