I love chicken soup, chicken wings, chicken eggs… but can chicken eye’s help us understand a new state of matter? Check out the article on ScienceDaily by clicking here!
Researchers from Princeton University and Washington University in St. Louis studied the light-sensitive cells known as cones that are in the eyes of chickens and most other birds active in daytime. These birds have four types of cones for color — violet, blue, green and red — and one type for detecting light levels, and each cone type is a different size. The cones are packed into a single epithelial, or tissue, layer called the retina. Yet, they are not arranged in the usual way, the researchers report.
They report that the unusual arrangement of cells in a chicken’s eye constitutes the first known biological occurrence of a potentially new state of matter known as “disordered hyperuniformity.” This new state of matter has been shown to have unique physical properties.
They have a “hidden order” that allows them to behave like crystal and liquid states of matter, they exhibit order over large distance and disorder over small distances.
This discovery from chicken’s eyes may help create advanced materials such as self-organizing colloids, or optics that can transmit light with the efficiency of a crystal and the flexibility of a liquid.