You must have seen science-fiction movies where humans terraform other planets by using high technology to change planets into a place where humans can live. Now, in reality, it might be possible to terraform Mars after taking a step to step approach, according to American and British scientists. They believe that using the island of tiles on Mars could create a habitable environment there, and this can be possible in the next few decades.
Scientist could create tiny islands on Mars, which are covered with the lightest material available on Earth. Silica aerogel is a fluffy white powder material that can be used to make an inch thick layer of tiles. Silica aerogel tiles can insulate the surface and create some habitation domes with drinking water. The tiles would be installed in ice-rich temperate regions of the planet to make Mars more realistic for humans.
This grand plan of terraforming Mars is proposed by a joint US and British team and could be executed in the next few decades. It has been tested in lab experiments that 2 cm to 3 cm thick shield of silica aerogel can transmit enough visible light to start a photosynthetic life. On the same time, it also blocks hazardous UV radiation and raises temperature underneath. Some of the Spanish tiles are also layered with silica aerogel to make them ready to install at UV radiation affected areas.
Robin Wordsworth, an engineer at Harvard University in the US, said, “This regional approach to making Mars habitable is much more achievable than global atmospheric modification, unlike the previous ideas to make Mars habitable, this is something that can be developed and tested systematically with materials and technology we already have.”
Shock Waves can Deform a Material Up to its Atomic Level
Scientists from Materials Structure Science, Tokyo Institute of Technology have captured the deformation effect of shock waves on the material when they used x-rays diffraction. The effect shows how shock waves deform material at the atomic level. Creativity and manipulation in the structure of a material to know about their properties was the foundation of the research. The interaction between the materials takes place with the exchange of forces. So now it would be easy to predict any material’s ability to withstand force and how it would impact the central body of the structure.
The deformation force caused by the rays on the material was actually a shock wave that had displaced the atoms of the material. If the external force is not too great, then the internal force occurred due to atoms can block the external force to retain the natural state of the material or structure. In the case the external force is beyond the limit, force may result in permanent damage and deformation on the material or structure, and then structural failure analysis experts would be needed to make a report on the material being deformed.
The x-ray diffraction came to the rescue at the unit cells of the material. The unit cell is the smallest repeating three-dimensional atomic structure that reflects the symmetry of the crystal. By studying the displacement developed due to crystal deformation, the material was observed. When x-rays were directed towards the atom, it gets absorbed and they re-emit again in the form of shock way by the atom present in the crystal.
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