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Discover the Creation of a Challenging Material Dubbed the ‘Plumber’s Nightmare’

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Plumber’s nightmare consists of an intricate tangle of tubes

Alisyn J. Nedoma

A strange and fiendishly difficult-to-create material known as “plumber’s nightmare” has been made from tiny, intertwined tubes. Though the substance itself isn’t especially useful, the technique needed to produce it could be used to build other hard-to-make materials.

Plumber’s nightmare consists of a pattern of six intersecting tubes, meaning that a sample contains many tubes connecting and intersecting in complex ways. The material was first theorised 20 years ago and has previously been made from soap-like molecules in water,…

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