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A New State Of Matter Discovered in Chicken Eyes

Update Date: Mar 02, 2014 05:29 PM EST

A new state of matter has been discovered that is capable of being both crystal-like and a liquid, unlike anything we have ever seen before. 

The new matter is being called "disordered hyperuniformity." Researchers believed the matter could change the way materials are designed. Interestingly it is only found in chicken eyes. 

"We've... discovered that such physical systems are endowed with exotic physical properties and therefore have novel capabilities. The more we learn about these special disordered systems, the more we find that they really should be considered a new distinguishable state of matter," said Princeton researcher Salvatore Torquato, according to GeekoSystem

Scientists are hypothesizing that the newly discovered matter evolved as part of a "juggling act" between five different photoreceptors that chickens have on just one thine later of retina. 

"Because the cones are of different sizes it's not easy for the system to go into a crystal or ordered state...The system is frustrated from finding what might be the optimal solution, which would be the typical ordered arrangement. While the pattern must be disordered, it must also be as uniform as possible. Thus, disordered hyperuniformity is an excellent solution," explained Torquato in the press release. 

Researchers added that this might be the first time disordered hyperuniformity was observed in a biological system. Prior, these were only seen in physical systems like liquid and simple plasmas. 

A paper describing the research was published in the journal Physics Review E.

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