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The Norwegian Academy of Science and Letters is a learned society based in Oslo, Norway. Wikipedia.


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Bergli J.,University of Oslo | Galperin Y.M.,University of Oslo | Galperin Y.M.,Norwegian Academy of Science and Letters
Physical Review B - Condensed Matter and Materials Physics | Year: 2012

Slow relaxation and aging of the conductance are experimental features of a range of materials, which are collectively known as electron glasses. We report dynamic Monte Carlo simulations of the standard electron glass lattice model. In a nonequilibrium state, the electrons will often form a Fermi distribution with an effective electron temperature higher than the phonon bath temperature. We study the effective temperature as a function of time in three different situations: relaxation after a quench from an initial random state, during driving by an external electric field, and during relaxation after such driving. We observe logarithmic relaxation of the effective temperature after a quench from a random initial state as well as after driving the system for some time t w with a strong electric field. For not too strong electric field and not too long t w we observe that data for the effective temperature at different waiting times collapse when plotted as functions of t/t w-the so-called simple aging. During the driving period we study how the effective temperature is established, separating the contributions from the sites involved in jumps from those that were not involved. It is found that the heating mainly affects the sites involved in jumps, but at strong driving, also the remaining sites are heated. © 2012 American Physical Society.


Cocks L.R.M.,Natural History Museum in London | Torsvik T.H.,University of Oslo | Torsvik T.H.,Norwegian Academy of Science and Letters | Torsvik T.H.,Geological Survey of Norway | Torsvik T.H.,University of Witwatersrand
Earth-Science Reviews | Year: 2013

New palaeogeographical reconstructions are presented for eleven time intervals through the Palaeozoic of the eastern Asia region from the Middle Cambrian at 510. Ma to the end of the Permian at 250. Ma. They centre on the continental blocks of North China, South China, and Annamia (Indochina) and their relationships with northeastern Gondwana (which was united to form part of Pangea from the Late Carboniferous onwards). Also shown is the continent of Tarim during the Lower Palaeozoic, as well as the Hutag Uul-Songliao and Khanka-Jiamasu-Bureya terranes, both of which straddle the Russian, Mongolian and Chinese borders today, from Silurian times onwards. We conclude that Annamia and South China were united as a single continent throughout the Lower Palaeozoic and Early Devonian and were translocated by major strike-slip faulting along the northeastern Gondwana margin during that period from off Afghanistan to outboard of the Sibumasu and Australian sectors of the superterrane. They left the Gondwana marginal area together during the Lower Devonian opening of the Palaeotethys Ocean, but very shortly afterwards they themselves divided into the two separate continental blocks that we recognise today, not to reunite until the Triassic. The various Cambrian to Permian rocks found in Japan largely represent active volcanic arcs which originally lay to the southeast of South China, although the Carboniferous was more quiescent there. The Neotethys Ocean opened during the Permian, dividing Sibumasu and the Tibetan terranes from Gondwana, and the Palaeotethys Ocean started to close progressively in the Upper Palaeozoic as most of the East Asian continents and smaller terranes moved towards Siberia. The positions of the various continents and terranes have been deduced from a mixture of palaeomagnetic and faunal data, the positions of Large Igneous Provinces and kimberlites, and the need to provide kinematic continuity between maps of successive ages. However, many uncertainties remain. © 2012 Elsevier B.V.


