Scientists figured out how to make a liquid metal that can stretch in all sorts of directions. It looks like a sci-fi visual effect ‘terminator’ made real.
The American Chemical Society released a video of the metal in action to go along with a paper titled Magnetic Liquid Metals Manipulated in the Three-Dimensional Free Space from the Applied Materials & Interfaces journal.
The shiny liquid metal can be manipulated with magnets. It stretches like the fictional T-1000 robot from Terminator 2, and can also be used to complete a circuit.
“They added iron particles to a droplet of a gallium, indium and tin alloy immersed in hydrochloric acid.”
A gallium oxide layer formed on the droplet surface, which lowered the surface tension of the liquid metal.” This allows it to stretch out and move without breaking apart.
We’re a long way off from morphing androids, but the researchers believe this sort of liquid metal could one day be incorporated into soft robotics.