Book Detail

Featured from New Books

Click on the call number to check the book's current status.

The Gecko's Foot

The Gecko's Foot
Peter Forbes
New York : W.W. Norton & Company, 2006
T173.8 .F63 2006

Bio-inspiration is the new engineering: nature's own nanotechnology. Instead of - in crude terms - welding large pieces of hard, "dry," right-angled metal together, scientists, architects, and engineers are now taking a leaf from nature's book by building intricate structures with surprising new properties, using the kind of "wet" self-assembly techniques that nature has perfected over millions of years of evolution.

The quest to match the amazing adhesion of the gecko's foot is just one of many examples of this new science. In Peter Forbes's engaging book we also discover how George de Mestral's brush with the spiny fruits of the cocklebur inspired him to invent the hook-and-loop fastener usually known by its trade name Velcro; how unfolding leaves, insect wings, and space solar panels share similar origami folding patterns; how the self-cleaning leaves of the sacred lotus plant spawned a new industry of self-cleaning surfaces; and how the photonic crystal, perhaps the most important innovation since the transistor, was actually invented by the humble sea creature Aphrodite eons ago.

The new "smart" science of bioinspiration is going to produce a plethora of products over the next decades that will transform our lives and force us to look at the world in a completely new way. It is the science we will be reading about in tomorrow's papers; it is the science of tomorrow's world.

Quoted from dustjacket.