News Article | March 15, 2016
Site: www.scientificcomputing.com

The Norwegian Academy of Science and Letters has decided to award the Abel Prize for 2016 to Sir Andrew J. Wiles (62), University of Oxford, “for his stunning proof of Fermat’s Last Theorem by way of the modularity conjecture for semistable elliptic curves, opening a new era in number theory.” The President of the Norwegian Academy of Science and Letters, Ole M. Sejersted, announced the winner of the 2016 Abel Prize at the Academy in Oslo on March 15. Andrew J. Wiles will receive the Abel Prize from H.R.H. Crown Prince Haakon at an award ceremony in Oslo on May 24. The Abel Prize recognizes contributions of extraordinary depth and influence to the mathematical sciences and has been awarded annually since 2003. It carries a cash award of NOK 6,000,000 (about EUR 600,000 or USD 700,000). Andrew J. Wiles is one of very few mathematicians — if not the only one — whose proof of a theorem has made international headline news. In 1994 he cracked Fermat’s Last Theorem, which at the time was the most famous, and long-running, unsolved problem in the subject’s history. Wiles’ proof was not only the high point of his career — and an epochal moment for mathematics — but also the culmination of a remarkable personal journey that began three decades earlier. In 1963, when he was a 10-year-old boy growing up in Cambridge, England, Wiles found a copy of a book on Fermat’s Last Theorem in his local library. Wiles recalls that he was intrigued by the problem that he as a young boy could understand, and yet it had remained unsolved for three hundred years. “I knew from that moment that I would never let it go,” he said. “I had to solve it.” The Abel Committee says: “Few results have as rich a mathematical history and as dramatic a proof as Fermat’s Last Theorem.” Andrew J. Wiles, born on April 11, 1953 in Cambridge, earned his bachelor’s degree in mathematics in 1974 at Merton College, Oxford, and a Ph.D. in 1980 at Clare College, Cambridge. After a period at the Institute for Advanced Study in New Jersey in 1981, Wiles became a professor at Princeton University. In 1985-86, Wiles was a Guggenheim Fellow at the Institut des Hautes Études Scientifiques near Paris and at the École Normale Supérieure. From 1988 to 1990, Wiles was a Royal Society Research Professor at the University of Oxford, before returning to Princeton. He rejoined Oxford in 2011 as Royal Society Research Professor. Andrew J. Wiles has been awarded a number of major prizes in mathematics and science. They include the Rolf Schock Prize, the Ostrowski Prize, the Wolf Prize, the Royal Medal of the Royal Society, the U.S. National Academy of Science’s Award in Mathematics, and the Shaw Prize. The International Mathematical Union presented him with a silver plaque, the only time they have ever done so. He was awarded the inaugural Clay Research Award. In 2000, he was given a knighthood. Andrew J. Wiles is a Fellow of the Royal Society. He is a foreign member of the US National Academy of Sciences and of the French Academy of Sciences. He has honorary degrees from Oxford, Cambridge, Columbia, Yale, Warwick and Nottingham. The Abel Prize is awarded by the Norwegian Academy of Science and Letters. The choice of the Abel Laureate is based on the recommendation of the Abel Committee, which is composed of five internationally recognized mathematicians. The members of the current committee are: John Rognes (chair), Rahul Pandharipande, Éva Tardos, Luigi Ambrosio and Marta Sanz-Solé.


