Only impossible if you don't look - Quasicrystals in the Cosmos

  • Date: –16:30
  • Location: Ångströmlaboratoriet, Lägerhyddsvägen 1 100195, Eva von Bahr, aula
  • Lecturer: Professor Luca Bindi, University of Florence, Italy (Università degli Studi di Firenze)
  • Contact person: Roland Mathieu
  • Föreläsning

Professor Luca Bindi from the University of Florence, Italy (Università degli Studi di Firenze), will give a seminar entitled "Only impossible if you don't look - Quasicrystals in the Cosmos". Results from the Stockholm-Uppsala project "Functional quasicrystals" will be presented after his seminar.

Only impossible if you don't look - Quasicrystals in the Cosmos

Luca Bindi
Dipartimento di Scienze della Terra, Università degli Studi di Firenze, Firenze, Italy

Until 2009, the only known quasicrystals were synthetic, having been formed exclusively in highly controlled laboratory experiments. Plausibly, the only quasicrystals in the Milky Way Galaxy or perhaps even in the Universe, are the ones manufactured by humans, or so it seemed. Then came the report that an icosahedral quasicrystal had been discovered inside a small rock fragment from a remote stream in far eastern Russia. Later studies proved the rock to be extraterrestrial, a piece of a rare CV3 carbonaceous chondrite meteorite (known as Khatyrka). At present, the only known examples of natural quasicrystals are from the Khatyrka meteorite. Does that mean that these exotic materials must be extremely rare in the Universe? During this talk, the author will accompany the audience on a cosmic-scale excursion going from presolar materials, through nuclear tests debris to recently formed fulgurites. Several reasons will be presented indicating that quasicrystals may prove to be among the most ubiquitous minerals found in the Universe. The author will also discuss how quasicrystals are an example of how sometimes being too uncritical of conventional wisdom may hinder research and progress in understanding the marvels of this world and beyond.

Brief BIO

Luca Bindi holds the Chair of Mineralogy and Crystallography and is the Head of the Department of Earth Sciences of the University of Florence. He was awarded by two Presidents of the Italian Republic for his research and since 2019 is a Member of the National Academy of Lincei. He discovered natural quasicrystals in 2009, showing that they can form spontaneously in nature and remain stable for geological times.

His research activity, condensed in more than 400 scientific publications, has been devoted to four different areas: a) mantle mineralogy; b) aperiodic structures in the mineral kingdom; c) superstructures, twinning, OD-phenomena and structural complexity in minerals; d) structure solution of unknown structures and description of new mineral species.

He is also very well known for his studies on the complexity of mineral structures integrating mineralogy with the most-advanced fields of crystallography.