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05-18-2000

Scientists And Engineers From Around The World To Gather At Clarkson University For High-gravity Materials Conference

Potsdam, N.Y. -- An elite group of international scientists who study materials processing at high-gravity will gather at Clarkson University in Potsdam, N.Y., May 29 to June 2.

The 60 scientists and engineers, who come from a wide variety of disciplines, such as physics, colloid chemistry, crystal growth, chemical engineering, fluid mechanics, and hardware development, will be there for the Fourth International Workshop on Materials Processing at High Gravity: “Centrifugal Materials Processing IV.”

For the third time since 1993 this meeting is being held at Clarkson University, with increasing numbers of scientists and engineers from more countries participating each time.

High-gravity on earth is produced by centrifuges and affects the way materials such as crystals or films are created. For instance, the growth of diamond films was much faster when done in a centrifuge at Clarkson University.

Textbooks say that diamonds can be produced only at very high pressure. However, using hydrogen and graphite at low pressure, Clarkson Professor Liya Regel is able to make diamond films like the ones used for hard coatings and many other applications.

Other participants’ projects range from growing crystals of explosive compounds — the crystals have fewer defects, and thus don’t explode as easily — to producing special rocket fuel, to growing protein crystals. Scientists require such crystals for X-ray machines to determine the structure of protein molecules, a vital link in curing diseases and developing new medications.

Most of the scientists coming to Clarkson from around the world have never met, and look forward to this gathering to share results and establish collaborations.

At the last Clarkson meeting in 1996, for example, a well-known scientist from Tajikistan met another from Japan. They made plans to meet again in Japan, and received funding from the Japanese government to produce cheap plastic solar cells using a centrifuge.

The first centrifuge exclusively for materials processing in high gravity was built at Clarkson University in 1993 with a 10-ft. diameter. Regel brought this field to Clarkson in 1991 from the Space Research Institute in Moscow, where she started it using a centrifuge with a 50-ft. arm and a cabin that could hold 2 persons.

Several years ago, Clarkson Professor Daryush K. Aidun constructed another centrifuge for research on the welding of metals. Other large centrifuges for materials research have been constructed in Mexico, Japan, Brazil, China, with more being built around the world today.

[Journalists are cordially invited to join the visiting scientists on May 30 and 31 for dinner at the Cheel Campus Center at 6:30 p.m.

On Tuesday, May 30, the after-dinner speaker will address “How Can We Reduce The Effects on Humans of Exposure for Minutes on a Short-arm Centrifuge?”

On Wednesday, May 31, the after-dinner speaker will address “Centrifuge Modeling Applications in Geotechnical and Geoenvironmental Engineering or: Why Do We Want to Spin One Ton of Dirt Around at 200 MPH?”

Please call Michael Griffin at 315-268-6481 to confirm times and make arrangements to attend.]

 

[News directors and editors: For more information, contact Michael P. Griffin, director of News & Digital Content Services, at 315-268-6716 or mgriffin@clarkson.edu.]

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