News Article | March 16, 2016
Site: www.nature.com

Fermat proof prize Andrew Wiles has received the 2016 Abel Prize for mathematics for his solution to Fermat’s last theorem, the Norwegian Academy of Science and Letters announced on 15 March. The problem had stumped some of the world’s greatest minds for three and a half centuries. Wiles, a number theorist now at the University of Oxford, UK, will receive 6 million kroner (US$700,000) for his 1994 proof showing that there cannot be any positive whole numbers x, y and z such that xn + yn = zn, if n is greater than 2. See go.nature.com/yf1nxj for more. Famous killer whale nears end of life Tilikum, a killer whale (Orcinus orca) at SeaWorld in Orlando, Florida, has an incurable lung infection, the theme park’s veterinary team has announced. In February 2010, Tilikum dragged his trainer Dawn Brancheau into the pool and killed her. The whale was also involved in two deaths in the 1990s, and the story of his life in captivity was told in the controversial 2013 documentary film Blackfish. SeaWorld bought Tilikum in 1983; he is thought to be 35 years old. The species’ life expectancy in captivity versus that in the wild is still debated by scientists. AlphaGo victorious The world’s leading Go player, South Korea’s Lee Sedol, lost his final match in Seoul against Google DeepMind’s AlphaGo machine on 15 March. The tightly fought game brought the best-of-five competition to an end with four wins for the computer versus one for the human player. Sedol came back from three consecutive losses to beat the artificial-intelligence system in the fourth match, but ultimately missed out on the US$1-million prize. Go originated more than 2,500 years ago in China and involves placing black and white counters on a board. See page 284 for more. Brexit warning Physicist Stephen Hawking is one of more than 150 scientists, mathematicians, economists and engineers at the University of Cambridge, UK, who warn of a disaster for the nation’s science if Britain exits the European Union (known as Brexit). A referendum to be held on 23 June will ask whether the country should leave the EU. In a 10 March letter to The Times, organized by protein scientist Alan Fersht, the group argues that the free movement of workers between EU countries helps in the recruitment of high-quality researchers to the United Kingdom. The letter’s signatories are all fellows of the Royal Society in London. Zika meeting With the Zika virus still spreading rapidly across the Americas, the World Health Organization (WHO) in Geneva held an emergency meeting on mosquito control on 14–15 March. The WHO’s Vector Control Advisory Group intends to review evidence to support new and innovative techniques for combating the Aedes aegypti mosquitoes that transmit Zika virus, along with dengue and Chikungunya viruses. These techniques include deploying mosquitoes that have been made infertile through genetic modification or irradiation. Infrastructure map The European Commission has published its latest wish list of the research-infrastructure projects that it considers most deserving of continent-wide support. The European Strategy Forum on Research Infrastructures road map, released on 10 March, details 21 facilities across all scientific areas to help national governments to prioritize how they spend infrastructure money, and to encourage them to share costs and responsibilities. New facilities listed in the 2016 road map include two in environmental sciences and one in health and food sciences, as well as solar and neutrino telescopes and an infrastructure for scientific research into cultural heritage. Minister keeps title German defence minister Ursula von der Leyen, who was accused in September 2015 of plagiarism in her medical dissertation in obstetrics, will not lose the title of doctor or her job. The senate of Hanover Medical School, which awarded the title in 1990, announced on 9 March that its formal investigation revealed that some passages in von der Leyen’s dissertation were copied from original sources. But these were mostly in the introduction, it said, and the main body of research was original and valid. Since 2011, two German federal ministers have lost their titles and government posts to plagiarism charges. Call to save bees The US Government Accountability Office (GAO) says that US regulatory bodies need to do more to protect bee populations. In a report made public on 11 March, the GAO called on the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) to work more closely with other agencies to protect bee health. The report says that although the USDA has upped efforts to monitor honeybee colonies managed by beekeepers, it does not coordinate the monitoring of wild, native bees. The report also recommends that the Environmental Protection Agency identifies the mixtures of pesticides most commonly used by farmers. Gene data shared Researchers and the public can now access a database of anonymized genetic information from 10,000 people with hereditary breast or ovarian cancer. The database, called AmbryShare, was launched on 8 March by Ambry Genetics, a genetic-testing company in Aliso Viejo, California — making Ambry the first private company to release its customers’ information for free. The Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard in Cambridge, Massachusetts, has an open-access database of more than 60,000 genomes collected from the public, but AmbryShare’s data currently focus on specific diseases. Ambry hopes to release up to 200,000 aggregated genomes per year from people with various conditions. India vaccine fight The medical charity Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) is challenging pharmaceutical company Pfizer’s application for a patent in India on pneumonia vaccine PCV13, marketed as Prevenar 13 in India. MSF says that it wants to allow other manufacturers to make the vaccine, and lower its cost. The 11 March challenge asserts that the method that Pfizer is trying to patent is too obvious to deserve a patent under Indian law. Pfizer is reported as saying that the complexity of the vaccine justifies the price. In partnership with the vaccine alliance GAVI, Pfizer has reduced the price of Prevenar since 2013. Mosquito trial A proposed field trial of genetically modified mosquitoes in the Florida Keys poses no threat to human health or the environment, the US Food and Drug Administration has determined. Members of the public have 30 days to submit comments on the draft assessment, which was released on 11 March. The Aedes aegypti mosquitoes developed by Oxitec of Oxford, UK, are engineered to produce short-lived young to temporarily reduce mosquito populations and combat diseases that they carry. The project has received increased attention from the media and politicians amid concerns about the spread of Zika virus. The level of atmospheric carbon dioxide at the Mauna Loa Observatory in Hawaii rose by 3.05 parts per million (p.p.m.) in 2015 — the largest annual increase since records began 56 years ago, says the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. After correcting for seasonal swings from plant-growth cycles in the Northern Hemisphere, the average CO concentration in 2015 was 400.83 p.p.m. — a 43% rise compared to the CO level of around 280 p.p.m. that existed during the pre-industrial era. 10 Consecutive months in which the global monthly temperature record has been broken. February’s temperature was 1.35 °C above average for the month. A strong El Niño weather system has contributed to the record-breaking run. Source: NOAA 17–18 March Commercializing 3D printing for biological applications is discussed at the second Tissue Engineering, Biofabrication & 3D-Bioprinting in Life Sciences conference in Boston, Massachusetts. go.nature.com/rggrat 21–23 March NASA holds a meeting in Washington DC to develop its technology road maps. go.nature.com/dhmq2e 21–25 March The annual Lunar and Planetary Science Conference convenes in The Woodlands, Texas. go.nature.com/qpnoxd


