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Trinity College Dublin

Magical Materials

Science Gallery's MAGICAL MATERIALS will delve into the mysterious and captivating properties of materials science, from metals that behave like fluids, to fabrics that power electronic devices and meta materials that can potentially disappear before your eyes.

A four week long exhibition in partnership with CRANN, Intel, Enterprise Ireland and the European Commission, Magical Materials will explore the properties of a range of interesting materials, giving visitors the opportunity to investigate and experiment at the cutting edge of materials science. The exhibition will demonstrate how nanotechnology and materials science will transform the clothing we wear, the homes we live in, the vehicles we use and our healthcare solutions. Aspects of the exhibition will include:

•    Aerogel: the lightest solid in the world, dubbed ‘solid smoke’
•    Graphene: A layer of graphite just one atom thick but 200 times stronger than steel
•    Antimicrobial surfaces that keep themselves (and us) clean
•    Smart textiles that store information, keep your gadgets charged and raise oxygen levels in blood
•    Shape memory alloys that remember their original shape
•    Remote access to CRANN’s Helium Ion Microscope and SEM in the Advanced Microscopy Laboratory.
•    Quantum dots, tiny particles that emit different colours depending on their size.
•    “Rate my Research” where materials scientists pitch their work to Science Gallery audiences.

In developing Magical Materials, Science Gallery teamed up with artist Stephen Byrne to create a band of superheroes imbued with the intriguing properties of the materials being explored. From Nanoman, with his amazing tensile strength and flexibility, to Morph, who can radically change shape or size due to a small variation in temperature, the MAGICAL MATERIALS superheroes exhibit physical and chemical properties that are directly based on emerging fields of materials science research.

•    Prof John Boland, Director of CRANN
•    Prof Marie O Mahony, Professor of Advanced Fashion + Textiles
•    Dr Michael John Gorman, Director of Science Gallery
•    Dr Zoe Laughlin, Creative Director Institute of Making