ABOUT PAREIDOLIA: The phenomenon in which a person perceives a vague or random visual or auditory pattern as something significant is called pareidolia. Examples of this include someone recognizing the image of a famous person on a piece of toast, the cloud that looks like a house, or the words that seem so clearly articulated when a record is played in reverse. Mental health professionals use this phenomenon to help them understand a patient's mental state with the well-known Rorschach inkblot tests.
MATERIAL ISSUES: Materials science is the study of stuff -- the substances that make up things you use every day-- from your shoes, dishes, CDs, or your bicycle or skateboard. All are made from different kinds of materials. Materials derive their unique properties from atomic structure so materials scientists can manipulate atoms and molecules to design new kinds of stuff with different properties. Researchers' creations could show up in the nifty gadgets, clothing and kitchenware of tomorrow.
The Materials Research Society contributed to the information contained in the TV portion of this report.