News Article | February 16, 2017
Site: www.eurekalert.org

Lectures, workshops and panel discussions embolden scientifically driven debate, while various social events encourage the participants to pursue their discourse outside the lecture halls and to get to know each other. Embedded once again into the program is the Hot Topic session, which is especially interesting for the media. At the 4th HLF in 2016, the focus revolved around Artificial Intelligence (AI) and a panel of experts addressed the costs and benefits created by developments brought on by AI. The theme for the session in 2017 at the 5th HLF will delve into quantum computing, more information will be available soon on the HLF homepage: heidelberg-laureate-forum.org The Heidelberg Laureate Forum Foundation (HLFF) offers 15 travel grants of up to 3,000 euros to enable journalists to report on this compelling networking event for the pinnacle in computer science and mathematics. Grants cover the travel costs as well as board and accommodation during the stay in Heidelberg (starting with a media get-together on the evening of September 23). Until May 15, 2017, journalists from all over the world are invited to apply, irrespective of their media affiliation (print, TV, online, radio). The applications must include the following: a short CV, three samples of work (indicating respective medium), a synopsis of publications to date (indicating respective medium), planned contributions regarding the HLF as well as a preliminary travel itinerary including estimated costs. Please send your travel grant applications to: media@heidelberg-laureate-forum.org All journalists who wish to cover the 5th HLF are requested to register using the following link: (regardless of whether or not they choose to apply for a travel grant) https:/ The Heidelberg Laureate Forum Foundation (HLFF) annually organizes the Heidelberg Laureate Forum (HLF), which is a networking event for mathematicians and computer scientists from all over the world. The 5th Heidelberg Laureate Forum will take place from September 24-29, 2017. The HLFF was established and is funded by the German foundation Klaus Tschira Stiftung (KTS), which promotes natural sciences, mathematics and computer science. The Scientific Partners of the HLFF are the Heidelberg Institute for Theoretical Studies (HITS) and Heidelberg University. The HLF is strongly supported by the award-granting institutions, the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM), the International Mathematical Union (IMU), and the Norwegian Academy of Science and Letters (DNVA).


News Article | November 15, 2016
Site: www.eurekalert.org

The HLF offers all accepted young researchers the great opportunity to personally interact with the laureates of the most prestigious prizes in the fields of mathematics and computer science. The 5th HLF will take place from September 24 to 29, 2017 (with young researcher registration on September 23). The application period for the 5th HLF has begun and runs from November 14, 2016 until February 14, 2017. Young researchers at all phases of their careers (undergrad, PhD or postdoc) are encouraged to complete and submit their applications by February 14 (midnight at the dateline) via the following link: This prominent, versatile event combines scientific, social and outreach activities in an informal atmosphere, fueled by comprehensive exchange and scientific inspiration. Laureate lectures, young researcher workshops and a structure welcoming unfettered discussions are the elements that compose the Forum's platform. The 4th HLF attracted young researchers from over 50 nations to participate. Over the course of the week-long HLF, young researchers will be given the exclusive possibility to profoundly connect with their scientific role models and find out how the laureates made it to the top of their fields. As described by a young researcher at the 4th HLF, "Attending the 4th Heidelberg Laureate Forum has been a profoundly enriching experience. I was also very impressed with how well organized the Forum was." All completed and submitted applications are meticulously reviewed by an international committee of expert mathematicians and computer scientists to ensure that only the most qualified candidates are invited. There are 100 spaces available for each discipline of mathematics and computer science. All applicants will be notified by the end of April 2017 whether or not they will be invited. For questions regarding requirements and the application process, please contact Young Researchers Relations at: yr@heidelberg-laureate-forum.org For more information, please visit: http://www. The Heidelberg Laureate Forum Foundation (HLFF) annually organizes the Heidelberg Laureate Forum (HLF), which is a networking event for mathematicians and computer scientists from all over the world. The 5th Heidelberg Laureate Forum will take place from September 24 to 29, 2017. The HLFF was established and is funded by the German foundation the Klaus Tschira Stiftung (KTS), which promotes natural sciences, mathematics and computer science. The Scientific Partners of the HLFF are the Heidelberg Institute for Theoretical Studies (HITS) and Heidelberg University. The HLF is strongly supported by the award-granting institutions, the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM), the International Mathematical Union (IMU), and the Norwegian Academy of Science and Letters (DNVA).


