Imagine a scenario in which you walk into a meeting, movie cinema, or plane and you find only one seat is available. You have no choice but to occupy this seat.
That you have one seat only available “fixes” you as atoms are fixed in their positions in a crystal. This is how crystals have their shapes in an orderly state. Therefore, you are when “fixed” to your only choice. You have no choice but to remain seated there.
This very simple scenario was the seed to a great discovery by Professor Sharon Glotzer. “However, if you keep adding dice, eventually space becomes so limited that the dice have more options to align face-to-face. The same thing happens to the nanoparticles, which are so small that they feel entropy’s influence more strongly than gravity’s”.
Order from Disorder
Can we get order from disorder as nanoparticles do? Yes, we can. Examples are many and I share a few of them:
- The corona crisis, which caused chaos all over the world, left humans with one option only which is to align their efforts to combat the virus. Like lines of a magnet when in alignment the magnetic fields become stronger so are aligned human efforts. Alignment is order emerging from chaos.
- The pain of order leads to … Like the pain of nanoparticles
- The great physics teacher of the mid-20th century, Mark Zemansky:
“Teaching thermal physics is as easy as a song: You think you make it simpler when you make it slightly wrong.” Orderly teaching from disorder makes science easier to understand.
- The pain of order having no other choice but to sitting only available seat in pain. It is the same story sitting in your comfort zone. It becomes painful even if you do not feel it. You breathe new life when you move out of your comfort zone. This is true because some orderly states are painful because they give you no other choice. We are like a depressed person with no choice but to sit only the only available seat. We need some chaos to inject new meanings for life and beautify it.
- Alloys may have more than two elements. Alloying has long been used to confer desirable properties to materials. Typically, it involves the addition of relatively small amounts of secondary elements to a primary element. A new alloying strategy that involves the combination of multiple principal elements in high concentrations to create new materials called high-entropy alloys has been in vogue. Notice the name “high entropy alloys”. This increase in chaos has led to the emerging of new materials of very niche and desirable properties. Again, we have order emerging from chaos.
What Am I driving at?
This post is preparing the ground for my next post and why “human-like alloys”. This idea may lead to the emergence of better humans. The questions of how, why, and what will be the theme of my next post. This shall align also among other thoughts with what Dennis Pitocco and his team call for “Let us bring humanity together”.
Please share what ideas you have in mind.