Fun Palace Research

Fractals

Main uses:

  • File compression
  • Internet networks
  • Describing timing and sizes of earthquakes
  • Describing variation in heartbeat
  • Describing prevalence of diseases
  • Describing financial markets
  • Microwave antenna
  • Study of fluid mechanics – turbulence flows

Fractals in nature include clouds, mountains, coastlines, ferns, lightning.
However, when it comes to technology, some people feel that fractals are ‘a solution waiting for a problem’.

Nano-technology

Another area I am interested in looking into for the project is nano-technology. The fun palace could be a celebration of such technology, with educational and exhibiton centres, or even a research lab.

One area of interest was molecular machines. Jean-Pierre Sauvage, Sir J. Fraser Stoddart and Bernard L. Feringa jointly won the Nobel prize in chemistry 2016 for their research into the design and synthesis of such machines.

Molecular machines are ‘molecules with controllable movements which can perform a task when energy is added’. In 1983 Sauvage linked two ring shaped molecules together to make a chain, changing the covalent bonds of the molecules to a mechanical bond. The next breakthrough was in 1991, when Stoddart was able to show that a molecular ring could be threaded onto an axel and moved along it. In 1999 Feringa was able to develop a molecular motor, which could rotate a glass cylinder 10,000 times bigger than itself.

With further development, molecular machines could be used for new materials, sensors or energy storage systems. As noted by the Nobel committee, ‘the development of computing demonstrates how the miniaturisation of technology can lead to a revolution’. The fun palace could be used to educate the public and increase support for further development of such technologies.

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