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MemberSeptember 9, 2021 at 4:44 pm
Three years after their initial encounter, researchers at the U.S. Department of Energy’s Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory have explained what’s happening with the “nanoscale crop circles.” Their research with gold-silicon eutectic alloys shows that the reaction rate in forming small-sized gold-silicon eutectic liquids is dominated by the thickness of the reacting layers.
Almost three years ago a team of scientists at the U.S. Department of Energy’s Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) was performing an experiment in which layers of gold mere nanometers (billionths of a meter) thick were being heated on a flat silicon surface and then allowed to cool. They watched in surprise as peculiar features expanded and changed on the screen of their electron microscope, finally settling into circles surrounded by irregular blisters.
The circles varied in diameter up to a few millionths of a meter, and in the center of each was a perfect square. The mysterious patterns were reminiscent of nothing so much as so‑called “alien” crop circles.