1. Spiders get in on van der Waals forces

    jake on 2004.04.27
    at 11:18 pm

    spider hairsLast year it was geckos, now it's spiders. Scientists have found similar properties in the hairs on spiders legs to provide van der Waals force. It allows many small contacts between the spider and a flat service. Everyone keeps talking about fancy post-it notes. I want to see a real Spider-man type application. Or maybe a new way to attach plasma TV's to the wall? That would be great compared to all the mounting brackets.

    Andrew Martin, from the Institute of Technical Zoology and Bionics in Germany, said, "We found out that when all 600,000 tips are in contact with an underlying surface the spider can produce an adhesive force of 170 times its own weight. That's like Spiderman clinging to the flat surface of a window on a building by his fingertips and toes only, whilst rescuing 170 adults who are hanging on to his back!"

    Discovery Channel
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    Posted in: Science


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