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Irish Mathematicians Find A Way To Make Batman’s Cape

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As we all know, clothes make the man, so a new formula coming out of NUI Galway means that very soon we can all be dressing as Batman......o.k. that is a bit of a stretch, but the formula, the result of a collaboration between Irish and Italian mathematicians, works out how much voltage soft conductive or ‘dielectric’ membranes can take before they break. Up until now, it was impossible to know what the breaking point of these materials was, and if this sounds familiar, this exact method was used to construct Batman’s cape in Batman Begins. Let Dr. Michael Destrade at the school of Mathematics, Statistics, and Applied Mathematics in NUI Galway explain how it works:

If you can remember the scene in Batman Begins where this huge bat cape emerges from a tiny folded piece of material, that’s the kind of technology which is being developed currently in some labs around the world, especially in Harvard University and in China.

It’s the electric voltage that allows these special membranes to expand. Until now it was not fully understood how much voltage these membranes could sustain.
Some are a millimetre thick, but if they thin out too much when they stretch with the voltage, it can lead to a short-circuit and a catastrophic breakdown. We hope our mathematical formula will help advance science in this area.

The real world applications of this formula could lead to ‘smart’ clothing, or artificial human muscles. Or, of course, a snazzy cape to go along with your vigilante outfit.


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The Movie Bit: Irish Mathematicians Find A Way To Make Batman’s Cape
Irish Mathematicians Find A Way To Make Batman’s Cape
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