Engineering and Materials Research Seminar Series

Gecko’s: How do they do that?

open book on table
Seminars

As part of the School of Science and Technology's Engineering and Materials Research Seminar Series, Dr Ian Shuttleworth, NTU presents: Gecko’s: How do they do that?

  • From: Wednesday 15 May 2019, 1 pm
  • To: Wednesday 15 May 2019, 2 pm
  • Location: 015, CELS, Nottingham Trent University, Clifton Campus, Clifton Lane, Nottingham, NG11 8NS

Past event

Event details

As part of the School of Science and Technology's Engineering and Materials Research Seminar Series, Dr Ian Shuttleworth, NTU presents: Gecko’s: How do they do that?

Abstract

The van der Waals (vdW) force is one of the more subtle interactions in materials, and was originally conjectured to exist to as part of the ‘continuity between the gaseous and liquid state’ in doctoral theses as long ago as 1873. It is a true quantum phenomenon, causing a net attraction between fragments of electrons in many-electron systems. Computationally, vdW forces have become significant since the early 1990’s after the successful deployment of the Local Density and Generalised Gradient Approximations (LDA and GGA, respectively) in Density Functional Theory (DFT). As a result, their ubiquity and importance in a range of applied phenomena scaling across the biological sciences, chemistry, engineering and physics are becoming appreciated.


The gecko, however, has for a long time enjoyed the benefits of the vdW interaction. They are among the class of climbing animals that need to be able to grip surfaces in a way that is repeatable, reversible and effective over a wide range of surfaces and in a variety of conditions. The gecko achieves this grip by using large surface-area toes which are covered with micro-/nano-scale fibrils. Some controversy exists over the exact nature of the interactions between these fibrils and the surface supporting the gecko. In this seminar, this controversy will be discussed, and the nature of the interaction between gecko and its surroundings and its consequences for the enormous range of applied phenomena which are now being seen to be dependent on the vdW interaction, will be explored.

This seminar is hosted by The NTU Astronomy and Physics Society.

All Welcome

For any enquires please contact Dr Ian Shuttleworth

Location details

Room/Building:

015, CELS

Address:

Nottingham Trent University
Clifton Campus
Clifton Lane
Nottingham
NG11 8NS

Past event

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