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4.1: Investigating Static Forces in Nature: The Mystery of the Gecko

Difficulty Level: At Grade Created by: CK-12
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Slide 2

Title: Observing Tape

Date: _______________________________

In this space, either include your actual tape or an illustration of your tape with the bubbles marked.

How Does the Tape work?

By definition, an adhesive is any material that will be useful in holding two objects together solely by surface contact. For an adhesive to achieve intimate contact with an object, it must have the characteristics of a liquid, which makes it capable of coming into intimate contact with the surface. In use, an adhesive must be able to resist any applied force that attempts to break the bond formed between it and the object to which it was applied. In other words, it will need the properties of a solid.

Adapted from Johnston, J. (2003). Pressure sensitive adhesive tapes. Pressure Sensitive Tape Council. Northbrook, Illinois, Page 23.

Slide 3

What did you do to ensure that the sticky side of the tape had the most contact with the desk?




Describe how your tape on the desk resisted removal. Is this a property of a liquid or solid?




Slide 6

Image 4.7a: Tokay Gecko Foot

Note the ridges and valleys.

Observe: Imagine you are the size of a bean like the one in the picture. Shrink down and draw what you would look like if you could walk across the toe of a gecko.

Image 4.7b: Setae compared with \begin{align*}75 \;\mathrm{micrometers}\end{align*} (\begin{align*}0.0075 \;\mathrm{centimeters})\end{align*}

Observe: Draw what you would look like if you could shrink down to the width of a human hair and walk through this forest of setae.

1. What similarities are there between the sticky side of transparent tape and the gecko setae?

2. What is the significance that each seta contains between \begin{align*}100\end{align*} and \begin{align*}1,000\end{align*} spatulas?

3. As the scale decreased, what did you find out about the structure of the gecko’s toe?

Investigating Static Forces in Nature: The Mystery of the Gecko

Lesson 4: What Do We Learn When We Look More Closely?

Student Journal

© 2009 McREL

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Date Created:
Feb 23, 2012
Last Modified:
Apr 29, 2014
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