Bazinga! Slogan Sheldon Cooper leads to new material
Researchers get their inspiration from many (everyday or otherwise) things, but coming up with an idea through a famous series is new.
Anyone familiar with the sitcom The Big Bang Theory knows that physicist Sheldon Cooper likes the word “Bazinga! proclaimed. But what Dr. Cooper himself probably couldn’t have imagined is that his slogan has inspired scientists in shaping a new material.
Nature and chemists are always looking for new materials or materials with new properties. So is researcher Paul Canfield of Iowa State University. Together with his team he researches ternary compounds (consisting of three elements). One of his team members was watching The Big Bang Theory one evening when Sheldon Cooper made his famous statement again.
That got the graduate in physics thinking. Bazinga can be translated into barium, zinc and gallium according to the periodic table: BaZnGa! The research team first checked whether this composition had been made once before and when this turned out not to be the case, the scientists created the new material BaZnGa.
The result was somewhat surprising: the compound consisted of an unprecedented crystal structure. This result is useful, according to the scientists, because when a new structure is found, it is fun because it gives more information about how nature arranges atoms.
But unfortunately, that’s all, because BaZnGa does not have any other great properties, the researchers found. At least, so far they have been able to discover.
Despite this disappointment, the researchers did see the humour in it. It is as if Dr. Cooper takes a himselfeen walk with them, since he is in the series “Bazinga! shouts when he’s fooled his friends.
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