Scientists Discovered a New Color (and It's Blueing Our Minds!)
Technology is progressing in the blink of eye. So what if we don't have hover cars or machines that make food out of thin air? We can fabricate new colors out of pure chemicals, adding to the 10 million or so different colors that human eyes can distinguish.
It turns out Oregon State University graduate student Mas Subramanian actually (accidentally) synthesized a new shade of blue way back in 2009. The reason we're hearing about it now is because its blue perfection is now being made available to artists.
Image courtesy of Oregon State University.
The burst (literally) of blue magically happened when manganese oxide, along with other chemicals, was heated to over 2,000°F. Subramanian and his team intended to examine manganese oxide's electrical properties, but were instead shocked when the compound exploded and created the blue pigment instead. They called the newly created pigment "YInMn Blue" after it's elemental components -- Yttrium, Indium, and Magnesium.
What makes this blue so perfect?
This blue may look like every other cobalt blue out there, but it's more special than that. For one, it's blue in its purest form: all red and green wavelengths are absorbed and only blue is reflected. Because of its reflective structure, it can keep objects cool by reflecting infrared light...the next generation of air conditioning, perhaps? Plus, this pigment is super durable and won't fade, which means it's great for long-lasting paint jobs.
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Who knows? Maybe we'll use YInMn Blue for our secondhands in the future. :)