Materials Matter

Working together, the MRSEC and the Franklin Institute have produced the Materials Matter museum show, a 60 minute cart-based interactive exploration into the "micro" mechanisms behind the unusual and surprising "macro" behavior of materials such as aerogels, shape-memory alloys, polymers, electronic ink, and zeolites. We've distributed 22 copies of this show to science museums nationwide.


The goal of this demonstration is to explore the properties of a cross-linked polymer. When a polymer is cross-linked, it can take on new properties, such as going from a liquid to a solid.

Electronic Ink

The goal of this demonstration is to show things on a micro scale can effect what we see on a macro scale. Demonstrate that research is not just a result it's also a process.


Aerogel is the lightest and lowest-density solid known to exist. It is typically 50-99.5% air, yet can hold 500 to 4,000 times its weight in applied force!

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