For as long as pigments have been made and ground up the rule of thumb has been, the farther along the visual spectrum you go the harder and more expensive it gets to create that color.
Blue has had a double hit to it’s reputation in that the best solutions to it’s creation have the after effects of being poisonous (cobalt blue is a possible carcinogen and Prussian blue, another well-known pigment, can leach cyanide) absurdly expensive (the ground up gemstone lapis lazuli is what makes up ultramarine blue) or if done on the cheap using organic materials apt to fade extremely quickly.
That was until recently when researchers at Oregon State University created a new, durable and brilliantly blue pigment by accident. The researchers were trying to force novel electronic properties into compounds like manganese oxide ( Black ) & other chemicals by using extremely high temperatures (2,000+ degrees Fahrenheit) to force crystal structures.
During one series of experiments the Professor of material sciences, Mas Subramanian noticed that the latest sample of manganese ions absorbed red and green wavelengths of light and reflected only blue. When cooled, the manganese-containing oxide remained in this alternate structure. The compound still is not as cheap as they might like due to the use of indium but work is being done to replace the indium oxide with less expensive oxides like aluminum, which possesses similar properties.
More can be read in the latest Journal of the American Chemical Society.
Portal – Still Alive typography from Trickster on Vimeo
All together now:
“And I feel fine”
I move back to Chicago to live and work and what happens those evil “physicists” who just can’t be content in knowing that it only takes 3 licks to get to the center of a tootsie roll pop have to split it open to find the “charm” inside. By doing so might in fact end the world as we know it.
I get back here only to have it all end? Well to help count down the moments to your doom (or the evaporation of your student loans if your of the college persuasion) here is a countdown clock ticking down the time before the Large Hadron Collider in Switzerland is turned on. So aperently if it’s anything that the Swiss do well it’s clocks and very large high-energy particle accelerators, the two just go hand in hand.
Thanks go out to the Wanker we all know and love Richard “Speak Gravely but carry a Talking Stick” Holland for the clock.
A debate between an Iraqi “Researcher on Astronomy” and a physicist on Iraqi television. This is not the only case of a debate of this nature, and you thought America could fill the 24/7 news cycle with some really odd debates.