News Article | October 26, 2016
Site: www.eurekalert.org

The HLF offers all accepted young researchers the great opportunity to personally interact with the laureates of the most prestigious prizes in the fields of mathematics and computer science. The 5th HLF will take place from September 24 to 29, 2017 (with young researcher registration on September 23). The application period for the 5th HLF runs from November 14, 2016 until February 14, 2017. Young researchers at all phases of their careers (undergrad, PhD or postdoc) are encouraged to complete and submit their applications by February 14 (midnight at the dateline) via the following link: http://application. This prominent, versatile event combines scientific, social and outreach activities in an informal atmosphere, fueled by comprehensive exchange and scientific inspiration. Laureate lectures, young researcher workshops and a structure welcoming unfettered discussions are the elements that compose the Forum's platform. The 4th HLF attracted young researchers from over 50 nations to participate. Over the course of the week-long HLF, young researchers will be given the exclusive possibility to profoundly connect with their scientific role models and find out how the laureates made it to the top of their fields. As described by a young researcher at the 4th HLF, "Attending the 4th Heidelberg Laureate Forum has been a profoundly enriching experience. I was also very impressed with how well organized the Forum was." All completed and submitted applications are meticulously reviewed by an international committee of expert mathematicians and computer scientists to ensure that only the most qualified candidates are invited. There are 100 spaces available for each discipline of mathematics and computer science. All applicants will be notified by the end of April 2017 whether or not they will be invited. For questions regarding requirements and the application process, please contact Young Researchers Relations at: yr@heidelberg-laureate-forum.org For more information, please visit: http://www. The Heidelberg Laureate Forum Foundation (HLFF) annually organizes the Heidelberg Laureate Forum (HLF), which is a networking event for mathematicians and computer scientists from all over the world. The 5th Heidelberg Laureate Forum will take place from September 24 to 29, 2017. The HLFF was established and is funded by the German foundation the Klaus Tschira Stiftung (KTS), which promotes natural sciences, mathematics and computer science. The Scientific Partners of the HLFF are the Heidelberg Institute for Theoretical Studies (HITS) and Heidelberg University. The HLF is strongly supported by the award-granting institutions, the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM), the International Mathematical Union (IMU), and the Norwegian Academy of Science and Letters (DNVA).


News Article | November 14, 2016
Site: www.eurekalert.org

The Heidelberg Laureate Forum is an annual networking event that unites the laureates of computer science and mathematics with brilliant, precisely selected young researchers from around the globe for a week of intensive exchange. All recipients of the ACM Prize in Computing will be cordially invited to attend the 5th Heidelberg Laureate Forum next September 24-29, to profoundly interact with fellow laureates and young researchers in computer science and mathematics. The history of the ACM Prize in Computing: Ten years ago, the ACM established the Infosys Foundation Award in Computing Science to "recognize personal contributions by young scientists and system developers to a contemporary innovation that, through its depth, fundamental impact and broad implications, exemplifies the greatest achievements in the discipline." The prize was commonly referred to as the Infosys Award and was accompanied by funding from Infosys. Due to the award's eminence, it has been renamed the ACM Prize in Computing and funding from the Infosys Ltd. has been raised to $250,000. Significant developments in the wake of the 4th HLF, from the HLFF being joined by two substantial scientific partners to the HLF Laureates expanding with the inclusion of the ACM Prize in Computing recipients, have sparked excitement and heightened anticipation for the 5th Heidelberg Laureate Forum. More information regarding the ACM Prize in Computing can be found here: http://awards. For further information pertaining to the Heidelberg Laureate Forum, please visit the homepage: http://www. The Heidelberg Laureate Forum Foundation (HLFF) annually organizes the Heidelberg Laureate Forum (HLF), which is a networking event for mathematicians and computer scientists from all over the world. The 5th Heidelberg Laureate Forum will take place from September 24 to 29, 2017. The HLFF was established and is funded by the German foundation the Klaus Tschira Stiftung (KTS), which promotes natural sciences, mathematics and computer science. The Scientific Partners of the HLFF are the Heidelberg Institute for Theoretical Studies (HITS) and Heidelberg University. The HLF is strongly supported by the award-granting institutions, the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM), the International Mathematical Union (IMU), and the Norwegian Academy of Science and Letters (DNVA). With this press release, we would like to extend an invitation to attend and report on the 5th Heidelberg Laureate Forum.


