Morphable surfaces could cut air resistance
Dimples on a golf ball dramatically increase the distance it can travel by reducing the drag caused by air resistance. As reported in the journal Advanced Materials, MIT researchers including Professor Pedro Reis and former postdocs Denis Terwagne and Miha Brojan, hope to similarly reduce drag on a variety of other surfaces. Their experiments showed how on-demand changes in surface texture on rubberlike balls enabled them to switch and tune the degree of drag reduction. Future applications suggested by Reis might include adjusting the texture of panels on auto exteriors for different speeds to minimize drag and boost fuel efficiency. Read this news story.