INVESTIGATION & DESIGN


The LEGO blocks, the best thermal insulators discovered

30/12/2019

CATEGORY: New advances BRAND: Lancaster University



Researchers at the University of Lancaster, protagonists of the experiment, believe that in the future it would be profitable to print this type of material on 3D printers.


A team of physicists from the University of Lancaster decided to place a figure and four blocks of the well-known game brand, inside their record dilution refrigerator, at ultra low temperature and they discovered that the results obtained would greatly help in the development of quantum computing.

 

The refrigerator in which they decided to place the pieces, especially manufactured in the University and the most effective in the world, is capable of reaching 1.6 milligrams above absolute zero (minus 273.15 degrees Celsius), approximately 200,000 times colder than room temperature and 2,000 times colder than deep space.

 

Dr. Dmitry Zmeev, who led the research team, said in the prestigious Scientific Reports magazine: “Our results are significant because we found that the clamping arrangement between the LEGO blocks makes LEGO structures behave like an excellent thermal insulator to cryogenic temperatures This is very desirable for the building materials used for the design of future scientific equipment such as dilution refrigerators. "

 

© www.lancaster.ac.uk

 

Invented 50 years ago, the dilution refrigerator is at the center of a global multi-billion dollar industry and is crucial to the work of modern experimental physics and engineering, including the development of quantum computers.

 

The use of ABS plastic structures, such as LEGO, instead of the solid materials currently in use, means that any future thermal insulator could be produced at a significantly reduced cost thanks to 3D printing. That will be the next step: design and print a new thermal insulator in 3D.

 

More information at www.lancaster.ac.uk

 

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