News Article | August 26, 2016
Site: www.nanotech-now.com

Home > Press > Forces of nature: Interview with microscopy innovators Gerd Binnig and Christoph Gerber Abstract: The inventors of one of the most versatile tools in modern science - the atomic force microscope, or AFM - tell their story in an interview published online this week. The AFM was invented in the mid 1980s by Gerd Binnig, Christoph Gerber and Calvin Quate, three physicists who are sharing the 2016 Kavli Prize in Nanoscience. Binnig and Gerber discuss their inspiration for the device, how they solved problems through sport, and why their invention continues to propel science at the nanoscale. "AFM has turned into the most powerful and most versatile toolkit that we have for doing nanoscience. And it keeps evolving," said Gerber in the interview. Gerber is a professor of physics at the Swiss Nanoscience Institute, part of the University of Basel. "In just the past few years, researchers have learned to pick up a molecule on the tip of an AFM, which we can think of as the needle on a record player, and reveal chemical bonds while imaging molecules on surfaces. Nobody thought that ever would be possible." Unlike optical microscopes, AFM doesn't use light to illuminate an object. Instead, it measures the tiny forces between a sharp tip at the end of a cantilever and the surface of an object. As it scans a surface, what emerges is an image so clear that researchers can even distinguish chemical bonds within a molecule. They can also use the tip to create and cleave those bonds, and push atoms around. "[AFM] lets us look at the molecules that make life possible... and see things we could not see before," said Binnig, who received the Nobel Prize in 1986 for the scanning tunneling microscope, AFM's predecessor. "It teaches us how to make changes to surfaces or molecules that we attempted blindly in the past. And it has been used in so many different scientific studies, from looking at polymers and chemical reactions to modifying surfaces at the atomic level." The complete interview is freely available at: www.kavliprize.org/events-and-features/2016-kavli-prize-nanoscience-discussion-gerd-binnig-and-christoph-gerber The three Nanoscience laureates will be honored at the Kavli Prize Award Ceremony in Oslo, Norway, on September 6, 2016. The prizes were announced June 2 by the Norwegian Academy of Science and Letters: www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2016-06/b-9sp060116.php About The Kavli Foundation The Kavli Prizes recognize scientists for their seminal advances in three research areas: astrophysics, nanoscience and neuroscience. Consisting of a scroll, medal and cash award of one million dollars, a prize in each of these areas is awarded every two years beginning in 2008. Kavli Prize recipients are chosen biennially by three prize committees comprised of distinguished international scientists recommended by the Chinese Academy of Sciences, the French Academy of Sciences, the Max Planck Society, the U.S. National Academy of Sciences and the Royal Society. The 2016 Kavli Prizes will be awarded in Oslo, Norway, on September 6. For detailed information on each of the prizes, the 2016 laureates and their work, and all the Kavli Prize Week events, please see the Kavli Prize website: www.kavliprize.org. The Kavli Prizes are a partnership between the Norwegian Academy of Science and Letters, The Kavli Foundation (USA) and the Norwegian Ministry of Education and Research. For more information, please click If you have a comment, please us. Issuers of news releases, not 7th Wave, Inc. or Nanotechnology Now, are solely responsible for the accuracy of the content.


Fossum J.O.,Norwegian University of Science and Technology | Fossum J.O.,Norwegian Academy of Science and Letters
European Physical Journal: Special Topics | Year: 2012

Recent experimental and theoretical research into physical phenomena in clays is reviewed. Clays' present place in the context of modern materials science is briefly discussed, and illustrated through the rich behavior recently displayed in this physical model system. We will show that in order to understand macroscopic flow behaviors in these systems, it is crucial to know the underlying nanostructures in detail. With the clay nanostructural basis at hand, we will review recent advances in clay systems from the geological example of quick clay flows and avalanches, to materials science and the stability, strength and flow of smart electrorheological clay structures. In the case of natural quick clay, there is now hope of establishing a protocol for avalanche preditction based on rheological sample data. In materials science, the use of electric fields together with flow in order to improve the processing of clay composite materials may open new unexplored avenues. We will finally discuss that due to the interplay of van der Waals and electrostatic forces screened by ions at the nanoscale, clays may either form a glass, or a gel and thus give fundamental insights into the elusive questions related to materials universal aging flow dynamics. © 2012 EDP Sciences and Springer.

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